Today in Rock & Roll History: August 12th

1957: Buddy Holly entered the US singles chart with “That’ll Be the Day.” Credited to the Crickets and issued on the Brunswick label, the song became Holly’s first #1 record.

1957: Bill Haley and the His Comets released Rockin’ the Oldies, their fifth rock album and Haley’s third themed LP for Decca Records.

1960: Liverpool group The Silver Beatles, made up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, hired drummer Pete Best after an audition at the Casbah Coffee Club, which was run from the basement of Best’s mothers’ home. The band left for a short residency at the Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany the next day.

1965: “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals peaked at #2 on the UK chart. Written by husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, the song became immensely popular with United States Armed Forces GIs during the Vietnam War. Originally recorded as a demo by Mann, the song was intended for The Righteous Brothers, but Mann later signed a recording contract with Redbird Records and wanted to release it himself instead. Meanwhile, record executive Allen Klein heard the demo and gave it to Animals producer Mickie Most, and his group recorded it before Mann could.

1966: The Beatles kicked off their last US tour at the Chicago International Amphitheater.

1966: “The Kids Are Alright” by the Who was released in the UK, where the single made it to #41. In the US, it reached #106 on the Billboard chart and #85 on the Cash Box chart.

1966: Neil Diamond released his debut studio album, The Feel of Neil Diamond.

1967: “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher” by Jackie Wilson entered Billboard Hot 100. The song became his sixth top 10 hit on the Hot 100 and his sixth #1 on Billboard R&B chart.

1967: “Reflections”by The Supremes entered the Billboard Hot 100. It later reached #2 on the Hot 100 and Cash Box pop charts and #4 on the R&B chart.

1967: “The Letter” by The Box Tops entered Billboard Hot 100 on its way to becoming the group’s first #1 single.

1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company released Cheap Thrills, their second album and last with Janis Joplin as lead singer. Producer John Simon added crowd noise to the LP to give the impression of a live album.

1970: Janis Joplin performed her final concert at Boston’s Harvard Stadium to a packed house of about 40,000.

1972: Yes entered the Billboard Hot 100 with their rearrangement of “America,”  a song originally recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1968. The single version of the song, edited down from the original ten-and-a-half minute recording to just over four minutes, ultimately reached #46 on the Hot 100 chart.

1974: “Can’t Get Enough” from Bad Company’s self-titled debut album was released. It became their biggest hit and only #1 single.

1980: Paul Simon released One-Trick Pony, his fifth solo album, first with Warner Bros. Records, and the soundtrack album to the film of the same name in which Simon also stars.

1981: Bob Dylan released Shot of Love, his twenty-first studio LP and last in a trilogy of Christian albums.

1983: The Moody Blues released “Blue World,” the lead single from their eleventh studio album, The Present.

1985: David Bowie and Mick Jagger released their duet cover of “Dancing in the Street,” a song originally recorded by Martha and the Vandellas in 1964. Recorded to raise money for the Live Aid Famine relief cause, the original plan was to perform the song live with Bowie at Wembley Stadium in London and Jagger at John F. Kennedy Station in Philadelphia. When technical limitations made that impossible, Jagger later joined Bowie at Abbey Road Studios in London. The single later went to #1 on the UK chart and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1985: Neil Young released his fourteenth studio album, Old Ways.

1994: The Woodstock ‘94 festival was held in Saugerties, New York to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock in 1969. Over three days, an estimated 550,000 attendees came to see acts that included Orleans, Blues Traveler, Del Amitri, Sheryl Crow, Violent Femmes, Joe Cocker, Melissa Etheridge, Crosby, Stills & Nash with John Sebastian, The Cranberries, The Band with Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Rob Wasserman, and Bob Weir, Country Joe McDonald, The Allman Brothers Band, Traffic, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Gil Scott-Heron, the Neville Brothers, and Santana.

Birthdays Today

Sid Bernstein, music promoter, talent manager, impresario, and author best known for bringing the Beatles to New York’s Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium who also booked shows in New York for other British Invasion acts such as The Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, and The Moody Blues, managed The Rascals and Laura Nyro in the 1960s and early 1970s, and later arranged tours for Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac and others, was born in New York City in 1918.

Roy C. Bennett, songwriter who, with collaborator Sid Tepper, published over three hundred songs, many of which where hits for Elvis Presley, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1918.

Percy Mayfield, R&B singer and songwriter best known for “Please Send Me Someone To Love” and “Hit the Road Jack,” was born in Minden, Webster Parish, LA in 1920.

Joe Jones, R&B singer, songwriter, and arranger best known for discovering the Dixie Cups and his work with B.B. King, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1926.

Buck Owens, singer, songwriter, guitarist who blended country and rock as an early pioneer of the “Bakersfield sound,” was born Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. in Sherman, TX in 1929.

Tony Allen, drummer, composer, songwriter, and co-founder of the Afrobeat music genre, was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1940.

Mark Knopfler, singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, leader of Dire Straits, and a solo artist was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1949.

Kid Creole, musician, singer, and songwriter best known for co-founding Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and subsequently forming and leading Kid Creole and the Coconuts, was born Thomas August Darnell Browder in The Bronx, New York City in 1950.

Jerry Speiser, drummer and founding member of Men at Work, was born in Australia in 1953.

Pat Metheny, jazz fusion guitarist and composer who has worked with David Bowie, Gary Burton, Chick Corea and many others, was born in Lee’s Summit, MO in 1954.

Jürgen Dehmel, songwriter and bass player for Nena, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1958.

Roy Hay, guitarist and keyboardist for Culture Club, was born in Southend, Essex, England in 1961.

Tanita Tikaram, singer-songwriter, was born in Münster, West Germany in 1969.