Today in Rock & Roll History: July 21st

1958: “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters became the group’s first #1 on the Billboard Top 100 pop chart a month after it had started seven weeks as the group’s third song to top of the R&B chart.

1958: Eddie Cochran released “Summertime Blues,” a song he had co-written with his manager, Jerry Capehart. The song became Cochran’s only top 10 hit on the US charts, reaching #8, as well as his highest charting single in the UK.

1961: The Supremes released “Buttered Popcorn,” the second single from their debut album, Meet the Supremes.

1969: The Beatles began recording John Lennon’s song “Come Together” at EMI Studios in London.

1972: T. Rex released their seventh studio album, The Slider.

1972: Rod Stewart’s fourth solo album, Never a Dull Moment, was released. In September, the album became his second #1 in the UK and Canada and peaked at #2 in the US.

1973: Jim Croce scored his first #1 single when “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” started two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1979: “Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” by Robert Palmer entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to becoming Palmer’s second top 20 hit in the US.

1980: Chicago released their twelfth studio album, Chicago XIV.

1986: Neil Young released his fifteenth studio album, Landing on Water. Several of the album’s songs had been resurrected from Young’s failed 1984 sessions with his backing band, Crazy Horse.

1987: Keith Richards signed a solo contract with Virgin Records. Afterward, The Rolling Stones signed a lucrative deal with the company in November 1991.

1990: Pink Floyd’s The Wall was presented live at the site of the Berlin Wall, just north of Potsdamer Platz, to commemorate its fall eight months after its dismantling began. Roger Waters was joined by friends that included The Band, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, Paul Carrack, Sinead O’Connor, Marianne Faithfull, the Scorpions, Thomas Dolby, Cyndi Lauper, and others. A live album of the concert was released later that summer in August.

1994: The Pretenders released “I’ll Stand by You,” the first single from their sixth studio album, Last of the Independents, in the US.

2009: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released their second collaborative album of covers, Under the Covers, Vol. 2, which focuses on songs of the 1970s.

Birthdays Today

Plas Johnson, jazz saxophonist who, as a member of session groups such as the Wrecking Crew, backed numerous artists including B.B. King, Johnny Otis, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Ricky Nelson, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, and T-Bone Walker, was born in Donaldsonville, LA in 1931.

Kim Fowley, record producer, singer, songwriter, musician, manager, and DJ best known for a string of novelty pop songs in the 1960s and for managing the Runaways, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1939.

Tom Draper, record executive whose tenures at RCA and Warner Bros. Records helped lay the foundation for the black music industry, was born in 1940.

Henry McCullough, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and solo artist best known as a member of Spooky Tooth, the Grease Band, and Paul McCartney and Wings, was born in Portstewart, Northern Ireland in 1943.

Barry “Bean” Whitwam, drummer for Herman’s Hermits, was born in Prestbury, England in 1946.

Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, was born Steven Demetre Georgiou in London, England in 1948.

Eric Bazilian, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer, and founding member of The Hooters, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1953.

Howie Epstein, second bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, in-demand session musician who recorded with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and others, and producer of albums by Carlene Carter and John Prine, was born in Milwaukee, WI in 1955.

Henry Priestman, singer, songwriter, record producer, and keyboardist with Yachts, It’s Immaterial, and The Christians, was born in Kingston upon Hull, England in 1955.