Today in Rock & Roll History: June 9th

1958: Singer and actor Sheb Wooley hit the top of the Billboard Top 100 and Best-Sellers charts with a novelty song he wrote titled “The Purple People Eater.” The record remained at the top of both charts for six weeks, spent four weeks at #1 on the Most Played by Jockeys list, and was Wooley’s only top 50 entry on the US pop charts.

1962: Bobby Vinton debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Roses Are Red (My Love),” which reached #1 five weeks later.

1964: Bob Dylan recorded his fourth studio album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, in a single session at Columbia Records’ New York studios.

1967: The Monkees kicked off a summer tour at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. A month and six shows into the tour, British sensation the Jimi Hendrix Experience joined the tour as the opening act.

1969: Tadpoles, the third album by the Bonzo Dog Band was released by Imperial Records in the US. The LP is largely a compilation of the group’s work from British television show Do Not Adjust Your Set, on which they were the house band, and was issued in the UK in August.

1970: At Princeton University’s commencement ceremony, 29-year-old Bob Dylan was presented with an honorary doctorate in music. Ben Salzman, then an aide to Dylan, said that he felt Dylan had agreed to accept the honor as a gesture to the student movements on campuses across the country.

1972: Columbia Records’ head of A&R John Hammond, who signed artists such as Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Count Bassie, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Dylan, signed Bruce Springsteen to CBS Records. Specifically, CBS Records signed an agreement with Laurel Canyon Productions, who then subcontracted Bruce’s services to Columbia Records. Springsteen had previously entered into an agreement with Laurel Canyon, which was owned by his manager, Mike Appel, in March.

1977: The J. Geils Band released their seventh studio album, Monkey Island. The album was the band’s last with Atlantic Records, first without an outside producer, and first with recording engineer David Thoener, who collaborated with them on future albums.

1978: The Rolling Stones released their fourteenth British and sixteenth American studio album, Some Girls. It was the band’s first LP to feature guitarist Ronnie Wood as a full member, and after the critical disappointment of their last album, Black and Blue, it reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart and became their best-selling album in the US. It also is the Stones’ only album to be nominated for a Grammy in the Album of the Year category.

1978: The Moody Blues released their ninth studio album and first in six years, Octave. It was the group’s last album with producer Tony Clarke, as well as their last with keyboardist Mike Pinder, who left during sessions and was later replaced by former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz.

1979: Nick Lowe released his second solo studio album, Labour of Lust. The album was recorded and released at the same time as collaborator Dave Edmunds’ fifth album, Repeat When Necessary, and features the same Rockpile personnel. The album’s lead track, “Cruel to Be Kind,” became Lowe’s only solo hit in the US.

1983: Frank Zappa released London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. I, the first in a series of albums composed by Zappa and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.”

1984: Cyndi Lauper had her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Time After Time.”

1992: Del Amitri released Change Everything, the group’s third studio album. It became their highest-charting LP, reaching #2 on the UK chart.

1998: John Fogerty released his first solo live album, Premonition.

2009: Elvis Costello released his twenty-fourth studio album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. Recorded in Nashville and produced by T Bone Burnett, the LP reached #13 on the Billboard pop chart.

Birthdays Today

Les Paul, self-taught guitarist, inventor, pioneer of the solid-body guitar, early experimenter with over-dubbing, delay effects, tape delay, phasing, and multi-track recording, and the namesake of Gibson’s most popular guitar model, was born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, WI in 1915.

Johnny Ace, rhythm-and-blues singer, was born in Memphis, TN in 1929.

Jackie Wilson, R&B and soul singer, was born in Detroit, MI in 1934.

Jon Lord, composer, pianist, and organist known for his fusing of rock with classical baroque music as the keyboardist for Deep Purple as well as other groups including the Flower Pot Men, the Artwoods, and Paice Ashton Lord, was born in Leicester, England in 1941.

Stuart Edwards, lead guitarist for Edison Lighthouse, was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England in 1946.

Mitch Mitchell, drummer and member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was born John Graham Mitchell in Ealing, Middlesex, England in 1946.

George Bunnell, singer, bassist, and songwriter for Strawberry Alarm Clock, was born in Lawrence, MA in 1949.

Trevor Bolder, songwriter, record producer, and bassist for David Bowie’s backing band The Spiders From Mars and Uriah Heep, was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1950.

Dean Dinning, bassist for Toad the Wet Sprocket, was born in 1967.

Anoushka Shankar, sitar player, composer, and daughter of Ravi Shankar, was born in London, England in 1981.