Today in Rock & Roll History: May 31st

1961: Chuck Berry opened his Berry Park in Wentzville, Missouri. The 30-acre complex featured a swimming pool, miniature golf course, ferris wheel, children’s zoo, and a picnic area.

1966: Filming began for The Monkees television show. The first episode premiered on NBC later that year in September.

1969: Blood, Sweat & Tears’ third single, “Spinning Wheel,” was released. The record later peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, making it the band’s only #1 single.

1969: Joe Cocker made his debut on the US album charts with his first LP, With a Little Help From My Friends. Two months later, the album peaked at #35 on the Billboard pop chart.

1969: The 5th Dimension’s fourth LP The Age of Aquarius entered the Billboard pop chart. A month later, it became the group’s highest-charting album, peaking at #2 on both the pop and R&B charts.

1976: The Who made it into the Guinness Book of Records for the loudest ever gig at the Charlton Athletic Grounds in England, which measured 120 decibels from 50 meters away.

1977: Beatlemania, a Broadway musical revue that focused on the music of the Beatles as it related to the events of the 1960s, opened at Winter Garden Theatre in Manhattan.

1988: The second single from Morrisey’s debut solo album, “Everyday Is Like Sunday,” was released. The record went to #9 on the UK chart and has since become one of his best known songs.

1994: The Church released Sometime Anywhere, the group’s ninth studio album and first without founding member Peter Koppes.

1999: Mike + The Mechanics released their fifth studio album, Mike & The Mechanics. Also known as M6, the LP was the band’s last with founding member Paul Young before his death in 2000.

Birthdays Today

Red Holloway, sax and harmonica player who played with artists like B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Billie Holliday, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, George Benson, and John Mayall, was born in Helena, AR.

Peter Yarrow, singer and songwriter, and member of folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, was born in Manhattan, NY in 1938.

Mick Ralphs, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and founding member of Mott the Hoople and Bad Company, was born in Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, England in 1944.

Junior Campbell, composer, songwriter, and founding member, lead guitarist, piano player, and singer for Marmalade, was born William Campbell, Jr. in Parkhead, Glasgow, Scotland in 1947.

John Bonham, drummer for Led Zeppelin, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England in 1948.

Mike Edwards (aka Swami Deva Pramada), cellist for Electric Light Orchestra, was born in West London, England in 1948.

Karl Bartos, musician, composer, and member of Kraftwerk, was born in Berchtesgaden, West Germany in 1952.

Steve White, drummer who’s worked extensively with Paul Weller and the Style Council among other groups, was born in Southwark, London, England in 1965.