On this day, April 12 In Music History

On this day, April 12 In Music History


On this day, April 12 in 1954 – At the Pythian Temple studios in New York City, Bill Haley & His Comets recorded ‘Rock Around the Clock’. A tune that many considered it as a “rebellion” song back in the 50s. It also helped to launch rock and roll as a genre into the mainstream.

1961 – At the third annual Grammy Awards, Ray Charles won a Grammy for Best Male Vocal with ‘Georgia On My Mind’. He also won three other awards in different categories.

1963 – 21 year old Bob Dylan played his first major solo concert at the Town Hall in New York City. Interestingly, in 1961 the day before, he made his first live performance as an artist.

1966 William Jan Berry of the rock duo Jan and Dean suffered almost fatal injuries in a car crash. He crashed his Corvette into a parked truck which left him paralyzed with serious brain damage. Eventually he managed to walk and perform again, but it took him a decade to fully recover.

1968 – Pink Floyd released Richard Wright‘s song called ‘It Would Be So Nice’. Also their fourth single in the UK.

15 Pink Floyd Facts You May Have Not Known

1969 – With ‘Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In’The Fifth Dimension scored their first number one single in the US. Also a solid success in the UK where it nearly missed the Top 10, reaching #11.

1975 – After his first on-stage “retirement” in 1973, David Bowie ”retired” for the second time in his career. He told the Playboy Magazine that he was tired of rock ‘n’ roll and “didn’t want to be some useless rock singer”. But we all know how that worked out…he continued making records literally until his death.

1975 – With his single ‘Philadelphia Freedom’Elton John topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the fourth time.

Elton John – Philadelphia Freedom

1979 – Mickey Thomas became the new lead vocalist for Jefferson Starship because founding member Marty Balin left the band. Before joining Jefferson Starship, Mickey played with the Elvin Bishop group.

1983 – American alternative rock band R.E.M released their debut album Murmur through I.R.S. Records.

1984 – Canadian rock band Rush released their tenth studio album Grace Under Pressure’ through Anthem Records.

1989 – Country musician Garth Brooks released his eponymous debut album through Capital Nashville Records. The LP peaked at No.2 on the Top Country Album chart and No.13 on the Billboard 200. It also managed to sell over ten million copies.

1997 – With ‘I Believe I Can Fly’R. Kelly started a three week run at number one on the UK singles chart. Also a big hit in the US where it peaked at No.2.

1999 – Country musician Lecil Travis Martin also known as Boxcar Willie died at the age of 67 from leukemia.

1999 – American boy band the Backstreet Boys released their now-signature song ‘I Want It That Way’. The song topped the charts in more than 25 countries all around the world.

2005 – Through Island Records, Mariah Carey released her tenth studio album called ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’.

2012 – Saxophone player Andrew Love died at the age of 70 after a decade long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Best known for being a member of The Memphis Horns.


1917 – Traditional pop and swing musician Helen Forrest Fogel was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Best known as the ‘girl singer’ for popular swing era musicians and bands such as Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Harry James

1932 – Singer, ukulele player and musical archivist Herbert Khaury also known as Tiny Tim was born in Manhattan, New York City.

1940 – Pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock was born on this day, April 12 in music history.

1944 – Steppenwolf‘s frontman, songwriter and guitarist John Kay was born on this day, April 12 in Sovetsk, Germany.

1947 – Founding member of the disco group The Village PeopleAlexander Briley was born in Harlem, New York City.

1950 – Singer-songwriter, guitarist and actor David Cassidy was born on this day, April 12 in New York City.

1957 – Country music singer and multi-instrumentalist Vincent ‘Vince’ Gill was born on this day in Norman, Oklahoma. Also known as the frontman of country rock band Pure Prairie League.

1958 – English guitarist William Sergeant was born on this day, April 12 in music history. Best known as member of Echo & the Bunnymen with whom he plays since the formation of the band in 1978.

1962 – Lead singer and guitarist of rock band EverclearArt Alexakis was born on this day in Los Angeles, California.

1964 – American singer and songwriter Amy Ray was born on this day, April 12 in music history. Best known from the folk rock duo Indigo Girls, but also for her rich solo career.

1967 – Lead singer of the electronic music band Saint EtienneSarah Cracknell was born on this day in Chelmsford, England.

1970 – American singer-songwriter and rapper Nicholas Lofton Hexum was born on this day, April 12 in Madison, Wisconsin. Also known as the vocalist and guitarist of alternative rock band 311.

1978 – Founding member and bassist for ColdplayGuy Berryman was born on this day, April 12 in music history.

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