Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Jan 31st

This Day In Rock History: Jan 31st


  • 1957, Decca Records announced that Bill Haley & His Comets, ‘Rock Around the Clock’ had sold over a million copies in the UK, mostly on 10inch 78’s. The version of ‘Rock Around the Clock’ that was used in the movie Blackboard Jungle differs from the hit single version. The difference is in the two solo breaks.
  • 1953, Perry Como was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes’. The American singer and television personalities first hit – Como was a seventh son of a seventh son.
  • 1963, Two former Shadows members, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan were at No.1 on the UK single charts with ‘Diamonds’.
  • 1967, The Beatles spent a second day at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, England to complete filming for the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ promotional video. The film was shot in colour, for the benefit of the US market, since UK television was still broadcasting only in black and white. Taking time out from filming John Lennon bought a 1843 poster from an antiques shop in Surrey which provided him with most the lyrics for The Beatles song ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite’.
  • 1969, Led Zeppelin played the first of two nights at The Fillmore East, New York City during the band’s first North American tour. Porter’s Popular Preachers opened the night, then Led Zeppelin took the stage. It is alleged that Zeppelin’s show was so powerful and got such an enthusiastic audience that headliners Iron Butterfly refused to follow them.
  • 1970, American blues musician Slim Harpo died of a heart attack while recording in London aged 46. Had the 1966 US No.16 single ‘Baby Scratch My Back’. The Rolling Stones, Pretty Things, Yardbirds and Them all covered his songs.
  • 1970, The Jackson Five went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Want You Back’. The song was originally written for Gladys Knight & The Pips and was the first of four No.1’s for the group. It made No.2 in the UK.
  • 1976, ABBA knocked Queen from the UK No.1 position on the UK singles chart with ‘Mamma Mia.’ Queen’s single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’  had enjoyed a nine week run at the top of the charts, by coincidence, Queen’s single contains the famous “mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go” line.
  • 1978, Greg Herbert saxophone player with Blood Sweat & Tears died of an accidental drug overdose in Amsterdam, Holland aged 30. Blood, Sweat & Tears won a Grammy Award in 1969 for Album of the Year.
  • 1981, Blondie went to No.1 on the US singles hart with ‘The Tide Is High’, the group’s third US No.1, also a No.1 in the UK.
  • 1984, Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’ entered the UK charts at No.4. The track which was released after Queen’s recording and touring hiatus of over a year spent eleven weeks in the chart, peaking at No.2.
  • 1987, Paul Simon went back to No.1 on the UK album chart with Graceland the album stayed on the chart for a total 101 weeks. ‘Graceland’ later won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, while the title song won the 1988 Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
  • 1990, The Stone Roses were granted conditional bail by Wolverhampton Magistrates court after the band had trashed their record company’s offices.
  • 1999, US dance music producer Armand Van Helden went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘You Don’t Know Me’. Helden also had a No.1 with the remix of the Tori Amos track ‘Professional Widow’.
  • 2000, The Strokes played their first ever UK show when they appeared at The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth.
  • 2003, Robbie Williams topped a chart based on UK album sales from the past 5 years. The former Take That singer had sold 9.7 million albums in Britain, an average of more than 5,000 every day. The Corrs were in second place with 5.8m sales, Westlife in third with 5.1, Madonna in fourth with 5m and The Beatles in fifth with 4.7m.
  • 2007, Jim Morrison was enlisted to help fight global warming more than 35 years after his death. ‘Woman in the Window’, a previously unreleased poem written and recorded by The Doors frontman shortly before he died in 1971 was being set to music and used to publicise the Global Cool campaign.
  • 2008, Natasha Bedingfield entered the US chart at number three with her album Pocketful of Sunshine, equaling the record set by soul singer Sade in having the highest-ever US chart debut for a UK-signed female. The British singer sold 50,000 copies of the record in its first week of release.
  • 2009, Dewey Martin drummer with The Dillards and Buffalo Springfield died aged 68. The Canadian musician had the 1967 US No.17 hit single ‘For What It’s Worth’ with Buffalo Springfield as well as working with The Monkees. In 1971, Martin retired from the music industry to become a car mechanic.
  • 2009, David Gilmour appeared at Coldfall Primary School, Muswell Hill, London, during a charity show with The Seat Of The Pants Band. The black-tie dinner dance, at which Bob Hoskins, Suggs from Madness and comedian Les Dennis also appeared, raised over £50,000 for a cancer charity.
  • 2015, R&B rock and roll singer and songwriter Don Covay passed away at the age of 78. His most successful recordings include ‘Mercy, Mercy’ (1964), ‘See-Saw’ (1965), and ‘It’s Better to Have (and Don’t Need)’ (1974). He also wrote ‘Pony Time’, a US No.1 hit for Chubby Checker, and ‘Chain of Fools’, a Grammy-winning song for Aretha Franklin.

Born on this day:

  • 1946, Born on this day, Terry Kath, guitarist with Chicago who had the 1976 UK & US No.1 single with ‘If You Leave Me Now’. Kath accidentally shot himself dead on January 23rd 1978. His last words were, “Don’t worry it’s not loaded” as he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The guitarist and singer was killed instantly.
  • 1951, Born on this day, Phil Manzanera, guitarist with Roxy Music who scored the 1972 UK No.4 single ‘Virginia Plain’ plus 15 other UK Top 40 singles. In 2006 Manzanera co-produced David Gilmour’s No.1 album album ‘On An Island’.
  • 1952, Born on this day, Curley Smith, drummer with American group Jo Jo Gunne who had the 1972 UK No.6 & US No. 27 single ‘Run Run Run.’
  • 1954, Born on this day, Adrian Vandenburg, Dutch guitarist who was a member of Whitesnake who had the 1987 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Here I Go Again’. Also a member of Manic Eden.
  • 1956, Born on this day, John Lydon, (Johnny Rotten,) singer with the Sex Pistols who had the 1977 UK No.2 single ‘God Save The Queen’ and 1977 UK No.1 album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’. Formed Public Image Ltd who scored the 1983 UK No.5 single ‘This Is Not A Love Song’.
  • 1961, Born on this day, Lloyd Cole, English singer, songwriter, who formed Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Had the 1985 UK No.19 single ‘Brand New Friend’, from their debut album ‘Rattlesnakes’ and as a solo artist the 1995 UK No.24 ‘Like Lovers Do’. An avid golfer, he is known for playing concerts in towns suspiciously close to famous golf courses.
  • 1964, Born on this day, Jeff Hanneman, guitarist with American thrash metal band Slayer who released the 1986 album ‘Reign in Blood’. Hanneman died on 2nd May 2013 at the age of 49. Since 2011, Hanneman had been suffering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that he is believed to have contracted from a spider bite.
  • 1966, Born on this day, Al Jaworski, bassist with English group Jesus Jones who had the 1990 US No.2 hit with ‘Right Here Right Now’ and the 1991 UK No.7 single ‘International Bright Young Thing’.
  • 1967, Born on this day, Chad Channing, Nirvana’s first drummer who left the band in 1990. Has since worked with The Methodists, East of the Equator and Redband.
  • 1970, Born on this day, Minnie Driver, actress, singer, songwriter who had the 2004 album ‘Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket’. Was once a member of UK band Puff, Rocks and Brown who were signed to Island records.
  • 1981, Born on this day, Justin Timberlake, singer with *NSYNC who had the 2000 US No.1 single ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ and the 1999 UK No.5 single ‘I Want You Back’. As a solo artist scored the 2003 UK No.2 & US No.3 single ‘Cry Me A River’. His second solo album ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ was released in 2006 with the US No.1 hit singles ‘SexyBack’, ‘My Love’ and ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around.’ With his first two albums, Timberlake has sold over fourteen million albums worldwide. Timberlake has his own record label called Tennman Records. He also has an acting career, having starred in films such as The Social Network, Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits.
  • 1987, Born on this day, Marcus Mumford, English musician, best known as the lead singer of Mumford & Sons. Their second studio album ‘Babel’ released in 2012 debuted at number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200. It became the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK.


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