Today in Rock & Roll History: June 1st

1957: Sam Cooke recorded his first single, “You Send Me,” at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. The song became a massive commercial success, reaching #1 on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 charts, and was the first of Cooke’s 29 Billboard top 40 hits. Cooke gave the writer credit to his young brothers L.C. because he didn’t want his publisher to profit from the song and because he had hoped that L.C. would record it himself.

1958: The Kingston Trio’s self-titled first album was released by Capitol Records. It entered the charts in October, stayed there for four years, and went to #1 for one week in 1959.

1959: Johnny Horton achieved his only #1 single on the Billboard pop chart with “The Battle of New Orleans.” The record later became the chart’s best-performing single of the year.

1963: Lesley Gore’s debut single single “It’s My Party” reached #1 on the US singles charts. Two weeks later it topped the R&B chart as well. It was Gore’s only #1 single and only record to reach the top 10 in the UK.

1963: “One Fine Day” by The Chiffons entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later became a top 5 hit.

1963: “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to #17.

1964: The Rolling Stones arrived at New York City’s JFK Airport before commencing their first tour of the US. The band was still relatively unknown in America, having had only one single chart that year—their cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” which reached #48. Nonetheless, the British group was greeted with a hysteria that echoed that of the Beatles’ arrival. Two days later, England’s Newest Hit Makers, the American version of their debut album was released, and in the fall of that year, the Stones had their first major US hit with “Time Is On My Side.”

1967: David Bowie’s self-title debut album was released by Deram Records. The LP, which featured the single “Love You till Tuesday,” received positive reviews, but both the album and the single were not big sellers.

1968: Lovin’ Spoonful songwriter and frontman John Sebastian left the group. In the year prior, lead guitarist Zal Yanovsky had gotten caught in a marijuana drug bust. Facing deportation, Yanovsky revealed the identity of his dealer, causing a fan backlash and added to existing tensions between the group’s members over the band’s diverging interests. Yanovsky soon left the Lovin’ Spoonful and was replaced by Jerry Yester. Soon after, Sebastian left as well to pursue a solo career. He did not play with future versions of the band, except for a brief reunion in Paul Simon’s 1980 film “One-Trick Pony” and for a performance at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

1968: Simon & Garfunkel scored their second #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with Mrs. Robinson. Featured in the duo’s soundtrack for the film The Graduate, the song later won a Grammy award for the Best Contemporary Pop Performance by a Vocal Duo or Group.

1968: The 5th Dimension’s cover of Laura Nyro’s “Stoned Soul Picnic” entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to reaching #3.

1969: In room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, John Lennon recorded his first solo single, “Give Peace A Chance,” during his Bed-In honeymoon with wife Yoko Ono. The recording was made using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder rented from a local recording studio, and the session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Roger Scott, Murray the K, Derek Taylor, and Tommy Smothers, many of whom are mentioned in the lyrics. The song reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the British chart, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement in the 1970s.

1972: Pink Floyd recorded “Us and Them” during sessions at Abbey Road Studios for their eighth album, The Dark Side of the Moon.

1973: Paul McCartney’s theme song to the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” was released in the UK just over two weeks before it was released in the US.

1975: The Rolling Stones began a tour of the US with new guitarist Ronnie Wood on Wood’s 28th birthday at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

1977: Billy Joel concluded his Turnstiles album tour with the first of four sold-out shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Recordings from the June 3rd show were released thirty years later as part of the 30th anniversary edition of Joel’s 1977 album, The Stranger.

1983: The Talking Heads’ fifth studio album Speaking in Tongues was released. It was the group’s first album, apart from their debut LP, without Brian Eno as producer. It became their commercial breakthrough, reaching #15 on the Billboard chart, and produced the band’s first and only American top 10 hit, “Burning Down the House.”

1985: Police singer and bassist Sting released his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles.

1993: A reformed Velvet Underground performed their first show of a European tour at The Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Birthdays Today

Nelson Riddle, arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator, who, while with Capitol Records, contributed to the success of vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, and Linda Ronstadt, was born in Oradell, NJ in 1921.

Hazel Dickens, bluegrass pioneer and activist, was born in Mercer County, WV in 1935.

Jim McCarty, guitarist who has performed and recorded with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, the Buddy Miles Express, Bob Seger, Jimi Hendrix, Cactus, and many others, was born in Detroit, MI in 1945.

Ronnie Wood, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist; bassist for the Jeff Beck Group, guitarist for Faces and the Rolling Stones, and a solo artist, was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England in 1947.

Alan Wilder, keyboardist, drummer, and vocalist for Depeche Mode, was born in Hammersmith, London, England in 1959.

Simon Gallup, bass guitarist for the Cure, was born in Duxhurst, Surrey, England in 1960.

Mike Joyce, drummer for the Smiths, was born in Fallowfield, Manchester, England in 1963.

Alanis Morissette, singer and songwriter, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1974.