Today in Rock & Roll History: May 3rd

1958: Cliff Richard played his first concert with the band that later became known as The Shadows, who at the time were known as the Drifters.

1964: Gerry and the Pacemakers made their US television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, a month before their first appearance on the Billboard chart, performing “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” and “I’m the One.”

1966: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the The Temptations was released. The single later peaked at #13 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on R&B chart. As per Motown Records’ policy, Norman Whitefield replaced Smokey Robinson as the Temptation’s main producer due to the single’s success.

1968: The Beach Boys began a tour of the US with Indian meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C.. Shows were split between performances by the Beach Boys and a lecture on transcendental meditation by the Maharishi. The tour was originally intended to span nearly thirty shows at primarily college venues across the country, but after three days and five concerts, the venture was abandoned after poor ticket sales, poor sound systems, under-rehearsed backing musicians, the Beach Boys’ out-of-tune singing, audiences’ hostile reaction to the Maharishi’s segment, and the Maharishi’s preoccupation with making a documentary film about himself.

1969: Sly and the Family Stone’s fourth album Stand! was released. Considered the group’s artistic high-point, the LP became the band’s most commercially successful album to date.

1969: Three Dog Night’s cover of Harry Nilsson’s “One” entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the band’s second single and became their first top 10 hit, reaching #5 in the US and #4 in Canada.

1969: “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later reached #3. The record was Presley’s first US top 10 hit in four years and first in three years in the UK.

1969: Both “Bad Moon Rising” and its B-side “Lodi,” the first single from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s third LP Green River, entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Bad Moon Rising” later reached #2 in June and became the group’s first UK #1 in September, while “Lodi” peaked at #52 on the Billboard chart.

1975: Chicago started a two week run at #1 on the Billboard pop chart with their third LP to top the chart, Chicago VIII.

1976: Paul McCartney made his first concert appearance in the US in almost ten years when Wings kicked off their 31-date Wings Over America tour at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX. The best performances from the tour were overdubbed and compiled, for release as the triple album Wings Over America. In 1980, footage from the Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles shows was released in theaters as the concert film Rockshow.

1976: A benefit concert organized by Paul Simon for the New York Public Library raised $30,000. Participants at the Madison Square Garden show included Jimmy Cliff, Phoebe Snow, and the Brecker Brothers.

1980: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band started six weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart with Seger’s eleventh studio LP and only album to top the chart in the US, Against the Wind.

1980: “Little Jeanie” by Elton John entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song became Elton’s biggest hit since “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” in 1976, reaching #3 on the chart.

1982: The second album by Modern England, After the Snow, was released. Featuring the worldwide hit single “I Melt with You,” the album was the group’s first to chart in the US, where it reached #70.

1982: Frank Zappa released Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, and album consisting half of studio material and half live recordings from Zappa’s 1981 US tour with studio overdubs.

1986: On its way to selling a million copies worldwide, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” became his first and only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally recorded as a duet with Chaka Khan, but Khan’s record company refused to allow her to release work on Palmer’s label, Island Records.

1988: Bruce Hornsby and the Range released their second album, Scenes from the Southside.

1994: The Allman Brothers Band released Where It All Begins, the group’s eleventh studio album and last with original guitarist Dickey Betts.

Birthdays Today

Bing Crosby, singer and actor, was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, WA in 1903.

Pete Seeger, folk singer, songwriter, and activist, was born in Manhattan, NY in 1919.

James Brown, R&B, funk, and soul singer, songwriter, and record producer known as the “Godfather of Soul,” was born in Barnwell, SC in 1933.

Franki Valli, singer, actor, and frontman for the Four Seasons, was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, NJ in 1934.

Napoleon XIV, singer, songwriter, and record producer known for his 1966 hit single “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!,” was born Jerrold Samuels in 1938.

Pete Staples, bassist for The Troggs, was born in Anodver, Hampshire, England in 1944.

Mary Hopkin, singer and songwriter, was born in Pontardawe, Wales in 1950.

Christopher Cross, singer-songwriter, was born Christoper Geppert in San Antonio, TX in 1951.

David Ball, instrumentalist for Soft Cell, was born in Leeds, England in 1959.