Beatles slay hotel audience! -- Dylan gets a first! -- Otis, my man!

Bob Dylan Performing At Isle Of Wight
His Bobness, Isle of Wight Festival, Aug. 1969. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

2/16/1964 (53 years ago today) - The beginning of "Hey, these guys really can sing!": The Beatles make their second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" exactly one week after the first. A little rest and Florida sunshine have done the boys some good -- before an audience of 3,500 at Miami's Deauville Hotel (where the show was specially being broadcast from this evening), they perform more-than-convincing versions of "She Loves You", "All My Loving", "I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me To You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and a jaw-dropping/goose-bump-inducing "This Boy" featuring not only beautiful harmonies from Paul and George, but a positively stunning/lung-shredding lead from John that elicits gasps of disbelief from most of the audience. Oh yes, Moms and Dads, this is the new reality...

2/16/1974 (43 years ago today) - Bob Dylan starts four weeks at No. 1 on the LP chart with "Planet Waves"; his 14th studio record is his first non-Columbia label album -- in fact, his very first No. 1 album...ever! The release was delayed by two weeks though, when Zimmy decided he didn't want the album title to be "Ceremonies Of The Horsemen" (a reference to 1965's "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" off the "Bringing It All Back Home" LP). We gotta wonder what's the diff, really; even with The Band backing him on this one, we hardly ever go back to it. Maybe we're being overly fussy here, it's just the art of dog-paddling eludes us...

2/16/1932 - Born on this day, songwriter/producer/pianist Otis Blackwell -- safe to say his work had a major influence on the development of rock and roll's early days -- he wrote Elvis' "All Shook Up", "Don't Be Cruel" and "Return To Sender", Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless", plus Little Willlie John's "Fever" (later a massive success for Peggy Lee) and "Handy Man" by Jimmy Jones (famously covered by James Taylor). Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Brown, The Who, Dolly Parton, The Smithereens, Ronnie Spector and Billy Joel have also recorded and performed his songs -- got to say, that's a pretty friggin' cool legacy. Otis died from a heart attack at home in Nashville, May 6, 2002; he was 71.

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"The future looks bright ahead...", xoxo!

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