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This Week in

Rock History

            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

Rock History

     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. 24 (1968) — Blue Horizon Records releases Fleetwood Mac, the debut studio album from Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. The LP includes one song from a recording session held 10 months earlier with studio time donated by John Mayall, whose Bluesbreakers band at that time included guitarist Green and bassist John McVie, and formerly employed drummer Mick Fleetwood. Green will be inspired to form his own group, which takes its name from the rhythm section, even though McVie does not join immediately. The group’s debut LP — the only Mac album that does not include keyboardist and singer Christine McVie, John’s then-wife — has some critical and commercial success in the U.K., but barely charts in the U.S. Critics later assess it as one of the best examples of the British blues boom, and the early lineup as one of the best of the Brit blues bands.

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