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Today in Rock History – February 21

1964, Three classic British singles were released, The Rolling Stones “Not Fade Away,” a UK number three, The Hollies “Just One Look,”a UK number two, and Billy J Kramer’s “Little Children,” a UK number one.

1964, New York band The Echoes recruited a new, young unknown piano player, named Billy Joel.

1967, Pink Floyd started their first sessions at the EMI Studios, St. John’s Wood, London on their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, working on the song “Matilda Mother.” While Pink Floyd were recording their album with former Beatles engineer Norman Smith, The Beatles themselves were working in the studio next door, recording “Fixing A Hole” for their Sgt. Pepper’s album.

1968, Otis Redding had his first entry on the UK singles chart when “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” entered the chart. It went on to be a number three hit.

1968, The Who play the Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California. Sagittarius and Blue Cheer open. For this show, the first of a six-week North American tour, The Who introduce extended jams of “Shakin’ All Over,” “Relax” and “My Generation.”

1970, Alice Cooper played at the Uptown Palladium 12 Theatre‎ in Birmingham, Michigan.


1970, Simon and Garfunkel went to number one on the album chart with Bridge Over Troubled Water. The album went on to stay on the chart for over 300 weeks, returning to the top of the charts on eight separate occasions and spending a total of 41 weeks at number one.

1970, Having been in release for only 15 weeks, Led Zeppelin II approaches sales of 2 million.

1971, Hawkwind appeared at Wake Arms, Epping, England.

1972, Yes played at Sunshine Inn, Asbury Park, New Jersey.

1972, Led Zeppelin released “Rock And Roll / Four Sticks” as a 7-inch single in the US, peaking at number 47 on the chart. The song came out of a spontaneous jam session, as the band were trying to finish “Four Sticks.””  Drummer John Bonham played the introduction to Little Richard’s “You Keep A-Knockin” and Page added a guitar riff, emulating a 12-bar blues melody, as the tapes were still rolling.  The basic song was finished fifteen minutes later.

1973, The Rolling Stones played at Memorial Drive Park, Adelaide, Australia.

1975, Genesis performed at the Folkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark.

1976, The Four Seasons were at number one on the UK singles chart with “December ’63 (Oh What A Night.”) The group’s only UK chart topper.

1976, David Bowie played Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

1977, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours. The album went on to sell more than 15 million copies world-wide and spent 31 weeks at number one on the US chart.

1982, American DJ Murry The K died. Murray is thought to be the first person to play a Beatles record on the radio in America. During the early days of Beatlemania, he frequently referred to himself as “the Fifth Beatle.” He was married six times, and died of cancer a week after his 60th birthday.

1986, Metallica released their third album, the highly influential album, Master of Puppets, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time. This was the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton, who was killed when the group’s tour bus over-turned in southern Sweden while touring to promote the album.

1987, Ben E King was at number one in the UK singles chart with “Stand By Me.” The track was first released in 1961 and became a hit in 1987 after being featured in the film Stand By Me.

1991, ZZ Top performed at The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan.

1998, Celine Dion went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with “My Heart Will Go On.” The song was the theme from the movie Titanic. The world’s best selling single of 1998.

2012, Five members of the Russian feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot staged a performance on the soleas of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where their actions were stopped by church security officials. By that evening, they had turned the performance into a music video entitled “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Putin during his election campaign. The following month, three of the group members were arrested and charged with hooliganism, and were were held in custody until their trial began in late July. The three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

2014, A crew member working on a biopic about Gregg Allman died after being hit by a train during filming. Police in south Georgia said the woman was struck after the crew for Midnight Rider placed a bed on the railway tracks in Doctortown. Wayne County Sheriff John Carter said several other people had been injured, two of them seriously.

Born on February 21: Nina Simone (1933); David Geffen, producer-executive (1943); Jerry Harrison, Talking Heads (1949); Vince Welnick, The Tubes, Grateful Dead (1951);  Mary Chapin-Carpenter (1958); Ranking Roger, The English Beat (1961)

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