Category Archives: Rewind

Looking Back In Rock History

Rewind – Twelve.0

December – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1957 Jailhouse Rock – Elvis
1961 Please Mr Postman – The Marvelettes
1964 Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las
1966 Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
1967 Daydream Believer – The Monkees
1971 Family Affair – Sly & The Family Stone
1972 Me And Mrs Jones – Billy Paul
1975 Fly Robin Fly – Silver Connection
1978 Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart
1981 Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
1982 Mickey – Toni Basil
1986 The Final Countdown – Europe
1988 Every Rose Has It’s Thorn – Poison
1991 Set Adrift On Memory Bliss – PM Dawn
1994 Here Comes The Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze
1996 No Diggity – Blackstreet ft Dr Dre
2000 Stan – Eminem
2003 Hey Ya! – Outkast


Glenn Miller’s plane crashes and goes missing over the English Channel. Later, evidence suggests that the plane may have been shot down accidentally by a missile from a Royal Air Force plane.


Carl Perkins records ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ at Sun Studios in Memphis. Several months earlier he witnessed a dancer getting angry with his date for scuffing his blue suede shoes and just days afterwards Johnny Cash remarked that a song about blue suede shoes would be a good idea. Perkins couldn’t sleep the night of Cash’s comment so he got out of bed and wrote the song.


Four Sun Records stars, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash (later known as The Million Dollar Quartet) record and impromptu session in Sun Studios by chance. Carl Perkins plans to record several songs and Sam Phillips insists that he use a piano man, Jerry Lee Lewis, to ‘fatten’ up the sound. During the session both Elvis and Johnny Cash ‘pop in’ to the studio. Phillips records the entire session and even rings the local newspaper for some publicity. The following day an article entitled “The Million Dollar Quarter” appears in the Memphis Press-Scimitar. The recordings, however,  are not released for another 25 years.


The Beatles release ‘Rubber Soul’, which is certified Gold (100,000 sales) by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) only two-and-a-half weeks after it’s release.


Ray Charles is convicted for a drug possession charge from a bust that occurred two years ago in Boston. Charles, who has been a heroin addict for nearly 20 years, quits the drug and pays a ten thousand dollar fine.


Montreaux Casino burns to the ground during a concert by The Mothers Of Invention. The incident is later immortalised by the opening band at the gig, Deep Purple, when they write the song ‘ Smoke On The Water’.

One week later Frank Zappa is pushed into an orchestra pit by a fan and suffers a broken leg and ankle as well as a fractured skull. He has to spend nine months in a wheelchair and an additional three months in a surgical brace.


‘Saturday Night Fever’ premieres in New York City, which popularizes and spreads the Disco craze.

The film is based on a 1976 New York magazine article entitled “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”, whose author knew nothing about the Disco subculture, so he used his imagination and made the entire story up.

The film is one of the first to use cross-media marketing, where the single from the soundtrack, ‘Stayin’ Alive’ was used to promote the film and after it’s release the film made the entire soundtrack popular.

The ‘Saturday Night Fever’ album would go on to become the biggest selling soundtrack of all time.


‘Escape (The Pina Colada Song)’ by Rupert Holmes ends the year at Number 1 and spends a total of three weeks in the top spot.


Hall & Oates have the Number 1 song in the US Singles chart with ‘Maneater’. The song would go on to become their biggest hit and help them become the most popular recording duo of all time.


Lionel Richie reaches Number 1 in the US Singles chart with ‘Say You Say Me’. It marks the ninth consecutive year that Richie has a chart topping hit, which began in 1977 with the Commodores and the song ‘Three Times A Lady’.


Kenny G sets a world record during a promotional stop in J&R Music World for his greatest hits album in New York. He takes a deep breath and then holds an E-flat tune on his saxophone for an amazing 45 minutes and 12 seconds.


James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, dies at the age of 73 after being hospitalized in Atlanta for pneumonia.

Rewind – Eleven.0

November – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1953 Rags To Riches – Tony Bennett
1955 Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
1957 That’ll Be The Day – Buddy Holly & The Crickets
1965 Get Off My Cloud – The Rolling Stones
1966 Last Train To Clarkesville – The Monkees
1968 Hey Jude – The Beatles
1970 Voodoo Chile – Jimi Hendrix
1971 Theme From Shaft – Isaac Hayes
1976 Rock ‘n’ Me – Steve Miller Band
1979 Pop Muzik – M
1981 Private Eyes – Hall & Oates
1982 Who Can It Be Now? – Men At Work
1984 Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) – Billy Ocean
1987 Bad – Michael Jackson
1990 Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
1991 The Fly – U2
1996 Breathe – Prodigy
2005 I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor – Arctic Monkeys


The first jukebox is installed by Pacific Phonograph Co. in the Palais Royal Hotel, San Francisco.


‘Great Balls Of Fire’ by Jerry Lee Lewis is released by Sun Records. It becomes the biggest selling record in the Sun catalog.


Jimmie Rodgers is unanimously elected as the first member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1910, at the age of 13, he began working as a waterboy on the railroad. He learned the cries and moans of the blues, was taught how to pick and strum a guitar by other workers and hobos and made his first recordings by 1927. He went on to become a superstar and for seven years, until his death, was referred to as “The Singing Brakeman” and “America’s Blue Yodeler”.


John Lennon makes a request to British royalty during the introduction to ‘Twist And Shout’ at the Royal Variety Show in the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. “For our last number I’d like to ask for your help. Would the people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you just rattle your jewelry.” The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret are in attendance.


‘Electric Ladyland’ is Number 1 in the US Album charts for the first of two weeks.


Isaac Hayes reaches the top of the US Singles chart with ‘Theme From Shaft’. The song is from the soundtrack to the film ‘Shaft’, starring Richard Roundtree. The song would go on to sell over one million copies and become the biggest song of Hayes career.


Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested for the second time in only two days. First, he is arrested for drunk driving. The next day he is arrested when he goes to Graceland and demands to see Elvis while waving a pistol at the mansion.


Compact discs are being demonstrated as the new music format while the British Phonographic Industry release a statement commenting on how, “home taping is wiping out music.” Elton John, Gary Numan, The Boomtown Rats, 10cc and Cliff Richard all agree with the BPI that there should be a tax added to the price of blank cassette tapes.


Softcell remain in the Hot 100 Singles chart for the 43rd week in a row (at Number 97) with ‘Tainted Love’. This establishes a record for the longest consecutive run in the charts.


The Beach Boys reach the Number 1 spot in the charts with ‘Kokomo’ and establish two new records.
The first is for the longest span of Number 1 hits – 24 years 4 months between ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Kokomo’.
The second record is for the longest gap between Number 1 hits – 21 years 10 months since ‘Good Vibrations’.


Milli Vanilli producer, Frank Farian, publicly admits that Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus did not sing one single note on their album ‘Milli Vanilli’. The duo are eventually asked to return their Grammy for ‘Best New Artist’.


Michael Jackson sells the ATV music catalogue, which includes all of the Lennon / McCartney songs, to Sony for 95 million dollars.

Rewind – Ten.0

October – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1959 Mack The Knife – Bobby Darin
1964 (Oh) Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
1965 Yesterday – The Beatles
1970 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
1971 Maggie May – Rod Stewart
1979Video Killed The Radio Star – The Buggles
1980 Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
1982 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club
1983 Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
1985 Money For Nothing – Dire Straits
1987Pump Up The Volume – MARRS
1995 Fairground – Simply Red
1996 Setting Sun – The Chemical Brothers
2000 Beautiful Day – U2
2006 I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ – Scissor Sisters
2007Stronger – Kanye West


The Grand Ole Opry opens.


At the age of 21, Bobby Darin becomes the youngest performer to headline at the Copa Room in the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas.


James Brown records ‘Live At The Apollo Theatre’, in Harlem’, which becomes the first R & B album to sell one million copies.


Led Zeppelin II is released in America.


Al Green receives second degree burns when his girlfriend pours a pot of boiling grits over his head while he is in the shower. Minutes later she shoots herself with his gun.


‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ is released by the Sex Pistols.


Paul McCartney receives a rhodium (similar to platinum) medallion from the British government in recognition of the Guinness Book of World Records declaring him as ‘the best selling songwriter and recording artist in history’. In 17 years (since 1962) he was involved with 43 million-selling songs and, in total, sold over 100 million records.


Def Leppard become the first band in chart history to sell seven million copies of two consecutive LPs with ‘Pyromania’ (1983) and ‘Hysteria’.


Pearl Jam set a first week sales record, selling 950,000 copies of their debut album ‘Ten’.


For the first time in UK Chart history, all of the Top Five songs are new entries. They include:

01. ‘Believe’ – Cher
02. ‘Outside’ – George Michael
03. ‘The Sweetest Thing’ – U2
04. ‘I Just Wanna Be Loved’ – Culture Club
05. ‘Thank You’ – Alanis Morissette

Rewind – Nine.0

September – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1956 Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
1960 The Twist – Chubby Checker
1962 Sherry – The Four Seasons
1964 Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes
1966 Sunshine Superman – Donovan
1970 Tears Of A Clown – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
1973 Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
1974 Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
1976 Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
1979 Cars – Gary Numan
1980 Start! – The Jam
1981Tainted Love – Softcell
1983 Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics
1984 I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder
1988 Sweet Child ‘O Mine – Guns ‘n’ Roses
1995 Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio ft LV
1997 Mo Money Mo Problems – Notorious BIG ft Puff Daddy & Mase
2000 Music – Madonna
2005 Gold Digger – Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx
2006 Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake


The first 33 1/3 LP is released with a demonstration in the Savoy Hotel, New York.


Buddy Holly & The Crickets reach the top of the Singles chart for the only time with ‘That’ll Be The Day’.


A van belonging to the Who is stolen from outside Battersea Dogs Home when the band go inside to buy a guard dog. The van is eventually returned but the five thousand pounds worth of equipment inside is missing.


The new BBC national Pop station, Radio 1, goes live on air for the first time and begins broadcasting. The first record that plays is ‘Flowers In The Rain’ by The Move.


Pink Floyd release ‘Wish You Were Here’, the follow up album to ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. The album only contains five tracks and one of them, ‘Have A Cigar’ is sung by Roy Harper because neither Roger Waters or Dave Gilmour can reach the high notes. It is extremely difficult for the band to get motivated in the studio. The overwhelming critical, commercial and financial success of ‘Dark Side’ has left the band physically and emotionally drained. They have sketches for three songs but spend most of the time in the studio going through the motions, with their minds and feelings elsewhere. Years later, they are quoted as saying:

“Wish You Were Here was a very good title for that album. I’ve often said what that album should have been called was Wish We Were Here because we weren’t really.”
– Roger Waters, 1989

“It was a very difficult period I have to say. All your childhood dreams had been sort of realized and we had the biggest selling records in the world and all the things you got into it for. The girls and the money and the fame and all that stuff it was all…everything had sort of come our way and you had to reassess what you were in it for and it was a confusing and sort of empty time for a while…”
– David Gilmour, 1992


‘Rapper’s Delight’ is released by the Sugar Hill Gang. It is the first rap song to appear in the charts, reaches Number 36 and sells over eight million copies. The band, comprised of Guy O’Brien (Master Gee), Michael Wright (Wonder Mic), Big Bank Hank and bassist Doug Wimbish is brought together by producer and label owner Sylvia Robinson in an effort to commercialise the underground Hip Hop block party scene.


John Bonham of Led Zeppelin dies in Jimmy Page’s house after a drinking binge. It is reported that the drummer choked on his own vomit while sleeping after drinking approximately forty shots of vodka. Despite preparing for a US tour, the band decide to call it quits following Bonham’s death.


‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin becomes the first acappela song to reach the Number 1 spot in the US charts. It also claims Grammys for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance’.


Bryan Adams’ song, ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ breaks a UK record by spending it’s twelfth week at Number 1 in the Singles chart. The songs sells over eight million copies during these three months.


Tupac Shakur and Marion ‘Suge’ Knight are shot in Las Vegas following a Mike Tyson fight. Tupac dies six days later of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at the age of 25. At the time of his death he is the biggest selling rap artist with more than 75 million records sold worldwide.


The largest music bootleg bust in US history takes place. It is estimated that over 100 million dollars are lost in revenues. During the bust, more than 250,000 dollars of recording equipment, 100,000 CDs, 110,000 cassettes, 300,000 blank CDs and four million labels are confiscated.


In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a list of 150 songs that will be banned on US radio is generated. Songs included in the list are:

‘Bennie & The Jets’ – Elton John
‘Get Together’ – The Youngbloods
‘Wipeout’ – Surfaris
Every single song recorded by Rage Against The Machine

Rewind Eight.0

August – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1947 Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) – Tex Williams
1960 It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley
1964 Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann
1966 Wild Thing – The Troggs
1967 Light My Fire – The Doors
1971 Get It On (Bang A Gong) – T Rex
1974 When Will I See You Again – The Three Degrees
1975 One Of These Nights – The Eagles
1978 Three Times A Lady – The Commodores
1979 My Sharona – The Knack
1983 Every Breath You Take – The Police
1984 Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr
1985 The Power Of Love – Huey Lewis & The News
1992 Rhythm Is A Dancer – Snap
1996 Wannabe – The Spice Girls
1997 Men In Black – Will Smith
2000 Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) – Spiller
2002 Hot In Herre – Nelly


Thomas Edison makes the very first sound recording with the song ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’.


Hank Williams is fired from the Grand Ole Opry for unreliability brought on mostly by his alcoholism and the use of morphine. He recently divorced his wife and would pass away in only four and a half months time at the age of 29.


Johnny Cash marries in Texas and then moves to Tennessee where he works as a salesman for Memphis Appliance. At night he plays with a band, The Tennessee Two, including Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant. Eventually he works up enough courage to visit Sun Studios and is signed to Sun Records one year later.


American Bandstand begins with host Dick Clark. The show is started and filmed in Philadelphia with the intention of reflecting the ‘Philly Sound’. The very first guests are The Chordettes.


Chubby Checker creates a new dance craze with his performance of ‘The Twist’ on American Bandstand. The song would go to the Number 1 spot on the charts shortly afterwards and again in 1962, making it the only record to reach Number 1 on two separate occasions.


The Beatles release their seventh studio album ‘Revolver’. The record is a huge step forward for the band for many reasons and includes the latest in technological and studio developments. The songs are marked by an electric guitar rock sound but ‘Eleanor Rigby’ includes very complex orchestral arrangements. The use of reverse guitar, processed vocals, looped tape effects and double tracking makes the album a groundbreaking effort. It reached Number one in the UK and the US and is often regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.


Lou Reed leaves the Velvet Underground immediately after a gig in New York. He decides to work for his father in his tax accounting firm as a typist, earning 40 dollars a week, for the next year.


Joy Division release their first EP, ‘An Ideal For Living’, which contains the tracks ‘Warsaw’, ‘No Love Lost’, ‘Leaders Of Men’ and ‘Failures’. The record reflects the band’s early punk tendencies and features a cover drawn by guitarist Bernard Sumner.


Cozy Powell leaves Rainbow.
Bill Ward leaves Black Sabbath.
Jah Wobble leaves PIL.
Jools Holland leaves Squeeze.


Ray Parker Jr reaches the top of the charts with the single ‘Ghostbusters’ from the film soundtrack. Unfortunately for him, the song sounds remarkably like ‘I Want A New Drug’ by Huey Lewis And The News. Parker is taken to court in a copyright-infringement lawsuit. He and Lewis settle out of court and with Parker paying a settlement.


Curtis Mayfield is paralysed when a stage lighting structure falls on him prior to an outdoor concert in Brooklyn, New York.


The Ramones play their last ever gig at LA’s Palace. Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell appear as guests and jam with the band.

Rewind – Seven.0

July – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1961 Runaway – Del Shannon
1964 I Get Around – The Beach Boys
1965 (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stone
1967 All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
1970 (They Long To Be) Close To You – The Carpenters
1974 Rock The Boat – Hues Corporation
1975 The Hustle – Van McCoy
1979 Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – Tubeway Army
1981 Ghost Town – The Specials
1982 Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
1984 When Doves Cry – Prince
1988 Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson
1991 Unbelievable – EMF
1992 Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
2001 Another Chance – Roger Sanchez
2003 Crazy In Love – Beyonce
2004 Lola’s Theme – Shapeshifters
2006 Smile – Lily Allen


The very first British DJ, Christopher Stone, begins broadcasting his record show from BBC Studios in Savoy Hall. His style is relaxed and conversational, despite the fact that he is wearing a dinner jacket and tie while presenting on the air.


Elvis records several songs including, ‘That’s Alright’ in his very first Sun Studios session. Despite being unimpressed, Sam Phillips had organised the session with a couple of other musicians. During a break Elvis starts to ‘fool around’ and sings the Arthur Crudup song. Phillips asks the group to start again and begins taping. The sound is exactly what Phillips has been looking for (someone who could deliver a blend of black blues and boogie-woogie). The song is recorded with several others. Less than two weeks later it is played on the radio for the first time. The rest is history…


John Lennon meets Paul McCartney at a church picnic in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton, where John’s band, The Quarrymen are playing. In between sets, the 14 year old McCartney picks up the guitar and plays one of Lennon’s favourite tunes. He also knows all of the words and writes them down for John, who is bad at remembering lyrics. Several weeks later McCartney is asked to join The Quarrymen. He says ‘yes’.


Billie Holiday dies in a New York hospital from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 44. She was placed under house arrest at the hospital five days earlier for drug possession. Having been swindled out of large sums of money, she passes away with only 70 cents in her bank account and 750 dollars on her person.


Bob Dylan performs an electric concert for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival. He is booed offstage after only three songs.


Led Zeppelin lose more than 180,000 dollars in cash when a thief steals their safe deposit box that contains the money earned from two concerts in Madison Square Garden. The concerts were filmed, however, and released three years later as the film ‘The Song Remains The Same’.


Pressings of the Rolling Stones album ‘Some Girls’ is halted when the celebrities featured on the cover, including Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett and Raquel Welch, complained. Legal action is threatened, so the celebrity images are removed and replaced with the faces of the band members.


‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police spends the first of eight weeks at the top of the Billboard Singles chart in America. Sting would go on to win ‘Song Of The Year’ and The Police would win ‘Best Pop Performance by a Group’ at the 1984 Grammys. 25 years later and Sting is still making around 2000 dollars a day in royalties for the song.


Live Aid takes place simultaneously at JFK Stadium in Washington DC and Wembley Stadium in London. Bob Geldof organises the event, which includes over 18 hours of concerts, to raise money for starving people in Ethiopia.


CDs begin to outsell vinyl records only six years after being introduced to the music market.


Guns ‘n’ Roses singer, Axl Rose, jumps off stage and attacks a fan videotaping their concert outside St. Louis. A riot ensues, more than 60 people are injured and the venue is wrecked.


The Grateful Dead perform their last concert with leader Jerry Garcia at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Rewind – Six.0

June – In Rock History

Number One Songs

1957 All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
1958 All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers
1964 Love Me Do – The Beatles
1966 Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones
1967 Respect – Aretha Franklin
1972 The Candy Man – Sammy Davis Jr
1974 Band On The Run – Paul McCartney & Wings
1977 I’m Your Boogie Man – KC & The Sunshine Band
1980 Funkytown – Lipps Inc
1983 Flashdance (What A Feeling) – Irene Cara
1985 Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears
1989 Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) – Soul II Soul
1991 More Than Words – Extreme
1997 I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy & Faith Evans ft 112
1999 Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) – Baz Luhrmann
2000 You See The Trouble With Me – Black Legend
2003 21 Questions – 50 Cent
2006 Crazy – Gnarls Barkley


Decca introduce the 33 1/3 LP (Long Player) to the UK with the following press release, “The Decca Record Company Ltd will bring long-playing gramophone records to the British market for the first time this month by releasing a list of over fifty recordings. They are 33 1/3 rpm microgroove records made of unbreakable material, and recorded by the company’s “ffrr” – full-frequency range system.”


Johnny Mathis’ ‘Greatest Hits’ goes to number one in the album charts. It will stay in the charts for 490 weeks and set a record for longevity that will not be broken until the 1980s by Pink Floyd and their album ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’.


NME begins it’s LP chart. The very first Top 5 are:

1.Blue Hawaii (Soundtrack) – Elvis Presley
2. West Side Story (Soundtrack) – Leonard Bernstein
3. It’s Trad, Dad! (Soundtrack)
4. South Pacific (Soundtrack) – Rodgers & Hammerstein
5. The Young Ones – Cliff Richard


Marc Bolan places an ad in Melody Maker, looking for some band mates. The ad reads, “Freaky lead guitarist, bass guitarist and drummer wanted for Marc Bolan’s new group. Also any other astral flyers like with cars, amplification and that which never grows in window boxes.” Several people reply and a band is formed. They will release their first album one year later with the title, ‘My People Were Fair And Had Stars In Their Hair But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows’.


Gary Glitter performs ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2′ on Top Of The Pops.


Johnny Rotten and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols are stabbed and beaten up in the car park of a London pub, which causes a delay in the completion of their debut album.


Wham! play their farewell concert at Wembley Stadium.


In an effort to pay his 16 million dollar tax bill, Willie Nelson releases a double album of songs that had previously been seized by Federal agents, including demos and outtakes. The title is ‘The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?’


Spinal Tap appear on VH1 with a new drummer. They placed an ad in the New York Times, which read, “Drummer died, need new one.” The new drummer is chosen from over 500 applicants. Nigel Tufnell, David St. Hubbins, Derek Smalls and… Mick Fleetwood visit the music channel to promote the re-releas of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ on video.