The Beatles recording project on the agenda at Abbey Road studios tonight in 1968 was a lullaby John Lennon had written for his 5 year old son Julian. He specified to George Martin he wanted the production to be “real cheesy”, and they recorded a few takes with him on guitar, a few with him on piano, and Ringo Starr on vocals for both. Martin added a score he wrote played by an orchestra he conducted himself of 12 violins, 3 each violas, cellos, and flute, and a clarinet, french horn, vibraphone, double bass, and harp, and background vocals from the 8 member Mike Sammes Singers. They would tack Good Night on to the very end of The White Album, with Ringo wishing everyone listening a whispered “Good night everybody”.
Pink Floyd released their second album A Saucerful of Secrets today in 1968. It’s the only Floyd album to feature both Syd Barrett (his last), and David Gilmour (his first).
A month and a day after it’s release, Wings 4th album album Venus and Mars went to #1 today in 1975. After ending up as a three piece band of Paul and Linda McCartney and guitarist Denny Laine during the recording of the previous Band on the Run after several of them did, Paul added Thunderclap Newman lead guitarist and Who-pal Jimmy McCullough and prog-rock drummer Geoff Britton to the lineup, but those two began fighting almost immediately. Britton would quit to join Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, McCullough would dies of alcohol and morphine poisoning 4 years later at age 26.
Lifelong “supporter” of the English Premier League Watford Football Club Elton Hercules John (KBE) was “well-chuffed” to be named the teams Chairman today in 1976, though the honor wasn’t unexpected as he now owned the team. He immediately fired it’s manager and installed Graham Taylor (OBE) who would take them over the next few years from worst to 2nd place behind Liverpool.
Pink Floyd’s 8th album The Dark Side of the Moon was enjoying an unprecedented 1056th week on the U.S. album charts today in 1997, but more interestingly in the throws of a rumor, seemingly propagated by American radio stations, that it had been written as an unofficial soundtrack to the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The album’s producer Alan Parsons said that the film had not come up in any conversation about it, David Gilmour and Nick Mason both denied the claim, though Roger Waters was said to have been “quite amused”.
Meanwhile in England Oxford band Radiohead were at #1 on the British album charts with their 3rd album O.K. Computer today in 1997, an album many rock critics were calling “the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon of the 1990’s”, though it was largely ignored in America by rock and “alternative” radio stations alike.
Meanwhile on the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, singer Bob Seger managed somehow to drive his BMW off the road today in 1997, for which he was charged with “dangerous driving”.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Procul Harum bass player David Knights is 71.