Today in Rock & Roll History: July 30th

1954: Elvis Presley, mistakenly billed as “Ellis Presley,” made his professional performing debut at Overton Park in Memphis opening for Slim Whitman.

1955: Johnny Cash recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Like other songs recording during his early sessions with Sun Records, Cash was backed with a guitarist and bassist, but no drummer. He replicated the sound of snare drum by inserting a piece of paper under the strings of his guitar and strumming the snare rhythm.

1962: “You Beat Me to the Punch” by Mary Wells entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later became her second top 10 hit on the pop chart, peaking at #9.

1966: “Wild Thing” by English band The Troggs, recorded in just one take, became the group’s only #1 in the US when the single topped the Billboard Hot 100. Originally written by Chip Taylor for New York band the Wild Ones, their version had been released in 1965 but failed to chart.

1968: Last Time Around, the third and final album by Buffalo Springfield was released. The album was issued to fulfill contractual commitments, and by the time of its release, the group had effectively disbanded. Only one of the album’s tracks, “On the Way Home,” featured all five original members recording together. The album reached #42 on the Billboard chart and contains songs that each of the band’s members continued to perform throughout their solo endeavors and with future groups.

1969: “I Can’t Get Next to You” by The Temptations was released. It later became the group’s tenth R&B #1 in the US, and in October, it became their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since “My Girl” in 1964.

1987: David Bowie began the North American leg of his worldwide Glass Spider Tour at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, supporting his latest album, Never Let Me Down.

1987: Mary Chapin Carpenter released her debut album, Hometown Girl.

1988: Steve Winwood had his second of two #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first of four weeks with the title track from his fifth solo album, Roll with It.

1991: The Psychedelic Furs released their seventh studio album, World Outside. It was the group’s last full-length studio album until Made of Rain in 2020.

1991: Widespread Panic released their self-titled second studio album.

2002: Bruce Springsteen released The Rising, his twelfth studio album, first in seven years, and first with the E Street Band in eighteen years. The album was based in large part on Springsteen’s reflections during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. In August, it became his first #1 on the Billboard pop chart since Tunnel of Love in 1987.

2006: After its cancellation in June, popular British music chart television show Top of the Pops broadcast its final edition on BBC-TV after 42 years on the air.

2009: Former Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher won his lengthy court battle against the band’s founder and leader Gary Brooker when the British House of Lords found that Fisher was entitled to a share of future royalties of the band’s 1976 hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Fisher had initially sued Brooker in 2005 for back royalties, claiming his organ solo entitled him to be credited as a co-writer. In 2006, Fisher was awarded credit as a co-author, and 40% of the song’s future royalties, but the decision was overturned by a judge two years later, reverting full control back to Brooker. In 2009, the unanimous ruling delivered by five Law Lords reinstated the 2006 verdict.

Birthdays Today

Buddy Guy, Chicago blues singer and guitarist, was born George Guy in Lettsworth, LA in 1936.

Big Jack Johnson, electric blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, was born in Lambert, MS in 1940.

Paul Anka, singer, songwriter, and actor known for his solo hits and for writing hits recorded by artists like Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1941.

Chris Darrow, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and country rock pioneer who recorded with Kaleidoscope and the Nittle Gritty Dirt Band among other groups, was born in Sioux Falls, SD in 1944.

David Sanborn, alto saxophonist, solo artist, and sideman for such artists as George Benson, David Bowie, the Brecker Brothers, Paul Butterfield, the Eagles, Pure Prairie League, Carly Simon, James Taylor, B.B. King, Loudon Wainwright III, Todd Rundgren, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and Dr. John among many others, was born in Tampa, FL in 1945.

Jeffrey Hammond, bassist for Jethro Tull from 1971-1976, was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1946.

John Siomos, drummer who performed and recorded with Todd Rundgren, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Rick Derringer, Carly Simon, Mark “Moogy” Klingman, Buzzy Linhart and Frampton’s Camel, was born in Chicago, IL in 1947.

Kate Bush, singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the first female artist to achieve a UK #1 with a self-written song, was born Catherine Bush in Bexleyheath, Kent, England in 1958.

Anthony Doughty, multi-instrumentalist known as Tex Axile as a member of Transvision Vamp, was born in Crawley, Sussex, England in 1963.

Craig Gannon, guitar player, best known as the second guitarist in The Smiths who also worked with The Bluebells, The Adult Net, Terry Hall, and Aztec Camera, and others, was born in Manchester, England in 1966.

Seth Avett, singer, musician, and founding member of the Avett Brothers, was born Timothy Seth Avett in Charlotte, NC in 1980.