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 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 began a seven-week run at the top of the Billboard pop chart, becoming the first solo album by a Beatle to reach #1 in the States.

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 had been released four months earlier.

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

Birthdays Today

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.

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