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.

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.”

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.

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: “My Love,” the lead single from Paul McCartney & Wings’ second album Red Rose Speedway was released 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.

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

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

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 LP Out Of Time.

Birthdays Today

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.

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.

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.