Today in Rock & Roll History: October 12th

1963: “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes peaked at #2 on Billboard Hot 100 during its ten weeks on the US charts. Produced by Phil Spector, the group recorded forty-two takes of the song before recording the final track that was used for the single.

1963: Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their only #1 single and first of two top 10 hits, “Sugar Shack.”

1965: The Beatles began work on their sixth studio album, Rubber Soul, at EMI Studios in London with initial recordings of “Run For Your Life” and “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” which at the time had the working title of “This Bird Has Flown.”

1966: The Supremes released “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” the lead single from their tenth studio album, The Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Holland. Just over five weeks later, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s second album and their last with singer Janis Joplin, Cheap Thrills, went to #1 in the US. Later that year, in mid-December, the album also reached #7 on the Billboard R&B chart.

1968: The Moody Blues released “Ride My See-Saw,” the second single from the band’s third studio album, In Search of the Lost Chord.

1968: Aretha Franklin released her second live album Aretha in Paris.

1968: “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley entered the Billboard Hot 100. Written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange, the song was originally performed in the 1968 film Live a Little, Love a Little, which also stars Presley. It became a minor hit when it was released the B-side of Presley’s single “Almost in Love,” and achieved worldwide popularity when a later re-recording of the song was remixed in 2002 by Dutch DJ Junkie XL.

1971: Already a big hit in the UK and as an album, the Jesus Christ Superstar musical opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.

1975: Faces played their final concert at New York’s Nassau Coliseum. Rod Stewart had been having increased success as a solo artist, Ronnie Lane had left the group, and Ron Wood had already begun working with the Rolling Stones.

1978: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark played their first official gig at Eric’s in Liverpool, England supporting comedian John Dowie.

1978: Chaka Khan released her debut solo album, Chaka.

1979: Fleetwood Mac released their twelfth studio album, Tusk. The double LP became the group’s second #1 on the UK chart and their third top 5 album in the US.

1979: The Human League released “Empire State Human” as the only single from the group’s debut studio album, Reproduction.

1981: U2 released their second studio album, October.

1982: Don Henley released “Dirty Laundry,” the second single from his debut solo studio album, I Can’t Stand Still. It became Henley’s best-selling single and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1984: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released their debut studio album, Rattlesnakes.

1984: Hall & Oates released their twelfth studio album, Big Bam Boom.

1987: George Harrison released his version of “Got My Mind Set on You” as the lead single from his eleventh studio album, Cloud Nine. The song was originally recorded in 1962 by R&B singer James Ray. Harrison had purchased Ray’s only album, which contains the song, during a visit to his sister in the United States in 1963.

1996: Recorded 28 years earlier in 1968, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was commercially released following two days of screenings at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Film Festival. Organized by the Rolling Stones and featuring performances by Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, and John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards as the Dirty Mac, the show was originally meant to air on the BBC, but was instead shelved by the Stones, who cited what they considered their own substandard performance. Some speculate it may have gone unreleased either because the Who upstaged the Stones, or because it was the last appearance with the Rolling Stones by founding member Brian Jones, who died less than a year later during editing.

1998: R.E.M. released “Daysleeper,” the lead single from their eleventh studio album, Up.

1999: Matthew Sweet released his seventh studio album, In Reverse.

2008: Oasis topped the UK chart with their final album, Dig Out Your Soul.

2018: The Monkees released Christmas Party, their twelfth studio album and first Christmas album. The LP features posthumous contributions from Davy Jones and it was the final Monkees album released prior to Peter Tork’s death four months later.

Birthdays Today

Nappy Brown, R&B singer known for his such as “Don’t Be Angry,” “Little By Little,” and “Night Time Is the Right Time,” was born Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp in 1929.

Sam Moore, singer, songwriter, and half of soul duo Sam & Dave, was born Samuel David Hicks in Miami, FL in 1935.

Melvin Franklin, original member of The Temptations, was born David Melvin English in Montgomery, AL in 1942.

Rick Parfitt, singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist for Status Quo, was born in Woking, Surrey, England in 1948.

Steve Martin Caro, original lead singer for The Left Banke, was born Carmelo Esteban Martin Caro in 1948.

Pat DiNizio, songwriter, lead singer for The Smithereens, and a solo artist, was born in Scotch Plains, NJ in 1955.

Jane Siberry, singer-songwriter, was born Jane Stewart in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1955.

Brian Kennedy, singer-songwriter, backing vocalist for Van Morrison, and younger brother of musician Bap Kennedy, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1966.

Martie Maguire, multi-instrumentalist and founding member of The Chicks and Court Yard Hounds, was born in York, PA in 1969.