Today in Rock & Roll History: September 23rd

1957: “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets hit #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart. The single also reached #2 on R&B chart and topped the UK singles chart later in early November.

1957: Bill Justis released the rock instrumental “Raunchy.” Produced by Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, it is one of the first rock songs to use the “twangy” lead guitar effect.

1963: The Beach Boys released Surfer Girl, their third studio album and first in which Brian Wilson was credited as the only producer.

1965: Australian band The Easybeats released their debut studio album, Easy.

1966: The Rolling Stones kicked off what would be their last British tour for four years at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They were accompanied by Ike & Tina Turner and The Yardbirds, who debuted their twin lead guitar lineup featuring Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Supporting acts were Long John Baldry and Peter Jay & The New Jay Walkers. Before the Stones’ set, a miniature riot took place, and managers, agents, and PRs hurried from their front-row seats to assist security guards. It was later announced that unless everyone returned to their seats the show would be canceled. Filmmaker Peter Whitehead captured the riot on his 16mm hand-held camera. The footage was edited into the promo for the Stones’ single “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” On the same day, “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” was released simultaneously in the US and UK. It was the first Stones song to feature brass instruments and one of earliest songs to use guitar feedback. Written by guitarist Keith Richards on piano, it had been recorded during early sessions for the band’s Between the Buttons LP.

1967: “People Are Strange” by The Doors entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #12 by the end of October. Written by vocalist Jim Morrison and guitarist Robby Krieger, the single also made it into the top 10 on Cash Box chart.

1967: Led by 16-year-old Alex Chilton, The Box Top’s had their first and biggest chart hit with “The Letter” when it went to #1 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to selling over four million copies and receiving two Grammy nominations, the single was also an international hit, reaching #1 in Canada and the top ten in several other countries. The song had been written by country music singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Wayne Carson, who wrote a number of other hits for The Box Tops including “Neon Rainbow and “Soul Deep.”

1967: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention made their UK concert debut at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

1969: Together, the second and final duets studio album by Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations, was released by Motown Records. Like the two group’s previous album together, Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations, it is composed almost entirely of covers.

1969: The Temptations released their eleventh studio album, Puzzle People.

1969: The Marvelettes released “That’s How Heartaches Are Made” from their ninth studio album, In Full Bloom.

1970: Santana released Abraxas, their second studio album and first to reach #1 in the US.

1970: The Allman Brothers Band released their second studio album, Idlewild South.

1973: The Who released “5:15” backed with “Water” as lead single from sixth studio album Quadrophenia.

1974: John Lennon released “Whatever Gets You thru the Night,” the lead single from his fifth studio album, Walls and Bridges. By mid-November, it became his first solo #1, topping the Billboard Hot 100. It was the last solo #1 by a member of the Beatles as well as Lennon’s only solo single to top the charts in his lifetime. Elton John, who contributed piano and harmony vocals, made a bet with Lennon that if the song went to #1, Lennon would have to appear with Elton at one of his shows. Skeptical of it’s potential success, Lennon took the bet, and ended up performing with Elton at his Thanksgiving concert at Madison Square Garden. It was Lennon’s last major concert appearance.

1977: David Bowie released “’Heroes’,” the lead single and title track from his twelfth studio album. While it was not a huge hit in the UK or US, the track became one of Bowie’s signature songs and his second-most covered song.

1977: Steely Dan’s sixth studio album, Aja, was released. Their last with ABC Records, the LP became their highest-reaching entry on the Billboard pop chart as well as the UK chart.

1977: Randy Newman released his fifth studio album, Little Criminals. It became Newman’s highest-charting LP on the Billboard pop chart, reaching #9.

1977: The Clash released “Complete Control” as a single in the UK. The song was later issued in the US as part of the band’s self-titled American debut LP.

1977: The Stranglers released their second studio album, No More Heroes, just five months after the release of their debut LP.

1977: The Rolling Stones released their third full-length live album, Love You Live. The double LP was assembled from the group’s tours of North and South American in 1975, their 1976 tour of Europe, and from performances at the El Mocambo club in Toronto and went to #5 in the US.

1978: Earth, Wind & Fire went to the top of the Billboard R&B chart with their cover of the Beatles’ song “Got to Get You into My Life.”

1978: Blondie released their third studio album, “Parallel Lines.” It became the band’s first album to reach #1 in the UK as well as their breakthrough in the US, where it remains their highest-charting LP, having peaked at #6 on the Billboard pop chart.

1981: Frank Zappa released You Are What You Is, a double album that emerged from two scrapped live projects, Warts and All and Crush All Boxes. Additional albums that resulted from the discarded projects were Tinsel Town Rebellion, Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar, and You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore.

1982: Billy Joel released his eighth studio album, The Nylon Curtain.

1985: 10,000 Maniacs released The Wishing Chair, their first major-label album, on Elektra Records.

1986: Following its release in the UK in early August, “Don’t Get Me Wrong” by The Pretenders was released in the US as the first single from their fourth studio album, Get Close.

1989: The Eurythmics scored their second #1 album in the UK with their seventh studio LP, We Too Are One. The album reached #34 in the US.

1989: Poco released Legacy, the band’s seventeenth studio album that reunited the five original members of the group.

1996: Counting Crows released “Angels of the Silences” as the lead single from their second album, Recovering the Satellites.

1997: Todd Rundgren released With a Twist… an album of new versions of his older singles recorded in Bossa nova style with elements of Exotica. Rundgren subsequently went on a tour of theaters with a replica of a tiki bar.

2003: Jackson Browne released Time the Conqueror, his thirteenth studio album and first LP of new material in six years.

2003: Elvis Costello released North, an album of intimate ballads that later reached #1 on the US Traditional Jazz chart.

2014: John Mellencamp released Plain Spoken, his twenty-second studio album and first project of his new lifetime contract with Republic Records.

Birthdays Today

John Coltrane, innovative and influential jazz saxophonist and composer, was born in Hamlet, NC in 1926.

Ray Charles, pioneering soul singer-songwriter, musician, and composer who combined blues, R&B, gospel and was one of the first black musicians granted artistic control by a mainstream record company, was born Ray Charles Robinson in Albany, GA in 1930.

Les McCann, jazz pianist and vocalist, was born in Lexington, KY in 1935.

Roy Buchanan, influential blues rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, solo artist and sideman who played with Dale Hawkins and Ronnie Hawkins and tutored Robbie Robertson, was born Leroy Buchanan in Ozark, AK in 1939.

Tim Rose, folk singer-songwriter who spent most of his life in England, was born in Greenwich Village, NY in 1940.

Jeremy Steig, jazz flutist and son or artist and children’s book author William Steig, was born in Manhattan, NY in 1942.

Steve Boone, bass guitarist for The Lovin’ Spoonful, was born in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC in 1943.

John Banks, drummer for The Merseybeats, was born in Liverpool, England in 1943.

Ron Bushy, drummer for Iron Butterfly and only member to appear on all six of the group’s studio albums, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1945.

Peter Kaukonen, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and younger brother of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, who’s played, toured, and recorded with Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, Johnny Winter, Link Wray, Terry Allen, and Ruthann Friedman, was born in Topeka, KS in 1945.

Anthony “Duster” Bennett, singer, musician, session player, and one-man blues band who was friends with Peter Green and toured with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, was born in Welshpool, Powys, Mid Wales in 1946.

Jerry Corbetta, singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and organist best known as the lead singer and frontman for Sugarloaf, was born in Denver, CO in 1947.

Don Grolnick, jazz pianist, composer, record producer, and member of Steps Ahead and Dreams who, as a session musician, recorded with artists including Roberta Flack, Harry Chapin, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, J.D. Souther, Steely Dan, and James Taylor, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1947.

“Dangerous” Dan Toler, guitarist for The Allman Brothers Band and Dickey Betts & Great Southern, was born in Connersville, IN in 1948.

Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriter, musician, and leader of his E Street Band, was born Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen in Long Beach, NJ in 1949.

Ani DiFranco, singer, songwriter, poet, and activist, was born in Buffalo, NY in 1970.