Today in Rock & Roll History: November 11th

1957: “Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly entered the Billboard Hot 100, on its way to becoming his second top 5 single in the US, ultimately peaking at #3.

1957: “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis was released. It became his biggest hit, reaching #2 on the US pop charts, #3 on the R&B chart, and #1 on the country and western chart. The single sold a million copies in its first ten days and went on to sell over five million copies worldwide.

1958: The original version of “The Twist” was taped by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side to “Teardrops on Your Letter” at a Cincinnati, Ohio recording studio. Ballard’s version was a moderate hit in 1960, reaching #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, and two years later, a cover by Chubby Checker became his first #1 hit and started a nation-wide dance craze.

1964: Tom Jones recorded “It’s Not Unusual” at Decca Studios in London. The then-unknown Jones recorded the song originally as a demo for singer Sandie Shaw, but Shaw was so impressed with Jones that she recommended he release it himself. The record was the second Decca single Jones released and went to #1 on the UK chart the following year. It was also the first hit for Jones in the US, where it peaked at #10 in May. The BBC initially refused to play the song because of Jones’ sexy image, but it did receive airplay on UK pirate radio.

1965: The Beatles completed their Rubber Soul album, recording “You Won’t See Me,” “Wait,” “Girl,” and additional tracks for “I’m Looking Through You.”

1967: Van Morrison made his only appearance on ABC TV’s American Bandstand, singing his first top 10 hit, “Brown Eyed Girl.”

1972: Loggins and Messina’s self-titled second album entered Billboard pop chart, the same day that their single, “You’re Mama Don’t Dance,” entered the Billboard Hot 100. The album peaked at #16 and the song became the duo’s biggest hit, reaching #4.

1977: Wing’s single “Mull of Kintyre” was released. The song had been written as a tribute to the picturesque Kintyre peninsula in Scotland and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre, where Paul McCartney had owned High Park Farm since 1966. The song became Wings’ biggest hit in Britain, reaching #1 by Christmas, and was the first single to sell over two million copies nationwide.

1980: The first and only album by Rockpile, Seconds of Pleasure, entered the Billboard pop chart. Consisting of guitarist and vocalists Dave Edmunds and Billy Bremner, bassist and vocalist Nick Lowe, and drummer Terry Williams, the band had played together on various solo albums by both Edmunds and Lowe in previous years, but Seconds of Pleasure was the only album released under the Rockpile name. The LP reached #27 in the US and #34 in the UK.

1995: Smashing Pumpkin’s third LP, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, became their first to go to #1 when it debuted at the top of the Billboard pop chart.

Birthdays Today

Mose Allison, jazz and blues pianist, singer, and songwriter, was born in Tippo, MS in 1927.

LaVern Baker, rhythm and blues singer, was born Delores Evans in Chicago, IL in 1929.

Jack Keller, composer, songwriter, and record producer who co-wrote several pop hits in the 1950s and 1960s and wrote for and produced the Monkees, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1936.

Roger Lavern, keyboardist for the Tornados from 1962-1964, was born Roger Keith Jackson in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England in 1937.

Narvel Felts, country and rockabilly singer, was born in Keiser, AR in 1938.

Vince Martell, lead guitarist for Vanilla Fudge, was born in the Bronx, NY in 1945.

Chris Dreja, guitarist and bassist for the Yardbirds, was born in Surbiton, Surey, England in 1945.

Jim Peterik, vocalist and songwriter for Ides of March, founder of Survivor, and songwriter for several other groups, was born in Berwyn, IL in 1950.

Andy Partridge, singer, songwriter, and co-founder of XTC, was born in Mtarfa, Malta in 1953.

Marshall Crenshaw, musician, singer, and songwriter, was born in Detroit, MI in 1953.

Dave Alvin, singer, songwriter, guitarist, co-founder of the Blasters, and member of pioneering punk band X and rockabilly folk band the Knitters, was born in Downey, CA in 1955.

Ian Craig Marsh, keyboardist and founding member of Human League who left the group in 1980, was born in Sheffield, England in 1956.