Today in Rock & Roll History: January 2nd

1926: The first issue of The Melody Maker, one of the world’s first weekly music magazines, went on sale. The paper started out with a focus on jazz and dance band music, and though it was slow to cover rock and roll in the 1950s, the publication later set itself apart with its approach to music and musicians as a subject for serious study rather than just entertainment.

1963: Duke Records released “That’s the Way Love Is” by Bobby “Blue” Bland. The record became his second to reach #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and his third single to make the top 40 on the Hot 100 pop chart.

1969: The Beatles gathered at Twickenham Film Studios to begin rehearsals for a television special and live show tentatively titled Get Back. After extensive sessions recording their self-titled LP later known as the “White Album” the year before, the four members of the band were exhausted, and the presence of film cameras during rehearsals further strained tensions between them. Paul McCartney’s plans for a television program and live show were eventually scrapped by the end of the month and the project ultimately was released as the group’s final studio album, Let It Be.

1971: A week after “My Sweet Lord” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, George Harrison’s first post-Beatles solo album, All Things Must Pass, started seven weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart, making it the first solo album by a Beatle to reach #1 in the US.

1977: Queen scored their second #1 on the UK chart with their fifth album, A Day at the Races.

1981: David Bowie released “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps),” the third single and title track from his fourteenth studio album, which was released four months earlier.

1983: Michael Jackson released “Billie Jean,” the second single from his sixth studio album, Thriller.

Birthdays Today

Harold Bradley, guitarist and bass player who was a member of the Nashville A-Team session player who performed on hundreds of albums by artists such as Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, and Patsy Cline as well as recordings by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Byrds, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and others, was born in Nashville, TN in 1926.

Roger Miller, singer-songwriter, musician, and actor, was born in Fort Worth, TX in 1936.

Chick Churchill, keyboardist for Ten Years After, was born Michael George Churchill in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England in 1946.

Kerry Minnear, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and keyboardist and vocalist for Gentle Giant, was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, England in 1948.

Glenn Goins, singer and guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic, was born in Plainfield, NJ in 1954.