Today in Rock & Roll History: September 25th

1964: The Temptations began recording “My Girl” at Hitsville USA, the nickname given to Motown’s first recording studio in Detroit, Michigan. By the end of the following January, it became the group’s second R&B #1 in the US, and their first to hit the top of the Billboard pop chart later in March.

1964: “Time Is on My Side,” written by Jerry Ragovoy and originally recorded by jazz trombonist Kai Winding and his Orchestra in 1963, was released as a single by The Rolling Stones in the US. The song had also been released as a B-side by R&B singer Irma Thomas a month before the Stones’ version was issued. The loosely arranged recording with an organ intro was included on the band’s American LP, 12 X 5, and a more tightly arranged version with a guitar intro was recorded in Chicago later that year and included on their second UK album, The Rolling Stones No. 2.

1965: Barry McGuire’s first charting single, a rendition of P.F. Sloan’s “Eve of Destruction,” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was McGuire’s only #1 hit and reached #3 on the UK singles chart the following November. Many radio stations had refused to play the song because of its anti-government lyrics, but the controversy only sparked interest in the record, sending it to the top of the chart.

1965: “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass was released by Chess Records. The record became the biggest hit of her career, spending four weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B chart, reaching #4 on the pop chart, and #11 in the UK. Original songwriting credits went to Raynard Miner and Carl William Smith, although many sources also credit Bass herself as a co-writer.

1965: “Get Off of My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones was released in the US. Released a month later in the UK, the single became their fifth British #1 and second in the US. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards reportedly wrote the song in response to the success of their previous #1 single, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” from earlier that summer, and Jagger later described the song as a response to the very ordered and restrictive society of 1960s England, and America especially.

1965: The Ventures released their seventeenth studio album, The Ventures a Go-Go. The LP consists mostly of instrumental covers of popular tunes from the late 1950s and early 1960s, with a few original compositions, and is the group’s fifth highest charting album.

1965: The Beatles’ Saturday morning animated television series debuted on ABC in the US. Each episode was titled after one of the group’s songs and had a plot based on its lyrics.

1967: The Doors released their second studio album, Strange Days. Recorded during tour breaks between May and August 1967 at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, producer Paul A. Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick employed a state-of-the-art 8-track recording machine that allowed the band to experiment with unusual instrumentation to enhance their otherworldly sound. According to engineer Bruce Botnick, this approach was inspired by the band obtaining an advance copy of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and “absolutely flipping out” at what they heard.

1967: The Beatles began recording “The Fool on the Hill” at EMI’s recording studios in London.

1968: Recording sessions began for Van Morrison’s second LP, Astral Weeks, at Century Sound Studios in New York. The album was released later that year in November by Warner Bros. Records. Astral Weeks marked a significant departure from Morrison’s previous pop hits, incorporating a mix of folk, blues jazz, and classical music styles.

1968: Mary Hopkin reached the top of the UK singles chart with her  only #1 hit, “Those Were the Days.” Adapted from a Russian love song, the recording was produced by Paul McCartney. Five weeks later, the single peaked at #2 in the US.

1970: Ringo Starr released his second solo album, Beaucoups of Blues. Recorded in Nashville with Nashville producer Pete Drake, it was a departure from the pop-based style of his debut album, relying more on his country and western influences. It proved to be a moderate commercial success, reaching #35 slot on the Billboard Country Albums chart and #65 on the pop chart.

1971: “Peace Train” by Cat Steven entered the Billboard Hot 100. In early November, it became his first top 10 hit in the US, reaching #7.

1971: Janis Joplin recorded “Me and Bobby McGee” for her and final solo album, Pearl. The song had previously been sung to her by its co-writer and Joplin’s former lover, Kris Kristofferson, and was taught to her by singer Bob Neuwirth. Kristofferson was unaware that Joplin had recorded the song until after her death just over a week later. Her version later topped the charts and became her only #1 single.

1971: Deep Purple’s fifth studio album, Fireball, became the group’s first to reach #1 when it hit the top of the UK chart.

1974: The J. Geils Band released their fifth studio album, Nightmares…and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle.

1974: After becoming increasingly disenchanted with the music business and his interactions with Russian spiritual mystic George Gurdjieff, Robert Fripp announced that King Crimson “ceased to exist” and was “completely over for ever and ever” shortly after the band had completed a tour of the US.

1979: The Cars released “It’s All I Can Do,” the second single from their second studio album, Candy-O.

1979: British post-punk band Gang of Four released their debut album, Entertainment!.

1980: The Grateful Dead played the first of fourteen nights at the recently-restored Warfield Theater in San Francisco. Songs from the band’s two weeks there were later released the following year as part of the Dead Set double album.

1981: Siouxsie and the Banshees singer Siouxsie Sioux and drummer Budgie put out their first release as the duo the Creatures, a five-track EP titled Wild Things.

1981: Diana Ross released her version of “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” originally recorded by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers in 1956, as the first single and title track from her twelfth studio album.

1982: The Psychedelic Furs released their third studio album, Forever Now.

1982: The title track from the Steve Miller Band’s twelfth studio album, Abracadabra, became their third single to top the Billboard Hot 100.

1988: They Might Be Giants released their second studio album, Lincoln. The LP is named after John Linnell and John Flansburgh’s boyhood home of Lincoln, Massachusetts.

1989: Belinda Carlisle released “Leave a Light On,” the lead single from her third solo studio album, Runaway Horses. Written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley, the song features slide guitar performed by George Harrison.

1990: INXS released their seventh studio album, X. After the success of their previous LP, Kick, it became the group’s third #1 in their home country of Australia and second of two top ten albums in the US.

1990: The Replacements released their seventh and final studio album, All Shook Down. Originally intended to be frontman Paul Westerberg’s debut solo release, his management persuaded him to making it a Replacements album before recording.

1990: Carly Simon released her fifteenth studio album, Have You Seen Me Lately.

1995: David Bowie released his nineteenth studio album, 1. Outside, which marked his reunion with Brian Eno. Subtitled The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper-cycle, the album was based on the diary of a fictional character Bowie had written after Q Magazine had asked Bowie to keep a 10-day diary for future publication. Bowie had feared a diary of his own life would be too boring.

2007: Steve Earle released his twelfth studio album, Washington Square Serenade.

2007: Joni Mitchell released Shine, her nineteenth studio album and first album of new songs since Taming the Tiger in 1998. It reached #14 on the Billboard pop chart—her best peak position in the US since Hejira in 1976.

2007: Melissa Etheridge released her ninth studio album, The Awakening.

2015: Don Henley released Cass County, his fifth solo studio album and first new solo LP since Inside Job in 2000. Guests on the album include Mick Jagger, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, and Lucinda Williams.

2017: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed the last of three nights at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as part of their 40th anniversary tour. It was Petty’s final performance before his death a week later.

Birthdays Today

Shel Silverstein, writer, poet, cartoonist, and songwriter who wrote hits such as “The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “One’s the Way,” and “The Taker” and whose songs have been recorded by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Tompal Glaser, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins, and others, was born in Chicago, IL in 1930.

Ian Tyson, singer-songwriter and half of the folk duo Ian & Sylvia, was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1933.

Erik Darling, influential folk songwriter and musician and member of the Tarriers,The Weavers, and The Rooftop Singers was born in Baltimore, MD in 1933.

“Sweet” Joe Russell, member of the Persuasions and backing vocalist for many artists including Stevie Wonder, Phoebe Snow, Don McLean, and Joni Mitchell, was born Joseph Jessie Russell in Henderson, NC in 1939.

Wade Flemons, soul singer, solo artist, and pianist and vocalist with Earth, Wind & Fire, was born in Coffeyville, KS in 1940.

Dee Dee Warwick, soul singer and sister of Dionne Warwick, was born Delia Juanita Warrick in Newark, NJ in 1942.

Jules Gary Alexander, lead guitarist and vocalist with The Association, was born in Chattanooga, TN in 1943.

John Locke, keyboardist and songwriter for Spirit, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1943.

Owen “Onnie” McIntyre, guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder of Average White Band, was born in Lennoxtown, Scotland in 1945.

Bryan MacLean, singer, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work with Love, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1946.

Jerry “The Bear” Penrod, early bass guitarist for Iron Butterfly from 1966-1697, was born in San Diego, CA in 1946.

Cecil Womack, singer, songwriter, record producer, and brother of Bobby and Harry Womack best known as a member of The Valentinos and as half the duo Womack & Womack with his wife Linda, was born in Cleveland, OH in 1947.

Kathi McDonald, blues and rock singer who worked with Ike & Tina Turner, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Long John Baldry, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Rolling Stones, Grin, Delaney & Bonnie, Dave Mason, and others, was born in Anacortes, WA in 1948.

Eric Taylor, singer-songwriter whose songs have been covered by Nancy Griffith, Lyle Lovette, and others, was born in Atlanta, GA in 1949.

Zucchero, singer-songwriter and musician credited as the “father of Italian blues,” who collaborated and performed with artists such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brian May, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Sting, Bono, Dolores O’Riordan, Paul Young, Peter Gabriel, Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli, was born Adelmo Fornaciari in Roncocesi, Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1955.

Steven Severin, musician, composer, producer, and bassist, keyboardist, and founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees, was born in Highgate, London, England in 1955.