Today in Rock & Roll History: November 21st

1960: German police authorities deported George Harrison from Hamburg after discovering that he was under 18 years of age. The Beatles learned of his deportation the day before, so Harrison stayed up all that night teaching John Lennon his guitar parts so the group could continue without him. The rest of the band remained in Hamburg for a few more performances until they too were deported.

1960: “Stay” by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Written by Williams when he was 15 years old, the 1 minute 36 second song was the group’s only record to enter the top 80 and remains the shortest single ever to reach the top of the American charts.

1960: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by The Shirelles entered the Billboard Hot 100. Over the next ten weeks, the record climbed to #1, making it the first song by an all-girl group to ever do so in the US. The song has since been recorded by many artists, including Carole King in 1971, who had writtenthe song with her husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin.

1964: “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You,” the title track from Marvin Gaye’s fifth studio album, entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually peaked at #6 in January. It peaked at #4 on the R&B chart. At the time, it was Gaye’s most successful single with record sales exceeding 900,000 copies.

1966: The Animals’ fifth American LP, Animalism, was released. Two months later, it became their last to enter the top 40 on the Billboard pop chart, peaking at #33. It was also the band’s last recording prior to their breakup, largely due to financial struggles. Frontman Eric Burdon reemerged the following year with a new group called Eric Burdon and the Animals.

1966: Joan Baez released Noël, an album of traditional Christmas music. It was her first of three albums produced by arranger and conductor Peter Schickele, who became known for his classical compositions under the parodic persona P.D.Q. Bach.

1967: The Marvelettes released the Smokey Robinson written and produced single “My Baby Must Be a Magician” from their eighth studio album, Sophisticated Soul.

1968: Cream recorded “Badge” at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles. Written by both Eric Clapton and Beatles guitarist George Harrison, Harrison also joined the band for the recording session to play rhythm guitar. Due to contractual reasons, Harrison was credited on the album with the pseudonym “L’Angelo Misterioso.” The song’s title came from Clapton misreading Harrison’s handwriting on the lyrics sheet, mistaking “bridge” for “badge.”

1968: Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations released “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” from their joint album Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations. The single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was originally a top 20 hit for Dee Dee Warwick in 1966.

1969: The Moody Blues released their fifth studio album, To Our Children’s Children’s Children.

1970: Two months after launching their television series, The Partridge Family reached the top spot on the Billboard and Cash Box pop charts with their debut single, “I Think I Love You.” It was the group’s biggest hit and only song to reach #1.

1970: Two months after Jimi Hendrix’s death, the Jimi Hendrix Experience topped the UK singles chart for the first and only time with “Voodoo Chile.”

1970: A cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single peaked at #9 and was the group’s only top 40 hit before they shortened their name to “The Dirt Band” and adopted a more pop and rock oriented sound.

1975: David Bowie released “Golden Years,” the lead single from his tenth studio album, Station to Station. The song reached and #8 in the UK and #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

1975: Queen released their fourth studio album, A Night at the Opera. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen, it was reportedly the most expensive album ever recorded at the time of its release.

1977: Earth, Wind & Fire released their eighth studio album, All ‘n All.

1978: The Bee Gees’ contribution to the “Music for UNICEF” fund, “Too Much Heaven,” was released in the US nearly a month after it was issued in the UK. The song reached #1 in the US and was included on their fifteenth studio album, Spirits Having Flown.

1979: Dr. Hook achieved their only #1 on the UK singles chart with “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman.” In the US, the song reached #6.

1980: Steely Dan released their seventh studio album, Gaucho. To record the album, the band used at least forty-two different musicians, spent over a year in the studio, and far exceeded the original monetary advance given by their record label.

1980: Rod Stewart released his tenth studio album, Foolish Behaviour.

1983: Tears for Fears released their sixth single, “The Way You Are,” between the release of their first and second albums. The song is the only one to be written by the full band, including keyboardist Ian Stanley and drummer Manny Elias.

1984: Frank Zappa released Francesco Zappa, an album of chamber music by Italian composer Francesco Zappa, who composed between 1763 and 1788.

1985: Frank Zappa released Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention. The album’s title refers to his previous band, The Mothers of Invention, as well as the Parents Music Resource Center lobby group, who were campaigning to require record companies to put warning stickers on albums they considered offensive. A lengthy warning written by Zappa appeared on the album’s inner sleeves that mocked and derided the campaign.

1987: Billy Idol scored his only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a live version of “Mony Mony,” which he had recorded in 1985 while promoting his compilation album, Vital Idol. Originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells in 1968, the song was first covered by Idol in 1981 on his debut solo release, an EP titled Don’t Stop.

1992: R.E.M. released “Man on the Moon,” the second single from the band’s eighth studio album, Automatic for the People. The song is a tribute to the comedian and performer Andy Kaufman, with numerous references to his career.

1995: Bruce Springsteen released his eleventh studio album and second acoustic album, The Ghost of Tom Joad.

Birthdays Today

Samuel “Buck” Ram, songwriter, producer, and arranger who wrote for and produced The Platters, The Penguins, The Coasters, The Drifters, Ike and Tina Turner, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald, was born in Chicago, IL in 1907.

Andrew Love, saxophone player with the Memphis Horns, who recorded numerous tracks for Stax Records in addition to recording and touring with artists such as Neil Diamond, Elvis Prelsey, Dusty Springfield, The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, and Robert Cray, was born in Memphis, TN in 1941.

David Porter, record producer, songwriter, singer, and collaborator with Isaac Hayes with over 1,700 songwriter and composer credits for artists that include Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Otis Redding, ZZ Top, Tom Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Albert King, and Eurythmics, was born in Memphis, TN in 1941.

Andy Newman, multi-instrumentalist and member and eponym of Thunderclap Newman, was born in Isleworth, Middlesex, England in 1942.

Tom Finn, bassist, vocalist, and founding member of The Left Banke, was born in New York City in 1948.

Mark Tulin, bassist for The Electric Prunes and Smashing Pumpkins, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1948.

John “Rabbit” Bundrick, keyboardist, pianist, organist, touring musician with the Who, session player for artists such as Eric Burdon, Bob Marley, Roger Waters, Free, and principle musician for the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was born in Houston, TX in 1948.

Lonnie Jordan, singer-songwriter and founding member of War, was born in San Diego, CA in 1948.

Randy Zehringer, drummer and percussionist with the McCoys and Johnny Winter, was born in Celina, OH in 1949.

David Williams, singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and session guitarist for Michael Jackson, The Jacksons, The Pointer sisters, Aretha Franklin, the Four Tops, Boz Scaggs, the Temptations, Rod Stewart, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock, and many others, was born in Newport News, VA in 1950.

Livingston Taylor, singer-songwriter and brother of James Taylor, was born in Boston, MA in 1950.

Asa Brebner, bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, and member of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers and Robin Lane & The Chartbusters, was born in Boston, MA in 1953.

Peter Koppes, guitarist and founding member of The Church, was born in Canberra, Australia in 1955.

Björk, eclectic singer, songwriter, lead vocalist for the Sugarcubes, and a solo artist, was born Björk Guðmundsdóttir in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1965.

Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, keyboardist and vocalist for the Sugarcubes, was born in Iceland in 1967.