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 was originally 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. It became the Crickets’ biggest hit, reaching #1 on the US and UK charts and #2 on the US R&B chart.

1957: “Whispering Bells” by The Del-Vikings was released. The single became their second top 10 hit, reaching #9 on the Billboard pop charts and #5 on the R&B chart.

1958: “Think It Over” by the Crickets was released. The single reached #27 on the Billboard pop chart, #9 on the R&B chart, and was later included on Buddy Holly’s first posthumous LP, The Buddy Holly Story.

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 Yardbirds was released in the UK, where it became the band’s last top 10 single.

1967: English folk rock band Fairport Convention played their first live gig at St. Michael’s Church Hall in Golders Green. One member of the audience, drummer Martin Lamble, convinced the group that he could do a better job than Shaun Frater and replaced him. Female vocalist Judy Dyble soon after joined the group as well.

1971: Boz Scaggs released “Near You” from his third album, Moments.

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: Supertramp released “Give a Little Bit,” the first single and opening track from their fifth album, Even in the Quietest Moments…. Vocalist Roger Hodgson has stated that the song was inspired by the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” and that he wrote it when he was 19 or 20 before introducing it to the band five or six years later.

1977: “Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from their self-titled debut album was released as a single exclusively in the UK.

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 Young’s most well-known songs, “Like a Hurricane.”

1982: Billy Idol released “Hot in the City,” the first single from his eponymous debut studio album.

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

Junior Parker, near Bobo, Coahoma County, MS) (blues singer and musician who worked with artists including Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Pat Hare, Matt “Guitar” Murphy who wrote songs including “Mystery Train,” “Love My Baby,” and “Feelin’ Good,” was born Herman Parker, Jr. in 1932.

Don Williams, country singer, songwriter, and musician whose songs have recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Alison Krauss, Pete Townshend, Leon Russell, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, was born in Floydada, TX in 1939.

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

Billy Anderson, musician best known as the longtime drummer and percussionist for The Searchers who also worked with Lulu, The Nashville Teens, and Junior Campbell, was born in Peebles, Pebblesshire, Scotland in 1944.

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

Peter Knight, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for Steeleye Span from 1971-1977, was born in London, England in 1947.

Marty Kristian, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and founding member of the New Seekers, was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1947.

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 and The Creatures, was born Susan Janet Ballion in London, England in 1957.

Eddie Harsch, keyboardist for The Black Crowes, was born Edward Hawrysch in Toronto, Ontario, Canada 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.