Today in Rock & Roll History: February 9th

1959: Lloyd Price achieved his second #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and his first and only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with “Stagger Lee.” Price’s recording was an updated version of the song “Stack O’ Lee Blues,” first published in 1911, and the earliest known version, titled “Stack-a-Lee,” dates back to 1897.

1961: The Beatles played their debut gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool under their new name. The band became a regular fixture at the club, attracting loyal audiences over the course of over 280 performances over a two year period.

1963: Baltimore barmaid Hattie Carroll was killed by drunken patron William Zantzinger. Later that year, on the same day as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Zantzinger was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder, and sentenced to just six months in prison. Bob Dylan, who had been one of the celebrities at the march in Washington, was inspired to write “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” as his commentary on the case as well as racism in America. Dylan incorporated the song into his live performances and it was released the following year as part of his third album, The Times They Are A-Changin’.

1964: The Beatles made their American television debut before 73 million people on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1970: The Doors’ fifth studio album, Morrison Hotel, was released. Following the use of brass and string arrangements on their previous LP, The Soft Parade, the new album was a return to their original blues rock style.

1970: Frank Zappa released his ninth studio album and sixth with The Mothers of Invention, Burnt Weeny Sandwich.

1971: Singer-songwriter Carly Simon released her eponymous debut album.

1972: Shortly after their formation and the release of their debut album, Paul McCartney’s new group Wings, following the breakup of the Beatles, made their live debut at the University of Nottingham as the first stop on a nearly month long impromptu tour of universities across the UK, in which the band often arrived at venues unannounced and would play for whoever happened to be on campus.

1974: Marc Boland and T. Rex released “Teenage Dream,” from their ninth studio album, Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow.

1974: Former Temptations lead singer Eddie Kendricks had his second solo #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “Boogie Down.”

1974: “Jet” by Paul McCartney & Wings entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #7.

1974: “She’s Gone,” the debut single by Hall & Oates, entered the Billboard Hot 100. Initially, the single topped out at #60, but after the duo moved to RCA Records from Atlantic and scored a hit with “Sara,” RCA re-released the song in the summer of 1976 and this time it reached #7.

1979: UB40 played their first live show, sharing the bill with another local group the Au Pairs at The Hare & Hounds Pub in Birmingham, England. In 2011, a plaque went up outside the pub to mark the performance.

1983: George Harrison released “I Really Love You,” the second single from his tenth studio album, Gone Troppo. The song was written by Leroy Swearingen and first recorded by Ohio vocal group The Stereos in 1961.

1983: Prince released “Little Red Corvette,” the second single from his fifth studio album, 1999. It became his first record reach the top 10 in the US, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also his first single to perform better on the pop chart than the R&B chart.

1993: Mick Jagger released third solo studio album, Wandering Spirit.

1993: Jellyfish released their second and final studio album, Spilt Milk.

2005: Roger Daltrey was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Music, the Entertainment Industry and Charity by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

2014: The Beatles: The Night That Changed America aired on CBS exactly 50 years after the group first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The program featured performances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as covers of Beatles songs by Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, and a reunited Eurythmics.

Birthdays Today

George Goldner, record label owner, record producer, and promoter who played an important role in establishing the popularity of rock and roll in the 1950s, by recording and promoting groups that appealed to young people across racial boundaries such as the Crows, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and Little Anthony and the Imperials, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1918.

Bobby Lewis, rhythm and blues singer best known for his 1961 #1 hit “Tossin’ and Turnin’,” was born Robert Alan Lewis in Indianapolis, IN in 1925.

Wayne Moss, guitarist, bassist, record producer, songwriter, Nashville session musician for several well-known artists, and co-founder of Area Code 615 and Barefoot Jerry, was born in Charleston, WV in 1938.

Barry Mann, songwriter, who with wife Cynthia Weil, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs made popular by numerous artists such as “On Broadway,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Kicks,” and “We’ve Gotta’ Get Out Of This Place,” was born Barry Imberman in Brooklyn, New York City in 1939.

Brian Bennett, drummer for the Shadows, was born in Palmers Green, North London, England in 1940.

Carole King, the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999, many of which were written with her first husband Gerry Goffin, was born in Manhattan, New York City in 1942.

Mark Mathis, singer and member of The Newbeats, was born in Hahira, GA in 1942.

Barbara Lewis, singer and songwriter known for her 1965 hit single “Baby I’m Yours,” was born in Salem, MI in 1943.

Major Harris, R&B guitarist and singer for groups including The Delfonics, was born in Richmond, VA in 1947.

Joe Ely, singer, songwriter, and guitarist who had performed with many rock and country artists, was born in Amarillo, TX in 1947.

Holly Johnson, musician, writer, solo artist, bassist for Big in Japan, and lead singer for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, was born William Johnson in Liverpool, England in 1960.

David Rotheray, lead guitarist for The Beautiful South, was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1963.