1958: Cliff Richard and the Shadows played their first show together at Victoria Hall in Hanley, England.
1959: Motown group The Miracles debuted on the Billboard pop chart with their first single, “Bad Girl.”
1959: Bobby Darin had his first #1 on the US pop charts when his recording of “Mack the Knife” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The single also topped the UK chart later that month.
1959: The Coasters started four weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “Poison Ivy,” their fourth chart-topping R&B single.
1961: The Shadows achieved their second UK #1 single with “Kon-Tiki.”
1962: The Beatles’ debut single, “Love Me Do” backed with “P.S. I Love You,” was released in the UK on EMI’s Parlophone label. That night it was played on Radio Luxembourg—the first time a Beatles song was ever heard on the airwaves. The recording used for the single release has Ringo Starr on drums. An alternate take with session drummer Andy White was used for the album version and subsequent reissues. It wasn’t until late April of 1964 that the single was issued in the US, where it became a #1 hit.
1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience formed in London after taking on bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. The group’s first rehearsal took place the following day. Rehearsals continued for another another week before joining French pop singer Johnny Hallyday for a four-date French tour.
1968: The debut album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?, peaked at #5 on the Billboard pop chart over a year after its release.
1968: “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to reaching #3.
1968: “White Room” by Cream entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single became one of the group’s two highest-charting records in the US, peaking at #5 on the Cash Box chart. It was also their only single to hit the top of any pop music chart, reaching #1 in Australia.
1968: James Brown started six weeks at the top of Billboard’s R&B chart with “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.”
1968: The Monkees released “Porpoise Song,” the theme and first single from the soundtrack to the group’s satirical adventure film, Head. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song had been commissioned by the film’s director and producer, Bob Rafelson.
1968: Muddy Waters released his fifth studio album, Electric Mud. Recorded with members of Chicago band Rotary Connection, the LP fuses electric blues and psychedelic elements, and producer Marshall Chess suggested that it was recorded to appeal to a rock audience.
1970: Led Zeppelin released their third eponymous studio album. The LP had a more eclectic style compared to their previous albums, incorporating folk and acoustic material.
1973: Elton John’s double LP and seventh studio album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, was released.
1973: Roxy Music lead singer Bryan Ferry released his debut solo studio album, These Foolish Things. The album consists primarily of covers of standards written by Bob Dylan, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and others.
1974: The Beach Boys’ compilation album Endless Summer reached #1 in the US. Compiled by Capitol Records, the collection of hits from the band’s 1962-1965 period became the group’s second US #1 LP four months after its release. The achievement reclaimed the band’s commercial glory in the US and spent 155 weeks on the Billboard chart.
1974: “Clap for the Wolfman” by The Guess Who peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song features the voice of legendary radio disc jockey Wolfman Jack.
1976: The Doobie Brothers released “It Keeps You Runnin’,” their third and final single from their sixth studio album, Takin’ It to the Streets.
1979: Queen released “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” A tribute to Elvis Presley written by Freddie Mercury in just 10 minutes, it was recorded by the group in less than half an hour during sessions in Munich. Mercury wrote the song on guitar and played rhythm on the record, and the band’s live performances of the song was the first instance of Mercury playing guitar in concerts.
1979: Joe Jackson released his second studio album, I’m the Man. The LP continued the same style of his first album, “Look Sharp!,” which was released in March earlier that year.
1979: The Who released the soundtrack to Quadrophenia, the film that is loosely based on the band’s 1973 album of the same name. The soundtrack album shares ten of the seventeen tracks on the 1973 album and contains drummer Kenney Jones’ first on-record appearance with the Who after taking over for the late Keith Moon. The album was dedicated to the band’s first manager, Peter Meaden, who had died a year prior to its release.
1981: Depeche Mode released their debut studio album, Speak & Spell. It was the band’s only album to feature Vince Clarke, who went to to co-found Yazoo, the Assembly, and Erasure.
1981: U2 released “Gloria,” the second single from the band’s second studio album, October.
1984: The J. Geils Band released their eleventh and final studio album, You’re Getting Even While I’m Gettin’ Old. It was the band’s only album recorded without singer Peter Wolf. A majority of the album’s lead vocals were provided by keyboardist Seth Justman.
1985: Genesis bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford and his new band Mike + The Mechanics released their self-titled debut studio album.
1987: Belinda Carlisle released her second solo studio album, Heaven on Earth.
1992: The Cure released “A Letter to Elise,” the third single from their ninth studio album, Wish.
1992: R.E.M. released their eighth studio album, Automatic for the People. Several songs on the album feature string arrangements by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.
1993: Uncle Tupelo released their fourth and final studio album, Anodyne. After a farewell tour that ended nearly a year later, guitarist and vocalist Jay Farrar and drummer Mike Heidorn formed Son Volt, and singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jeff Tweedy and the group’s remaining members formed Wilco.
1999: Paul McCartney’s eleventh solo studio album, Run Devil Run, was released in the US a day after its release in the UK. Featuring mostly covers of lesser-known 1950s rock songs, it was the first album recorded by McCartney after the death of his wife Linda the year prior.
1999: Melissa Etheridge released her sixth studio album, Breakdown.
2004: R.E.M. released their thirteen studio album, Around the Sun.
2005: Son Volt released their fourth studio album, Okemah and the Melody of Riot.
George “Wydell” Jones Jr., songwriter and lead singer of doo-wop group The Edsels, was born in Richmond, VA in 1936.
Carlo Mastrangelo, singer, original member of the Belmonts, and leader of progressive jazz rock ensemble Pulse in the 1970s, was born in the Bronx, NY in 1937.
Richard Street, singer, songwriter, and member of The Temptations from 1971-1993, who was the first native of Motown’s hometown of Detroit to be in the group, was born in Detroit, MI in 1942.
Steve Miller, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and leader of the Steve Miller Band, was born in Milwaukee, WI in 1943.
Richard Kermode, keyboardist who performed with with Malo, Santana, and Janis Joplin as a member of the Kozmic Blue Band, was born in Lovell, WY in 1946.
Lucius “Tawl” Ross, rhythm guitarist for Funkadelic and a solo artist, was born in Wagram, NC in 1948.
B.W. Stevenson, country pop singer-songwriter, was born Louis Charles Stevenson in Dallas, TX in 1949.
Bob Geldof, singer-songwriter, activist, lead singer of Boomtown Rats, and founder of the Band Aid charity organization, was born in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland in 1951.
Harold Faltermeyer, film composer who, as a session musician and producer, has worked with Patti LaBelle, Glenn Frey, Blondie, Billy Idol, Cheap Trick, Bob Seger, Pet Shop Boys, and others, was born in Munich, Germany in 1952.
Steve Kimock, guitarist and songwriter who recorded and toured with several Grateful Dead-related groups such as the Heart of Gold Band, the Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends, Kingfish, Zero, and RatDog, was born in Bethlehem, PA in 1955.
Lee Jay Thompson, songwriter, composer, saxophonist, and founder of Madness, was born in St. Pancras, London, England in 1957.
Colin Meloy, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and frontman for the Decemberists, was born in Helena, MT in 1974.