Today in Rock & Roll History: July 22nd

1956: Buddy Holly recorded “That’ll Be The Day” for the first time with the Three Tunes in Nashville at producer Owen Bradley’s barn, which had been converted into a recording studio. Decca Records, displeased with Holly’s previous two singles, did not issue recordings from the session. After the song was re-recorded by the Crickets in 1957 and became a hit, Decca released the original recording as a single in early September, but despite Holly’s newfound stardom with the Crickets, it did not chart.

1963: The Beach Boys released “Surfer Girl.” By September, the song climbed to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, #5 on the Cash Box chart, and in October, reached #18 on Billboard’s R&B chart. It was the first composition by Brian Wilson and the first song he produced. Recorded during the same session was the single’s B-side, “Little Deuce Coupe,” which became the group’s highest charting B-side, reaching #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1966: Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, the first studio album by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, was released. The album consists of blues standards by long-established artists such as Otis Rush, Freddie King, and Robert Johnson as well as a few originals penned by Mayall and Clapton, many of which serve as a showcase for Clapton’s playing. Although he sang on several Yardbirds’ recordings, “Ramblin’ on My Mind” was Clapton’s first recorded solo lead vocal performance, which Clapton had been reluctant to record. After recording, Clapton left to form Cream.

1974: Stevie Wonder released his seventeenth studio album, Fulfillingness’ First Finale. It spent nine consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and was his first to top Billboard’s pop chart since 1966.

1977: Elvis Costello released his debut album, My Aim Is True. It was the first of five consecutive albums by Costello produced by Nick Lowe and cost £2,000 to record.

1979: Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s live album Rust Never Sleeps was released. Half acoustic and half electric, most of the album was recorded at San Francisco’s Boarding House during their 1978 tour with studio overdubs added afterward.

1986: “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel became his second #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as his first major top 10 hit internationally.

1999: Woodstock ‘99, the second large-scale music festival that sought to emulate the original original Woodstock in 1969, began in Rome, New York. Over 400,000 people attended the event. Unlike the two previous incarnations of the music festival in 1969 and 1994, Woodstock ‘99’s image was marred by widespread reports of violence and fires. Both Who bassist John Entwistle and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, who had played at the original 1969 festival, performed as solo artists.

2006: Johnny Cash had his first posthumous #1 album with American V: A Hundred Highways. It was his first #1 LP in 37 years and first to reach the top of the Billboard pop chart.

Birthdays Today

Chuck Jackson, R&B singer and member of The Del-Vikings, was born in Latta, SC in 1937.

George Clinton, singer, songwriter, bandleader, record producer, solo artist, and founder of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective, was born in Kannapolis, NC in 1941.

Estelle Bennett, singer and member of The Ronettes, was born in East Harlem, New York City in 1941.

Gerry Stickells, early road manager for Jimi Hendrix who also worked with Three Dog Night, Elton John, Queen, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, and Paul McCartney, was born in Lydd, Kent, England in 1942.

Rick Davies, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and founding member of Supertramp, was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, England in 1944.

Don Henley, singer, songwriter, record producer, drummer, solo artist, and founding member of Eagles, was born in Gilmer, TX in 1947.

Al Di Meola, jazz guitarist, was born in Jersey City, NJ in 1954.

John Prior, musician, composer, and producer, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1960.

Emily Saliers, singer-songwriter and member of Indigo Girls, was born in New Haven, CT in 1963.

Will Calhoun, drummer for Living Colour, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1964.

Rufus Wainwright, singer, songwriter, composer, and son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, was born in Rhinebeck, NY in 1973.

Adia Victoria, singer and songwriter, was born in Spartanburg, SC in 1986.