The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Today In Rock: August 1

1920

First blues recording is made, "Crazy Blues" by Mamie Smith.

1927

Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family sign recording contracts with Victor Records.

1942

Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist and guiding light of the Grateful Dead, is born in San Francisco.

1950

"Gotta Let You Go"/"Boogie In the Park" by Joe Hill Louis is released on Phillips, a label launched by Sam and Memphis deejay Dewey Phillips. It is the only single released by the label.

1953

The Orioles' biggest hit, "Crying in the Chapel," enters the R&B chart, which it will go on to top for eight weeks.

1953

The Drifters, featuring Clyde McPhatter on lead vocals, record "Money Honey" on Atlantic Records.

1954

Sh-Boom (The Crew-Cuts) was a hit.

1954

Fats Domino performs as part of the Alan Freed-promoted "Moondog Jubilee of Stars Under the Stars" at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Other acts on the bill: Muddy Waters, the Clovers, the Orioles, Little Walter.

1955

"Maybellene" by Chuck Berry reaches #5 on Billboard's Best Sellers chart and tops the R&B chart for eleven weeks.

1957

"Lotta Lovin'" peaks at #13 while Gene Vincent and a changeable cast of Blue Caps crisscross the country on tour.

1960

The Beatles make their debut in Hamburg, West Germany, with Stu Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.

1960

Jerry Wexler strikes a handshake deal giving Atlantic distribution rights to Memphis-based Stax Records. The labels' eight-year association will yield scores of hits by such artists as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Booker T. and the MGs, literally shaping the sound of Sixties soul music.

1964

"Do I Love You" by the Ronettes charts at #34.

1965

The Beatles perform in front of 56,000 fans at New York's Shea Stadium.

1965

The Beach Boys' "California Girls," a last gasp of the L.A. surf-pop sound, reaches Number Three.

1965

I'm Henry VIII, I Am (Herman's Hermits) was a hit.

1966

The Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

1967

Beatle George Harrison and his wife, Patti, stroll through the streets of Haight-Ashbury, bringing more international attention to the scene.

1967

Little Richard's Greatest Hits, a live collection of older classics cut for the Okeh label, becomes his first LP in ten years to make Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart.

1968

Having recruited Gram Parsons, the Byrds go country with Sweetheart of the Rodeo, recorded in Nashville.

1969

John Lennon and Yoko Ono move to Tittenhurst Park, a 400-acre estate in Ascot.

1970

Eric Clapton is released, peaking at #13. This same month, Clapton begins recording in Miami with his new band, Derek and the Dominos. They record the monumental double album Layla...and Other Assorted Love Songs in ten days. One writer called it "the most valid double since [Bob Dylan's] Blonde on Blonde."

1970

'The Rill Thing', the first of three fine albums for the Reprise label, is released. It is followed by 'The King of Rock and Roll' (October 1971) and 'The Second Coming' (September 1972). The last of these reunites Little Richard with the core crew from his historic Fifties sessions in New Orleans.

1970

Christine McVie officially joins Fleetwood Mac on keyboards and vocals. The wife of bassist John McVie had already guested on 'Kiln House' and painted that album's cover.

1971

The concert for Bangladesh, featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, takes place in New York's Madison Square Garden.

1971

After signing to David Geffen's fledgling Asylum label, the Eagles tighten up their act during a month-long residency at the Gallery Club in Aspen, Colorado.

1974

Curtis Mayfield makes the pop Top Forty for the last time with "Kung Fu," which precedes Carl Douglas's "Kung Fu Fighting" by two months. However, he'll crack the R&B Top Forty a dozen more times between 1974 and 1981.

1974

John Lennon records his 'Walls and Bridges' album. He claims to have written ten of the songs in a single week. The album goes to #1, as does its leadoff single, "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night."

1976

Stiff Records, the most significant independent label of the era, releases its first single: "So It Goes"/ "Heart of the City," by Nick Lowe.

1976

Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Elton John & Kiki Dee) was a hit.

1981

Moody Blues hit #12 with "Gemini Dream".

1981

Soft Cell hits #1 in the UK with "Tainted Love".

1981

MTV launches in the United States at 12:01am. The first broadcasted video is "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn become MTV's first VJs.

1987

Longtime fans the Pet Shop Boys enlist Dusty Springfield to duet on "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" It reaches #2 in both the U.S. and U.K.

1987

MTV announces the line-up of Euro-VJs: Ray Cokes (UK); Steve Blame (UK); Chris Salewicz (UK); Maiken Wexo (Denmark); Sophie Bramly (France); Marcel Vanthilt (Belgium).

1988

MTV Europe celebrates its first birthday with 3.5 million subscribers.

1989

MTV Europe celebrates its second birthday by topping 10 million subscribers.

1991

MTV Europe celebrates its fourth anniversary with a reach of over 25 million homes.

1993

'River of Dreams', Billy Joel's 12th studio album, is released. Featuring a cover painted by then-wife Christie Brinkley, it yields hits in "All About Soul" and the title track.

1996

MTV launches sister channel M2: Music Television on the 15th Anniversary of MTV's launch. M2 is a 24 hour free-form music format targeting 12-34 year olds. Interactive elements and local programming elements are exclusive features of the new channel.