Today in Rock & Roll History: February 16th

1963: The Miracles achieved their second #1 single on the Billboard R&B chart with “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me.”

1966: James Brown recorded “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” at Talent Masters Studios in New York City. The single would hit #1 on the Billboard R&B chart that June and reach #8 on the Hot 100.

1967: “Bernadette,” the third single from the Four Tops’ album Reach Out, was released. The song went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart.

1968: MGM Records released British group Jethro Tull’s debut single, “Sunshine Day.” On the record’s original label, the band’s name was misspelled “Jethro Toe.”

1968: Detroit’s then-mayor Jerome Cavanaugh declared that February 16th was to be forever known as “Aretha Franklin Day” in the Motor City. The announcement was made at the Cobo Hall auditorium at Franklin’s first concert in Detroit, where she got her start singing gospel before her rise to fame with Atlantic Records. In attendance was civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who presented Franklin with an award from the Southern Christian Leadership Council.

1969: The Islely Brothers released “It’s Your Thing” from their sixth studio album, It’s Our Thing. It was the group’s first release on their own T-Neck record label after leaving Motown and became their first #1 hit on Billboard’s R&B chart and their first top 10 single on the Hot 100 pop chart.

1970: The Supremes released “Up the Ladder to the Roof,” the lead single from their nineteenth studio album, Right On. It was the group’s first single to feature new lead singer Jean Terrell in place of Diana Ross, who left the group to pursue a solo career.

1971: Aretha Franklin recorded her version of “Spanish Harlem” at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida.

1972: Singer-songwriter David Bromberg released his self-titled debut album.

1972: Led Zeppelin made their Australian live debut when they kicked off a six-day tour of Australia and New Zealand at the Subiaco Oval in Perth. Police battled with over 500 fans who rammed locked gates trying to get into the concert. Over 4,000 fans stood outside the venue without tickets and local residents jammed police phone lines complaining about the noise.

1972: During their week-long stint as co-hosts of The Mike Douglas Show, John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed “Memphis, Tennessee” and “Johnny B. Goode” with Chuck Berry, who Lennon referred to as “my hero.”

1974: Bob Dylan reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart for the first time with his fourteenth studio album, Planet Waves. On the LP, he was supported by longtime collaborators The Band, who had embarked with Dylan on a reunion tour just before the album’s release.

1975: T. Rex’s tenth studio album, Bolan’s Zip Gun, was released exclusively in the UK and Australia.

1982: Simon & Garfunkel’s first live album The Concert in Central Park was released. The performance had been recorded in September 1981 at a benefit concert to raise funds for the redevelopment and maintenance of the park.

1985: Bruce Springsteen went to #1 on the UK album chart for the first time with his seventh studio LP, Born in the U.S.A.

1988: The Church released fifth and most commercially successful LP, Starfish.

1988: Sting released …Nada como el sol, a four track EP containing tracks from his second solo studio album, …Nothing Like the Sun, performed in Spanish and Portuguese.

1991: Queen scored their seventh #1 on the UK album chart with their fourteenth studio album, Innuendo.

1993: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones, and Bill Wyman, who filled in for original bassist Ronnie Lane, participated in a Faces reunion at the Brit Awards in London, where Stewart received a lifetime achievement award.

2004: The Stranglers released their fifteenth studio album, Norfolk Coast.

2015: Don’t Lose This, a posthumous album by Roebuck “Pops” Staples, was released. Produced by Jeff Tweedy, it was assembled with various musicians using unfinished tracks from 1998 that were intended for a “lost” album by The Staple Singers.

Birthdays Today

Bill Doggett, jazz and rhythm and blues pianist and organist, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1916.

Patty Andrews, singer and member of The Andrews Sisters, was born in Mound, MN in 1918.

Otis Blackwell, influential singer, songwriter, and pianist who wrote “Fever,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “All Shook Up,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Return to Sender,” and “Handy Man,” was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1931.

Sonny Bono, singer, musician, songwriter, producer, actor, and politician, was born Salvatore Phillip Bono in Detroit, MI in 1935.

Leon Ware, songwriter, producer, composer, singer best known for producing hits for other artists including Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Maxwell, Minnie Riperton, and Marvin Gaye, was born in Detroit, MI in 1940.

Betty Thatcher, primary lyricist for Renaissance, was born in Westminster, London, England in 1944.

Lyn Paul, singer and member of The New Seekers, was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester, Cheshire, England in 1949.

Andy Taylor, musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, guitarist in Duran Duran and the Power Station, was born in Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear, England in 1961.

Damon Reece, drummer for Echo & the Bunnymen from 1989-1993, was born in London, England in 1967.