1961: “Runaround Sue” by Dion became his only #1 single when it reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1961: “Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)” by R&B group The Valadiers was released. Written by Robert Bateman, Brian Holland, P Bennet, Lawrence Horn, Ronald Dunbar, and Valadiers members Stuart Avig, Martin Coleman, Art Glasser, and Jerry Light, the song became the group’s only entry on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1966, the song was recorded by the Isley Brothers and the Monitors. The Monitor’s version became their biggest hit on the pop and R&B charts, while the Isley Brothers’ version was shelved until 1972.
1962: Twelve-year-old Little Stevie Wonder made his first recording for Motown Records with “Thank You (For Loving Me All The Way).” The song was issued two years later as the B-side of “Castles in the Sand.”
1963: The Beatles completed recording “I Wanna Be Your Man” during the final session for their second studio LP, With The Beatles. Soon afterward, the band flew to Sweden for their first tour in Scandinavia.
1964: “All Day and All of the Night” by the Kinks was released in the UK. The single later climbed to the #2 spot, and nearly seven weeks later, the song was released in US, where it reached #7 on Billboard Hot 100.
1965: The Castaways’ only hit single “Liar, Liar” peaked at #12 on Billboard Hot 100.
1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded their first single, “Hey Joe,” two weeks after their live debut, at De Lane Lea Studios in London. The song had already been recorded by the Byrds, Love, the Standells, and many other bands, but Hendrix’s down-tempo arrangement had been inspired by folk artist Tim Rose’s version. Some accounts credit the slower version of the song by the British band The Creation as being the inspiration for Hendrix’s version, as Chandler and Hendrix had seen them perform after Hendrix had arrived in the UK, though The Creation’s version was not released until after Hendrix’s. Hendrix was so shy about his voice that manager Chandler even hired a female vocal group, the Breakaways, for backup. “Hey Joe” became the Experience’s first UK chart entry, rising to #6, and it wasn’t released in the US until the beginning of May the following year as the B-side to “51st Anniversary,” which failed to chart. It was also the last song played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, in which Hendrix performed the song after the crowd of 80,000 cheered for an encore.
1967: The Beach Boys released “Wild Honey,” the lead single and title track from their thirteenth studio album.
1970: The Byrds released “Chestnut Mare” from their ninth studio album, (Untitled).
1970: “Performance” by Mick Jagger from the soundtrack to the film of the same name was released as a single.
1970: Genesis released their second studio album, Trespass. It was the group’s last album with guitarist Anthony Phillips and their only one with drummer John Mayhew.
1970: Frank Zappa released his third solo album, Chunga’s Revenge. It marks the first appearance of former Turtles members Flo & Eddie on a Zappa record and represents a shift from both the satirical political commentary of his 1960s work and the jazz fusion sound of his last solo album, Hot Rats.
1972: Al Green released his fifth studio album, I’m Still in Love With You.
1973: Richard Foos opened the first Rhino Records store on Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Two years later, the first store issued its first record entitled “Go to Rhino Records,” sung by Wild Man Fischer, an eccentric street singer discovered by Frank Zappa. The vinyl 45 rpm single was given away for free in the store and when local radio stations began to play the record, Rhino developed an underground following.
1976: “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago became the group’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. It was the band’s biggest selling record and at the following year’s Grammy awards, won Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus.
1976: Led Zeppelin made their US television debut on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert performing “Black Dog” and “Dazed and Confused.”
1976: Harry Chapin released his sixth studio album, On the Road to Kingdom Come.
1976: The Spinners had their sixth and final #1 single on Billboard’s R&B chart with “The Rubberband Man.”
1978: Gloria Gaynor released “I Will Survive” as the first single from her sixth studio album, Love Tracks. It became her biggest hit and only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1981: Genesis released “Keep It Dark,” the third single from their eleventh studio album, Abacab.
1981: Elvis Costello and the Attractions released Almost Blue, an album entirely of country covers by artists including Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Gram Parsons. It was also Costello’s first album not produced by Nick Lowe.
1982: Culture Club scored their first #1 in the UK with their international hit, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.”
1982: Billy Idol released “White Wedding” as the second single from his self-titled second studio album. The song later reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and, after being re-issued in the UK in 1985, #6 on the UK chart.
1983: John Cougar Mellencamp released Uh-Huh, his seventh studio album and first in which he used his real last name. On the same day, “Pink Houses” was released as a single from the LP.
1984: Manchesters’ The Stone Roses played their first gig supporting Pete Townshend at an anti-heroin concert at the Moonlight Club in London.
1989: “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins was released in UK. It was the first single from Collins’ fourth solo album, …But Seriously, his last top 5 hit in UK, last #1 in US.
1995: The Smashing Pumpkins’ third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, was released in the UK one day before it was issued in the US. It became their most successful album, debuting at the top of the Billboard pop chart. It is the band’s only #1 LP in the US and reached the top 10 in several other countries.
1999: Thirty years after making their initial US chart appearance with “Jingo,” Santana started twelve weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their first #1 hit, “Smooth.” It was the last single to top the chart that year as well as that year’s longest-running #1 single.
2001: Gov’t Mule released their fourth studio album, The Deep End, Volume 1. The band had considered breaking up after the death of founding member and bass guitarist Allen Woody, but instead recorded several songs with bassists that Woody had admired. So many musicians expressed in interest in participating that two albums worth of material were released.
2007: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss released the collaborative album Raising Sand. Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album won Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
2007: Neil Young released his twenty-eighth studio album, Chrome Dreams II. The album’s title references Chrome Dreams, a 1977 album by Young that was shelved in favor of American Stars ‘N Bars.
2009: Rod Stewart released his twenty-ninth studio album, Another Country.
2011: The surviving members of Buffalo Springfield—Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and Richie Furay—reunited after 43 years at the annual Bridge School Benefit concert, playing the first of two shows. A brief tour followed, with dates in Los Angeles and Santa Barabara, before the band played at that year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
Katie Lee, folk singer, actress, writer, and environmental activist, was born in Aledo, IL in 1919.
Boozoo Chavis, accordion player, singer, songwriter, bandleader, and pioneer of zydeco music, was born in Lake Charles, LA in 1930.
Lewis Merenstein, record producer best known for his work on Van Morrison’s albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, was born in Baltimore, MD in 1934.
Yvonne Staples, backing vocalist and manager of the Staple Singers, was born in Chicago, IL in 1937.
Charlie Foxx, singer best known for his partnership with sister Inez and their biggest hit, “Mockingbird,” was born in Greensboro, NC in 1939.
Freddie Marsden, drummer for Gerry and the Pacemakers and brother of founder Gerry, was born in Toxteth, Liverpool, England in 1940.
Ellie Greenwich, pop music singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-wrote such hits as “Be My Baby,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Leader of the Pack,” and “River Deep—Mountain High,” and together with husband Jeff Barry, was among the most successful and prolific composers of New York’s Brill Building, was born Brooklyn, NY in 1940.
Jan Savage, guitarist and co-writer for The Seeds, was born Buck Jan Reeder in 1942.
Barbara Ann Hawkins, singer and co-founder of The Dixie Cups, was born in 1943.
Greg Ridley, bassist and founding member of Humble Pie and Spooky Tooth, was born in Aspatria, Cumberland, England in 1947.
Dwight Yoakam, country singer-songwriter, musician, and actor, was born in Pikeville, KY in 1956.
“Weird Al” Yankovic, singer-songwriter, film and record producer, author, and satirist, was born Alfred Matthew Yankovic in Downey, CA in 1959.