Today in Rock & Roll History: March 23rd

1955: Elvis Presley, with Scotty Moore and Bill Black, auditioned for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, a weekly television talent show, performing Good Rockin’ Tonight. They were turned down by the show’s producers.

1956: Elvis Presley’s self-titled debut album was released by RCA Victor.

1960: “Stuck on You” by Elvis Presley was released. Within weeks it became his first #1 single after spending two years in the US Army and his thirteenth overall.

1961: Elvis Presley recorded “Can’t Help Falling In Love” at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California.

1963: Akron, Ohio group Ruby and the Romantics hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single and only top 10 on the chart, “Our Day Will Come.”

1964: “Do You Want to Know a Secret” by the Beatles was issued as a single in the US. The song was first released almost exactly a year earlier on their debut UK album, Please Please Me. It was also included on the band’s debut American LP, Introducing… The Beatles, which was released in early 1964.

1967: At a ceremony held at the Playhouse Theatre in London, the Beatles were awarded three Ivor Novello awards. “Yellow Submarine” won for Best-Selling British Single, “Michelle” for Most-Performed Song, and “Yesterday” for the Next-Most-Performed Song. None of the Beatles attended and the winning songs were performed by Joe Loss and his Orchestra. The lead vocal for “Michelle” was sung by Ross MacManus, whose son, Declan MacManus, later became the professional musician known as Elvis Costello.

1968: Dionne Warwick released her ninth studio album, Dionne Warwick in the Valley of the Dolls.

1972: The film The Concert For Bangladesh, which documents two benefit concerts organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar for refugees of the Bangladesh Liberation War, premiered in New York.

1973: Roxy Music released For Your Pleasure, their second studio album and last to feature synthesiser and sound specialist Brian Eno, who later gain acclaim as a solo artist and producer.

1973: King Crimson released their fifth studio album, Larks’ Tongues in Aspic. It was the debut of the band’s third incarnation, featuring co-founder and guitarist Robert Fripp along with four new members: bass guitarist and vocalist John Wetton, violinist and keyboardist David Cross, percussionist Jamie Muir, and drummer Bill Bruford.

1973: Paul McCartney and Wings released “My Love,” the lead single from their second studio album, Red Rose Speedway. The single marked the first time that McCartney’s name appeared in the artist credit for a Wings record. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and reached #9 in the UK.

1974: Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross entered the UK singles chart with “You Are Everything” a song originally recorded by the Philadelphia soul group The Stylistics. Released as the second UK single from their Diana & Marvin album, the song reached #5 four weeks later.

1975: When budget cuts in San Francisco meant an end to all extracurricular activities in schools, concert promoter Bill Graham staged the S.N.A.C.K. (Students Need Athletics, Culture, and Kicks) benefit concert with an all-star list of performers and over fifty celebrity guests. It was Graham’s first large, outdoor, multi-artist stadium concert and included performances by Tower of Power, Graham Central Station, The Doobie Brothers, Jefferson Starship, Eddie Palmieri, Santana, Joan Baez, a reunited Grateful Dead, and a closing set by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and members of the Band and the Stray Gators. Nearly 60,000 attendees at Kezar Stadium raised enough money to keep extracurricular activities in San Francisco schools going for another year.

1977: Elvis Presley appeared at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona for the first of a 49-date US tour. Lasting just over three months, it ended up being Presley’s final tour.

1978: Bob Marley and the Wailers released their tenth studio album, Kaya.

1978: “Goodnight Tonight” by Wings, recorded during sessions for their seventh and final studio album, Back to Egg, was released as a single.

1983: ZZ Top released their eighth studio album, Eliminator. It became the band’s most commercially successful release, with sales of over ten million copies in the US alone.

1983: The Smiths played their first ever London show at The Rock Garden.

1984: Thompson Twins released “You Take Me Up,” the third single from their fourth studio album, Into The Gap. The single peaked at #2 in the UK, making it their highest chart position for a song. It was issued in the US in early August.

1985: Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart with Centerfield, his third solo LP and only #1 album on the US charts.

1987: Genesis released “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight,” the fourth single from their thirteenth studio album, Invisible Touch.

1988: Joni Mitchell released her thirteenth studio album, Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm. The LP features various duets with guest artists such as Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Don Henley, Billy Idol, and Tom Petty.

1990: Fleetwood Mac kicked off their Behind The Mask world tour with fourteen dates in Australia starting at the Boondall Entertainment Centre in Brisbane.

1991: R.E.M. scored their first #1 album in the UK with their seventh studio album, Out Of Time.

1993: Dwight Yoakam released his fifth album, This Time. The LP produced his three highest charting singles, all of which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They were also his last singles to reach the top 10 on the pop chart.

2004: Eric Clapton released his fifteenth solo studio album, Me and Mr. Johnson, which consists of covers of songs written and originally recorded by influential blues musician Robert Johnson.

Birthdays Today

Stick McGee, jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for his blues song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee,” was born Granville Henry McGhee in Knoxville, TN in 1918.

Louisiana Red, blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer who recorded more than 50 albums and is best known for his song “Sweet Blood Call,” was born Iverson Minter in Bessemer, AL in 1932.

Irwin Levine, songwriter who co-wrote songs including “This Diamond Ring, Knock Three Times,” and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” was born in 1938.

Jimmy Miller, record producer who worked with groups that included Blind Faith, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, Delaney & Bonnie, Bobby Whitlock, and most notably, the Rolling Stones, with whom he produced their Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, and Goats Head Soup albums and contributed drumming to such songs as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Tumbling Dice,” and “Shine a Light,” was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1942.

Ric Ocasek, lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter for the Cars, was born Richard Theodore Otcasek in Baltimore, MD in 1944.

Tony “TS” McPhee, blues guitarist and founder of The Groundhogs, was born in Humberston, Lincolnshire, England in 1944.

David Grisman, folk and bluegrass mandolinist and composer who founded Old & in the Way, the Even Dozen Jug Band, the David Grisman Quintet, and the Acoustic Disc record label, and was a founding member of the band Earth Opera along with Peter Rowan (1967-1969) was born in Hackensack, NJ in 1945.

Ray Phiri, jazz, fusion and mbaqanga musician musician who collaborated with Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and founded bands the Cannibals and Stimela, was born in Nelspruit, South Africa in 1947.

Phil Keaggy, acoustic and electric guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder of Glass Harp, was born in Youngstown, OH in 1951.

Chaka Khan, R&B singer and songwriter, was born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, IL in 1953.

Damon Albarn, songwriter, producer, and lead singer for Blur, was born in Whitechapel, England in 1968.