Today in Rock & Roll History: January 24th

1958: “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley became his second #1 in Britain and the first single to enter the UK chart at the top spot.

1958: The Quarrymen, billed as The Quarrymen Skiffle Group, performed at Liverpool’s Cavern Club for the first time with Paul McCartney.

1961: The Beatles officially signed a contract with manager Brian Epstein. Epstein’s signature was not on the contract, however, and he vowed not to sign it until he had obtained a record deal for the group. He immediately gave the band a better stage presentation, with matching suits and bows to audiences. The agreement also had Epstein receiving 25% of the group’s gross earnings, far above the normal of 10%. Epstein secured the band a recording contract and in October of 1962, a new management contract was drawn up and signed by both Epstein and the Beatles.

1965: Gerry and the Pacemakers’ first film Ferry Cross The Mersey had its Liverpool premiere at the Odeon Theater. It was the first rock musical filmed on-location in Liverpool and the era’s only film document of the Merseybeat scene, with the hit title track written specifically for the film.

1966: Aretha Franklin released “Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket (Make It For The Door)” from her ninth studio album, Take It Like You Give It.

1966: Los Angeles-based band Love began four days of sessions in which they recorded ten of the fourteen tracks for their self-titled debut album. The LP was also one of the first rock albums released by the Elektra Records label.

1967: After struggling to achieve commercial success with Columbia Records, Aretha Franklin moved to Atlantic Records upon the expiration of her contract with Columbia. After receiving a $25,000 signing bonus, Franklin recorded her first session for Atlantic at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, recording her first top 10 pop hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” The album of the same name also became her first top 10 album on the Billboard pop chart.

1968: Georgie Fame was at #1 on the UK singles chart with the “Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde,” the singer’s third and last British #1.

1969: Jethro Tull began their first US tour at New York City’s Fillmore East as the opening act for Blood, Sweat and Tears.

1972: Paul Simon’s self-titled second solo studio album, and his first since his split with musical partner Art Garfunkel, was released by Columbia Records. Though it was his second solo album, it was his first released in the US. His first solo LP, The Paul Simon Songbook, recorded and released in the UK in 1965, wasn’t made available in the US until 1981 as part of the Collected Works box set.

1972: Michael Jackson released his debut solo studio album, Got to Be There.

1972: Cass Elliot released her eponymous fourth studio album and first with RCA Records. RCA had granted Elliot greater artist freedom, so she pursued a pared down, sophisticated sound and covered several standards in an effort to distinguish herself from her “Mama Cass” identity as a member of The Mamas & The Papas.

1972: Aretha Franklin released her eighteenth studio album, Young, Gifted and Black. It takes its title from the Nina Simone song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” and won Franklin a 1972 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance of the year.

1974: Gram Parsons’ second solo album and first posthumous LP, Grievous Angel, was released. It was compiled from sessions from the summer of 1973. Despite modest sales, the album has since been viewed as a successful example of the hybrid between country and rock and roll that Parsons called “Cosmic American Music.”

1977: George Harrison released “Crackerbox Palace,” the second single from his seventh studio album, Thirty Three & ⅓. The song was inspired by the name of the Los Angeles home of the late comedian Lord Buckley.

1981: Hall & Oates released “Kiss on My List,” the second single from their ninth studio album, Voices.

1983: Tears for Fears released “Change,” the third single from their debut album, The Hurting.

1987: Rhino Records’ first charting single “At The Moment” by Billy Vera and the Beaters hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Vera’s only top 40 hit on the pop chart.

1998: Oasis went to #1 on the UK chart with “All Around the World.” At 9 minutes and 38 seconds, it became the longest song to reach #1 in the chart’s history.

2007: Dion released his fourteenth studio album, Tank Full of Blues.

Birthdays Today

Zeke Carey, second tenor vocalist and co-founder of the Flamingos, was born in Bluefield, WV in 1933.

Ann Cole, soul and gospel singer and original performer of “Got My Mojo Working,” was born Cynthia Coleman in Newark, NJ in 1934.

Doug Kershaw, cajun singer, songwriter, and fiddler, was born in Tiel Ridge, Cameron Parish, LA in 1936.

Jack Scott, rockabilly singer-songwriter and first white rock and roll star to come out of Detroit, was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1936.

Ray Stevens, singer-songwriter and comedian, was born Harold Ray Ragsdale in Clarksdale, GA in 1939.

David Getz, drummer with Big Brother and Holding Company and Country Joe and the Fish, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1940.

Aaron Neville, R&B and soul singer, musician, and member of the Neville Brothers, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1941.

Neil Diamond, singer-songwriter, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1941.

Michael Chapman, folk and jazz musician and songwriter, was born in Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1941.

Warren Zevon, singer-songwriter and musician, was born in Chicago, IL in 1947.

John Belushi, actor, comedian, singer, original cast member of Saturday Night Live, and co-founder of The Blues Brothers, was born in Chicago, IL in 1949.

Jools Holland, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, founding member of Squeeze, solo artist, and TV personality, was born in Blackheath, London in 1958.

Beth Hart, singer, songwriter, and musician, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1972.