Greetings & Salutations From The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/30/2020

Good Morning, Music Trivia Buffs! We’re getting a jump on the day because it’s an “opening” shift this morning on Truck Day. Here’s everything you need to know to impress your friends.

Tom Petty said of Bo Diddley: “Remember, Elvis is King, but Diddley is Daddy.”

Here’s today’s lesson:

December 30, 1957: Sam Cooke’s You Send Me finished the year as the #1 R & B song where it spent the previous six weeks.

December 30, 1961: This year it was the Marvelettes finishing up a seventh week at #1 on the R & B chart with Please Mr. Postman.

December 30, 1962: The Chiffons released the single He’s So Fine.

December 30, 1965: The Who, The Hollies, The Kinks, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Manfred Mann, and Georgie Fame performed on the popular TV show, Shindig.

December 30, 1967: The Beatles were still tearing up the charts. Their new album release, Magical Mystery Tour, climed from #157 to #4 in one week.

As if that wasn’t enough, The Beatles also had their 51st hit, their 25th Top 10 song in four years, and 15th #1 with the song Hello Goodbye.

December 30, 1968: The Turtles released the single You Showed Me.

December 30, 1969: Santana released the single Evil Ways.

December 30, 1972: Seventh Sojurn by the Moody Blues remained at the #1 position on the Album chart for a fourth week.

Also on this day, Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina cracked the Top 10 with Your Mama Don’t Dance.

December 30, 1974: Bob Dylan recorded Tangled Up in Blue (a personal all-time favorite), Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, and If You See Her, Say Hello.

December 30, 1979: Emerson, Lake & Palmer announced their break up.

Born On This Day

December 30, 1928: R & B and Rock n’ Roll icon Bo Diddley (vocalist, guitarist, songwriter) was born Ellas Otha Bates (add McDaniels at the end from his adoptive family) in McComb, Mississippi. He grew up on the South Side of Chicago where he and his friends sang on street corners. Rumor has it that his nickname, Bo Diddley came from the diddley bow, a one-stringed African guitar popular in the Mississippi Delta region.

December 30, 1931: Country singer Skeeter Davis was born Mary Frances Penick in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. She is actually best known for her crossover hit, The End Of The World.

December 30, 1934: Del Shannon (Runaway) was born Charles Weedon Westover in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

December 30, 1937: Bluegrass, folk, and country multi-instrumentalist and singer John Hartford was born in New York City.

December 30, 1937: Folk singer-songwriter Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary) was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

December 30, 1939: R & B singer Kim Weston was born Agatha Nathalia Weston in Detroit, Michigan. She would sign with Motown in 1961.

December 30, 1939: Felix Pappalardi, bassist and vocalist for Mountain, was born in The Bronx, New York.

December 30, 1940: Punk rock queen Patti Smith was born in Chicago.

And that, my friends, is it from the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge!

Getting a Jump On The Day At The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/23/2020

It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas. The shorter the time gets, the nastier the shoppers get. The pressure’s on to make sure they buy enough, or just the right thing, or whatever the fuck. Give it up.

The first transistor radios. Undoubtedly, man’s finest invention.

Here’s today’s musical lesson:

December 23, 1947: Three scientists from Bell Labs in New Jersey demonstrate the transistor, which leads to the invention of small, portable transistor radios. They would win the Nobel Prize for their work in 1956.

December 23, 1957: A new act called Tom & Jerry appear on the chart for the first time with their new song Hey Schoolgirl. They were just sixteen years old. Today, we know them as Simon & Garfunkel, and they have sold 105 million albums.

December 23, 1961: The Marvelettes spent their sixth week at #1 on the R & B chart with Please Mr. Postman.

Also on December 23, the Beach Boys make their live debut, performing two songs during intermission of surf guitarist Dick Dale’s concert at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Newport Beach, California.

December 23, 1962: Bob Dylan did a show at the King and Queen Pub in London.

December 23, 1963: Lesley Gore released the single, You Don’t Own Me.

December 23, 1964: Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys suffered a breakdown on a flight from LA to Houston. As a result, he decided to retire from performing live, in spite of the fact that their Beach Boys Concert was #1 at the time. Glen Campbell was a temporary replacement for Wilson, until Bruce Johnston joined the group.

December 23, 1966: London’s premier psychedelic hangout, The UFO Club, opens on Tottenham Court, with Pink Floyd as the house band.

December 23, 1969: Elton John met with Bernie Taupin for the first time, along with arranger Paul Buckmaster, and producer Gus Didgeon, to begin work on his first (and best, in my opinion) album.

December 23, 1970: Joni Mitchell earned her first Gold with her third album, Ladies of The Canyon.

December 23, 1972: The Moody Blues had another big album with Seventh Sojurn, which spent a third week at #1.

Born On This Day

December 23, 1940: Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, was born in Washington, D.C.

December 23, 1941: Folk musician Tim Hardin, who wrote If I Were A Carpenter, was born in Eugene, Oregon.

December 23, 1946: Ariel Bender, guitarist for Mott The Hoople, was born in Evesham, Worcestershire, England.

December 23, 1964: Eddie Vedder, lead singer, guiarist, and songwriter of Pearl Jam, was born in Evanston, Illinois.

And that’s it for today’s lesson!

Happy Friday From The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/11/2020

Greetings from the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge, where we enrich your lives by making sure you have all the pertinent details required to win a musical trivia contest.

Little Richard performs during the halftime show on December 31, 2004, at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. The pioneering musician died on Saturday, May 9, 2020; he was 87. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images/TNS)

Here’s today’s lesson!

December 11, 1960: Aretha Franklin gives her first live performance at the Village Vanguard in New York city.

December 11, 1961: Motown Records has it’s first #1 hit on the Top 100 with Please Mr. Postman by the Marvelettes.

Also on this day, Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii goes to #1.

December 11, 1965: The Velvet Underground plays its first live gig when they open for a group called The Myddle Class in the auditorium of Summit High School in New Jersey.

December 11, 1966: Elton John’s band, Bluesology, opens for Little Richard in London. Elton would later say: “When I saw Little Richard standing on top of the piano, all lights, sequins, and energy, I decided there and then that I was going to be a rock and roll piano player.”

December 11, 1968: The Rolling Stones record their Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV special, then proceed to bury it for nearly 30 years.

December 11, 1970: John Lennon releases his first solo album, titled John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

December 11, 1972: Genesis plays its first US concert ever at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

December 11, 1988: Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash and Don Henley perform at a Roy Orbison tribute concert at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

December 11, 1990: Led Zeppelin IV is certified Diamond with sales of 10 million in the US.

Born On This Day

December 11, 1926: Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton was born in Anton, Alabama. Willie Mae was the first to record Hound Dog, the song that would later be made famous by Elvis Presley.

And that is just about it from the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge for this fine day!