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 10 weeks, the record climbed to #1, making it the first 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 wrote the song with her husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin.

1964: “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” by Marvin Gaye entered the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at #6 in January and #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.

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.”

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 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.

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.

1987: Billy Idol scored his first and only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a live version of “Mony Mony,” which had been recorded in 1985 while promoting his compilation album, Vital Idol.

Birthdays Today

Samuel “Buck” Ram, songwriter, popular music 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 at 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, and singer 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.

John “Rabbit” Bundrick, keyboardist, pianist, and organist, known for his work with the Who, as well as artists such as Eric Burdon, Bob Marley, Roger Waters, Free, who was also the principle musician for 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, folk musician and brother of James Taylor, was born in Boston, MA in 1950.

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

Björk, eclectic singer and songwriter, was born in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1965.