Today in Rock & Roll History: October 17th

1956: Mickey Baker and Sylvia Vanterpool, known together as the duo Mickey & Sylvia, recorded their first single and biggest hit, “Love is Strange.” Based on a guitar riff by blues singer and guitarist Jody Williams, the song had been first recorded in the spring of 1956 by its writer, Bo Diddley, with Williams playing guitar, but this version was not released until 2007.

1957: Jailhouse Rock, directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Elvis Presley, premiered at Loew’s State Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, where Presley had previously worked as an usher. Before production began, songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were commissioned to create the film’s soundtrack. After not sending distributor MGM for months, the two were called to a meeting in New York City. Instead of working, they toured the city and were eventually confronted by publisher Jean Aberbach, who locked them in a hotel room until they had created the material. Four hours, later, the duo had written four songs, including the film’s titular track. Later that month, Presley began recording the soundtrack at Radio Recorders in Hollywood.

1960: The breakup of Dion & The Belmonts became official when it was reported in Billboard magazine. Lead singer Dion DiMucci claimed the group wasn’t bluesy enough, white the rest of the band claimed Dion just wanted a taste of solo fame.

1960: The Drifters moved into the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 with “Save the Last Dance For Me.” The single later reached #2 in the UK in December.

1960: After being childhood friends and classmates in the 1950s, 17-year-old Keith Richards ran into Mick Jagger once again at the Dartford railway station in Kent, England. The Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records that Jagger was carrying revealed a common interest, and a musical partnership soon followed, with the two playing together in a local group called Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys alongside such musicians as future Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor.

1962: The Beatles made their television debut in Manchester on the local Granada Television program “People and Places,” which broadcast the show live in the north and north-west of England. The group performed two songs: “Some Other Guy” and their new single “Love Me Do.”

1962: “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by The Four Seasons entered the Billboard Hot 100, on its way to becoming the group’s second #1 record.

1963: At EMI’s studios in London, the Beatles recorded a Christmas message for their fans, as well as a cover of the Smokey Robin song “You Really Got a Hold On Me.” The group spent most of the day recording their fifth UK single, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and its B-side, “This Boy.” The A-side later became the Beatles’ first American #1 after it entered Billboard Hot 100 in January of 1964, starting the British invasion of the American music industry. It has since become the Beatles’ second best selling single ever.

1964: Herman’s Hermits debuted on the US charts when the group’s first single, “I’m Into Something Good” entered the Billboard Hot 100.

1964: Manfred Mann’s first hit single in the US, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” became the British group’s only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after entering the chart six weeks earlier. A month earlier, the song had become the group’s first to top the chart in the UK.

1964: The Rolling Stones’ second American album, 12 X 5, was released in the US by London Records. The album is an expanded version of the EP Five by Five, which had followed the group’s debut album in the UK.

1966: Texas garage rock band The 13th Floor Elevators released their debut album, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. The album’s cover is cited by many to be the first use of the word “psychedelic” in reference to the music within. Two other groups to release music using the term that year were New York bands The Blue Magoos with their debut album, Psychedelic Lollipop, and The Deep with their first album, Psychedelic Moods.

1966: Chicago band The Cryan’ Shames released their debut album, Sugar and Spice.

1967: Jimi Hendrix jammed with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, standing in briefly for Mick Taylor, at Klooks Kleek, London.

1967: Hair, advertised as the American tribal love rock musical, opened off-Broadway at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater at New York’s East Village. The production eventually moved onto Broadway for a successful run.

1969: After being banned from the US for five years, the Kinks were finally able to launch a tour in the States, starting at the Fillmore East in New York City opening for Spirit. The band previously had trouble getting permits from the American Federation of Musicians after they appeared on the NBC variety show Hullabaloo in 1966 without filing the proper paperwork, and for what was considered “unprofessional conduct” since the band’s members often fought onstage.

1969: Led Zeppelin began their fourth US tour with two shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

1970: The Jackson 5 started five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their fourth and final #1 pop hit, “I’ll Be There.”

1970: The first single from Eric Clapton’s debut solo album, a cover of the J.J. Cale song “After Midnight,” entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later climbed to #18.

1971: The Temptations released “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)” from their fifteenth studio album, Solid Rock.

1975: Little Feats released their fifth studio album, The Last Record Album.

1980: Dire Straits released their third studio album, Making Movies.

1980: Bruce Springsteen released fifth studio album, The River. Produced by Jon Landau, Springsteen, and bandmate Steven Van Zandt, it was Springsteen’s first album to go #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1984: The Go-Go’s released “Turn to You,” the second single from their third studio album, Talk Show.

1987: Bruce Springsteen topped the UK album chart with his eighth studio album, Tunnel of Love. The album reached #1 in the US in early November.

1988: The Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup that comprised George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, released their debut album, The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. The group’s formation had come about through happenstance after the group’s members collaborated to assist Harrison record a B-side for his “Cloud Nine” album, which resulted in the their first single, “Handle with Care.”

1988: Steve Earle released his third studio album, Copperhead Road.

1989: Billy Joel released his eleventh studio album, Storm Front.

1994: Pink Floyd released “High Hopes,” the second single from the group’s fourteenth studio album, The Division Bell.

2000: The Specials released Skinhead Girl, an album of covers of popular songs originally released by British label Trojan Records.

2009: Rod Stewart released his twenty-fifth studio album, Soulbook.

2014: Manfred Mann released his second solo studio album, Lone Arranger.

Birthdays Today

Cozy Cole, jazz drummer best known for instrumental hits “Topsy I” and “Topsy II,” who has been cited as an influence to many contemporary rock drummers, was born William Randolph Cole in East Orange, NJ in 1909.

Barney Kessel, jazz guitarist, session musician, and member of informal session group known as the Wrecking Crew who recorded with acts such as The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Billie Holiday, and others, was born in Muskogee, OK in 1923.

Rico Rodriguez, ska and reggae trombonist who recorded with the Specials, Jools Holland, Paul Young, and others, was born in Emmanuel Rodriguez in Havana, Cuba in 1934.

James Seals, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and half of folk pop duo Seals and Croft, was born in Sidney, TX in 1941.

Alan Howard, bassist for the Tremeloes, was born in Dagenham, Essex, England in 1941.

Gary Puckett, lead singer of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, was born in Hibbing, MN in 1942.

Jim Tucker, rhythm guitarist and founding member of The Turtles, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1946.

Bill Hudson, musician, actor, and member of the Hudson Brothers, was born in Portland, OR in 1949.

Michael Hossack, drummer for The Doobie Brothers, was born in Paterson, NJ in 1950.

Pino Palladino, record producer, session musician, and bassist with D’angelo, the John Mayer Trio, and the Who, was born Giuseppe Henry Palladino in Cardiff, Wales in 1957.

Ziggy Marley, reggae singer, songwriter, producer, leader of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and son of Bob and Rita Marley, was born David Nesta Marley in Kingston, Jamaica in 1968.