Today in Rock & Roll History: March 18th

1960: The Everly Brothers recorded “Cathy’s Clown,” the duo’s first single for Warner Bros. Records.

1965: The Rolling Stones scored their third #1 in the UK with “The Last Time.” The single reached #9 in the US.

1967: The Beatles scored their thirteenth chart-topping single in the US with “Penny Lane.” Originally intended for their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, it was instead released as a single backed with “Strawberry Fields Forever” due to pressure from EMI to put out new material. The song’s title refers to the name of a street near John Lennon’s house in Liverpool. He and Paul McCartney would meet at Penny Lane junction in the Mossley Hill area to catch a bus into the center of the city.

1967: The Who released “Happy Jack” in US after its initial release in the UK the previous December.

1972: Jackson Browne’s first single “Doctor, My Eyes” entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually peaked at #8.

1972: “Jump Into the Fire” by Harry Nilsson entered the Billboard Hot 100, later reaching #27 in April.

1972: Paul Simon scored his first solo #1 album when his self-titled debut went to the top of the UK chart.

1972: A few days after the release of his Harvest LP, Neil Young achieved his only #1 single with “Heart of Gold.” Featuring backing vocals by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, the record is Young’s only single to reach the top 20 on the US pop charts.

1972: Al Green started ten weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B chart with his fourth LP and first of six straight #1 albums on the chart, Let’s Stay Together.

1976: The film The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie premiered in London. Bowie had originally been approached to produce the film’s soundtrack, but contractual disputes lead to the music be coordinated by former leader of The Mamas and Papas John Phillips, who provided his own contributions in addition to that of Japanese percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta as well as Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.

1977: The Clash released their debut single “White Riot,” which later peaked at #38 on the UK charts.

1978: The California Jam II festival drew a quarter of a million fans to the Ontario Motor Speedway near Los Angeles to hear Heart, Dave Mason, Santana, Bob Welch, and others. Highlights from the event were later released as a double live album by CBS Records.

1978: Art Garfunkel’s cover of Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World,” featuring Paul Simon and James Taylor, peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1985: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears was released.

1996: The second Beatles Anthology compilation album was released. The two-disc set features “Real Love,” a track the remaining members of the Beatles recorded using an old demo track recorded by John Lennon in 1977 with a handheld tape recorder on his piano at home. The composition originated as part of an unfinished stage play that Lennon had been working on at the time entitled The Ballad of John and Yoko.

2013: The Next Day, David Bowie’s first album in a decade, became the fastest-selling album of the year, hitting the top spot on the UK chart in its first week of release. It was Bowie’s first #1 LP since Black Tie White Noise in 1993 and sold 94,000 copies in the first week.

Birthdays Today

George Delmetia Beauchamp, inventor of musical instruments, co-founder of the National Stringed Instrument Corporation, and co-founder of Rickenbacker guitars, was born in Coleman County, TX in 1899.

Wilson Pickett, R&B and soul singer and songwriter, was born in Prattville, AL in 1941.

Dennis Linde, country singer and songwriter who wrote such hits as “Burning Love”, was born in Abilene, TX in 1943.

Eric Woolfson, songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, pianist, producer, and co-creator of The Alan Parsons Project, was born in Charing Cross, Glasgow, Scotland in 1945.

B.J. Wilson, drummer for Procol Harum from 1967-1977, was born Barrie James Wilson in Edmonton, London in 1947.

Bobby Whitlock, singer, songwriter, and musician who’s played with Derek & the Dominos, Eric Clapton, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, and George Harrison, was born in Memphis, TN in 1948.

John Hartman, co-founder and original drummer for The Doobie Brothers, was born in Falls Church, VA in 1950.

Grant Hart, drummer and co-songwriter for Hüsker Dü, was born in Saint Paul, MN in 1961.