Rock History Elton John Crocodile Rock

This Week in Rock History: Crocodile Rock Hit #1

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own

On February 3, 1973, piano rocker Elton John’s record “Crocodile Rock” hit #1 on the charts, a big win for the man in the many cool pairs of glasses.   Here’s what else happened This Week in Rock History:


Born This Week in Rock History:

James Jamerson: January 29, 1936 (bass, Motown Records)

Marty Balin: January 30, 1942 (vocals & guitar, Jefferson Airplane)

Steve Marriott: January 30, 1947 (vocals & guitar, Small Faces, Humble Pie)

Phil Collins: January 30, 1951 (drums & vocals, Genesis)

Don Everly: February 1, 1937 (vocals & guitar, The Everly Brothers)

Graham Nash: February 2, 1942 (vocals & guitar, The Hollies, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young)

Johnny “Guitar” Watson: February, 3 1935 (Blues Vocalist & Guitarist)

John Steel: February 4, 1941 (drums, The Animals)

Alice Cooper: February 4, 1948 (vocals, Alice Cooper)

Phil Ehart: February 4, 1951 (drums, Kansas)



Died This Week in Rock History

Willie Dixon: January 29, 1992 (Blues Musician: bass & legendary songwriter)

John Martyn: January 29, 2009 (Rock Singer-Songwriter)

Buddy Holly: February 3, 1959 (vocals & guitar, Buddy Holly & The Crickets)

Richie Valens: February 3, 1959 (Rock & Roll Singer-Songwriter)

The Big Bopper: February 3, 1959 (Rock & Roll Singer-Songwriter)

Karen Carpenter: February 4, 1983 (vocals & drums, The Carpenters)


Music Releases and Top of the Charts

Janis Joplin’s “Me And Bobby McGee” was released on January 30, 1971

The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” hits #1 on January 31, 1970

The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” hits #1 on February 1, 1964

Tommy James and The Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” hit #1 on February 1, 1969

The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” b/w “I Saw Her Standing There” and their Meet The Beatles! album are both certified gold on February 3, 1964

Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” hits #1 on February 3, 1973

This Week in Rock History

  • Guitar god among gods Jimi Hendrix made his UK stage debut on January 29, 1967, performing at London’s Saville Theatre. In the audience is a young Brian May, future guitarist for Queen. May thought Hendrix was, you know, pretty good at guitar.


  • The Beatles give their last public live performance on January 30, 1969. It occurred on the roof of their own Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, in London. The concert, which lasted 42 minutes, came to an abrupt end when police, tipped off by the complaints of a nearby shop owner, shut the concert down. Jerks.


  • On January 31, 1959, just three days before their tragic death in a plane crash, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper played the Armory in Duluth, MN. This performance inspired a young attendee, who would later take up the name Bob Dylan, to become a musician.


  • Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper played their last show as part of the “Winter Dance Party” tour on February 2, 1959. The show was at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA.


  • On February 3, 1959 at around 1:00 AM, within minutes of takeoff from the Mason City, IA Airport, the chartered Beech-Craft Bonanza airplane containing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper crashed into the Iowa countryside, killing all three musicians in addition to the pilot, Roger Peterson. The tragedy was later immortalized as “The Day The Music Died” by Don McLean in his famous song “American Pie”.


  • David Bowie introduced his Thin White Duke persona at a show in Seattle, WA, the first stop on his most recent tour on February 3, 1976.

– Brian M. Reiser,
J&R Adventures

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