Today in Rock & Roll History: July 19th

1952: Hank Williams released “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).” The song has since been covered numerous times by artists across several genres.

1954: Sun Records released Elvis Presley’s first single, “That’s All Right” backed with “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Both sides of the record had been recorded less than two weeks earlier.

1955: WINS radio station in New York City adopted a policy of not playing white cover versions of black R&B songs, a principle practiced by disc jockey Alan Freed, who had joined WINS the year before.

1965: “Help!,” the title track of the Beatles’ fifth album and second film, was released as a single in the US backed with “I’m Down,” with its UK release following four days later. The song became the band’s tenth #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box pop charts, and the single was issued in the UK four days later.

1966: The Monkees wrapped up sessions for the theme song for their television show, which premiered in September on NBC. Written by songwriting team Boyce and Hart, the song appeared as a track on the band’s self-titled debut album but was never released as a single.

1967: The Beatles went to #1 on the UK chart with “All You Need Is Love.”

1968: The Moody Blues released “Tuesday Afternoon,” the second single from their second album, Days of Future Passed. The single version of the song was edited down from the eight-and-a-half minute version on the album, where it was listed as “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?).”

1968: “Do the Best You Can” by The Hollies, from their second studio album, Butterfly, was released.

1969: Crosby, Stills & Nash debuted on the US charts with “Marrakesh Express,” the first single from the trio’s debut album. The song reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August.

1969: Jr. Walker & the All-Stars achieved their second of two #1 singles on the Billboard R&B chart with “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love).”

1969: After placing ten songs on the British charts including two #1 hits, the Spencer Davis Group announced their break-up. Two years earlier, lead singer and guitarist Steve Winwood had left to form Traffic before joining Blind Faith, and his brother and bassist Muff Winwood had become an A&R man for Island Records. The group’s lineup changed several times before the group finally disbanding. In 1973, Davis reunited with former members Ray Fenwick, Eddit Hardin, and Pete York with newcomer Charlie McCarken to record two more albums before splintering once again.

1972: The Doobie Brothers released “Listen to the Music,” the first single from their second studio album, Toulouse Street. It became the group’s first top 40 hit in the US, reaching #11, and their first to enter the UK chart, making it to #29.

1974: Neil Young released his fifth studio album, On the Beach. It was recorded after but released before his next LP, Tonight’s the Night. Young utilized a variety of session musicians including Graham Nash, David Crosby, Rick Danko, and Levon Helm.

1975: The Isley Brothers had their second #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “Fight the Power (Part 1).”

1975: Paul McCartney scored his fourth post-Beatles #1 in the US with Wings’ “Listen to What the Man Said.” The song features new drummer Joe English and guest musicians Dave Mason and Tom Scott. The record went on to sell a million copies in the US and reached #1 in Canada and #6 in Britain.

1977: Elvis Presley’s twenty-fourth and final studio album, Moody Blue, was released four weeks before his death.

1980: Queen had their third #1 LP in Britain with The Game. In the US, the album became their first to top the charts, reaching the top of the Billboard pop chart in September, and produced two #1 singles and sold over 4 million copies.

1980: An exhibit featuring paintings by Joni Mitchell, John Mayall, Ron Wood, Klaus Voormanm, and Commander Cody opened at Vorpal Gallery in Laguna Beach, California.

1982: “Jack & Diane” by John Mellencamp, then known as John Cougar, entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single later became his first #1 on the pop charts.

1986: Genesis achieved their first #1 on the US pop singles charts with the title track from their thirteenth studio album, Invisible Touch.

1988: During their Tunnel of Love Express Tour, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed to an estimated 300,000 people in East Berlin. In an effort to relieve growing tension, communist authorities had allowed its youth wing, the Free German Youth, to book one of the west’s most popular artists. The free, four-hour concert and Springsteen’s message of freedom did little to quell discontent, however, and Springsteen’s performance is one of a number of pivotal events that are believed to have contributed to the revolution that brought down the Berlin Wall sixteen months later.

1990: Phil Collins released “Something Happened On The Way To Heaven,” the third single from his fourth studio album, …But Seriously. It became his final top 10 hit in the US, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1991: Carla Olson and Mick Taylor released Too Hot for Snakes, a live album recorded at Hollywood’s Roxy Theatre. It was the US release of material that had been issued in Europe the previous year as simply Live.

1993: Billy Joel released “River of Dreams,” the title track and first single from his twelfth studio album.

1993: Deborah Harry released her fourth solo album and last with Chrysalis Records, Debravation.

1994: Dave Edmunds released Plugged In, an album completely performed, produced, and engineered by himself.

1997: “D’You Know What I Mean” by Oasis became the group’s third UK #1 single.

2005: Carly Simon released her twenty-second studio album, Moonlight Serenade. It was her fourth album of pop standards and became her first top 10 album in the US since Boys in the Trees in 1978.

Birthdays Today

Preston Epps, percussionist who helped introduce bongos and conga drums to mainstream pop largely through his 1959 hit single “Bongo Rock,” was born in Mangum, OK in 1930.

Buster Benton, Chicago blues guitarist and singer, was born Arley Benton in Texarkana, AR in 1932.

Karen Dalton, folk blues singer, guitarist, and banjo player associated with the early Greenwich Village folk scene, particularly with Fred Neil, the Holy Modal Rollers, and Bob Dylan, was born in Bonham, TX in 1937.

Commander Cody, keyboardist, vocalist, and founder and frontman of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, was born George Frayne in Boise, ID in 1944.

Alan Gorrie, bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, singer, and founding member of the Average White Band, was born in Perth, Scotland in 1946.

Brian May, singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist for Queen, was born in Hampton, Middlesex, England in 1947.

Bernie Leadon, songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and founding member of Eagles, who had previously been a member of Hearts & Flowers, Dillard & Clark, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was born in Minneapolis, MN in 1947.

Keith Godchaux, keyboardist and vocalist for the Grateful Dead, was born in Seattle, WA in 1948.

Kevin Haskins, drummer and keyboardist for Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love and Rockets, was born Kevin Michael Dompe in Northampton, England in 1960.