Today in Rock & Roll History: October 30th

1964: The Rolling Stones started their second US tour in support of their second American LP, 12 X 5, at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California.

1965: “I Hear a Symphony” by the Supremes entered the Billboard Hot 100. Four weeks later it became their sixth #1 single on the pop chart.

1965: Fontella Bass’ biggest hit, “Rescue Me,” reached the top of the Billboard R&B chart. It was her only R&B #1, her only top 20 single on the pop chart, and biggest hit in the UK, where it reached #11.

1965: Donovan released “Turquoise” backed with “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)” in the UK. Early the following year, “Turquoise” was issued in the US as the B-side of “To Try for the Sun.”

1968: Marvin Gaye’s version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was released as a single. Written by Motown songwriters Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and first recorded by the Miracles and first released by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Gaye’s version was included on his In the Groove album released in August of 1968. The track gained the attention of disc jockeys and after Motown founder Berry Gordy agreed to release the song as a single, it went to #1 on Billboard’s pop singles chart and for a time became Motown’s biggest hit single.

1968: MC5 played the first of two nights at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom. Recordings from both shows were released early the following year as the group’s debut album, Kick Out the Jams.

1970: Elton John’s third studio album, Tumbleweed Connection, was released in the UK. The country and western themed LP was later released in the US in January of 1971.

1970: The fourth album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Lick My Decals Off, Baby, was released on Frank Zappa’s Straight Records label. It became the group’s highest charting album, reaching #20 on the UK chart.

1970: “Nothing Rhymed” by Gilbert O’Sullivan was released. The single became his first charting hit, reaching #8 on the UK chart, #2 in Ireland, and #1 in the Netherlands. It was later included on his debut album, Himself.

1970: The Temptations released their first holiday album, The Temptations Christmas Card.

1971: “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first top 10 hit. The following week the single peaked at #7.

1971: John Lennon achieved his first #1 album in both the US and UK with his second solo LP, Imagine.

1971: “Brand New Key” by folk singer Melanie entered the Billboard Hot 100. It became her biggest hit, reaching #1 in the US in December, as well as #1 in Canada and Australia and #4 on the UK chart.

1972: Elton John became the first rock star to perform for Queen Elizabeth II since the Beatles at her annual Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.

1972: John Denver released “Rocky Mountain High,” the title track from his sixth studio album. It became his second top 10 hit in the US.

1975: Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour kicked off at the Memorial Auditorium in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Dylan’s interest in playing live and returning to the concert circuit had been reignited after seeing the Rolling Stones live in 1972.

1978: Blondie released “Hanging on the Telephone,” the third single from their third studio album, Parallel Lines. The song was originally written by Jack Lee for his band, The Nerves, who recorded it in 1976. Blondie discovered the song through a cassette tape compilation given to them by musician Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

1979: Stevie Wonder’s soundtrack album to the documentary The Secret Life of Plants was released.

1982: “Africa” by Toto entered the Billboard Hot 100. Over three months later, the single became the group’s only #1 on the chart.

1982: Men at Work reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single, “Who Can It Be Now?” The record was released in the US in August after it had been issued in Australia in June, where it reached #2.

1982: Following a long string of British #1 hit singles, the Jam announced they were splitting up upon the completion of their forthcoming short concert tour of the UK. As the farewell tour neared its end, Polydor Records released a live album titled Dig the New Breed, a collection of songs from various concert performances over the band’s five year career, as well as re-releasing all sixteen of the band’s singles, nine of which re-entered the UK charts in January the following year. In 2015, Paul Weller reaffirmed the decision to call it quits, stating that the Jam had achieved everything they had wanted commercially and artistically, that they had finished at their peak, and that he didn’t want to dilute it by trying to go on forever.

1984: Bruce Springsteen released “Born in the U.S.A.,” the third single and title track from his seventh studio album.

1989: Joe Satriani released his third studio album, Flying in a Blue Dream. It became one of his most popular albums and his second highest-charting release to date, reaching #23 on the Billboard pop chart.

1995: Oasis released “Wonderwall,” the fourth single from their second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. The song went to #2 in the UK and became the group’s first and highest reaching record to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, reaching #8.

2000: U2 released their tenth studio album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

2006: The Who released their eleventh studio album, Endless Wire. It was their first new studio album of original material in twenty-four years, their first since the death of the bassist John Entwistle, and their last album for the thirteen years to follow.

2007: The Eagles released their seventh and final studio album, Long Road Out of Eden. The album had been in production for nearly six years and was the band’s first studio LP since The Long Run in 1979.

2012: Neil Young and Crazy Horse released Psychedelic Pill, Young’s thirty-second studio album and his first original work with Crazy Horse since the Greendale album and tour in 2003 and 2004.

2012: Rod Stewart released his first Christmas album, Merry Christmas, Baby.

2015: Trey Anastasio released his eleventh studio album, Paper Wheels.

Birthdays Today

Teo Macero, jazz saxophonist, composer, and record producer best known for producing acclaimed jazz albums such as Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Dave Brubecks’ Time Out, was born in Glens Falls, NY in 1925.

Ray Smith, rockabilly singer, songwriter, and musician, was born in Melber, KY in 1934.

Eddie Holland, member of the Motown songwriting and production trio Holland-Dozier-Holland who co-wrote dozens of hits for acts including The Supremes, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Martha & The Vandellas, and Freda Payne, was born in Detroit, MI in 1939.

Grace Slick, singer, songwriter, solo artist, and member of The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, and Jefferson Starship, was born Grace Barnett Wing in Highland Park, IL in 1939.

Otis Williams, singer, songwriter, record producer, and founding member of the Temptations, was born Otis Miles Jr. in Texarkana, TX in 1941.

Chris Slade, drummer for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band from 1972-1978 who later played with many artists including Frankie Miller, Uriah Heep, David Gilmour, Paul Rodgers, and Jimmy Page, was born Christoper Rees in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales in 1946.

Timothy B. Schmit, singer, songwriter, and bass player and vocalist for Poco and the Eagles, was born Timothy Bruce Schmit in Oakland, CA in 1947.

Poncho Sanchez, conga player, Latin jazz band leader, and salsa singer who has performed with artists include Cal Tjader, Hugh Masekela, Clare Fischer, and Tower of Power, was born in Laredo, TX in 1951.

Tommy Walter, musician, songwriter, and co-founder of Eels and Abandoned Pools, was born in Thousand Oaks, CA in 1970.