By Scott Vanderpool

The McCoys were at #1 on the charts today in 1965 with their one hit, Hang On Sloopy, a song originally recorded the year before by L.A. band The Vibrations. It would later become the official state rock song of Ohio, even though The McCoys were from Union City Indiana. It seems that sometime shortly after it became a hit the Ohio State University Buckeye marching band had picked it up, and it gets played at the start of the 4th quarter of every home game since. A journalist in Columbus saw a wire story in 1985 about then Almost Live! host Ross Shafer’s attempt to make Louie Louie the state song of Washington, and noted that Ohio didn’t have one. Unlike our state, lousy with pinched-cheek conservatives, their state legislature adopted it quickly with this official language: “WHEREAS, “Hang on Sloopy” is of particular relevance to members of the baby boom generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously…”and “WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the State anything, or affect the quality of life in this State to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff.” The McCoys were led by the Zerhinger brothers, guitarist Rick and drummer Randy, who together with bass player Randy Jo Hobbs would become the backing band for Johnny Winter, and Rick would later change his last name to “Derringer“, and enjoy a successful solo career. Since being made Ohio’s state song in 1985, it is played after Take Me Out To the Ballgame at the 7th inning stretch of every Cleveland Indians game, much like Louie Louie is at Mariners games.

Federal narcotics agents raided the Victorian row house at 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco today in 1967, and arrested all six members of The Grateful Dead who lived there for possession of marijuana.

Pink Floyd released their 5th album today in 1970, their first to go to #1 at home in England. Recorded at Abbey Road, Atom Heart Mother sported a cover with no lettering, labels, or any indication of what it was, just a photograph of a cow taken by Hipgnosis photographer Storm Thorgerson, who inspired by Andy Warhol’s “cow wallpaper” had driven out to the English countryside and snapped a shot of the first cow he saw, later identified by the farmer who owned it as “Lulubelle III”. The Floyd generally regard it as one of their worst efforts with David Gilmore later saying it’s “a load of rubbish. We were at a real down point … I think we were scraping the barrel a bit at that period”, and Roger Waters adding, “If somebody said to me now – right – here’s a million pounds, go out and play Atom Heart Mother, I’d say you must be f***ing joking.”

The bodies of Elvis Presley and his mother Gladys were moved today in 1977 from the Memphis cemetery they’d been buried at to the grounds of his home at Graceland after an unsuccessful attempt at stealing his remains.

Departed Genesis members Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett rejoined the band tonight in 1982, the only time they would ever do so, at a fundraiser in Buckinghamshire for Gabriel’s WOMAD (World of Music, Art, and Dance) project.

Pearl Jam’s show for 30,000 fans in Hartford Connecticut tonight in 1996 ended in a massive brawl as the “mosh pit” turned ugly.

British guitarist Big Jim Sullivan died today in 2012 at age 71. He’d started playing in the late 50’s “skiffle” craze before becoming one of England’s most sought-after session players, adding guitar to recordings by George Harrison, Long John Baldry, Thunderclap-Newman, David Bowie, Donovan, The Small Faces, and many more. He also gave guitar lessons to a young Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, and Steve Howe of Yes. During his own 60’s career as a session musician, Jimmy Page was often referred to as “Little Jim” to avoid confusion.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Don McLean is 68.

Punk rock pioneer Richard Hell (born Richard Lester Meyers), singer of Television, Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers, and The Voidoids, is 64.

Genesis bass and guitar player Mike Rutherford is 63.

Former bassist and frontman for The Police, Gordon Sumner (CBE), better known by his stage name Sting, is 62.




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