Following is a selection of happenings on April 16 in rock & roll history. As always, this list is not meant to be comprehensive and is fairly arbitrary.
1956: Buddy Holly released his first single, Love Me, on the Decca label, with Blue Days – Black Nights as the B-side. While the single was a commercial failure, it would mark the beginning of Holly’s prolific but short recording career, which would generate iconic tunes, such as That’ll Be the Day, Peggy Sue and Everyday. Holly tragically died in a plane crash on Feb 3, 1959 at the age of 22.
1964: The first studio album of The Rolling Stones appeared in the U.K. Their eponymous debut only included one original tune written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Tell Me (You’re Coming Back). The remaining songs were covers of blues classics, such as Route 66 (Bobby Troup), Carol (Chuck Berry) and Walking the Dog (Rufus Thomas). While the Stones have always loved and played the blues, it would take them another 52 years before they would release an album that’s entirely made up of blues covers – last year’s excellent Blue and Lonesome, their best release in decades!
1966: With last night’s excellent concert of Beatles tribute band RAIN very much on my mind, I couldn’t leave out this tidbit. It so happens that on Apr. 16, 1966, the Fab Four finished recording Rain, a song written by John Lennon and credited to him and Paul McCartney. The tune became the B-side to Paperback Writer. Both of these songs did not make it on any studio album released while The Beatles were active.
1970: Led Zeppelin’s gem Whole Lotta Love received Gold certification in the U.S. after sales exceeded more than one million copies. The opener of their second album Led Zeppelin II was also released as a single in the U.S., Japan and several European countries, though not in the U.K. Initially, Whole Lotta Love was credited to all four members of the band. In 1982, credits were expanded to American blues artist Willie Dixon. It was part of a settlement of a lawsuit that claimed parts of the song were adapted from Dixon’s tune You Need Love, which had been recorded by Muddy Waters in 1962. In 2004, Whole Lotta Love was ranked no. 75 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
1972: Pink Floyd performed at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, S.C. as part of their Dark Side of the Moon Tour. Remarkably, the tour, which included 93 shows, featured the entire album prior to its release in March 1973, though with significant variations in the music and the titles for most of the songs.
Sources: This Day in Music, The Beatles Bible, Rolling Stone, Wikipedia