This Week in Rock and Roll History, November 16 – 23November 12, 2021
This Week in Rock and Roll History, November 16 – 23November 21, 2021
It’s Throwback Thursday! Here’s what happened this week in Boss rock n’ roll history.
In 1962 the Beatles recorded their second appearance on Radio Luxembourg, for the program The Friday Spectacular. They were interviewed and then played both sides of their latest single, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘P.S. I Love You’ in front of a live audience. John Lennon, in 1974, was at No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night.’ Elton John played on the session and made a deal with Lennon that if the song reached No.1, Lennon would have to appear on stage live with Elton. Lennon kept his side of the deal and appeared live with Elton, playing three songs together: ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ and ‘Whatever Gets You Through the Night.’ In 1985 Starship started a 2-week run at No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘We Built This City’, making it No.12 in the UK. Texan multi-billionaire David Bonderman hired The Rolling Stones in 2002 to play at his 60th birthday party held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The band’s fee was £4.4m.
Harry Belafonte was at No.1 on the UK singles chart in 1957 with ‘Mary’s Boy Child,’ the first single to sell over one million copies in the UK. It stayed at No.1 for 7 weeks making it this year’s Christmas No.1. The first Christmas song to hit No.1 in two different versions – the other was Boney M’s version in 1978. The Four Seasons started a 5-week run at No.1 in 1962 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, the group’s second No.1 of the year. It made No.13 in the UK. In 1966, The Beach Boys were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Good Vibrations.’ In 1984, Wham! were at No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Make It Big’ and No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’. Michael’s inspiration for the song was a scribbled note left by his Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley for Andrew’s parents originally intended to read “wake me up before you go” but with “up” accidentally written twice, so Ridgeley wrote “go” twice on purpose. In 2003, 21-year-old Britney Spears became the youngest singer to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Eagles in 2007 were on the U.S. album chart at No.1 with ‘Long Road Out Of Eden,’ the band’s seventh studio album and first since 1979.
Birthdays today include Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Gaudio, Gene Clark, and Rue Paul.
In 1956, Fats Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show performing ‘Blueberry Hill.’ The Beatles received silver LP discs for ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘With the Beatles’ in 1963 at a ceremony held at EMI House in London. They also received a silver EP for ‘Twist and Shout’ and a silver single for ‘She Loves You’. In 1970 Led Zeppelin III was at No.1 on the UK & U.S. album charts. Cat Stevens in 1972 started a 3-week run at No.1 on the U.S. album chart with ‘Catch a Bull At Four’. Bruce Springsteen made his 1975 live debut in the UK at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The set list included: Thunder Road, 10th Avenue Freeze-out, Born To Run The ‘E’ Street Shuffle, Jungleland, 4th of July, Asbury Park, Detroit Medley, For You, and Quarter To Three. Billy Joel went to No.1 on the U.S. 1978 album chart with his sixth studio album, ’52nd Street’. His first U.S. No.1 album was also the first commercial album to be released on compact disc (by Sony Music Entertainment) and won Joel the 1979 Grammy for Album of the Year.
Happy birthday to Kim Wilde who had the 1987 U.S. No. 1 single, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On.’
Carl Perkins recorded ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ in 1955 at Sun Studios in Memphis. The rock ‘n’ roll classic became a U.S. No.2 & UK No.10 hit for Perkins in 1956, and has been covered by many acts including Elvis Presley and John Lennon. In 1964 The Supremes became the first all-girl group to have a UK No.1 single when ‘Baby Love’ topped the charts. Bon Jovi started a 2-week run at No.1 on the 1988 U.S. singles chart with the lead single from the band’s album New Jersey, ‘Bad Medicine’, which became the group’s third U.S. No.1, and a No.17 hit in the UK. In 1992 R.E.M. played a Greenpeace Benefit show at the 40 Watt Club, in Athens, Georgia, for 500 people. The show was recorded on a solar-powered mobile recording studio. In 2016, a furious letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, written after The Beatles’ break-up sold for nearly $30,000 (£24,200), to an anonymous collector in Dallas, Texas.
1955, the song that changed popular music history ‘Rock Around the Clock’ by Bill Haley & His Comets went to No.1 on the UK singles chart. The song entered the charts a further six times until 1974. Bob Dylan started recording his 1961 debut album over 2 days at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. In 1965 The Supremes had their sixth U.S. No.1 single with ‘I Hear A Symphony,’ and in 1966 were at No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘You Keep Me Hanging On.’ In 1971, Isaac Hayes started a 2-week run at No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Theme From Shaft’, which made No. 4 in the UK. and won Hayes a Grammy for Best Original Film Score. Paul Simon hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1976, performing live with George Harrison on ‘Here Comes The Sun ’ and ‘Homeward Bound.’ In 1984, a large crowd of fans watched the unveiling of a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Michael Jackson in front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Jackson became star number 1,793.
Birthdays on this day include Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack), Norman Greenbaum, Duane Allman, and Joe Walsh.
In 1955 RCA Records purchased Elvis Presley’s recording contract from Sam Phillips at Sun Records for an unprecedented sum of $35,000. Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs went to No.1 on the 1960 U.S. singles chart with ‘Stay’ —the shortest ever U.S. No. 1 single at 1 minute 37 seconds. In 1970 The Partridge Family started a 3-week run at No. 1 on the U.S.. singles chart with ‘I Think I Love You.’ The song was featured in the first episode of the Partridge Family TV series, created by the same company that made The Monkees. In 1970, just 2 months after his death, Jimi Hendrix was at No. 1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ the closing track on Electric Ladyland, the third and final album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1971 Elton John kicked off a 13-date UK tour at The Coventry Theatre, promoting his new album Madman Across The Water. The album cover for Madman Across the Water was embroidered over two weeks by Janis Larkham, wife of the album art director David Larkham. She used the back of an old Levi’s jacket, and the original was gifted to John. And in 1975, at the start of Elton John week in Los Angeles, the singer received a star on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame. In 1981 Olivia Newton-John started a 10-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Physical’, the singer’s fourth U.S. No. 1 and went on to sell over 2 million copies, and became a No. 7 hit in the UK. Queen and David Bowie were at No.1 in the UK with Under Pressure. They recorded the song together when both acts were working in a German recording studio. It was David Bowie’s first released collaboration with another recording artist. 1983, Michael Jackson’s 14-minute video for Thriller premiered in Los Angeles. Directed by John Landis and co-starring former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. The video was filmed at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, the zombie dance sequence at the junction of Union Pacific Avenue and South Calzona Street in East Los Angeles, and the final house scene in the Angeleno Heights neighborhood at 1345 Carroll Avenue.
Birthdays on this day include American–English rock keyboardist, John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick who worked with The Who, Free, Back Street Crawler, Bob Marley and the Wailers, and Roger Waters. And Livingston Taylor, singer, songwriter, and brother of James Taylor, who had the 1978 U.S. No. 30 single ‘I Will Be In Love With You’.