Today in Rock & Roll History: February 12th

1961: After topping the Cash Box R&B chart, “Shop Around” by The Miracles became Motown Record’s first million-selling single.

1965: “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” by Herman’s Hermits was released in US following its release in the UK in January.

1966: Just over a week after its initial release in the UK, “19th Nervous Breakdown” by the Rolling Stones was issued in the US by London Records.

1969: Amen Corner scored their only #1 hit when “(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice” went to #1 on the UK chart.

1971: T. Rex released “Hot Love,” the single that became their first #1 on the UK chart.

1972: The Allman Brothers Band released their third studio album, Eat a Peach. The album is a mix of live recordings from their famed 1971 performance at the Fillmore East as well as studio recordings with and without guitarist Duane Allman, who died during sessions.

1972: Al Green achieved his only #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Let’s Stay Together.” Five weeks earlier, the record had become Green’s first #1 on the R&B chart.

1972: “Roundabout” by Yes entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it ultimately became the group’s second biggest hit.

1977: The Kinks’ sixteenth studio album, Sleepwalker, was released in the US. Near the end of the month, it was issued in the UK. It was the band’s last album with bassist John Dalton.

1977: The Police recorded their first single, “Fall Out,” at Pathway Studios in London. Recorded on a budget of 150 pounds, it is the only Police recording featuring original guitarist Henry Padovani. Padovani only played the guitar solos for both sides of the single due to nervousness, with Stewart Copeland playing the other guitar parts. The single failed to chart upon its initial release, but after being re-released in 1979, it reached #47 on the UK chart.

1978: “Sweet Talkin’ Woman,” the third single from Electric Light Orchestra’s seventh studio album, Out of the Blue, was released in the US.

1980: The Clash released “Train in Vain,” the third single from their third studio album, London Calling. The song was added to the album while its sleeve was in production, so it was initially a hidden track at the end of the album. It was the band’s first single to enter the US top 30, peaking at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1980: Bryan Adams, Canadian singer-songwriter and former lead singer for Sweeney Todd, released his self-titled debut solo studio album.

1982: XTC released English Settlement, their fifth studio album and first double album.

1983: Michael Jackson began nine weeks at #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart with “Billie Jean.”

1991: MusiCares, a charity established in 1989 by The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to provide health and medical assistance to needy musicians, honored the first recipient of their Person of the Year award, David Crosby, at a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

2002: Chris Isaak released his eighth studio album, Always Got Tonight.

2010: Peter Gabriel released, Scratch My Back, his eighth studio album and first in eight years. It consists of covers version of songs by various artists. The project’s companion album, And I’ll Scratch Yours, in which other artists cover songs by Gabriel, was released in September 2013.

2016: Dion released his thirty-third studio album, New York Is My Home.

Birthdays Today

Vincent Montana Jr., composer, arranger, vibraphonist, and percussionist, best known as a member of MFSB and as the founder of the Salsoul Orchestra, who also worked with artists that include Sarah Vaughan, Harry Belafonte, Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, The Spinners, The O’Jays, Eddie Kendricks, and The Stylistics, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1928.

Gene McDaniels, singer, songwriter, and producer, was born in Kansas City, KS in 1935.

Ray Manzarek, singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist, and co-founder of the Doors, was born Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr. in Chicago, IL in 1939.

Rick Frank, drummer with Elephant’s Memory, best known for backing John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the early 1970s, was born in New York City in 1942.

Joe Schermie, bassist for Three Dog Night, was born Joseph Edward Schermetzler in Madison, WI in 1946.

Steve Hackett, guitarist, solo artist, and member of Genesis during the 1970s, was born in Pimlico, London, England in 1950.

Michael McDonald, singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and record producer, solo artist, and member of The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, was born in St. Louis, MO in 1952.

Brian Robertson, guitarist for Thin Lizzy and Motörhead, was born in Clarkston, Scotland in 1956.

Grant McLennan, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and co-founder of the Go-Betweens, was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia in 1958.

Neil Conti, drummer, producer, and member of Prefab Sprout, was born in Luton, England in 1959.

Omar Hakim, jazz and pop drummer, producer, arranger and composer who has worked with David Bowie, Sting, Dire Straits, Kate Bush, Miles Davis, Carly Simon, Weather Report, and many others, was born in New York City in 1959.

Jim Creeggan, bassist for Barenaked Ladies, was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada in 1970.

Sarah Martin, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for Belle and Sebastian, was born in Blackburn, England in 1974.