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: English band Episode Six released their recording of Bonnie Dobson’s folk song “Morning Dew.”

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 Emotions released “Best of My Love,” a song composed by Maurice White and Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire.

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

1978: English band Dire Straits released their self-titled debut album. It peaked at #5 in the UK, #2 in the US, and #1 in Germany, Australia, and France.

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’s also 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: Joe Jackson debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Is She Really Going Out with Him?,” the lead single from his debut album, Look Sharp!.

1979: Nick Lowe released his second solo studio album, Labour of Lust. It 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.

1983: Diana Ross released her fourteenth studio album, Ross.

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

1989: “Batdance” by Prince was released as the lead single from his soundtrack to the 1989 film Batman.

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

2003: Radiohead’s sixth album, Hail to the Thief, was released by Parlophone Records in the UK. A day later, the album was released by Capitol Records in the US. Recorded during a two week period in Los Angeles, songwriter Thom Yorke wrote many of the album’s lyrics in response to the War on Terror and the resurgence of right-wing politics in the west.

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

Cole Porter, composer and songwriter whose songs became standards and classics, was born in Peru, IN in 1891.

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.

Dick Rowe, producer and talent scout for Decca Records who signed acts including The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues, The Zombies, Small Faces, Tom Jones, and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers but famously rejected the Beatles, was born in 1921.

CeDell Davis, blues guitarist and singer known for his distinctive style of guitar playing using a butter knife in his fretting hand as a result of polio, was born Ellis CeDell Davis in Helena, AR in 1926.

Bill Pursell, composer, arranger, and Nashville session pianist who played on recordings by Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Joan Baez, Eric Andersen, J.J. Cale, Willie Nelson, Dan Fogelberg, and others, was born in Oakland, CA in 1926.

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.

Billy Hatton, bassist and vocalist for the Fourmost, was born in Liverpool, 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.

Billy C. Farlow, founder of Billy C & the Sunshine and vocalist and harmonica player for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, was born in Decatur, AL 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.