Today in Rock & Roll History: November 19th

1964: The Supremes became the first all-female group to reach #1 on the UK singles chart with “Baby Love.”

1965: “Till the End of the Day” by the Kinks was released in the UK. The single reached #8 on the British chart and In early March the next year, the single was issued in America, where it rose to #50.

1966: The Supremes had their eighth #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” A week later the record topped the R&B chart and a week after that it also went to the top of the Cash Box pop chart.

1966: While on a flight back to London after a vacation in Africa, Paul McCartney got the idea for the Beatles to create new personas for an “alter ego band” in order to free themselves from the predictable “Beatles” image and to allow them to explore a different approach to their music. Less than a week later, the group began sessions for their next album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

1966: Eddie Floyd was at #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart with his first charting single and biggest hit, “Knock On Wood.” The record peaked at #28 on the Hot 100 and was his highest-charting UK single, reaching #19.

1968: Mr. Fantasy, the debut album by Traffic, entered the Billboard pop chart, where it later peaked at #88. Originally released in America by United Artists Records as Heaven Is in Your Mind, the US version of the LP had a significantly different track list from its original British release. The title of the US album was quickly changed back to Mr. Fantasy, but the track list remained until United Artists went out of business and Island Records released the original UK version in America in 1980.

1974: The first single from Linda Ronstadt’s fifth solo album, Heart Like a Wheel, “You’re No Good,” was released. Written by Clint Ballard, Jr. and originally recorded by Dee Dee Warwick in 1963, Ronstadt had had begun performing the song to close her live shows early in 1973 after it had been suggested to her by band member Kenny Edwards. The song had been a last-minute choice for the album, and after completion, Capitol Records was initially unsure whether to release it as a single. Ronstadt’s version became the song’s most successful cover as well as her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February of 1975. It also set a precedent for Ronstadt’s single releases over the next five years, which were virtually all remakes of classic rock songs.

1976: Electric Light Orchestra’s sixth studio album, A New World Record, was released in the US following its release in the UK earlier in September. The album marked the band’s shift toward shorter pop songs and it proved to be their breakthrough in the UK, becoming the group’s first album to reach the top 10, peaking at #6. In the US, the LP was their second top 10, reaching #5.

1983: Tina Turner began her 1980s comeback when her version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” hit the UK singles chart. It later entered the US charts in January of 1984, peaking at #26 in March.

1992: R.E.M. played a benefit show for Greenpeace at the 40 Watt Club in their hometown of Athens, GA a month after the release of their eighth album, Automatic for the People. The band’s only concert in support of the album, the show was recorded using a mobile solar-powered recording studio, and went on to be one of the group’s most widely bootlegged shows.

Birthdays Today

Robert White, soul musician and one of the guitarists for Motown house band, The Funk Brothers, was born in Harrisburg, PA in 1936.

Ray Collins, vocalist, percussionist, and original member of the Soul Giants who, after the addition of Frank Zappa, became the Mothers of Invention, was born in Pomona, CA in 1936.

Geoff Goddard, songwriter, singer and instrumentalist who wrote hits for artists such as Heinz Burt, Mike Berry, The Tornados, The Outlaws, and Screaming Lord Sutch, was born in Reading, Berkshire, England in 1937.

Hank Medress, singer and record producer who started out as a member of doo-wop group the Linc-Tones, who became the Tokens after the departure of member Neil Sedaka, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1938.

Warren “Pete” Moore, singer-songwriter, record producer, and bass singer and original member of The Miracles, was born in Detroit, MI in 1939.

Fred Lipsius, saxophonist, arranger, and original member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, who also performed with Simon and Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, and others, was born in the Bronx, NY in 1943.

Joe Correro, Jr., session musician and drummer with Paul Revere and the Raiders, was born in 1946.

Tom Evans, Badfinger vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, was born in Liverpool, England in 1947.

Alice Peacock, folk singer-songwriter, was born in White Bear Lake, MN in 1969.