Today in Rock & Roll History: May 27th

1957: “That’ll Be The Day” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets was issued by Brunswick Records. The song had originally been recorded by Holly and the Three Tunes the summer before and was one of several tunes that Decca Records had prohibited Holly from re-recording. To get around this restriction, producer Norman Petty credited the second version to the Crickets, which was released on Decca subsidiary label Brunswick, leading Holly to simultaneous have contracts with two labels. All future recordings by the Crickets were henceforth issued by Brunswick, and their version of “That’ll Be the Day” was included on the group’s debut album, The “Chirping” Crickets, which was released later that year in November.

1963: Bob Dylan’s second LP The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was released by Columbia Records. Unlike his self-titled debut album, which contained only two original songs, a majority of the compositions on Dylan’s sophomore release were originals. The LP reached #22 on the Billboard pop chart in October of 1963, and #1 in the UK in the spring of 1965. Several of the album’s other songs have since been regarded as classics of the 1960’s folk scene.

1966: “Over Under Sideways Down” by The Yardbird was released in the UK, where it became the band’s last top 10 single.

1972: Procol Harum’s live version of Conquistador entered the Billboard Hot 100. Recorded with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the song was the lead single from the group’s live album recorded at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Canada. The record became Procol Harum’s second highest charting single in the US, reaching #16 on the Billboard chart.

1975: Wings released their fourth studio album, Venus and Mars. After the recording of the band’s previous LP, Band on the Run, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Geoff Britton were added in 1974, though Britton quit after six months and was replaced by Joe English. The album was recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London, Allen Toussaint’s Sea-Saint Studios in New Orleans, and Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles. It became the band’s third straight #1 in the US and second of two #1 albums in the UK.

1976: Atlantic Records released Music from the Warner Bros. Picture ‘Sparkle’. Produced by Curtis Mayfield, the album was the soundtrack to the film Sparkle, but with the vocals of actress Irene Cara replaced with that of Aretha Franklin.

1977: Declan McManus made his live debut as Elvis Costello with an unscheduled performance at the Nashville Rooms in London supporting Graham Parker’s backing band, the Rumour, and playing several songs from his soon-to-be released debut album, My Aim Is True. In attendance at the show was Stiff Records executive and Costello’ manager, Jake Riviera.

1977: Neil Young released his eighth studio album, American Stars ‘n Bars. The album was compiled from recording sessions over a period of twenty-nine months and includes one of Youngs most well-known songs, “Like a Hurricane.”

1994: The Eagles began their Hell Freezes Over reunion tour after fourteen years apart at Irvine Meadows in Laguna Hills, California.

1996: Grand Funk Railroad opened their first tour in twenty years with the band’s three original members in Raleigh, North Carolina.

2003: Led Zeppelin’s triple live album How the West Was Won was released. It featuring recordings from the band’s 1972 US tour and later debuted at the top of the Billboard chart in June.

2007: The Police began their 30th anniversary worldwide reunion tour in Vancouver, Canada.

2008: John Hiatt’s Same Old Man album was released.

2008: Cyndi Lauper released her ninth studio album, Bring Ya to the Brink.

Birthdays Today

Cilla Black, singer, television presenter, and actress, was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in Vauxhall, Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1943.

Bruce Cockburn, singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1945.

Pete Sears, multi-instrumentalist who has played with numerous bands and artists across a variety of genres, including Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, Dr. John, Long John Baldry, Jerry Garcia, and Los Lobos, was born in Bromley, Kent, England in 1948.

Siouxsie Sioux, lead singer for Siouxsie and the Banshees, was born Susan Janet Ballion in London, England in 1957.

Neil Finn, singer, songwriter, guitarist for Split Enz, founder of Crowded House, and a solo artist, was born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand in 1958.