Today in Rock & Roll History: July 10th

1964: Four days after the world premiere of their first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night in London, The Beatles arrived in their hometown of Liverpool for the first northern England screening at the Odeon Cinema. Roughly 200,000 people—a quarter of the city’s population—lined the route from the airport to Liverpool City Hall, where the Beatles attended a ceremony with local nobility and officials, and each member was presented with a key to the city. The same day, the film’s soundtrack album of the same name was released, and soon reached  the #1 spot in the UK nine days later.

1964: “Baby I Need Your Loving,” the Four Tops’ first single with Motown Records was released. The record was the group’ first million-selling hit and peaked at #11 on the Billboard pop chart.

1964: Manfred Mann’s version of “Do-Wah-Diddy” is released. Originally recorded in 1963 by American vocal group The Exciters, Manfred Mann’s version became more commercially successful, and spent two weeks at #1 on UK singles chart in August and two weeks at #1 on US Billboard Hot 100 in October.

1965: Wilson Pickett’s single “In the Midnight Hour” entered the Billboard pop chart Hot 100. In August, it became Pickett’s first #1 on the R&B chart, and later peaked at #21 on t he Hot 100.

1965: The Rolling Stones hit #1 for the first time in the US with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

1967: “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees was released as the lead single from their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song peaked at #3 on both the Billboard and Cashbox pop charts.

1967: Bobbie Gentry’s first single, “Ode to Billie Joe,” was released. By the end of August, the song #1 on the Billboard pop chart, and peaked at #17 on the country chart in October. In addition to being a big international seller, the single resulted in three Grammy awards out of eight nominations, including “Best Female Vocal Pop Performance” and “Best New Artist.”

1968: Eric Clapton announced that Cream was breaking up. The trio stayed together throughout most of the rest of the year, playing a farewell tour that culminated in a final gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November, and recording three songs for their last album, Goodbye, which was released in 1969 and filled out with a handful of live cuts from the farewell tour.

1972: Harry Nilsson’s eighth studio album, Son of Schmilsson, was released. Featuring contributions from Nicky Hopkins, Klaus Voormann, Bobby Keys, Peter Frampton, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, most of the recording sessions were extensively filmed, per Nilsson’s request. The plan was to use the footage in a documentary titled Did Somebody Drop His Mouse?, but the film was never released. The album was Nilsson’s second and last to enter the Billboard top 20, reaching #12.

1972: Chicago released their fourth studio album and first single-record LP, Chicago V.

1974: “Tin Man,” the first single from America’s fourth studio LP, Holiday, was released. It rose to #4 on the pop chart in November, making it the band’s fourth single to reach the US top 10.

1974: During the first North American leg of his Diamond Dogs concert tour, David Bowie began four days of recording for his first official live album, titled David Live, at Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Philadelphia, PA.

1976: Rod Stewart went to #1 on the UK album chart with his seventh LP, A Night on the Town. His last in a string of five #1 albums, Stewart didn’t hit the top of the UK again until 2013 with Time.

1982: Marshall Crenshaw’s only entry onto the Billboard chart, “Someday, Someway,” entered the Hot 100, where it peaked at #36 by the end of August.

2009: Robert Plant was honored as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in England.

Birthdays today

Mavis Staples, R&B, soul, and gospel singer, actress, activist, and solo artist, who began her career with her family’s band The Staple Singers, was born in Chicago, IL in 1939.

Rodriguez birthday, 1970s singer-songwriter who, despite remaining relatively unknown in the US, experienced significant success abroad, especially in South Africa, unbeknownst to him until the late 1990s, was born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez in Detroit, MI in 1942.

Jerry Miller, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of Moby Grape, was born in Tacoma, WA in 1943.

Arlo Gurthrie, folk singer-songwriter and son of Woody Guthrie, was born in Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY in 1947.

Neil Tennant, singer, songwriter, and Pet Shop Boys co-founder, was born in North Shields, Northumerbland, England in 1954.

Béla Fleck, innovative banjo player, best known for his work with New Grass Revival and his jazz bluegrass band the Flecktones, was born in New York City in 1958.

Sandy West, drummer and founding member of the Runaways, was born Sandra Sue Pesavento in Long Beach, CA in 1959.