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This Week In
Rock and Roll History

July 20th to July 26th

Classic Rockers In The News - Rock & Roll Birthdays - Number One Records

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.

1942 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
Capitol Records achieved their first #1 hit with a song called "Cow Cow Boogie" by 17-year-old Ella Mae Morse, accompanied by Freddie Slack and His Orchestra. Although Ella Mae's follow-up recordings sold fairly well, she never obtained a huge following, but continued to make records until 1957.

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".

1955 - ClassicBands.com

July 23
Slim Whitman's "Rose Marie" climbed to the top of the UK singles chart where it would stay for 11 weeks. That feat set a record that would last 36 years until Bryan Adams spent 16 weeks at the top with "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You".

1956 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Billboard magazine calls Elvis Presley "the most controversial entertainer since Liberace." The article also notes that Ed Sullivan, who once said Presley would never appear on his show, just signed the singer for three appearances.

July 21
Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers started a three run at the top of the UK chart with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", a record that had reached #6 in America last February.

July 22
While a song from his first recording session called "Blue Days, Black Nights" is receiving airplay in the UK, Buddy Holly heads back to a studio in Nashville to lay down additional tracks. He is currently appearing at live gigs billed as Buddy Holly And The Three Tunes.

July 25
Songwriter Mike Stoller, the co-writer of "Hound Dog", survives the sinking of the ship Andrea Doria after it collided with the MV Stockholm, near Nantucket, Massachusetts. Fifty-one others died.

1958 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
"Hard Headed Woman" by Elvis Presley was the top tune on the Billboard chart. At the time, the King was in Fort Hood Texas, doing basic training in the US Army.

July 26
Cuban band leader Perez Prado, often referred to as the King of the Mambo, led his orchestra to the top of the Cashbox Best Sellers list with a song called "Patricia". It would also be the last record to climb to #1 on the Billboard Jockeys and Top 100 charts, both of which gave way the next week to the newly introduced Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1960 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
The Ventures "Walk Don't Run" enters the US Pop chart and introduces the instrumental Surf sound to Rock 'n' Roll. The song will peak at #2 a month later.

July 25
Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never" debuted on Billboard's Pop music chart. The song was adapted from the Italian tune "O Sole Mio", written in 1899.

1961 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Following his success as a songwriter, penning Bobby Vee's "Rubber Ball" and Rick Nelson's "Hello Mary Lou", Gene Pitney makes his first appearance on American Bandstand, singing "Every Breath I Take".

July 22
The Everly Brothers had the UK's number one record with "Temptation", a song that was first introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1933 film Going Hollywood.

1962 - ClassicBands.com

July 26
Frank Ifield scored the first of his four UK #1 hits with "I Remember You", a song that will peak at #5 in the US next Fall.

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.

July 22
The Beatles' first US album, "Introducing The Beatles" was pressed by Vee-Jay Records, who thought they had obtained the legal rights from EMI affiliate, Trans-Global Records. When it was finally released in January, 1964, Capitol Records would hit Vee Jay with an injunction against manufacturing, distributing, advertising, or otherwise disposing of records by the Beatles. After a trial, Vee-Jay was allowed to release any Beatles records that they had masters of in any form until October 15th, 1964. After that time, they no longer had the right to issue any Beatles product.

1964 - ClassicBands.com

July 24
A riot broke out during a The Rolling Stones' gig at The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, Lancashire. Keith Richards noticed a man with his hands on the stage exhorting the crowd to spit, and warned him, but the spitting continued. Richards is then reported to have stood on his hands and kicked him in the face, whereupon some of the 7000 fans in attendance started fighting, causing over 4,000 Pounds in damage. Blackpool City Council later voted to ban The Stones from playing in the city. 44 years later, the 2008 council voted to lift the ban, but a spokesman for the group said they had no plans to return.

July 25
The Animals debut single "House of the Rising Sun" entered the UK chart at #16. The next week it will be #3 and seven days later it's number one. To promote the group in the US, disc jockeys were sent boxes of animal crackers wrapped with special promotional material.

July 25
The Beatles topped both the US and UK album charts with "A Hard Day's Night", as well as having the number one single in both countries with the LP's title track. Oddly, the album issued in America had a different track listing than the one released in Great Britain.

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.

July 22
Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman appear in a London courtroom and are found guilty of "insulting behavior" for urinating against a London gas station wall. They argued that the owner had refused to give them the key to the men's room, but they are fined five pounds each.

July 24
The Beach Boys' "California Girls" is released in the US, where it will reach #3 in September. The song was the first Beach Boys recording to feature vocals from Bruce Johnston, who had joined the group to substitute for Brian Wilson on concert tours.

July 24
The trio of Dino, Desi and Billy achieve their first US chart entry with "I'm A Fool", which will rise to #17. Dino, the son of Dean Martin, Desi, the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, along with Billy Hinsche would also crack the Top 40 with "Not The Lovin' Kind" later in the year.

July 25
Bob Dylan, backed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, shocked the audience at the Newport Folk Festival with his new electric sound. The crowd booed him off the stage after three tunes. After being urged by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) to return to the stage and go acoustic, Dylan sang two songs to the now-silent audience - "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Mr. Tambourine Man".

1966 - ClassicBands.com

July 23
Frank Sinatra had the top selling album in the US with "Strangers In The Night". The LP would be the most successful of his career, being certified Platinum for 1 million copies sold in the US. The title track would earn him two Grammy awards for Record Of The Year and Best Male Vocal Performance.

July 23
Country star Roger Miller reaches Billboard's Hot 100 with a novelty tune called "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd". The song, which Miller later said was the favorite of all the songs he wrote, will climb to #40.

July 23
"Sunny" by Bobby Hebb enters the Billboard charts, where it will reach #2 during an 11 week run. The song was written about Bobby's brother, who had been killed by a mugger in 1963, and started out as an album filler until it was picked for a single release. The record rose to #12 in the UK.

July 23
The Troggs led the Cashbox Best Sellers chart with their version of "Wild Thing". Lead singer Reg Presley would later say that after hearing the song for the first time, he was hesitant to record it because the words were " so corny."

1967 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
The Doors perform "Crystal Ship" and "Light My Fire" on American Bandstand.

July 24
Jefferson Airplane's second album "Surrealistic Pillow" is certified Gold on the strength of the Top Ten hits, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit".

July 25
The Beatles and several other UK Rock groups urge the British government to legalize marijuana. Their comments are made in a London Times advertisement, signed by all four members of the group.

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.

July 21
Jane Asher announces on a national British TV show, Dee Time, that her engagement to Paul McCartney was off by saying "I haven't broken it off, but it's finished." She has refused all attempts to discuss the matter since then. Paul reportedly was watching at a friend's home and acted surprised by the news, even though Jane had caught him in bed with a woman named Francie Schwartz a few days earlier. Jane was said to have inspired many of McCartney's songs, such as "All My Loving", "And I Love Her", "I'm Looking Through You", "You Won't See Me", "We Can Work It Out", "Here, There and Everywhere", and "For No One". Jane went on to have a long career in films and television as well as becoming a successful author and business woman.

July 24
James Drake, who billed himself as Nervous Norvus for his 1956, #8 US hit "Transfusion", a novelty tune about bloody accidents, died of liver failure at the age of 56.

July 26
The Rolling Stones album "Beggar's Banquet" has its release delayed because of their record label's objection to the album's cover design, which featured a graffiti-covered bathroom wall. Mick Jagger was furious. It was the first album on which Jagger played guitar.

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.

July 22
Aretha Franklin is arrested for disorderly conduct after creating a disturbance in a Detroit parking lot. After posting 50-dollars bail, she ran down a road sign while leaving the police station.

July 23
James Brown walks out of L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty's office when the mayor fails to show up at 10 a.m. as promised. Yorty was going to present Brown with a proclamation declaring James Brown Day.

July 25
Neil Young appeared with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the first time when they played at The Fillmore East in New York. Young was initially asked to help out with live material only, but ended up joining the group on and off for the next 30 years.

July 26
Elvis Presley opened at the Showroom of the International Hotel in Las Vegas for a four week engagement which netted him $1 million dollars. The concerts were universally acclaimed as a triumph.

1970 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
The Carpenters "Close To You" topped the Billboard Pop chart and became the first of twenty US Top 40 hits for the brother and sister team. The song itself had been written in 1963 by Hal David and Burt Bacharach and was first offered to Herb Alpert, who said he didn't feel comfortable singing 'so they sprinkled moon dust in your hair'.

July 25
The English quartet, Mungo Jerry cracked the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single, "In The Summertime", which will go on to reach #3. The song had already topped the UK chart in mid-June.

1971 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Carole King was having a very good week. Her single "It's Too Late" sat on top of Billboard's singles chart and she received a Gold album for "Tapestry". The LP, released four months earlier, was the number one album in the US for 15 weeks and would stay on Billboard's Top 200 album chart for 292 weeks.

July 22
Thirteen days after lead singer Jim Morrison passed away, The Doors are awarded a Gold album for "L.A. Woman". The L.P. included "Lover Her Madly" and "Riders on the Storm".

July 24
A cover version of "Indian Reservation", a number three hit in the UK by Don Fardon, went to number one in the US for The Raiders. The song was actually recorded by Mark Lindsay alone, but he chose to put the group's name on the label as a sign of friendship for his old buddy, Paul Revere.

1972 - ClassicBands.com

July 24
23-year-old Bobby Ramirez, drummer with Edger Winter's White Trash, was killed in a bar fight in Chicago after some redneck made a comment about the length of his hair. He died of head injuries after being kicked with steel-tipped shoes.

1973 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Jim Croce's, "Bad Bad Leroy Brown", taken from his second LP, "Life and Times", was the number one song on Billboard's Hot 100. Jim said that the Leroy Brown character was inspired by a tough guy that he had met in the Army a few years earlier.

July 21
Lennie Peters and Dianne Lee had the top tune in England with "Welcome Home". They became the first music act since The Beatles to simultaneously top the UK singles chart and album chart. Although success in America eluded them, they would go on to have three more Top 20 hits in Great Britain. Peters, who died of bone cancer in 1992, was an uncle of Rolling Stones' drummer Charlie Watts.

July 21
While Billboard listed it at #4, Cashbox magazine said that Three Dog Night's version of "Shambala" was the hottest selling single in the country. A simultaneous release by B.W. Stevenson was also a hit on the US Country charts.

1974 - ClassicBands.com

July 26
John Denver earns a Gold record for his all-time biggest hit, "Annie's Song", a tribute to his then wife, Annie Martell. Denver would later say that he wrote the song in 10 minutes while he was on a ski-lift. Sadly, he and Annie would divorce in 1982.

1975 - ClassicBands.com

July 26
Van McCoy had the number one tune on the Billboard Hot 100 with "The Hustle", a song that he claimed to have written in less than an hour. The Disco hit would reach #3 in the UK.

July 26
The Amazing Rhythm Aces enter the Billboard Hot 100 with a song about a casual, hotel interlude called "Third Rate Romance", which will climb to #14. Although they would have other hits on the Country chart, this will be the only Pop chart entry for the Knoxville, Tennessee quintet.

1976 - ClassicBands.com

July 24
Elton John, who had already achieved stardom in the United States, had his first hit in the UK with "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", a duet with Kiki Dee. Like many of Elton's singles from his early career, the song was never included on an original album.

July 24
Two years after it peaked at #60 in the US, Hall And Oates' "She's Gone" is re-issued by Atlantic Records. This highly edited, remixed version would climb to number 7.

July 24
The Beach Boys' "20 Golden Greats" LP started a ten week stay at #1 on the UK album chart during its 86 week run. The compilation became the second biggest selling album of the year in Great Britain.

July 26
Ted Nugent receives a Gold record for his sixth, self-titled album. It includes "Hey Baby" and "Dog Eat Dog".

July 26
With three of the original backing musicians now departed, the last Three Dog Night concert is held in Los Angeles. When they would re-unite in 1981, all the original members except bassist Joe Schermie came back onboard.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Despite protests, The Sex Pistols made their first appearance on the UK music show Top Of The Pops, where they lip-synched to their third single, "Pretty Vacant". The performance helped push the song up the charts to #7.

July 22
While on stage in Cohasset, Massachusetts, Tony Orlando shocked the crowd and his group, Dawn, by announcing his retirement from show business. Following a short illness, Tony was back at work two months later, but could never find the chart success he once enjoyed.

July 23
Led Zeppelin's drummer John Bonham was charged with assault after a concert at the Oakland Coliseum in California. Bonham and band manager Peter Grant had the help of their bodyguard in roughing up a security employee at the venue. After pleading guilty to misdemeanors, the accused settle out of court for two million dollars.

July 23
Peter Frampton had the best selling single in America with "I'm In You". Both the song and the album of the same name would go on to reach Platinum status.

July 23
Although it failed to catch on in the UK, "Looks Like We Made It" becomes Barry Manilow's third US number one single. The song had been written by Richard Kerr, the same man who wrote the music for Manilow's first number one, "Mandy".

July 23
Donna Summer's Disco hit "I Feel Love" tops the UK chart in the first of a four week stay.

July 26
Tragedy struck Led Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant when his five-year-old son, Karac, died suddenly of a respiratory ailment. The remaining seven dates on Led Zeppelin's US tour were cancelled.

1978 - ClassicBands.com

July 20
Steve Martin's novelty tune "King Tut" became a hit record, nearly three months after it was featured in a skit on TV's Saturday Night Live. Some of the backing musicians on the track, who called themselves the Toot Uncommons, were actually members of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The record, which paid homage to Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen, would go on to sell over a million copies.

July 24
The movie Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, starring Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees, opens in New York City. Although promotional posters claim it is "A "Fantastical Movie Adventure", it bombs at the box-office and the critics were vicious in their reviews.

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.

July 22
Little Richard, appearing as Reverend Richard Penniman, speaks at a revival meeting in North Richmond, CA. He warns the congregation about the evils of Rock 'n' Roll music and declares, "If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anybody."

July 23
The Ayatollah Khomenini bans all forms of Rock 'n' Roll in Iran, claiming it has a corrupting influence.

1980 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Keith Godchaux, former keyboards player with The Grateful Dead, was killed in a car accident in Marin County, California. Godchaux and his wife, Donna, a background vocalist, had been with the Dead from 1971 until 1979, when they were asked to leave

July 24
Larry Graham, the former bass guitarist of Sly And The Family Stone, began his first solo tour by opening for the Isley Brothers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Graham's "One in a Million You" was on its way up the charts at the time and would peak at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

July 25
Kiss introduce their new drummer, Eric Carr, at a concert at the Palladium in New York City. Carr, who wears fox make-up, replaces Peter Criss, who was made up as a cat.

1981 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
Air Supply becomes the first Australian band to top the Billboard Pop chart when "The One That You Love" reaches number one. They would go on to place seven consecutive singles in the top five.

July 25
"Jessie's Girl", by Australian rocker Rick Springfield, was the top selling single in America. It would go on to be named Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at next year's Grammy Awards.

1982 - ClassicBands.com

July 24
A Chicago quintet called Survivor started a six week run at #1 on the Billboard singles chart with "Eye Of The Tiger". The song also topped the UK chart. Over the next four years, the band would place six more songs on the Billboard Top 40 and become an icon of '80s Rock.

July 24
John Cougar (Mellencamp) topped the Cashbox Best Sellers chart with "Hurts So Good". Two weeks later the record would climb to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stay in the Top 10 for 16 weeks, longer than any other song in the 1980s.

1983 - ClassicBands.com

July 23
"Synchronicity", the fifth and final studio album by The Police, went to #1 on the Billboard chart for the first of seventeen weeks. The LP contained the hit single, "Every Breath You Take", which would win Song Of The Year honors at next year's Grammy Awards.

1984 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
American Rhythm and Blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton died of a heart attack at the age of 57. Her version of "Hound Dog" topped the Billboard R&B chart for seven weeks in 1952.

1985 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
Eurythmics enjoyed their only UK number one single with "There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)". The song, that featured a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder, would top out at #22 in the US.

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.

1987 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
A jury in New York ruled that Morris Albert's 1975 composition "Feelings" was plagiarized from "Pour Toi", a song written in 1956 by French composer Lou Lou Geste. The jury ruled that Geste was owed at least a half million dollars in royalties. Albert's rendition had reached #6 in the US and #4 in the UK in 1975.

July 24
The movie biography of Richie Valens called La Bamba opens in US theatres. The film starred Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens and Esai Morales as Ritchie's older brother Bob. The production had the full support of the Valenzuela family and Bob and Connie Valenzuela even came to the set to help the actors portray their characters correctly. The music was performed by Los Lobos.

July 26
Billy Joel plays a concert in Leningrad, after which, audience members carry him out on their shoulders.

1988 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
A judge in Aiken, South Carolina ordered James Brown to hold a benefit concert for police and abused children as part of a sentence on drug and firearms charges. Brown called the sentence a back-door way of getting him to do a concert for free.

1989 - ClassicBands.com

July 23
Ringo Starr launched his first tour since the break-up of The Beatles with a show in Dallas. Starr began the concert with his 1971 hit "It Don't Come Easy". His backup band included guitarist Joe Walsh, organist Billy Preston and Bruce Springsteen's sax man Clarence Clemons.

1990 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters got a little help from his friends Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, The Scorpions, Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, The Band and others for a live performance of Pink Floyd's, "The Wall". The event was held on the west side of the Berlin wall and helped raise money for disaster relief. Over 200,000 fans attended the concert, which was released on CD and in video form later in the year.

July 21
BBC's Radio One apologizes to listeners after Madonna repeatedly cursed during a live concert broadcast.

July 26
Brent Mydland, keyboard player for The Grateful Dead, was found dead of a drug overdose in his home in Lafayette, California. He was 37. He joined the band in 1979, replacing Keith Godchaux.

1992 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
Neil Diamond started a three week run at #1 on the UK album chart with his "Greatest Hits 1966-1992".

July 26
Mary Wells, most often remembered for her hits "My Guy" and "You Beat Me To The Punch", died of cancer of the larynx at the age of 49. When she was diagnosed in 1990, she had no medical insurance and lost her modest home in L.A. when she couldn't pay the rent. The following year she received a six figure settlement from Motown Records after she filed a lawsuit for unpaid royalties. Mary was laid to rest in Glendale California's Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

1994 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
More than 54,000 fans packed Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as Billy Joel and Elton John performed the first of five concerts together.

July 23
The International Astronomical Union named an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter after Frank Zappa, who had died the previous December.

1995 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
A judge in Los Angeles threw out a lawsuit against Michael Jackson by five of his former security guards. The guards had claimed they were fired for knowing too much about night time visits by young boys to Jackson's estate. The singer denied any improprieties.

July 22
Canadian singer David Clayton-Thomas angered patrons at a Blood, Sweat And Tears concert in the heavily Jewish Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield. Halfway through the show he remarked that the weather was "as hot as the last train car going to Auschwitz." Clayton-Thomas later apologized, saying he spoke "in the heat of the moment."

July 25
62-year-old singer Charlie Rich died in Hammond, Louisiana of a blood clot in the lungs. Rich began as a Rockabilly artist for Sun Records in Memphis in 1958 and had hits with "Lonely Weekends" (#22 in 1960) and "Mohair Sam" (#21 in 1965). He gained wider success in 1973 when his ballads "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl" crossed over from the Country charts into the Hot 100.

1996 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
Scottish Folk singer Donovan was forced to postpone a comeback tour of the US when American authorities delayed granting him a waiver to enter the country because of a 30-year-old marijuana conviction in Britain. The tour was designed to promote Donovan's first album of new material in a dozen years.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
Gary "Gar" Samuelson, the drummer for Megadeth from 1984 through 1987, died of liver failure at the age of 41.

July 24
Actor Will Smith tops the Billboard Hot 100 with "Wild Wild West", on which he simply rapped over Stevie Wonder's "I Wish". Despite its chart success, the song won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song of 1999 and Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio later ranked it at #27 on his list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever.

2001 - ClassicBands.com

July 23
59 year old Paul McCartney, who lost his first wife Linda to cancer three years ago, becomes engaged to 33 year old Heather Mills, an activist for the disabled. It will be the first marriage for Mills, a former swimwear model whose left leg was amputated below the knee after she was run down by a police motorcyclist in 1993. The pair would split in 2006 and divorce in 2008, with a settlement that cost Macca millions.

2003 - ClassicBands.com

July 23
The Sun Records studio in Memphis was designated a national historic landmark.

July 23
James Brown announced that he was separating from his fourth wife by placing a notice in Variety magazine that showed a picture of himself, his wife Tomi Rae and their two-year-old son, James Brown II, posing with Goofy at Walt Disney World.

July 25
52 year old Erik Braunn, the lead guitarist on Iron Butterfly's 1968 classic rock anthem "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. Braunn was just 16 years old when he joined Iron Butterfly and spent only two years with the band, from 1967 to 1969, the era of the group's greatest success. After leaving the group, Braunn continued to work as a songwriter, musician and producer, occasionally reuniting with his former band mates.

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.

July 25
George Williams of The Tymes died of cancer at the age of 68. The Philadelphia quartet topped the Billboard chart in 1963 with "So Much In Love" and reached #1 in the UK in 1975 with "Ms Grace".

2005 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
British R&B artist Long John Baldry died after battling a chest infection for four months. He was 64. Baldry was one of the founding fathers of British Rock 'n' Roll in the '60s. Eric Clapton has stated many times that he was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing Baldry perform.

July 22
Eugene Record, the lead singer of The Chi-lites, died of cancer at the age of 65. The group is most often remembered for the 1972 US #1 single "Oh Girl" and 1972 UK #3 single "Have You Seen Her".

2006 - ClassicBands.com

July 21
The Rolling Stones were the top touring band in the world for the first half of 2006, reporting $147.3 million in grosses from 45 shows in US arenas and international stadiums.

July 26
Arvel Jett Reeves, who bugged a jet used by singer Michael Jackson, intending to make recordings to sell to the media, was sentenced to eight months in jail.

July 26
The guitar on which Paul McCartney learned his first chords sold for 330,000 Pounds at an auction at London's Abbey Road Studios.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

July 25
69-year-old Connie Francis was admitted to Long Island Jewish Medical Center's coronary care unit with dangerously high blood pressure. She was released a short time later.

July 25
The Rolling Stones split with longtime label EMI and signed a new deal with the Universal Music Group, which covers not only future studio albums but the band's lucrative back catalog from 1971's "Sticky Fingers" onward.

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."

2010 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
Grammy-award winning singer Al Jarreau was in intensive care in a French hospital after suffering breathing problems in the Alps, forcing him to cancel four concerts. Jarreau's manager said the 70-year-old singer "is awake and he's concerned" about missing concerts. Since then, Jarreau has made a full recovery and continued to tour extensively.

July 23
Surgical instruments allegedly used to conduct Elvis Presley's autopsy were removed from an upcoming auction amid doubts about their authenticity. Forceps, needle injectors, rubber gloves and a toe tag were among the items that were expected to fetch about $14,000 at Chicago, Illinois' Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The so-called "memorabilia" was supposedly kept by a senior embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home where the singer's body was stored prior to his funeral, but the claims were questioned after another employee revealed that the equipment was sterilized and used again in other autopsies.

July 25
A Memphis, Tennessee auction house announced that a collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia, including his grand piano, gold-rimmed sunglasses and his Triumph TR-6 sports car would be among the items up for bid at an upcoming sale.

July 25
Paul McCartney's former wife, Heather Mills, told the press that the trauma and pain she went through after losing her leg in a traffic accident was nothing compared to the way she felt after she and the former Beatle split up. The two separated in 2006 after four years of marriage and went on to fight an bitter public divorce battle which saw her gain a $38.9 million settlement.

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.

July 24
Dan Peek, a founding member of the Soft Rock trio America died in his sleep at the age of 60. The group notched eight Top 40 hits in the US charts between 1971 and 1975, including "Sister Golden Hair", "Ventura Highway", "Tin Man", "Daisy Jane" and Peek's own composition "Lonely People".

July 26
Ford became the first major auto manufacturer to announce plans to ditch the CD player in favor of a USB port for digital music players to be plugged in. A company spokesperson said "The in-car CD player - much like pay telephones - is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology."

2012 - ClassicBands.com

July 24
Larry Hoppen, who co-founded the 1970s Pop / Rock group Orleans and sang lead on their hits "Still the One", "Dance With Me" and "Love Takes Time", died of undisclosed causes at the age of 61.

July 26
Two people charged with attempting to extort $500,000 from Stevie Wonder over a video that portrays the Grammy-winning musician in a negative light, pleaded not guilty. Next September they would change their plea to no contest and were sentenced to time served.

2013 - ClassicBands.com

July 22
The Rolling Stones celebrated their homecoming in London with an iTunes-only live album titled "The Rolling Stones - Hyde Park Live", which featured many of the band's greatest hits.

July 24
Whitney Houston's grave in New Jersey was marked with a teardrop-shaped headstone that bears the inscription: "I will always love you", from the Dolly Parton song she made famous.

July 22
J.J. Cale, the Grammy award winning singer / songwriter who scored a Billboard #22 hit in 1972 with "Crazy Mama", suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 74. He also penned songs recorded by Waylon Jennings, Poco, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty and Carlos Santana, as well as writing "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton

Our Featured Interview

This week in 1982, they started a six week run
at the top of the Billboard Hot 100
with "Eye Of The Tiger",
which was featured in the film Rocky III.

To find out how that song made it into the film
be sure to read Gary James'
interview with Marc Droubay
of Survivor.

In The News

    Mick Jagger Opens Up About L'Wren Scott Death

    Gregg Allman Biopic Filmmakers Say Crew Member's Death "Was Not a Crime"

    Elton John to take his final bow

    Location of Casey Kasem's Body Suddenly Unknown

    Blues guitarist Johnny Winter dies at 70.

    Long-Disputed Early Jimi Hendrix Masters to Go to Legacy Recordings

    David Bowie Promises 'More Music Soon'

    Seeds 'Pushin' Too Hard' Documentary Set to Premiere Aug. 16

    Ron Howard to Direct Beatles Documentary

    Neil Young and Crazy Horse Cancel Tel Aviv Concert

    Cher Tour Grosses $55 Million (So Far)

    Eddie Money Hopes To Release New Album 'Within The Next Six Months'

Rock and Roll Birthdays

July 20th - ClassicBands.com

1933 - Buddy Knox
("Party Doll")
1943 - John Lodge
- singer / guitarist for The Moody Blues ("Tuesday Afternoon")
1946 - Kim Carnes
("Bette Davis Eyes")
1947 - Tony Thorpe
- vocalist for The Rubettes ("Sugar Baby Love")
1947 - Carlos Santana
("Evil Ways")
1956 - Paul Cook
- drummer for The Sex Pistols ("God Save The Queen")
1958 - Michael McNeil
- keyboards for Simple Minds ("Don't You Forget About Me")

July 21st - ClassicBands.com

1922 - Kay Starr
("Rock and Roll Waltz")
1945 - Rosie Hamlin
of Rosie and the Originals ("Angel Baby")
1946 - Barry Whitwam
- drummer for Herman's Hermits ("Henry VIII")
1948 - Cat Stevens
("Wild World")

July 22nd - ClassicBands.com

1940 - George Clinton
- vocals / keyboards for The Parliaments ("I Wanna Testify")
1941 - Thomas Wayne
1943 - Bobby Sherman
("Little Woman")
1944 - Estelle Bennett
- vocalist for The Ronettes ("Be My Baby")
1944 - Rick Davies
- vocals and keyboards for Supertramp ("The Logical Song")
1947 - Don Henley
- drummer for The Eagles ("Hotel California")

July 23rd - ClassicBands.com

1935 - Cleveland Duncan
- vocalist for The Penguins ("Earth Angel")
1942 - Madeline Bell
("I'm Gonna Make You Love Me")
1943 - Tony Joe White
("Polk Salad Annie")
1945 - Dino Danelli
- drummer for The Rascals ("Good Lovin")
1947 - David Essex
("Rock On")
1950 - Blair Thornton
- guitarist for Bachman Turner Overdrive ("You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet")
1950 - Ian Thomas
("Painted Ladies")
1952 - Janis Siegel
- vocalist for Manhattan Transfer ("Boy From New York City")

July 24th - ClassicBands.com

1941 - Barbara Love
- vocalist for The Friends Of Distinction ("Grazing In The Grass")
1942 - Heinz Burt
- bass guitarist for The Tornados ("Telstar")
1947 - Alan Whitehead
- drummer for Marmalade ("Reflections Of My Life")
1948 - Kim Berly
- drummer for The Stampeders ("Sweet City Woman")

July 25th - ClassicBands.com

1894 - Walter Brennan
("Old Rivers")
1941 - Manny Charlton
- guitarist for Nazareth ("Love Hurts")
1942 - Bruce Woodley
- vocalist for The Seekers ("I'll Never Find Another You")
1943 - Jim McCarty
- drummer for the Yarbirds ("Heart Full Of Soul")
1944 - Tom Dawes
- guitarist / lead vocalist for The Cyrkle ("Red Rubber Ball")
1951 - Verdine White
- bassist for Earth, Wind and Fire ("After the Love Has Gone")

July 26th - ClassicBands.com

1938 - Darlene Love
("The Boy I'm Gonna Marry")
1938 - Bobby Hebb
1941 - Brenton Wood
("The Oogum Boogum Song")
1943 - Dobie Gray
("Drift Away")
1943 - Mick Jagger
of The Rolling Stones ("Get Off Of My Cloud")
1949 - Roger Taylor
- drummer for Queen ("Crazy Little Thing Called Love")

Who sang that song that you have stuck in your head?
How high did it climb on the charts and in what year?
You can find out in our Who Sang That Hit? Section
Explore the facts behind the deaths
of some of the music world's biggest stars
Read all about Rock and Roll's Unsolved Mysteries


This Week's Best Selling Singles

  In The USA  
July 20th to July 26th

1956 The Wayward Wind Gogi Grant
1957 (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear Elvis Presley
1958 Patricia Perez Prado And His Orchestra
1959 The Battle Of New Orleans Johnny Horton
1960 I'm Sorry Brenda Lee
1961 Tossin' And Turnin' Bobby Lewis
1962 Roses Are Red Bobby Vinton
1963 Easier Said Than Done The Essex
1964 A Hard Day's Night The Beatles
1965 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones
1966 Wild Thing The Troggs
1967 Windy The Associtation
1968 Jumpin' Jack Flash The Rolling Stones
1969 In The Year 2525 Zager And Evans
1970 Ball Of Confusion The Temptations
1971 Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee) The Raiders
1972 Lean On Me Bill Withers
1973 Shambala Three Dog Night
1974 Rock Your Baby George McCrae
1975 One Of These Nights The Eagles
1976 Kiss And Say Goodbye The Manhattans
1977 I'm In You Peter Frampton
1978 Baker Street Gerry Rafferty
1979 Bad Girls Donna Summer
1980 It's Still Rock And Roll To Me Billy Joel
1981 Jessie's Girl Rick Springfield
1982 Hurts So Good John Cougar
1983 Every Breath You Take The Police
1984 When Doves Cry Prince
1985 Raspberry Beret Prince And The Revolution

  In The United Kingdom  

July 20th to July 26th

1956 Why Do Fools Fall In Love Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers
1957 All Shook Up Elvis Presley
1958 All I Have To Do Is Dream / Claudette The Everly Brothers
1959 Dream Lover Bobby Darin
1960 Good Timin' Jimmy Jones
1961 Temptation The Everly Brothers
1962 I Can't Stop Loving You Ray Charles
1963 Confessin' Frank Ifield
1964 A Hard Day's Night The Beatles
1965 Mr. Tambourine Man The Byrds
1966 Get Away Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames
1967 All You Need Is Love The Beatles
1968 Baby Come Back The Equals
1969 Honky Tonk Women The Rolling Stones
1970 In The Summertime Mungo Jerry
1971 Get It On T Rex
1972 Puppy Love Donny Osmond
1973 Welcome Home Peters and Lee
1974 She Charles Aznavour
1975 Give A Little Love The Bay City Rollers
1976 Don't Go Breaking My Heart Elton John and Kiki Dee
1977 I Feel Love Donna Summer
1978 You're The One That I Want John Travolta and Oliva Newton John
1979 Are Friends Electric? Tubeway Army
1980 Use It Up And Wear It Out Odyssey
1981 Ghost Town The Specials
1982 Fame Irena Cara
1983 Wherever I Lay My Hat Paul Young
1984 Two Tribes Frankie Goes To Hollywood
1985 Frankie Sister Sledge