On This Day in Rock & Roll History: March 15

Time for another installment in my long-running, somewhat geeky music history feature. I still get a kick out of researching what happened on a certain date throughout the decades in rock & roll, even though it’s such an arbitrary concept. Admittedly, I’m using the term rock & roll loosely here. It pretty much includes all music genres I dig – hey, it’s my blog, so I get to make the rules. Without further ado, let’s get to March 15!

1967: The Beatles began work on Within You Without You, a song by George Harrison. According to The Beatles Bible, Harrison had written the tune at the London home of longtime Beatles friend Klaus Voormann who first had met the band in Hamburg and had shared a flat with Harrison and Ringo Starr in the British capital in early ’60s. Several musicians from the collective Asian Music Circle played traditional Indian instruments during the recording session. They were joined by Harrison and The Beatles’ then-personal assistant Neil Aspinall on tamburas. “The tabla had never been recorded the way we did it,” commented sound engineer Geoff Emerick. “Everyone was amazed when they first heard a tabla recorded that closely, with the texture and the lovely low resonances.” Within You Without You was included on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band instead of Only a Northern Song, another Harrison tune that would later appear on Yellow Submarine.

1969: Cream hit the top spot on the UK Albums Chart with their fourth and final studio album appropriately titled Goodbye. It would stay in that position for two weeks. Here’s one of the record’s tracks, Politician, which also is one of my favorite Cream tunes. Co-written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, Politician was one of three live tracks on the record that were captured on October 19, 1968, at The Forum in Los Angeles during the band’s farewell tour. By the time Goodbye came out in February 1969, Cream had already disbanded.

1975: Black Water, a classic by The Doobie Brothers, climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, the first of only two no. 1 hits the band had in the U.S. The second one was What a Fool Believes in 1979. Penned by Patrick Simmons who also sang lead, Black Water first appeared on the Doobies’ fourth studio album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits released in February 1974. Interestingly, the initial single release of Black Water was as the b-side to the record’s lead single Another Park, Another Sunday. While it’s not a bad song, you still have to wonder about that decision, which seems to suggest that between the band and the record company, they hadn’t quite noticed what a gem Black Water was.

1986: The Bangles reached no. 2 on the UK Singles Chart with Manic Monday, scoring their first hit, which also peaked at no. 2 in the U.S., Australia, Germany and Ireland, and placed in the top 5 in Austria, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland. Written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher, the tune was included on the American pop-rock band’s sophomore album Different Light, which had appeared in January of the same year. I generally find listening to The Bangles fairly enjoyable. In particular, I like their harmony singing, plus they have some pretty catchy songs. Just please spare me with Eternal Flame, which at the time was hopelessly burned by overexposure on the radio back in Germany and I suspect in many other countries. BTW, The Bangles are still around in almost their original lineup. Following the band’s breakup in 1989, they reunited in 1998.

1999: Curtis MayfieldDel ShannonDusty SpringfieldPaul McCartneyThe Staple SingersBilly Joel, and Bruce Springsteen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Sean Combs, Art Alexakis, Elton John, Neil Young, Lauryn Hill, Ray Charles and Bono, respectively –  sounds fucking unreal to me! Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band to perform at the ceremony. Here are Bruce and the boys with Wilson Pickett, performing a scorching version of In The Midnight Hour, a Stax classic Pickett had co-written with Steve Cropper in 1965. Watching Pickett say he wants to kick Bruce in the ass but will keep it light since he’s The Boss and Bruce responding ‘Let’s give it a shot’ is priceless –  damn, this wants me to go and listen to some kickass live music, so badly – fuck you, COVID-19!

Sources: Wikipedia; The Beatles Bible; This Day In Music; This Day In Rock; Songfacts Music History Calendar; YouTube

13 thoughts on “On This Day in Rock & Roll History: March 15”

  1. “damn, this wants me to go and listen to some kickass live music, so badly – fuck you, COVID-19!”
    That was THE best phrase I saw yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific collection of fantastic tracks! I confess, however, that I was a bit taken aback by your reference to Doobie Brothers as “Southern rockers.” While some of the members have cited “southern rock” as influential in their style, they are not what I would call “Southern rockers.” Doobie Brothers are northern California all the way. Love and peace, Bro!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for keeping me honest about the Doobies. Jeez, for some reason, I always assumed they are considered to be a part of the southern rock genre. Not quite sure where that came from initially.

      In any case, I’ve updated the piece to address the misconception.

      That’s part of the beauty about this blogging business – you always learn something new! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, I was loathe to comment on it because I did not want to seem nit-picky, and because in the overall scheme of things it probably doesn’t matter all that much. Their sound does fit well with the likes of Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Georgia Satellites, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Marshall Tucker Band, et al — especially the track you highlighted here, “Black Water,” but also “Long Train Runnin’,” “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “South City Midnight Lady,” “China Grove,” “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Listen to the Music,” “Take Me in Your Arms,” pretty much most of the pre-Michael McDonald repertoire… soooo, yeah. Still, we are quite proud to claim them as a northern California band! … you know, with Jefferson Airplane, Journey, Tower of Power, Huey Lewis and the News, Sly and the Family Stone, Big Brother and the Holding Company…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I’m glad you did, and I didn’t all perceive it as being nit-picky.

      The reality is while I got into music more than 40 years ago and as such I know some, it doesn’t make me an expert. In fact, the deeper I get into it, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

      And, I hate to admit it, in some cases I forget stuff, even though I previously wrote about it. When that happens, sometimes, I find myself searching my own blog! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. Right? Been there; done that. Yes, I have loved music my whole life, and with all due modesty, I know a lot. But there is always, always more to learn – which is part of the appeal, actually.


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