Today in Rock & Roll History: September 30th

1957: “Red Hot” by Billy Lee Riley and the Little Green Men was released. Originally written and recorded by Billy “The Kid” Emerson in 1955, it became one of Riley’s biggest hits.

1963: During sessions for their second UK album at EMI’s studios in London, the Beatles began work on five songs: “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Little Child,” All I’ve Got To Do,” “Not A Second Time,” and George Harrison’s first solo composition, “Don’t Bother Me.”

1963: Martha Reeves and the Vandellas released Heat Wave, their second album and last to feature original member Annette Beard.

1964: Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston released “What Good Am I Without You.” It was the first duet the pair recorded and was included on their only duet album, Take Two.

1964: The Beatles were working on their fourth British LP, Beatles for Sale, recording “Every Little Thing,” “What Your Doing,” and “No Reply.”

1965: Donovan made his US television debut on Shindig! playing his second hit single, “Colours.” Additional acts on the episode included Lesley Gore, the Turtles, Major Lance, and the Hollies.

1965: The Temptations released “My Baby,” the second single from their third studio album, The Temptin’ Temptations. Produced and co-written by Smokey Robinson, the song was an attempt at an uptempo danceable number for the group after all of their previous top 20 hits had been ballads or slower songs. The single was immediately followed up with the even faster composition, “Get Ready.”

1966: Cat Stevens released his first single, “I Love My Dog.” Stevens later acknowledged that he had essentially written the lyrics to the music of The Plum Blossom by American jazz multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef and that he had not only payed Lateef, but also gave him royalties.

1967: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” the lead single from Aretha Franklin’s twelfth studio album, Lady Soul, entered the Billboard Hot 100. Five weeks later the single peaked at #8. In November, the song reached #2 on the R&B chart.

1967: Wilson Pickett topped the Billboard R&B chart with “Funky Broadway.”

1967: Inspired by the pirate radio movement, the BBC launched the new, hip BBC Radio 1. In August, the Marine Offences Act had outlawed unregulated pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London, and the BBC saw an opportunity to create a legal, dedicated pop music station. In the studio on the first day of broadcasting was former Radio Caroline DJ Tony Blackburn spinning the Move’s top 10 hit, “Flowers in the Rain.”

1968: “Love Child” by Diana Ross and Supremes was released ahead of the group’s fifth studio album of the same name. The single became the their eleventh and penultimate #1 pop single in the US.

1969: Blood, Sweat & Tears released their cover of Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die” as the third single from the group’s self-titled second album. It was the band’s third straight record to peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their last to reach the top 10 on the chart.

1969: Rare Earth released their second studio album, Get Ready. The album’s title track became the group’s first and biggest hit single.

1970: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles A Pocket Full of Miracles. It was the group’s last top 10 album on the Billboard R&B chart before Smokey Robinson left the group.

1971: Three Dog Night released their seventh studio album, Harmony.

1971: Former Strawbs keyboardist Rick Wakeman performed with Yes for the first time in Leicester, England on the third date of the band’s tour promoting their latest album, Fragile.

1971: “Theme from Shaft” by Isaac Hayes was released by Stax Records on their Enterprise label. It went to #2 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and in November, reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Hayes’ only top 20 hit on the US pop charts and his only single to chart in the UK, where it reached #4.

1977: Ian Dury released his debut solo album, New Boots and Panties!!.

1978: “Time Passages,” the title track from Al Stewart’s eighth studio album, entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually reached #7. The second of two top 10 hits, it also became Stewart’s only #1 single, topping both the American and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts.

1978: Funkadelic achieved their first #1 single when “One Nation Under a Groove” topped the Billboard R&B chart.

1982: Bruce Springsteen released his sixth studio album, Nebraska. Springsteen recorded the album’s songs as demos with the intention of re-recording them with the E Street Band, but ended up releasing them as they were.

1982: Marvin Gaye released “Sexual Healing,” the lead single from his seventeenth studio album, Midnight Love. It became Gaye’s most successful record to date, won two Grammy Awards, and was his last #1 on the Billboard R&B chart.

1985: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble released their third studio album, Soul to Soul.

1985: Tears for Fears released “I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording),” the fifth single from their second album, Songs from the Big Chair.

1985: Tom Waits released their ninth studio album, Rain Dogs.

1986: Bruce Hornsby and the Range released their debut album, The Way It Is. It reached #3 on the Billboard pop chart and is Hornsby’s highest-charting LP.

1987: Roy Orbison taped Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night at the Ambassador Hotel’s Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles. The television special featured Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Elvis Prelsey’s TCB Band, and several others and was later broadcast on Cinemax the following January. The program was released as an album by Virgin in 1989 titled A Black and White Night Live.

1989: Neil Young performed “Rockin’ in the Free World” on Saturday Night Live. Considered a turning point in his career, Young claims to have done calisthenics and lifted weights with a trainer in his dressing room in order to feel like he’d been playing for an hour and a half when he took the stage.

1991: Robbie Robertson released his second solo album, Storyville.

1997: Bob Dylan released his thirtieth studio album, Time Out of Mind. Hailed as one of his best albums, it was Dylan’s first double album since Self Portrait in 1970 and first of original material since Under the Red Sky in 1990. The following year, the album won three Grammy Awards including Album of the Year.

1997: Patti Smith released her seventh studio album, Peace and Noise.

2002: The Rolling Stones released “Don’t Stop,” a newly written song included on the band’s 40-year retrospective compilation album, Forty Licks, which was issued the same day.

2002: Mark Knopfler released his third solo studio album, The Ragpicker’s Dream.

2008: James Taylor released Covers, his eighteenth studio album and first album of songs written by other artists.

2008: Boz Scaggs released his sixteenth studio album, Speak Low.

2013: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts released their twelfth studio album, Unvarnished.

2014: Lucinda Williams released her eleventh studio album and first on her own Highway 20 Records label, the double LP Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone.

2014: Melissa Etheridge released her thirteenth studio album, This Is M.E..

Birthdays Today

Bernard “Buddy” Rich, jazz musician and bandleader considered one of the most influential drummers of all time, was born in New York City in 1917.

Emily “Cissy” Houston, soul and gospel singer, backing vocalist for artists including Roy Hamilton, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin, founder of The Sweet Inspirations, solo artist, and mother of Whitney Houston, was born Emily Drinkard in Newark, NJ in 1933.

Johnny Mathis, pop singer and songwriter, was born in Gilmer, TX in 1935.

Dewey Martin, drummer for The Dillards and co-founder of Buffalo Springfield, was born Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff in Chesterville, Ontario, Canada in 1940.

Frankie Lymon, blues and R&B singer, songwriter, and leader of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, was born in Harlem, NY in 1942.

Gus Dudgeon, sound engineer and record producer known for working with The Beach Boys, Elton John, David Bowie, The Zombies, Strawbs, XTC, and Joan Armatrading, was born in Wokin, Surrey, England in 1942.

Marilyn McCoo, lead female vocalist for The 5th Dimension, was born in Jersey City, NJ in 1943.

Marc Bolan, singer, songwriter, musician, solo artist, and frontman for T. Rex, was born Mark Feld in Stoke Newington, London, England in 1947.

John Lombardo, guitarist, songwriter, founding member of 10,000 Maniacs, and half of the duo John & Mary with Mary Ramsey, was born in Jamestown, NY in 1952.

Bill Rieflin, multi-instrumentalist and producer best known for his work as a drummer with industrial rock groups who also recorded with acts such as R.E.M., Robyn Hitchcock, and King Crimson, was born in Seattle, WA in 1960.

Trey Anastasio, singer, songwriter, composer, musician, and lead singer for Phish, was born Ernest Joseph Anastasio III in Fort Worth, TX in 1964.

Ben Lovett, keyboardist for Mumford & Sons, was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1986.