Nazi forces were finally defeated at the Battle of Stalingrad— the turning point of World War II and the largest and bloodiest battle in all of world history. 2.2 million soldiers were involved, with up to 2 million killed, wounded or captured. After five months of combat in the frigid Soviet winter, the remaining Germans were not only starving and frostbitten, but running out of ammunition, yet Hitler forbade them to surrender. A handful of bitter senior officers were taken to Moscow and joined the National Committee for a Free Germany, signing anti-Hitler statements that were broadcast to German troops. More at Wikipedia (1943)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- New York City — first called New Amsterdam—became an official incorporated city (1653)
- Robinson Crusoe was inspired by this day’s rescue of a shipwrecked man from a desert island (1709)
- The Knights of Columbus formed in New Haven, Connecticut (1882)
- Ulysses by James Joyce was published (1922)
- A dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska with an urgently needed diphtheria serum, which later inspired the Iditarod race (1925)
- Frank Sinatra debuted, singing with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra (1940)
- South African President F.W. de Klerk began dismantling apartheid, allowing the African National Congress to resume political activities and vowing to free Mandela (1990)
Happy birthday to singer / songwriter Graham Nash, who turns 76 today.
The English performer formerly of The Hollies is best known for his contributions to the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills Nash & Young. A citizen of both the UK and United States, and author of ‘Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life’, he still records and performs, releasing a new album in 2016 called, This Path Tonight. (1942)
And, on this day in 1976, Genesis released ‘A Trick Of The Tail‘, their seventh studio album, but the first one to feature drummer Phil Collins as full-time lead vocalist two years after the sudden departure of their theatrical singer Peter Gabriel.
After listening to over 400 audition tapes from vocalists, the band entered the studio without a clear idea of who would be their next front man. And, a sort of miracle happened. Although Collins taught the leading candidates some of the songs, no one proved to be a stand-out, so the band let him have a go at singing “Squonk”. The performance was so strong that he took over as lead on the rest of album, and having been trained as a child actor, proved to be a wonderful replacement at center stage. Genesis –Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and Steve Hackett, along with Peter Gabriel – was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Collins just celebrated his 66th birthday on January 30.
(WATCH a clip of interviews with the band about the making of “A Trick Of The Tail”.