Today in Rock & Roll History: May 6th

1957: Ricky Nelson debuted on the US singles charts with his first single, “A Teenager’s Romance.”

1965: James Brown recorded “I Got You (I Feel Good)” at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida. Released later that year in October, the song became Brown’s highest charting single and first of several top 10 hits on the Billboard pop chart.

1965: While staying at a hotel while on tour in Clearwater, Florida, legend has it that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, half-asleep, recorded to tape a guitar riff that was stuck in his head before falling asleep. The next day, Richards played back the tape and discovered what he’d recorded the night before. Paired with lyrics by vocalist Mick Jagger, Richard’s overnight sketch became the signature guitar riff for the band’s next hit single, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The song became the Stones’ first US #1 that summer, and their fourth in the UK.

1966: “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones was released in the US a week before it was issued in the UK. The song became their third #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, their sixth #1 in England, and the first #1 hit single in both the US and UK to feature a sitar.

1967: The Grateful Dead debuted on the Billboard pop album chart with their eponymous debut LP.

1968: Manfred Mann’s fifth studio album was released in the US as The Mighty Quinn by Mercury Records. It was the group’s second. The UK version of the LP was released by Fontana Records at the end of June with the title Might Garvey!. Despite containing two top 5 hits, the album failed to chart and the group split up a year later.

1970: Poco released their self-titled second album. It was the band’s first album to feature Timothy B. Schmit who replaced Randy Meisner.

1972: The Staple Singers had their first #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with, “I’ll Take You There.” A month later, the single became their first of two chart-topping records on the Hot 100 pop chart.

1972: “Rocket Man” by Elton John entered the Billboard Hot 100.

1973: After parting ways with longtime musical partner Art Garfunkel in 1970, Paul Simon launched his first solo tour at Boston’s Music Hall. The beginning of the tour coincided with the release of his second solo album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, which had released the day before. Joining Simon on the tour were gospel group the Jessy Dixon Singers and Urubamba, a group of musicians from Argentina and Uruguay founded in 1956 by Jorge Milchberg. The group had previously toured and with Simon & Garfunkel and recorded with them on such songs as “El Condor Pasa.” An official live LP from the tour, Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin, was released the following spring.

1977: After signing their first major recording contract, Dublin band Boomtown Rats performed for a group of record company employees at Studio 51 in London.

1977: Denny Laine, then a guitarist for Wings, released his second solo album, Holly Days. A tribute to Buddy Holly, the LP is made up of several covers of recorded and/or written by Holly. The album was produced by Paul McCartney, who also played most of the instrument during recording.

1991: “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M. was released. It was the second single from their Out of Time album and went to #10 on Billboard Hot 100.

1995: Oasis scored their first UK #1 single when “Some Might Say” went to the top of the UK charts. It was the first single released from the band’s second album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” and the last track by the band to feature original drummer Tony McCarroll.

2003: John Hiatt released his seventeenth album, Beneath This Gruff Exterior. It was Hiatt’s first album with New West Records and even though backing band The Goners had backed Hiatt on two previous albums, it was the first LP in which the group received front cover credit.

2003: Jack Johnson released his second studio album, On and On.

Birthdays Today

Kal Mann, lyricist best known for writing the words to hits like Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear” and “Let’s Twist Again” by Chubby Checker, was born Kalman Cohen in Philadelphia, PA in 1917.

Denny Wright, jazz and classical guitarist and session musician who worked with many artists including Lonnie Donnegan and Ella Fitzgerald, was born in Bromley, Kent, England in 1924.

Herbie Cox, lead singer for the Cleftones, was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1939.

Colin Earl, pianist with Mungo Jerry, was born in Richmond upon Thames, London, England in 1942.

Bob Seger, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist, was born in Detroit, MI in 1945.

Robbie McIntosh, drummer and founding member of the Average White Band, was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1950.

John Flansburgh, songwriter, singer, guitarist, and half of the duo They Might Be Giants, was born in Lincoln, MA in 1960.

Larry Steinbachek, keyboardist, percussionist, and co-founder of Bronski Beat, was born in 1960.

Stan Cullimore, guitarist for The Housemartins, was born in Kingston upon Hull, England in 1962.

Tony Scalzo, musician, songwriter, and founding member of Fastball, was born in Honolulu, HI in 1964.

Mark Bryan, founding member, songwriter, and lead guitarist of Hootie and the Blowfish, was born in Silver Spring, MD in 1967.

Chris Shiflett, guitarist for the Foo Fighters, was born in Santa Barbara, CA in 1971.