May 12

Today In Music History

1958 : The Everly Brothers started a four-week run at No.1 in the US with ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’. Written by the husband and wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the track was recorded in just two takes.

1958 : The movie, “Let’s Rock”, with Paul Anka, Danny and the Juniors and The Royal Teens, opens.

1960 : On Frank Sinatra’s TV variety show, it’s the Welcome Home Elvis special to honor The King, who was recently discharged from The Army. The famous singers perform a medley of Love Me Tender and “Witchcraft” together.

1961 : The Beatles, in Hamburg, West Germany, signed a recording contract with producer Bert Kaempfert. That evening they played at The Top Ten Club, Reeperbahn, Hamburg.

1962 : Billboard Magazine reported that last year’s most-played jukebox record was ‘Big Bad John’ by Jimmy Dean. The second most-played was Chubby Checker’s ‘The Twist’.

1963 : Bob Dylan walked out of rehearsals for the US TV Ed Sullivan show after being told he couldn’t perform his song Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues due to it mocking the US military and segregation. CBS officials asked Dylan to substitute it for another song, but the singer reportedly said: ‘No, this is what I want to do. If I can’t play my song, I’d rather not appear on the show’.

1964 : The Beach Boys started a four week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Beach Boys Concert’, the group’s first US No.1.

1964 : Ray Charles’ “Busted” wins a Grammy as Best R&B Recording.

1965 : The Rolling Stones recorded ‘(I Can’t Get No), Satisfaction’ at RCA Hollywood studios. Keith Richards had come up with the guitar riff in the middle of the night a week earlier. It gave the band their first number 1 single in the US.

1967 : Pink Floyd appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, giving a special concert Games For May – Space Age Relaxation For The Climate Of Spring. This was reportedly the first show to include loudspeakers placed at the back of the hall to give a ‘sound in the round’, ie quadraphonic, effect. The sound system, developed by EMI technicians, was stolen after the show and not recovered for some years.

1967 : ‘Are You Experienced’, the debut album by Jimi Hendrix was released in the UK. Hendrix also played a gig at the Bluesville Club, Manor House in London on this day.

1968 : Jimi Hendrix was arrested by police on his way to Toronto for possession of hashish and heroin. Hendrix claimed the drugs had been planted on him.

1967 : Released on this day, Procol Harum – “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”

1967 : A British radio station debuts The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album in its entirety.

1968 : Brian Jones made his final live appearance with The Rolling Stones when they appeared at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley, England.

1971 : Rolling Stone Mick Jagger married Bianca Macias at St Tropez Town Hall. The guest list included the other members of the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills. The couple separated in 1977.

1971 : Jerry Lee Lewis is granted a divorce from Myra Gale Brown, who was the daughter of his bass-player cousin. She was just 13 when they wed.

1972 : Released on this day, The Rolling Stones – “Exile On Main Street”

1973 : Led Zeppelin started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with their fifth album “Houses Of The Holy”. The group’s third US No.1 album went on to spend 39 weeks on the US chart. Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.

1975 : Jefferson Starship gave a free concert in New York’s Central Park in front of 60,000 fans. The band and concert sponsor, WNEW-FM, were forced to pay $14,000 for cleaning up and damage done to the park after the event.

1977 : After being dropped by both EMI and A&M records in less than 6 months, Virgin records announced they had signed The Sex Pistols.

1975 : Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock meet at rehearsals for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar in Sydney, Australia. They would become good friends and form Air Supply.

1977 : The Sex Pistols sign their third recording contract in less than six months, with Virgin Records.

1977 : Led Zeppelin received the outstanding contribution to British music at the second Ivor Novello Awards held at the Grosvenor Hotel, London.

1981 : Debbie Harry announces that she’s going to record a solo album, while continuing to work with Blondie.

1981 : Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy with debts of over $1 million.

1981 : Van Halen kicked off their 82 date North American Fair Warning Tour at the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1984 : Lionel Richie started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Hello’ his second US solo No.1, also a No.1 in the UK.

1985 : Phil Collins kicked off the North American leg on his ‘No Jacket Required’ World Tour at the Centrum, Worcester, Massachusetts.

1986 : Joe Strummer of The Clash was banned from driving after being convicted of drink driving.

1996 : 17-year-old Bernadette O’Brien died the day after being injured ‘body surfing’ at a Smashing Pumpkins gig at The Point, Dublin.

2000 : Thieves stole the gates to Strawberry Fields the Merseyside landmark immortalized by The Beatles song. The 10′ high iron gates were later found at local scrap metal dealers in Liverpool.

2001 : American singer and TV presenter Perry Como died aged 88. He scored fourteen US No.1 singles, from 150 US chart hits and over 25 UK chart hits, including the single ‘Magic Moments’ and ‘Catch A Falling Star.’ Como was once the highest-paid performer in the history of television.

2004 : Barry and Robin Gibb were both presented with honorary degrees from Manchester University. They also picked up a posthumous award for their brother Barry. The brothers had once lived in Manchester, England.

2008 : Singer-songwriter Neil Young had a spider named after him. US university biologist Jason Bond discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and decided to name it after his favorite musician. Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi was found in Jefferson County, Alabama, in 2007.

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