You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Today in Music History - Oct. 12

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2021-10-12

Today in Music History for Oct. 12:


In 1609, "Three Blind Mice," believed to be the earliest printed secular song, was published in London.

In 1880, Healey Willan, one of Canada's most influential composers and music educators, was born in Balham, England.

In 1930, the Montreal Orchestra, the city's first professional symphony, gave its first concert at the Orpheum Theatre. The musicians were reported to have been paid $4 each. The conductor, Douglas Clarke, worked without pay throughout the 11-year history of the orchestra.

In 1935, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti was born in Modena, Italy. His vibrant high Cs and ebullient showmanship made him one of the world's most beloved tenors. He died Sept. 6, 2007, of pancreatic cancer.

In 1957, following a concert in Sydney, Australia, Little Richard announced he was quitting rock 'n' roll for religion. He entered a religious college in Alabama and was ordained as a minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Little Richard would return to rock in 1964.

In 1962, Little Richard played a gig in Liverpool, with a then-unknown local band called "The Beatles" opening for him.

In 1965, George Harrison introduced the sitar to pop music fans, playing it on John Lennon's "Norwegian Wood" at a session at Abbey Road studios in London. The song would appear on "The Beatles" "Rubber Soul" album. Harrison took up the sitar following a meeting at his home with master Indian musician Ravi Shankar.

In 1970, the "Jesus Christ Superstar" album was released in North America. A year later, the album was turned into a full-scale musical which opened on Broadway. "Jesus Christ Superstar," with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is based on the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

In 1971, Gene Vincent, who recorded the rock 'n' roll classic "Be-Bop-A-Lula" with his band, "The Bluecaps," in 1957, died in Los Angeles of a seizure brought on by a bleeding ulcer. He was 36. Vincent was signed by Capitol Records as an answer to RCA Victor's Elvis Presley, and they rushed "Be-Bop-A-Lula" into the shops two weeks after it was recorded. The disc eventually sold more than nine million copies, and was followed by a second million-seller, "Lotta Lovin'." One of his last appearances was at the Toronto Rock Festival in 1970.

In 1975, Rod Stewart and "The Faces" played their last show together at a concert on Long Island, N.Y.

In 1978, former "Sex Pistols" bass guitarist Sid Vicious murdered his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Vicious, whose real name was John Simon Ritchie, died of a heroin overdose before he could be tried. The couple's story was told in the 1986 movie "Sid and Nancy."

In 1979, Ian Anderson of "Jethro Tull" had his eye pierced by the thorn of a rose thrown on stage by a fan at Madison Square Garden. The band was forced to cancel two shows.

In 1985, Ricky Wilson, guitarist with "The B-52's," died of AIDS.

In 1989, pianist and bandleader Carmen Cavallaro died in Columbus, Ohio, at age 76. He was best known for his performances on the soundtrack of "The Eddy Duchin Story," the 1956 film biography that starred Tyrone Power. The soundtrack album went to No. 1, and stayed on the charts for 99 weeks. Cavallaro also had a big hit in 1945 with a flashy version of Chopin's "Polonaise."

In 1994, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's "Unledded" reunion special premiered on MTV. It was the highest-rated show in the history of the "MTV Unplugged" series.

Video: Today in History for October 2nd (The Canadian Press)


In 1994, 40 people were slightly hurt when bleachers collapsed just before the start of a "Pink Floyd" concert in London. The show, part of the band's first tour in seven years, was called off. The hall's owner and two other people were fined a total of $77,000 after admitting mistakes in setting up the seating.

In 1995, Death Row Records posted bail of $1.4 million for one of its artists, rapper Tupac Shakur, as he appealed a sexual assault conviction. Shakur had already served eight months of his 18-to-54-month sentence. Shakur was shot to death in Las Vegas the following year.

In 1996, "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus" premiered at the New York Film Festival more than 27 years after it was made and then mothballed. The concert film, featuring guests such as John Lennon and "The Who," was shot over two days in 1968, just after "The Rolling Stones" had recorded their "Beggars Banquet" album.  But they balked at releasing what they considered to be an inferior performance.

In 1997, singer-songwriter John Denver died when his experimental fibreglass plane crashed into Monterey Bay off northern California. He was 53. Denver had bought the homemade plane only the day before, and investigators cited his lack of training and the failure to refuel his craft as key factors in the crash. Denver's rise to fame began in 1969 when "Peter, Paul and Mary" made a hit out of his "Leaving on a Jet Plane." Denver was soon selling millions of copies himself of such homespun hits as "Rocky Mountain High," "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." Eight of his albums sold more than one million apiece and "John Denver's Greatest Hits" is one of RCA Records' all-time best-sellers.

In 1997, the Janet Jackson album "The Velvet Rope" was banned in Singapore because of songs about abuse, sexuality and homosexuality.

In 2001, Texas world-music guru Dan Del Santo was found dead in a small town in southern Mexico. Del Santo, who was 50, coined the term "world beat" while leading an Afro-Cuban band in the 1980s. He fled to Mexico in 1992 after being charged in Virginia with conspiring to distribute marijuana. 

In 2002, Ray Conniff, Grammy Award-winning composer and band leader, died at age 85.

In 2006, country singer Sara Evans quit "Dancing with the Stars" and filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years.

In 2009, Chet Atkins, Charlie Daniels and "Toto" were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Other inductees include Billy Cox, Dick Dale, Victor Feldman, Fred Foster, Paul Riser.

In 2009, the first song from the Michael Jackson music documentary, "This Is It" made its debut online. "I Never Heard" played during the closing sequence and featured backup vocals by Michael's brothers, "The Jacksons." Its genesis was actually in 1983 when it was written for a duets album Paul Anka was recording. Jackson and Anka are credited as co-authors on an early 1990s version recorded by the singer Sa-Fire.

In 2010, Loretta Lynn received a special presentation of The Recording Academy President’s Merit Award at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in honour of her dynamic career and contributions to country music.

In 2010, Canadian singer Celine Dion and actress Susan Sarandon and were named goodwill ambassadors of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to combat hunger worldwide.

In 2011, 18-year-old "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery's "Clear as Day" bowed at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart, becoming the first country act to debut at No. 1 with their first studio album.

In 2011, Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, Charlie Daniels' longtime keyboardist and co-writer of the country classic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," was killed in a single-car accident on Interstate 40 in Cheatham County, Tenn., while en route to meet the band's tour bus. He was 67.

In 2011, Paul Leka, who co-wrote "Steam's" "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," died of lung cancer in Sharon, Conn. He was 68. The song hit No. 1 in 1969 despite his intention to have it be a "throwaway" B-side. It got new life in 1977 when the organist for the Chicago White Sox started playing it when players struck out and it went on to become an enduring anthem chanted by sports fans around the world to taunt an opposing team.

In 2014, Taylor Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year, making her the first to win the award twice since it was first given in 2007.

In 2015, Janet Jackson debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart with "Unbreakable," making her the third artist (Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen) to have No. 1 albums in each of the last four decades.

In 2019, Canadian country singer Dallas Harms, who sparked a number of hit singles in the 1970s and was instrumental in Ronnie Hawkins' early music career, died at 84. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, known for his songs "Paper Rosie" and "Honky Tonkin' (All Night Long)," died in Hamilton. Harms was born in Jansen, Sask., but was raised mostly in Hamilton, where he began playing in the local club scene during the mid-1950s. It wasn't until the early 1970s that his Columbia Records single "In The Loving Arms Of My Marie" gave him the success he was looking for on radio. The song peaked at No. 8 on the RPM Charts, becoming the first of 19 charting singles throughout his career. Harms was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989, while "Paper Rosie" was given its own honour last year as part of the CCMA Legends Show.


(The Canadian Press)


The Canadian Press

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon