1956: Roy Orbison debuted on the US single charts with “Ooby Dooby.”
1961: Motown Records released Hi… We’re The Miracles, the first album by the record company’s first group, on their Tamla subsidiary label. The album features several songs which played an important role in defining The Motown Sound and establishing songwriters Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy.
1962: “Twist and Shout” by The Isley Brothers was released on Wand Records. Originally recorded by R&B vocal group The Top Notes, the song became the Isley Brothers’ first top 40 pop hit, first to enter the Billboard R&B chart, and first to chart in the UK.
1965: Bob Dylan finished recording “Like a Rolling Stone” on the second day of the song’s production. Dylan had struggled to find the essence of the song the day before, demoing the composition without success in 3/4 time. For the second session, the musicians reconvened with rookie guitarist Al Kooper as a guest of producer Tom Wilson. A breakthrough was made when the song was tried in a 4/4 rock music format, and Kooper improvised the organ riff for which the track is known.
1966: The Beatles made a surprise live appearance on UK television program Top of the Pops, performing “Paperback Writer” and “Rain.” It was the group’s last live musical television appearance apart from the worldwide transmission of “All You Need Is Love” a year later.
1967: The three-day Monterey International Pop Music Festival began at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in California. Between 25,000 and 90,000 people attended the event to see The Byrds, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Buffalo Springfield, the first large-scale public performance by Janis Joplin, the introduction of Otis Redding, and the first major American appearances by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, and Ravi Shankar. The festival embodied the theme of California as a focal point for the counterculture movement and is generally considered one of the beginnings of the 1967 “Summer of Love.” It also became an inspiration and template for future music festivals, including the Woodstock Festival held two years later in New York.
1967: Pink Floyd released their second single, “See Emily Play,” in England. It reached #6 in the UK charts and was released in the US in late July.
1969: Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band released their studio LP, Trout Mask Replica. Produced by Frank Zappa, the double album combines elements of several genres of music and is regarded as an important work of experimental music and art rock.
1970: Grand Funk Railroad released their third album, Closer to Home.
1972: David Bowie’s fifth studio album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, was released by RCA Records. Centered around Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego, a rock star who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings, the album is largely considered Bowie’s breakthrough work. It later peaked at #5 on the UK chart and #75 in the US.
1972: The self-titled debut album by English band Roxy Music was released.
1972: The Who released the single “Join Together” in the UK. Originally conceived of for the group’s abandoned “Lifehouse” album, the song was issued in the US three weeks later.
1975: Peter Frampton played at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California. Recordings from this show, along with the following night’s show at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, were included as part of his chart topping double album Frampton Comes Alive!.
1979: Electric Light Orchestra started five weeks at #1 on the UK chart with Discovery, the group’s first album to top the chart.
1980: Carly Simon released her ninth studio album and first with Warner Bros. Records, Come Upstairs.
1983: Ringo Starr released his ninth studio album, Old Wave. Contributors to the album included Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, Gary Brooker, and John Entwistle.
1984: Roger Waters kicked off his Pros and Cons tour in Stockholm, with the North American leg following a month later. Members of Waters’ band included guitarist Eric Clapton, guitarist and bassist Tim Renwick, drummer Andy Newmark, bassist and organist Chris Stainton, keyboardist Michael Kamen, and saxophonist Mel Collins.
1986: The Smiths’ third studio album, The Queen is Dead, was released in the UK by Rough Trade Records. A week later the album was released in the US by Sire Records.
1996: Rage Against The Machine, the Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Fugees, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Lee Hooker, Beck, Sonic Youth, Yoko Ono, De La Soul, and Richie Havens all appeared at the two-day Tibetan Freedom Concert at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in support of Tibet’s independence from China. A sell-out crowd of over 100,000 people made it the largest US benefit concert since Live Aid in 1985.
1998: Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn released his debut solo album, Try Whistling This.
1998: Little Feat released their twelfth studio album, Under the Radar.
1998: Ringo Starr’s eleventh studio album, Vertical Man, was released in the US. Following the success of The Beatles Anthology project, the album was an attempt at a commercial comeback by Starr, who enlisted the help of several musician friends including Brian Wilson, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick.
2002: Elvis Presley was back on the UK singles chart for the first time since 1977 when a remix of his 1968 song “A Little Less Conversation,” mixed by Dutch musician Tom Holkenborg, better known as Junkie XL, debuted at #1 on the chart. In the US, the single reached #50.
2015: James Taylor released his nineteenth studio album, Before This World. It was Taylor’s first new studio album of original material since October Road in 2002.
Lamont Dozier, member of Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland who has co-written and produced several #1 hits, was born in Detroit, MI in 1941.
Eddie Levert, singer-songwriter and lead vocalist for the O’Jays, was born in Bessemer, AL in 1942.
Iain Matthews, singer, songwriter, and solo artist who started out as a vocalist with Fairport Convention before forming his own bands, Matthews’ Southern Comfort and Plainsong, was born Iain Matthew McDonald in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England in 1946.
Tom “Bones” Malone, jazz musician and trombone, trumpet, and saxophone player for the Blues Brothers Band, was born in Honolulu, HI in 1947.
Peppy Castro, guitarist and vocalist for Blues Magoos, was born Emil Thielhelm in 1949.
Robbin Thompson, singer-songwriter and member of early Bruce Springsteen band Steel Mill, was born Robert Wickens Thompson in Boston, MA in 1949.
Garry Roberts, lead guitarist for The Boomtown Rats, was born Garrick Roberts in Dublin, Ireland in 1950.