Today in Rock & Roll History: March 2nd

1955: Bo Diddley recorded his first single “Bo Diddley” at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago for Checker Records. It was the first recording to introduce African rhythms into rock and roll directly through the use of the patted juba beat, and that summer, the song went to #1 on the Billboard R&B chart.

1961: “Walk Right Back” by The Everly Brothers was at #1 on the UK singles chart for the first of three weeks. The record reached #7 on the US charts.

1963: The Four Seasons started a three week run at the top Billboard Hot 100 with their third straight #1 hit, “Walk Like a Man.”

1964: The Beach Boys released their fifth album Shut Down Volume 2.

1964: The Beatles joined the Equity actors’ union minutes before they began shooting their first film, the then-untitled project which later became known as A Hard Day’s Night. At London’s Paddington Station, they boarded a specially-hired train to Minehead and back, where for the next three days, scenes were filmed in the cramped setting. George took a liking to one of the actresses on set, Pattie Boyd, and the two were married two years later.

1967: The Supremes began recording “Reflections” at Motown’s Hitsville U.S.A. studio in Detroit.

1968: Blue Cheer’s cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” entered the Billboard Hot 100. The record peaked at #14 in May and was the band’s highest charting single in the US.

1968: “Cry Like a Baby” by the Box Top entered the Billboard Hot 100. Written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, the song peaked at #2 on both the Hot 100 and the Cash Box pop chart.

1968: Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition of the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair” entered the Billboard Hot 100. The record’s flipside “Canticle” was a reworking of Simon’s 1963 anti-war song, “The Side of the Hill,” set to a new melody by Garfunkel. The single later peaked at #11 in the US in April.

1968: “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap entered Billboard Hot 100. It reached #2 on the Hot 100 in April, and hit #1 on both the Cash Box chart in the US and the UK singles chart.

1968: The Who performed at New Edmonton Gardens in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. After the show they were thrown out of their hotel’s English-style pub for having long hair. In response, bassist John Entwistle wrote the song “What Are We Doing Here?,” which was later released as part of his 1971 solo album Smash Your Head Against the Wall.

1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed at a jazz festival in Cambridge, England, where they recorded “Let’s Go On Flying,” “Snow Is Falling All the Time,” “Don’t Worry Kyoko,” “Song for John,” and “Cambridge 1969.” It was the first time a member of the Beatles had performed solo outside the group.

1978: Patti Smith released what became her biggest hit, “Because the Night.” The song had initially been partially written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen during sessions for his Darkness on the Edge of Town LP, but Springsteen wasn’t satisfied with it and left it unfinished. Engineer Jimmy Iovine, who was simultaneously working on both Springsteen’s album and Smith’s Easter album at New York’s Record Plant Studios, took the tape and offered it Smith, who finished it, and released the record as her album’s first single.

1983: Sony, Philips, and Polygram launched the new five-inch compact disc audio format, which could contain up to one hour of music. The first compact disc manufactured in the US for commercial release was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA album.

1991: Twenty-one years after it’s first release, “All Right Now” by Free made it to #2 in the UK singles chart after being re-issued to coincide with its use in a television ad for chewing gum.

1996: Oasis scored their second UK #1 single when “Don’t Look Back In Anger” debuted at the top of the chart. It was the group’s first record to feature Noel Gallagher on lead vocals instead of his brother, Liam.

Birthdays Today

Lawrence Payton, songwriter, musician, record producer, tenor vocalist for the Four Tops, was born in Detroit, MI in 1938.

Lou Reed, singer, songwriter, musician, solo artist, and lead guitarist and main songwriter for the Velvet Underground, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1942.

Tony Meehan, drummer and founding member of English band The Drifters, which evolved into The Shadows, was born Daniel Joseph Anthony Meehan in New End, Hampstead, North London, England in 1943.

Rory Gallagher, blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, solo artist, and leader of Taste, was born William Rory Gallagher in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland in 1948.

Larry Carlton, guitarist, solo artist, and studio musician who participated in thousands of recording sessions for hundreds of albums, worked on over 100 gold records, and was a member of jazz fusion groups the Crusaders and Fourplay, was born in Torrance, CA)

Hunt Sales, drummer who, together with brother Tony Fox, worked with Todd Rundgren, Iggy Pop, and Tin Machine with David Bowie, was born in 1954.

Dale Bozzio, solo artist and founder and leader singer of Missing Persons who also worked with Frank Zappa, was born Dale Frances Consalvi in Medford, MA in 1955.

John Cowsill, musician, songwriter, producer, and singer and drummer for The Cowsills, was born in Newport, RI in 1956.

Chris Martin, singer, songwriter, musician, and lead singer and co-founder of Coldplay, was born in Exeter, Devon, England in 1977.