| Thomas Edison made the first sound
recording, Mary Had a Little Lamb, in 1877. Paul McCartney had a top 40 hit with it in
1972, and Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded a Buddy Guy song also
titled, Mary Had a Little Lamb, for the Texas Flood
| Elvis Presley released his first number 1
hit, I Forgot to Remember to Forget / Mystery Train in 1955. It hit the top of the country charts
several months later and stayed there for 5 weeks. His first top 10 song was
Baby Lets Play House from the summer of 55. It was a number
5 country hit.
| Buddy Holly married Maria Elena Santiago at
his parents home in 1958.
Holly met her 2 months before while in New York. Along with The
Crickets, he had just played a small Summer Dance Party tour and was
getting ready to go back into the studio to record Reminiscing and
Come Back Baby.
| After Paul McCartney sat in on drums to
fill a void left by Tommy Moore, Pete Best joined The Beetles
(as they were called) in 1960. McCartney went back to rhythm guitar, as
Stu Sutcliffe played bass at this point. The group toured
Germany five days later.
| Little Stevie Wonder released his first
single in 1962. I Call It
Pretty Music (But the Old Folks Call It the Blues) (featuring Marvin
Gaye on drums), went unnoticed, while an album, A Tribute to Uncle
Ray, went ahead anyway later in the fall. Wonder would get his first
taste of success a year later with Fingertips Pt.
| Pete Best was told in 1962 by Brian Epstein to hand in his
Beatles credentials. George Martin had seen
play live with Best and wasnt impressed with the drummer.
Martin hired session man, Andy White to play on the bands
first song, Love Me Do, while Ringo Starr (an unknown to
Martin), shook the tambourine. The Love Me Do version with
Ringo on drums was the original U.K. single, while the White
version is found on the Please Please Me album. Both versions were
included on the 1992 CD single of Love Me Do.
| Mike Smith, lead singer of The Dave
Clark Five, suffered two broken ribs in 1965, when he was pulled off the stage by fans. The group
was in Chicago at the beginning of another short U.S. tour, while I Like it
Like That was tearing up the singles chart. Many more hits would follow
over the next two years.
| Paul Jones left Manfred Mann in
1966, just as Pretty Flamingo
was climbing the charts. He was replaced by Mike DAbo, who
would take over lead vocals on the next hit, The Mighty Quinn, a song
written by Bob Dylan. Mann played keyboards and would have
several more lead singers come and go over the next 30 years.
| Fleetwood Mac played their first gig in
1967 at the Windsor Jazz and
Blues Festival. Members at the time included Mick Fleetwood, Jeremy
Spencer, Peter Green and Bob Brunning. John McVie
replaced Brunning a month later. This is rather odd, since the
Mac part of the groups name was taken from McVie and he
wasnt even in the band yet!
| In 1968, The Rascals took a chance with a political
statement in the song, People Got to Be Free. They were rewarded with
their biggest hit ever this week. Previously, The (Young) Rascals had
hits with well crafted pop songs including Good Lovin,
Groovin, A Girl Like You, How Can I Be Sure and A
Beautiful Morning. But with the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King
Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, the group felt it had to respond. People Got to Be
Free entered the top 100 only six weeks after the shooting of Kennedy. The
follow up single, A Ray of Hope, was written for Ted Kennedy who sent
the band a thank-you note for their message. People Got to Be Free was
number 1 for 5 weeks and was the fifth biggest song of 1968.
| Woodstock the real one ended for
half a million people on August 17th, 1969. Performers included Crosby, Stills, Nash and
Young, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After, John
Sebastian, Sha Na Na and others. It was less violent than the one
held in 1999.
| Paul Anka was trying to enjoy a comeback in
1974, but feminists everywhere
were attacking him in the press. Ankas latest hit was titled,
(Youre) Having My Baby, and objections were raised about the use
of the word, My, when they felt it should have been,
Our. It didnt seem to matter though, as the song hit number 1
soon after it went gold on this date. It was Ankas first song to
hit the top in 15 years.
| Keyboardist Patrick Moraz replaced Rick
Wakeman in Yes in 1974. The change would last 3 years, with the band
releasing only one album, Relayer, in that time. Other group members
issued solo albums in the following years, until Wakeman returned for
the next Yes album, Going for the One.
| Peter Gabriel announced in 1975 that he was leaving Genesis.
The first Genesis box set focuses on the Gabriel years. A second
box will cover the Phil Collins years. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
was the last Genesis album that featured
| Elvis Presley was found dead at Graceland
in 1977, on August
16th. He was 42. It had been five years since Presley had had
a top 10 hit with the number 2 song, Burning Love. His last U.S. number
1 was the excellent track, Suspicious Minds, with its false
| Lionel Richie and Diana Ross teamed
up to bring us Endless Love, the song that began a 9 week hold on the
number 1 position this week in 1981. It was written for the film starring Brooke Shields,
but Richie and Ross had difficulty arranging time to record their
vocals. Endless Love was completed at 5:00 a.m. at a Reno studio, after
one of Dianas concerts. Richie was dividing his time
between the next Commodores album and work with Kenny
| The new Moody Blues album, Long Distance
Voyager, hit the platinum level in sales in 1981. The bad news was that it relied on the
disco-flavoured, sell-out track, Gemini Dream. It was their first major
hit since 1973 when Im Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
peaked at number 12 in the U.S. Another single from Long Distance
Voyager, The Voice, also did well for the group from Birmingham,
| Lionel Richie closed the Olympic Games in
Los Angeles with the help of 200 dancers in 1984. He sang All Night Long, and added an extra
verse, as 2.6 billion people watched on their TV sets. The song had been a
number 1 hit the previous fall, and Richie followed it onto the charts
with four more top 10 songs from his Cant Slow Down
| Canadian pouter, Corey Hart, had his
biggest hit when Never Surrender peaked at number 3 in the U.S. in
1985. He had followed up his 1984
hit, Sunglasses at Night, with It Aint Enough, before
returning with Never Surrender, Boy in the Box, and a few years
later, Cant Help Falling in Love.
| Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono were
both outbid in 1985 for ownership
of the ATV music publishing catalogue. Part of the catalogue consisted of the
rights to more than 250 songs written by McCartney and John
Lennon. So much for the Pipes of Peace that McCartney and the
new owner had shared only two years before.
| Legend Curtis Mayfield had an on-stage
accident at a 1990 New York
concert he was participating in. When a lighting structure fell on him it left
him paralyzed from the neck down. Mayfield had hits in the early 1970s
with Freddies Dead and Superfly.
| Paul Simon gave a concert in Central Park,
New York in 1991. Three quarters
of a million people showed up for the free performance, which was released
later in the year as Paul Simons Concert in the Park. The concert
was also shown live on TV.
| Lead singer of The Platters, Tony
Williams, died in 1992 of
emphysema at the age of 64. He sang most of the groups hits up until 1961
when he was replaced by Sonny Turner. The group was first successful
when they re-recorded Only You for Mercury Records in 1955. After that,
hits like The Great Pretender, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,
Twilight Time, My Prayer and The Magic Touch just kept on
| Neil Diamond played the first of six nights
at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1992. All shows were sold out, as Diamond was
touring to promote the recently released, Greatest Hits 1966-1992. The
double CD package unfortunately contained many live recordings. Songs like
Sweet Caroline, Holly Holy, Cracklin Rosie, I Am
I Said and Song Sung Blue were not the original hits. Diamond
would bring in over $40 million from touring that year, second highest in
the music industry.
| .38 Special remembers August
12th very well for a couple of reasons. In 1999, the group recorded their Live at
Sturgis album at a biker festival, and released it later the same year.
Unfortunately, in 2000, the band
was performing outdoors in Mancos, California, on the same date when the wind
got 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.
And just in case, the Live at Sturgis album was released in 2002 on
DVD-Audio on August 13th.
|Buck Owens (1929), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits, 1949), Kid Creole (1950) and Pat Metheny (1954) began the Walk of
|Its Hard to Say exactly what time Dave
Baby Cortez (1938) and Dan Fogelberg (1951) were born, but it was on this day.
|Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts, 1940) and David Crosby (1941) felt their first Summer Breeze
on this day.
|Oscar Peterson (1925), Bobby Helms (1933) and songwriter extraordinaire, Jimmy Webb
(1946), were not born in
Galveston, but it was on this day.
|There was much Celebration when Al Hibbler
(1915), Ketty Lester
(1934), Barbara George
(1942), Barry Hay
(Golden Earring, 1948), J.T. Taylor (Kool & The Gang,
1953) and Madonna
(1958) were born.
|Mark Dinning (1933), Belinda Carlisle (1958) and Colin James (1964) got to realize that Heaven is a Place On Earth
when they arrived.
|Johnny Preston (1939) and Patrick Swayze (1952) were first lowered into the Cradle of Love on
|Kyu Sakamoto was killed in a plane crash in
|Joe Tex died of a heart attack in 1982, five days after his 49th
|William Lee Conley Big Bill Broonzy
died of cancer in 1958.
Tony Williams (The Platters) died in 1992, having suffered from diabetes and
|Norman Petty died in 1984. He recorded Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison
in his own New Mexico recording studio in the late 50s.
|Blues legend, Robert Johnson, was poisoned in
1938, and on the same day
Elvis Presley died in 1977
of heart failure.
|Paul Williams (The Temptations) shot
himself in 1973.
|Former guitarist for Rory Storm and The
Hurricanes, Johnny Byrne, died in 1999 at the age of 59.