Today in Rock & Roll History: November 18th

1957: As the follow-up to his #3 hit, “Be Bop Baby,” Ricky Nelson recorded “Stood Up” for the Imperial Records label. Released in December, the song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 early the following year, as well as #4 on the R&B chart, #8 on the country chart, and #27 in the UK.

1963: The Beatles made their first appearance on American television during a four minute segment on the NBC evening news program The Huntley-Brinkley Report that documented the British phenomenon. Three months later, the band made their live US debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1967: Pink Floyd’s third UK single, “Apples and Oranges,” was released. It was the final song written by the band’s leader, Syd Barrett, and the first of the band’s songs not to enter the UK chart.

1971: Procol Harum recorded their live album Live in Concert with the Edmunton Symphony Orchestra in Ontario Canada. The single “Conquistador” later became their second of two top 20 hits in the US.

1972: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder entered the Billboard Hot 100. The record later became his second #1 on the pop chart and seventh single to top the R&B chart.

1972: Cat Stevens started a three-week run at the top of the Billboard pop chart with Catch Bull At Four, his sixth LP and first to top the chart.

1972: “Do It Again” the debut single by Steely Dan, entered the Billboard Hot 100, later peaking at #6.

1974: The title track and first single from George Harrison’s fifth solo LP, Dark Horse, was released.

1974: Genesis released their sixth studio LP, the two-disc concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The album peaked at #10 in the UK, #41 in the US, and was the group’s last with lead vocalist Peter Gabriel before his departure the following year.

1978: Billy Joel’s sixth studio album, 52nd Street, became his first to reach #1 when it topped the Billboard pop chart. The album produced three top 40 singles and was awarded two Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album was also among the first to be commercially released on the compact disc format.

1981: Joan Jett released I Love Rock ‘n Roll, her second album and first with her backing band, The Blackhearts. It became Jett’s only top 10 LP, reaching #2 on the Billboard pop chart, as well as her most commercially successful album, largely based on the success of the title track.

1994: A portion of a Rolling Stones concert at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl became the “first major cyberspace multicast concert,” utilizing an experimental backbone and virtual network built on top of the internet known as “Mbone.” Five songs were broadcast and only about two hundred people were able to tune in at the same time to see the choppy footage.

2002: Almost a year after his death, George Harrison’s twelfth and final studio album, Brainwashed was released. Recordings had begun over a decade before Harrison’s death, as early as 1988, but were repeatedly delayed. The album was completed by Harrison’s son Dhani and longtime friend and collaborator Jeff Lynne. The LP reached #29 in the UK and #18 in the US.

Birthdays Today

Johnny Mercer, singer, lyricist, songwriter of over 1,500 songs, and record executive who co-founded Capitol records, was born in Savannah, GA in 1909.

Hank Ballard, R&B singer, songwriter, lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s, was born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit, MI in 1927.

Don Cherry, jazz trumpeter and world fusion pioneer, was born in Oklahoma City, OK in 1936.

Graham Parker, singer-songwriter and leader of Graham Parker and the Rumour, was born in London, England in 1950.

John Parr, singer and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England in 1954.

Michael Ramos, keyboardist for BoDeans, was born in 1958.

Kim Wilde, pop singer, was born Kim Smith in Chiswick, Middlesex, England in 1960.

Duncan Sheik, singer-songwriter, was born in (Montclair, NJ in 1969.

Aoife O’Donovan, singer-songwriter, solo artist, and member of Crooked Still, Sometymes Why, the Wayfaring Strangers, and I’m With Her, was born in Newton, MA in 1982.