1957: “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley was released. Penned by songwriter Otis Blackwell, the single reached #1 two weeks later for the first of eight consecutive weeks. In addition to being his sixth time atop the country chart, the song also topped the R&B chart for four weeks—Presley’s third single to do so.
1963: The Beatles’ debut album, Please Please Me, was released in the UK. Parlophone Records rushed the release of the LP in order to capitalize on the success of the group’s single of the same name, which had already gone to #1 on most charts. Of the album’s fourteen tracks, eight were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, making them an early example of a rock band that largely wrote and performed their own music.
1965: Bob Dylan released his fifth studio album, Bringing It All Back Home. On side one of the LP, Dylan is backed by an electric rock and roll band—a move that further alienated him from some of his former peers in the folk music community. On the acoustic second side of the album, Dylan distanced himself from the protest songs with which he had become closely identified. The album reached #6 on Billboard’s pop chart, making it Dylan’s first LP to break into US top 10, and topped the UK chart later that spring.
1965: The Temptations released their second album, The Temptations Sing Smokey. The LP is composed entirely of songs written and produced by Smokey Robinson and members of the Miracles.
1965: Capitol Records released The Early Beatles, the eighth Beatles album assembled for the American market and sixth released by Capitol. All of the tracks on this album had previously been issued on Introducing… The Beatles, the band’s first American album that was released by Vee-Jay Records in early 1964.
1968: Procol Harum released “Quite Rightly So” from their second studio album, Shine On Brightly.
1968: “Jennifer Eccles” by The Hollies was released in the UK. The song was written by members Graham Nash and Allan Clarke with input from their wives, and the title is a combination of their names.
1969: The Temptations achieved their ninth #1 single on the US R&B charts with “Runaway Child, Running Wild.”
1971: “Power to the People” by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band was issued as a single in the US following its release in the UK ten days earlier.
1974: The Eagles released On the Border, their third studio album and first with guitarist Don Felder.
1974: Frank Zappa’s released what became his most commercially successful album, Apostrophe(‘). Released in both stereo and quadraphonic formats, it reached a career-high of #10 on the Billboard chart and became Zappa’s second gold record. The album had been recorded simultaneously during sessions for his previous album with the Mothers of Invention, Over-Nite Sensation.
1974: On a dare, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After assembled a band composed of former King Crimson members Mel Collins and Ian Wallace, former member of Vinegar Joe Tim Hinkley, and former Grease Band members Alan Spenner and Neil Hubbard to play a gig at London’s Rainbow Theatre. The show was recorded and later released as a double LP titled In Flight and was credited to Alvin Lee & Company.
1975: One week after entering the Billboard pop chart, Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album first album released on their own Swan Song label, started six weeks at #1.
1975: Al Green scored his fifth straight #1 on the Billboard R&B album chart with his eighth album, Al Green Explores Your Mind.
1975: Earth, Wind & Fire scored their first #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “Shining Star.” Nine weeks later the single became their first and only #1 on the Hot 100 pop chart.
1977: Stevie Wonder released “Sir Duke,” his tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington and the third single from his eighteenth studio album, Songs in the Key of Life. The song also makes mention of jazz musicians Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. The single reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April and topped the Hot Soul Singles chart in May.
1978: The Rutles had their televised debut in All You Need Is Cash, an affectionate spoof film that follows the fictitious music group formed by Monty Python’s Eric Idle and the Bonzo Dog Band’s Neil Innes to satirize the Beatles. Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, John Belushi, and George Harrison all make guest appearances. Composed by Innes, the music featured in the film references many tunes in the Beatles’ catalog. The film aired on BBC 2 in the UK and NBC in the US.
1978: The Police were signed to A&M Records, with whom the band went on to achieve more than fifteen UK top 40 hits.
1980: Pink Floyd’s single “Another Brick In The Wall, (Part 2)” started four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the group’s only record to top the US charts and was a #1 hit in many other countries around the world.
1980: The Jam had their first UK #1 with their tenth release, “Going Underground” backed with “Dreams of Children.” It was the first single of the 1980s to debut at #1.
1993: Depeche Mode released their eighth studio album, Songs of Faith and Devotion, in the UK. Issued the following day in the US, it became the group’s first album to debut at the top of the charts in both Britain and America. To support the album, the band embarked on a fourteen-month Devotional Tour, the largest tour they’d ever undertaken to that date. Tensions in the band also resulted in the album being the last to include member Alan Wilder.
1994: Bonnie Raitt released her twelfth album, Longing in Their Hearts.
1997: U2’s ninth studio album, Pop, debuted at the top of the Billboard pop chart.
George Wyle, orchestra leader, composer, and arranger who wrote or co-wrote many pop sings, including “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” as well as the theme song to television show “Gilligan’s Island,” was born in New York City in 1916.
Juke Boy Bonner, blues singer, harmonica player, and guitarist, was born Weldon Philip Bonner in Bellville, TX in 1932.
Jeremy Clyde, actor, musician, and one half of folk duo Chad & Jeremy, was born Michael Thomas Jeremy Clyde in Dorney, Buckinghamshire, England in 1941.
Keith Relf, lead vocalist, harmonica player, and rhythm guitarist for The Yardbirds from 1963-1968 who co-wrote many of the band’s original songs, was born William Keith Relf in Richmond, Surrey, England in 1943.
George Benson, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1943.
Chris Stainton, session musician, keyboard player, bassist, and songwriter best known for his work with Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, The Who, Andy Fairweather Low, and Bryan Ferry, was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England in 1944.
Harry Vanda, songwriter, record producer, lead guitarist and co-founder of Australian rock band the Easybeats, and half of the songwriting team Vanda & Young with fellow Easybeats member George Young, was born Johannes Hendrikus Jacob van den Berg—Vorrburg, Netherlands in 1946.
Randy Jo Hobbs, bassist for the McCoys who also played in the bands of Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, and Montrose, was born in Winchester, IN in 1948.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer, musical theatre impresario, and songwriter, was born in Kensington, London, England in 1948.
Jay Dee Daugherty, drummer, songwriter, and member of the Patti Smith Group, Indigo Girls, and the Church, was born in Santa Barbara, CA in 1952.
Susan Ann Sulley, vocalist for The Human League, was born in Sheffield, England in 1963.