Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Feb 12th

This Day In Rock History: Feb 12th


  • 1956, Dean Martin was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Memories Are Made Of This’. The American actor, comedian, singer and TV hosts biggest hit. Also covered by The Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra and The Driffters.
  • 1961, The Miracles’ ‘Shop Around’ became Motown Record’s first million-selling single. It was also the label’s first No.1 hit on Billboard’s R&B singles chart. In the following ten years, The Miracles would have six more million sellers.
  • 1965, Pye Records announced that they’d signed ‘the British Bob Dylan’, when they added Donovan to the label. The Scottish singer-songwriter produced a series of hit albums and singles between 1965 and 1970 and became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones  and The Beatles. He influenced John Lennon when he taught him a finger-picking guitar style in 1968.
  • 1969, ‘(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice’ by Amen Corner was at No.1 on the UK singles chart, the group’s only UK No.1. The song was first offered to The Tremeloes as a potential single, who rejected it.
  • 1970, John Lennon performed ‘Instant Karma!’  on BBC TV’s Top Of The Pops, becoming the first Beatle to have appeared on the show since 1966. Lennon wrote, recorded, and mixed his new single, all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Lennon later stated, “I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we’re putting it out for dinner.”
  • 1972, Al Green went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Let’s Stay Together’, his only US chart topper. It was ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Tina Turner had a hit with the song in 1984.
  • 1976, Eddie and the Hot Rods appeared at The Marquee Club London, supported by The Sex Pistols who were playing their first ever London show.
  • 1977, The Police recorded their first single, ‘Fall Out’ for £150 ($255) at Pathway Studios, London, England.
  • 1977, Pink Floyd released their tenth studio album Animals in the US, where it reached No.3 in the charts. The album’s cover image, a pig floating between two chimneys on Battersea Power Station, was conceived by bassist Roger Waters and realised by long-time design and photographic collaborators Hipgnosis.
  • 1989, Aretha Franklin lost a court case against Broadway producer Ashton Springer, who sued for $1 million (£0.58 million) when Aretha failed to turn up for rehearsals for the stage show Sing Mahalia Sing, blaming her fear of flying on the non appearance.
  • 1995, Van Halen went to No.1 on the US chart with ‘Balance’ their tenth studio album which went on to sell more than 3 million copies in the US.
  • 1997, David Bowie received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • 2000, US blues singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins died aged 70. A Golden Gloves boxing champion at 16, he was married nine times, spent two years in jail, was temporary blinded by one of his flaming props on stage in 1976. He recorded ‘I Put A Spell On You’ in 1956, covered by The Animals and Nina Simone.
  • 2003, Former The Doors drummer John Densmore took out legal action against The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger for breach of contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition. The band had reformed with Ex- Cult singer Ian Astbury and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. Densmore said “It shouldn’t be called The Doors if it’s someone other than Jim Morrison singing.”
  • 2005, The Class 47 locomotive 47828 was named after Clash frontman Joe Strummer at a ceremony in Bristol. The diesel train, owned by Cotswold Rail, was named after the singer/guitarist who died, aged 50, in 2002.
  • 2007, During a press conference at West Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go club Sting confirmed that The Police were getting back together. The band were set to kick off a world tour on May 28 in Vancouver, Canada, supported by Sting’s son Joe Sumner’s band, Fiction Plane.
  • 2008, Ronald Isley’s appeal against a three-year jail term for tax fraud was rejected by a US court. The 65-year-old singer of the Isley Brothers argued against being imprisoned in an Indiana jail on the grounds of age and poor health. The court heard he cashed royalty cheques belonging to his brother O’Kelly, who died in 1996 and spent millions of dollars made from undeclared performances on a yacht and two homes. Isley was ordered to pay more than $3.1m (£1.62m) to the US tax service for “pathological” evasion.
  • 2009, A full frontal nude photo of Madonna taken in 1979 before she became famous, sold at auction for $37,500. The black and white picture was taken at a time when Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was a 20-year-old dancer trying to make ends meet in New York.
  • 2014, It was reported that Rock music overtook pop in UK album sales during 2013, winning a bigger share of the market for the first time in five years. Rod Stewart’s ‘Time’ was the best-selling album to be classified as rock by the Official Charts Company, followed by Arctic Monkeys and Bastille. In total rock accounted for 33.8% of album sales, compared with 31% for pop, said industry body the BPI. However, pop records still held the lead in single sales.
  • 2015, Steve Strange, lead singer of 1980s pop band Visage, died aged 55 following a heart attack in hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. His band, Visage, formed in 1979 and their breakthrough single, ‘Fade To Grey’, peaked at No.8 in the UK in 1981.

Born on this day:

  • 1935, Born on this day, African-American singer and songwriter Gene McDaniels, who scored the 1961 US No.3 hit ‘A Hundred Pounds Of Clay’. Gene also wrote Roberta Flack’s 1974 No.1 hit ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ which won a Grammy Award. McDaniels died on July 29, 2011.
  • 1939, Born on this day, Ray Manzarek, keyboards, with The Doors, who had the 1967 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Light My Fire’ and the 1971 single ‘Riders On The Storm’. Manzarek died on 20th May 2013, he had suffered from bile duct cancer for many years. He formed the band with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
  • 1945, Born on this day, Joe Schermie, bass, Three Dog Night, who had the 1970 UK No.3 & US No.1 single ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’.
  • 1949, Born on this day, Stanley Knight, from American group Black Oak Arkansas, who had the 70’s US No.1 radio hit single ‘Jim Dandy To The Rescue’.
  • 1950, Born on this day, Steve Hackett, guitarist who had the, 1974 UK No.21 single ‘I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe’, with Genesis who he quit in 1977 for solo work.
  • 1951, Born on this day, Vincent James, Sweet Sensation, who had the 1974 UK No.1 single with ‘Sad Sweet Dreamer’.
  • 1952, Born on this day, Grammy Award winning American singer and songwriter Michael McDonald, who with The Doobie Brothers had the 1979 US No.1 single ‘What A Fool Believes’, and the 1993 UK No.7 single ‘Long Train Runnin’. He began his career singing back-up vocals with Steely Dan.
  • 1959, Born on this day, Neil Conti, from English group Prefab Sprout who had the 1988 UK No.7 single ‘The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
  • 1959, Born on this day, Per Gessle, guitar, vocals, with Swedish group Roxette, who had the 1990 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘It Must Of Been Love’.
  • 1966, Born on this day, Gary Whelan, drummer with Manchester group Happy Mondays, who had the 1990 UK No.5 single ‘Step On’.
  • 1966, Born on this day, Paul Crook, American guitarist, who worked with Meat Loaf, Anthrax and Sebastian Bach.
  • 1968, Born on this day, Chynna Phillips, singer with Wilson Phillips, who had the 1990 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘Hold On’. Phillips is the daughter of Michelle Gilliam, from Mamas And The Papas.
  • 1970, Born on this day, Jim Creeggan, bassist with Canadian group Barenaked Ladies who had the 1998 US No.1 & UK No.5 single ‘One Week’.
  • 1978, Born on this day, Brian Chase, drummer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, (2006 UK No. 18 single ‘Gold Lion’).
  • 1981, Born on this day, Lisa Hannigan, Irish singer with Damien Rice. Appeared on his 2003 album ‘O’ featuring the single ‘Cannonball.’


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