Good Morning, Students! Here we are again. It’s another Friday here in The Mermaid Lounge, and this was a pretty active day in rock n’ roll history!
Here’s today’s lesson:
January 22, 1959: Buddy Holly left for Milwaukee to begin The Winter Dance Party tour.
January 22, 1960: Sam Cooke signed with RCA Records on this day, his 29th birthday.
January 22, 1963: Gerry & The Pacemakers held their first recording session ever, laying down How Do You Do It.
January 22, 1964: Sonny Boy Wiliamson and The Yardbirds appeared at The Cavern Club for their Big R & B Night.
January 22, 1965: The Rolling Stones began a tour of Oceana with two shows at the Agricultural Hall in Sydney, Australia.
January 22, 1966: The Beach Boys began recording Wouldn’t It Be Nice at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.
Also on this day:
Stevie Wonder went to #1 on the R & B chart with Uptight (Everything’s Alright). He was just 13 years old at the time, making him the youngest artist to ever top the charts.
The Beatles album Rubber Soul was at week three in the top Album position.
Simon & Garfunkel had their first #1 hit with Sounds of Silence.
January 22, 1968: Kenny Rogers & The First Edition released their first single, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In). I wonder if anybody realizes that he started out as a rocker before he began singing formualted country hits.
Also on this day:
Another great band, Sly & The Family Stone, sent their first 45 record, Dance To The Music, to the radio stations.
The Who performed two shows in Sydney Stadium in Australia. They were backed by the Small Faces.
January 22, 1969: Billy Preston arrived at Apple Studios to play keyboards and help the Beatles finish the Let It Be album. In addition to his talents, he also provided a great buffer for their in-fighting.
January 22, 1971: The Joe Cocker film, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, premiered in London. It featured performances by Cocker himself, along with Leon Russell and Rita Coolidge. There was also a cast of great session musicians like Jim Keltner (Buster Sidebury of Traveling Wilbury fame), Jim Horn, and Carl Radle.
January 22, 1972: Don McLean’s album American Pie hits #1 in the US, where it will remain for seven weeks.
January 23, 1973: Gladys Knight & The Pips released the single Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye).
Also on this day, Roberta Flack released the single Killing Me Softly With His Song. The lyricist was Lori Lieberman, who was inspired by a 1971 live performance by none other than Don McLean.
January 22, 1974: Carly Simon’s great album Hotcakes is certified Gold.
January 22, 1977: Paul McCartney & Wings have the #1 album in the US with Wings Over America.
January 22, 2004: The famous nightclub, The Bottom Line, closes its doors in Greenwich Village, New York after thirty years.
Born On This Day
January 22, 1931: Sam Cooke, the man with the voice made to sing soul music, was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
January 22, 1949: Another great vocalist, Steve Perry, the frontman for Journey, was born in Hanford, California. (No matter what they tell you, there’s no real Journey without Steve Perry at the mike.)
January 22, 1959: Nigel Pegrum, drummer for both Small Faces and Uriah Heep, was born in North Wales.
I hope you took notes. Because this is a lot of information. We’ll be back with the line-up.