Today in Rock & Roll History: March 26th

1957: Ricky Nelson recorded his first songs for Verve Records: “A Teenager’s Romance,” “You’re My One and Only Love,” and “I’m Walkin’.” Originally written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, Nelson’s version of “I’m Walkin'” later peaked at #4.

1970: The documentary film Woodstock, portraying the watershed counterculture Woodstock Festival that took place the year before in Bethel, NY, was released. Directed by Michael Wadleigh, the concert film was a great commercial and critical success and won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Documentary Feature.

1971: In between concert commitments, Pink Floyd began recording sessions for their Meddle album at EMI Studios in London.

1972: David Bowie introduced British band Mott the Hoople to his manager and offered them his song “All the Young Dudes.” Bowie had been a fan of the group, and in the early 1970s still considered himself as much a songwriter as a performer. In 1971 Bowie had offered the group “Suffragette City,” but the group had declined, telling him they had plans to break up. In response, Bowie wrote “All the Young Dudes,” in part to rescue one of his favorite bands, and the song became Mott the Hoople’s biggest success, reaching #3 on the UK chart and #37 in the US.

1973: Former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck and bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, both former members of bands Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, released their self-titled debut studio album as Beck, Bogert & Appice. Despite reaching #28 in the UK and #12 on the US album charts, the trio didn’t last, and the group dissolved with Beck’s departure in 1974.

1975: Tommy, the film adaptation of the Who’s album of the same name, premiered in the UK.

1976: Genesis opened its first North American tour in support of their seventh album A Trick of the Tail in London, Ontario, Canada. It was the group’s first tour after the departure of Peter Gabriel, with Phil Collins taking on lead vocals and former Yes drummer Bill Bruford assisting with drums and percussion.

1977: Hall & Oates went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Rich Girl,” the duo’s first of six US #1s.

1980: The Police became the first Western pop group to play in Bombay, India in over ten years when they played a one-off gig in the city.

1983: Australian band INXS debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “The One Thing,” the first single released from their third album.

1985: Radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonder’s records after he dedicated the Oscar he had won the night before for “I Just Called to Say I Love You” at The Academy Awards to Nelson Mandela.

2015: Ahead of their headline gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust (on 26 March 2015) The Who, who were celebrating their 50th anniversary, the band was presented with a much-belated apology by the Hall, which had blocked a 1972 performance of the group’s rock opera Tommy as part of a larger ban on rock and pop performances at the venue.

Birthdays Today

Rufus Thomas, R&B, funk, soul, and blues singer, songwriter, and dancer known for his novelty dance records such as “Walking the Dog,” “Do the Funky Chicken,” and “(Do the) Push and Pull,” was born in Cayce, MS in 1917.

Larry Butler, producer and songwriter known for working with Kenny Rogers who was also a keyboard player for artists that include Bobby Goldsboro, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as rock groups Ronny and the Daytonas and The Gentrys, was born in Pensacola, FL in 1942.

Diana Ross, singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, solo artist, and original member and leader of the Supremes, was born Diane Ernestine Earle Ross in Detroit, MI in 1944.

Steven Tyler, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and lead singer of Aerosmith, was born Steven Victor Tallarico in Manhattan, NY in 1948.

Richard Tandy, keyboardist with Electric Light Orchestra, was born in Birmingham, England in 1948.

Fran Sheehan, original bassist for Boston, was born in Swampscott, MA in 1949.

James Iha, guitarist and founding member of Smashing Pumpkins, was born in Chicago, IL in 1968.