Today in Rock & Roll History: November 29th

1963: The Beatles’ fifth British single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was released in the UK. Advanced orders exceeded a million copies, sending it up the UK chart where it eventually took the top spot from their first million-selling single, “She Loves You.” It was released in the US nearly a month later and became the band’s first American #1, ushering in the British invasion of the American music industry.

1967: “Autumn Almanac” by The Kinks was released in the US after being released in the UK a month earlier.

1967: Bob Dylan completed work on his eighth studio album, John Wesley Harding, recording “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” and “Down Along The Cove” with Nashville musician Pete Drake playing pedal steel guitar.

1969: Blood, Sweat & Tears’ recording of the Laura Nyro song “And When I Die” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1969: Keeping Blood, Sweat & Tears out of the top spot were the Beatles with their nineteenth #1 on the Billboard pop chart, “Come Together.”

1969: The first single from The Band’s self-titled second album, “Up on Cripple Creek” backed with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” was released. The double A-sided record later became the group’s first top 40 single in the US, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1976: Queen had their first #1 record when “Bohemian Rhapsody” went to the top of the UK chart for the first of eight straight weeks. The single was a worldwide hit, reaching #1 in several other countries in addition to peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the Cash Box pop chart. After being used in the 1992 film Wayne’s World, the song returned to the Billboard chart and reached a new peak at #2.

1980: “Hey Nineteen,” the first single from Steely Dan’s seventh studio album, Gaucho, was released. It became the group’s third and final top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #10.

1986: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s first live album, Live/1975-1985, debuted at #1 on the Billboard pop album chart. It was the first time an album had debuted at the top of the pop chart since since Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life in 1976 and spent a total of seven weeks at #1. It also became the first five-record set to reach the top 10 and the first to sell over a million copies.

1986: “Big Time” by Peter Gabriel entered the Billboard Hot 100. It later became his second of two top 10 singles on the US pop chart.

Birthdays Today

Merle Travis, country and western singer, songwriter, and guitarist who designed the first solid body electric guitar, was born in Rosewood, KY in 1917.

John Mayall, singer, guitarist, organist, songwriter and one of the most well-known of the British blues players of the 1960s and 1970s, whose musical career spans over sixty years, was born in Macclesfield, England in 1933.

Peter Bergman, writer and comedian best known as a member of The Firesign Theatre, was born in Cleveland, OH in 1939.

Denny Doherty, singer, songwriter, and founding member of the Mamas and the Papas and the Mugwumps, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1940.

Seán Cannon, lead singer and guitarist of the Dubliners, was born in Galway, Ireland in 1940.

Felix Cavaliere, singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, touring member of Joey Dee and the Starliters, vocalist and keyboardist for The (Young) Rascals, and a solo artist, was born in Pelham, NY in 1942.

Ronnie Montrose, guitarist with the Edgar Winter Group and his own group Montrose, who also worked as a session musician for several artists including Boz Scaggs, Van Morrison, Gary Wright, The Beau Brummels, the Neville Brothers, and Johnny Winter, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1947.

Barry Goudreau, solo artist and original guitarist for Boston, was born in Boston, MA in 1951.

Michael Dempsey, bassist who has performed as a member of several post-punk and new wave bands including The Cure and Associates, was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia in 1958.