Today in Rock & Roll History: February 19th

1958: Carl Perkins left Sun Records to sign with the Columbia label as their first rockabilly artist. Two weeks later he released the single “Pink Pedal Pushers.”

1958: The Miracles’ first single “Got a Job,” backed with “My Mama Done Told Me,” was released by End Records. Written by Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., the record was an answer to the Silhouettes’ 1957 hit “Get a Job.” The group’s original name had been “The Five Chimes,” but after Gordy struck a deal with End Records to distribute the record, they changed their name to the Miracles shortly before its release. After earning only $3.19 for his production success, Gordy was told by Robinson to form his own label. Gordy took the advice and later created Tamla Records in 1959, which a year later was incorporated as Motown Records.

1966: Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin performed at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. It was the first concert to be presented by music promoter and 1960s counterculture figure Chet Helms, who was also the founder and manager of Big Brother and the Holding Company.

1966: “Daydream” by The Lovin’ Spoonful was released. It became the group’s third straight top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #2.

1966: Lou Christie topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first and only time with “Lightnin’ Strikes.”

1966: Cleveland band The Outsiders debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Time Won’t Let Me.” It became their biggest hit and peaked at #5 in April.

1966: B.J. Thomas debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m So Lonely I Could Cry.”

1972: Harry Nilsson achieved his first and only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his cover of Badfinger’s “Without You.” The single was Nilsson’s only international hit and only top ten record on the UK chart.

1977: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s cover of the Bruce Springsteen song “Blinded By The Light” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the group’s first of two top 40 hits in the US and only record to reach #1.

1985: Mick Jagger released his first solo album, She’s the Boss. Jagger had started work on the LP after the Rolling Stones signed with CBS Records two years earlier and sanctioned the help of various musician friends including Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Carlos Alomar, Herbie Hancock, and the Compass Point All Stars.

1991: R.E.M. released “Losing My Religion,” the lead single from the band’s Out of Time LP. It became their highest charting hit in the US, reaching #4 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream and Alternative Rock charts.

Birthdays Today

Smokey Robinson, singer, songwriter, record producer, and founder and frontman of Motown group The Miracles, was born William Robinson, Jr. in Detroit, MI in 1940.

Bobby Rogers, tenor vocalist, member of The Miracles, and part-time Motown songwriter who co-wrote hits by The Miracles, The Temptations, Mary Wells, The Contours, and Marvin Gaye, was born in Detroit, MI in 1940.

Lou Christie, singer-songwriter, was born Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco in Glenwillard, PA in 1943.

Mark Andes, bassist and member of Canned Heat, Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall, Heart, and Mirabal, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1948.

Eddie Hardin, pianist, singer-songwriter, and member of the Spencer Davis Group, Axis Point, and Hardin & York, was born in London, England in 1949.

Andy Powell, guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Wishbone Ash, was born in Stepney, London, England in 1950.

Dave Wakeling, songwriter, singer, and guitarist for The Beat (known as the English Beat in North America) and General Public, was born in Birmingham, England in 1956.

Peter Holsapple, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and co-founder of the dB’s, was born in Greenwich, CT in 1956.

Falco, singer and songwriter, was born Johann Hölzel in Vienna, Austria in 1957.

Seal, singer and songwriter, was born Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel in Paddington, London, England in 1963.

Teddy Thompson, musician and son Richard and Linda Thompson, was born in London, England in 1976.