1954: Sun Records released Elvis Prelsey’s version of Roy Brown’s “Good Rocking Tonight.” It became Prelsey’s first record to enter the Billboard pop chart and reached #74.
1956: The Coasters debuted on the Billboard pop chart with “One Kiss Led To Another.”
1958: The first single by the Teddy Bears, “To Know Him Is To Love Him,” entered the Billboard singles chart. The group included Phil Spector and high school friends Marshall Lieb, Harvey Goldstein, and singer Annette Kleinbard. Co-written by Spector, the song had been inspired by words on his father’s tombstone: “To Know Him Was to Love Him.”The recording session lasted only 20 minutes and cost $75. Ten weeks later, the song started three weeks at #1, and sold 1.4 million copies.
1962: Bob Dylan appeared for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of a hootenanny which included his first public performance of “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.”
1964: Six years after it had been recorded, Elvis Presley released his version of “Ain’t That Loving You Baby,” a song written by Clyde Otis and Ivory Joe Hunter and first recorded by Eddie Riff in 1956. The record’s B-side was “Ask Me,” an English-language cover version of the Italian song “Io” by Domenico Modugno.
1965: The Supremes began recording the Holland–Dozier–Holland song “I Hear A Symphony” at Motown’s Detroit headquarters, Hitsville, USA. In November, it became the group’s sixth #1 on the Billboard and Cash Box singles charts and reached #2 on the Billboard R&B chart.
1965: The Miracles released “My Girls Has Gone” as the fourth single from their album, “Going to a Go-Go.”
1967: “King Midas in Reverse” by The Hollies was released in the UK. Written by Graham Nash, the song’s style had been influenced by his visits to America. Nash had wished to take the band in a new direction, but this was resisted by the other members and eventually lead to Nash’s departure and his move to the United States.
1967: Procol Harum released “Homburg” as the follow-up single to their initial 1967 hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” The song went to #1 in several countries, #6 in the UK, and #34 in the US.
1967: The Moody Blues released “Love and Beauty” backed with “Leave This Man Alone.” It was the group’s second single after meeting Decca producer Tony Clarke in which the band pursued recording their own material after failing to find success performing American blues covers and novelty songs. Both it and the single before it, “Fly Me High” backed with “Really Haven’t Got the Time,” were not big hits in the UK, but further established their new identity and sound, which incorporated more distinct psychedelic influences.
1969: The Band released their eponymous second studio album. It became the group’s first of two albums to enter the top 10 on the Billboard pop chart, peaking at #9.
1972: David Bowie began his first tour of the US. He and the Spiders from Mars played the first date of the North American leg of their Ziggy Stardust Tour at the Cleveland Music Hall in Ohio.
1972: Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show released their third single, “Carry Me, Carrie.” It was later released as part of the band’s second album, Sloppy Seconds, which contains songs exclusively written by Shel Silverstein.
1974: Supertramp began a tour to promote their recently released third studio album, Crime of the Century, at Kings Road Theatre in Chelsea, England.
1975: George Harrison released Extra Texture (Read All About It), his sixth studio album, last under his contract with Apple Records and EMI, and last issued by Apple.
1978: Yes released their ninth studio album, Tomato. Despite a mixed response from critics, it reached the top 10 in the UK and US, where it became the band’s fastest selling album.
1978: Buzzcocks released their second studio album, Love Bites. It is the group’s highest reaching LP, peaking at #13 on the UK chart.
1979: Nick Lowe had his first solo entry on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Cruel To Be Kind,” which later became his biggest single and peaked at #12.
1979: Gary Numan scored his second of two #1 UK singles with “Cars.” The song became his first of two to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, reaching #9.
1980: The Rolling Stones released “She’s So Cold” backed with “Send It to Me” as the second single from their fifteenth British and seventeenth American studio album, Emotional Rescue.
1981: After having sold his Asylum Records label and leaving the music business, David Geffen returned from his hiatus to form a new label, Geffen Records. Also emerging from a five year hiatus in the late 1970s was John Lennon, who signed with Geffen’s new label after Geffen beat out numerous label’s efforts to sign Lennon by focusing his negotiations on Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon’s first release on the label was his joint album with Ono and the last released in his lifetime, Double Fantasy.
1983: After not speaking to each other for ten years, The Everly Brothers reunited to play the first of two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
1985: After the Live Aid concerts earlier that summer, the first Farm Aid benefit concert was held at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL to an audience of 80,000 people. Organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young, the concert aimed to raise money for US family farmers in danger of losing their farms. Performers included Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, Tom Petty, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Arlo Guthrie, and John Fogerty, and managed to raise over $9 million. Two years later, Nelson and Mellencamp, along with a number of family farmers, testified before Congress about the plight of farmers in the US. Congress subsequently passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to help save family farms from foreclosure.
1986: Billy Idol released “To Be a Lover,” the lead single from his third studio album, Whiplash Smile. The song was written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones, and originally recorded by Bell as a soul ballad titled “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” in 1968. Idol’s version became his second top 10 hit in the US, reaching #6.
1987: A day after it was released in Australia, Icehouse’s sixth studio album, Man of Colours, was issued in the US.
1997: The Rolling Stones released “Anybody Seen My Baby?,” the lead single from their twenty-first British and twenty-third American studio album, Bridges to Babylon.
1997: Elton John released his twenty-fifth studio album, The Big Picture.
1998: Barenaked Ladies released “One Week,” the lead single from their fourth studio album, Stunt. It remains one of the band’s best-known songs and coincidentally spend one week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1998: Lyle Lovett released Step Inside This House, his seventh album and a double LP consisting of cover songs written by fellow Texans.
1998: Chris Isaak released his seventh studio album, Speak of the Devil.
Russell Solomon, founder of Tower Records, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1925.
Mike Patto, keyboardist and lead vocalist for Spooky Tooth, was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England in 1942.
Toni Basil, singer, actress, choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker best known for her 1981 worldwide hit “Mickey,” was born Antonia Christina Basilotta in Philadelphia, PA in 1943.
Sam Pace, tenor vocalist for The Esquires, was born in Kansas City, MO in 1944.
Roger Nichols, recording engineer, producer, and inventor best known for his work with Steely Dan and John Denver, who pioneered the technique of “digital drum replacement” by inventing the Wendel sampling computer, and also worked with numerous acts including the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Crosby Stills & Nash, Al Di Meola, Cass Elliot, Diana Ross, Mark Knopfler, and James Taylor, was born in Oakland, CA in 1944.
David Coverdale, songwriter, lead singer for Deep Purple from 1973-1976, and a solo artist, was born in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1951.
Nick Cave, musician, singer-songwriter, author, composer, and frontman of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia in 1957.
Johnette Napolitano, lead vocalist, songwriter, and bassist for Concrete Blonde, was born in Hollywood, CA in 1957.
Pete Jones, bass player best known as a member of Public Image Ltd, was born in England in 1957.
Joan Jett, singer, songwriter, founding member of The Runaways, and leader of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, was born Joan Marie Larkin in Wynnewood, PA in 1958.