Today in Rock & Roll History: March 3rd

1963: During the rehearsals for a Westinghouse television special in New York City, 21-year-old Bob Dylan proposed to then-23-year-old Mavis Staples. Despite having a relationship with Dylan, Staples turned him down, feeling she was too young.

1966: Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and Richie Furay formed Buffalo Springfield in Los Angeles.

1967: “I Can’t Make It” by Small Faces was released after the group had left manager Don Arden and signed with Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label. Due to contractual obligations, however, the single was issued by Decca Records. The band refused to promote the record and it was initially banned by the BBC for ambiguous lyrics, resulting in it only reaching #26 on the UK chart.

1967: Former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck debuted his new group featuring bassist Ron Wood, drummer Aynsley Dunbar, and singer Rod Stewart at the Astoria in London.

1969: The Beach Boys released their version of “I Can Hear Music,” a song first recorded by the Ronnettes in 1966, as the second single from their fifteenth studio album, “20/20.”

1969: The Who concluded recording of their fourth studio album, Tommy, album at IBC Studios after almost five months of sessions.

1972: Jethro Tull released their fifth studio album, Thick as a Brick. It contains one continuous piece of music split over both sides, which the faux newspaper packaging claims to be an adaptation of an epic poem written by an eight-year-old genius named Gerald Bostock. The piece is in fact the creation of the band’s frontman, Ian Anderson.

1972: Stevie Wonder released his fourteenth studio album, Music of My Mind. It was Wonder’s first LP recorded under his new contract with Motown, which allowed him full artistic control. For the album, Wonder recruited electronic music pioneers Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff as co-producers and utilized their custom TONTO synthesizer on several tracks.

1972: Martha Reeves and the Vandellas released their final studio album, Black Magic. According to Reeves, most of the tracks on the LP were originally intended for Diana Ross. The group disbanded at the end of the year.

1973: Elton John achieved his second #1 on Billboard’s pop album chart with his sixth studio album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player. In the UK, it became his first album to top the chart.

1973: Stealers Wheel debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Stuck in the Middle with You,” which later became their only top 10 hit, reaching #6.

1973: “The Cisco Kid” by War entered Billboard Hot 100, where it became their highest-charting single, peaking at #2.

1975: Peter Frampton released his fourth studio album, Frampton.

1978: The Jam released “News of the World.” The title refers to the disgraced British tabloid newspaper of the same name, and it is the band’s only single written exclusively by bassist Bruce Foxton, who also sings lead vocals.

1978: The Patti Smith Group released their third album, Easter. Considered their commercial breakthrough, it became their first top 40 LP in the US, reaching #20.

1979: Frank Zappa released the double album Sheik Yerbouti. It contains predominantly live material recorded in 1977 and 1978 with the addition of studio overdubs.

1979: The Bee Gees scored their fourth #1 single in the UK with “Tragedy.” On the same day they also went to #1 on the UK album chart and the Billboard pop chart in the US with their second fifteenth studio LP Spirits Having Flown.

1981: The Pretenders released an EP titled Extended Play exclusively in the US. It includes outtakes from the band’s first album, as well as “Message of Love” and “Talk of the Town,” which were both included on their second album.

1981: U2 commenced their first major tour of the United States, in which they played almost sixty dates across the country, largely in clubs.

1982: The Mamas & the Papas began a reunion tour with a show in New York club The Other End with original members John Phillips and Denny Doherty, along with Mackenzie Phillips and Spanky McFarlane replacing Michelle Gilliam and Mama Cass respectively.

1984: Nena started three weeks at #1 on the UK singles chart with “99 Red Balloons,” the English version of their international hit, “99 Luftballons,” which was originally sung in German.

1987: Erasure’s second studio album, The Circus, was released Germany and the UK. It was later released in the US in early July.

1992: David Byrne released his third studio album, Uh-Oh.

1992: Alternative hip-hop group The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy released their debut album, Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury.

1997: U2 released their tenth studio album, Pop.

2008: The Black Crowes released their seventh studio album, Warpaint. It was the band’s first album with new members Luther Dickinson and Adam MacDougall, as well as the first to be released on the band’s own Silver Arrow Records label.

Birthdays Today

Doc Watson, guitarist, songwriter, and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, and gospel music, was born Arthel Lane Watson in Deep Gap, NC in 1923.

Herbert Hardesty, tenor saxophone and trumpet player best known for his association with pianist Fats Domino and producer Dave Bartholomew who also toured and performed with artists including Lloyd Price, Tony Bennett, Tom Waits, and Dr. John, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1925.

Willie Chambers, singer, guitarist, and former member of The Chambers Brothers, was born in Mississippi in 1938.

Mike Pender, founding member and lead vocalist for the Searchers, was born Michael John Prendergast in Kirkdale, Liverpool, England in 1941.

Buzzy Linhart, composer, multi-instrumentalist musician, actor, and protégé of folk singer Fred Neil who is closely associated with the Greenwich Village folk scene and played vibraphone on recordings by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Richie Havens, Carly Simon, and Jimi Hendrix, was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1943.

Jance Garfat, bassist with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show and Mother Earth, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1944.

Jennifer Warnes, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, as well as a collaborator with Leonard Cohen, was born in Seattle, WA in 1947.

Snowy White, guitarist and vocalist who played with Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Peter Green, Jim Capaldi, and others, was born Terence Charles White in Barnstaple, Devon, England in 1948.

Re Styles, vocalist for The Tubes, was born Shirley MacLeod in 1950.

Robyn Hitchcock, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Paddington, London, England in 1953.

Chris “Merrick” Hughes, drummer for Adam and the Ants and a solo artist who has also worked as a musician and producer with other artists such as Tears for Fears, Robert Plant, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Lloyd Cole, and Tori Amos, was born in London, England in 1954.