Song: “Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones
Reached #1: March 4, 1967 (their fourth, 1 week)
Yes, the casual restaurant chain did take its name from this song.
And yes, this is technically a double-sided single with “Let’s Spend The Night Together”, however Billboard tracked the two sides separately, with “Night” going only to #55, because American radio was as prudish in 1967 as it is today.
You’re probably familiar with the legendary story of Decca Records passing on signing the Beatles in 1962, with the equally famous comment that “guitar bands were on the way out”. Of course, that left Decca sitting on the sidelines as Beatlemania began to take root in the UK in 1963 – so when another guitar-based band, this one from Kent via London, auditioned for Decca, they didn’t think twice.
Instead, they signed band formerly known as “The Rollin’ Stones” to a pretty nice contract for the time, due to the efforts of early manager/guru Andrew Oldham. Oldham was just 19 at the time, though, and thus couldn’t legally be the band’s manager, so another man was hired to be the official manager – but Oldham did the work, including reshaping the lineup and getting permission to use their preferred studio instead of Decca studios.
When “Ruby Tuesday” hit #1 in March 1967, the Stones were in between drug raids that apparently were designed to make the Stones an example of how the UK was going to treat drug use… while also trying to keep their tours of Europe going and handling the departure of manager Oldham.
They survived, of course. The Stones, it appears, can survive almost anything…
Tomorrow, “the chair is not my son” (or something like that).
Other songs that reached #1 on March 4:
1978 – “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” by Andy Gibb (his second, 2 weeks)
1989 – “Lost In Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson (her second, 3 weeks)
2000 – “Amazed” by Lonestar (the first, 2 weeks)