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: 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.

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.”

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

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

Birthdays Today

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.