Today in Rock & Roll History: March 16th

1957: Mickey and Sylvia topped the Billboard R&B chart with their first and biggest hit, “Love Is Strange.”

1962: “(You’re My) Dream Come True” by The Temptations was released. Written by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr. and released on the Gordy Records imprint label, it became the first song by the group to chart nationally, making it to #22 on the Billboard R&B chart.

1963: “Puff, The Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul & Mary entered the Billboard Hot 100. It became one of the group’s highest charting records, peaking at #2, and was their only single to enter the R&B chart, where it managed to reach #10.

1964: The Beatles’ single “Can’t Buy Me Love” backed with “You Can’t Do That” was released in the US, where it set a new record for advance sales of 2.1 million copies. By the first week in April, the record became the band’s sixth US #1.

1967: King & Queen by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas was released. It was Thomas’ fourth album and Redding’s sixth and the final studio album before his death. Stax Records co-founder and producer Jim Stewart paired the two artists together for a duet album hoping it would help both their careers and achieve success like Marvin Gaye’s albums with Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston.

1968: “Call Me Lightning” from the Who’s Magic Bus album was released as a single in the US. The song made it to #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #38 on the Cash Box chart.

1968: The posthumous release of Otis Redding’s single “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” started four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1969: Fleetwood Mac, The Move, Amen Corner, Peter Sarstedt, The Tymes, Harmony Grass, and Geno Washington all appeared at the Pop World 69 festival at London’s Wembley Empire Pool in England.

1971: “Never Can Say Goodbye” by the Jackson 5 was released as the lead single from their fifth studio album, Maybe Tomorrow. The song was originally written by Clifton Davis and was intended for the Supremes. Motown Records instead felt it was better for the Jackson 5 and it became one the group’s most successful records.

1971: Bob Dylan and producer Leon Russell began recording sessions for Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece” at Blue Rock Studio in New York City.

1971: The Who attempted their first recording of Pete Townshend’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in New York. The following month, they re-recorded the song at The Rolling Stone’s studio at Mick Jagger’s Stargroves manor in Hampshire, England using the synthesizer track from Townshend’s original demo. The recording was part of sessions for the never-completed Lifehouse LP, which was abandoned in favor of what became their next album, Who’s Next.

1973: T. Rex released Tanx, their eighth album and first after changing their name from Tyrannosaurus Rex to T. Rex.

1974: During a US tour, Elvis Presley performed in Memphis, Tennessee for the first time since 1961 on the first of four nights at the Midsouth Coliseum.

1974:“Help Me” by Joni Mitchell entered the Billboard Hot 100. That summer, the single peaked at #7.

1974: “Oh Very Young” by Cat Stevens entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #10.

1974: Three Dog Night’s cover of Leo Sayer’s “The Show Must Go On” entered the Billboard Hot 100. Their version made it to #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Cash Box singles chart.

1975: London’s Rainbow Theatre, the venue for many live albums, closed with an all-star concert that included Procol Harum, John Martyn, Hatfield & the North, Richard & Linda Thompson, Frankie Miller, Sassafras, and the Kevin Coyne Band.

1976: Marvin Gaye released his fourteenth studio album, I Want You.

1976: The Runaways released their self-titled debut album.

1977: Iggy Pop performed his first show in the US at Harvard Square Theater in Boston as part of his Idiot Tour promoting his debut solo LP. Among his backing musicians was friend David Bowie on keyboard and backing vocals. That year, the two later collaborated on Pop’s second album, Lust for Life. Three days earlier at the first of two shows in Canada, Blondie, who had also just released their debut album, joined the tour as the opening act. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie later recalled the tour as a turning point in their careers.

1979: Roxy Music released their sixth studio album, Manifesto.

1981: The Who released Face Dance, the band’s ninth studio album and first with new drummer Kenney Jones after the death of original drummer Keith Moon in 1978.

1987: U2 released “Without or Without You,” the first single from their fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree. It became their most successful single at the time, becoming their first #1 in the US and Canada.

1993: Former Guadalcanal Diary lead singer and guitarist Murray Attaway released his only solo album, In Thrall, which includes contributions from Jackson Browne, Aimee Mann, Benmont Tench, Nicky Hopkins, Jim Keltner, Robbie Blunt, David Mansfield, and Steven Soles.

1998: Simple Minds released their eleventh studio album, Néapolis.

1999: Jeff Beck released his seventh studio album, Who Else!. The instrumental album was Beck’s first release of original material in a decade as well as his first to incorporate electronic and techno music into his repertoire.

2015: Mark Knopfler released his eighth solo studio album, Tracker.

Birthdays Today

Fred Neil, influential singer-songwriter in the Greenwich Village folk scene who never achieved commercial success, but is best known through other artists’ recordings of his songs, particularly “Everybody’s Talkin’,” was born in Cleveland, OH in 1936.

Jerry Jeff Walker, country music singer and songwriter, was born Ronald Clyde Crosby in Oneonta, NY in 1942.

David Briggs, Nashville session musician and member of Area Code 615, was born in Killen, AL in 1943.

Matt Irving, bassist for Manfred Mann from 1981-1986 and keyboardist with Lords of the New Church, Squeeze, Chris Rea, Paul Young, and Roger Waters, was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1950.

Nancy Wilson, guitarist and vocalist for Heart, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1954.

Patty Griffin, singer-songwriter, was born in Old Town, ME in 1964.