Today in Rock & Roll History: May 10th

1960: London-based music promoter Larry Parnes traveled to Liverpool, England to audition groups to back Billy Fury, Johnny Gentle, and Duffy Power on tours of northern England and Scotland. Several hopeful Liverpool acts attended the audition, including Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Silver Beetles, the group that later became the Beatles. At the time, The Silver Beetles’ members included bassist Stu Sutcliffe and drummer Tommy Moore. The band passed the audition and less than two weeks later began a seven-date tour of Scotland backing Johnny Gentle.

1963: The Rolling Stones made their first recordings at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London. Among the tracks recorded was the group’s first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On.”

1964: Dusty Springfield made her television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show singing her first single, “I Only Want to Be With You.” She later made two more appearances on the program in 1965 and 1968.

1965: The Beatles recorded two covers of Larry Williams songs, “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Bad Boy,” at EMI Studios in London.

1969: The Turtles, The Temptations, and Australian singer Helen Reddy performed at the White House for Tricia Nixon’s coming out party. The Turtles were reportedly the favorite group of the president’s 24-year-old daughter, and despite being politically opposed to Nixon, their manager demanded they play the gig. The band arrived at the White House high on marijuana and spooked the Secret Service with an electric metronome that was quickly dismantled. They then did lines of cocaine in their makeshift dressing room in Lincoln’s library before going onstage. At the time, President Nixon was out of the country and Turtles member Howard Kaylan later said that had Nixon been at the show, he likely would have “given him an earful of contempt and probably would have ended up in Gitmo.”

1969: The Ventures released the album Hawaii Five-O. Named after the popular 1968 television series, the LP featured the theme song of the same name and reached #11 on the Billboard pop chart.

1969: Rita Coolidge debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Turn Around And Love You.”

1974: Eric Clapton recorded Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” at Criteria Studios in Miami with producer Tom Down during sessions for his solo LP 461 Ocean Boulevard. After peaking at #9 on the UK singles chart in mid-August, the song became Clapton’s first US #1, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in September.

1974: Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman released his first album Monkey Grip, making him the first member of the Stones to release a solo LP. Issued on the Rolling Stones record label, the album’s backing musicians include Dr. John, Leon Russell, Lowell George, and John McEuen.

1975: Springfield, Missouri’s Ozark Mountain Daredevil’s only top 10 single “Jackie Blue” topped the Cash Box Top 100 chart. The record peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 the following week.

1977: Brothers Johnson released their second album, Right on Time.

1978: The Rolling Stones released the lead single from their Some Girls album, “Miss You,” in the US. Influenced by the disco trend at the time, Mick Jagger had written the song the year before while jamming with keyboardist Billy Preston during rehearsals for gigs at Toronto’s El Mocambo club. Unlike most of the Some Girls LP, “Miss You” featured several studio musicians, including Sugar Blue, Ian McLagan, and Mel Collins. The single reached #3 in the UK and #1 on both the US Billboard and Cash Box charts in the US.

1986: Pet Shop Boys went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their first hit record, a re-recording of their first single, “West End Girls.”

1994: Los Angeles band Weezer released their self-title debut album.

1994: Indigo Girls released their fifth studio album, Swamp Ophelia.

2005: Stand Up, the sixth studio album by Dave Matthew Band, was released. The LP became the group’s fourth consecutive #1 on the Billboard pop chart and was the last to feature full participation from saxophonist LeRoi Moore.

2011: The seventh and final studio album by the Cars, Move Like This, was released. The album was their first since 1987’s Door to Door and their only one without bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr, who had died in 2000. The album was also the last studio appearance by Ric Ocasek before his death in 2019.

Birthdays Today

Larry Williams, singer, songwriter, and R&B and rock pioneer, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1935.

Henry Fambrough, vocalist and original member of the Spinners, was born in Detroit, MI in 1938.

Arthur Alexander, country songwriter and soul singer, was born in Sheffield, AL in 1940.

Jackie Lomax, guitarist and singer-songwriter, was born John Richard Lomax in Wallasey, Cheshire, England in 1944.

Graham Gouldman, singer, songwriter, musician, and founding member of 10cc, was born in Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England in 1946.

Dave Mason, singer, songwriter, guitarist, co-founder of Traffic, and solo artist who has played and recorded with numerous artists including Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, and Steve Winwood, was born in Worcester, England in 1946.

Donovan, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was born Donovan Philips Leitch in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland in 1946.

Jay Ferguson, vocalist, keyboard, percussionist, and original member of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne, was born in Burbank, CA in 1947.

Sly Dunbar, reggae drummer best known as one half of prolific rhythm section Sly and Robbie with Robbie Shakespeare, was born Lowell Fillmore Dunbar in Kingston, Jamaica in 1952.

Bono, songwriter and lead singer of U2, was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, Ireland in 1960.