Today in Rock & Roll History: February 18th

1959: Ray Charles recorded “What’d I Say” for Atlantic Records in New York City. There were two initial problems, however. The record was over seven and a half minutes long and producers were worried that the song’s suggestive qualities could potentially cause it to be banned. The recording was mixed down to fit on both three and a half minute sides of a 45rpm single and after some radio stations refused to play it, a sanitized version was released in July. In early August, the single reached #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and became Charles’ first top 10 record on the Hot 100 pop chart.

1965: The Beatles recorded “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Tell Me What You See,” both included on the group’s Help! album, at EMI Studios in London.

1967: “Kind of a Drag” by The Buckingham became the group’s only #1 in the US when it topped the Billboard Hot 100.

1974: Ringo Starr released “Oh My My,” the third single from his Ringo album. By the end of April, the record peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2007: Norah Jones scored her third consecutive #1 album on the Billboard pop chart with Not Too Late.

Birthdays Today

Yoko Ono, artist, musician, activist, and second wife of John Lennon, was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1933.

Skip Battin, singer-songwriter, bassist, and member of New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Byrds, was born Clyde Battin in Gallipolis, OH in 1934.

Bobby Hart, singer, songwriter, and half of hit songwriting team Boyce & Hart, was born Robert Luke Harshman in Charlottesville, VA in 1939.

Irma Thomas, soul and gospel singer known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” was born Irma Lee in Ponchatloula, LA in 1941.

Herman Santiago, singer, songwriter, and member of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1941.

Keith Knudsen, drummer, vocalist, and songwriter for The Doobie Brothers and co-founder of Southern Pacific, was born in Le Mars, IA in 1948.

John Lingwood, drummer and songwriter who played with Steamhammer, Stomu Yamashta, Leo Sayer, Roger Chapman, Maddy Prior, Elkie Brooks, and Manfred Mann, was born in Wembley, London, England in 1951.

Robbie Bachman, drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive, was born Robin Peter Kendall Bachman in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1953.