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
Sept. 26 (1964) — Bryan Ferry is born in Washington, U.K., the son of a farm laborer. He will study art in college — and later teach it — and also perform in several bands while at the University of Newcastle on Tyne, where he will meet some of the future members of the band he will co-found, Roxy Music. With Ferry as lead singer and principal songwriter, the glam-rock group will record 10 singles that reach the U.K. Top 10, and three No. 1 albums. Between the band’s recordings and his solo projects, Ferry has sold more than 30 million records.
Sept. 30 (1965) — On what likely was their first television appearance, the Turtles perform on ABC’s year-old music show Shindig, playing “We’ll Meet Again (Some Sunny Day),” “Needles and Pins” — and “It Ain’t Me Babe,” their first charting single. That cover of a Bob Dylan song, performed by what had earlier that a year been a suburban Los Angeles high school surf-music band, only two weeks before had reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the first of nine Top 40 hits the group will record over the next three-plus years, before breaking up in 1970.