Today in Rock & Roll History: January 7th

1954: Muddy Waters recorded Willie Dixon’s blues standard “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” for Chess Records. The song became one of Waters’ most popular records and helped secure Dixon as Chess’ chief songwriter.

1958: Elvis Presley released “Don’t.” Written and produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the single became Presley’s eleventh #1 in the US.

1961: American singer-songwriter Johnny Tillotson was at the top of the UK chart with his only British top 10 single “Poetry in Motion.” The song was also his first to enter the US top 10, making it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 the previous November.

1964: Singer Long John Baldry took over leadership of Cyril Davies’ R&B All-Stars upon Davies’ death. The surviving lineup of bassist Cliff Barton, guitarist Geoff Bradford, pianist Johnny Parker, and drummer Bob Wackett were joined by Rod Stewart, and soon became known as the Hoochie Coochie Men.

1964: “Needles and Pins” by The Searchers was released in the UK, where it eventually became their first #1 hit. Co-written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono, the song was originally recorded and released by Jackie DeShannon the year before and had reached #84 in the US and #1 in Canada.

1964: The Beach Boys recorded “Don’t Worry Baby” at United Western Recorders in Hollywood. The single later went to #24 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1967: Aaron Neville had the first #1 Billboard R&B song of the new year with his first top 10 single, “Tell It Like It Is.” Three weeks later, the song reached #2 on the Hot 100.

1969: The Byrds released “Bad Night at the Whiskey” backed with “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man” as the lead single from their seventh studio album, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde.

1969: Sacramento band Spiral Starecase released “More Today Than Yesterday.” It became their biggest hit and only top 40 song, reaching #12 on the Billboard chart, #7 on the Cashbox chart, and #6 in Canada. Written by lead singer Pat Upton, the principal idea for the song was taken from an 1889 poem by French poet and playwright Rosemonde Gérard.

1970: Judy Collins entered the US top 40 with “Amazing Grace.” The performance was recorded in St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University, a location chosen for its acoustics. It proved to be Collins’ highest charting single, reaching #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1972: David Bowie released “Changes,” the first single from his recently released fourth studio album, Hunky Dory.

1972: Ry Cooder, Nicky Hopkins, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts released Jamming with Edward!, an album of loose jams recorded at London’s Olympic Studio in Spring 1969 during sessions for the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed LP while the band waited for Keith Richards to return to the studio. The “Edward” in the album’s title refers to the nickname of pianist Nicky Hopkins.

1974: David Bromberg released his third album, Wanted Dead or Alive. The LP’s first side was recorded in studio with several musicians including members of the Grateful Dead while the other side features live recordings.

1982: New York band The Fleshtones released their first album, Roman Gods.

1985: The Cars released “Why Can’t I Have You,” the fifth single from their fifth studio album, Heartbeat City.

Birthdays Today

Paul Revere, leader, co-founder, and keyboardist of Paul Revere & the Raiders, was born Paul Revere Dick in Harvard, NA in 1938.

Rory Storm, singer and leader of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, was born Alan Ernest Caldwell in Stoneycroft, Liverpool, England in 1938.

Lefty Baker, lead guitar and singer for Spanky and Our Gang, was born Eustace Britchforth Baker in Roanoke, VA in 1939.

Jerry Corbitt, guitarist, harmonica player, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known as a founding member and guitarist for The Youngbloods, was born in Tifton, GA in 1943.

Mike McGear, singer, songwriter, poet, solo artist, member of Scaffold and Grimms, and younger brother of Paul McCartney, was born Peter Micheal McCartney in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1944.

Dave Cousins, singer, songwriter, and leader of the Strawbs, was born David Joseph Hindson in Hounslow, Middlesex, England in 1945.

Andy Brown, drummer for the Fortunes, was born in Birmingham, England in 1946.

Kenny Loggins, half of the duo Loggins & Messina and a solo artist, was born in Everett, WA in 1948.

Kathy Valentine, bassist for the Go-Gos, was born in Austin, TX in 1959.