Today in Rock & Roll History: September 21st

1959: “Sleep Walk” by sibling duo Santo & Johnny went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The instrumental also reached #4 on the R&B chart and #22 in the UK.

1959: The Isley Brothers released their fourth single, “Shout.” Written by the founding trio of brothers O’Kelly, Rudolph, and Ronald Isley, it was their first record to chart, reaching #47 on the pop charts.

1959: Fats Domino topped the Billboard R&B chart with “I Want to Walk You Home.”

1968: The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” was released in the US as the lead single from their third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland. It became the Experience’s highest-selling single and only top 40 hit, reaching #20. Four weeks later, it was released in the UK, where it reached #5, becoming the first UK stereo-only single to do so. Dylan later said that he was overwhelmed with Hendrix’s talent to bring out and develop things in a song that others wouldn’t have found there. Since then Dylan has adapted to playing the song more like Hendrix’s version, and has said, “Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”

1971: Yoko Ono released her second album, Fly.

1973: Jim Croce released “I Got a Name,” the lead single and title track from his fifth and final studio album. The song was written by Norman Gimbel, who’d said Croce chose the song because “his father had a dream for him but had died before his son’s first success.”

1973: Billy Preston released his eighth studio album, Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music.

1973: Thin Lizzy released Vagabonds of the Western World, the band’s third studio album and last with original guitarist Eric Bell.

1974: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive entered the Billboard Hot 100. In early November, it became the Canadian group’s first and only US #1.

1977: The Doobie Brothers released “Echoes of Love” as the second single from their seventh studio album, Livin’ on the Fault Line.

1978: The Ramones released Road to Ruin, their fourth studio album and first to feature new drummer Marky Ramone.

1978: Chic released “Le Freak,” the first single from the group’s second studio album, C’est Chic. It became an international hit and reached #1 on both the Billboard R&B, Dance, and Hot 100 charts.

1979: The Stranglers released their fourth studio album, The Raven.

1984: America released their twelfth studio album, Perspective.

1985: Dire Straits achieved their only #1 single with “Money For Nothing.” In the UK, it became the group’s fourth top 10 record, reaching #4.

1987: Yes released their twelfth studio album, Big Generator.

1989: Thompson Twins released “Sugar Daddy” as the lead single from their seventh studio album, Big Trash.

1990: Indigo Girls released their third studio album, Nomads Indians Saints.

1990: Phish released their second album, Lawn Boy.

1993: Melissa Etheridge released her fourth studio album, Yes I Am.

1996: R.E.M. topped the UK album chart with their tenth studio LP, New Adventures in Hi-Fi. The album peaked on the Billboard chart in the US at #2.

1999: The Church released their twelfth studio album, A Box of Birds, which consists of cover versions of songs by artists who were influential to the band’s music.

2004: John Fogerty released his sixth solo studio album and first in seven years, Deja Vu All Over Again.

2004: Green Day released their seventh studio album, American Idiot. It became the band’s first LP to reach #1 on the US and UK charts, and similarly topped the charts in several other countries.

2004: Elvis Costello released his twentieth studio album, Il Sogno. A classical album performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, it later reached #1 on Billboard’s classical music chart.

2004: Elvis Costello released his twenty-first studio album, The Delivery Man. Recorded with the Imposters in Mississippi, the project had started as a concept album written for Johnny Cash, and features guest vocals by Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris.

2011: R.E.M. announced via its website that it was “calling it a day as a band.” Singer Michael Stipe said that he hoped fans realized it “wasn’t an easy decision. All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.”

Birthdays Today

Don Preston, jazz and rock keyboardist known for his work with Frank Zappa a member of the Mothers of Invention, was born in Flint, MI in 1932.

Leonard Cohen, singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist, was born Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1934.

Dickey Lee, pop and country singer-songwriter, was born Royden Dickey Lipscomb in Memphis, TN in 1936.

David Hood, bassist, trombonist, record producer, session musician, and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (a.k.a. The Swampers) who played on hundreds of songs and albums by numerous artists, was born in Sheffield, AL in 1943.

Jesse Ed Davis, Native American guitarist, well-regarded session musician, and solo artist who played on recordings by Taj Mahal, David Cassidy, Albert King, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Gene Clark, John Lennon and George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Keith Moon, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller, Harry Nilsson, Ry Cooder, Neil Diamond, Rick Danko, Leonard Cohen, Van Dyke Parks, and others, was born in Norman, OK in 1944.

Don Felder, musician, songwriter, and lead guitarist from for the Eagles from 1974-2001, was born in Gainesville, FL in 1947.

Rupert Hine, musician, songwriter, and record producer who worked on albums by Kevin Ayers, Tina Turner, Howard Jones, Saga, The Fixx, Bob Geldof, Thompson Twins, Stevie Nicks, Suzanne Vega, and others, was born in Wimbledon, London, England in 1947.

Colin Gibson, bass player and composer who co-founded The Chosen Few/Skip Bifferty, was a member of Ginger Baker’s Air Force, and was a session musician for artists including Alan Hull, Alvin Lee, and Steve Howe, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England in 1949.

Dave Gregory, guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist for XTC from 1979-1998, was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, England in 1952.

Tyler Stewart, drummer for Barenaked Ladies, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1967.

Jon Brookes, drummer for The Charlatans (a.k.a. The Charlatans UK), was born in Staffordshire, England in 1968.

Liam Gallagher, lead singer for Oasis and a solo artist, was born William John Paul Gallagher in Burnage, Manchester, England in 1972.