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
May 16 (1946) — Robert Fripp is born in Wimborne Minster, U.K., the second son of a working-class family. At age 11, he will receive an inexpensive guitar for Christmas, and devote himself to learning the instrument, eventually deciding to pursue a career as a professional musician rather than join his father’s estate management business. After playing in a number of jazz and rock bands, in 1969 he will form King Crimson, which will record several albums considered significant in the development of the progressive rock genre. Fripp is ranked on three “greatest guitarists of all time” lists — 42nd on David Fricke’s, 47th on Gibson’s and 62nd on Rolling Stone magazine’s — and has also worked as a studio musician, including on two David Bowie albums.
May 22 (1960) — A group that called themselves the Silver Beetles begins a week-long tour of Scotland as the backing band for Johnny Gentle, an English pop singer who will have only limited success as a solo artist. Three months later, that backing band — George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Stuart Sutcliffe, with Pete Best replacing Tommy Moore on drums — will make its Hamburg, Germany, debut as the Beatles.