Today in Rock & Roll History: February 6th

1957: “Come Go With Me” by The Del-Vikings entered the US singles charts. It was the group’s debut single and was originally released by Fee Bee Records in December of 1956. After they signed with Dot Records the following month, the single was reissued and climbed to #4, making it the group’s highest charting song.

1958: George Harrison saw the Quarrymen for the first time at Wilson Hall in Garston, Liverpool, England. There, friend and schoolmate Paul McCartney introduced Harrison to the band’s leader, John Lennon. The group had been looking for a new lead guitarist and McCartney suggested Harrison for the role. Harrison later auditioned for the band in March at Rory Storm’s Morgue Skiffle Club, playing “Guitar Boogie Shuffle.” Seventeen-year-old Lennon, however, had reservations about Harrison, who was just shy of his fifteenth birthday, being so young. Some time after Harrison’s fifteenth birthday, McCartney arranged another audition, in which Harrison played Bill Justis’ R&B instrumental “Raunchy” on top of a double decker bus. After consistent pressure from McCartney, Lennon finally let Harrison join the Quarrymen as lead guitarist, agreeing that Harrison’s skill was too good to overlook. Plus, Harrison’s mother didn’t object to them rehearsing at her house. Harrison’s entry into the group led them further away from skiffle as well as ended Lennon’s use of banjo chords. Around the same time, another friend of McCartney, John Duff Lowe, joined the band on piano.

1965: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” the first major hit for the Righteous Brothers, simultaneously reached #1 on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts in the US as well as the UK singles chart.

1965: The Rolling Stones’ second British album, Rolling Stones No. 2, reached #1 on the UK album chart and stayed at the top for the next nine of eleven weeks.

1966: The Animals made their fifth appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show to perform their iconic Vietnam-anthem hit “We Gotta Get Out of this Place.”

1967: The Byrds released their fourth studio album, Younger Than Yesterday. It saw the band further incorporate elements of psychedelia and jazz, and also marked the emergence of bass player Chris Hillman as a talented songwriter and vocalist.

1970: “Instant Karma” by John Lennon was released in the UK. One of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, the single was written, recorded, mixed and released within a period of ten days. It was issued in the US two weeks later.

1971: Tom Jones entered the Billboard Hot 100 with “She’s a Lady,” which later became his highest reaching single on the chart, peaking at #2.

1976: Two months after it was released in the US, “This Guitar (Can’t Keep from Crying)” by George Harrison, from his sixth studio album, Extra Texture (Read All About It), was released in the UK. Harrison had written the song as a sequel to his popular Beatles composition “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” in response to the personal criticism he had received during and after his 1974 North American tour with Ravi Shankar.

1976: Jefferson Starship released their fourth studio album, Earth. It was the last album by the group’s 1970s lineup, after which several new members joined the band in addition to a new producer.

1981: Former Beatles members Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison gathered at Harrison’s Friar Park Studio to record “All Those Years Ago,” a musical tribute to the late John Lennon. It was the first time that Harrison, McCartney, and Starr all appeared on a recording together since the Beatles’ “I Me Mine” in 1970 and their last recording until “Free As a Bird” in 1995. Additional contributors to the recording include Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Al Kooper, and Ray Cooper.

1982: Kraftwerk become first the German band to have a #1 single in the UK chart with “The Model” backed with “Computer Love.”

1982: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” Six weeks later, the song went to #1.

1982: The J. Geils Band’s only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Centerfold,” started six weeks at the top of the chart. The song was an international hit, reaching #1 in Australia and Canada, and a top-five hit in much of Europe. On the same day, the group’s tenth studio album Freeze Frame went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1984: Simple Minds released their sixth studio album, Sparkle in the Rain. It was a breakthrough success for the band, becoming their first #1 on the UK chart, and reached the top 20 in several other countries.

1989: Elvis Costello released his twelfth studio album, Spike. The following day, the LP was issued in the US.

2001: Jeff Beck released You Had It Coming, his eighth studio album which largely features instrumental compositions.

Birthdays Today

Dave Berry, pop singer and 1960s teen idol, was born in Woodhouse, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England in 1941.

John London, songwriter, session bassist for the Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and a founding member of Michael Nesmith’s First National Band, was born John Carl Kuehne- in Brazos County, TX in 1942.

Georgeanna Tillman, singer and original member of The Marvelettes, was born in Inkster, MI in 1944.

Willie Tee, keyboardist, songwriter, singer, and producer who helped shape the sound of New Orleans, was born Wilson Turbinton in New Orleans, LA in 1944.

Bob Marley, singer-songwriter and cultural icon, was born in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica in 1945.

Kate McGarrigle, folk singer-songwriter, collaborator with her sister Anna, former wife of Loudon Wainwright III and mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1946.

Richie Hayward, drummer, session musician, and founding member of Little Feat, was born in Des Moines, IA in 1946.

Allan Jones, saxophone player for Amen Corner, was born in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales in 1947.

Bill Staines, folk musician and singer-songwriter, was born in Medford, MA in 1947.

Mike Batt, singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, record producer, solo artist, orchestral conductor, and creator of pop group The Wombles who has written many hits, was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1949.

Natalie Cole, singer, songwriter, actress, and daughter of jazz pianist Nat King Cole, was born in Los Angles, CA in 1950.

Steve Kirby, lead guitarist for Ace from 1975-1977, was born in Shepherds Bush, London, England in 1953.

Simon Phillips, jazz, pop, and rock drummer, songwriter, producer, and session musician who’s worked with artists such as Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Mike Oldfield, Mike Rutherford, Tears for Fears, Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno, The Who, and Toto, was born in London, England in 1957.