Today in Rock & Roll History: July 7th

1958: Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” entered the Billboard pop charts. Four weeks later in early August, the single became Nelson’s first #1 single.

1965: The Kinks went to #1 in the UK with “Sunny Afternoon.”

1967: Simon and Garfunkel’s single “Fakin’ It” was released. The third single from the duo’s Bookends LP, it reached #23 on the Billboard singles chart.

1968: After their eighth concert tour in the US, the Yardbirds broke up. According to guitarist Jimmy Page, the group had decided to split at the tour’s end before it even began. Page and bassist Chris Dreja affirmed that they would continue as the Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page, but just over a month later, Page took part in his first rehearsals with John Bonham, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant. Page was keen on maintaining the Yardbirds name, but Dreja, who also had rights to the name, asked that they come up with something else. The band’s new name became Led Zeppelin.

1973: Billy Preston achieved his first and only #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Will It Go Round in Circles.”

1975: Elton John’s ninth LP, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy went to #1 for six weeks on the Billboard chart.

1980: The original lineup of Led Zeppelin played their final show at the Eissporthalle an der Jafféstraße in West Berlin at the end of their Tour Over Europe 1980 tour.

1984: Nearly five weeks after its release, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album started its first of four weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart.

1984: Prince had his first of five #1s on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with “When Doves Cry,” which started a five week run at the top. The single also reached the top of the US R&B and Dance charts, as well #1 in Australia and Canada.

1984: “Relax,” the debut single by Liverpool group Frankie Goes to Hollywood became the best-selling single of all time in Britain, despite the fact that it had been banned from airplay by the BBC. The ban became an embarrassment for the BBC, especially given that UK commercial radio, television stations, and even prominent late-night BBC shows were still playing the song. Later that year, the ban was lifted and “Relax” was featured on both the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops and Radio 1‘s rundown of the best-selling singles of the year.

2007: The Live Earth benefit concert was simultaneously held in 11 locations across all seven continents, including a research station in Antarctica. More than 150 musical acts participated in the 24-hour event broadcast across the globe to bring attention to climate change. Organized by former US Vice President Al Gore, each concert venue used sustainable and efficient means of power generation in an effort to minimize environmental impact, and speakers urged viewers to support a pledge to limit carbon pollution, increase energy efficiency, and expand the use of renewable energy.

Birthdays Today

Ringo Starr, singer, songwriter, actor, Beatles drummer, and solo artist, was born Richard Starkey in Dingle, Liverpool, England in 1940.

Chan Romero, rock and roll singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known for his 1959 song, “Hippy Hippy Shake,” was born in Billings, MT in 1941.

Jim Rodford, bassist and founding member of Argent, who also played with several other bands including the Swinging Blue Jeans, the Bluetones, the Kinks, Animals II, The Kast of Kinks, and the Zombies, was born James Rodford in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England in 1941.

Warren Entner, singer, songwriter, organist, and guitarist for the Grass Roots, who later became a successful producer, was born in Boston, MA in 1944.

Rob Townsend, drummer with Family and The Blues Band, was born in Frog Island, Leicester, England in 1947.

Larry Reinhardt, guitarist with Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond, was born in Florida in 1948.