Today in Rock & Roll History: June 11th

1957: RCA Victor released “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear,” the lead single from Elvis Presley’s soundtrack album, Loving You.

1965: Peter and Gordon’s re-titled cover of “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” “To Know You Is to Love You,” was released in the UK. Less than a week later, the single was issued in the US.

1965: “Save Your Heart for Me” by Gary Lewis and the Playboys was released as the second single from the group’s second studio album, A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

1965: The Angry Young Them, the debut album by Irish band Them, led by Van Morrison, was released. In the US, the LP was issued with an altered track list and simply titled Them.

1965: The Rolling Stones’ first live recordings were released in the UK as the band’s last official EP, Got Live If You Want It!. The recording had been made in early March at Liverpool and Manchester during the Stones’ British tour earlier that year.

1965: It was announced that the Beatles would receive Members of the Order of the British Empire awards from Queen Elizabeth. The band held a press conference the next day to discuss the honor and protests poured into Buckingham Palace, particularly from previous recipients, some of whom returned their medals in protest. Canadian MP Hector Dupuis complained at being “on the same level as vulgar nincompoops.”

1966: The Rolling Stones had their third #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Paint It Black.”

1966: “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs entered the Billboard Hot 100. In August, the single became their second top 10 hit, reaching #2.

1968: While George Harrison and Ringo Starr were in the United States, Paul McCartney recorded “Blackbird” and John Lennon worked on “Revolution 9” at EMI Studios. Both tracks were included on the Beatles’ self-titled double album released later that year.

1969: Three Dog Night released their second studio album, Suitable for Framing.

1969: “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” became the Beatles’ seventeenth #1 on the UK singles chart.

1970: “It’s A Shame” by the Spinners was released on Motown’s VIP label. The record later became the group’s first top 20 hit on the pop charts and first to enter the top 5 on the R&B charts. Co-written by Stevie Wonder and R&B singer-songwriter Lee Garrett, it was also the first songwriting collaboration between Wonder and his then-girlfriend, singer Syreeta Wright, who Wonder had encouraged to start writing.

1971: After it failed to chart upon its first release, “Beginnings,” the second single from Chicago’s debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, was re-released following the success of subsequent singles. This time, both the song and its B-side, “Colour My World,” became hits and together reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1971: Procol Harum released Broken Barricades, their fifth studio album and last with guitarist Robin Trower until The Prodigal Stranger in 1991.

1976: Neil Diamond released his tenth studio album, Beautiful Noise. Billed as a “comeback” album,” it marked a radical departure in production, style, arrangements and compositional diversity for Diamond.

1979: The debut studio album by Los Angeles band The Knack, Get the Knack, was released. At the time, the album was one of the most successful debuts in history, selling over one million copies in less than two months and spending five weeks at number one on the Billboard pop chart. It was also the group’s only top 10 LP.

1980: Birmingham band Dexys Midnight Runners released their debut studio album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels. The group had formed two years earlier and had developed a strong live reputation before recording their first LP.

1980: Ultravox released Vienna, their fourth studio album and first with their best-known line-up after Midge Ure had taken over as lead vocalist and guitarist after the departure of John Foxx and Robin Simon.

1982: The Clash released “Rock the Casbah,” the second single from their fifth album, Combat Rock. It was the band’s only top 10 hit and second of two top 40 hits in the US, peaking at #8.

1985: R.E.M. released “Can’t Get There From Here,” the first single from their third studio album, Fables of the Reconstruction.

1988: A tribute concert was held at London’s Wembley Stadium for the 70th birthday of imprisoned South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela. Acts that performed and spoke at the even included Harry Belafonte, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Simple Minds, Dire Straits with Eric Clapton, Eurythmcis, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Al Green, Phil Collins, Joe Cocker, Joan Armatrading, Tracy Chapman, Midge Ure, Paul Carrack, Bryan Adams, the Bee Gees, Hugh Masekela, UB40, Jackson Browne, Steven van Zandt, and Peter Gabriel. Broadcast in 67 countries to an audience of 600 million, it is believed that the concert potentially pressured South Africa’s apartheid government to release Mandela, who was finally freed twenty months later after twenty-seven years in prison. In the United States, a significantly shortened and heavily censored broadcast of the concert was aired by the Fox television network. Billed as “Freedomfest,” the network refused to include Mandela’s name in the program’s title, and a Fox producer at Wembley had told Hollywood film stars not to say anything political due to the approaching US election.

1990: Crosby, Stills & Nash released Live It Up, their tenth studio album and fourth as a trio.

1991: Aaron Neville released his fourth studio album, Warm Your Heart. The LP features several guest vocalists and session musicians including Rita Coolidge, Ry Cooder, Bob Seger, Dr. John, and the album’s producer, Linda Ronstadt.

2002: David Bowie released his twenty-second studio album, Heathen.

Birthdays Today

Joey Dee, vocalist and founder of Joey Dee and the Starliters, was born Joseph DiNicola in Passaic, NJ in 1940.

Judy Craig, singer and member of The Chiffons, was born in New York City in 1944.

Richard Palmer-James, singer, songwriter, musician, founding member of Supertramp, and lyricist for King Crimson, was born in Bournemouth, England in 1947.

Glenn Leonard, soul singer and member of the Temptations from 1975-1983, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947.

Skip Alan, drummer for Pretty Things and a session musician, was born in Westminster, London, England in 1948.

Frank Beard, drummer for ZZ Top, was born in Frankston, TX in 1949.

Johnny Neel, singer, songwriter, musician best known for his work with the Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, and the Dickey Betts Band, was born in Wilmington, DE in 1954.

Steven Drozd, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter for the Flaming Lips, was born in Houston, TX in 1969.