Today in Rock & Roll History: March 11th

1956: “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers was at the top of the Billboard R&B chart for the first of five weeks. The single later peaked at #6 on the US pop charts and went to #1 in the UK in July.

1963: “Act Naturally” by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos was released. The song was notably covered by the Beatles, whose version appeared on the UK version of their Help! album as well as the B-side to their single “Yesterday” in the US. Ringo Starr later sang a duet with Owens in a re-recording of the song in March of 1989.

1963: The Rolling Stones recorded five tracks at IBC Recording Studio in London. Engineered and produced by Glyn Johns, the group had hoped the sessions would land them a recording contract.

1965: Tom Jones, then relatively unknown, reached the top of the UK singles chart with his second single “It’s Not Unusual.” The song, written by Les Reed and Gordon Mills, was originally recorded by Jones as a demo for British singer Sandie Shaw, but Shaw was so impressed with Jones’ recording that she declined the song and suggested to Jones that he release it himself. The BBC initially refused to play the song because of Jones’ provocative image, but it did receive airplay on UK pirate radio stations. It also became Jones’ first hit in the US, where it reached #10 in May.

1965: The Who went into IBC Studios in London to record their first album. Songs recorded were Pete Townshend’s “You’re Gonna Know Me” (later re-titled “Out In The Street”) plus covers of James Brown’s “Please Please Please” and “I Don’t Mind,” Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man,” Martha and the Vandella’s “Motoring” and “Heat Wave,” and Paul Revere and the Raiders’ “Louie Go Home” as “Lubie (Come Back Home.)” After additional sessions, including meetings with producer Shel Talmy, the album was ultimately rejected and some of the tracks were not released for over twenty years.

1967: The Supremes had their ninth #1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and sixth #1 on the R&B chart with “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone.”

1967: Music publisher Dick James, announced that at least 446 different versions of the Paul McCartney’s song “Yesterday” had been recorded. Since its release in 1965, the song has been recorded thousands of times and is one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music.

1969: The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records.

1970: Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was released by Atlantic Records. The follow up to their 1969 debut album, it was their first LP as a quartet with Neil Young. It later became the group’s first #1 album and produced three top 40 singles: “Woodstock,” “Teach Your Childen,” and “Our House.”

1972: Harry Nilsson scored his only #1 on the UK chart with his cover of Badfinger’s “Without You.”

1972: Neil Young’s fourth studio album Harvest hit #1 on the Billboard pop album chart. The LP stayed in the top 3 for a total of fourteen weeks.

1974: Chicago’s sixth album Chicago VII was released. It was the group’s fourth and final double studio LP. After recording the album, session percussionist Laudir de Oliveira became an official member of the band.

1978: Kate Bush’s debut single “Wuthering Heights” went to #1 on the UK chart, making Bush the first female artist to have an entirely self-penned #1 hit in the UK.

1983: “Speak Like a Child,” the debut single by The Style Council was released. The group had been founded earlier that year by former singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the Jam Paul Weller and keyboardist Mick Talbot, formerly of Dexys Midnight Runners. The single peaked at #4 on the UK chart.

1993: Oasis recorded their first demos at The Real People’s studio in Liverpool. The set included “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” “Columbia,” and “Fade Away.”

1997: Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his services to music.

Birthdays Today

Ric Rothwell, drummer for The Mindbenders, was born Eric Rothwell in Reddish, Stockport, Cheshire, England in 1944.

Harvey Mandel, session guitarist who played with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, the Rolling Stones, and John Mayall before starting a solo career, was born in Detroit, MI in 1945.

Mark Stein, keyboardist, composer, arranger, and lead vocalist for Vanilla Fudge, was born in Bayonne, NJ in 1947.

Derek John “Blue” Weaver, keyboardist, session musician, songwriter, record producer, founding member of Amen Corner, and replacement for Rick Wakeman in Strawbs who’s also worked with Mott the Hoople, Pet Shop Boys, and Bee Gees, was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1947.

George Kooymans, guitarist and vocalist for Golden Earring, was born in The Hague, Netherlands in 1948.

Bobby McFerrin, jazz vocalist, was born in Manhattan, NY in 1950.

Bruce Watson, guitarist for Big Country, was born in Timmins, Ontario, Canada in 1961.

Andy Sturmer, lead singer, songwriter, drummer in Jellyfish, was born in 1965.

Lisa Loeb, singer-songwriter and producer, was born in Dallas, TX in 1968.