Anniversary of The Rolling Stones First No 1

07/14/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1964, The Rolling Stones were at no 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "It's All Over Now," the group's first of eight U.K. no 1s. Gibson takes a look back: By the summer of 1964, The Rolling Stones were just finding their footing. Barely two years old, the band were still in their infancy, best-known for their cover versions of American blues and rock and roll songs. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had yet to really explore what would be a legendary songwriting partnership and their early British hits were all penned by others Chuck Berry ("Come On"), Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away") and John Lennon and Paul McCartney ("I Wanna Be Your Man").

After The Beatles had conquered America earlier in the year, the Stones embarked on their first U.S. tour in June of 1964. Bassist Bill Wyman would later remember the trek as a "disaster," because the band had yet to score a big hit in the States. The band got mocked by Dean Martin for their performance and appearance on The Hollywood Palace it was miles away from what the Fab Four had experienced on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Yet, the tour proved quite fruitful in other areas. During the Stones' time as guests on Murray the K's WINS Swinging Soiree radio show in New York, the influential DJ played them a new R&B recording credited to The Valentinos, called "It's All Over Now." The boys loved the song, saying that it was exactly the type of American music they were into. "It's All Over Now" was actually co-written and sung by future soul legend Bobby Womack The Valentinos were really The Womacks, a vocal group consisting of Bobby and his brothers. The single, which had just been released, was produced by Sam Cooke.

While on tour, the Stones were being pressured by their label to record and release new material to capitalize on their rising profile on both sides of the Atlantic. "It's All Over Now" quickly became a contender to be the band's next cover. Nine days after first hearing it on Murray the K's radio show, the boys recorded their version at a very special place. "We cut that in Chess Studios the first time in Chicago," Richards later remembered. "The year before we were playing bars in England, you know. And then we're walking into Chess Studios which was where all of these records that had been made that were so important to us. Now and again in life you get this feeling that you've died and gone to heaven. Luckily, neither was true." more on this story

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