Month: March 2015

Everyday people sing a simple song

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 31

Chuck Berry1958: Chuck Berry releases Johnny B Goode.

Sly and the Family Stone1970: Sly & the Family Stone top the U.S. charts with Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).


You’re such a lovely audience

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 30

Eric-Clapton-V1945: Eric Clapton is born.

Sgt Peppers1967: The cover photo for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is taken. A release is needed from all the living persons represented on the cover. Mae West initially declines but is later won over by a personal request from the group.

Let me try with pleasured hands

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 29

Time of the Season1969: The Zombies have a hit two years after they disbanded. Time of the Season hits #1 on the Cashbox chart and peaks at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. This success prompts some members of the band to reunite. Zombies keyboardist Rod Argent writes Time of the Season — he will say that the line “What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me” is inspired by George Gershwin’s Summertime lyric: “Your daddy’s rich . . .”  Unlike most songs of the era, Time of the Season does not pound you with its refrain, confining itself to that simple “It’s the time of the season for loving.” What gets my attention is the opening bass riff / handclap / “ahhhhhhhhhhh.”

Hook Stone1973: Dr. Hook gets on the cover of Rolling Stone, mostly because he sings sarcastically about being on the cover of Rolling Stone. This blows Rolling Stone’s credibility decades before the publication finally cuts its own throat by reporting on a rape that never happened.

I’m gonna take my problem to the United Nations

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 28

jerryLeeLewis1958: Jerry Lee Lewis torches the piano, literally, at Alan Freed’s Big Beat Show in Brooklyn.

Also this day in 1958, a 19-year-old Eddie Cochran records his Summertime Blues. Cochran’s idea for the song is that everyone sings about how great is the summertime — he’s going to sing about summer’s hassles. Intended as a B-side to Love Again, it is released in August 1958 and becomes an international hit and Cochran’s breakthrough single, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1970 — 10 years after Cochran’s untimely death in a car accident — The Who cover of Summertime Blues garners new fans for the song and Cochran. (It is The Who’s only hit not written by Pete Townshend). There also will be covers by Joan Jett, Olivia Newton-John, Van Halen, The Stray Cats and others. But no one does it like Eddie Cochran does it. No one:

We’ll tell the story how we’ll overcome

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 23

R.H. Harris1916: Rebert H. Harris is born on a farm near Trinity, Texas. He grows up to become lead singer with the Soul Stirrers, the pioneering, influential gospel group. Soul Stirrers fans are disappointed when Sam Cooke replaces Harris. They’re not sure Cooke has what Harris has. Harris will say that he has no musical influences besides those he finds in the trees and fields of his family’s farm. On the other hand, Harris will influence dozens of singers who become household words in the 1950s, including Cooke and Elvis Presley.

Ruby & The Romantics1963: Ruby & The Romantics hit #1 with Our Day Will Come.

There’s always rain in my heart

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 22

PleasePleaseMe1963: The Beatles release their debut album in the U.K. Please Please Me includes 14 tracks, including eight John Lennon/Paul McCartney originals. Among the originals are the title track and Love Me Do. Among the covers is Twist and Shout. Producers want to shoot the album cover photo at the London Zoo, but permission to do so is denied. Thus the shot of the four boys looking over the railing in a stairwell at EMI Studios.

Pink Floyd1980: Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall takes over at #1.