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Born on this day: March 18, 1941 - R&B vocal legend Wilson Pickett (born in Prattville, AL.) Happy Birthday to "The Wicked Pickett" on what would have been his 72nd Birthday.
Born on this day: March 18, 1963 - Singer/actress and former Miss America Vanessa Williams (born Vanessa Lynn Williams in Tarrytown, NY). Happy 50th Birthday, Vanessa!!
On this day in music history: March 18, 1967 - "Penny Lane" by The Beatles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon-McCartney), it is the 13th US number one single for the "Fab Four." The single is one of the first two songs (along with "Strawberry Fields Forever") to emerge from the sessions that will yield the band's landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is titled after a district near the Liverpool City Centre where Lennon had once lived as an art student. The idea for the song will come to McCartney in a dream. Recording sessions for the song will begin on December 29, 1966, with the final overdubs being recorded on January 17, 1967. Trumpet player David Mason will be hired to play the songs' signature piccolo trumpet solo after McCartney hears him playing the instrument during a television performance of Bach's 2nd Brandenburg Concerto. For both the US and UK releases of the single, it will come packaged with a picture sleeve that features a portrait of the band on the front with childhood photos of each member on the back. Released on February 13, 1967, it will enter the Hot 100 at #85 on February 25th, zooming to the top three weeks later. Surprisingly, the single will peak at #2 on the UK singles chart when it is held off the top by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me." "Penny Lane" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. After the singles' release, it will be included on the US version of Magical Mystery Tour in late 1967.