Brit-pioneer b'day and two classic singles that pretty much define the Sixties...

The Clash, c 1979; L-R: Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

6/26/1961 (56 years ago today) - It's the first of two consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the singles chart for Gary U.S. Bonds and the super-cool sing-along classic "Quarter To Three" -- Before Bonds recorded this, it was an obscure instrumental piece by The Church Street Five titled "A Night With Daddy G"; Gary's manager added some lyrics and presto! Smash hit!!!  Bonds fan Bruce Springsteen still covers this one in concert -- In fact it was The Boss himself who helped re-ignite Gary's career by writing songs for and co-producing Bonds' 1981 comeback LP "Dedication", which {truth be told} is a mighty fine overlooked gem of great outdoor summer party rock, well worth seeking out...

6/26/1965 (52 years ago today) - The Byrds go to No. 1 with their arguably-better-then-the-original-version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" -- This particular recording is noteworthy for many reasons, but mostly: (A) It was the first single by an American band to effectively challenge the chart dominance of the Beatles, and (B) Though it seems weird now, this was a time when the suits and ties at the record companies trusted session musicians to make the records instead of the bands that they had actually signed, so Roger McGuinn was the only real member of The Byrds playing and singing on this 45! Turned out all right, sure, but still...

6/26/1955 - Happy Birthday to Mick Jones of The Clash, 62 years old today -- Hugely influential in the U.K. music scene of the late '70's/early '80's -- In addition to The Clash catalog (lest we need remind ye that "London Calling" is absolutely one of the all-time greatest records to ever come out of England!), Mick was also in charge of Big Audio Dynamite, one of the very first rock acts to heavily use sampling while simultaneously blending in punk/ska/reggae/dance/pop sounds and beats, a truly wonderful ahead-of -their-time outfit -- He's also produced albums for Ian Hunter, The Libertines, Ellen Foley, and worked with Gorillaz and The Wallflowers, thus securing his place on the list of bona-fide British hep-kats...

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"I'm ready to go anywhere...", xoxo!