Today in rock history: On this date in 1968, police seized 30,000 copies of Two Virgins, the experimental album recorded by John Lennon and his significant other, musician and artist Yoko Ono. The album’s cover featured John and Yoko completely nude and was therefore deemed pornographic. With so many copies landing in police custody, the album was eventually censored with a brown paper sleeve to ensure it would be available for purchase.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1950, radio engineer Sam Phillips opened the Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Ave. in Memphis, Tennessee. The recording studio would eventually be renamed Sun Studio and regarded as the birthplace of rock and roll. Besides being recognized as the studio where legends like Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded, Phillips’s studio was also open and available for black artists at a time when many studios were not offering the same hospitality. As a result, Jackie Brenston's single, "Rocket 88,” which many music historians consider to be the very first rock and roll record ever released, was recorded at Sun in 1951. One of the most famous and historic recording studios in the world, Sun Studios is still open for tours and can still be booked for recording sessions. In fact, St. Petersburg rock band Sonic Graffiti recorded its 2018 single, “Ghosts of Betrayal” at Sun.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1969, new English rock band, Led Zeppelin, began a four-night engagement at Hollywood, California’s Whiskey A Go Go club on the Sunset Strip. At the time, Led Zep and the show’s co-headliner, Alice Cooper, were virtually unknown in the U.S. Both acts flipped a coin before each performance to determine who’d play first each night. Zeppelin, billed as “Featuring Jimmy Page, formerly of the Yardbirds,” would soon become an internationally known rock group as would Detroit-based Alice Cooper Band.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1971, “One Bad Apple,” the debut single from Utah-based family act The Osmonds, made its debut on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. The song was supposed to be recorded by The Jackson 5, which turned it down. The Osmonds, who were modeled after the already-famous group made up of Michael Jackson and his brothers, took “One Bad Apple” all the way to the No. 1 spot on the pop singles chart in just six weeks. The Osmonds scored many more hit singles in the U.S. throughout the early ‘70s, and so did lead singer, Donny Osmond, who instantly became a teenage heartthrob upon the group’s success.