Today in Rock & Roll History: November 2nd

1963: Peter, Paul and Mary held the top two spots on the Billboard album chart with their third album, In the Wind, which started its first of five weeks at #1, and the trio’s self-titled first album, which had previously occupied the top spot, at #2.

1963: “In My Room,” originally released as the B-side of the Beach Boys’ single “Be True to Your School,” entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #23.

1966: The Temptations released “(I Know) I’m Losing You.” The single reached #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #8 on the Hot 100 pop chart and was later included on the group’s fifth studio album, The Temptations with a Lost o’ Soul.

1966: Cream had their first UK top 40 hit with “Wrapping Paper,” a song composed by bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce and with lyrics by poet Pete Brown. Drummer Ginger Baker and guitarist Eric Clapton reportedly did not care for the song.

1967: Cream released their second studio album, Disraeli Gears. The LP was the band’s first to reach the top 5 in the US, peaking at #4, as well as the first of several Cream albums produced by future Mountain bassist and vocalist Felix Pappalardi. The title came from a malapropism by roadie Mick Turner, who confused derailleur gears for a bicycle with the name of 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

1967: “Flaming” by Pink Floyd was issued in the US as a single from their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

1968: Glen Campbell entered the Billboard Hot 100 with the Jimmy Webb-penned song “Witchita Lineman.” Backed by famed Los Angeles session group The Wrecking Crew, the song appeared on Campbell’s twelfth studio album of the same name.

1968: At Cream’s Madison Square Garden performance during their farewell tour, Atlantic Records co-founder and president Ahmet Ertegun and manager Robert Stigwood presented the band with a platinum disc commemorating American sales of their double album Wheels of Fire, the world’s first platinum-selling double LP.

1968: “Midnight Confessions” by the Grass Roots peaked at #5 on Billboard Hot 100, making it the group’s most successful record.

1969: Creedence Clearwater Revival released their fourth studio album, Willy and the Poor Boys. It was the band’s last of three studio albums released that year, arriving just three months after Green River.

1973: Ringo Starr released his third studio album, Ringo. It was his first rock album after releasing the standards tribute Sentimental Journey and the country and western LP Beaucoups of Blues, both in 1970. The album featured contributions from all three other former members of the Beatles as well as from artists such as Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins, Steve Cropper, Marc Bolan, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, David Bromberg, Harry Nilsson, and Martha Reeves. The album peaked at #7 on the UK album chart and #2 in the US.

1973: “Piano Man,” the lead single and title track from Billy Joel’s second studio album was released. The song depicts a fictionalized retelling of Joel’s own experience as a piano-lounge singer for six months in 1972-1973 at the now defunct Executive Room bar in the Wilshire district of Los Angeles. It became Joel’s first major hit and his signature song, peaking at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April of 1974.

1974: George Harrison became the first former member of the Beatles to go on tour as a solo artist when he began a 45-show North American tour with Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada. Often referred to as the “Dark Horse Tour,” the concerts served as a launch for Harrison’s Dark Horse Records label. Harrison was also joined by a band of talented sidemen that included Billy Preston, Willie Weeks, Andy Newmark, Tom Scott, Chuck Findley, and Robben Ford.

1974: “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” by Stevie Wonder went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His fourth #1 pop hit and tenth R&B #1, the song features backing vocals by the Jackson 5 and is one of Wonder’s angriest political statements, aimed squarely at President Richard Nixon, who had resigned two days after the record’s release.

1974: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were at #1 in the Billboard pop chart with their first compilation album, So Far. It was the group’s third straight LP to top the chart.

1978: English band The Police released their debut studio album, Outlandos d’Amour. The LP was recorded intermittently at Nigel Gray’s Surrey Sound Studios over six months on a budget of £1,500 borrowed from drummer Stewart Copeland’s brother Miles.

1979: Marianne Faithfull released her seventh studio album, Broken English.

1981: Neil Young released Re·ac·tor, his eleventh studio album and fourth with backing band Crazy Horse.

1981: The Police released “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” the second single from their fourth studio album, Ghost in the Machine.

1981: The Beach Boys released their cover of The Del-Vikings’ 1957 hit “Come Go With Me” as the second single from their twenty-second studio album, M.I.U. Album.

1982: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released Long After Dark, their fifth studio album and first to feature Howie Epstein on bass and harmony vocals.

1985: Simple Minds scored their second #1 album in the UK with Once Upon a Time. In the US, it was the group’s only LP to reach the top 50, peaking at #10.

1985: “Small Town” by John Mellencamp was issued as a single after its initial release as part of his eighth studio album, Scarecrow.

1987: George Harrison released Cloud Nine, his eleventh studio album, first after a five-year hiatus from his career as a solo artist, and his last solo studio album released during his lifetime.

1987: Bryan Ferry released his seventh solo studio album, Bête Noire.

1992: Neil Young released his nineteenth studio album, Harvest Moon.

1993: The Band released Jericho, their eighth studio album and first to feature the group’s latter-day configuration. Several guests musicians appear on the album, which became commonplace on future releases.

1993: Frank Zappa released the orchestral album The Yellow Shark. It was his last album released during his lifetime, issued almost exactly a month before his death. In the album’s notes, Zappa describes the album as one of the most fulfilling projects of his career and the best representation of his orchestral works.

1993: The Chicks, then known as the Dixie Chicks, released their third studio album, Shouldn’t a Told You That. It was the group’s last to feature singer and bassist Laura Lynch. Five years later, Natalie Maines joined the group for their breakthrough fourth album, “Wide Open Spaces.”

1993: The Bee Gees released their twentieth studio album, Size Isn’t Everything.

1999: Counting Crows released their third studio album, This Desert Life.

Birthdays Today

Phil Woods, jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader, and composer who contributed to songs by artists such as Billy Joel, Steely Dan, and Paul Simon, was born in Springfield, MA in 1931.

Max Crook, pioneer of electronic music in pop known for his synthesizer solo on Del Shannon’s 1961 hit “Runaway,” which he co-wrote, was born in Lincoln, NE in 1936.

Earl “Speedo” Carroll, lead vocalist of 1950s doo-wop group The Cadillacs who joined The Coasters in 1961, was born in New York City in 1937.

Jay Black, lead singer of Jay & the Americans, was born David Blatt in New York City in 1938.

Bruce Welch, guitarist, songwriter, producer, singer, and member of The Shadows, was born Bruce Cripps in Bognor Regis, Sussex, England in 1941.

Brian Poole, lead singer for The Tremeloes, was born in Dagenham, England in 1941.

Keith Emerson, songwriter, composer, producer, keyboardist with the Nice, and founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, was born in Todmorden, Yorkshire, England in 1944.

J.D. Souther, singer and songwriter, session musician, and producer for Linda Ronstadt who co-wrote hits for the Eagles and was a member of the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, was born John David Souther in Detroit, MI in 1945.

Len “Chip” Hawkes, bassist and vocalist for The Tremeloes, was born in London, England in 1946.

Dave Pegg, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and bassist for Fairport Convention, the Ian Campbell Folk Group, and Jethro Tull, was born in Acocks Green, Birmingham, England in 1947.

Maxine Nightingale, R&B and soul singer, was born in Wembley, London, England in 1952.

Alan Winstanley, record producer, songwriter, and audio engineer who’s worked with artists and groups including Madness, the Stranglers, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, They Might Be Giants, and Hothouse Flowers, was born in Fulham, London, England in 1952.

Carter Beauford, drummer and founding member of Dave Matthew Band, was born in Charlottesville, VA in 1957.

k.d. lang, singer-songwriter, was born Kathryn Dawn Lang in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1961.

Chris Walla, guitarist for Death Cab for Cutie, was born in Bothell, WA in 1975.