Today in Rock & Roll History: June 17th

1961: Elvis Presley released his sixth studio LP, Something for Everybody, which became his first #1 on the Billboard chart since his 1957 Christmas album.

1964: The Supremes released “Where Did Our Love Go.” By mid July, it became the group’s second single to enter the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, and by the end of August, became their first #1 hit on the chart.

1965: The Beatles completed work on the new Paul McCartney song “Yesterday” with the overdubbing of an additional vocal track by McCartney and a string quartet. They also recorded the Buck Owens tune “Act Naturally” for Ringo Starr’s vocal contribution to the band’s Help! album as well as the song “Wait” in four takes. “Wait” was not included on Help!, but was later included on their next LP, Rubber Soul.

1965: The Kinks made their American debut at New York’s Academy of Music. At the same show, British band the Moody Blues was also scheduled to make their first US appearance, but couldn’t make the trip as they lacked the proper working papers.

1966: The Hollies released “Bus Stop.” The single became the group’s first top 10 hit in the US, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September.

1966: Paul McCartney purchased High Park Farm in Kintyre, Scotland. The peninsula later inspired the song “Mull of Kintyre.”

1966: Guitarist Peter Green joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, replacing Eric Clapton. After the group’s next album, A Hard Road, Green left to form Fleetwood Mac with Bluesbreakers drummer Mick Fleetwood. Bluesbreakers bassist John McVie soon after joined the group as well.

1966: The Creation’s debut single, “Making Time,” was released in the UK, where it later peaked at #49.

1967: Glady Knight and the Pips recorded “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” at Motown’s studios with co-writer Norman Whitfield as producer, who arranged the song to mimic the Muscle Shoals funk sound of Aretha Franklin’s version of “Respect.” Though Gladys Knight and the Pips’ recording of song was the first to be released, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles recorded it first, and their version was released as part of their Special Occasion album in 1968.

1967: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass had their sixth #1 album on the Billboard pop chart with Sounds Like….

1969: “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” by Elvis Presley was released. Written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange, the song was featured in the film The Trouble with Girls (and How to Get into It).

1969: Elvis Presley released his tenth studio album, From Elvis in Memphis. Recorded at American Sound Studio in Memphis with producer Chip Moman, the album marked Presley’s return to non-soundtrack albums after the completion of his film contract with Paramount Pictures.

1972: The Rolling Stones had their third #1 album in the US when Exile on Main St. topped the Billboard pop chart for the first of four weeks.

1972: Don McLean achieved his first #1 single in the UK with “Vincent.” Written about 19th century artist Vincent Van Gogh, the song is played daily at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

1972: Grateful Dead singer, keyboardist, and frontman Ron “Pigpen” McKernan played his final show with the band at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl.

1972: A few weeks after being released in the UK, Pink Floyd’s seventh studio album, Obscured by Clouds, was issued in the US. Initially recorded as the soundtrack to the French film La Vallée after they had already started working on “The Dark Side of the Moon,” the band had fallen out with the film company, prompting them release the project independent from the film. In response, the film was re-titled La Vallée (Obscured by Clouds) on its release.

1976: Blondie released their debut single, “X Offender,” as the lead track from their self-titled debut album.

1976: Labelle released Chameleon, their sixth album and last before recording Back to Now in 2008.

1977: Crosby, Stills & Nash released CSN, their fifth studio album and first as a trio without Neil Young since their debut LP. It has since become the group’s best-selling album as a trio.

1978: The Cars debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Just What I Needed,” the lead single from their debut album.

1978: Andy Gibb became the first solo artist in the history of the US charts to have his first three releases reach #1 when “Shadow Dancing” hit the top of the singles charts. The record spent seven weeks at #1 and became the best-selling single in the US that year.

1983: James Brown, UB40, Fun Boy Three, The Beat, Curtis Mayfield, Jimmy Cliff, Marillion, and Melanie all appeared at that year’s Glastonbury CND Festival in Shepton Mallet, England. New regulations had set a crowd limit of 30,000, and it was the first year that the festival had its own radio station, Radio Avalon. £45,000 was eventually raised for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and local charities.

1985: Bryan Adams released “Summer of ‘69,” the fourth single from his fourth studio album, Reckless.

1985: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released Crush, their sixth studio album. Aimed at the US market, it became the group’s breakthrough release in the States and first to enter the top 40 on the Billboard pop chart.

1989: Ringo Starr announced his first tour as well as the formation of the All-Starr Band with a series of tour dates featuring Joe Walsh, Clarence Clemons, Billy Preston, Nils Lofgren, Dr. John, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Jim Keltner. Since then Starr has toured with a rotating lineup of musicians who are “all stars in their own right.”

1991: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released “Learning to Fly,” the lead single from the band’s eighth studio album, Into the Great Wide Open.

1991: The Moody Blues released “Say It with Love,” the lead single from their fourteenth studio album, Keys of the Kingdom.

1997: 10,000 Maniacs released Love Among the Ruins, their sixth studio album and first with new lead singer Mary Ramsey.

1997: Neil Young and Crazy Horse released the live album Year of the Horse as a companion to the documentary of the same name that depicts the band’s 1996 tour.

2003: Steve Winwood released his eighth solo studio album, About Time. It was Winwood’s first album since 1997 and marked a return to a musical style more in line with his earlier work with Traffic.

Birthdays Today

Sammy Fain, musician and composer who contributed numerous songs to The Great American Songbook and Broadway theatre, was born Samuel E. Feinberg in New York City in 1902.

Terry Gilkyson, folk singer, composer, and lyricist, was born in Phoenixville, PA in 1916.

Billy Garland, blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, was born in Flowood, MS in 1918.

Cliff Gallup, guitarist with Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, was born in Norfolk, VA in 1930.

Chuck Rainey, bass guitarist who performed and recorded with acts such as Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, and Quincy Jones, was born in Cleveland, OH in 1940.

Norman Kuhlke, drummer for The Swingin’ Blue Jeans, was born in Liverpool, England in 1942.

Chris Spedding, singer, songwriter, session guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and record producer who has worked with artists that include Harry Nilsson, Sixto Rodriguez, John Cale, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, Art Garfunkel, Ginger Baker, and Jerry Harrison, was born Peter Robinson in Staveley, Derbyshire, England in 1944.

B.J. Cole, pedal steel guitarist, session musician, and solo artist who had played on songs by Elton John, Humble Pie, Roger Daltrey, Procol Harum, T. Rex, Joan Armatrading, Roy Harper, Gerry Rafferty, Cat Stevens, and others, was born in Enfield, Middlesex, England in 1946.

Gregg Rolie, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and founding member of Santana, was born in Seattle, WA in 1947.

Russell Smith, Amazing Rhythm Aces lead singer and songwriter, was born in Nashville, TN in 1949.

Lenny LeBlanc, musician, songwriter, and Muscle Shoals session bassist with friend Pete Carr, was born Leominster, MA in in 1951.

Paul Young, singer, songwriter, and musician, was born in Luton, England in 1956.

Philip Chevron, singer-songwriter and lead guitarist for the Pogues, was born Philip Ryan in Dublin, Ireland in 1957.

Bap Kennedy, singer-songwriter, was born Martin Christopher Kennedy in Belfast, Northen Ireland in 1962.