Elvis paying his dues... -- The most notorious drum solo of the '60's... -- Happy Birthday to Eric Clapton's favorite guitarist!

On the right: Carlos at Woodstock, Aug. 1969. (Photo: Tucker Ransom/Getty Images)

7/20/1954 (64 years ago today) - They say ya gotta start somewhere...: There's a brand new drug store in Memphis, Tennessee, and for the grand opening festivities, a group calling themselves The Blue Moon Boys make their first live appearance: Scotty Moore on guitar, Bill Black on bass, and a kid by the name of Elvis Presley on vocals -- The bands name was from a tune recorded just two weeks earlier, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", and they perform their set from the back of a flatbed truck! Doesn't get much cooler, really...

7/20/1968 (50 years ago today) - 'Bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-takka-takka-bup-bup!': On this date, the second full-length release by psychedelic pioneers Iron Butterfly debuts on the Billboard Top 100 album chart -- The title track of the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" LP fills up all 17-minutes-plus of Side Two, the highlight of which is Ron Bushy's legendary drum solo (which will soon be imitated across school desktops for the next two years!) -- It's the group's one and only moment of glory as the album goes on to sell over four million copies in the U.S. alone, beyond pretty impressive for the time...

7/20/1947 - Happy Birthday to Carlos Santana, 71 years old today -- It's a fact: in the late '60's/early '70's, no other musician was leading a band that fused melodic-blues-based-guitar with Latin-and-African-rhythms, in addition to incorporating all kinds of exotic percussion that had never previously been used quite so forcefully and tastefully in rock music -- In other words, Total Mind-Blowing Invention!!!! Some stats: 10 Grammys, three Latin Grammys, No. 15 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists Of All Time (we think he should be in the Top Ten, just sayin'...). Alongside a handful of classic prog-and-jazz fusion albums too, let's make it a stompin' standing ovation for one of the bona-fide greats: Well done, Carlos!!!

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"Please take my hand...", xoxo!