Elvis Presley had his first #1 hit today in 1956 with Heartbreak Hotel. Written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton after seeing a newspaper article about a man who jumped from the window of his hotel room, it was his first recording for RCA Victor done at their studios in Nashville, but the producers added heavy reverb effects to simulate the sound of The King’s earlier recordings at Sun Studios in Memphis.
Dick Rowe, head of Artists and Repertoire for Decca Records in England and the man who famously turned down The Beatles telling manager Brian Epstein “guitar groups are on the way out”, took the advice of Beatle George Harrison tonight in 1963 and went to London’s Crawdaddy Club to check out The Rolling Stones. He had them signed to a contract within a week.
Buffalo Springfield played their final show tonight in 1968 at the Long Beach Arena. Band members had been squabbling for some time, but the final straw was a pot bust the month before when Neil Young, Ritchie Furray, Jim Messina, and their visiting friend Eric Clapton were popped with pot, and with Messina having been brought in to replace bass player Bruce Palmer who’d been deported to Canada after his second drug bust, they realized they’d become a target. Furay went on to start Poco, while Stills joined friends David Crosby and Graham Nash, and would be joined…when he felt like it…by Young.
The Beatles single Get Back was released in the U.S. today in 1969, and John Lennon wasn’t happy with it. He told the press in 1980 that Paul McCartney had directed it at Yoko Ono somehow, saying that every time he sang the line in the studio he’d glared at her.
Influential New York band Television were on stage at CBGB tonight in 1974, with the show opened by a band called The Stilettos, who would later change their name to the one they were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under, Blondie.
The Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde married Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr in a simple ceremony held in a horse drawn carriage in New York’s Central Park today in 1984. Just the year before she’d given birth to a daughter fathered by Ray Davies of The Kinks.
Former Guns-N-Roses drummer Steven Adler, who’d been booted from the band for his heroin use, was caught with it and charged with felony possession today in 1995.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward is 69. He was booted from the lineup for their planned reunion tour and album in 2011 for asking for a full 1/4 of the proceeds by Ozzy Osbourne’s manager-wife Sharon, though in a prior lawsuit between Ozzy and guitarist Tony Iommi over royalties, Ozzy’s lawyers had maintained that the band’s original agreement was to split everything equally, “like pirates”.