Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, Dave Wakeling

Dave Wakeling
Dave Wakeling of the English Beat photographed on a visit to The Current. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

History Highlight:

Dave Wakeling was born today in 1956, making him 63 today. He is best-known as a member of The English Beat (aka The Beat), who released three studio albums in the early 1980s: I Just Can't Stop It (1980), Wha'ppen? (1981) and Special Beat Service (1982). They are known for their singles including "Mirror in the Bathroom", "Save It for Later", "Too Nice to Talk To", "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "Hands Off, She's Mine", and "All Out to Get You". Wakeling was also a member of the band General Public, which included former members of Dexys Midnight Runners, The Specials and The Clash. They are best remembered for their singles "Tenderness" (1984) and "I'll Take You There" (1994).

Also, Today In:

1958 - Carl Perkins, whose rockabilly classic "Blue Suede Shoes" had been one of the biggest hits of 1957, followed the example of Elvis and Johnny Cash and split from Sun Records to sign with a major label. Perkins went with Columbia and released "Pink Pedal Pushers" two weeks later.

1964 - A British company shipped a half-ton of Beatle wigs to the United States. An American reporter later asked John Lennon, "How do you feel about teenagers imitating you with Beatle wigs?" John replied, "They're not imitating us, because we don't wear Beatle wigs."

1972 - Harry Nilsson started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with his version of the Badfinger song "Without You."

1977 - Stevie Wonder won the Grammy for Album Of The Year for Songs In The Key Of Life. His eighteenth album, Songs In The Key Of Life is an ambitious double LP with a four-song bonus EP. With songs like "Isn't She Lovely", "Joy Inside My Tears" and "Village Ghetto Land", it is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed albums of Wonder's career.

1977 - Manfred Mann's Earth Band scored a No. 1 single in the U.S. with their cover of the Bruce Springsteen song, "Blinded By The Light." The track was the first single from Bruce Springsteen's 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park N.J. Manfred Mann's version features several changed lyrics; most notably, Springsteen's "cut loose like a deuce" is replaced by "revved up like a deuce."

1982 - Ozzy Osbourne was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, for urinating on the Alamo.

1998 - The Stray Cats reunited for a single performance at L.A.'s House Of Blues to benefit the Carl Perkins Foundation.

2004 - Johnny Cash's family blocked an attempt by advertisers to use his hit song "Ring of Fire" to promote a hemorrhoid medication. Cash's daughter Rosanne said the family "would never allow the song to be demeaned like that."


Smokey Robinson is 79.

Bobby Rogers, one of Smokey Robinson's fellow Miracles, was born today in 1940.

Tony Iommi, guitarist for Black Sabbath, is 71.

Henry Samuel — better known as Seal — is 56.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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