Today in Rock & Roll History: May 24th

1963: Gerry and the Pacemakers released their second single, “I Like It.” Like their debut single, “How Do You Do It,” the song was written by Mitch Murray, produced by George Martin, and reached #1 on the UK chart.

1965: Chad & Jeremy’s third studio album, Before and After, was released. It was the duo’s first with Columbia Records and includes their final top 20 hit, the LP’s title track.

1968: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones was released in the UK. After multiple albums that explored pop and psychedelia, the record was seen as the band’s return to their blues roots. Less than four weeks later, the it became the group’s seventh #1 single in Britain, and peaked at #3 in the US in early July. Guitarist Keith Richards later wrote in his autobiography that he and Mick Jagger had written the song’s lyrics while staying at Richards’ country house. They were awoken one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded, “Oh, that’s Jack – that’s jumpin’ Jack.”

1968: “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan was released in the UK. Written while studying Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India with the Beatles, the song features an Indian influence with the use of the stringed instrumental called a tambura, which was gifted to him by George Harrison, who also helped write the lyrics. A week later, the single was issued in the US. Some sources claim the song was written for the band Hurdy Gurdy, which included Donovan’s friend and guitar mentor Mac MacLeod, but the collaboration, in which Donovan would have produced the track, fell through due to creative differences. In Donovan’s own autobiography, he says that he originally wanted the song to be recorded by Jimi Hendrix.

1968: Small Faces released their third studio album and first concept album, Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake. It was the final studio album released during the band’s original incarnation, and their last containing solely new material until Playmates in 1977. By the end of June, the LP became the group’s first #1 on the UK chart.

1969: Don Kirshner’s Calendar Records label released “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies. The band was a fictional group made up of characters from the animated television series The Archie Show. The real performers behind the group were studio musicians assembled by Kirshner. “Sugar, Sugar” later became The Archies’ first of two top 10 singles and only to reach #1, hitting the top of the charts in the US, UK, and Canada.

1969: “Get Back” by the Beatles with Billy Preston climbed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group’s seventeenth #1 record in the US.

1969: The Guess Who made their US television debut on American Bandstand performing their latest single, “These Eyes.”

1973: “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin, from their fifth studio album, Houses of the Holy, was released as a single in the US.

1974: David Bowie released his eighth studio album, Diamond Dogs. Bowie had wanted to make a theatrical production of George Orwell’s novel 1984 and had begun writing material for it after completing his previous album, Pin Ups. Orwell’s estate denied Bowie the rights however, so the songs ended up on the second half the Diamond Dogs album. The LP became Bowie’s third #1 in the UK and first top 10 album in the US, reaching #5.

1974: After its release in the US at the beginning of April, the soundtrack to Harry Nilsson’s musical film Son of Dracula was released in the UK.

1974: The self-titled debut album by English supergroup Bad Company was released, featuring former members of Free Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

1975: Earth, Wind & Fire topped the US singles charts with “Shining Star,” the group’s seventh single and first to enter the top 20. In March, the record had become their first #1 on the R&B charts.

1976: The Beach Boys released their cover of Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music” as the lead single from their twelfth studio album, 15 Big Ones.

1977: After finishing their ambitious Works Volume 1 album, Emerson, Lake & Palmer began a tour of North American, accompanied by a 70-piece orchestra, starting with two shows at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

1986: The Monkees began a reunion tour at the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York with Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork. Michael Nesmith did not join in on the tour, except for one show at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre in September.

1988: Camper Van Beethoven’s fourth studio album and first major-label album, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, was released on Virgin Records.

1993: Rod Stewart’s second live album Unplugged… and Seated was released. The LP had been recorded in early February as part of MTV’s Unplugged series at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and aired on television in early May. It was Stewart’s only appearance on the program and the first time he had performed with former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood in nearly twenty years.

1994: Jimmy Buffett’s eighteenth studio album, Fruitcakes, was released.

Birthdays Today

Max Bennett, jazz bassist, session musician often associated with The Wrecking Crew, who played and recorded with artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, The Monkees, Frank Zappa, and many others, was born in Des Moines, IA in 1928.

Tommy Chong, actor, writer, director, musician, activist, comedian, and half of comedy duo Cheech & Chong, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1938.

Prince Buster, singer-songwriter, producer, and influential figure in the development of ska, rocksteady, and reggae, was born Cecil Bustamente Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica in 1938.

Bob Dylan, influential singer-songwriter often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, MN in 1941.

Tony Valentino, guitarist and co-founder of the Standells, was born in 1941.

Derek Quinn, guitarist and harmonica player for Freddie and the Dreamers, was born in Didsbury, Manchester, England in 1942.

Patti LaBelle, R&B and soul singer, songwriter, was born Patricia Louise Holt in Philadelphia, PA in 1944.

Steve Upton, drummer for Wishbone Ash, was born in Wrexham, Wales in 1946.

Waddy Wachtel, composer, record producer, and session guitarist for several artists who has written or co-written dozens of songs and produced numerous records, was born in New York City in 1947.

Albert Bouchard, drummer, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and founding member of Blue Öyster Cult, was born in Watertown, NY in 1947.

Rosanne Cash, singer-songwriter and oldest daughter of Johnny Cash, was born in Memphis, TN in 1955.

Guy Fletcher, multi-instrumentalist best known as a keyboardist for Dire Straits who has also performed with Steve Harley, Bryan Ferry, and Mark Knopfler and recorded as a solo artist, was born in Maidstone, Kent, England in 1960.

Rich Robinson, singer, songwriter, guitarist and co-founder of the Black Crowes and The Magpie Salute, was born in Atlanta, GA in 1969.