Today in Rock & Roll History: February 23rd

1957: “I’m Walkin’” by Fats Domino was released. Co-written with collaborator Dave Bartholomew, it became Domino’s third #1 single the R&B Best Sellers chart and also broadened his crossover appeal, reaching #4 on the pop singles chart.

1959: Buddy Holly entered the US singles charts with “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” The record went to #13 in the US and became Holly’s second #1 in the UK.

1963: “Linda” by Jan & Dean entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written in 1942 by Jack Lawrence while he was serving in World War II, and took its name from the then one-year-old daughter of his attorney, Lee Eastman. It has since been covered by several artists.

1963: Sam Cooke recorded his rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster.”

1963: The Chiffons’ first single, “He’s So Fine,” entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by young songwriter Ronnie Mack, who had assembled the Chiffons and set himself up as their manager. Mack pitched several of his songs to the Bright Tunes Corporation, a production company run by vocal group and Capitol Records house producers the Tokens. Capitol rejected “He’s so Fine,” leading the Tokens to offer the song to ten other labels before Laurie Records felt it would be a hit. The record, which includes piano playing by singer-songwriter Carole King, later topped the Hot 100 for four weeks starting in March and reached #1 on the R&B chart.

1965: The Beatles began filming their second feature film, Help!, spending two weeks in the Bahamas. The location had been chosen by their financial adviser, Dr. Walter Strach, who’d established a tax shelter there.

1968: Otis Redding’s seventh studio album and first posthumous album, The Dock of the Bay, was released. It contains a number of singles and B-sides dating back to 1965 including his posthumous hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”

1968: Manfred Mann released “Up the Junction,” their fourth studio album and the soundtrack to the film of the same name.

1979: Thin Lizzy released “Waiting for an Alibi,” the lead single from their ninth studio album, Black Rose: A Rock Legend.

1979: The Clash released “English Civil War,” the second single from their second studio album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope. The song is derived from an American Civil War song, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” written by Irish-born Massachusetts Unionist Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.

1979: Dire Straits began their first tour of North America at the Paradise Club in Boston supporting their second album, Communique.

1980: Queen achieved their first #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

1980: “Fire Lake,” the lead single from Bob Seger’s eleventh studio album, Against the Wind, entered the Billboard Hot 100.

1985: The Smiths achieved their only #1 album in the UK when their second studio LP, Meat Is Murder, debuted at the top of the chart.

1987: Freddie Mercury released his cover of “The Great Pretender,” a song written by Samuel “Buck” Ram and recorded by The Platters in 1955. Mercury claimed that the song was particularly fitting for the way he saw his career and being on stage.

1985: “Missing You,” Diana Ross’ tribute to the late Marvin Gaye, reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart.

1986: MTV aired 22 hours of the Monkees’ television show to celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary.

1993: Big Head Todd and the Monsters released their third studio album, Sister Sweetly.

1993: Jack Bruce released his tenth studio album, Somethin Els. It features the first appearance of Bruce’s former Cream bandmate Eric Clapton on one of his solo albums.

1998: Genesis released “Not About Us,” the third and final single from their fifteenth studio album, Calling All Stations.

1999: Blondie released No Exit, their seventh studio album and first in seventeen years.

1999: Steve Earle, backed by the Del McCoury Band, released his eighth studio album, The Mountain. His first wholly bluegrass album, Earle made the album as a tribute to the founder of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe.

2002: The Bee Gees performed their final concert at the Love and Hope Ball in Miami Beach, Florida.

2007: Pearl Jam released their cover of the Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me.” Actor Adam Sandler had approached the band with the proposal to record the song for the film Reign Over Me. Vocalist Eddie Vedder was reluctant, but eventually agreed after Who singer Roger Daltrey gave Vedder his approval.

Birthdays Today

Johnny Winter, musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, was born in Beaumont, TX in 1944.

Mike Maxfield, singer and lead guitarist for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, was born in Manchester, England in 1944.

Rusty Young, songwriter, pedal steel and slide guitarist, session musician with Buffalo Springfield, and founding member of Poco, was born Norman Russell Young in Long Beach, CA in 1946.

Terry “Tex” Comer, bass player for Ace and Frankie Miller, was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England in 1949.

David Sylvian, singer-songwriter musician, lead vocalist for Japan, and a solo artist, was born David Alan Batt in Beckenham, England in 1958.

Rob Collins, original keyboardist for The Charlatans (a.k.a. The Charlatans UK), was born in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, England in 1963.

Jeff Beres, bassist for Sister Hazel, was born in 1971.