Today in Rock & Roll History: May 26th

1963: Elvis Presley recorded “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise” at RCA Studios in Nashville.

1965: The Rolling Stones headlined that evening’s episode of Shindig! on ABC. Additional acts on the show included Sonny & Chere, Jackie DeShannon, Jimmie Rogers, and Chicago bluesman Howlin’ Wolf who, as he made his US television debut, was introduced by the Stones as “one of [their] greatest idols.”

1966: The Rolling Stones went to #1 on the UK singles chart with “Paint It Black.”

1967: “Carrie Anne” by The Hollies was released in the US. After reaching #3 in the UK, the single later peaked at #9 in the US in August.

1967: The Beatles’ eighth studio album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in the UK one week before it was issued in America. It was the first Beatles album in which the track listings were exactly the same for the UK and US versions. Less than two weeks later, the album sold over 250,000 copies and debuted on the UK chart at #1, where it stayed for another twenty-two consecutive weeks. In the US, the LP spent a total of fifteen straight weeks at the top of the Billboard chart, and in 1968, it became the first rock album to receive the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

1967: The Mothers of Invention released their second studio album, Absolutely Free. Since the band’s debut LP Freak Out!, the group expanded to include woodwinds player Bunk Gardner, keyboardist Don Preston, rhythm guitarist Jim Fielder, and drummer Billy Mundi, though Fielder ended up leaving the band before the album’s release.

1969: Diana Ross & the Supremes released their sixteenth studio album, Let The Sunshine In. The album was originally titled No Matter What Sign You Are, but when the single of the same name failed to chart, the album was re-titled.

1969: After their week-long Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton in March after their wedding, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their second Bed-In at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The public proceedings from both protests were filmed and released by Ono for free in 2011 as the documentary Bed Peace.

1970: At EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, George Harrison began recording his first solo album after the break-up of the Beatles, the landmark triple album All Things Must Pass.

1971: The Doobie Brothers released “Nobody,” the first single from the band’s self-titled debut album. Both the single and album failed to chart, but after the group became more successful, “Nobody” was re-released in 1974 and reached #58 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also re-recorded for their 2010 album, World Gone Crazy.

1971: Don McLean recorded “American Pie” during sessions at New York’s Record Plant Studios for the album of the same name. The song became his first #1 single and was his first and only song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

1972: Peter Frampton’s debut solo studio album, Wind of Change, was released in the UK. It was later released in the US on July 10. The album features contributions by Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Mick Jones, Jim Price, and others.

1973: A free concert by Carole King at New York’s Central Park drew a crowd of over 70,000 people. At the time, it was the largest crowd to gather at the park’s Great Lawn for a concert.

1973: “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to reaching #5. The song is based on the true story of how someone had fired a flare gun into the ceiling of Switzerland’s Montreux Casino during a concert by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The resulting fire destroyed the building where Deep Purple was set to record a live album the next day.

1973: The Edgar Winter Group achieved their only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with an instrumental track that had been overdubbed and patched so many times in the studio, the band ended up calling it “Frankenstein.”

1975: Glen Campbell released “Rhinestone Cowboy,” the title track from his thirtieth album. The song was written and first recorded in 1974 by Larry Weiss, whose version didn’t have much of a commercial impact, but Campbell’s version reached #1 on Billboard’s country chart and the Hot 100 pop chart.

1978: Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour released his self-titled debut solo album. It reached #17 in the UK and #29 in the US.

1978: Following its release in the UK earlier in the month, “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones was issued in the UK.

1979: Blondie achieved their second #1 in the UK with “Sunday Girl.”

1982: The J. Geils Band released “Angel in Blue” from their tenth studio album, “Freeze Frame.” Backing vocals on the track are performed by Cissy Houston and Luther Vandross.

1987: The Cure released their seventh studio album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. It was the group’s first to enter the top 40 of the Billboard pop chart in the US and reached the top 10 in several other countries.

1992: Los Lobos released their sixth studio album by Los Lobos, Kiko. With the exception of the soundtrack to La Bamba in 1987, the album has sold more units than any other in the group’s career.

Birthdays Today

Charles “Papa Charlie” McCoy, Delta blues musician and songwriter, was born in Jackson, MS in 1909.

Peggy Lee, singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, ND in 1920.

Frank Guida, songwriter and music producer credited with discovering Gary U.S. Bonds and important figure in the development of the musical style known as the Norfolk Sound, was born in Palermo, Italy in 1922.

Miles Davis, jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and fusion pioneer, was born in Alton, IL in 1926.

Jaki Liebezeit, drummer and founding member of Can, was born Hans Liebezeit in Ostrau, Saxony, Germany in 1938.

Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist for The Band, was born Mark Levon Helm in Elaine, AR in 1940.

Art Sharp, singer and original member of The Nashville Teens, was born in Woking, Surrey, England in 1941.

Ray Ennis, guitarist and vocalist for The Swingin’ Blue Jeans, was born in Huyton, Knowsley, England in 1942.

John “Poli” Palmer, musician and member of The Hellions, Deep Feeling, the Blossom Toes, and Family, was born in Worcester, England in 1943.

Verden Allen, organist and original keyboardist for Mott the Hoople, was born Terence Allen in Cryant, Neath, Wales in 1944.

Garry Peterson, drummer for The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1945.

Mick Ronson, guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, solo artist, and producer who played with David Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars, and was a session musician for artists such as Ian Hunter, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Morrisey, was born in Kingston upon Hull, England in 1946.

Ronnie Harkai, drummer for several Cleveland bands including The Sensations, The Pilgrims, Tom King and the Starfires, and The Outsiders, was born in Cleveland, OH in 1946.

Stevie Nicks, songwriter, vocalist, solo artist, and member of Buckingham Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, was born Stephanie Lynn Nicks in Phoenix, AZ in 1948.

Richard Arthur Sohl, pianist, songwriter and arranger best known for his work with the Patti Smith Group, was born in Queens, NY in 1953.

Marian Gold, lead singer and founder of Alphaville, was born Hartwig Schierbaum in Herford, West Germany in 1954.

Lenny Kravitz, singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer, was born in Manhattan, NY)

Phillip Rhodes, drummer and percussionist for Gin Blossoms, was born in Phoenix, AZ in 1968.

Alan White, drummer for Oasis from 1995-2004, was born in Lewisham, London, England in 1972.