Today in Rock & Roll History: July 2nd

1956: At RCA’s recording studio in New York City, Elvis Presley’s first sessions with backing vocal group the Jordanaires produced “Hound Dog” and its B-side, “Don’t Be Cruel.”

1965: Following its release in the UK in early June, “Heart Full of Soul” by the Yardbirds was issued in the US. It was the band’s second of two top 10 singles on the Billboard charts, peaking at #9.

1966: After it was released as part of the UK version of the Rolling Stones’ Aftermath album, “Mother’s Little Helper” was released as a single in the US. Four days later, the record entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later reached #8.

1966: The first show of the 1966 Forrest Hills Music Festival was held at the Forrest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens, New York. Eight concerts were held over the following two months, with The McCoys, The Standells, and the Rolling Stones performing on the first day.

1969: Felix Pappalardi was asked to produce sessions for New York group the Vagrants. He ended up working with the band’s guitar player, Leslie West, and together formed Mountain. That month, West released his debut solo album, titled Mountain, which Papparlardi produced in addition to contributing bass and vocals.

1969: British trio Thunderclap Newman had their only hit when “Something in the Air,” produced by the Who’s Pete Townshend, started three weeks at the top of the UK singles chart.

1969: Paul McCartney recorded “Her Majesty” at EMI Studios in London. He was later joined by George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and the three began work on “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” for the Beatles’ self-titled ninth studio album known as “the White Album.”

1971: “Get It On” by T. Rex was released. It became the band’s second chart-topping single in the UK and is featured on their sixth album, Electric Warrior. In the US, where the song was re-titled “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” to avoid confusion with a song of the same name by American jazz band Chase, it became their only top 10 entry on the Billboard Hot 100.

1973: Grand Funk Railroad released “We’re an American Band,” the lead single and title track from their seventh studio album. Written by singer and drummer Don Brewer and produced by Todd Rundgren, the song became the group’s first #1 hit in the US in September, which broadened the group’s appeal and lead to Brewer doing lead vocals on more songs.

1975: As he transitioned from working with Faces to the Rolling Stones, guitarist Ronnie Wood released Now Look, his second solo studio album. Co-produced by Bobby Womack and Ian McLagan, it features contributions from Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Willie Weeks and Andy Newmark – all of whom had played on Wood’s debut LP, I’ve Got My Own Album to Do.

1976: Brian Wilson appeared live with The Beach Boys for the first time in twelve years at that year’s Day on the Green concert at California’s Oakland Coliseum Stadium.

1982: Elvis Costello and the Attractions released their sixth album, Imperial Bedroom. The album’s production was helmed by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick.

1984: “She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper was released as the third single from her debut studio album, She’s So Unusual.

1991: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their eighth studio album, Into the Great Wide Open. It was the group’s last album with MCA Records and second produced by Jeff Lynne.

1996: Neil Young released Broken Arrow, his twenty-second studio album and tenth with Crazy Horse.

2005: Ten simultaneous Live 8 benefit concerts were held across the globe in all G8 nations and South Africa. Timed to precede the G8 summit less than a week later, the event was run in support of the UK’s Make Poverty History Campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty. Broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks, the more than 1,000 musicians that participated included U2, Paul McCartney, Elton John, REM, Annie Lennox, UB40, Stick, The Who, Dave Matthews Band, and Stevie Wonder At the London concert at Hyde Park, a reunited Pink Floyd played their first performance as a quartet in twenty-four years. It was also the last Pink Floyd show to include Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright.

Birthdays Today

Murry Wilson, songwriter, talent manager, record producer, and music publisher best known as the father of the Beach Boys’ Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson who managed the band from 1961-1964, was born in Hutchinson, KS in 1917.

Marvin Rainwater, country and rockabilly singer and songwriter, was born in Wichita, KS in 1925.

Lee Allen, key figure in New Orleans rock and roll during the 1950s who played sax with many leading performers of the early rock era such as Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Shirley & Lee, was born in Pittsburg, KS in 1927.

Tom Springfield, folk and pop singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and member of The Springfields along with sister Dusty Springfield, was born Dionysius P. A. O’Brien in Hampstead, London, England in 1934.

Dee Palmer, composer, arranger, and keyboardist best known as a member of Jethro Tull from 1976-1980, was born David Palmer in Hendon, London, England in 1937.

Paul Williams, founding member and original lead singer for The Temptations, was born in Ensley, AL in 1939.

William Guest, R&B and soul singer and member of Gladys Knight & The Pips, was born in Atlanta, GA in 1941.

Peter Cruickshank, bassist for The Groundhogs, was born in 1945.

Roy Bittan, keyboardist, pianist, and session musician best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who has played on recordings by Jackson Browne, David Bowie, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Bob Seger, Stevie Nicks, and others, was born in Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY in 1949.

Joe Puerta, bassist, vocalist, and co-founder of Ambrosia, who later played with Sheena Easton and was a co-founder of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, was born in Lomita, CA in 1951.

Gene Taylor, boogie woogie pianist who played with Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, the James Harman Band, Canned Heat, The Blasters, Doug Sahm, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, was born in Norwalk, CA in 1952.

Mark Hart, multi-instrumentalist best known as a member of Supertramp and Crowded House, was born in Fort Scott, KS in 1953.

Pete Briquette, record producer, composer, and bassist for Boomtown Rats, was born Patrick Martin Cusack in Ballyjamesduff, Ireland in in 1954.