Today in Rock & Roll History: June 26th

1961: Gary U.S. Bonds achieved his only #1 single in the US when “Quarter to Three” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of two weeks. The song had been adapted from “A Night with Daddy ‘G’ – Part 1” by Legrand Records house band the Church Street Five, and the composers of the original record are mentioned in Bond’s version.

1961: Elvis Presley recorded “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” at RCA Studios in Nashville. Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, the song was first recorded by Del Shannon and had been released earlier that month.

1961: The Spinners debuted on the US charts with their first single, “That’s What Girls Are Made For.”

1961: The Ventures released their self-titled second studio album.

1964: The Beatles fourth American album and soundtrack to the band’s first major film, A Hard Day’s Night, was released in the US by United Artists Records. The US version had a different track listing from the UK version, which was released two weeks later.

1965: The Byrds had their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the title track of their debut album, “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

1967: The Rolling Stones released Flowers, their second compilation album. The album’s tracks dated back to 1965 and most had been previously released as singles or had been omitted from the American versions of Aftermath and Between the Buttons. It also included three songs that had never been released: “My Girl,” “Ride On, Baby,” and “Sittin’ on a Fence.”

1970: Free released their third studio album, Fire and Water. It became the group’s breakthrough release and first LP to enter the top 60 in the UK, reaching #2. It was also the group’s only top 40 album in the US, where it peaked at #17.

1971: Don McLean’s eight-and-a-half-minute-long epic “American Pie” debuted on radio station WNEW in New York. The single rose to #1 in US early the following year.

1974: The self-titled debut album by English supergroup Bad Company was released, featuring former members of Free Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

1975: The Basement Tapes, Bob Dylan’s collaborative album with The Band, then known as the Hawks, was released by Columbia Records. Most of the album had been recorded eight years earlier during sessions that began at Dylan’s house in Woodstock, New York, and then moved to the basement of a house shared by several members of The Band known as “Big Pink.”

1976: The Grateful Dead released the double live album Steal Your Face. It had been recorded in October of 1974 at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom during a “farewell run” that preceded a then-indefinite hiatus and was the band’s last release on their own Grateful Dead Records label aside from The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack in 2005.

1977: Elvis Presley performed his final live concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1982: The Go-Go’s released the lead single and title track from their second album, “Vacation.”

1992: Elton John and Eric Clapton performed the first of three sold-out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium during Clapton’s world tour.

Birthdays Today

Big Bill Broonzy, blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and one of the earliest and most influential blues stars of the 1930s Chicago blues scene, was born Lee Conley Bradley in either Lake Dick, AR or Scott, MS in 1903.

Billy Davis Jr., R&B and pop singer best known as a member of the 5th Dimension, was born in St. Louis, MO in 1938.

Brenton Wood, soul and R&B singer and songwriter, was born in Shreveport, LA in 1941.

Larry Taylor, bassist for Canned Heat who previously had been a session musician for The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis, was born Samuel Lawrence Taylor in New York City in 1942.

Georgie Fame, R&B and jazz singer and keyboardist, was born Clive Powell in Leigh, Lancashire, England in 1943.

Mick Jones, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and co-founder of the Clash and Big Audio Dynamtie, was born in Wandsworth, London, England in 1955.

Chris Isaak, singer-songwriter and actor, was born in Stockton, CA in 1956.

Terri Nunn, lead singer for Berlin, was born in Baldwin Hills, CA in 1961.

Colin Greenwood, bassist for Radiohead, was born in Oxford, England in 1969.