Today in Rock & Roll History: November 15th

1956: Elvis Presley made his acting debut in Love Me Tender, which had its premiere at the Paramount Theatre in New York City, followed a week later by the film’s national release.

1960: At Newport 1960 by Muddy Waters was released. Recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival in July, it is sometimes referred to as the first live blues album.

1963: The Dave Clark Five released “Glad All Over.” It became their first big hit, reaching #1 on the UK chart, and was the title track of their debut album.

1965: The Rolling Stones made their first appearance on NBC TV’s rock variety show Hullabaloo performing “She Said Yeah!” and “Get Off of My Cloud.”

1965: The Yardbirds released Having a Rave Up with The Yardbirds, the band’s second American album. Released eight months after Jeff Beck had replaced Eric Clapton, the LP includes songs featuring both guitarists and reflects the group’s blues rock roots and experimentation with psychedelic and hard rock. The album also contains some of the earliest live recordings of Clapton, which had been included on group’s debut UK album, Five Live Yardbirds. Critics have since cited the influential album as a “bridge between beat groups and psychedelia.”

1968: Janis Joplin performed her last gig with Big Brother and the Holding Company at New York’s Hunter College.

1968: The Iveys released their first worldwide single, “Maybe Tomorrow,” on Apple Records. The record shared a title with the group’s only album and about a year later, they changed their name to Badfinger.

1969: “Jam Up and Jelly Tight” by Tommy Roe entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later became his last top 20 hit in the US, peaking at #8.

1969: The Jackson 5 debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their first single, “I Want You Back.” In early January the following year, the song went to the top of both the Hot 100 and R&B charts.

1970: The Velvet Underground released Loaded, the group’s fourth studio album and last to feature main songwriter Lou Reed. Despite producing singles such as “Rock & Roll” and “Sweet Jane,” the album failed to chart.

1970: Van Morrison released his fourth studio album, His Band and the Street Choir. Originally titled Virgo’s Fool, Street Choir, the LP was renamed by Warner Bros. Records without Morrison’s consent.

1971: The spaghetti western film Blindman, starring Ringo Starr as the brother of a notorious bandit, debuted in Rome. The musical theme for the movie was written by Starr and was the B-side of his 1972 single “Back Off Boogaloo.” The track was produced by Klaus Voorman with additional assistance from Badfinger’s Pete Ham.

1972: America released their second studio album, Homecoming.

1972: The Doobie Brothers released their version of “Jesus Is Just Alright” as the second single from their second studio album, Toulouse Street. Originally written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by his own gospel group, The Art Reynolds Singers, in 1966, the song was also covered by The Byrds in 1969. After hearing The Byrds’ version, The Doobie Brothers soon added it to their live repertoire.

1974: Roxy Music released their fourth studio album, Country Life.

1974: Ringo Starr released his fourth studio album, Goodnight Vienna. Following the success of his previous LP, Ringo, Starr worked with many of the same musicians, including Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Robbie Robertson, Harry Nilsson, and producer Richard Perry.

1974: The Doobie Brothers released “Another Park, Another Sunday” backed with “Black Water” as the first single from their fourth studio album, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. The B-side later became the band’s first of two #1 hits.

1974: Faces released their last official single, “You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (Even Take the Dog for a Walk, Mend a Fuse, Fold Away the Ironing Board, or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings).” The song reached #12 in the UK over Christmas and still holds the record for the longest song title ever to enter the British chart.

1974: Elton John’s cover of the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which features backing vocals and guitar by John Lennon under the pseudonym Dr. Winston O’Boogie, was released in the UK three days before it was issued in the US. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in January 1975 and its B-side was another Lennon composition, “One Day (At a Time).”

1975: Pink Floyd released “Have a Cigar,” the first single from their ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here.

1975: The J. Geils Band began recording their second live album, Blow Your Face Out, at a show in the band’s hometown of Boston. Four nights later, the second recording for the album took place at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

1975: “Take It to the Limit” by the Eagles was released. The single reached #4 on the Billboard chart and was the last Eagles song to feature founding member Bernie Leadon before he was replaced by guitarist Joe Walsh.

1975: Pink Floyd released “Have a Cigar,” the first single from their ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here.

1975: “Evil Woman,” the first single from Electric Light Orchestra’s fifth studio album, Face the Music, entered the Billboard Hot 100. It became the band’s first worldwide hit and reached #10 on both the US and UK charts. According to the song’s writer, Jeff Lynne, “Evil Woman,” was originally intended to simply be filler for the album and was written in just thirty minutes—the quickest Lynne had ever written a song.

1976: George Harrison released “This Song,” the lead single from his seventh studio album, Third Three & 1/3. Harrison had written the song after spending a week a New York courtroom in which he unsuccessfully tried to convince a judge that his 1970 song “My Sweet Lord” did not infringe the copyright of the Chiffons’ 1963 hit “He’s So Fine.”

1978: Echo & the Bunnymen made their debut at Liverpool’s Eric’s Club, appearing as the opening act for The Teardrop Explodes. The band played one song, a twenty-minute version of “Monkeys” which was entitled “I Bagsy Yours” at the time.

1978: The Grateful Dead released their tenth studio album, Shakedown Street. Co-produced by Little Feat’s Lowell George and Jerry Garcia collaborator John Kahn, it was the band’s final album with keyboardist Keith Godchaux and backing vocalist Donna Godchaux, who left the band a few months after the its release.

1981: Thin Lizzy released their eleventh studio album, Renegade.

1986: Frank Zappa released Jazz from Hell, his final studio album released during his lifetime.

Birthdays Today

Clyde McPhatter, original lead vocalist for the Drifters and a key figure in the shaping of doo-wop and R&B, was born in Durham, NC in 1932.

Petula Clark, singer, actress, and composer, was born in Epsom, Surrey, England in 1932.

Little Willie John, R&B singer, was born William Edward John in Cullendale, AK in 1937.

Rick Kemp, bass player, guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, and member of Steeleye Span, was born in Little Hanford, Dorset in 1941.

Jim Dickinson, producer, musician, and singer who fronted multiple bands, backed several Atlantic Records acts like Aretha Franklin, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Sam & Dave as a member of the Dixie Flyers, produced artists including Big Star, Willy DeVille, The Replacements, Toots and the Maytals, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and collaborated with many others, was born in Little Rock, AR in 1941.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad, one of the lead singers of Swedish pop band ABBA, commonly known as Frida Lyngstad, was born in Bjørkåsen, Ballangen, Norway in 1945.

Steve Fossen, co-founder and original bassist for Heart, was born in Seattle, WA in 1949.

Joe Puerta, bassist, vocalist, co-founder of Ambrosia, and member of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, was born in Lomita, CA in 1951.

Frank Infante, bassist and guitarist for Blondie from 1977-1982, was born in New York City in 1951.

Tony Thompson, session musician and drummer for The Power Station and Chic, was born in New York City in 1954.

Joe Leeway, multi-instrumentalist and member of Thompson Twins from 1981-1986, was born in Islington, London, England in 1957.

Jay Bennett, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer, and singer-songwriter best known as a guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist for Wilco from 1995-2002, was born in Rolling Meadows, IL in 1963.