Today in Rock & Roll History: June 4th

1942: Capitol Records opened its first office in Los Angeles, California. On that same day, co-founder Glenn E. Wallichs presented the company’s first free record to Los Angeles disc jockey Peter Potter.

1956: Elvis Presley achieved a rare feat when “Heartbreak Hotel” was simultaneously at #1 on Billboard’s Pop, R&B, and Country charts.

1962: The Beach Boys released their second single and title track from their debut studio album, “Surfin’ Safari.”

1965: The Yardbirds released their fourth single, “Heart Full of Soul.” Written by Graham Gouldman, it was the group’s first single after Jeff Beck had replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist and reached the top ten on the charts in the UK and the US. The band first recorded the song with an Indian sitar player, but were dissatisfied with the results. Consequently, Beck developed the part on electric guitar using a fuzz box distortion unit.

1966: “Summer in the City” by the Lovin Spoonful was released. The single later became the band’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached #8 on the UK chart.

1966: Tommy James and the Shondells debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hanky Panky.”

1966: Janis Joplin joined Big Brother and the Holding company. It took some time for the band’s following to accept the new singer and her current boyfriend, keyboardist Stephen Ryder. Joplin’s music was completely different from Big Brother’s experimental and unconventional sound, but with Joplin’s involvement, caused the band to adopt a more traditional structure, leading to an increase in popularity in the San Francisco psychedelic scene.

1967: The Association made their chart debut in the US when “Along Comes Mary” entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to reaching #7.

1969: “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe became his only #1 on the UK chart.

1969: Johnny Cash’s thirty-first album, At San Quentin, was released. Recorded live at San Quentin State Prison in California in later February, the album was the second in Cash’s conceptual series of live prison albums.

1969: “The Ballad of John and Yoko” by the Beatles was issued in the US five days after its release in the UK.

1981: U2 made their American television debut on NBC’s Tomorrow Coast to Coast to promote their debut album, “Boy.”

1983: The Police achieved their fifth and final #1 single on the UK chart with “Every Breath You Take.”

1984: Bruce Spingsteen released his seventh studio album, Born in the U.S.A.. The LP became his second #1 that summer, produced seven top 10 singles, and has sold over fifteen million copies in the US.

1986: The Conspiracy of Hope Tour, a series of six benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International, headlined Bryan Adams, Sting, and U2, kicked off at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Additional acts included Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, The Neville Brothers, and the last three shows also featured a reunion of the Police. The tour was the first of what later became known collectively as the Human Rights Concerts, a series of music events staged by Amnesty International USA between 1986-1998.

1991: Paul McCartney released Unplugged (The Official Bootleg), one of the first LP releases recorded for the MTV Unplugged television series. The album had first been released in the UK in late May.

1991: Indigo Girls released their first live album, Back on the Bus, Y’all.

1996: Squirrel Nut Zippers released their second studio album, Hot.

1996: Jimmy Buffett released his twentieth studio album, Banana Wind. Guest contributors to the album include James Taylor, his son Ben Taylor, and Stephen Stills.

2007: Paul McCartney’s fourteenth solo album, Memory Almost Full, was released in the UK a day before it was issued in the US.

Birthdays Today

Michelle Phillips, singer, songwriter, actress, and member of the Mamas and the Papas, was born Holly Michelle Gilliam in Long Beach, CA in 1944.

Roger Ball, saxophonist, keyboardist, songwriter, arranger, and original member of the Average White Band, was born in Broughty Ferry, Scotland in 1944.

Gordon Waller, singer-songwriter and half of British pop duo Peter and Gordon, was born in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1945.

Jimmy McCulloch, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist for One in a Million, Thunderclap Newman, Stone the Crows, and Wings, was born in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1953.

Reeves Gabrels, guitarist, songwriter, record producer, member of David Bowie’s band Tin Machine, and member of The Cure since 2012, was born in Staten Island, NY in 1956.

Stefan Lessard, bassist for Dave Matthews Band, was born in Anaheim, CA in 1974.