1957: Sam Cooke’s debut single, “You Send Me,” was released by Keen Records. It became Cookes’ biggest hit, selling 2.5 million copies and reaching #1 on both Billboard’s R&B and Hot 100 charts.
1964: After its release in the UK in late July, The Zombies’ debut single, “She’s Not There,” was issued in the US on Parrot Records.
1965: Bob Dylan released “Positively 4th Street.” The record became Dylan’s second top 10 single by the end of October, reaching #7 on Billboard Hot 100, in addition to topping the chart in Canada and peaking at #8 in the UK. While it remains uncertain which “4th Street” the title refers to, many of the Greenwich Village’s folk crowd, who had been friends of Dylan’s, took offense and assumed the song carried personal references.
1967: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin was released as a single from her twelfth studio album, Lady Soul. Written for Franklin by Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and producer Jerry Wexler, it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of Franklin’s signature songs.
1968: “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” The Bee Gees was released. The song later became their second UK #1 and first top 10 hit in the US.
1968: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s only entry on the US singles charts, “Fire,” entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #2. In August, the song had reached #1 in the UK and was a top 10 hit around the world.
1968: The Doors’ third studio album, Waiting for the Sun, reached #1 in the US. On the same day, the Doors played their second of two nights at London’s Roundhouse club after making their UK stage debut at the venue the day before.
1968: Creedence Clearwater Revival debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with their cover of the Dale Hawkins song “Suzie Q.” The record reached #11 on the Hot 100 and #9 on the Cash Box chart.
1968: The group that later became known as Led Zeppelin took the stage for the first time at the beginning of the band’s first concert tour, still under the Yardbirds name, in Gladsaxe, Denmark. After the completion of their tour through Scandanavia at the end of the month, the group decided to change their name for a fresh start.
1971: The Supremes released “Touch,” the second single and title track from their twenty-third studio album.
1973: The title track and second single from Elton John’s seventh studio album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, was released in the UK. A little over a month later, the single was issued in the US.
1973: Chicago released “Just You ‘n’ Me,” the second single from their fifth studio album, Chicago VI.
1973: Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention released their ninth studio album, Over-Nite Sensation. It was the band’s first studio LP to enter the top 40 on the Billboard pop chart and was followed by Zappa’s solo album, Apostrophe (‘), which was recorded during the same sessions.
1974: Barry White scored his second #1 single on the Billboard R&B chart with “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.”
1975: The Guess Who played their final show at a farewell concert in Montreal. Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings, who left to start a successful solo career, didn’t play together with the band again until 1997.
1976: On what would have been Buddy Holly’s 40th birthday, the singer’s life and music were celebrated in England during a week-long tribute called “Buddy Holly Week” that had been organized by Paul McCartney. In 1975, McCartney had purchased Holly’s entire song catalog and has since hosted Buddy Holly concerts and parties every September.
1976: Eric Clapton wrote the ballad “Wonderful Tonight” for Pattie Boyd while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney’s Buddy Holly Party.
1976: George Harrison was found guilty of “subconsciously” plagiarizing the 1963 hit by the Chiffons, “He’s So Fine,” in the writing and recording of his own hit single from 1970, “My Sweet Lord.” A few months after the song’s release, Bright Tunes Music, on behalf of the deceased Ronnie Mack, who wrote “He’s So Fine,” sued Harrison for copyright infringement. Ultimately, the judge ruled that though Harrison likely did not intend to copy the song, they were both the same song with different words, and Harrison eventually paid Bright Tunes Music $587,000. Harrison was actually reported to have been inspired by the out-of-copyright Christian hymn “Oh Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, when he wrote “My Sweet Lord” during a December 1969 European tour with Delaney & Bonnie. The song was first offered to Apple Records artist Billy Preston, who included it on his Encouraging Words LP, and was later recorded by Harrison after the breakup of the Beatles.
1979: Tubeway Army lead singer and songwriter Gary Numan released his debut solo studio album, The Pleasure Principle.
1979: Siouxsie and the Banshees released their second studio album, Join Hands.
1981: Depeche Mode’s third UK single, “Just Can’t Get Enough,” was released.
1981: Production began for the Pink Floyd film, The Wall, adapted from the group’s album of the same name released in 1979.
1984: Jethro Tull released their fifteenth studio album, Under Wraps.
1986: During the Monkees’ 20th anniversary tour, Michael Nesmith joined the group’s other members, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for the show’s encore. It was the first time the four had played together in 18 years.
1987: Pink Floyd released A Momentary Lapse of Reason, the group’s thirteenth studio album and first after the departure of bass guitarist, singer, and primary songwriter Roger Waters in 1985. The album consists of a collection of songs written by guitarist David Gilmour, sometimes with outside songwriters, and was mainly recorded in Gilmour’s houseboat studio Astoria.
1987: Pet Shop Boys released their second studio album, Actually.
1987: Michael Jackson released “Bad,” the second single and title track from his seventh studio album.
1987: Timothy B. Schmit released his second solo studio album, Timothy B.
1993: John Hiatt released his eleventh studio album, Perfectly Good Guitar.
1993: John Mellencamp released his twelfth studio album, Human Wheels.
1994: Weezer released “Buddy Holly,” the second single from their self-titled debut album.
1998: Belle & Sebastian released their third studio album, The Boy with the Arab Strap.
1999: Buzzcocks released their sixth studio album, Modern.
2004: Matthew Sweet released his ninth studio album, Living Things.
2004: Christine McVie released her third solo album, In the Meantime. It was her first solo recording since 1984 and first after her departure from Fleetwood Mac.
2004: Jesse Colin Young released his fifteenth studio album, Living in Paradise.
2009: Cilla Black released Cilla All Mixed Up, her sixteenth and final solo album. Comprising remixes of hit singles and album tracks, the LP was conceived to celebrate Black’s 45th year in the music business.
Al Caiola, guitarist, composer and arranger who recorded dozens of albums and worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Ben E. King, Del Shannon, and Simon & Garfunkel, was born Alexander Emil Caiola in Jersey City, NJ in 1920.
Ronnie Gilbert, singer, songwriter, actress, political activist, and original member of the Weavers, was born Ruth Alice Gilbert in Brooklyn, NY in 1926.
Sonny Rollins, jazz tenor saxophonist who is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians, was born Walter Theodore Rollins in New York City in 1930.
Little Milton, blues guitarist and singer, was born James Milton Campbell Jr. in Inverness, MS in 1934.
Buddy Holly, singer, songwriter, record producer, and pioneer of 1950s rock and roll, was born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, TX in 1936.
Latimore, blues and R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist, was born Benjamin Latimore in Charleston, TN in 1939.
Michael Peter Smith, prolific folk singer-songwriter whose songs have been recorded by artists such as Steve Goodman, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, was born in South Orange, NJ in 1941.
Barry “Byrd” Burton, producer, engineer, musician, singer, solo artist, and member of The Amazing Rhythm Aces, was born in Greene County, TN in 1946.
Gloria Gaynor, singer, was born Gloria Fowles in Newark, NJ in 1947.
Mark “Moogy” Klingman, musician, songwriter, record producer, founding member of Todd Rundgren’s band, Utopia, and solo artist whose songs have been recorded by numerous artists, was born in Great Neck, NY in 1950.
Chrissie Hynde, singer-songwriter, guitarist and leader of the Pretenders, was born in Akron, OH in 1951.
Benmont Tench, keyboardist, founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and session musician for artists such as Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, and U2, was born in Gainesville, FL in 1953.
Hamilton Lee, musician and composer best known as the drummer, percussionist and co-leader of Transglobal Underground under the name “Hamid Mantu” who was also a member of bands including Furniture and The Transmitters, was born in London, England in 1958.
Diane Warren, songwriter, musician, and record producer who has written hits for artists that include Belinda Carlisle, Elton John, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and many others, was born in Van Nuys, CA in 1956.
Brad Houser, bassist for Eddie Brickell & the New Bohemians, was born in Dallas, TX in 1960.
LeRoi Moore, saxophonist, songwriter, and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band, who has arranged and co-written many of the band’s songs, was born in Durham, NC in 1961.