Today in Rock & Roll History: September 18th

1959: Dick Clark’s first Caravan of Stars tour began with Paul Anka, the Coasters, Lloyd Price, Duane Eddy, and Bobby Rydell at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.

1965: The Vogues first charted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “You’re the One.”

1967: “I Can See For Miles,” the first single from the Who’s third studio album, The Who Sell Out, was released in the US, where it later reached #9. After its UK release three and a half weeks later, the record made it to #12 on the British chart.

1967: The Beach Boys’ twelfth studio LP, Smiley Smile, was released. The project began in 1966 as Smile, an elaborate concept album assembled from short, interchangeable fragments of music composed almost entirely by Brian Wilson with lyricist Van Dyke Parks. When Smile went unfinished, Smiley Smile was released with stripped-down versions of some of the original album’s material. It reached #9 on the UK chart but was met with poor sales in the US, peaking at #41.

1968: During sessions for the Beatles’ self-titled “White Album,” Paul McCartney arrived at EMI Studios with a guitar riff that led to a jam session that resulted in the song “Birthday,” which the band wrote and recorded by that evening. In the early hours of the following morning, they completed the mono mix, which included handclaps from roadie Mal Evans and additional backing vocals from John Lennon’s girlfriend, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison’s wife, Pattie.

1970: Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House, the band’s first after the departure of founding member Peter Green and last to feature guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Christine McVie contributed backing vocals, keyboards, and that album’s cover art, though she did not become a full member until after the album was completed.

1971: “Ain’t No Sunshine,” the first single to chart by Bill Withers, peaked at #3 on Billboard Hot 100

1971: The Who, the Faces, Mott the Hoople and Lindisfarne performed at Goodbye Summer, a fundraiser for famine victims of Bangla Desh, at the Oval Cricket Ground in Kennington, London.

1971: Pink Floyd became the first rock band to perform at the Classical Music Festival in Montreux, Switzerland when they played their “Atom Heart Mother” suite—the title track of their next LP—which the band had written with composer Ron Geesen.

1971: The Who achieved their only #1 album in the UK with their fifth studio LP, Who’s Next.

1972: Elephant’s Memory released their second self-titled album. Produced by John Lennon, the LP was released on the Beatles’ Apple Records label and contains various contributions by Lennon on guitar and vocals. The band had backed Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono on their Some Time in New York City double album earlier that year, and they were often billed as the Plastic Ono Elephant’s Memory Band when they performed with Lennon and Ono on various television shows, albums, and concerts.

1973: Ringo Starr bought Tittenhurst Park, the 26-room Georgian mansion previously owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

1976: Boston debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “More Than a Feeling,” the lead single from their self-titled debut album. It became the band’s first of four top 10 hits on the pop chart, peaking at #5 in December.

1979: The Eagles released “Heartache Tonight,” the first single from their sixth studio album, The Long Run. In November, it became the group’s fifth and final #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1980: Hall & Oates released their seventh studio album, Along the Red Lodge.

1985: The Replacements’ fourth album, Tim, was released. Issued on Sire Records as the group’s first major label release, it became the group’s first LP to chart in the US and their last made by the group’s original lineup. Guitarist Bob Stinson was forced out of the band by the end of 1986.

1997: Five days before launching their Bridges to Babylon world tour, the Rolling Stones played a surprise warm-up show at the 475-person capacity Double Door club in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

2006: Elton John released his twenty-eighth studio album, The Captain & the Kid. His second autobiographical album with lyricist Bernie Taupin after Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy in 1975, the album chronicles the events in their lives over the intervening three decades.

2006: The Stranglers released their sixteenth studio album, Suite XVI, in which the band returned to a four-piece after the departure of lead vocalist Paul Roberts.

2015: David Gilmour released his fourth solo studio album, Rattle That Lock. A week later, it became Gilmour’s second solo LP to top the UK chart.

Birthdays Today

Jimmie Rodgers, singer, guitarist, pianist best known for several crossover hits on the Billboard pop, country, and R&B charts in the 1950s, was born James Frederick Rodgers in Camas, WA in 1933.

Frankie Avalon, singer and actor, was born Francis Thomas Avallone in Philadelphia, PA in 1940.

P.F. Sloan, singer-songwriter who performed as well as wrote and produced several top 20 hits for acts such as Barry McGuire, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Rivers, The Grass Roots, the Turtles, the Mamas and the Papas, Jan & Dean, and the Searchers, many of which in collaboration with songwriter and record producer Steve Barri, was born Philip Gary Schlein in New York City in 1945.

Alan “Bam” King, guitarist and singer, best known as a member of 1960s group The Action and 1970s band Ace, was born in Muswell Hill, North London, England in 1945.

Dee Dee Ramone, singer, songwriter, bassist, guitarist and founding member of the Ramones, who was the band’s most prolific lyricist and composer, writing many of the group’s best-known songs, was born Douglas Glenn Colvin in Fort Lee, Virginia in 1951.

Joanne Catherall, vocalist for The Human League, was born in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1962.