The Five Keys rollicking novelty “Ling, Ting, Tong” charted R&B on its way to #5 (#28 Pop). It was their first chart record since “Glory of Love: four years earlier.
Decca Records A&R head Dick Rowe established his place in history when he auditioned and turned down four Liverpool musicians (who performed 15 songs for him) called The Beatles. Instead, he signed the Essex band Brian Poole & The Tremeloes because they lived closer to London.
“Let’s Hang On” The Four Seasons #6 1966
“Let Me Go Lover” Joan Weber #6 1954
Jackie Wilson recorded his last sides with The Dominoes (including “To Each His Own” and “St. Louis Blues”) for Decca before embarking on his tremendous solo career.
Newark, NJ police confiscated an entire shipment of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Two Virgins” album. The highlight of which was a full frontal nude photo on the couple. The L.P.’s were only allowed in America when the record label agreed to wrap them in plain brown paper.
“Come See About Me” The Supremes #2 1965
“I Feel Fine” The Beatles #1 1965
The Four Aces first 45 “It’s No Sin” charted reaching #4. The group paid for their session with lead Al Alberts and his fiancés wedding money and $500 from two college students.
Paul Anka recorded his first single “I Confess” at Modern Records in Los Angeles with vocal backing by the R&B group The Cadets.
“Sherry” The 4 Seasons #1 1962
The Ink Spots had their recording debut at RCA’s New York studio taping “Swing On The Strings” which never charted.
Billboard Magazine, founded in 1894 as an entertainment periodical for circus’, published its first music chart for record sales. The first #1 record (on 78 RPM) was “Stop! Look! Listen” by jazz artist Joe Venuti.
“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
The Supremes and The Temptations #3 1969
“There! I’ve Said It Again” Bobby Vinton #1 1964
Jan Bradley had her biggest hit when “Mamma Didn’t Lie” charted eventually reaching #14. When other hits failed to follow Jan went on to be a social worker.
“The Chipmunk Song” David Seville #1 1959
Danny & The Juniors 7th hit “Twistin’ All Night Long” charted with guest vocals by Freddie Cannon and the un-credited Four Seasons.
Elvis Presley made his last of seven appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show singing seven songs including “Hound Dog”, “Love Me Tender”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, Don’t Be Cruel” and his new single “Too Much”,
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” The Tokens #1 1961
“At The Hop” Danny & The Juniors #1 1958
Wilbert Harrison (The Roamers) 1929
Paul Wilson (The Flamingos) 1935
Kathy Sledge (Sister Sledge) 1959
The Five Royals label Apollo filed a $10,000 lawsuit against The Royals for impersonating the hit act. One year later The Royals had their own hit “Work With Me Annie” and renamed themselves Hank Ballard & The Midnighters going on to have 13 hits themselves.
Chubby Checker’s 15th hit “Dancin’ Party” (#12) earned him a plagiarism suit by Gary “U.S.” Bonds who felt the “Chubsters” single was too similar to Bonds 1961 hit “Quarter To Three”.
“The Great Pretender” The Platters #4 1956
“Memories Are Made of This” Dean Martin #1 1956
Jim West (The Innocents) 1941
Laura Webb Childers, tenor vocalist for The Bobbettes, died. She and her four school mates were barely out of their teens when they formed The Harlem Queens but soon became the rage with their classic “Mr. Lee”, a song they wrote about their fifth grade teacher which went to #1 R&B and #6 Pop in 1957. It made them the first all-girl Rock & Roll group to have a top 10 hit.
“Mr. Sandman” The Chordettes #1 1955
Little Anthony (Little Anthony & The Imperials) 1940
Marcus Hutson (The Whispers) 1943
Buzz Clifford’s only charter, “Baby Sittin’ Boogie” debuted on the top 100 reaching #6.
Lynn Dixon Denicker, lead of The Aquatones, passed away. The group formed in Valley Stream, Long Island, New York in 1957, had a hit with their first single “You” (#21 Pop, #11 R&B) but couldn’t chart again despite seven excellent follow-up singles and disbanded in 1960. Lynn was trained as an operatic soprano.
“Wonderland By Night” Bert Kaempfert #1 1961
In The Still of The Night” Boys ll Men #4 1993
Scott Engel (The Walker Brothers) 1944
Bill Cowsill (The Cowsills) 1948
Rock & Roll took an exciting turn with the release of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (#6 Pop, #1 R&B). Elvis recorded his first sides for RCA, “I Got A Woman” and “Heartbreak Hotel”.
“I Want You Back” The Jackson Five #4 1970
“Just Like Starting Over” John Lennon #1 1981
Kenneth Kelley (The Manhattans) 1943
The Robins first session as The Coasters included “Down In Mexico” (#8 R&B) and “Brazil”.
While The Righteous Brothers were in London their new single “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” was featured on the TV show Juke Box Jury. All four panelists voted it a miss and one questioned if it was being played at the right speed. By February 4th it was #1 in England and America.
“Popsicles, Icicles” The Murmaids #3 1964
“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
Marvin Gaye” #1 1969
Chuck Barksdale (The Dells) 1935
Bill Reed (The Diamonds) 1936
Janice Pought (The Bobbettes) 1944
Eight months before his first album charted (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, #22), Bob Dylan appeared in London in a BBC radio play “Madhouse On Castle Street” in the part of, what else, a folk singer.
“Go Away Little Girl” Steve Lawrence #1 1963
The original version of “Dedicated To The One I Love” (The Five Royals) was released. Three years later it became a hit (#3) for The Shirelles and again in 1967 for The Mama’s & The Papa’s (#2).
Fourteen years after his last recording session in Memphis, Elvis Presley returned to record for RCA.
“At The Hop” Danny & The Juniors #1 1958
“The Twist” Chubby Checker #1 1962
Bobby Lester (The Moonglows) 1930
Alan Freed’s first Rock & Roll Ball in New York at St. Nick’s Arena included The Drifters, The Moonglows, The Harptones and the Clovers.
Diana Ross performed her last show as a Supreme at Las Vegas’ Frontier Hotel.
“Words Of Love” The Mama’s & The Papa’s #6 1967
“I’m A Believer” The Monkees #1 1967
The Magnificents were discovered by Chicago D.J. “The Magnificent Montaque”.
“Five O’Clock World” The Vogues #4 1966
Edward “Sonny” Bivans (The Manhattans) 1942
The Orioles “Robe Of Calvary” and The Spiders “You’re The One” were released.
Tina Turner performed before 180,000 fans at Rio de Janeiro’s American Stadium. A box office record for a single artist.
“Lonely Days” The Bee Gees #7 1971
“Come See About Me” The Supremes #1 1965
Hal Miller (The Rays) 1931
Maxine Jones (En Vogue) 1966
R&B collectors favorite “Keep It A Secret” by The Five Crowns was released. Purchase price $0.79. Today it is a $2,000 rarity.
Bellvue Street in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Blvd.
“I Played The Fool” The Clovers #3 R&B 1953
“I Write The Songs” Barry Manilow #1 1976
Elsberry Hobbs (The Drifters) 1936
William Hart (The Delfonics) 1945
Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) 1953
Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) 1957
Neil Sedaka (The Tokens), with 29 chart singles to date, was given a star on Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame”.
1“I Want To Hold Your Hand” became The Beatles first U.S. charted single (#1). It was already their 6th single in the U.K.
“Quicksand” Martha & The Vandellas #21 1964
“Running Bear” Johnny Preston #1 1960
Berman Patterson (The Cleftones) 1938
Martha Reeves (Martha & The Vandellas) 1941
David Ruffin (The Temptations) 1941
Frank Sinatra, Donny & Marie Osmond and Dean Martin performed at President Reagan’s inaugural ball.
“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” The Platters #1 1959
The Drifters and The Supremes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The founding father of Rock & Roll, Disc Jockey Alan freed died, out of work at the age of 43.
“When I Fall In Love” The Lettermen #7 1962
“You’re So Vain” Carly Simon #1 1973
Ron Townson (The 5th Dimension) 1941
Billy Powell (The O’Jays) 1942
Dave Libert (The Happenings) 1943
The Coasters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Clyde McPhatter (The Drifters) was posthumously inducted.
Legendary vocalist Jackie Wilson died after an eight year coma brought on by a heart attack while on stage (September 25, 1975), He was singing “Lonely Teardrops” at the time.
“Moments To Remember” The Four Aces #6 1956
“Baby Come Back” Player #1 1978
The Chantels recorded 5 sides including their hit follow-up to “Maybe”, “Every Night” (#16 R&B, #39 Pop).
“Hot Line” The Sylvers #6 1977
Sam Cooke (The Soul Stirrers) 1935
Micki Harris (The Shirelles) 1940
Dion (of Dion & The Belmonts) began the infamous “Winter Dance Party” tour with Richie Valens, Buddy Holly & The Big Bopper. He would become the only headliner to survive as the other three all died in a small plane crash midway through the tour.
“If I Ever Fall In Love” Shai #2 1993
“Downtown” Petula Clark #1 1965
Jerry Lawson (The Persuasions) 1944
Bonnie Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) 1948
James “Shep” Sheppard, lead of The Heartbeats” and Shep & The Limelites was found murdered in his car on the Long Island Expressway in New York.
The Beatles signed a management agreement with record store owner Brian Epstein. Interestingly enough, Brian never signed a copy himself.
“Baby, Don’t Do It” The Five Royales #5 R&B 1953
“Do You Know Where You’re Going To” Diana Ross #1 1976
Zeke Carey (The Flamingos) 1933
The Classics recorded “Till Then”.
Elvis Presley’s first RCA single “Heartbreak Hotel” was released. By April 21st it was #1.
“That’s What Friends Are For”
Dionne & Friends #1 1985
“There I’ve Said It Again” Bobby Vinton 31 1964
Etta James (Peaches)
Phil Spector and John Lennon wrote and recorded Lennon’s “Instant Karma” in one day. It charted 33 days later (February 28) eventually reaching #3.
“Walk Right In” The Rooftop Singers #1 1963
The Platters, The Drifters, The Five Keys and The Turbans began a tour in Pittsburg while The Flamingos and The Sweethearts toured the south starting in Richmond, Virginia.
Rock & Roller Chubby Checker achieved a first when he put four albums in the U.S. Top 10. Prior to that, only MOR-Pop artists had reached such a milestone.
The Wanderer” Dion & The Del-Satins #8 1962
“Peppermint Twist” Joey Dee & The Starliters #1 1962
Nedra Talley Ross (The Ronettes) 1946
When The Robins single “If It’s So, Baby” charted (#10 R&B) they became the first west coast vocal group to make the top 10.
A cross section of musical messengers including The Rascals, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Judy Collins, dave Brubeck, Harry Belafonte and the cast of the Broadway musical “Hair” performed in an anti-war benefit concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“Standing In The Shadows of Love” The Four Tops #6 1967
“Owner Of A Lonely Heart” Yes #1 1984
The Cleftones played Detroit’s prime venue The Fox Theater on the strength of their new release “You, Baby, You” (#78).
“Barbara Ann” The Beach Boys #2 1966
The Silhouettes standard rocker “Get A Job” charted (#1 Pop & #1 R&B). The 70’s group Shan a NA was named after a line in the song.
The Beatles and Billy Preston (on organ) performed four songs on the roof of Apple Records in Saville Row, London. It was their last live performance.
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” The Shirelles #1 1961
Joe Terry (Danny & The Juniors) 1941
Sandy Yaguda (Jay & The Americans) 1943
Jody Watley (Shalamar) 1959
Decca’s Brunswick label was reactivated with its first single by the vocal group The Five Bills (“Can’t Wait For Tomorrow”) now a $500 collectable.
Little Richard retired at the peak of his career to become an evangelist. His conversion lasted all of four years.
“The Bells” The Dominoes #4 R&B 1953
“I Want You Back” The Jackson Five #1 1970
Marvin Junior (The Dells) 1936