Today in Rock & Roll History: January 16th

1957: The Cavern Club opened at 10 Matthew Street in Liverpool, England. Owner Alan Sytner named the club after the Paris jazz club, Le Caveau De La Huchette and planned for it to become the top jazz venue outside London. At the top of the bill on opening night was the Merseysippi Jazz Band supported by the Wall City Jazzmen, Ralph Watmough Jazz Band and the Coney Island Skiffle Group.

1957: “Too Much” by Elvis Presley entered the US singles chart, later becoming the first of four #1 hits for Presley that year.

1957: Little Richard recorded “Lucille” for Specialty Records at J&M Music Shop in New Orleans, Louisiana. The single later became his third #1 on the US R&B charts and fifth top 40 hit on the pop charts.

1961: The Miracles started eight weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B chart with their first #1 single and first record to enter the chart, “Shop Around.”

1964: Famed Hollywood nightclub Whisky a Go Go opened on Sunset Boulevard with Johnny Rivers leading a live band and DJ Rhonda Lane spinning records between sets. The venue had been named after the Whisky à Go-Go discothèque in Paris, which had been established in 1947. Co-founder Elmer Valentine later went on to open two other Hollywood establishments, The Roxy Theatre and the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

1964: The Dave Clark Five achieved their only #1 single on the UK chart with “Glad All Over.” It was the group’s first record to chart in the US, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the Cash Box chart.

1965: Gary Lewis and the Playboys debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with their first single “This Diamond Ring.” The record became their only #1 on the chart and the first of seven straight top 10 hits. The single is also Al Kooper’s biggest success as a songwriter, though Kooper has reportedly expressed his displeasure with the record. Kooper had originally hoped that the song would be recorded by a group like The Drifters and based on the original, more down-tempo demo of the song recorded by Jimmy Radcliffe.

1965: Canadian band The Guess Who released their first album Shakin’ All Over, though at the time they were still known as Chad Allen & the Expressions. The LP featured their first #1 in Canada, a cover version of the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates song of the same name.

1965: “My Girl” by The Temptations entered the Billboard Hot 100. It went on to become their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their second song to top the R&B chart.

1965: The Supremes achieved their third straight #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Come See About Me.”

1967: The Monkees began work on Headquarters, their third album and first in which the group was give complete artistic and technical control over their material. After a struggle for creative autonomy with their record label, Colgems, the group was finally allowed to write their own songs and play their own instruments. The album became the group’s third straight #1 in the US.

1970: The Who began their first tour of Europe in four years with a performance of their rock opera Tommy at Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris.

1971: Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill released their debut album as ZZ Top, ZZ Top’s First Album.

1973: At the Syria Mosque in Oakland, Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis introduced a new band that he called Fleetwood Mac, but included none of the original members. “This band is my band. This band has always been my band,” said Davis. “I just decided it was time to change the band, certainly onstage, and that’s what I did.” The new group’s tour imploded a few dates later after lead singer Elmer Gantry lost his voice and after a lengthy court battle, Fleetwood Mac’s original members won the right to force the second group to rename themselves.

1975: Paul McCartney and Wings arrived in New Orleans to begin recording sessions for what became their Venus and Mars album. The band worked with renowned New Orleans musician and producer Allen Toussaint at his Sea-Saint studio.

1984: “What Difference Does It Make,” the lead single from the self-titled debut album by the Smiths was released, later reaching #12 on the UK chart.

1988: George Harrison had the #1 song on the US pop charts with “Got My Mind Set On You,” the first single from his 1987 album Cloud Nine. The song was a cover of “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You,” originally recorded by James Ray in 1962.

1992: Eric Clapton recorded his Unplugged session for MTV at Bray Film Studios in Windsor, England. The album release of the show earned six Grammy awards, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year, became the bestselling live album of all time, and Clapton’s bestselling album, selling 26 million copies worldwide.

Birthdays Today

Bob Bogle, founding member, leader, guitarist, and later bassist of the Ventures, was born in Wagoner, OK in 1934.

Ray Phillips, lead vocalist and bass guitarist for the Nashville Teens, was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1939.

Billy Francis, keyboardist for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, was born in Mississippi in 1942.

Barbara Lynn, R&B and electric blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was born in Beaumont, TX in 1942.

Tony Trischka, banjo player and bluegrass musician who’s worked with Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, Tony Rice and many others, was born in Syracuse, NY in 1949.

Sade, singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, and record producer, was born Helen Folasade Adu in Nigeria in 1959.

Paul Webb, bassist for Talk Talk, was born in Essex, England in 1962.

Stevie Jackson, lead guitarist for Belle & Sebastian, was born in Scotland in 1969.

Nick Valensi, singer-songwriter, session guitarist, and guitarist for The Strokes, was born in New York City in 1981.