Today in Rock & Roll History: March 29th

1968: Glen Campbell got his big break when he was offered to host a summer replacement for the The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS. The program, however, was ultimately an unsuccessful attempt at recapturing the look and feel of the original comedy-variety series without the controversy.

1969: Blood, Sweat & Tears’ self-titled second LP became the group’s first #1 on the Billboard pop chart. The LP yielded three successive top 5 singles and won a Grammy award for Album of the Year in 1970. Producer Jim Guercio, who had previously worked with the Buckinghams, later went on to produce Chicago’s early albums.

1971: Director Pierre Adidge’s documentary film Mad Dogs & Englishmen, depicting Joe Cocker’s 1970 US tour was released.

1973: Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show were featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, just a month after their recording of Shel Silverstein’s “Cover of the ‘Rolling Stone’” entered the US singles charts. Just like the song’s lyrics, the band members each bought five copies of the magazine to give to their mothers.

1975: LaBelle, the group originally known as Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles, had their only chart topping hit in the US with “Lady Marmalade,” a song originally written and recorded the year before by disco group The Eleventh Hour. After The Eleventh Hour’s album failed to chart, the song was shown to New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint, who then decided to record the song with LaBelle.

1975: Former Yardirds guitarist Jeff Beck’s second solo LP Blow By Blow was released. The instrumental LP was the first album released under his name alone and peaked at #4 in US.

1975: Led Zeppelin had all six of their albums on the Billboard pop chart in the same week that their latest album, Physical Graffiti, spent its second week at #1.

1978: David Bowie kicked off his “Low / Heroes” 77-date World Tour at San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California.

1980: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album spent its 303rd week on the album chart, breaking the record set by Carole King’s Tapestry. The album remained on the chart for 741 discontinuous weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in chart’s history.

1986: Austrian singer Falco started a three week run at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the international hit and only top 10 record in the US, “Rock Me Amadeus,” making him the first German speaking artist to achieve a chart-topping single in the US.

2001: Brian Wilson was honored in a three hour tribute at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Guest performances included Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Go-Gos, and the trio of Carly Simon, David Crosby, and Jimmy Webb. Also singing Beach Boy songs were Ann and Nancy Wilson, Elton John, and Aimee Mann. Wilson himself took the stage for the final three songs, “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

Birthdays Today

Raymond “Ray” Davis, original bass singer and founding member of The Parliaments, and subsequently Parliament and Funkadelic, was born in Sumter, SC in 1940.

Vangelis, electronic composer and musician and former member of Aphrodite’s Child, was born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou in Agria, Greece in 1943.

Chad Allan, founding member and original lead singer of the Chad Allan and the Expressions, which later became The Guess Who, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1943.

Eric Idle, comedian, actor, singer, songwriter, composer, member of Monty Python, and co-founder Beatles parody group The Rutles, was born in South Shields, County Durham, England in 1943.

Terry Jacks, singer and songwriter, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1944.

Speedy Keen, songwriter, vocalist, drummer, and keyboard player best known as a member of Thunderclap Newman, who wrote their 1969 hit “Something in the Air,” was born John David Percy Keen in Ealing, London, England in 1945.

Bobby Kimball, singer and frontman for Toto, was born in Orange, TX in 1947.

Michael Brecker, jazz saxophonist and composer who worked as a leader and sideman on albums by James Taylor, Paul Simon, Steey Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Dire Straits, Joni Mitchel, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, and countless others, was born in Cheltenham, PA in 1949.

Perry Farrell, singer-songwriter and lead vocalist for Jane’s Addiction, was born in Queens, NY in 1959.

John Popper, musician, songwriter, and frontman for Blues Traveler, was born in Chardon, OH in 1967.