Rock 'n' Roll History for
July 20






1940 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Billboard's first Music Popularity Chart is published. The magazine had previously printed best-seller lists submitted by the individual record companies, but the new chart combined the top sellers from all major labels. Their first number one song was "I'll Never Smile Again" by Frank Sinatra And The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

1946 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
13 year old Petula Clark made her first appearance on British TV on a BBC variety show called Cabaret Cartoons, which would lead to her being signed to host her own afternoon series titled simply Petula Clark.

1954 - ClassicBands.com
July 20
Elvis Presley performed on one what was probably the smallest stage of his career when he appeared on the back of a flatbed truck outside a Memphis drugstore for its grand opening. Elvis was then a member of The Blue Moon Boys trio with Bill Black and Scotty Moore, who took their name from a song they had recorded just two weeks previously, "Blue Moon of Kentucky".

1963 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Just two weeks after its release Jan And Dean's "Surf City" becomes the first surfing record to top the Billboard singles chart. The pair had recorded the song in a converted garage underneath their apartment in Bel Air, California. The single reached #26 in the UK.

July 20
Lesley Gore released "Judy's Turn To Cry", the follow up to her number one hit, "It's My Party". The record was a continuation of the original story and it too became a Top 5 hit in the US.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
The Lovin' Spoonful release their first single, "Do You Believe in Magic", from the album of the same name. It will reach #9 on the US Pop chart and was later ranked #216 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

July 20
Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" is released by Columbia records. It turns out to be his biggest hit ever, climbing to number two in the US and number four in the UK.

1968 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Iron Butterfly's classic album, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" entered Billboard's Hot 200 chart at #117. It was the band's second LP and contained the 17 minute title track that filled the entire second side of the disc. A shortened, single version of the song only made it to number 30, but the album climbed to number 4 and went on to sell over four million copies in the US alone. A remastered edition was released by Rhino Records in 1995 that contains the single version as well as a live version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".

July 20
Hugh Masakela's instrumental rendition of "Grazing In The Grass" reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100. A year later, The Friends Of Distinction would take a vocal version of the song to number 3.

1969 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Roy Hamilton, whose version of "Unchained Melody" was the best-selling R&B record of 1955, died of a heart attack at the age of 40. He also scored hits with "Don't Let Go" in 1958 and "You Can Have Her" in 1961.

1979 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
E.L.O. takes out advertisements in several US magazines dedicating the release of "Don't Bring Me Down" to NASA's Skylab project.

1986 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Santana celebrates their 20th anniversary at a concert in San Francisco that features a jam with all previous members of the band.

1990 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Madonna played the first of three sold out nights at Wembley Stadium, London, England, on her 57-date Blond Ambition World Tour.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
The Rolling Stones reported a gross income of $337 million from almost two years of touring from their Bridges to Babylon and No Security tours. The Stones had played to over 5.6 million people, selling out all but 20 shows.

2004 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
For the first time in his career, Jimmy Buffett had the number one album on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart when "License To Chill" debuted at the top spot during its first week of US sales, selling over 239,000 copies. Two songs from the collection, "Hey Good Lookin'" (with Hank Williams) and "Trip Around the Sun" (with Martina McBride) made the Top 20 of the Billboard Country Chart.

2009 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Jackson Browne settled his lawsuit against US Senator John McCain and the Republican Party after his 1977 hit "Running On Empty" was used without permission in a 2008 McCain presidential campaign ad that aired on TV and the Internet. McCain and the Republican Party apologized for using the song in the ad and said that McCain himself "had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the creation or distribution of the video."

2011 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Pictures of The Beatles' first US concert in Washington DC on February 11th, 1964, taken by a then 18-year-old Mike Mitchell, sold at Christie's auction house for $361,938. Security in those days was very casual and Mitchell was just feet from the band as he snapped the black and white photos which he stored for years in a box in his basement.

2015 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Wayne Carson, who wrote the Classic Rock 'n' Roll songs "Always on My Mind", "The Letter", "Neon Rainbow" and "Soul Deep", passed away at the age of 72 after suffering congestive heart failure.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Speaking at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, Elton John announced a $10 million fund that will lend medical and legal support to the African LGBT community. "I know that certain governments in Africa will not respond to someone like me telling them 'You should do this, you should do that'," said John. "I count for nothing as far as that goes. What I can do is ensure that people who are LGBT, if their clinics are closed down because they are LGBT, we can give them medicine. If they are arrested, we will get them legal aid."






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