This Week in
Feb. 19 (1940) — William Robinson Jr. is born in Detroit, Mich. Smokey Robinson will become the founder and front man of the Miracles, one of the original acts signed by Motown Record Corp. The group will produce 25 Top 40 hits with Robinson as lead vocalist, principal songwriter and producer, including a 1970 No. 1, “The Tears of a Clown.”
Feb. 19 (1966) — Lou Christie’s “Lightning Strikes” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart. A plea for a sexual double standard — “Listen to me, baby, it's hard to settle down/Am I asking too much for you to stick around” — it will remain atop the chart for only one week, and Christie won’t record another Top 10 hit.
Feb. 25 (1957) — Buddy Holly and the Crickets record their first charting single, “That’ll Be the Day,” in a Clovis, N.M., studio. The song is a No. 1 hit, and is considered a rock classic — but is not the first version Holly and his band recorded.
This Week in
Oct. 19 (1966) — The Jimi Hendrix Experience performs its first show in the United Kingdom, at a London nightclub. The American guitarist had arrived in the U.K. less than four weeks earlier, with his manager, former Animals bassist Chas Chandler; the two recruited bassist Noel Redding (because of his musical attitude and hairstyle) and former Georgie Fame drummer Mitch Mitchell to form the Experience, which made its performing debut Oct. 13 in Evreux, France, at the invitation of French rock and roll legend Johnny Hallyday.
Oct. 24 (1936) — William George Perks Jr., who as Bill Wyman will be the Rolling Stones’ first bass guitar player, is born in Lewisham, U.K. The oldest original member of the group, he will leave the band in 1993, and later form Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.