August 12th: On this day
1960, Pete Best auditioned to become The Silver Beatles’ drummer and was asked to travel to Hamburg in Germany for the bands next set of dates. Before leaving for Hamburg, The Silver Beatles changed their name to simply, “The Beatles”.
1964, The Beatles first film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ opened in 500 American cinemas to rave reviews. The film was a financial and critical success. Time magazine rated it as one of the all-time great 100 films.
1966, The Beatles performed two shows at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois. This was the first stop on what would turn out to be The Beatles’ final US tour. Support acts were the Remains, Bobby Hebb, Cyrkle, and the Ronettes.
1968, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham played together for the first time when they rehearsed at a studio in Gerrard Street in London’s West End. The first song they played was a version of ‘The Train Kept A-Rollin.’ They also played ‘Smokestack Lightning’ and a version of ‘I’m Confused’ (soon to become ‘Dazed And Confused’). The first live dates they played were as The Yardbirds, and it was not until the following month when they started to use the name Led Zeppelin.
1971, John Lennon & Yoko Ono donated £1,000 to the Clyde Shipbuilders Scottish Union fighting fund who were refusing to stop work at the Glasgow site after being made redundant.
1972, Alice Cooper was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘School’s Out’. The bands only UK No.1, which was also a No.7 hit on the US chart. Cooper has said he was inspired to write the song when answering the question, “What’s the greatest three minutes of your life?”. Cooper said: “There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, the next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school.”
1973, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers all appeared at the Corral Club in Topanga, California.
1977, Henri Padovani guitarist with The Police quit the group after nine months leaving them a trio.
1978, The Commodores started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Three Times A Lady’, also No.1 in the UK and becoming Motown’s biggest British selling single. Lionel Richie wrote the song about his love for his wife, mother and grandmother hence ‘Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady.’
1984, As The Olympic Games came to a close, Lionel Richie performed, ‘All Night Long’ live from Los Angeles to an estimated television audience of 2.6 billion people around the world.
1985, Kyu Sakamoto was killed in a plane crash when JAL Flight 123, a 747, crashed and burned on a thickly wooded mountain about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. He was 43. He had the 1963 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘Sukiyaki’, the first Japanese artist to hit the top of the US singles chart.
1986, Prince started a run of five nights at Wembley Arena, London, his first UK shows for five years.
1989, The two day Moscow Music Peace Festival was held at The Lenin Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Western Acts who appeared included Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Skid Row and The Scorpions. This was the first time that an audience had been allowed to stand up and dance at a stadium rock concert in the Soviet Union. Previous to this, all concerts had to be seated.
1991, Bryan Adams started the fourth of sixteen weeks at No.1 on the UK single chart with ‘(Everything I Do), I Do It For You’.
1996, Alanis Morissette appeared at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, New York with Radiohead as support.
2000, During an outdoor gig in Mancos, California as 38 Special were mid-set, the wind took hold of an overhead canopy and brought down ten tons of equipment onto the stage. The drum kit was completely crushed, but no one was seriously injured.
2001, Atomic Kitten went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their debut release ‘Right Now’. UK rappers So Solid Crew scored their first UK No.1 single with ’21 Seconds.’
2003, Lee Ryan from Blue was arrested whilst driving a Porsche around central London and was charged with drink driving. Ryan had spent the night knocking back drinks at Browns night-club in Covent Garden with his cousin and a record company executive. After annoying others in the club with rowdiness, and his cousin’s throwing up in the VIP area, bouncers threw Lee out. Police pulled the star over just after 4am on Tower Bridge Road and breath tests showed him to be twice over the legal drinking limit.
2006, Founding member of Destiny’s Child, LeToya was No.1 on the US album chart with her debut solo album ‘LeToya.’ It was released six years after being dismissed from the group and staying away from the spotlight.
2007, UK singer, songwriter Kate Nash went to No.1 on the UK album chart with her debut album ‘Made Of Bricks.’
2012, The London 2012 Olympics ended with a spectacular musical closing ceremony. The three-hour show featured some of the biggest names of British music from decades past, including the Spice Girls, George Michael, The Who, Take That, Muse, Jessie J, Emeli Sande, Elbow, Madness, The Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Ray Davies, Liam Gallagher, and Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen.
August 12th: Born on this day
1927, Born on this day, Porter Wagoner, Country singer known for his flashy Nudie and Manuel suits and blond pompadour. In 1967, he introduced a then little known Dolly Parton on his long-running television show. Also known as Mr. Grand Ole Opry, Wagoner has scored over 80 US Country singles from 1954–1983. He died from lung cancer on October 28, 2007.
1929, Born on this day, Buck Owens, American singer and guitarist, who scored twenty number-one hits on the Billboard country music charts, and pioneered what has come to be called the Bakersfield sound’a reference to Bakersfield, California. Died March 25th 2006.
1941, Born on this day, Craig Douglas, singer, 1959 UK No.1 single ‘Only Sixteen ‘plus nine other UK Top 40 hits.
1949, Born on this day, Mark Knopfler British songwriter, guitarist, singer with Dire Straits, (1985 US No.1 single ‘Money For Nothing’, 1986 UK No.2 single ‘Walk Of Life’, 1985 world-wide No.1 album ‘Brothers In Arms’). Knopfler has recorded and performed with many prominent musicians, including Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Emmylou Harris, Van Morrison, Steely Dan, Sting, and James Taylor.
1950, Born on this day, Ronald David Mael, Sparks, (1974 UK No.2 single ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’).
1951, Born on this day, August Darnell, singer, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, (1982 UK No.2 single ‘Annie I’m Not Your Daddy’).
1953, Born on this day, Jerry Speiser, Men At Work, (1983 UK & US No.1 single ‘Down Under’).
1954, Born on this day, Pat Metheny, jazz rock guitarist, worked with David Bowie and Gary Burton. Recorded film soundtrack albums
1958, Born on this day, Jurgen Dehmel, Nena, (1984 UK No.1 & US No.2 single ’99 Red Balloons’).
1961, Born on this day, Roy Hay guitar, vocals, Culture Club, (1983 UK No.1 & 1984 US No.1 single ‘Karma Chameleon’ plus seven other UK top 10 singles’).
1962, Born on this day, Bragi Olaffson, bass, The Sugarcubes, (1992 UK No.17 single ‘Hit’).
1963, Born on this day, Sir Mix-A-Lot, US rapper, (1992 US No.1 single ‘Baby Got Back’, a No.56 hit in the UK).
1968, Born on this day, Paul Tucker, Keyboards, Lighthouse Family, (1996 UK No.4 single ‘Lifted’ plus 9 other UK Top 40 singles).
1969, Born on this day, Tanita Tikaram, singer, songwriter, (1988 UK No.10 single ‘Good Tradition’).