On November 15, 1971, the album E Pluribus Funk was released by hard and blues rock outfit Grand Funk Railroad. The album was the band’s fifth studio record and was released by Capitol Records. The name of the album comes from the phrase E pluribus unum, the originam motto of the government of the United States. The original phrase means out of many, one, a symbol of the unity of the separate United States of America. The album cover was designed by Ernie Cefalu. It was completely round and sported a silver-like film that made it look like a large coin. The album saw three signles released: “People, Let’s Stop the War”, “Footstompin’ Music,” and “Upsetter” – the latter two being released in 1972. The album was a success, reaching #5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
And here’s what else happened this week in rock history:
Born This Week in Rock History:
Chris Dreja: November 11, 1945 (guitar and bass, The Yardbirds)
Vince Martell: November 11, 1945 (vocals and guitar, Vanilla Fudge)
Booker T Jones: November 12, 1944 (keys, guitars, bass, Booker T. & The M.G.’s)
Neil Young: November 12, 1945 (rock god, singer-songwriter, member of Buffalo Springfield, etc.)
Buck Dharma: November 12, 1947 (guitar and vocals, Blue Öyster Cult)
John Hammond Jr.: November 13, 1943 (blues singer and guitarist)
James “JY” Young: November 14 1948 (vocals and guitar, Styx)
Gene Clark: November 17, 1944 (guitar and vocals, The Byrds)
Martin Barre: November 17, 1946 (guitar, Jethro Tull)
Died This Week in Rock History:
Berry Oakley: November 11, 1972 (bass, The Allman Brothers Band)
Mitch Mitchell: November 12, 2008 (drums, The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
O.V. Wright: November 16, 1980 (blues and soul singer-songwriter)
Dino Valente (Chet Powers): November 16, 1994 (guitar and vocals, Quicksilver Messenger Service)
John Glascock: November 17, 1979 (bass, Jethro Tull)
Music Releases and Top of the Charts:
“Little Red Rooster” by The Rolling Stones is released: November 13, 1964
James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” enters the charts: November 13, 1965
Santana 3 by Santana hits #1 on the charts: November 13, 1971
Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind” hits #1: November 14, 1960
Grand Funk Railroad release the album E Pluribus Funk: November 15, 1971
The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s LP Electric Ladyland hits #1: November 16, 1968
John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” hits #1: November 16, 1974
Tommy Bolin releases his debut solo album Teaser: November 17, 1975
This Week in Rock History:
On November 11, 1972, Berry Oakley, bass player for southern rockers the Allman Brothers Band, is tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. In a strange twist of fate, the incidient occurred in the same location as the crash that claimed Allman Brothers’ slide guitarist Duane Allman a year prior. Oakley was only 24 years old at the time of his passing.
Proto-punk rockers The Velvet Underground make their live debut at Summit High School in New Jersey on November 12, 1965. For their work, the bad earned a whopping $75.
Controversy is caused by the release of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s album Electric Ladyland on November 12, 1968 due to the album’s cover art, which featured a photo of 19 naked women. The album is consequently banned from a handful of British record shops. Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” album cover stirs controversy in England after a handful of British record stores banned it from their shelves for sporting a photo of 19 naked women: November 12, 1968
The Beatles‘ film Yellow Submarine had its New York premiere on November 13, 1968. The animanted film was a fantastical musical comedy featuring music by The Beatles, including the songs, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man,” “All Together Now,” and, of course, “Yellow Submarine.”
On November 13, 1969, former Beatle John Lennon bought an island off of the coast of Ireland called Dorinch. In a kind gesture, he invites any hippie who wants to live on the island to come and stay there.
On November 14, 1962, Bob Dylan recorded his classic song “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” The cut was produced by industry legend John Hammond. Dylan based the melody of the song off of an older folk song titled “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chicken When I’m Gone.” Since that time, the song has been covered by many including Peter, Paul, and Mary, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, and as a Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson duet.
On November 14, 1983, Michael Jackson’s 14-minute long video for his song “Thriller” had its premiere in Los Angeles. The very long music video was directed by John Landis, the same man who helmed the film an American Werewolf in London. Among its most memorable moments are Michael Jackson transforming into a Werecat and its elborate zombie dance routine.
Love Me Tender, the Elvis Presley movie, premiered at the Paramount Theater in New York City on November 15, 1956. The film, named after Presley’s song, was Elvis’ first movie. A musical western, it featured the King of Rock and Roll as one of the Reno Brothers during the Civil War.
On November 15, 1966, The Doors signed a deal with Elektra Records in which the band agreed to record 7 albums for the label. In the agreement, it was decided that the band’s first single would be “Break on Through.”
Janis Joplin played her last gig as a member of Big Brother and the Holding Company on November 15, 1968. The venue was New York Cit’s Hunter College.
On November 15, 1969, Janis Joplin is arrested during a show in Tampa, Florida after she used disruptive language with a police officer. During the shows, fans had become rowdy and police entered to force the fans to go back to their seats. Janis threatened the police as she was leaving the stage. However, she made the $504 bail payment and was released from jail. The charges were later dropped.
After basically being in seclusion for 8 years, The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson appears for an interview with the BBC 2’s program Old Grey Whistle Test on November 16, 1976.
In reference to their song “Fat Bottomed Girls,” on November 16, 1978, Queen featured several dozen nude, amply-reared women as guests on the song “Bicycle Race” during a Madison Square Garden performance.
Bob Dylan taped his episode of MTV Unplugged in New York City on November 17, 1994. Although Dylan originally wanted to perform a set consisting of traditional folk songs, MTV urged him to play his own classic folk rock anthems. The set included such Dylan highlights as “Tombstone Blues,” “Desolation Row,” and “With God on Our Side.”
And that’s a rock and roll wrap!
– Brian M. Reiser,
J&R Adventures / Tribut Apparel