Today in Music History: Dylan got his first U.S. top 40 hit

Bob Dylan, circa 1966
Bob Dylan, circa 1966 (D.A. Pennabaker)

History Spotlight:

Today in 1965, Bob Dylan's single "Subterranean Homesick Blues" peaked at No. 39 in the U.S. charts, giving Dylan his first U.S. top 40 hit. The song is the lead track on the album Bringing It All Back Home, released a few weeks later. Fun fact: The song has influenced many adaptations of its title, including Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien" from the 1997 album OK Computer; the ska punk band Mustard Plug's "Suburban Homesick Blues"; the Memphis indie band The Grifters' "Subterranean Death Ride Blues"; and the British folk rock band Deaf Havana's "Subterranean Bullshit Blues". And the opening of the last verse, "Ah get born, keep warm", provided the Australian garage rock band Jet with the title of their debut album Get Born.

Also, Today In:

1967 - Paul McCartney met American photographer Linda Eastman during a concert at the Bag O'Nails nightclub in London. They married on March 12, 1969.

1971 - Crosby Stills Nash & Young scored their second U.S. No. 1 album with 4 Way Street. The live album featured recordings from shows at The Fillmore East in New York and The Forum in Los Angeles.

1976 - The Rolling Stones went to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Black And Blue, the group's sixth U.S. No. 1 album.

1982 - Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney started a seven week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Ebony And Ivory." The song gave McCartney his 24th U.S. No. 1 as a songwriter.

1986 - Run-DMC released their third album, Raising Hell, featuring the groundbreaking rap reworking of "Walk This Way." The album peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B Albums chart as the first hip hop/rap album to do so, and at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, and in 2018, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant." The album also features hits "It's Tricky", "My Adidas" and "You Be Illin'".

1994 - Blur scored their first U.K. No. 1 album with Parklife, which went on to spend more than two years on the chart.

2000 - Bob Dylan and violinist Isaac Stern each received approximately $110,000 from the Swedish government as part of the Polar Music Prize for their contributions to the world of music.

2001 - God Bless the Go-Go's, the Go-Go's fourth album, is released. It is the band's first studio album in 17 years.

2002 - The Wu-Tang Name Generator went online - the app that turns your real name into one suited for the rap collective. Fun fact: Donald Glover got his stage name from the generator, becoming Childish Gambino. (Producer Anna ran the test on the Oake & Riley team names -- Jill Riley is Dynamic Destroyer, Brian Oake is Annoyin' Genius, Anna Reed is Lucky Wizard. Fitting!)

2003 - June Carter Cash, country singer and the wife of Johnny Cash, died in Nashville, Tenn., of complications following heart valve replacement surgery at age 73. In her lifetime, she played many instruments including the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and autoharp, and was a film and television actress. She won five Grammys and was ranked No. 31 in CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2003.

2008 - Neil Diamond reached the top of the U.S. Billboard album chart for the first time in his career with Home Before Dark, his 29th studio album. His previous highest chart position was in 1973 when the soundtrack to the film Jonathan Livingston Seagull peaked at No. 2. At the age of 67, Diamond became the oldest artist to have a U.S. number one; the record was previously held by Bob Dylan in 2006 with Modern Times, released when he was 65.

2015 - R&B and jazz singer Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly died from heart failure in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she was visiting for a performance. She was 70 years old. Ortheia spent much of her career touring with and opening for some of Motown's biggest acts, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight.


Eddy Arnold was born on this day in 1918.

Trini Lopez is 82.

Brian Eno is 71.

Dennis Hardy Frederiksen (Fergie Frederiksen) of Toto was born today in 1951.

Mike Oldfield is 66.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

comments powered by Disqus