A classic '60's single makes U.K. history! -- A legendary heavy, heavy debut! -- Thomas Earl Petty owes this guy big-time!

The Byrds
The Byrds and Roger McGuinn {w/glasses}, Aug. 1965. (Keystone/Getty Images)

7/13/1964 (54 years ago today) - The Animals make it to No. 1 on the British singles chart with "The House Of The Rising Sun" which, by the way, the band recorded in just one take(!), and it was the very first U.K. chart topper to have a playing time of more than four minutes(!) -- Coincidentally, it also became the first song since 1962 by a British band to reach No. 1 in America that was not written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney {insert "Wow!" here}.

7/13/1968 (50 years ago today) - Bear in mind, this took place half-a-century ago!: Black Sabbath play their first gig...sort of. At this point in time the group was known as Mythology, and only Tony Iommi (guitar) and Bill Ward (drums) were in this pre-Sabbath line-up; the other members, now lost to history, were vocalist Chris Smith and bassist Neil Marshall -- The bands on-stage debut this evening takes place at a small backstreet blues club, part of The Queen's Hotel in Silloth, England, and extremely rough quality bootlegs of the performance are out there online, though the set has never been officially issued on CD...

7/13/1942 - Happy Birthday to James Joseph McGuin III, 76 years old today. Giant-sized mega-well-deserved props to the oft-taken-for-granted Roger McGuinn, best known for lead vocals and lead guitar with The Byrds, one of the (very) few American acts that kept The Beatles on their toes back when... -- These days Roger does most of his work via the internet with his critically acclaimed "Treasures From The Folk Den" series, helping keep real folk music traditions alive. Plus there's Tom Petty who, we gotta consider, might not have had the career he did were it not for Mr. McGuinn's musical influence; we're not over-stating anything really, but we gotta throw it out there...

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"Wherever that river goes/That's where I want to be...", xoxo!


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