Today in Rock & Roll History: September 29th

1956: Bill Haley and His Comets had five songs on UK Top 30: “See You Later Alligator” at #19, “Razzle Dazzle” at #17, “Rock Around the Clock” at #13, The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll” at #11, and “Rockin’ Through the Rye” #4.

1957: Buddy Holly and the Crickets recorded “Maybe Baby” at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, OK. The Crickets were in the middle of touring and had just performed at the Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium earlier in the evening. In the wee hours of the morning, they recorded a handful songs at the base.

1958: Tommy Edwards went to #1 on both Billboard’s Hot 100 and R&B charts with “It’s All in the Game.”

1962: Booker T. & the M.G.’s first single, “Green Onions,” peaked at #3 on Billboard Hot 100. Two weeks earlier, the instrumental had reached the top of the R&B chart.

1963: The Rolling Stones began their first concert tour at the New Victoria Theatre in London opening for Bo Diddley, Little Richard, and the Everly Brothers.

1966: At London’s Birdland Club, Jimi Hendrix met Noel Redding after Redding failed an audition to be the new guitarist for Eric Burdon’s New Animals. After jamming on “Hey Joe” and “Have Mercy on Me Baby,” Jimi offered Redding the gig as bassist in his band that later became known as the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Redding agreed to give the bass a try, and Jimi’s manager and former Animals bassist Chas Chandler tutored Noel on his new instrument.

1967: Drummer Mickey Hart performed onstage with the Grateful Dead for first time at the Straight Theater in San Francisco.

1969: Yes released Sweetness, the lead single from their eponymous debut album.

1971: The Jackson 5 released Goin’ Back to Indiana, their sixth album and soundtrack to the ABC television special of the same name.

1972: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band released their second album, Glorified Magnified.

1973: The title track from Grand Funk Railroad’s seventh studio album, We’re an American Band, became their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1973: “Just You ‘n’ Me” by Chicago entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to peaking at #4.

1973: Stevie Wonder reached #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart with the first single from his Innervisions album, “Higher Ground.”

1975: Elton John released “Island Girl,” the lead single from his tenth studio album, Rock of the Westies album.

1977: Billy Joel released his fifth studio album, The Stranger. Joel’s first album with producer Phil Ramone, it became his first LP to enter the top 20 on the Billboard pop chart, reaching #2, as well as a breakthrough hit in the UK, where it reached #24.

1979: The Police scored their first #1 single in the UK with “Message in a Bottle,” the lead single from their second album, Reggatta de Blanc.

1980: Stevie Wonder released his nineteenth studio album, Hotter than July. Wonder wrote, produced, arranged, and recorded the album of original material at Wonderland Studios in Los Angeles, which he had recently acquired.

1983: Billy Joel released “Uptown Girl,” the second single from his ninth studio album, An Innocent Man.

1984: Prince and the Revolution started two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the second chart-topping single from their Purple Rain album, “Let’s Go Crazy.”

1986: Chicago released Chicago 18, their fifteenth studio album, first without founding member Peter Cetera, and first with bassist Jason Scheff.

1986: John Fogerty released his fourth solo studio album, Eye of the Zombie.

1986: New Order released their fourth studio album, Brotherhood.

1986: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released their seventh studio album, The Pacific Age.

1990: Prince had his seventh #1 on the Billboard R&B chart with “Thieves in the Temple.”

1992: 10,000 Maniacs released Our Time in Eden, the group’s fifth studio album and last with original lead singer Natalie Merchant.

1993: Belinda Carlisle released her fifth studio album, Real.

1997: The Rolling Stones released their twenty-first British and twenty-third American studio album, Bridges to Babylon. Unlike their previous albums, an eclectic mix of well-known producers was brought in, including the Dust Brothers, Don Was, and Rob Fraboni, and a wide array of guest musicians appeared on the album. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were not on speaking terms during recording sessions, but mended their relationship enough to embark on a successful year-long world tour to support the album.

1998: Peter Wolf released his fifth solo album, Fool’s Parade.

1998: Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello released the collaborative album Painted from Memory.

1998: Joni Mitchell released her sixteenth studio album, Taming the Tiger.

2003: Sting released his seventh solo album, Sacred Love.

2009: Drivin N Cryin released their eighth studio album, The Great American Bubble Factory.

Birthdays Today

Gene Autry, singer, songwriter, actor, musician and rodeo performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on radio and television, was born Orvon Grover Autry in Tioga, TX in 1907.

Billy Strange, singer, songwriter, guitarist, actor, and session musician with the Wrecking Crew who played on songs by such artists as The Beach Boys, Nancy Sinatra, Jan & Dean, The Ventures, Willie Nelson, Wandy Jackson, and Randy Newman, and also wrote or co-wrote such songs as “Limbo Rock” and “A Little Less Conversation,” was born in Long Beach, CA in 1930.

Jerry Lee Lewis, singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, was born in Ferriday, LA in 1935.

Joe “Guitar” Hughes, blues guitarist and solo artist who worked with Johnny Copeland, Little Richard, Bobby Bland, and others, was born in Houston, TX in 1937.

Tommy Boyce, singer, songwriter, and half of the prolific songwriting duo Boyce and Hart with Bobby Hart, was born in Charlottesville, VA in 1939.

Jean-Luc Ponty, jazz violinist and composer who has collaborated with artists that include Elton John, Frank Zappa, Chick Corea, and Al Di Meola, was born in Avranches, France in 1942.

Manuel Fernández Aparicio, organist for Los Bravos, was born in Seville, Andalucia, Spain in 1943.

Anne Briggs, singer and influential figure in the English folk music revival who never aspired to commercial success, but was a source of songs and musical inspiration for others such as Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page, The Watersons, June Tabor, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, and Maddy Prior, was born in Toton, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, England in 1944.

Tommy Tate, soul singer, songwriter, and member of The Nightingales, and a solo artist who wrote songs recorded by Bobby Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Isaac Hayes, Little Milton, and others, was born in Homestead, FL in 1945.

Mark Farner, songwriter and lead singer and guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad, was born in Flint, MI in 1948.

Mike Pinera, guitarist and vocalist who got his start as a member of Blues Image and later performed as a member of Iron Butterfly, Ramatam, New Cactus, and Alice Cooper, was born Carlos Michael Pinera in Tampa, FL in 1948.

Suzzy Roche, singer and songwriter best known as a member of The Roches along with her older sisters Maggie and Terre, was born in Park Ridge, NJ in 1956.

Les Claypool, musician, singer, songwriter, composer, solo artist, lead vocalist and bassist for Primus, and co-founder of The Claypool Lennon Delerium, was born in Richmond, CA in 1963.

Brad Smith, bassist for Blind Melon, was born in West Point, MS in 1968.

Jon Auer, musician, record producer, co-founder of The Posies, and member of Big Star from 1993-2010, was born in Bellingham, WA in 1969.