The Gemini Space Program continues into 1965 and lay the groundwork for an eventual manned mission to the moon.
Wilson Pickett recorded "In the Midnight Hour" at Stax Studios, Memphis, 12 May 1965. The song's co-writer Steve Cropper recalls: "Atlantic Records president, Jerry Wexler said he was going to bring down this great singer Wilson Pickett" to record at Stax Studio where Cropper was a session guitarist "and I didn’t know what groups he'd been in or whatever. But I used to work in [a] record shop, and I found some gospel songs that Wilson Pickett had sung on. On a couple at the end, he goes: 'I'll see my Jesus in the midnight hour! Oh, in the midnight hour. I'll see my Jesus in the midnight hour.'" and Cropper got the idea of using the phrase "in the midnight hour" as the basis for an rhythm and blues song. Besides Cropper the band on "In the Midnight Hour" featured Stax session regulars Al Jackson (drums) and Donald ''Duck'' Dunn (bass). According to Cropper, Wexler was responsible for the track's innovative delayed backbeat, as Cropper revamped his planned groove for "In the Midnight Hour" based on a dance step which Wexler demonstrated in the studio - "this was the way the kids were dancing; they were putting the accent on two. Basically, we'd been one-beat-accenters with an afterbeat; it was like 'boom dah,' but here was a thing that went 'um-chaw,' just the reverse as far as the accent goes''.
"In the Midnight Hour" reached number 1 on the Rhythm and Blues chart in Billboard magazine dated 7 August 1965 and crossed over to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 reaching number 21: however according to Stax owner Jim Stewart the domestic sales total of the single in its original release was a moderate 300,000 units. However "In the Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett has become an iconic rhythm and blues track, placing at number 134 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time, Wilson Pickett's first of two entries on the list (the other being "Mustang Sally" at #434). It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, Pickett's only such entry. The song is currently ranked as the 152nd greatest song of all time, as well as the tenth best song of 1965, by Acclaimed Music. However, Razzy Bailey has a minor hit in 1984 with a country remake.
The song is featured in Wim Wender's 1976 film ''Im Lauf der Zeit'' (In the Course of Time; English title ''Kings Of The Road''. It is also played at the beginning of ''Talladrea Nights'': ''The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby'', ''Brokeback Mountain'', ''Into the Wild'', ''Traveller'' and in ''Swingers''. Miller performs it in the concert film ''The Big T.N.T. Show''. The recording by The Proclaimers is included in the film ''The Crossing'' (1990). Near the end of their official music video, the pair are shown reading a newspaper whose headline is "Roger Miller, King of Plugs".
After the major success achieved by "King of the Road", Dean Martin recorded the 1965 tune "Houston", which is similar in both lyrics and feel. A send-up version by English entertainer Billy Howard was a British chart hit in 1976. A German version by the band Wise Guys exists. In both the English and German versions of Animals United, Billy the Meerkat sings the short rendition of this song walking past the other animals while carrying the gourd.
MAY 22, 1965 SATURDAY
Tennessee Ernie Ford perform ''King Of The Road'' and ''Sixteen Tons'' while hosting the ABC variety series ''The Hollywood Palace''.
MAY 24, 1965 MONDAY
Filming begins in Los Angeles for Elvis Presley's ''Frankie And Johnny''. Starring Elvis Presley as a riverboat gambler. The role of "Frankie" was played by Donna Douglas from The Beverly Hillbillies TV series. The film reached number 40 on the Variety weekly national box office list for 1966. The budget of the film was estimated at $4.5 million. The director was Frederick De Cordova, who was the director and producer of ''The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson'' beginning in 1970.
There was discussion that Ann Margret might play the female lead - she owed Edward Small a film under a contract with her. Filming started in May 1965 and took place in Hollywood and New Orleans. Under his contract with United Artists, Presley was paid $700,000 plus 50% of the profits. The New York Times reported that the film opened with a "dull thud" and "sheds feathers almost from the start" stating that Presley's formula never before "seemed so feeble and so obvious''. Kevin Thomas, of the Los Angeles Times, felt it was a good vehicle for Presley.
The soundtrack had no "new" material, as album cuts were selected, then overdubbed. In two cases, different takes were used ("Long, Lonely Highway", and "I Feel That I've Known You Forever", the latter featuring what appears to be a vocal done on the sound stage).
Julie Adams and Jocelyn Lane co-star. The screenplay was written by Elwood Ullman and Edward Bernds, who had written The Three Stooges film shorts and theatrical films as well as scripts for The Bowery Boys.
The film was first released in the VHS format in the early 1980s in a limited version from Allied Artists Home Video. It was issued again by CBS/Fox video in 1985, 1987 and 1992, and by Warner Home Video in 1997. In 2007, ''Tickle Me'' was released for the first time on DVD, in the wide-screen letterbox format.
Sonny James recorded ''True Love's A Blessing''.
JULY 10, 1965 SATURDAY
Ken Mellons is born in Kingsport, Tennessee. The deep-voiced singer earns a 1994 hit with ''Jukebox Junkie''.
Wreck on the highway, Roy Acuff, guitarist June Stearns and steel player Shot Jackson are injured in a near-fatal car crash in east Tennessee. Acuff has a pair of pelvic fractures and a broken collarbone. Stearns never returns to the band.
JULY 11, 1965 SUNDAY
One day after Roy Acuff was injured in a near-fatal car accident, fellow Grand Ole Opry member Mother Maybelle Carter is likewise in a car wreck in Ohio.
JULY 12, 1965 MONDAY
Decca Records released Kitty Well's ''Meanwhile, Down At Joe's'', Columbia released Johnny Cash's ''The Sons Of Katie Elder'', and Capitol released Sonny James' ''Behind The Tear''.
JULY 13, 1965 TUESDAY
Songwriter Neil Thrasher is born in Birmingham. After a short career in the duo Thrasher Shiver, he writes Randy Houser's ''How Country Feels'', Rascal Flatts' ''Fast Cars And Freedom'' and Jason Aldean's ''Fly Over States'', among others.
JULY 15, 1965 THURSDAY
Loretta Lynn becomes a grandmother at age 33 when her daughter gives birth to Loretta Lynn Shreeve at Nashville's Madison Hospital.
Carl Smith performs ''She Called Me Baby'' during a guest appearance on ''The Jimmy Dean Show'' on ABC-TV.
JULY 16, 1965 FRIDAY
Retired songwriter Ted Snyder dies in Woodland Hills, California, following abdominal surgery. His compositions include ''Who's Sorry Now'', a hit for western swing band Milton Brown and His Brownies as well as Connie Francis.
Cyndi Hoelze is born in San Leandro, California. Instrumental in the creation of the first Americana music chart, she marries singer and songwriter Radney Foster.
JULY 17, 1965 SATURDAY
Craig Morgan is born in Nashville's General Hospital. A member of the Army reserves, he makes an impact beginning in 2003 with slice-of-life vignettes such as ''That's What I Love About Sunday'', ''Bonfire'' and ''Redneck Yacht Club''.
JULY 19, 1965 MONDAY
Decca Records released The Wilburn Brothers' It's Another World'', and Johnny Wrights' ''Hello Vietnam''.
JULY 21, 1965 WEDNESDAY
Dobro, banjo and guitar player Sidney Cox is born in Homer, Louisiana. He becomes a member of The Cox Family, a bluegrass act that earns critical acclaim and appears on the successful soundtrack to ''O Brother, Where Art Thou''.
Jody Miller contributes, ''Silver Threads And Golden Needles'' to ''Shindig!'' on ABC-TV. Elsewhere in the lineup are Sonny and Cher, Gene Pitney, Billy Preston, The Righteous Brothers and The Sir Douglas Quintet.
JULY 22, 1965 THURSDAY
Following a near-fatal car wreck 12 days earlier, Roy Acuff cancels all his remaining dates for the year, except a USO (United Services Organizations) tour of South Vietnam.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman are fined five pounds for urinating on a gas station wall in London. In 2003, their recording of ''Honky Tonk Women'' is ranked in a Country Music Foundation book among the 500 greatest country singles, ''Heartaches By The Number''.
JULY 25, 1965 SUNDAY
Folk singer and songwriter Bob Dylan angers the crowd when he plays his first electric concert at the Newport Folk Festival. For the last part of the shoe, he borrows a guitar from Johnny Cash. Also watching backstage, Bill Monroe.
JULY 26, 1965 MONDAY
''Seven Spanish Angels'' singer Ray Charles enters a rehab center in Los Angeles to battle a heroin addiction.
Capitol Records the Buck Owens albums ''Before You Go, No One But You'' and ''The Instrumental Hits Of Buck Owens And His Buckaroos''.
There's this dead silence in the room until Elvis says, 'Well, what-the-hell, if you guys aren’t going to talk to me I’m going to my bedroom'. And then everyone started to laugh and that broke the ice.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1965 THURSDAY
The ABC sitcom ''O.K. Crackerby'' debuts, with ''Funny Way Of Laughin''' singer Burl Ives portraying the richest man in the world.
The Everly Brothers, The Byrds and The Rolling Stones are all on hand as ''Shindig!'' kicks off its second season on ABC-TV.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1965 FRIDAY
Sonny and Cher pick up a gold single for their pop hit ''I Got You Babe'', featuring Glen Campbell in the backing band. The song gets mentioned in Kenny Chesney's 2009 hit ''Out Last Night''.
''The Jimmy Dean Show'' moves from its traditional Thursday night time slot to Friday nights on ABC. First guests on the new night, Buck Owens, Gene Pitney, Eddy Arnold and Connie Smith.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1965 SATURDAY
Connie Smith and Bob Luman joins the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
SEPTEMBER 20, 1965 MONDAY
The Stanley Brothers hold their final recording session as a duo in Cincinnati. Their last song, ''Soldier's Grave''.
SEPTEMBER 21, 1965 TUESDAY
Colonel Tom Parker renegotiates Elvis Presley's deal with RCA Records. Presley commits to the label for one extra year, through 1972, in exchange for a hike in his annual guaranteed payment from $200,000 to $300,000.
''Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs'' brings Marty Robbins his first gold album.
SEPTEMBER 23, 1965 THURSDAY
Jerry Lee Lewis contributes ''Breathless'' to the ABC series ''Shindig!''.
Songwriter Rodney Clawson is born in Dallas, Texas. He scores hits by writing Kenny Chessney's ''American Kids'', Jason Aldean's ''Burnin' It Down'', Luke Bryan's ''Drunk On You'', Lady Antebellum's ''Bartender'' and Florida Georgia Lines' ''Dirt''.
SEPTEMBER 24, 1965 FRIDAY
Wilma Burgess recorded her first hit, ''Baby''.
Ernest Tubb and Jody Miller are musical guests on ABC's ''The Jimmy Dean Show''. Tubb's prime-time performances include ''Filipino Baby'' and ''I'll Step Aside''.
SEPTEMBER 25, 1965 SATURDAY
''To A Sleeping Beauty'' songwriter Jackie Gleason takes the cover of TV Guide.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1965 MONDAY
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are featured guests on the week's installment of ''The Andy Williams Show'' on NBC-TV.
Brenda Lee makes a return appearance on ''Hullabaloo'' joined on the NBC show by Peter and Gordon, The Animals and Beau Brummels.
SEPTEMBER 28, 1965 TUESDAY
Dottie West recorded ''Would You Hold It Against Me''.
Charley Pride receives a call from manager Jack D. Johnson, informing him he's been signed by RCA Records.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1965 THURSDAY
Roy Acuff Jr. makes his first recordings, covering his father's ''Wabash Cannonball'' during a session at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studio.
Daron Norwood is born in Lubbock, Texas. He has a brief recording career with Giant Records during the mid-1990s, contributing to a Keith Whitley tribute album.
Jimmy Rodgers makes a return appearance on the ABC music show ''Shindig!''.
The song was written by Robin Moore and Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, while the latter was recuperating from a leg wound suffered as a medic in the Vietnam War. Moore also wrote a book, The Green Berets, about the force. The tune itself is borrowed from the traditional American folk song "The Butcher Boy''.