Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American to be a major league umpire when he is hired by the American League. ‘Ash’, known for his flashy style in the PCL, will spend five years in the bigs, working the 1967 All-Star game and the 1970 World Series, before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
The last soviet space dogs, Veterok (Ветерок, “Light Breeze”) and Ugolyok (Уголёк, “Coal”), showing their feeding tubes and waste-disposal suits, fitted as the dogs mission, Cosmos 110, lasted 22 days in orbit, from 22 February to March 16, 1966.
On this day in music history: February 21, 1966 - “Nowhere Man” by The Beatles is released. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is recorded October 21 - 22, 1965 in Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios in London. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the twenty fourth US single for the legendary rock band from Liverpool, UK. Composed primarily by John Lennon, he comes up with the song after spending five hours trying to write something without success. Finally, the words and melody come to him all at once. Lennon shows what he’s come up with to McCartney, who helps him complete the song. “Nowhere Man” represents another departure for The Beatles, with Lennon and McCartney writing more introspective material, moving away from the subject matter of their earlier work which focused more on love and romance. Another one of the songs’ crowning touches is the dual guitar solo played by George Harrison and John Lennon on a pair of matching ‘61 sonic blue Fender Stratocasters, purchased for them by their roadie Mal Evans from Grimwoods Music in Whitstable, Kent. When the song is mixed, Lennon and Harrison asks producer George Martin and engineer Norman Smith, double the amount of treble on the guitars to create an even brighter and cutting sound that is instantly apparent on the finished recording. Originally a track on the UK version of “Rubber Soul, the song is left off of the US version of the album and is instead released as a stand alone single backed with the country flavored "What Goes On” (#81 Pop) sung by Ringo Starr, also extracted from the UK version of “Rubber Soul”. “Nowhere Man” peaks at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 26, 1966. Both songs make their US album debut on the compilation “Yesterday And Today” in June of 1966. “Nowhere Man” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: February 26, 1966 - “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, it is the first chart topping single for the daughter of pop vocal legend Frank Sinatra. Signed to her fathers’ label Reprise Records in 1961, Sinatra records and releases fifteen singles over the next four years with little to no success. In 1965, she is paired with producer Lee Hazlewood (Duane Eddy, Dean Martin), who sets about writing and producing a hit for her. Recently divorced from singer and actor Tommy Sands, Hazlewood talks to Nancy about that relationship and its aftermath, and uses it as the inspiration to write what becomes her signature song. The track is recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood, CA on November 19, 1965 with members of The Wrecking Crew which include Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Chuck Berghofer, Billy Strange and Tommy Tedesco. Hitting the airwaves shortly before Christmas in 1965, and released in early January of 1966, “Boots” quickly takes hold on radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on January 22, 1966, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song has an enduring impact on popular music and culture. Nancy Sinatra’s original version is featured in numerous films and TV programs over the years (“Full Metal Jacket”, “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery”, “China Beach”, “CSI”), and is covered many times by various artists. “The Boots Are Made For Walkin’” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.