Thursday, May 12, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: May 12

1958:  The movie Let's Rock, starring Paul Anka, Danny & the Juniors and the Royal Teens opened to audiences.

1960:  Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley appeared on Sinatra's Welcome Home Elvis television special on ABC.  Elvis sang "Witchcraft" while Sinatra sang Elvis's hit "Love Me Tender".

1962:  Billboard announced that "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean was the top jukebox song of 1961.
1962:  "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp was the top R&B song for a third week.
1962:  Mr. Acker Bilk continued to hold down the #1 spot on the Easy Listening chart for a fourth week with "Stranger On The Shore".
1963:  Bob Dylan walked out of rehearsals for The Ed Sullivan Show after CBS censors told him he could not perform "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues".

1964:  "The Days Of Wine And Roses" was named Best Song at the Grammy Awards.  The great movie should be required viewing for all pre-teens.
1967:  Pink Floyd played Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, experimenting with quadrophonic sound.
1967:  Radio London debuted Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety.

1967:  Archie Bell of the Drells was drafted into the United States military for a tour of Vietnam.
1971:  Jerry Lee Lewis divorced his cousin Myra.
1971:  Mick Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macias in St. Tropez.  Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills and the other members of the Stones were in attendance. 
1972:  The Rolling Stones released the album Exile on Main Street on Rolling Stones Records.  (Note:  some websites claim the album was released on April 12.  They are a month off, according to 'Mojo' magazine and other reliable sources.)
1973:  "Daniel" hit #1 for Elton John on the Adult Contemporary chart.

                             Dobie Gray could only reach #5 amidst stiff competition...

1973:  It was one of the best times for music in rock history.  "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree" spent a fourth week at #1 for Dawn, with Stevie Wonder moving up to #2 with "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life".  Sweet's "Little Willy" remained at #3, War was at 4 with "The Cisco Kid" and Dobie Gray had #5 with "Drift Away".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel, the Edgar Winter Group's classic "Frankenstein" at #7, Vicki Lawrence at #8 with her former #1 "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia", "Daniel" entering the Top 10 at #9 for Elton John and Donny Osmond at #10 with "The Twelfth Of Never".

1975:  10cc released the single "I'm Not In Love".  We prefer to only feature the long version.
1975:  Jefferson Starship gave a free concert in New York City's Central Park to commemorate the group's 10th anniversary.
1975:  Elite guitarist Brian May of Queen collapsed onstage after a performance at the Uris Theatre in New York City.  The group had to cancel the rest of their tour, and May flew back to London on May 16.  He was later diagnosed with hepatitis.  (Note:  some websites report that May collapsed on May 11, and several say it was May 16, 1980.  The latter couldn't be more wrong; the correct date is May 12, 1975, according to the book 'The Queen Chronology:  The Recording & Release History of the Band' by Patrick Lemieux and Adam Unger.) 

1977:  The song "Hotel California" by the Eagles was certified Gold.
1979:  Jefferson Starship gave a free concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, introducing new lead singer Mickey Thomas.

1979:  "Love Is The Answer", the timeless song from England Dan & John Ford Coley, remained at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1979:  Peaches & Herb remained at the top of the R&B chart for a third week with "Reunited".
1983:  Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy.
1984:  "Hello" spent a sixth week at #1 for Lionel Richie on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1984:  "Hello" also hit #1 on the Popular chart, taking down the great Phil Collins song "Against All Odds".  The Thompson Twins had #3 "Hold Me Now" while Deniece Williams was climbing fast with "Let's Hear It For The Boy", another single from the movie Footloose.  The rest of the Top 10:  Rick Springfield's rocker "Love Somebody", Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson bragged about their conquests at #6 with "To All The Girls I've Loved Before", the Cars held steady at 7 with "You Might Think", "Footloose" was #8 for Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry's first solo hit "Oh Sherrie" entered the top 10 at #9 and Cyndi Lauper had #10--"Time After Time".

1985:  Lionel Richie earned an honorary Doctor of Music degree from his Alma mater of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
1989:  Ron Wilson, whose drumming you hear on the great instrumental "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris, died of a brain aneurysm at age 44.  (Note:  some websites report that Wilson died on May 7, while others say he died May 19.  While sadly there are no credible sources for his date of death, our best information indicates that Ron died May 12.)
1990:  Former Eagles members Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmidt performed together at a rock and roll convention in Los Angeles.
1990:  Sinead O'Connor topped the chart for a fourth week with "Nothing Compares 2 (sic) U" (sic).

                                                 Ummm--perhaps Man of the Century?

1992:  Paul Simon and Billy Joel met with the great Mikhail Gorbachev, who gave so many people freedom.  Now, our sympathies are with the Russian people who must endure yet another poor leader in Putin.

1994:  Elton John released the single "Can You Feel The Love Tonight".
1995:  Peter Tork of the Monkees made an appearance on the ABC-TV show Boy Meets World.
1998:  Garbage released their second album Version 2.0(Note:  many websites report the album was released May 11, but according to 'Billboard' and 'MTV', the correct date is May 12.)
2000:  Thieves stole the gates to the famous children's home Strawberry Fields in Liverpool, England.  A scrap dealer later saved the day by turning them in.

2001:  The great Perry Como, whose recording and television career spanned 50 years and whose popularity spanned generations, died shortly before his 89th birthday in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida.
2002:  Dionne Warwick was arrested at Miami International Airport after baggage screeners found 11 marijuana cigarettes inside her lipstick container.

2003:  The great jazz artist and pianist Diana Krall confirmed her engagement to Elvis Costello.
2004:  John Whitehead of the duo McFadden & Whitehead ("Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now", the platinum single from 1979) was shot dead while fixing his car in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by two unknown gunmen.  He was 55.
2006:  Guns N' Roses played at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, previewing six songs from their upcoming Chinese Democracy album.
2011:  Stevie Wonder received an honorary degree of fine arts from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Born This Day:

1929:  Burt Bacharach, who wrote "Close To You" for the Carpenters, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" for B.J. Thomas, "Arthur's Theme" for Christopher Cross, "Heartlight" by Neil Diamond, "The Look Of Love" and "Wishin' And Hopin'" by Dusty Springfield, "What The World Needs Now Is Love" by Jackie DeShannon, "One Less Bell To Answer" by the 5th Dimension, "Baby, It's You" by the Shirelles, and many of Dionne Warwick's hits (including "I Say A Little Prayer", "Do You Know The Way To San Jose", and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", "Walk On By"), was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
1935:  Steve Knight, keyboardist of Mountain, was born in New York City; died January 19, 2013 from complications of Parkinson's disease in Riverdale, New York.

1942:  Billy Swan, who gave us "I Can Help" in 1974, was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri .
1944:  James Purify (of James & Bobby Purify--"I'm Your Puppet") was born in Pensacola, Florida.
1946:  Ian McLagan, keyboardist of Small Faces and Faces, was born in Hounslow, Middlesex, England; died December 3, 2014 in Austin, Texas, a day after he suffered a stroke.  (Note:  the newspaper 'The New York Times' reports that McLagan was born in London, and several websites report that he was born in Hounslow, London.  McLagan was born in Hounslow, Middlesex, England, according to 'Billboard' magazine and the English newspapers 'The Independent' and 'The Telegraph'.  Hounslow is now a Borough of London located in the county of Greater London, but at the time of McLagan's birth, Hounslow was located in the county of Middlesex.  Even 'The New York Times", which is nearly infallible, is not as accurate as 'Inside The Rock Era' when it comes to music news.) 

Winwood joined the Spencer Davis Group at age 15...

1948:  Steve Winwood, member of Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith and Traffic and huge solo star, was born in Handsworth, Staffordshire, England.  (Note:  some websites list Winwood's birthplace as Birmingham, England, while others say he was born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England, and others that say he was born in Great Barr, Birmingham, England, or Handsworth, West Midlands, England.  Steve was born in Handsworth, according to the book 'Encyclopedia of Pop Music Aliases, 1950-2000' by Bob Leszckak and other reputable sources.  However, Handsworth is not in the county of Birmingham, and the county of West Midlands did not exist until the Local Government Act of 1974, 26 years after Winwood was born.  No, at the time of his birth, Handsworth was part of the county of Staffordshire, and no official birth certificate will list the county as either Birmingham or West Midlands.)

1950:  Billy Squier was born in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts.
1958:  Eric Singer (real name Eric Mensinger), drummer for Kiss, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1961:  Billy Duffy, guitarist and songwriter of the Cult, was born in Hulme, Manchester, England.
1967:  Paul D'Amour, bass guitarist of Tool, was born in Spokane, Washington.

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