December 12, 1954
The Platters played the Riverside Rancho in California.
December 12, 1955
Elvis appeared with Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins on a show at the National Guard Armory. Mississippi.
to Bill E. Burk, the show was booked by Bobby Ritter, a dee jay for
WTUP in Tupelo, who also reputedly booked Elvis for others shows in
Mississippi, including Bruce and Tupelo. “He (Elvis) was always late on
stage, it seemed,” said Ritter. “On those nights when he would arrive
late, Bob Neal and I would go on stage. Bob would be the comedian and I
the straight man and we tried to keep the folks entertained until Elvis
got there, but they didn’t want to hear us.”
Carl Perkins remembers the Amory concert well.
and Elvis had driven to Amory together from a concert the night before
in Helena, Arkansas. En route, they were discussing music and both
mentioned how much they liked singing the song, Only You, made popular
by the Platters.
During his time on the Amory stage, someone in the audience shouted, “Only You, Carl.”
“You got it, hoss,” Carl snapped back, and sang his version of the song.
Perkins had the house jumping and they weren’t ready for him to leave the stage when the time came.
Backstage, Perkins found Elvis sitting, head in hands, shutting out the world.
“You feelin’ okay?” he asked Elvis.
“Aw, ain’t no need in me goin’ on,” Elvis replied. “They’re ready for you. What’d you do Only You for?”
Challenged, Perkins snapped, “’Cause I wanted to. ‘Cause I can sing it. There’s two reasons. You want another one?”
“Well, I was gonna do it,” Elvis told his fellow Sun partner.
“Well, go on out there and do it,” Perkins commanded.
“Hell, the Platters are singin’ it somewhere tonight.”
ain’t that big a damn fool,” a sulking Elvis said. “I ain’t goin’ out
there and sing something you done sung. You done tore ’em all to pieces.
I might as well go on to the car. “
Ritter and a partner had seen
this interplay. Ritter made a five dollar bet, that despite the
audience’s reaction to Perkins, Elvis would come out the crowd winner at
“Walking toward the stage, Elvis asked me what we had been talking about,” said Ritter. “I told him about the bet.”
When Elvis walked on, the crowd was still shouting “We want Carl! We want Carl.”
Elvis, said Ritter, seemed to become overly motivated.
“He went wild. He sang, he was all over that stage. He was down on his knees. He was attacking that guitar.
“And it wasn’t long before he had ’em eatin’ outta his hands!”
When he re-entered the backstage area, Elvis winked at Ritter and said, “Go get your five dollars!”
By this time, Elvis had signed with RCA and the concert in Amory would be the last time the three acts would appear together – Carl Perkins was days away from audition the “Blue Suede Shoes” for Sam Phillips and cut it at Sun.
Sometime in the fall of 1955, Carl and Johnny shared a bill at the Armory in Amory. It was reputedly on this show that Johnny suggested that Carl write a song based on a phrase he had heard. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had referred to his military regulation air shoes as “blue suede shoes.” Cash suggested that Carl write a song about the shoes. Carl replied, “I don’t know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?“
While playing in Jackson, Tennessee several nights later, he saw a dancer in the crowd trying to keep his girlfriend away from his new blue suede shoes, which connected with the idea that Cash had given him and leads his writing lyrics and subsequently he and his brothers worked up an arrangement.
December 12, 1957
Ignoring that he was still married to Jane Mitchum, 22-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis marries his third cousin, 13-year-old Myra Gayle Brown, in a brief civil ceremony in Hernando, Mississippi. The union was performed by the Reverend M.C. Whitten with no family or friends in attendance. It would eventually ruin Jerry Lee’s Rock ‘n’ Roll career.
December 12, 1959
After being pushed out of the number one spot
on the Cashbox Best Sellers chart for the last four weeks, Bobby Darin‘s
“Mack The Knife” returned to the head of the list. It is a feat that is
The four male members of The Platters were acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation after an incident on August 10th in Cincinnati. Despite the outcome of the trial, the scandal would severely damage the group’s career.
December 12, 1961
James Brown, The Famous Flames, Sugar Pie DeSanto and The Brownies all appeared at The Evergreen Ballroom, Lacey, Washington.
The Beatles appeared at Hambleton Hall, Huyton in Liverpool after returning to Liverpool from their first live performances in south England and London. The Beatles arrived so late for their appearance in Huyton that they only had time to play for 15 minutes. The promoters, having to pay The Beatles their full £15 were very unhappy.
December 12, 1966
The Beach Boys went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Good Vibrations’, the group’s third US No.1. As a child, his mother told him that dogs could pick up “vibrations” from people, so that the dog would bark at “bad vibrations” Wilson turned this into the general idea for the song.
December 12, 1967
Ray Charles performed as the headline act at New York’s first Jazz Festival, held at Downing Stadium.
American soul singer, songwriter Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash, aged 26. Redding and his band had made an appearance in Cleveland, Ohio on the local ‘Upbeat’ television show the previous day. The plane carrying Otis Redding and his band crashed at 3.28.pm into icy waters of Lake Monoma near Madison. Redding was killed in the crash along with members from the The Bar-Kays, Jimmy King, Ron Caldwell, Phalin Jones and Carl Cunningham. Trumpet player Ben Cauley was the only person to survive the crash.
December 12, 1970
The Doors played their last concert with Jim Morrison as lead singer, at the Warehouse in New Orleans. Band members Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore would later recall watching Jim Morrison lose “all his energy” as the show came to a close.
December 12, 1976
Elvis Presley performed his last Las Vegas Concert.
Scarf Sideman Charlie Hodge’s birthday.
After the show of December 12, 1976 Elvis broke down in his dressing room and cried. He had talked with Rex Humbard, televangelist, about the lack of meaning of the life he lead. Humbard (who died aged 88 in 2007) recollected: “I took both his hands in mine and said: “Elvis, right now I want to pray for you”, “Please do”, Elvis said, and cried.”
Humbard later performed Elvis’ funeral service.
The Associated Press reported that the US military used loud music to “create fear, disorient and prolong capture shock” for prisoners at military detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Among the songs blasted 24 hours a day were ‘Born In The USA’ by Bruce Springsteen, ‘Hell’s Bells’ by AC/DC, ‘White America’ by Eminem, ‘The Theme From Sesame Street’ and ‘I Love You’ from the Barney and Friends children’s TV show.
74-year-old Gayla Peevey was on hand to welcome another
hippopotamus to the Oklahoma City Zoo, more than sixty years after her
song about wanting one for Christmas helped raise $3,000 to purchase the
facility’s first one. She was also was there in December 1953 when the
Nile hippopotamus Mathilda arrived, and her recording of “I Want A
Hippopotamus for Christmas” has since gone on to become a Christmas