Today in Rock & Roll History: June 3rd

1957: Ronald, Rudolph, and Kelly Isley released their first single as The Isley Brothers, “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon” backed with “Angels Cried.” Issued by Teenage Records, the single was only a regional hit, but by 1959, the group landed a recording deal with RCA Records, and went on to have hits through the next five decades.

1966: The Kinks released the lead single from their Face to Face LP, “Sunny Afternoon.” Like the Beatles’ single “Taxman,” the song references the high levels of progressive tax taken by the British Labour government at the time. With a music hall flavor and lyrical focus, the song marked a stylistic departure from group’s previous hard-driving power chord rock hits, and In early July, it became the band’s third UK #1.

1967: Aretha Franklin scored her only #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with her transformative cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect.”

1967: The Doors debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Light My Fire.”

1970: Ray Davies of The Kinks made a round trip flight to England from America to re-record the words “cherry cola” for their mono version of their single “Lola” after the noncommercial BBC refused to air the original version which mentions the brand name “Coca Cola.” The album version of the track remain unchanged.

1970: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder was released. It was the first single Wonder produced on his own, his first Grammy nomination, and was his first to feature his female backup singing group composed of Lynda Tucker Laurence, Venetta Fields, and the song’s co-writer, Syreeta Wright. The record spent six weeks at #1 on the US R&B chart and peaked at #3 on the pop charts.

1972: Pink Floyd released their seventh studio album, Obscured by Clouds. The album is based on their soundtrack for the French film La Vallée and was recorded and produced by the band in two sessions in France while they were in the midst of touring.

1972: After its release two months earlier, Jethro Tull’s fifth LP Thick as a Brick started two weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart.

1972: The Staple Singers achieved their first of two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’ll Take You There.”

1977: Bob Marley and the Wailers released their ninth studio album, Exodus. The album was recorded in London after an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life in Jamaica.

1985: Bryan Ferry released his sixth solo studio album, Boys and Girls. It was his first solo LP in seven years and the first since Ferry had disbanded Roxy Music in 1983. It is also his first and only #1 solo release in the UK and most successful album in the US.

1989: The Fine Young Cannibals’ second and final album The Raw and the Cooked started seven weeks at #1 in the US. Several singles were released from the LP, including two US #1 hits, “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing.”

1989: Queen topped the UK chart with their thirteenth studio album, The Miracle.

1999: Phish released their eighth studio album, The Siket Disc, on the band’s website and through mail-order service. The album of instrumental tracks, made up of excerpts from studio jams during sessions for their previous LP, The Story of the Ghost, was commercially released by Elektra Records in early November of 2000.

2003: John Mellencamp released his eighteenth studio album and last with Columbia Records, Trouble No More.

Birthdays Today

Allen Ginsberg, poet and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation during the 1950s and the counterculture that soon followed, was born Irwin Allen Ginsberg in Newark, NJ in 1926.

Eddie Willis, electric guitarist for Motown’s house band Funk Brothers, was born in Grenada, MS in 1936.

Ian Hunter, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, lead singer for Mott the Hoople, and a solo artist, was born Ian Hunter Patterson in Oswestry, Shropshire, England in 1939.

Curtis Mayfield, soul and R&B singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, was born in Chicago, IL in 1942.

Michael Clarke, drummer for the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was born in born Michael James Dick in Spokane, WA in 1946.

Mickey Finn, percussionist and sideman to Marc Bolan in Tyrannosaurus Rex who later became a session musician, was born in Thornton Heath, Surrey, England in 1947.

Suzi Quatro, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and the first female bass player to become a major rock star, was born in Detroit, MI in 1950.

Deniece Williams, soul and R&B singer, songwriter, producer, and backing vocalist for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Minnie Riperton, and Roberta Flack, was born June Deniece Chandler in Gary, IN in 1951.

Danny Wilde, singer, guitarist, and founding member of The Quick and The Rembrandts, was born Daniel Thomas in Houlton, Maine in 1956.

Mike Gordon, bassist, vocalist, and founding member of Phish, was born in Sudbury, MA in 1963.