Today in Rock & Roll History: March 1st

1957: The Everly Brothers recorded their first single “Bye Bye Love” for Cadence Records in Nashville.

1958: Buddy Holly and the Crickets began their only UK tour at Elephant & Castle Trocadero in London.

1967: The Beatles began recording “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” at EMI Studios in London. Despite the acronym of the song spelling out LSD, the origins of the composition came from a drawing that Lennon’s son Julian had made of his classmate Lucy O’Donnell. Lennon also attributed the song’s fantastical imagery to his reading of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books.

1968: Elton John’s first single “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” was released on the Phillips label.

1969: The Beatles occupied the top two spots on Billboard’s pop album chart with their self-titled “White Album” starting it’s 9th week at #1 and their Yellow Submarine soundtrack LP peaking at the #2 spot.

1969: Blood, Sweat & Tears’ second single “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually reached #2. The song was first recorded in 1967 by soul singer Brenda Holloway for the Tamla label and had been a top 40 hit on the US pop and R&B charts.

1969: “Rock Me” the lead single from Steppenwolf’s third studio LP At Your Birthday Party entered the Billboard Hot 100 where it managed to reach #10 in April.

1972: John Lennon’s battle with the US government began when he was issued a letter by the Immigration and Naturalization Service requesting that he leave the country within two weeks or face deportation, citing a 1968 conviction for marijuana possession as the reason for his deportation. As the Vietnam War gradually became more and more of a quagmire, Lennon had become more involved in the peace movement and was emerging as a prominent activist against the Nixon administration. Lennon and his lawyer appealed the deportation notices, eventually suing Attorney General John Mitchell, which revealed that Lennon was heavily surveilled by the FBI as well as the political motivations behind his harassment. Meanwhile, Nixon had become embroiled in the Watergate scandal and his resignation in August of 1974 effectively ended the fight against Lennon. In October of 1975, the New York State Supreme Court overturned the deportation order with Judge Irving Kaufman stating that “Lennon’s four-year battle to remain in our country is testimony to his faith in this American dream.” Eight months later, Lennon received his green card, and remained a resident of the United States until his death in 1980.

1974: Chris Difford placed an ad in a shop window that read “lyricist seeks musician for co-writing.” Glen Tilbrook answered the ad and the pair soon after formed Squeeze.

1974: Queen began their first headlining UK tour at The Winter Garden’s Blackpool.

1975: The Eagles went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Best Of My Love,” the band’s first of five singles to top the chart.

1975: Bob Dylan went to #1 on the Billboard pop album chart with his fifteenth studio album and second to top the chart, Blood On The Tracks.

1980: Blondie was at #1 on the UK singles chart with “Atomic,” the group’s third British #1 single from their fourth album, Eat To The Beat.

1993: Simon & Garfunkel reunited on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for a benefit concert for the Children’s Health Fund. It was one of only a handful of reunions by the duo since the early 1970s. They were joined onstage by Neil Young.

Birthdays Today

Harry Belafonte, singer, songwriter, actor, and social activist, was born in Harlem, New York City in 1927.

Warren Davis, first tenor vocalist for the Monotones, was born in Newark, NJ in 1939.

Jerry Fisher, solo artist and lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1971-1975, was born in DeKalb, TX in 1942.

Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who and a solo artist, was born in East Acton, London, England in 1944.

Mike d’Abo, singer, songwriter, and second lead singer for Manfred Mann, was born in Betchworth, Surrey, England in 1944.

Tony Ashton, rock pianist, keyboardist, singer, composer, producer, and member of The Remo Four and Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England in 1946.

Nik Kershaw, singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, solo artist, and collaborator with numerous artists, was born in Bristol, England in 1958.

Bill Leen, bassist and co-founder of Gin Blossoms, was born in Tempe, AZ in 1962.