Today in Rock & Roll History: July 12th

1957: Elvis Presley had his first #1 in the UK singles chart with “All Shook Up,” which started seven weeks at the top.

1958: At Phillips’ Sound Recording Services in Liverpool, England, The Quarrymen, featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John “Duff” Lowe on piano, and Colin Hanton on drums, recorded the Buddy Holly tune “That’ll Be The Day.” They also recorded “In Spite Of All the Danger,” one of the group’s first original songs, which had been written by McCartney and Harrison.

1962: The original Rolling Stones lineup played their first gig at London’s Marquee Jazz Club. Vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones were joined by bass player Dick Taylor, pianist Ian Stewart, and future Kinks drummer Mick Avory. Their material included Chicago Blues as well as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley songs. Bassist Bill Wyman joined the following December and drummer Charlie Watts was added to the group in January.

1963: “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals was released. Written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich, and Jeff Barry, the song later became one of the group’s best known songs and their third top 10 hit in the US.

1965: “California Girls” by The Beach Boys was released, the second single from their ninth studio album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). The song reached #3 on the Billboard chart by late August and became their ninth US top 10 hit.

1965: The Beach Boys began work on “Sloop John B” at United Western Recorders in Hollywood. It was the second single from the group’s eleventh studio LP, Pet Sounds, and later peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1966: English singer Chris Farlowe released his cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Out of Time.” His version became the most commercially successful and reached #1 on the UK singles chart.

1969: Filming began for the 1970 film depicting the story of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, with Mick Jagger starring in his first feature film as the titular role. Accidents and illness impeded the ten weeks of filming, and the final production was received poorly by audiences. Both director Tony Richardson and Jagger effectively disowned the project and did not attend the London premiere.

1969: After entering the Billboard Hot 100 just three weeks earlier, “In The Year 2525” by Zager and Evans started six weeks at the top of the chart. Later that summer, the song spent three weeks at the top of the UK singles chart as well. Zager and Evans remain the only act to have a #1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic and never have another single enter the US Billboard chart or UK chart ever again.

1969: After a brief tour in Scandinavia, Blind Faith began a US tour with their American debut at Madison Square Garden to an audience of over 20,000. The band toured for seven more weeks in the States, finishing in Hawaii in late August. With only a few new songs in the new band’s catalog, they were forced to play older Cream and Traffic songs, much to the delight of audiences, but not Eric Clapton. Opening acts on the tour included Free, Taste, and Delaney and Bonnie.

1970: Janis Joplin debuted her new group, the Full Tilt Boogie Band, at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

1971: The second live album from the Woodstock Festival, Woodstock 2 was released. The double LP set contains additional material from many of the performers featured on the first Woodstock album with additional performances from Mountain and Melanie.

1980: “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel hit #1 on the US Cash Box chart a week before it reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It was Joel’s third song to enter US top ten and his first #1 single on the pop charts.

1988: Brian Wilson released his self-titled solo debut album. Nicknamed “Pet Sounds ‘88” by British music journal New Musical Express, it received high praise from critics. It was the first album written and produced by Wilson since The Beach Boys Love You in 1977, and saw Wilson work with several collaborators, including his then-therapist Eugene Landy. According to the album’s co-producers, Landy was very manipulative and controlling of both Wilson and the project itself, changing lyrics, arrangements, interrupting sessions, and confiscating tapes, leading to contentious recording sessions.

1988: Gregg Allman released Just Before the Bullets Fly, his fifth solo studio album and third released under the Gregg Allman Band moniker.

Birthdays Today

Steve Young, pioneering country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and a vital force behind the outlaw country movement, was born in Newnan, GA in 1942.

Christine McVie, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and member of Fleetwood Mac, was born Christine Anne Perfect in Bouth, Lancashire, England in 1943.

Walter Egan, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was born in Queens, NY in 1948.

Philip Taylor Kramer, bassist for Iron Butterfly, was born in Youngstown, OH in 1952.

Julie Miller, singer, songwriter, and collaborator with husband Buddy Miller, was born in Waxahachie, TX in 1956.