Today in Rock & Roll History: March 5th

1963: The Beatles recorded “From Me to You,” just days after the song had been written, at EMI’s London studios. The band also began recording the song’s B-side, “Thank You Girl,” as well as basic tracks for “One After 909,” a song that the group didn’t revisit until their Let It Be sessions in 1969.

1965: The Manish Boys, whose members at the time included 18-year-old David Bowie, released their first single, “I Pity the Fool.” The record’s B-side, “Take My Tip,” was the first song written by David Bowie to be released on record. The recordings were produced by Shel Talmy, who was accompanied by his regular session musician, guitarist Jimmy Page. At the session, Page provided Bowie with a guitar riff that wasn’t utilized by Bowie until it was included in “The Supermen” in 1970 and “Dead Man Walking” in 1997.

1965: The Kink’s second studio album Kinda Kinks was released in the UK. The LP went to #3 on the UK chart and reached #60 in the US after its release in America in August.

1965: “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds was released in the UK, with the American release of the single occurring a month later. Written by 19-year-old Graham Gouldman, it became the band’s first top 10 hit in UK and US. It was also a departure from the group’s blues roots in favor of a commercial pop sound. Guitarist Eric Clapton disapproved of the change and soon left the band.

1965: Them, fronted by Van Morrison, released “Here Comes the Night.” Written by songwriter and producer Bert Berns, the song had been recorded and released earlier with less success by Scottish singer Lulu in November of 1964. Them’s version went #2 in the UK and became their biggest hit in the US, where it reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1966: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass went to the top of the Billboard pop album chart with !!Going Places!! after replacing their first #1 LP, Whipped Cream & Other Delights, which wrapped up a total of eight weeks at #1.

1970: John Lennon and Yoko Ono checked into the London Clinic where, later that month, the couple began a primal-scream course led by therapist Dr. Arthur Janov. Lennon started writing songs such as “Mother” and “Isolation,” which later appeared on his Plastic Ono Band album.

1971: Led Zeppelin started a twelve-date “Thank You” tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging admission prices from 1968. The first show was at The Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was the band’s first public performance of “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” “Going To California,” and “Stairway to Heaven” from their forthcoming fourth studio album.

1978: The debut single from Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights,” inspired by the Emily Bronte novel of the same name, started four weeks at #1 on the UK singles chart. Her record company, EMI, had originally chosen another track, “James and the Cold Gun,” as the lead single, but Bush was determined that “Wuthering Heights” would be the first release from the album. At age 19, Bush became the first female artist to reach #1 on the UK chart with a self-written song.

1983: A few weeks after topping the Billboard R&B chart, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson went to #1 on the Hot 100 pop chart.

Birthdays Today

Tommy Tucker, blues singer-songwriter and pianist known for his 1964 hit “Hi-Heel Sneakers,” was born Robert Higginbotham in Springfield, OH in 1933.

Richard Bell, keyboardist, pianist, member of Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, and member of The Band during the 1990s, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1946.

Murray Head, singer, guitarist, actor, and original cast member of Jesus Christ Superstar, was born in London, England in 1946.

Eddy Grant, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of the Equals, and a solo artist, was born Edmond Montague Grant in Plaisance, British Guiana in 1948.

Alan Clark, original keyboardist for Dire Straits, was born in Great Lumley, County Durham, England in 1952.

Andy Gibb, singer, songwriter, and youngest brother of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, was born in Manchester, England in 1958.

Charlie and Craig Reid, identical twin brothers known as the duo The Proclaimers, were born in Leigh, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1962.

John Fruciante, guitarist, singer, producer, composer, solo artist, and guitarist with Red Hot Chili Peppers, was born in Queens, NY in 1970.