Today in Rock History
Alan Freed debuts his Moondog Rock ‘n’ Roll House Party on WJW radio in Cleveland, where he plays mostly R&B tunes. The broadcast ran from 11:15 PM until 2 AM and enjoyed a loyal following by Freed’s fans who called themselves Moondoggers.
The novelty song “Alley-Oop” by the fictitious group The Hollywood Argyles went to the top of Billboard’s chart. The song was actually sung by Gary Paxton, the latter half of Skip And Flip, who recorded the song as a result of still being under contract to Brent Records. The Hollywood Argyles became a real band after the song became a hit.
Dean Martin’s version of “Everybody Loves Somebody” entered the Billboard Top 40. It was Dino’s first Top 40 hit since 1958 and replaced “That’s Amore” as his signature song.
Stevie Wonder released his first single without the title “Little” in front of his name. “Hey Harmonica Man” reached number 29 on the singles chart, his third Top 40 hit.
David Bowie’s single, “Space Oddity” is released to coincide with the first lunar landing by Apollo 11 on July 20th.
The Rolling Stones’ release “Honky Tonk Women.” The song began as a country song based on Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues”, but the Stones found that it made for a better rock song.
Three Dog Night’s version of Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come” sat at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cashbox Best Sellers Chart. It was a song that took singer Cory Wells over two years to convince the rest of the band to record. It reached #3 in the UK.
The soundtrack to the 1969 Woodstock concert becomes the first triple-disc album to top the Billboard chart.
The Grateful Dead receive two Gold records for albums they released in 1970, “Workingman’s Dead” and “American Beauty”.
Hubert Johnson, a member of the Motown group The Contours, committed suicide in Detroit. The group reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962 with their hit “Do You Love Me?”
Lars Ulrich of Metallica testified against trading of music for free from websites like Napster before a US Senate panel.
More than 200 mourners attended the funeral of The Who’s bass player, John Entwistle, held in the 12th Century church of St. Edward in Stow-on-the-Wold.
The hand-painted drum skin that appeared on the cover of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” sold for $1.1 million at a Christie’s memorabilia sale in London. John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for “Give Peace a Chance” fetched $834,000, well above pre-sale expectations of around $500,000.
Rob Grill, lead singer and bassist for the 1960s rock band The Grass Roots, whose hits included “Midnight Confessions”, “Temptation Eyes” and “Let’s Live for Today”, died at the age of 67 after suffering a head injury from a fall caused by a stroke.
Tommy Ramone, born Erdelyi Tamas, drummer for The Ramones, died from from cancer of the bile duct at the age of 62.