Today it's two of the Sixties most classic singles and a Brit-pioneer birthday...

The Byrds, Aug. 1965; Roger McGuinn, center. (Keystone/Getty Images)

6/26/1961 (54 years ago today) - It's the first of two weeks-in-a-row for Gary U.S. Bonds and his party classic "Quarter To Three" on the U.S. singles chart. Before Bonds recorded this, it was an instrumental by The Church Street Five titled "A Night With Daddy G". Gary's manager added some lyrics and whacko! Instant smash!!! Often covered in concert by Bonds fan Bruce Springsteen who helped re-ignite Gary's career by co-producing Bonds' "Dedication" album in 1981, a pretty darn good/often overlooked album absolutely worth checking out; it's great outdoor summer party rock!

6/26/1965 (50 years ago today) - The Byrds hit No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with their arguably-better-than-the-original-version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man". Noteworthy for several reasons, but mostly these two: (A) It was the first single by an American band to effectively challenge the dominance of The Beatles; and (B) Though it seems somewhat bizarre now, back then record labels trusted session musicians more than the bands they signed, so it turns out Roger McGuinn is actually the only real member of The Byrds playing and singing on this version! The drumming was provided by the legendary Hal Blaine, who also got to play on "Bridge Over Troubled Water"; we guess he was all right, then...

6/26/1955 - Happy Birthday to Mick Jones of The Clash, 60 years old today. Mega-influential in the late Seventies/early Eighties -- in addition to The Clash catalog ("London Calling", specifically, being one of the all-time greatest records to ever come out of England), Mick was also in charge of Big Audio Dynamite, amongst the very first acts in all of rock to heavily use sampling while combining elements of punk/ska/reggae/dance/pop; he's also produced albums for Ian Hunter, The Libertines, Ellen Foley, and worked with Gorillaz and The Wallflowers. Gotta put him on the A-list of England's most interesting hep-kats, for sure...

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"You're happy when I'm on my knees...", xoxo!