Today in Rock & Roll History: March 7th

1966: Brian Wilson released his debut solo single “Caroline, No,” the first solo record released by a member of the Beach Boys. Written by Wilson and Tony Asher, it reached #32 on Billboard Hot 100 and appeared two months later as the final track on the Beach Boys album “Pet Sounds.”

1966: Tina Turner recorded her vocals for “River Deep – Mountain High” during sessions produced by Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. The record later reached #3 in the UK but only #88 on the US charts.

1969: The Who released the original recording of “Pinball Wizard” from their rock opera Tommy. The single reached #4 in the UK and #19 on the US charts after being released in the States two weeks later.

1970: Simon & Garfunkel’s final studio album Bridge Over Troubled Water started a ten-week run at #1 on the Billboard pop chart. The duo had split-up by the time of its release.

1975: David Bowie’s R&B-influenced LP Young Americans was released. The album reached #2 in the UK and #9 in US.

1985: The charity single “We Are the World” by USA for Africa was released. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian, the project had been inspired by the release of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by British charity supergroup Band Aid the year before and featured contributions by dozens of artists.

1987: The Beatles’ first five albums, Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, and Help!, were released on compact disc. Since Capitol Records decided to release the original UK mixes of the albums on CD, it meant that the first four CDs were released in mono, marking the first time that many of the mono mixes were available in the US.

2008: To mark the 40th anniversary of their album Odessey and Oracle, the four surviving original members of the Zombies began a three-night series of concerts at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire Theatre in London.

2012: Sales of albums by The Monkees soared following the death of singer Davy Jones. Best Of The Monkees re-entered the Billboard pop album chart at #20 with sales of over 17,000 units.

Birthdays Today

Hamilton Bohannon, percussionist, songwriter, record producer, and leader and arranger of Bohannon & The Motown Sound, who provided backing for many of the label’s top acts on tour, including Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and The Four Tops, was born in Newnan, GA in 1942.

Chris White, singer, songwriter, and bassist for the Zombies and Argent, was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England in 1943.

Townes Van Zandt, singer-songwriter who had been an influence to countless artists such as Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Robert Earl Keen Jr., Norah Jones, and Jason Isbell, was born John Townes Van Zandt in Fort Worth, TX in 1944.

Arthur Lee, singer, songwriter, and original leader and frontman of Love, was born Arthur Porter Taylor in Memphis, TN in 1945.

Peter Wolf, original lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band and a solo artist, was born Peter Blankfield in Bronx, NY in 1946.

Matthew Fisher, musician, songwriter, producer, and organist and vocalist for Procol Harum, was born in Addiscombe, Croydon, England in 1946.

Rocco Prestia, bassist for Tower of Power, was born in Sonora, CA in 1951.

Ernie Isley, guitarist and percussionist for the Isley Brothers, was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1952.

Randy Guss, musician, songwriter, and drummer for Toad the Wet Sprocket, was born in Detroit, MI in 1967.