Today in Rock & Roll History: February 26th

1955: American music magazine Billboard reported that for the first time since their introduction in 1949, 45 rpm singles were outselling the old standard 78 rpm discs.

1965: Guitarist Jimmy Page’s first and only solo single “She Just Satisfies” was released by Fontana Records. Backed with “Keep Moving,” Page played all instruments on the recording, except for drums which were played by fellow session musician Bobby Graham. Page had been encouraged to put out a record of his own by his then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon. Page went on to join the Yardbirds later that year and in 1968 became a founding-member of Led Zeppelin.

1965: “The Last Time” by the Rolling Stones, the first single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, was released in UK. Recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood in January, it became the band’s third record to reach #1 on the UK chart, spending three weeks at the top in March and early April. The same day, the Rolling Stones appeared on British TV show “Ready Steady Go!” performing the new song. The single was released in the US two weeks later. The song’s refrain closely resembles that of “This May Be the Last Time,” a song recorded in 1958 by The Staple Singers.

1966: Nancy Sinatra had her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”

1966: Slim Harpo went to #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with his biggest hit, “Baby Scratch My Back.” It was also his biggest success on the Hot 100 pop chart, where it reached #16.

1966: “Get Ready” by The Temptation entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The record peaked at #29 on the pop chart but reached #1 on R&B chart by the end of April.

1970: Apple Records released Hey Jude, a collection of non-album singles and B-sides by the Beatles. Originally titled The Beatles Again, the album’s titled was changed shortly before release to promote the inclusion of the top-selling song of the same name. The title change occurred after the record labels were printed, however, and an untold number of copies of the LP were sold with labels with the title The Beatles Again.

1975: The Night That Made America Famous, a musical revue featuring the songs of Harry Chapin opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The production closed over a weeks later after 47 performances.

1977: “New Kid In Town” by the Eagles became the group’s third #1 single on the US pop charts.

1980: After being turned down by several English record labels, U2 played the gig that changed their lives at the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin. After hearing some of the band’s demos, Island Records’ A&R director Bill Stewart attended the show and afterward offered to sign them to the Island label. Soon after, the band had a four-album deal.

1983: Michael Jackson’s sixth studio album Thriller started its first of 37 weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart. Since then, it has remained one of the best-selling albums in the world.

1995: After reuniting for an MTV acoustic special, former Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page began a lengthy world tour in Pensacola, Florida. The tour’s ensemble featured a six-piece rock band, 29 British classical string players and 11 Egyptian folk musicians.

2000: Santana started a six-week run at #1 on the Billboard album chart with their seventeenth studio album Supernatural. The album later won eight Grammy Awards including Album Of The Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year.

Birthdays Today

Fats Domino, pianist, singer-songwriter, and rock and roll pioneer, was born Antoine Domino Jr. in New Orleans, LA in 1928.

Doug Sandom, early drummer for the group that later became known as The Who, who left group in early 1964 after their failed audition for Fontana Records, was born in Greenford, England in 1930.

Johnny Cash, singer and songwriter, was born in Kingsland, AR in 1932.

Paul Cotton, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and member of Poco, was born Norman Paul Cotton in Fort Rucker, AL in 1943.

Bob “The Bear” Hite, lead singer and harmonica player for Canned Heat, was born in Torrance, CA in 1943.

Mitch Ryder, lead singer of The Detroit Wheels, was born William S. Levise, Jr. in Hamtramck, MI in 1945.

Sandie Shaw, one of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s, was born Sandra Ann Goodrich in Dagenham, Essex, England in 1947.

John Foster, vocalist for Bronski Beat, was born in Basildon, Essex, England in 1961.

Geoffrey Dunn, drummer who recorded with Van Morrison in the 1990s, was a member of Manfred Mann’s Earth band from 2002-2007, and joined Procol Harum in 2007, was born in Clapham, London, England in 1961.