Today in Rock & Roll History: October 2nd

1961: Ray Charles scored his second #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “Hit the Road, Jack.” A week later, the single hit the top of the Hot 100 chart.

1964: The Kinks’ self-titled debut album was released in the UK by Pye Records. The LP was later issued by Reprise Records in the US in November with three tracks omitted as You Really Got Me.

1965: “Hang on Sloopy,” the first of two US top 10 hits for Ohio quartet the McCoys, reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1965: The Who made their US television debut on Shindig! on ABC with a performance taped in England. Additional acts on the show included The Four Tops, Billie Joe Royal, Ray Peterson, The Blossoms, and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

1967: The Beatles created the final mono mix for “Your Mother Should Know” and began recording their next single, “Hello Goodbye.”

1971: Rod Stewart’s first major solo hit and the record that launched his solo career, “Maggie May,” went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on the same week that his third studio album, Every Picture Tells a Story, went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart as well as the UK chart. The following week, the single hit #1 in the UK, causing Stewart to achieve the rare feat of having a #1 single and a #1 album on both sides of the Atlantic.

1971: The J. Geils Band released their second studio album, The Morning After.

1971: “Venus” by Dutch band Shocking Blue was released. The single became the group’s biggest hit and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1971: Joan Baez’ first US top 40 single, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” peaked at #3 on Billboard Hot 100.

1975: Frank Zappa and The Mothers and Captain Beeheart released the collaborative album Bongo Fury, which comprises predominantly live recordings from May of that year at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas as well as some studio recordings. The album is notable for being the last to feature a majority of Zappa’s early 1970s band, which appeared on his previous albums Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe (‘), Roxy & Elsewhere, and One Size Fits All.

1976: “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart, the lead single from his seventh studio album, A Night on the Town, entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to #1.

1978: Neil Young released his ninth studio album, Comes a Time. Young’s initial plan was to release it as a solo album, but Reprise Records executives persuaded him to add rhythm tracks to what he already had. It was rumored for many years that Young personally purchased an estimated two hundred thousand vinyl copies of the LP because he was unhappy with its sound, which had been caused by damage to the master tape on its way to the mixing facility. The version of Comes a Time that’s most widely available today was personally remixed by Young from a backup copy of the original master. In 2014, Young claimed that he had used two hundred thousand copies of the LP as shingles for a barn roof.

1978: The Beach Boys released their twenty-second studio album, M.I.U. Album. The album’s title stems from Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, where the majority of the album was recorded. Devout Transcendental Meditation follower Mike Love initially wanted the album to be a Christmas release. Carl and Dennis Wilson were not in favor of the project and appear on only a few tracks.

1978: The Pointer Sisters released their cover of the Bruce Springsteen song “Fire” in the US as a single from their fifth studio album, Energy. It was the group’s first single as the trio of Anita, June, and Ruth Pointer and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually tied by “Slow Hand” as their highest-charting single.

1978: Chicago released Hot Streets, the band’s tenth studio album and first not to feature original guitarist and vocalist Terry Kath.

1979: The Police released their second album, Reggatta de Blanc. The album features the band’s first two UK #1 singles, “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon,” and was their first album to reach #1 in the UK.

1979: Bob Marley and the Wailers released their eleventh studio album, Survival, which expresses a more militant theme compared to their previous releases.

1981: The Police released their fourth studio album, Ghost in the Machine. It became the band’s third straight #1 on the UK chart.

1981: Dire Straits released “Tunnel of Love,” the third and final single from their third studio album, Making Movies.

1982: “Rock the Casbah” by the Clash entered the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, the single reached #30, but in the US, it became the group’s only top 20 song on the pop charts, reaching #8 the following January.

1982: John Mellencamp, then using the stage name “John Couger,” achieved his only #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Jack and Diane.”

1982: Original lead vocalist Peter Gabriel performed with Genesis for the first time since leaving the group in 1975 at a concert known as “Six of the Best” at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. The group’s original lead guitarist, Steve Hackett, who’d left the band in 1977, had just finished a tour of South American and managed to join the reunion for the last two songs. The experience inspired the song “Time Lapse At Milton Keynes.”

1984: The Replacements released their third studio album, “Let It Be.”

1985: Prince and the Revolution released “American,” the fourth and final single from Prince’s seventh studio album, “Around the World in a Day.”

1987: A live single version of “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol was released in the US to promote the release of the compilation album, Vital Idol.

1989: The Kinks released their twenty-third studio album, UK Jive.

1989: Neil Young released his seventeenth studio album, Freedom. After a largely unsuccessful decade, the album was met with critical and commercial success and effectively relaunched Young’s career.

1995: Alanis Morissette’s third studio album, Jagged Little Pill, went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart. At the 38th annual Grammy Awards, Morissette won Album of the Year and Best Rock Album as well as Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the album’s first single, “You Oughta Know.”

1995: Oasis released their second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. Despite being a departure from the group’s debut album in structure and arrangement, it became their most commercially successful record and top 10 hit worldwide, selling a record-breaking 347,000 copies in its first week on sale.

2000: Radiohead released their fourth album, Kid A. The LP became their second to reach the top of the UK chart as well as their first to enter the US top 10 and reach #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

2001: The Rembrandts released their fifth studio album, Lost Together.

2007: John Fogerty released his seventh solo studio album, Revival.

2012: Van Morrison released his thirty-fourth studio album, Born to Sing: No Plan B.

Birthdays Today

Nick Gravenites, musician, producer, and songwriter who produced Quicksilver Messenger Service’s first album, toured with John Cipollina, wrote songs with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, co-founded The Electric Flag, assisted Janis Joplin’s solo group the Kosmic Blues Band, wrote several song’s for Joplin, and reformed Big Brother and the Holding Company from 1969-1972 after Joplin’s death, was born in Chicago, IL in 1938.

Lolly Vegas, guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder of Redbone, was born in Coalinga, CA in 1939.

Ron Meagher, bassist and co-founder of the Beau Brummels, was born in Oakland, CA in 1941.

Don McLean, singer-songwriter, was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1945.

Ron Griffiths, bassist and vocalist for the Iveys, who left the group before they changed their name to Badfinger, was born in 1946.

Frank “Skip” Konte, keyboardist, record producer, and member of Blues Image and Three Dog Night, was born in 1947.

Richard Hell, influential punk singer, songwriter, bassist, and member of Neon Boys, Television, the Heartbreakers, and Richard Hell & the Voidoids, was born Richard Lester Meyers in Lexington, KY in 1949.

Mike Rutherford, bassist and guitarist for Genesis and frontman for Mike + the Mechanics, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1950.

Sting, musician, lead singer and songwriter for The Police, and a solo artist, was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner in Wallsend, Northumberland, England in 1951.

Philip Oakey, lead singer, songwriter, and co-founder of The Human League, was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England in 1955.

Sigtryggur Baldursson, drummer, co-founder of the Sugarcubes, and fixture of Iceland’s punk and alternative scene, was born in Norway in 1962.

Gillian Welch, singer-songwriter who has collaborated with many artists, was born in New York City in 1967.

Brittany Howard, songwriter, musician, solo artist, and lead vocalist and guitarist for Alabama Shakes and Thunderbitch, was born in Athens, GA in 1988.