Today in Rock & Roll History: October 4th

1963: Eric Clapton replaced lead guitarist Anthony “Top” Tophan in the Yardbirds at a performance at England’s Crawdaddy Club.

1966: “Winchester Cathedral” by British novelty group The New Vaudeville Band was released. It became their biggest hit, reaching #4 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #1 in the US.

1966: The Who recorded “Boris the Spider.” Written by bassist John Entwistle, Entwistle claimed it to be his first composition and the result of a night out drinking with Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.

1966: Bobby Hebb received his only gold record for his biggest hit, “Sunny.” Hebb had reportedly written the song in the 48 hours following both the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the death of his older brother with a desire to think of happier times and to look for a brighter day.

1968: Cream set out on farewell tour with a performance at the Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.

1969: Abbey Road, the last album recorded by the Beatles, entered the UK charts at #1. The LP became the group’s biggest seller in the UK and spent sixteen of the next seventeen weeks at top of the chart.

1969: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #21.

1969: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s third studio album, Green River, started four weeks at #1 in the US.

1969: The Temptations started five weeks at the top on the Billboard R&B chart with their tenth single to reach #1, “I Can’t Get Next to You.”

1969: Santana debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their first single, “Jingo,” a cover of a song by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji which, after its release in 1960, has since been considered the first recording to popularize African music in the West. Santana’s version reached #56 on the US charts.

1971: United Artists Records released 200 Motels, Frank Zappa’s soundtrack album to the film of the same name, which had been written and directed by Zappa and Tony Palmer. Like the film, the album covers a loose narrative about The Mothers of Invention going crazy in the small town of Centerville.

1971: Pink Floyd played the first of four nights at the Roman Amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy with no audience beyond a film crew. The recorded performances were released the following year as part of the concert documentary film, Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.

1973: After Stephen Stills and Manassas were booked to perform at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco, surprise guests David Crosby and Graham Nash joined Stills onstage. After four songs, Neil Young emerged, leading to the first Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performance in over two years. Songs played by the group that night included tracks they had recorded earlier that year for an album that was never released.

1974: Track Records released the Who’s Odds and Sods, an album of studio outtakes and rarities compiled by the band’s bassist, John Entwistle.

1974: Rod Stewart released Smiler, his fifth solo studio album and final album with Mercury Records.

1975: Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here, reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart for the first of two weeks.

1975: Wings released “Letting Go,” the second single from their fourth studio album, Venus and Mars. The song was recorded 1974 at Abbey Road Studios in London before the band traveled to New Orleans to record the rest of the album, and it was one of three songs on the album with interim drummer Geoff Britton before he quit the group.

1976: Burton Cummings of the Guess Who released his first solo single, “Stand Tall.” The song later reached #1 in Canada and #10 in the US.

1976: “Livin’ Thing” by Electric Light Orchetra, backed with “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle,” was released in US as the first single from their sixth studio album, A New World Record. Nearly six weeks later, it was issued in the UK, where it’s B-side was “Fire On High,” the group’s most successful instrumental. The single reached #13 on Billboard Hot 100, #4 on UK singles chart, and went to #1 in South Africa.

1978: Elton John released “Part-Time Love,” the lead single from his twelfth studio album, A Single Man.

1980: Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac presented the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band with a platinum record for their part in the recording of the title track of the group’s Tusk album, which was released the year before.

1980: Queen had their second #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their third chart-topper on the Cash Box Top 100 with “Another One Bites the Dust.”

1982: Squeeze announced what later proved to be a temporary break-up. Two years later, the group’s core songwriting duo Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook released a self-titled album before the band’s reunited in 1985.

1982: The Smiths made their live debut at The Ritz in Manchester, England. When singer Morrisey and guitarist Johnny Marr learned that jazz, pop, and salsa band Blue Rondo à la Turk were set to play a fashion show at the Ritz, they joined up with some of Marr’s friends, hairdresser Andrew Berry and style guru John Kennedy, and managed to convince the show’s promoters to let them be a supporting act. They didn’t have a rhythm section, however, so after an exhausting search, they recruited drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Dale Hibbert, a friend of Marr who was persuaded to leave his current group, The Adorables. The band was well received by the portion of the audience made up of Marr’s friends, but not so much with the Blue Rondo à la Turk fans. Hibbert was displeased with the group’s aesthetic and in turn, Morrisey and Marr were unhappy with Hibbert’s bass playing, so he was soon removed from the band and replaced by Marr’s old school friend, Andy Rourke.

1982: Hall & Oates released their eleventh studio album, H2O.

1982: Jefferson Starship released Winds of Change, the band’s seventh studio album and their first after Grace Slick had rejoined as a full member.

1984: Hall & Oates released “Out of Touch,” the lead single from their twelfth studio album, “Big Bam Boom.” It became the duo’s sixth and final #1 in the US and their last top 20 hit in the UK.

1986: Paul Simon achieved his first #1 album in the UK in fourteen years with his seventh solo LP, Graceland, which reached #3 in the US.

1994: The dB’s released their fifth studio album, Paris Avenue.

1999: David Bowie released his twenty-first studio album, Hours. It was the first complete album by a major artist available to download over the Internet, preceding the physical release by two weeks.

2004: The Church released their seventeenth studio album, Beside Yourself. It comprises material recorded during the sessions for their 2003 album Forget Yourself and was only released in Australia, with a limited pressing of 500 copies.

2011: Indigo Girls released their thirteenth studio album, Beauty Queen Sister.

Birthdays Today

Marlena Davis, member of The Orlons, was born in 1944.

Jim Fielder, bassist best known as an original member of Blood, Sweat & Tears who also played with high school classmate Tim Buckley, the Mothers of Invention, and Buffalo Springfield, was born in Denton, TX in 1947.

Jody Stephens, drummer for Big Star and Golden Smog, was born in Memphis, TN in 1952.

Barbara Kooyman, singer-songwriter and member of Timbuk3 with former husband Pat MacDonald, was born in Wausau, WI in 1958.

Chris Lowe, singer, songwriter, musician, and co-founder of Pet Shop Boys, was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1959.

Richard Reed Perry, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer best known as a member of Arcade Fire, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1977.