Today in Rock & Roll History: January 12th

1957: Elvis Presley recorded “All Shook Up,” “Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do,” “I Believe,” and “Tell Me Why” at Radio Records in Hollywood, California.

1957: Eddie Cochran recorded “Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie,” which later became a minor hit, stalling at #94 in the US and reaching #31 in the UK. The song had originally been written as “Johnny, Johnny, Johnny” for The Georgettes, but they never recorded it.

1959: Tamla Records was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. The company was later incorporated as the Motown Record Corporation in April the following year and Tamla became the primary subsidiary for Motown’s mainstream R&B and soul music. The company began operations just over a week later and issued its first record, “Come to Me” by Marv Johnson.

1965: Music variety show Hullabaloo premiered on NBC. The first episode included performances by The New Christy Minstrels, comedian Woody Allen, actress Joey Heatherton, and a taped segment from London in which Brian Epstein introduced The Zombies and Gerry & the Pacemakers.

1968: Manfred Mann’s recording of Bob Dylan’s “Mighty Quinn” was released. The single later topped the chart in the UK and became the band’s second and final top 10 hit in the US.

1968: Pink Floyd made their debut as a five-piece with Syd Barrett and David Gilmour at the University of Aston in Birmingham, England. This line-up performed together on at least three more occasions throughout the month.

1969: Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album was released in the US ahead of its release in the UK at the end of March. Recorded at Olympic Studios in London the previous fall, the LP took about 36 hours of studio time to complete and spent a total of 115 weeks on the Billboard pop album chart.

1974: “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band became the group’s first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. After being used in a blues jeans ad, the song reached #1 in the UK sixteen years later, setting a record for the longest gap between topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

1974: Aretha Franklin topped Billboard’s R&B chart with “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna’ Do).”

1974: Jim Croce’s third album You Don’t Mess Around With Jim started a five week run as his first and only #1 LP on the Billboard pop chart.

1977: The Police held their first rehearsal in drummer Stewart Copeland’s London flat with guitarist Henri Padovani. That spring, the band recruited guitarist Andy Summers, and since Summers wanted to be the band’s sole guitarist, Padovani soon left the group. Padovani later became a member of several bands before founding his own, the Flying Padovanis, and eventually took a VP position at IRS Records, the label founded by Police manager, and Stewart Copeland’s brother, Miles Copeland.

1986: After previously reached #1 on the UK album chart the previous summer, Dire Strait’s fifth studio album Brothers in Arms once again hit the top of the chart, this time for ten consecutive weeks.

Birthdays Today

Mississippi Fred McDowell, hill country blues singer and guitarist, was born in Rossville, TN in 1906.

Ruth Brown, R&B singer, was born Ruth Alston Weston in Portsmouth, VA in 1928.

Glenn Yarbrough, guitarist and lead singer of the Limelighters, was born in Milwaukee, WI in 1930.

Roland Alphonso, tenor saxophonist and founding member of the Skatalites, was born in Havana, Cuba in 1931.

Long John Baldry, early British blues singer who before achieving solo stardom, lead bands that included Rod Stewart and Elton John among their members, was born John William Baldry in East Haddon, Northamptonshire, England in 1941.

Cynthia Robinson, trumpet player and singer with Sly & the Family Stone, was born in Sacramento, CA in 1944.

Maggie Bell, original vocalist for Stone the Crows, was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland in 1945.

George Duke, jazz fusion keyboardist, composer, singer-songwriter, and record producer who worked with numerous artists as arranger, music director, writer, and co-writer, was born in San Rafael, CA in 1946.

Larry Hoppen, co-founder, vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist for Orleans, was born in Long Island, NY in 1951.

Chris Bell, guitarist, singer, songwriter, co-leader of Big Star, and a solo artist, was born in Memphis, TN in 1951.

Tom Ardolino, drummer for NRBQ, was born in Springfield, MA in 1955.