On This Day, August 12 in Music History


On this day August 12 in 1940 – The Will Bradley Trio recorded ‘Down The Road a Piece’, a song that eventually became a Top 10 hit later that year.

1960 – Pete Best became the new drummer for The Silver Beetles replacing Norman Chapman who had to serve in the British armed forces. The band traveled to Hamburg, Germany the next day and also changed their name to The Beatles.

1966 – With a show at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, Illinois, The Beatles kicked off their third and last North American concert tour.

1967 – At the Jazz and Blues festival in Windsor, England, Fleetwood Mac performed live for the first time. The lineup consisted of Mick Fleetwood on drums, Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer on guitar and Bob Brunning on bass.

1968 – Led Zeppelin played their first studio rehearsal session. Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Jimmy Page recorded a cover version of ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’ at a studio in west London. However, the band’s name at the time was New Yardbirds which shortly afterwards changed to the now iconic one.

10 Interesting Led Zeppelin Facts

1970 – In front of 10,000 people at the Harvard Stadium, Janis Joplin made her last live appearance. Only two months later on October 4 she died of a drug overdose at the age of 27.

1972 – With the title track of their fifth album ‘School’s Out’Alice Cooper topped the singles chart in the UK. Also a hit in the US where it peaked at No.7.

10 Facts About Alice Cooper

1974 – English supergroup Bad Company released ‘Can’t Get Enough’ on this day August 12. A single from their self-titled debut album. The song eventually climbed to the No.5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

1978 – With ‘Three Times A LadyThe Commodores scored their first number one single in the US. The song was written by Lionel Richie and it also reached No.1 in the UK.

The Commodores – Three Times A Lady

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1984 – Lionel Richie was the closing act at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He performed ‘All Night Long’ before saying farewell to one of the biggest sporting events on the planet until 1988. Apparently over 2.6 billion people watched his performance in front of their TVs.

1985 – Japanese singer and actor Kyu Sakamoto died in an airplane crash at the age of 43. Best known for his hit song Ue o Muite Arukō’ / ‘Sukiyaki’ which was a worldwide hit in 1963.

1985 – Singer-songwriter Neil Young released his 14th studio album ‘Old Ways’ on this day August 12 in music history.

1989 Richard Marx took the top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Right Here Waiting’. It was also a chart topper in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada that year.

1991 – Heavy metal band Metallica released their eponymous fifth studio album, also known as ‘The Black Album’.

WATCH: Metallica perform in front of 1 million people in Moscow

1992 – American composer and music theorist John Cage died on this day August 12 aged 79 after suffering a stroke.

1994 – 25 years since the first Woodstock festival, Woodstock 2 / Woodstock ’94 was held in Saugerties, New York. The festival was a massive success with an estimated attendance of over 500,000 people.

1995 – Hip hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony started a two-week run at No.1 on the US Billboard 200 chart with their second studio album ‘E. 1999 Eternal’.

1997 – American blues guitarist Luther Allison died on this day August 12, aged 57 after a long battle with cancer. Best known for his work with Howlin’ Wolf and Freddie King.

2006 – Former ‘Destiny’s Child’ member LeToya Luckett topped the US Albums chart with her self-titled debut album ‘LeToya’.

2007 – With her debut album ‘Made of Bricks’Kate Nash topped the UK Albums chart on this day August 12 in music history.

2010 – Founding member and drummer for Little FeatRichie Hayward died aged 64 due to liver cancer.

2015 – At the age of 66, Billy Joel became a father for the second time after his wife Alexis Roderick gave birth to their daughter.


1926 – American R&B singer-songwriter Joe Jones was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on this day August 12 in music history. Best known for his Top 3 hit ‘You Talk Too Much’.

1927 – Country music singer Porter Wagoner was born on this day in West Plains, Missouri. He introduced Dolly Parton to the world on his TV show in 1967.

1929 – American musician and band leader Alvis Edgar Owens Jr also known as Buck Owens was born on this day August 12 in Sherman, Texas.

1940 – American singer and pioneer of the “swamp pop” musical genre Rod Bernard was born on this day in Opelousas, Louisiana.

1949 – Co-founder, lead guitarist and vocalist of the rock band Dire StraitsMark Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland on this day August 12 in music history.

Concierto de Mark Knopfler, Palau Olímpic de Badalona

1950 – Co-founder, keyboardist and songwriter for SparksRonald ‘Ron’ Mael was born in Culver City, California.

1951 – Singer, songwriter and bandleader August Darnell also known as Kid Creole was born on this day August 12 in The Bronx, New York. He co-founded Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

1953 – Founding member and drummer for new wave group Men at WorkJerry Speiser was born on this day August 12 in Australia.

1954 – American jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny was born in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He’s the only person to win Grammys in 10 categories.

1961 – Musician Roy Ernest Hay was born in Southend, England on this day August 12 in music history. He rose to fame as the lead guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist of the group Culture Club.

1963 – Anthony L. Ray also known by his stage name Sir Mix-a-Lot was born in Seattle, Washington. Best known for his 1992 number one single Baby Got Back’.

1969 – Pop & folk singer-songwriter Tanita Tikaram was born on this day August 12 in Munster, West Germany. Best known for the songs ‘Twist in My Sobriety’ and ‘Good Tradition’.

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