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.

1966: The Isley Brothers released “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You),” the title track from their fourth studio album. The single was the group’s only major hit while on the Motown Records label, and was originally intended for The Supremes, who later recorded their own version later in 1966.

1968: Pink Floyd made their debut as a five-piece band 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.

1971: “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin was issued as the second single from her posthumously released second and final album, Pearl. Written by Kris Kristofferson, the song was first recorded by Roger Miller in 1969. Joplin’s version became her only #1 single as well as the second posthumous #1 that year.

1973: Electric Light Orchestra released their version of “Roll Over Beethoven” from their second studio album, ELO 2. Written by Chess Records founders Leonard and Phil Chess, the song was first recorded by Chuck Berry for the Chess label in 1956.

1974: The Who released “The Real Me,” the third single from their fourth studio album, Quadrophenia.

1974: “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band became the group’s first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. After it was 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.

1976: Elton John released “Grow Some Funk of Your Own,” the second single from his tenth studio album, Rock of the Westies.

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.

1981: John Lennon released “Woman,” the second single his fifth album with wife Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy.

1981: Blondie released “Rapture,” the second single from their fifth studio album, Autoamerican.

1984: Eurythmics released “Here Comes the Rain Again,” the third single from their third studio album, Touch.

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.

2010: Ringo Starr released his sixteenth studio album, Y Not. It includes collaborations with Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Van Dyke Parks, Ben Harper, and Richard Marx as well as contributions from Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, and Don Was.

Birthdays Today

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

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Indian guru known for developing the Transcendental Meditation technique and for being the leader of the worldwide TM movement who achieved fame as the spiritual adviser to the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and other celebrities in the 1960s, was born Mahesh Prasad Varma in Rajim, Central Provinces, British India (present-day Gariaband district, Chhattisgarh, India) in 1918.

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

Glenn Yarbrough, guitarist and lead singer for 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 an 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.

Guy Chambers, songwriter, musician and record produce, brief member of the Waterboys and World Party, and co-founder of The Lemon Trees, was born in Hammersmith, London, England in 1963.