Today in Rock & Roll History: February 28th

1963: While on tour with singer Helen Shapiro, John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed “From Me To You” on the tour bus from York to Shrewsbury. The song title had been inspired by the reader feedback section of British music journal New Musical Express: “From You To Us.”

1966: “Kicks” by Paul Revere and the Raiders was released. Producer Terry Melcher had asked songwriters Barry Man and Cynthia Weil to compose a song similar to the Animal’s 1965 hit “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.” The result was “Kicks,” a song originally offered to the Animals, but turned down by lead singer Eric Burdon. Mann and Weil had written the song as a warning to a friend about the dangers of drug use, but as counterculture themes gained popularity on FM stations across America, the song’s message was consequently perceived as outdated. Nonetheless, the song was received positively and became the group’s first top 10 hit, reaching #4 on Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Cash Box singles chart.

1970: In an interview with New Musical Express, Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green revealed his intention to give all of his money away. Later that year, Green left Fleetwood Mac and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. After spending time in psychiatric hospitals in the mid-1970s, he came out of seclusion and resumed his career by the end of the decade.

1970: After the granddaughter of the late Ferdinand von Zeppelin, inventor of the zeppelin, threatened a lawsuit, Led Zeppelin played a show in Copenhagen, Denmark during a tour of Europe as “The Nobs,” a pun based on the name of their European promoter, Claude Nobs. As a gesture of good will, the band invited Countess Eva von Zeppelin to meet with them at a television studio, but her anger was reignited upon seeing the band’s debut album cover, which depicts the exploding Hindenburg. The controversy gained the band worldwide publicity.

1970: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel started two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the duo’s third #1 on the Hot 100 in the US and became their first #1 in the UK a month later.

1970: The title track from Norman Greenbaum’s debut LP Spirit in the Sky entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single became Greenbaum’s only top 40 hit on the chart, peaking at #3.

2004: Norah Jones topped the Billboard pop chart with her second album, Feels Like Home.

2008: Jethro Tull co-founder and frontman Ian Anderson was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to music.

Birthdays Today

John Fahey, acoustic and fingerstyle guitarist, composer, and founder of the Takoma Records label, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1939.

Joe South, singer, songwriter, guitarist, session musician, and producer, was born Joseph Alfred Souter in Atlanta, GA in 1940.

Marty Sanders, member of Jay and the Americans, was born Marty Kupersmith in Brooklyn, NY in 1941.

Brian Jones, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and founder and original leader of the Rolling Stones, was born Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England in 1942.

Donnie Iris, solo artist and member of Jaggerz and Wild Cherry, was born Dominic Ierace in New Castle, PA in 1943.

Ronnie Rosman, keyboardist for Tommy James and Shondells, was born in 1945.

Ed “Kingfish” Manion, saxophonist and session musician who recorded and performed with Southside Johnny and the Abury Jukes, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, and The Robery Cray Band, was born in 1952.

Ian Stanley, musician, songwriter, producer, and keyboardist with Tears for Fears through most of 1980s, was born in High Wycombe, England in 1957.

Phil Gould, drummer, songwriter, singer, and co-founder of Level 42, was born in Isle of Wight, England in 1957.

Cindy Wilson, singer, songwriter, and founding member of The B-52s, was born in Athens, GA in 1957.