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.

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, 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: The Animals’ single “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” 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 had been 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 had 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 Who released their single “The Kids Are Alright” in the UK, where the record made it to #41. In the US, it reached #106 on the Billboard chart and #85 on the Cash Box chart.

1967: “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher” by Jackie Wilson entered Billboard Hot 100. The song became his 6th top 10 hit on the Hot 100 and his 6th #1 on Billboard R&B chart.

1967: The Supremes’ single “Reflections” entered Billboard Hot 100, later reaching #4 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Hot 100 and Cash Box pop charts.

1967: “The Letter” by The Box Tops entered Billboard Hot 100, later becoming the group’s first #1 single.

1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s second album, Cheap Thrills, was released. It was the group’s last album 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 10,000.

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

Birthdays Today

Buck Owens, singer, songwriter, guitarist, was born Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. in Sherman, TX in 1929.

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

Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and 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.

Pat Metheny, jazz guitarist and composer, was born in Lee’s Summit, MO in 1954.