Today in Rock & Roll History: November 5th

1956: Nat King Cole became the first major black performer to host a variety show on national television when The Nat King Cole Show premiered on NBC.

1966: Eight weeks after the debut of their television series, the Monkees had the #1 single in the US with their debut single, “Last Train to Clarksville.”

1967: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition made their television debut on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Over the next three years, seven of their songs reached the US top 40 and they had their own TV show in the fall of 1971.

1970: “Immigrant Song,” the only single from Led Zeppelin’s third LP, was released in the US. The song was reportedly inspired by the band’s first stop on their 1970 tour in Reykjavík, Iceland.

1971: Elton John’s fourth studio album, Madman Across the Water, was released.

1982: George Harrison released his tenth studio album, Gone Troppo, on his Dark Horse Records label. His last album before five-year hiatus, it received middling commercial and critical success, and reached only #108 in the US. One of the most popular tracks on the album, “Dream Away,” was originally intended to be included on the soundtrack to the 1981 film Time Bandits, directed by friend Terry Gilliam and produced by Harrison’s HandMade Films production company. Gilliam later claimed the song’s lyrics reference the friction between he and Harrison due to Gilliam’s reluctance to include any of Harrison’s songs in the film.

1974: The Eagles released “Best of My Love.” It later became the band’s first of five single to go to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1977: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers first appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Breakdown.”

1988: The Beach Boys had their first #1 single in 22 years with “Kokomo,” the first single from their twenty-sixth album, Still Cruisin’.

2000: U2 topped the UK chart with their tenth studio album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The LP reached #3 in the US and was the group’s first not to reach #1 since The Unforgettable Fire in 1984.

Birthdays Today

Ike Turner, musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer, and early pioneer of 1950s rock and roll best known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with then-wife Tina Turner, was born Izear Luster Turner, Jr. in Clarksdale, MS in 1931.

Art Garfunkel, singer, poet, teacher, actor, solo artist, and half of the folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel with Paul Simon, was born in Queens, New York City in 1941.

Pablo Gomez, drummer for Los Bravos, was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1943.

Gram Parsons, influential country and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, solo artist, and member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was born Ingram Cecil Connor III in Winter Haven, FL in 1946.

Peter Noone, singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and actor, who became the lead singer, spokesman, and frontman of Herman’s Hermits at age 15, was born in Davyhulme, Lancashire, England in 1947.

Charles Bradley, funk, soul, and R&B singer, was born in Gainesville, FL in 1948.

Donnie McDougall, singer and guitarist for the Guess Who, was born in 1948.

Peter Hammill, singer-songwriter and founding member of Van der Graaf Generator, was born in Ealing, London, England in 1948.

Helen O’Hara, vocalist and violinist for Dexys Midnight Runners, was born Helen Bevington in Bristol, England in 1956.

Mike Score, keyboardist, guitarist, and lead singer of A Flock of Seagulls, was born in Beverly, East Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1957.

Bryan Adams, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1959.

David Bryson, guitarist and vocalist for Counting Crows, was born in 1961.

Jonny Greenwood, lead guitarist and keyboardist of Radiohead, was born in Oxford, England in 1971.

Ryan Adams, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer, was born in Jacksonville, NC in 1974.