| Four recordings of Unchained Melody battled
it out on the U.K. singles chart in 1955. Jimmy Young was first to chart, followed by
Al Hibbler, Les Baxter and then Liberace. Their highest
positions were numbers 1, 2, 10 and 20, respectively.
| Fats Domino hit number 1 on the U.S.
R&B singles chart for the first of 11 weeks in 1955, with Aint It a Shame (also known as
Aint That a Shame). The song would peak at the bottom of the top
10 on the pop charts, but would be forever identified as a classic rock
n roll song.
| Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On
entered the singles chart in 1957. It was Jerry Lee Lewis first hit
single, and eventually made it to number 3. It was followed by Great Balls
of Fire, Breathless, High School Confidential and
Whatd I Say, all released on the Sun label.
| In 1961, Ricky Nelsons, Travellin Man
climbed back up to the top to spend its second week at number 1, displacing
Roy Orbisons, Running Scared. It would be Nelsons
last number 1 hit, although he would have another half dozen hits make the
| A Japanese artist hit the top of the singles chart
in 1963 with Sukiyaki. It
was performed by 21 year-old, Kyu Sakamoto. A Taste of Honey
brought the song back in 1981, taking it to number 3. The song was one of
the top pop hits of 1963.
| Paul McCartney went into the studio in
1965 for the first of two days to
record a new song he had written. None of the other Beatles performed on
the track that would become the most recorded song in history. Yesterday
hit number 1 in the U.S. later in the year, but wouldn't be released as a
single in the U.K. until 1976.
| Janis Joplin played her first concert after
joining Big Brother and The Holding Company in 1966. The following year, they gained popularity with
songs like, Bye Bye Baby, Blind Man and Down On Me, from
their first Big Brother and The Holding Company album.
| The Dave Clark Five set an appearance
record for the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966. It was their twelfth performance, underlining the
fact that the band was far more popular in the U.S. than in their home
| The Monterey Pop Festival took place in 1967. Many of rock and rolls finest
appeared, including Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jimi
Hendrix, Simon and Garfunkel, Eric Burdon and The Animals,
The Association, Booker T. and The MGs, David Crosby,
Steve Miller, Canned Heat, The Mamas and The Papas, The
Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and The
Byrds. Apparently, all artists played for free, with the exception of Ravi
Shankar. John Phillips, of The Mamas and The Papas, wrote the
hit, San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair), about the
festival for Scott McKenzie to record. It was a huge hit. Over 200000
people attended the three day event.
| Marc Bolan placed an ad in Melody Maker in
1967, looking for some bandmates.
It read, Freaky lead guitarist, bass guitarist and drummer wanted for
Marc Bolans new group. Also any other astral flyers like with
cars, amplification and that which never grows in window boxes. OK.
Steve Took and Ben Cartland answered and joined the band. They
would release their first album a year later. Its full title was, My
People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair But Now Theyre Content to Wear
Stars On Their Brows.
| The Kingston Trio gave their very last
concert in 1967 at The Hungry i.
The final two songs performed were Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and
Scotch and Soda. Several different line-ups of the group have toured
since then. The last album by the original version of the band was Children
of the Morning from the previous year.
| In 1970,
had their last original single, The Long and Winding Road, hit number 1.
Since then, theyve had moderate success with Got to Get You Into My
Life and Back in the USSR (1976),
Movie Medley (1982), Twist and Shout (1986,
because of its inclusion in the movies, Ferris Buellers Day Off and Back
to School), Baby Its You, and Free As a Bird (both 1995)
and Real Love (1996).
| Grand Funk spent a wad of cash in 1970 to promote their third album.
Pedestrians in the Times Square area of New York were treated to a billboard
that was a block long. It cost the group $100000 for the ad announcing the
release of the Closer to Home album.
| Bo Diddley appeared at a rock n
roll revival concert in 1971, at
Madison Square Garden in New York. It was officially the sixth 1950s Rock and
Roll Revival Concert to be held. Diddley would return for several more
of these concerts over the years. His album, Another Dimension, released
later in the year was not one of his best, so he continued playing live to pay
| Clyde McPhatter died of a heart attack
(aggravated by alcohol abuse), in 1972 at the age of 39. He had been the original lead
vocalist with The Drifters before having solo hits like A
Lovers Question and Lover Please.
| In 1976, AC/DC headlined their first concerts in
Scotland, where several of the members were born. Their U.S. record company had
just reissued the High Voltage album, made up of tracks from the
original High Voltage LP and their second release,
| Leo Sayer had his biggest album success
when Endless Flight sneaked into the top 10 in the U.S. in 1977. The LP contained three hit singles
in You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, When I Need You and How Much
Love. He improved on his Just a Boy record from 1975, which stalled
at position 16. It featured his first hit single, Long Tall Glasses (I Can
saw the release of The Blues Brothers movie. It featured John
Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin,
James Brown and John Lee Hooker.
| Roadie the movie opened this week in the
U.S. in 1980. Meat Loaf
starred as a road manager for rock groups, trying to solve all problems
thrown his way by spoiled rock stars. The movie included a guest appearance by
Roy Orbison, whose duet with Emmylou Harris, That Lovin
You Feeling Again, was included on the soundtrack. Also featured on the
double album were Styx, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick and
others. No, it hasnt made it onto CD yet. The country style duet won a
Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.
| A peace rally was held in 1982, in New Yorks Central Park. Jackson
Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Gary U.S. Bonds and others performed
in front of half a million people.
| Tears for Fears first number 1 hit,
Everybody Wants to Rule the World, spent its second of two weeks at the
top in the U.S. in 1985. It was
probably the best song to come out of the 1980s. Shout, also on the
Songs From the Big Chair album, followed it to number 1 a couple of
months later. But after 1989s, The Seeds of Love album, Curt
Smith departed, leaving Roland Orzabal with the Tears for Fears
name. A revamped version titled, Everybody Wants to RUN the World,
was released and went to number 5 in the U.K. almost exactly a year later. It
was written for Sport Aid Week to raise funds for African famine
| The 25th Anniversary of Amnesty
International was celebrated in 1986
with a New Jersey concert headlined by U2 and
| Bette Midler hit number 1 this week in
1989 with Wind Beneath My
Wings. The song was featured in the Beaches movie from that year, in which
Midler starred. She had been absent from the top 10 for most of the
| The Rolling Stones had their song, Paint
It Black, hit number 1 for the second time in the Netherlands. The year was
1990, twenty-four years after the
first time it topped the singles chart. The song was included the previous year
on their Singles Collection box set.
| The publishers of John Lee Hookers
famous Boogie Chillen track filed a lawsuit against ZZ Top in
1992. The legal action claimed
that La Grange had ripped off Hookers song from 1948. ZZ
Top was successful in its defence when the suit was dismissed five months
later. La Grange was a very popular track from their 1973, Tres
| Irish blues rocker, Rory Gallagher, died in
1995 two months after a liver
transplant. Gallagher was known for his energetic live shows, which
translated quite nicely to his albums. Highlights of his music catalogue
include Live in Europe from 1972 and Irish Tour
| Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?, from
Bryan Adams, spent its second of five weeks at number 1 this week in
1995. The song was from the
Don Juan DeMarco soundtrack, and was also included on the 18
Til I Die album. Even better was the singles B-side, Low
Life. It was not available on any album.
| Barry White received a message from above
during one of his 1996 concerts.
The baritone of love was performing at an outdoor concert in Boston
when an airplane presented him with instructions to call a local radio station.
White finished the show and then phoned the two DJs responsible for the
$1800 message, and granted them an interview. The Icon is Love album
from 1994 was a huge comeback for White, whose previous success came
mostly in the 70s with ballads of seduction like Cant Get Enough
of Your Love, Babe and Youre the First, the Last, My
| Ronnie Spector and the other Ronettes
were awarded $2.6 million in back royalties in 2000. Ex-husband Phil Spector had been keeping the
profits to himself, and was finally ordered to pay the money to the successful
girl group he produced in the 1960s. Sisters Veronica Bennett and
Estelle Bennett Vann, and cousin Nedra Talley Ross had been
performing together since 1959, when Phil Spector signed them to his own
Philles label. He recorded Be My Baby with the trio in 1963, but only a
few minor hits followed over the next several years. In 1968, Ronnie Spector
split from the group and married the hit producer, but solo hits never
came. Since leaving Phil Spector in 1974, Ronnie has worked with
other artists, including a stint as guest vocalist on the 1986 hit for Eddie
Money, Take Me Home Tonight.
| Johnnie B. Goode? Not in 2001 this week. Johnnie Johnson got
the green light to proceed with a lawsuit against Chuck Berry, claiming
that Johnson had co-written many of Berrys hits. Songs like
Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen apparently would
never have seen the light of day if Johnson, Berrys piano
player, hadnt written the music first. Berry had even composed
Johnny B. Goode to honour his sideman, who was later inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Johnson was looking to get millions of
dollars in back royalties from the past 40 odd years.
| Ray Charles dug deep into his pocketbook in
2001. He presented Albany State
University with a cheque for $1 million. Another million would follow in a
years time, in honour of Charles mother, Retha Robinson. The
university had set plans to name a theatre after Robinson, and would also later
grant Charles an honorary doctorate degree in philosophy. That should be
|Howlin Wolf was officially Mamas
Baby in 1910.
|It was Like No Other Night when Joey Dee
(1940), Frank Beard
(ZZ Top, 1949) and
Donnie Van Zant (.38 Special, 1952) were born.
|Chick Corea (Return to Forever, 1941), Reg Presley (The
Troggs, 1943), Bun E.
Carlos (Cheap Trick, 1951) and Brad Delp (Boston, 1951) had to finally Surrender to
|Bobby Freeman (1940), Howard Leese (Heart, 1951) and Bo Donaldson (1954) had to Shimmy Shimmy into the
|A Little Bitty Tear was shed when Burl Ives
(1909), Rod Argent
(1945) and Alan White
(Yes, 1949) were
|Harry Nilsson (1941), Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply,
1949), Steve Walsh
(Kansas, 1951) and
Terri Gibbs (1954) reached
the Point of Know Return.
|The Wheels of Life were set in motion with the
arrival of Lamont Dozier (songwriter, 1941), Eddie Levert (The OJays,
1942), Pete Rivera
(Rare Earth, 1945),
Ian Matthews (1946) and
Gino Vannelli (1952).
|Addie Micki Harris of The
Shirelles died in 1982 of a
heart attack at the age of 42. Ray Charles died of acute liver disease
|Jimmy Dorsey died of cancer at the age of 53, in
1957. Johnny Bond died in
Burbank in 1978, just after his
|Clyde McPhatter (The Drifters) died of a
heart attack in 1972. Benny
Goodman passed away in New York at the age of 77, in 1986.
|Wynonie Harris died in 1969 of throat cancer. Rory Gallagher died from
complications following a liver transplant in 1995.