Today in Rock & Roll History: November 28th

1960: “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley started six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Originally recorded by Charles Hart in 1927, the song had been a favorite of the wife of Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who recommended it to Presley. Presley’s version also managed to reach #3 on the R&B chart.

1964: The Shangri-Las’ biggest and only #1 hit, “Leader of the Pack,” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1964: Marianne Faithfull’s first hit single, “As Tears Go By,” debuted on Billboard Hot 100. It later peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 as well as #9 on the British chart. It was one of the first songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, along with their manager Andrew Loog Oldham, but the Stones themselves didn’t release a recording of the song until December of 1965.

1964: The Kinks’ first hit, “You Really Got Me,” peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US after hitting the top of the UK chart for two weeks in September.

1966: After two weeks on chart, Cream had their second UK top 40 hit with “I Feel Free,” which later peaked at #11. Producer Robert Stigwood had made the decision to omit the song from the band’s debut album and release it as a single instead.

1966: Paul Revere & the Raiders released their sixth studio album, The Spirit of ‘67. Featuring hit singles such as “Hungry” and “Good Thing,” the album was the group’s last to reach the top 10 in the US.

1966: The Four Tops released “Standing in the Shadows of Love,” the second single from their fourth studio album, Reach Out.

1967: The Beatles fifth fan club Christmas record, “Christmas Time (Is Here Again),” was recorded and mixed. It was the group’s last Christmas disc to be recorded together at Abbey Road. In 1968 and 1969 each member’s contributions were recorded separately and later edited together.

1968: The Clash released “The Call Up” from fourth studio album Sandinista!.

1969: Three months after the Woodstock festival in New York, 40,000 people descended on the Palm Beach International Raceway for what was called the “First Annual Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival.” The lineup for the three day event included performances by King Crimson, Iron Butterfly, Ten Years After, the Band, Janis Joplin, Sly and The Family Stone, The Byrds, Steppenwolf, the Moody Blues, and the Rolling Stones. The Stones were the festival’s closing act, and after transportation difficulties, they finally started their set eleven hours late in the midst of a cold front that brought rain and unseasonably cool temperatures that severely diminished the crowd.

1970: Dave Edmunds scored his only #1 single when his version of the Dave Bartholomew song “I Hear You Knocking,” originally recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1955, hit the top of the UK chart. The song was also Edmund’s most successful in the US, where it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1970: “Your Song” by Elton John entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually became his first hit single, reaching #8. The song had already been recorded by Three Dog Night for their It Ain’t Easy LP released earlier that year. It was also recorded by The Hollies, for whom John had played keyboards for on several tracks. The Hollies had shown an interest in recording their own version of the song, but their publisher advised them to wait until John’s own version, which he’d already recorded, was released in the US since John’s version was not expected to meet with much success.

1970: Bobby Bloom’s only hit single, “Montego Bay,” peaked at #8 on Billboard Hot 100. The song also reached #3 in the UK and #7 in Australia.

1972: Carly Simon released her third studio album, No Secrets. It became her commercial breakthrough, spending five weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1974: Yes released their seventh studio album, Relayer. It was the group’s first album following the departure of keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who was replaced by Patrick Moraz.

1974: In the summer of 1974, after performing piano and backup vocals on John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges album, Elton John made a bet with Lennon that the album’s lead single, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” would be Lennon’s first US #1 record. Lennon doubted it would, so he promised John he’d join him onstage at one of his shows if it did. That November, “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, so Lennon fulfilled his promise and on Thanksgiving Day, joined John at Madison Square Garden to perform “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “I Saw Her Standing There” in what ended up being Lennon’s last major concert appearance.

1978: Elton John released “Song for Guy,” the second single from his twelfth studio album, A Single Man.

1978: The Blues Brothers, a band fronted by Saturday Night Live cast members John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood Blues, released their debut album, A Briefcase Full of Blues. Consisting of blues and soul covers from the 1950s to the 1970s, the live LP is among the highest-selling blues albums of all time.

1980: The Jam released their fifth studio album, Sound Affects. It is the only Jam album to be co-produced by the band themselves, and contains the only album track co-written by the entire band, “Music for the Last Couple.”

1981: “Better Things,” the first single from the Kinks’ nineteenth studio album, Give the People What They Want, was released in the US.

1984: Prince released “I Would Die 4 U,” the fourth single from his sixth studio album, Purple Rain.

1994: The Rolling Stones released “Out of Tears,” the third single from their twentieth British and twenty-second American studio album, Voodoo Lounge.

Birthdays Today

Berry Gordy Jr., record producer, songwriter, and founder of Motown Records, was born in Detroit, MI in 1929.

Ethel Ennis, jazz vocalist affectionately known as the “First Lady of Jazz,” was born in Baltimore, MD in 1932.

Roy McCurdy, jazz drummer who played and recorded with Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Art Pepper, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and many others, was born in Rochester, NY in 1936.

Bruce Channel, singer-songwriter, was born in Jacksonville, TX in 1940.

Randy Newman, singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist, was born Randall Stuart Newman in Los Angeles, CA in 1943.

R.B. Greaves, R&B and soul singer, was born Ronald Bertram Aloysius Greaves III in Georgetown, Guyana in 1943.

Bill Kinsley, lead guitarist and founding member of The Merseybeats, was born in Anfield, Liverpool, England in 1946.

Gary Taylor, bassist, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist for The Herd, was born Graham John Taylor in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England in 1947.

Beeb Birtles, singer, songwriter and guitarist, solo artist, and member of Zoot, Mississippi, the Little River Band, and Birtles Shorrock Goble, was born Gerard Bertelkamp in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1948.

Paul Shaffer, singer, composer, actor, multi-instrumentalist, musical director for David Letterman and leader of the World’s Most Dangerous Band, was born in Fort William, Ontario, Canada in 1949.

Hugh McKenna, keyboardist for The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, was born in Scotland in 1949.

Matt Cameron, drummer for Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, was born in San Diego, CA in 1962.

Rostam Batmanglij, producer, songwriter, composer, and founding member of Vampire Weekend, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1983.