Today in Rock & Roll History: March 10th

1956: “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins entered the Billboard R&B chart. It was the first time a country music artist made it on the R&B charts.

1962: One-hit wonder Bruce Channel hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hey! Baby.”

1964: Simon & Garfunkel recorded their original acoustic version of “The Sound of Silence” for inclusion on their debut studio album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.. The album was a commercial failure, and it wasn’t until producer Tom Wilson, unbeknownst to Simon & Garfunkel, remixed the track with overdubbed electric instruments and drums that it became a #1 hit at the beginning of 1966. Once they learned of the new version’s success, the duo hastily reunited to record their second album.

1965: “Eight Days a Week” by the Beatles went to #1 on the Cash Box chart. A week later the record topped the Billboard Hot 100.

1966: The Beach Boys began recording “God Only Knows” at United Western Recorders in Hollywood.

1966: Bob Dylan recorded “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” at Columbia’s Music Row Studios in Nashville. After demoing the song for the backing musicians, producer Bob Johnston suggested a brass band arrangement. After summoning a trombone player, the session proceeded in the middle of the night with everyone marching and singing around the studio.

1966: Jeff Beck released his first solo recording, an instrumental titled “Beck’s Bolero” that had been inspired by French composer Maurice Ravel’s “Ravel’s Bolero.” Conceived of while Beck was still a member of the Yardbirds, it was not released until ten months after recording and then only as the B-side to Beck’s first single “Hi Ho Silver Lining.” The track later received greater exposure on Beck’s debut album Truth, released in 1968. The recording session brought together a group of musicians, including Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, John Paul Jones, and Nicky Hopkins, who later agreed that the lineup was a first attempt at what later became Led Zeppelin.

1967: Aretha Franklin’s eleventh studio album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You was released. Atlantic Records owner Jerry Wexler had picked up Franklin after the expiration of her contract with Columbia Records and looked to Rick Hall and his FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to produce a hit record. After a less than remarkable career with Columbia, Franklin’s new album took the singer to new heights, reaching #2 on the Billboard pop chart, #1 on the R&B chart, and was certified gold later that year. The album also included two top 10 singles, the album’s title track, and Franklin’s cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect.”

1971: After Paul McCartney filed suit against the other three members of the Beatles for the dissolution of their partnership, a London court appointed an independent receiver to handle assets of the Beatles until mutually acceptable terms for their break-up could be found. The ruling also barred former manager Allen Klein from any further meddling with the band’s affairs, though he continued to be involved in the solo careers of John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

1973: Steely Dan’s debut studio album Can’t Buy a Thrill entered the top 20 on the Billboard pop chart, peaking two weeks later at #17. The same week, the second single from the album “Reeling in the Years” also entered the Billboard Hot 100, eventually reaching #11.

1973: Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album The Dark Side of the Moon was released in the US following its release in the UK at the beginning of the month. Initially developed during live performances, the album was recorded with engineer Alan Parsons at Abbey Road Studios in London using advanced recording techniques such as multi-track recording and tape loops. The album became the band’s biggest commercial and critical success as well as one of the best-selling albums in the world. The LP also spent over 740 weeks on the US Billboard chart over a fourteen year period.

1975: Elvis Presley began his final recording session at RCA’s Hollywood studios for his twenty-second studio album, Today.

1975: John Lennon’s version of Ben E. King’s 1961 classic “Stand By Me” was released. It was the only single from his Rock ‘n’ Roll album, which had been released earlier that year. The record reached #20 on the US charts, #30 in the UK, and #10 in Canada. It was also Lennon’s final hit before his five year retreat from the music industry.

1975: Carnegie Hall overflowed with Moody Blues fans to hear the debut performance by former members Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who were on the road to promote their new album Blue Jays.

1979: Gloria Gaynor had her first and only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Will Survive.”

1981: Guitarist Jimmy Page made his first public performance since the breakup of Led Zeppelin, joining Jeff Beck onstage as a surprise encore guest at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

1998: Eric Clapton released Pilgrim, his first studio album in nine years.

2002: Alanis Morissette went to #1 on the US album chart with her third straight #1 album, Under Rug Swept.

Birthdays Today

Dean Torrence, co-founder, co-lead singer, and co-writer of surf duo Jan & Dean, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1940.

Tom Scholz, songwriter, inventor, engineer, philanthropist, multi-instrumentalist, and founder of Boston, was born Donald Tom Scholz in Toledo, OH in 1947.

Gail Greenwood, bassist and guitarist for Belly, was born in Rhode Island in 1960.

Jeff Ament, songwriter, bassist, and founding member of Pearl Jam, was born in Havre, MO in 1963.

Edie Brickell, singer-songwriter and lead singer of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, was born in Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX in 1966.

Dave Krusen, original drummer for Pearl Jam, was born in Tacoma, WA in 1966.