Buddy Knox was at #1 on the charts with Party Doll today in 1957, not otherwise a big deal except that Buddy was the first of the rock and roll era to write his own #1 song. Performers performing their own compositions would become an increasing trend with rock and roll music, especially after The Beatles, but interestingly that trend has never caught on in the Country music scene, where songwriters are expected to give it up to established “artists” who look good on awards shows.
The Chiffons were at #1 with He’s So Fine today in 1963, not otherwise a big deal except that this “girl group” song was not produced by Phil Spector, and the song would become a big deal again in 1971, when George Harrison was sued by their publishing company Bright Tunes Music, who claimed that his hit My Sweet Lord was copied from it. The chorus was eerily similar, but the court ruled that George was only guilty of “subconscious plagiarism”, and Harrison ended up buying the whole publishing company for a little over a half-million dollars.
16 year old New York singer Leslie Gore was in a Manhattan studio recording her first big hit, It’s My Party, today in 1963. It wouldn’t be that big a deal except that the session was being produced by Bremerton’s legendary Quincy Jones, who’d left Seattle University (where he was classmates with Clint Eastwood) for the Berkelee College of Music and then touring gigs with Lionel Hampton and Dizzie Gillespie where he realized as good as he was he could make a lot more money in the music business than playing music.
Jimi Hendrix appeared on the BBC’s Top of The Pops tonight in 1967, and was supposed to “mime” (lip-and-guitar synch) to one of his songs, but when he came out a producer had mistakenly cued up the backing track to Alan Price’s Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear, to which a somewhat confused Jimi said “I don’t know the words to this one, man”.
The Beatles were at Chelsea Manor Studios in London today in 1967, posing for photographer Michael Cooper with their wax likenesses borrowed from Madame Tussaud’s museum and a gaggle of cardboard cutouts of famous people the Beatles fancied for the cover of their upcoming Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They also did the back cover and inside gatefold shots of the band, and Paul McCartney later admitted they were deliberately trying to convey warmth and friendliness. Cooper had told them, “Now look into this camera and really say ‘I Love You’! Really try and feel love…It’ll come through! It’ll show! It’s an attitude!”
Four police cars and a helicopter converged on the Chalk Farm recording studio in London today in 1978 as Paul Simonon and Nicky “Topper” Headon had taken a break from The Clash’s sessions to shoot a neighbor’s prized racing pigeons from the roof with a pellet gun. The bands rhythm section was arrested and fined £400 each.
The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger made a return visit to his old Dartford Grammar School in Kent today in 2000 to ceremoniously open a new performing arts center named for him. The Mick Jagger Centre has two largish performance halls, a recording studio, rehearsal rooms, and a bar, (you won’t find one of those at most Grammar Schools), though Mick later said he’d spent the worst years of his life there.
A man was arrested and detained under Britain’s Mental Health Act after he tried to force his way into Paul McCartney’s Sussex estate today in 2007, shouting “I MUST get to him!”. Paul had increased the number of security guards there after George Harrison was attacked by a knife-wielding nutter in 1999, but the man still managed to get within a few yards of Paul’s bedroom window.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge is 75.
The #2 guitarist on the Rolling Stone magazine Top 100 of All Time list, Eric Clapton (CBE) is 71, and has no problem being #2 behind Jimi Hendrix.
Black Oak Arkansas frontman Jim “Dandy” Mangrum is 68. Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth freely admits a large portion of his stage-antics were inspired by Jim Dandy.
Dave Ball, who replaced Robin Trower when he quit Procul Harum, is 66.
The Tubes lovely singer, dancer, and sometimes guitarist Re Styles is 66.