Today in Rock & Roll History: February 20th

1958: Coral Records released Buddy Holly’s self-titled second album. Holly was backed by his band the Crickets and the LP contains Holly’s four hit singles released on the Coral label: “Words of Love,” “Peggy Sue,” “I’m Gonna Love You Too,” and “Rave On!”

1964: Marvin Gaye released “You’re a Wonderful One,” a single later included on his fifth studio album, How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You.

1965: Gary Lewis & the Playboys started two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “This Diamond Ring,” their debut single and only song to top the pop charts.

1969: Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations released their recording of Smokey Robinson’s “I’ll Try Something New” from their collaborative album, Diana Ross & the Supremes Join the Temptations.

1971: The soundtrack album to the rock opera musical Jesus Christ Superstar spent its first week at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1972: Elvis Presley released his sixteenth studio album, Elvis Now.

1976: Genesis released “Entangled” from their seventh studio album, A Trick of the Tail, with the title track as its B-side.

1979: The Cars released “Good Times Roll,” the third single from their eponymous debut album.

1979: George Harrison released his self-titled eighth studio album. Contributing musicians include Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, and Andy Newmark.

1982: Stevie Wonder achieved his fifteenth #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “That Girl,” which held the top spot for a total of nine weeks. The record also went to #1 on the Cash Box singles chart and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1984: The Smith’s self-titled debut studio album was released in the UK on the independent Rough Trade label. After the original production by Troy Tate was felt to be inadequate, producer John Porter had the album re-recorded in both London and Manchester during breaks in the band’s UK tour in September of 1983. The album reached #2 in the UK and spent a total of 33 weeks on the chart, establishing the Smiths as a prominent band in the British music scene.

1984: Bananarama released “Robert De Niro’s Waiting…” as the second single from their self-titled second studio album. It became one of the group’s most successful singles in the UK, where it reached #3, but only peaked at #95 in the US.

1985: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds was released in the US. The single became the group’s first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, where it climbed all the way to #1. It also became the Scottish band’s first top 10 hit on the UK chart.

1989: Elvis Costello released “Veronica,” a song inspired by his grandmother who suffered from Alzheimers. It became his highest-charting hit in the US, peaking at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1989: Fine Young Cannibals’ second and final studio album, The Raw & the Cooked, was released in the US just over a month after it had been issued in Europe.

1995: Elton John released “Believe,” the lead single from his twenty-fourth studio album, Made in England.

1996: Lou Reed released his seventeenth studio album, Set the Twilight Reeling.

2004: Nearly forty years after Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys began work on their Smile album, which ultimately went unfinished, Wilson performed his reworking of the project in its entirety at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The series of concert performances were adapted to a studio album, which was released later that year in September as Brian Wilson Presents Smile.

Birthdays Today

Jimmy Yancey, boogie-woogie pianist, composer, and lyricist, was born in Chicago, IL in 1894 or 1901.

David Ackles, singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor who never gained wide commercial success, but influenced artists including Elvis Costello, Elton John, and Phil Collins, was born in Rock Island, IL in 1937.

Buffy Sainte-Marie, singer, songwriter, actress, activist, was born Beverly Sainte-Marie—Piapot on the Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1941.

Paul Leka, songwriter, record producer, pianist, arranger, and orchestrator who wrote or co-wrote hits such as “Green Tambourine” for the Lemon Pipers and “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” for Steam and worked with the Left Banke as a producer and arranger, was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1943.

Lew Soloff, jazz trumpeter and member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1944.

J. Geils, guitarist and leader of the J. Geils Band, was born John Warren Geils, Jr. in New York City in 1946.

Alan Hull, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and founding member of Lindisfarne, was born James Alan Hull in Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, England in 1945.

Walter Becker, musician, songwriter, and record producer, and co-founder of Steely Dan, was born in Queens, NY in 1950.

Randy California, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and original member of Spirit, was born Randy Craig Wolfe in Los Angeles, CA in 1951.

Ian Brown, singer, multi-instrumentalist, solo artist, and lead singer for the Stone Roses, was born in Warrington, England in 1963.