Today in Rock & Roll History: May 15th

1963: The Hollies began recording their first album, Stay with the Hollies.

1965: The Byrds debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with their second single, their cover Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” The record reached the top of the chart by the end of June.

1965: Donovan debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with his first single, “Catch the Wind.”

1967: After a dinner party hosted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein to mark the completion of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Paul McCartney went to join Keith Moon and Eric Burdon at a Georgie Fame show at London’s Bag O’ Nails club. There he met American photographer Linda Eastman, and two years later, they were married.

1968: George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended the 21st Cannes Film Festival in France for the premiere of director Joe Massot’s Wonderwall, for which Harrison had composed the soundtrack.

1970: King Crimson release their second studio album, In the Wake of Poseidon.

1971: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were at the top of the Billboard pop chart with their third album and first live LP, 4 Way Street. Comprising recordings from their tour the previous year, the album features performances from shows at the Fillmore East in New York, the Los Angeles Forum, and the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.

1971: Pink Floyd played at the Crystal Palace Bowl in London. Performing in front of a large lake, the show’s finale included a large inflatable octopus. A number of fish are reportedly killed from the noise as well as the flares used to inflate the octopus.

1972: The Beach Boys released their eighteenth studio album, Carl and the Passions – ‘So Tough’. Long-time member Bruce Johnston left during the album’s initial sessions and the band was joined by new members Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar.

1975: Fleetwood Mac debuted their new lineup at a show in El Paso, Texas. It was the first incarnation of the band that included Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and John and Christine McVie.

1976: The Rolling Stones went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart for the first of two weeks with their fifteenth American LP and sixth #1 in the US, Black And Blue.

1975: The Jackson released Moving Violation, the group’s tenth studio album and last with Motown Records.

1981: The Moody Blues released their tenth album, Long Distance Voyager. It was the group’s first album featuring keyboardist Patrick Moraz, who replaced founding member Mike Pinder. The album reached #7 in the UK and became the group’s second #1 album in both the US and Canada.

1981: Squeeze released their fourth studio album East Side Story. The album contains the band’s last top 10 UK single, “Labelled with Love,” and was their first with keyboardist Paul Carrack, who replaced Jools Holland.

1982: After hitting the top of the UK singles chart five weeks earlier, “Ebony and Ivory” by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney’s reached #1 in the US. Written by McCartney and produced by George Martin, both musicians recorded their parts separately due to conflicting schedules. The song spent seven weeks at #1 in the US—the longest of any of McCartney’s works after the Beatles—and was Wonder’s longest running chart-topper as well. It was also the first time a single released by any member of the Beatles made it onto the Billboard R&B chart.

1982: Progressive rock supergroup Asia went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart for the first of nine non-consecutive weeks. It was the only #1 album by the group and became the best-selling album of the year.

1983: Siouxsie Sue and Budgie of Siouxsie and the Banshees released the exotica album Feast as the duo Creatures. The pair had decided where to record the album by randomly placing a pin on the map of the world. The result was the state of Hawaii, and several of the album’s songs are about their experiences in the region.

1990: Concrete Blonde released their third studio album, Bloodletting.

1995: The Stranglers released their twelfth studio album, About Time.

2001: The Go-Go’s released God Bless the Go-Go’s, the group’s fourth studio album and first in seventeen years.

2001: Depeche Mode released their tenth studio album, Exciter.

2007: Wilco released Sky Blue Sky, the band’s sixth studio album and first with guitarist Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. It became their highest debuting album on the Billboard pop chart, entering the chart at #4.

Birthdays Today

Utah Phillips, folk singer, storyteller, poet, and labor organizer, was born in Cleveland, OH in 1935.

Trini Lopez, singer, musician, and actor, was born Trinidad López III in Dallas, TX in 1937.

Ian Amey, lead guitarist and Tich of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, was born in Enford, Wiltshire, England in 1944.

Brian Eno, musician, composer, record producer, singer, and original keyboardist for Roxy Music before leaving to record solo and produce acts such as Robert Fripp, David Bowie, John Cale, Devo, Ultravox, U2, Daniel Lanois, David Byrne, and Talking Heads, was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England in 1948.

Mike Oldfield, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Reading, Berkshire, England in 1953.

Ahmet Zappa, musician, writer, and son of Frank Zappa, was born Ahmet Emuukha Rodan Zappa in Los Angeles, CA in 1974.