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That’ll be the day when I die

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

May 27

1Buddyholly1957: Buddy Holly and the Crickets release That’ll Be The Day. Holly and co-writer Jerry Allison are inspired by the movie The Searchers, in which John Wayne’s character repeatedly says “that’ll be the day.” Voila! Song. It is a huge hit, topping charts in the U.S. and the U.K. Many artists cover it, including Linda Ronstadt. It is the first song to be recorded by The Quarrymen, the Liverpool group that becomes known as The Beatles. Here’s the original and the Ronstadt cover.

Watchin’ the tide roll away

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 16

Ray Charles1955: It’s the first song to be labeled “soul”. Ray Charles’ I Got a Woman hits #2 on the R&B chart.

Otis Redding1968: Otis Redding, killed in a plane crash the previous December, has his only #1 hit. (Sittin on) The Dock of the Bay is the first posthumous single to reach #1 in the U.S. Jim Morrison references Dock of the Bay in The Doors‘ song Runnin’ Blue written by Robby Krieger from their 1969 album The Soft Parade. Morrison sings an a capella intro for the song, singing directly about Otis Redding: “Poor Otis dead and gone, left me here to sing his song, pretty little girl with a red dress on, poor Otis dead and gone.” The lyric “Got to find a dock and a bay” appears more than once; as well as several other references to Dock of the Bay. Here’s Redding’s song followed by the derivative Runnin’ Blue by The Doors: