Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel played ABC’s American Bandstand today in 1957, but in their first big TV appearance they were billed as “Tom and Jerry” after the cartoon. Right after Jerry Lee Lewis did Great Balls of Fire, they sang one of their first original compositions Hey Schoolgirl. They’d been close friends since elementary school in Queens, when they first performed together in a production of Alice in Wonderland, with Simon as the White Rabbit (go ask Alice), and Garfunkel as the Cheshire Cat. By the early 60’s they would be somewhat big in the Greenwich Village folk scene, but toil in relative obscurity until they had their first major hit with The Sound of Silence in 1964.
The Beatles released their second album With The Beatles today in 1963. Their first, Please Please Me, had come out the previous February, but this one was their first to sell over 1 million copies, the first record to do so in England since the soundtrack to the 1958 movie South Pacific.
Bob Dylan was on a break from his latest tour when he married Sara Lowndes in a secret ceremony under a big oak tree on a judge’s lawn in Long Island New York today in 1965. The two would divorce in 1977, but not before Bob adopted her daughter from her previous marriage, and the two would have four more kids together, including youngest son Jacob, who now fronts his own band The Wallflowers.
The Beatles released their 9th album today in 1968, a white double-LP that said “The Beatles” on the cover, forever after known as simply The White Album. It’s widely considered one of the greatest rock albums of all time, and sold well over 20 million copies, but sadly one of them was to Charles Manson.
Iron Butterfly played a 3500 seat gymnasium in Ashland, Virginia tonight in 1969, with opening act Steel Mill, who nobody remembers other than the fact that the lead singer was named Bruce Springsteen.
Jerry Lee “the Killer” Lewis was arrested today in 1976, and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after piloting his Rolls Royce into a ditch.
The Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman let it be known today in 1990 that his 17-month marriage to model Mandy Smith was over. With the consent of her mother, she began dating the then 47-year old Wyman when she was just 13.
Alice Cooper bailed out two fans today in 1991, Patrick and Dee Ann Kelly, who’s California house was about to be foreclosed on by the bank. Pat had painted Alice’s face on the house, in hopes of enhancing it’s selling price, so Alice himself showed up, kicked in some cash, and signed autographs for other fans to raise money. They kept the house, and are still some of the Golden State’s biggest Cooper fans.
Pearl Jam released their third album Vitalogy today in 1994 on vinyl. Compact discs and cassettes would follow in the next couple of days, but their vinyl-first policy made theirs the first LP record to appear on sales charts in several years.
Surviving members of The Doors Ray Manzarek and Robbie Kreiger announced today in 2002 that they would be recording and touring with singer Ian Astbury of The Cult in place of the late Jim Morrison, and drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police in place of John Densmore, who was said to be suffering from severe tinnitus, but later filed a lawsuit against the other two for performing without him.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Youngbloods frontman and later solo artist Jesse Colin Young is 76.
Three Dog Night’s Canadian drummer Floyd Sneed is 75.
“Little” Steven Van Zandt, lead guitarist of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band and occasional actor in shows like The Sopranos and Lilyhammer is 67, and extremely pleased that his Underground Garage radio program that focuses on undiscovered gems of rock and roll was picked up by KZOK last year and ran until we couldn’t afford it anymore.
The Talking Heads bass player Tina Weymouth is 67.