Today in Rock & Roll History: November 8th

1963: Dusty Springfield released her debut solo single, “I Only Want to Be with You.” The record reached #4 on the UK chart and #16 in the US.

1963: Jan and Dean released “Drag City,” the title track from their fifth album.

1965: During a late night session, the Beatles recorded the George Harrison composition “Think for Yourself” under the working title “Won’t Be There With You.” Afterward, the group recorded their third Christmas record in three takes which were all predominantly ad-libbed.

1965: The Beach Boys released their tenth studio album, Beach Boys’ Party!, which consists mostly of acoustic covers recorded earlier in September. The album reached #6 in the US, #3 in the UK, and spawned a single version of the group’s cover of the Regents’ “Barbara Ann,” which peaked at #2 in the US and became their highest performing single in UK yet, reaching #3 the next year. The original release of Beach Boys’ Party! included a sheet of photographs which misleadingly depicted the band at a party, whereas the album had actually been recorded in a music studio with Informal chatter by friends and family overdubbed later, to give the impression of an impromptu live recording. The album was created to buy time for Brian Wilson to produce the group’s next studio album, Pet Sounds.

1965: Dusty Springfield and the Dave Clark Five performed for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at London’s annual Royal Variety Performance.

1968: Dusty Springfield released “Son of a Preacher Man” from her fifth studio album, Dusty in Memphis. The single became her last top ten chart hit for almost twenty years.

1968: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by the Beatles was issued as a single in the US ahead of the release of the group’s self-titled ninth studio album.

1968: Motown Records released Diana Ross & the Supremes Join the Temptations, a collaborative album by the label’s two best selling groups.

1969: Johnny Winter released his third studio album, Second Winter. The original plan was to edit recording sessions down to one album, but when it was decided that all of the recordings were too good to cut, the album was released as a “three-sided” LP, with a blank fourth side on the vinyl record.

1969: Motown group The Originals topped Billboard’s R&B chart for the first of five weeks with their only #1 R&B hit, “Baby, I’m For Real.”

1971: Paul McCartney held a party to launch his new band Wings and their first album, Wild Life, at the Empire Ballroom in London’s Leicester Square. McCartney hand-wrote invitations for the 800 guests, which included Elton John, Keith Moon, John Entwistle, Jimmy Page, and Ronnie Wood. Originally titled Wings, Wild Life had been delayed several times and was finally released in the UK in November, followed by its American released a month later.

1971: Led Zeppelin released their untitled fourth studio album. After the band’s previous album received lukewarm reviews from critics, Jimmy Page decided their fourth album would officially be untitled, leading to it being referred to as a number of unofficial titles. The cover features no band name, as the group wished to be anonymous and to avoid easy pigeonholing by the press. The album became a commercial and critical success and features many of the band’s best-known songs.

1971: Billy Preston released his sixth studio album, I Wrote A Simple Song.

1971: Sessions began at Trident Studios in London for David Bowie’s fifth studio album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

1972: “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon was released. It later became her first #1 single and biggest hit and features un-credited backing vocals provided by Mick Jagger.

1972: Lou Reed released his second solo album, Transformer. The LP was produced by Velvet Underground fan David Bowie and collaborator Mick Ronson, and Bowie used his own fame to promote Reed, who had not yet achieved mainstream success.

1974: The Carpenters released their version of “Please Mr. Postman,” a song first recorded by The Marvelettes in 1961.

1974: Thin Lizzy released their fourth studio album, Nightlife. It was the band’s first album as a quartet with the addition of guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson.

1974: Cat Stevens’ first live album, Saturnight, was released exclusively in Japan, where it was recorded.

1975: Elton John’s tenth studio album, Rock of the Westies, debuted at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1975: After the breakup of Sly and the Family Stone in January, Sly Stone released his first solo album, High on You. Stone was joined by Family Stone members trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, guitarist Freddie Stone, and backup singers Little Sister. With subsequent recordings, Stone returned to using the name of his former band, although they were largely solo recordings.

1975: “Over My Head,” the second single from Fleetwood Mac’s second self-titled album, written by keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, entered the Billboard Hot 100. It was the group’s first song to enter the Hot 100 since “Oh Well” six years earlier and peaked at #32 on the Hot 100 and #18 on the Cash Box chart.

1982: George Harrison released “Wake Up My Love,” the first single from his tenth studio album, Gone Troppo.

1982: The Human League released “Mirror Man,” the first single from the group’s Fascination! EP.

1982: Between the release of their first and second albums, The Waitresses released the EP I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts.

1993: Phil Collins released his fifth studio album, Both Sides.

1994: The Eagles released their second live album and their first album after a fourteen-year-long breakup, Hell Freezes Over.

1996: Sheryl Crow released “Everyday Is a Winding Road,” the second single from her self-titled second studio album. Backing vocals are provided by Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn and the song was purportedly inspired by Crowded House drummer Paul Hester.

2004: U2 released “Vertigo,” the lead single from their eleventh studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

2012: After the death of Davy Jones in February, the Monkees began a reunion tour at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California. It was the first Michael Nesmith had publicly played with fellow members Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz since 1997.

Birthdays Today

Arnold Dwight “Gatemouth” Moore, blues and gospel singer and songwriter, was born in Topeka, KS in 1913.

Bert Berns, 1960s songwriter and record producer whose songwriting credits include “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and produced such hits as “Baby, Please Don’t Go,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” and “Under the Boardwalk,” was born in the Bronx, NY in 1929.

Rodney Slater, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, was born in Crowland, Lincolnshire, England in 1941.

J.J. Jackson, soul and R&B singer, songwriter, and arranger best known for the song “But It’s Alright,” was born in the Bronx, NY in 1942.

Donnie Fritts, session musician, songwriter, and keyboardist with Kris Kristofferson for over forty years who was involved in many early songs and recordings created in the Muscle Shoals music industry, was born in Florence, AL in 1942.

Johnny Perez, drummer for the Sir Douglas Quintet, was born in 1943.

Bonnie Bramlett, singer and solo artist who performed with her husband, Delaney Bramlett, as Delaney & Bonnie, was born Bonnie Lynn O’ Farrell in Alton, IL in 1944.

Don Murray, drummer best known for his work with The Turtles, was born in Glendale, CA in 1945.

John Farrar, producer, songwriter, arranger, singer, guitarist, and member of several groups including The Mustangs, The Strangers, Marvin, Welch & Farrar, and The Shadows, was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1945.

Roy Wood, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, solo artist, and co-founder of the Move, Electric Light Orchestra, and Wizzard, was born in Kitts Green, Birmingham, England in 1946.

Minnie Riperton, singer-songwriter, was born in Bronzeville, Chicago, IL in 1947.

Bonnie Raitt, singer-songwriter, was born in Burbank, CA in 1949.

Al Berger, guitarist and original bassist for Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes who later formed his own group, Al Doc Berger’s Nightheat, was born in 1949.

Lee Freeman, rhythm guitarist, harmonica player, and vocalist for Strawberry Alarm Clock, was born in Burbank, CA in 1949.

Rickie Lee Jones, eclectic singer-songwriter, musician, and producer, was born in Chicago, IL in 1954.

Steven Miller, guitarist, keyboardist, and record producer best known for his association with Windham Hill Records, where he helped create notable recordings by artists such as Michael Hedges, Mark Isham, and George Winston, was born in New Jersey in 1956.

Pearl Thompson a.k.a. Porl Thompson, guitarist, keyboardist, and saxophonist with the Cure, was born Paul Stephen Thompson in Surrey, England in 1957.

Terry Lee Miall, drummer for Adam and the Ants, was born in London, England in 1958.

Tim DeLaughter, singer, songwriter, and frontman of both Tripping Daisy and the Polyphonic Spree, was born in Dallas, TX in 1965.