Today in Rock & Roll History: July 9th

1955: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets became the first rock and roll recording to hit the top of Billboard’s pop charts was well as charts around the world. The song stayed at #1 in the US for eight weeks.

1956: WFIL in Philadelphia introduced young disc jokey Dick Clark as the new host of the record hop show Bandstand. When the show went national on ABC, it was rechristened American Bandstand.

1958: Johnny Cash followed suit with former Sun Records labelmate Carl Perkins and signed with Columbia Records. Cash remained with Columbia for the next thirty years of his life and released over sixty albums with the label.

1963: Martha and the Vandellas’ second single, “Heat Wave,” was released. By mid-September (14), the song became their first #1 on the Billboard R&B chart.

1964: The Animals’ rendition of the folk standard “House of the Rising Sun” became the group’s first British #1. Stateside success soon followed, and the record reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in early September.

1965: Sonny and Cher released their debut single, “I Got You Babe,” from their first studio album, Look at Us. In August, the song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks and also topped the Canadian and UK charts.

1969: The Beatles began recording “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” at EMI Studios in London.

1970: After tensions in the group culminated in the brief firing and reinstatement of Stephen Stills, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young broke up after a concert in Bloomington, Minnesota. Although they continued to collaborate in various ways, the band’s members didn’t perform together again until their reunion tour in 1974.

1972: After a short tour of UK universities, Paul McCartney and his new band Wings played the first show of their Wings Over Europe Tour at the Centre Culturel de Châteauvallon in Ollioules, France.

1972: Edgar Winter, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Faces, Humble Pie, the J. Geils Band, and Three Dog Night were among the groups that played at Concert 10 at the at Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. The two day event attracted 200,000 people and despite inclement weather, represented a successful revival of the American summer rock festival.

1974: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young kicked off their reunion tour at the Seattle Center Coliseum. Instigated and directed by promoter Bill Graham, the ambitious 30-date tour had the band perform at baseball and football stadiums across America, with a couple shows in Canada, and final show at Wembley Stadium in England.

1977: “Don’t Stop,” the third single from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors LP, entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually reached #3. On the Cash Box chart, the record went all the way to #1.

1983: The Police started an 8-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Every Breath You Take,” the band’s only #1 hit on the chart. The song also spent four weeks at the top of the UK singles chart and won Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 26th Grammy Awards the following year.

1986: Billy Joel released “The Bridge,” his tenth studio album and last with producer Phil Ramone, bassist Doug Stegmeyer, and rhythm guitarist Russell Javors. Guests on the album include Ray Charles and Steve Winwood, who were both major influences on Joel.

1988: Steve Winwood’s fifth solo album, Roll With It, entered the Billboard chart, where it remained for 31 weeks, on its way to becoming his first #1 LP in August. It was also his highest charting album in Britain, where it reached #4.

1995: The Grateful Dead performed their final concert with Jerry Garcia at Soldier Field in Chicago as the last stop on the band’s summer tour.

Birthdays Today

Lee Hazlewood, country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer known for his work with Duane Eddy in the 1950s and Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s, was born Barton Lee Hazelwood in Mannford, OK in 1929.

Mitch Mitchell, drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, was born John Graham Mitchell in Ealing, Middlesex, England in 1946.

Gwen Guthrie, soul, R&B, and pop singer-songwriter and pianist who has been a backup singer for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, and Madonna and wrote songs made famous by Ben E. King, Angela Bofill, and Roberta Flack, was born in Okemah, OK in 1950.

Marc Almond, singer-songwriter, solo artist, and Soft Cell vocalist, was born in Southport, Lancashire, England in 1957.

Jim Kerr, founder and lead singer of Simple Minds, was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1959.

Ronnie Bowman, bluegrass singer, songwriter, solo artist, and member of the Lonesome River Band and Band of Ruhks, was born in Mount Airy, NC in 1961.

Jack White, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, solo artist, and founder of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and Third Man Records, was born John Anthony Gillis in Detroit, MI in 1975.