Today in Rock & Roll History: January 5th

1959: Buddy Holly’s final single released during his lifetime, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” backed with “Raining in My Heart,” was issued by Decca subsidiary Coral Records. The single peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and two months later became the first posthumous #1 record in the UK. Co-writer Paul Anka donated his songwriting royalties from the song to Holly’s widow.

1962: My Bonnie, the first album to feature playing by the Beatles, credited to “Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers,” was released by Polydor Records. Sheridan had been playing in clubs in Hamburg, Germany with the Beatles and after being discovered by producer Bert Kaempfert, was signed to record an album. At the time, the Beatles consisted of guitarists John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, bassist Suarte Sutcliffe, and drummer Pete Best.

1963: The Beach Boys recorded two tracks for their second album Shut Down, the title track and “Surfin’ USA,” in which Brian Wilson set surf-related lyrics to the music of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.” After being pressured by Berry’s publisher, Arc Music, Brian’s father and the group’s manager, Murry Wilson, gave copyright and Brian’s lyrics to Arc before the single was released. The record’s initial release credited only Wilson, but later reissues credit Wilson and Berry.

1965: The Supremes began recording “Stop! In The Name of Love” at Motown’s “Hitsville USA” studio in Detroit. The song later became the group’s fourth #1 on the US pop charts.

1967: After receiving his military draft notice, 22-year-old Jesse Winchester left Memphis and moved to Canada. There, he soon turned to music and became a folk singer-songwriter. Winchester lived in Canada for the next 35 years, becoming a citizen in 1973. He did not return to the states until 1977 after President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to draft evaders.

1967: “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tommy James and the Shondells was released by Roulette Records. The song went to #1 on the Cashbox Top 100 and was their second top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #4.

1969: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s second studio LP Bayou Country was released. The album was the first of three studio albums put out by the band that year and became their first of five straight top 10 albums on the Billboard pop chart, reaching #7.

1973: Columbia Records released the debut studio album by Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ. In October of 1975, the album peaked at #60 on the Billboard pop chart.

1974: Yes achieved their first #1 on the UK album chart with their sixth studio LP Tales from Topographic Oceans.

1974: The Carpenters had their first and only #1 album in the US with the greatest hits compilation The Singles: 1969-1973. The LP also went to #1 in the UK by the end of the month.

1979: Prince made his live debut at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis. After the release of his debut album the year before, Prince wanted his new record label, Warner Music, to organize a tour, but needed to convince his label that he was worth the investment. Pepe Willie, funk musician and husband of Prince’s cousin, arranged two shows at Capri Theater.

Birthdays Today

Sam Phillips, musician, disc-jockey, producer, and founder of Sun Records, who was instrumental in launching the careers of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, was born in Florence, AL in 1923.

Wilbert Harrison, rhythm and blues singer, pianist, guitarist and harmonica player best known for his 1959 #1 hit “Kansas City”, was born in Charlotte, NC in 1929.

Phil Ramone, songwriter, composer, musician, co-founder of A & R Recording, and recording engineer and producer for countless artists, was born in South Africa in 1934.

Thom Mooney, drummer for the Nazz, was born in Altoona, PA in 1948.

Chris Stein, guitarist, songwriter, and co-founder of Blondie, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1950.

Iris DeMent, singer and songwriter, was born in Paragould, AR in 1951.

Grant Young, drummer for Soul Asylum, was born in Iowa City, IA in 1964.

Kate Schellenbach, alternative and punk drummer and founding member of the Beastie Boys, was born in New York City in 1966.