Today in Rock & Roll History: March 8th

1962: The Beatles, then with Pete Best on drums, made their first BBC radio appearance on the show Teenagers’ Turn, in which they played the Roy Orbison hit “Dream Baby” along with “Maybelline” and “Please Mr. Postman.”

1964: The Dave Clark Five made their US television debut with their first of twelve appearances on CBS’s “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1965: The Beach Boys Today!, the band’s eighth studio album, was released. The LP peaked at #4 in the US, and after being issued in the UK one year later, went to #6 on the UK chart. Produced, arranged, and largely written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love, the album marked a departure from the group’s previous releases through Wilson’s increasingly sophisticated, orchestral approach and the abandonment of themes related to surfing, cars, and teenage love.

1965: “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan was released. Recorded in January, it was lead track on his fifth studio album Bringing It All Back Home released by Columbia Records two weeks later. The single became Dylan’s first top 40 hit in the US, peaking at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100, and also made the top 10 on the UK chart.

1966: Bob Dylan recorded “Just Like a Woman” for his Blonde on Blonde album at Columbia Studios in Nashville.

1967: “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You” by the Monkees was released. Written by Neil Diamond, the single was initially pressed and distributed with the B-side “She Hangs Out” at the direction of manager Don Kirshner, who at the time was struggling with the band and the Monkees’ television show’s producers over who controlled the band’s output. He thought that if he could sneak out the next Monkees single in Canada and get a third straight hit, it would solidify him as the definitive authority on the group’s future releases. Soon after the record started getting airplay in Canada and the US, the television show’s producers fired Kirshner for releasing an unauthorized single. Since the new song was already out as the band’s newest record, it was paired with the Michael Nesmith-penned tune “The Girl I Knew Somewhere.”

1968: “Step Inside Love” by Cilla Black was released. Written by Paul McCartney, the song served as the theme to Black’s music and entertainment television show, which had premiered on the BBC earlier that year.

1968: Concert promoter Bill Graham opened The Fillmore East in New York City’s Lower East Side neighborhood as the companion venue to the Fillmore Auditorium, and its successor, the Fillmore West, in San Francisco. The Fillmore East quickly became known as “The Church of Rock and Roll,” with two-show, triple-bill concerts several nights a week, featuring artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, the Mothers of Invention, the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jefferson Airplane, The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Cocker, Derek and the Dominos, Johnny Winter, and many others. Numerous live albums were also recorded at the venue due to the auditorium’s excellent acoustics. The Fillmore East closed after only three years in June of 1971 with a final concert featuring several special guests that was broadcast live over New York radio.

1969: “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by The 5th Dimension entered the Billboard Hot 100. Originally written for the 1967 musical Hair, the single became the group’s third top 10 hit on the Hot 100 and first #1.

1969: Small Faces played their final gig at the Springfield Theatre in Jersey on the Channel Islands, after which frontman Steve Marriott left the group. Remaining members Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, and Kenny Jones recruited guitarist Ronnie Wood and lead singer Rod Stewart and formed Faces.

1969: James Brown scored his eighth #1 single on Billboard’s R&B chart with “Give It Up or Turnit a Loose.”

1971: North Vietnamese propaganda radio station Radio Hanoi opened its first broadcast with Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” heard by US troops throughout Vietman.

1973: Electric Light Orchestra achieved their first top 10 single in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” which peaked at #9 the following week.

1975: “How Long” by Scottish band Ace, featuring singer Paul Carrack, entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single reached #3 in both the US and Canada as well as #20 in the UK. The song had been composed by Carrack upon his discovery that bassist Terry Comer had been secretly working with the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. Comer however returned to Ace in time to play on the song.

1986: Diana Ross went to #1 on the UK chart for the first time since 1970 with “Chain Reaction,” a song written by the Bee Gees.

2009: U2 reached #1 on the UK chart with their twelfth studio album No Line on the Horizon.

Birthdays Today

Mississippi John Hurt, country blues singer and guitarist, was born in Teoc, MS in 1893.

Ralph Ellis, guitarist for the Swinging Blue Jeans from 1958-1966, was born in Liverpool, England in 1942.

Shel Macrae, lead vocalist and rhythm guitar for the Fortunes from 1966-1977, was born Andrew Raeburn Semple in Burnbank, Scotland in 1943.

Micky Dolenz, musician, actor, radio personality, stage and screen director, and vocalist and drummer for the Monkees, was born George Michael Dolenz Jr. in Los Angeles, CA in 1945.

Randy Meisner, singer, songwriter, bassist, solo artist, and founding member of the Eagles and Poco, was born in Scottsbluff, NE in 1946.

Carole Bayer Sager, lyricist, singer, and songwriter who wrote songs recorded by artists that include Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Phil Collins, Carly Simon, Leo Sayer, Gene Pitney, Dolly Parton, and the Mindbenders, who recorded her first pop hit “A Groovy Kind of Love,” was born in Manhattan, New York City in 1947.

Michael Allsup, guitarist for Three Dog Night, was born in 1947.

Gary Numan, singer, songwriter, composer, producer, member of Tubeway Army, and a solo artist, was born Gary Anthony James Webb in Hammersmith, London, England in 1958.

Peter Gill, drummer for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, was born in Liverpool, England in 1964.