Today in Rock & Roll History: February 22nd

1961: The Miracles released “Way Over Here,” the first single from their first studio album, Hi… We’re the Miracles. In March and April, a second and third version were released with added strings. The second version has since become the most widely heard version.

1963: “Come and Get These Memories” by Martha and the Vandellas was released as the second single and title track from their debut album.

1963: The Beatles, along with publisher Dick James and manager Brian Epstein, formed the Northern Songs Publishing Company to publish songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

1965: The Supremes released their fourth studio album, The Supremes Sing Country, Western & Pop. Two of the album’s tracks were written by producer Clarence Paul and his charge, Stevie Wonder, making the Supremes the first act besides Wonder to record Wonder’s songs.

1965: The Beatles left London Airport on a chartered flight to the Bahamas to begin filming their second feature film, Help!.

1967: The Beatles finished “A Day in the Life” with the recording of the song’s final piano chord. Initially using three pianos, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and assistant Mal Evans all played an E major chord. It took nine attempts to record a satisfactory version, as the five performers had trouble hitting the chord at precisely the same time.

1969: Ten Years After released their second studio album, Stonedhenge.

1969: The Beatles began work on their eleventh studio album, Abbey Road, recording basic tracks for “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” at Trident Studios in London shortly after the band had finished shooting for their Let It Be film.

1969: A week after becoming the group’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone became their first #1 on the R&B singles chart.

1971: David Crosby released his debut solo studio album, If I Could Only Remember My Name. Several guests appear on the record, including Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and members of Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and the Grateful Dead. The ensemble was given the informal moniker of The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra.

1971: “Another Day” by Paul McCartney was released in the US three days after its release in the UK. Though the song had been written and previewed during the Beatles’ Let It Be sessions in 1969, it was the first single of McCartney’s solo career.

1975: Scottish funk and R&B group the Average White Band had their first and only #1 album when their self-titled sophomore studio LP topped the US Billboard pop chart. The same week, the album’s lead single “Pick Up The Pieces” became their only single to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1975: “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle went to #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. It was the group’s first chart-topping hit since “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)” in 1966. Five weeks later, the song became their sole #1 on the Hot 100 pop chart.

1975: Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel had their only #1 single when “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” went to the top of the UK chart.

1977: The title track from the Eagles’ fifth studio album Hotel California was released. In May, it became the band’s fourth single to top the Billboard Hot 100.

1980: English electronic group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released their self-titled debut album.

1989: At the 31st Grammy Awards, the “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental” category was introduced. Jethro Tull won for their sixteenth studio album, “Crest of a Knave,” beating out Metallica, Iggy Pop, Jane’s Addiction, and AC/DC. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was widely criticized, and in response, separated the genres, creating categories for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance.

1993: Radiohead released their debut album, Pablo Honey. The LP reached #22 on the UK chart.

Birthdays Today

Norman “Hurricane” Smith, record producer, singer, and EMI audio engineer who worked extensively with the Beatles, was born in Edmonton, London in 1923.

Guy Mitchell, singer and actor, was born in Detroit, MI in 1927.

Ernie K-Doe, R&B singer best known for his 1961 hit single “Mother-in-Law,” was born Ernest Kador Jr. in New Orleans, LA in 1936.

Bobby Hendricks, lead singer with the Drifters from 1957 to early 1958 and a solo artist, was born in Columbus, OH in 1938.

Mick Green, guitarist with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates who also played with Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, was born in Matlock, Derbyshire, England in 1944.

Oliver, pop singer, was born William Oliver Swofford in North Wilkesboro, NC in 1945.

Howard Jones, singer, musician and songwriter, was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1955.