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. 17 (1961) — Mick Jagger and Keith Richards meet for the first time at the railroad station in Dartford, the English city where both were born 18 years earlier, and five months apart. Six months later, they will perform together with the newly-formed Rollin’ Stones.
Oct. 23 (1960) — “Save the Last Dance for Me” by the Drifters reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it will be for two of the three following weeks; Brenda Lee’s “I Just Want to Be Wanted” will interrupt its reign. Although the group will record many memorable records — “This Magic Moment,” “On Broadway,” and “Under the Boardwalk” among them — it is their first and only chart-topper. It is also the last Drifters single to feature a lead vocal by Ben E. King, who had left the group six months earlier. According to Doc Pomus, who co-wrote the song, “Save the Last Dance for Me” was supposed to be the “B” side of the single, but Dick Clark of American Bandstand thought it was the stronger of the two songs.