Thursday, March 17, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: March 17

1956:  The movie Rock Around the Clock, with the Platters, Little Richard and Bill Haley and the Comets premiered in Washington, D.C.
1956:  Carl Perkins made his television debut on Ozark Jamboree.
1956:  Elvis Presley appeared on Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show on CBS-TV.
1956:  Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers moved to #1 on the R&B chart with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love".
1957:  Elvis Presley purchased the 23-room, 10,000-square foot Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee for $102,500.
1958:  A new artist with a twangy guitar first debuted on the chart on this date.  Duane Eddy's first single was "Movin' N' Groovin'".
1958:  "Tequila" hit #1 for the Champs.
1962:  Jay & the Americans first appeared on the chart with their debut single--"She Cried".

1962:  The Shirelles released the single "Soldier Boy".
1962:  Ray Charles started his own record label, Tangerine.

1962:  "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler continued as the #1 R&B song for the fifth week.
1966:  The Walker Brothers scored a #1 in the U.K. with "The Sun Ain't Gonna' Shine Anymore".
1967:  The Beatles finished work on the track "She's Leaving Home" after adding some backing vocals.
1968:  The Bee Gees made their United States television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words".

1969:  Cream released the single "Badge".
1973:  "Danny's Song" by Anne Murray was the new #1 on the adult chart.
1973:  Gladys Knight & the Pips had another hot song as they took over at the top of the R&B chart with "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)".

                          The young Anne Murray

1973:  Roberta Flack spent a fourth week at #1 with one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*--"Killing Me Softly with His Song".  Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell remained at #2 for just as long with "Dueling Banjos" while the O'Jays were up to #3 with their great song "Love Train".  Deodato's great instrumental "Also Sprach Zarathustra" was fourth followed by Edward Bear's "Last Song".  The rest of the Top 10:  Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show with "The Cover of the Rolling Stone", the Spinners slipped to 7 with "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love", Gladys Knight & the Pips roared from 16 to 8 with "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)", Jermaine Jackson and "Daddy's Home" and Anne Murray scored another Top 10 with "Danny's Song".
1973:  Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd first entered the album charts.  It would be the longest-running album of all-time.

1975:  John Denver released the single "Thank God I'm a Country Boy".
1975:  Cher was on the cover of Time magazine.
1978:  U2 won $850 and a chance to audition for CBS Ireland in a talent contest in Dublin.
1979:  Gloria Gaynor moved to #1 in the U.K. with "I Will Survive".
1979:  The Bee Gees has the top album in the U.K. with Spirits Having Flown.

     "Steamer Lane Breakdown" from Minute By Minute

1979:  Spirits Having Flown by the Bee Gees was #1 on the album chart for the third week.  Former #1 Blondes Have More Fun from Rod Stewart was runner-up, followed by two excellent albums--Minute By Minute by the Doobie Brothers and Dire Straits with their self-titled debut.  
1982:  Samuel George Jr. of the Capitols ("Cool Jerk" from 1965) was stabbed to death during a family argument at the age of 39.  Guess everything in general is just not the same as it was back in the 60's.
1984:  Rockwell owned the new #1 on the R&B chart with "Somebody's Watching Me".

Not only one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*, but one of the best videos as well

1984:  Van Halen made it four weeks at #1 with "Jump", heading off Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".  Rockwell came in a solid #3 with "Somebody's Watching Me" while Nena's former #2 song "99 Luftbalons" dropped and Kenny Loggins jumped up to #5 with his new song "Footloose".  The rest of the Top 10:  Michael Jackson and "Thriller", Huey Lewis & the News were at #7 with "I Want a New Drug", the Eurythmics and "Here Comes the Rain Again", the posthumous release from John Lennon--"Nobody Told Me" and Duran Duran scored their fifth Top 10 out of six released with "New Moon on Monday".

"Thumbelina" from Chrissie & the Pretenders, one of the most incredible songs you don't know

1984:  Thriller, which had just set the Rock Era record for weeks at #1 one week before, logged a 33rd week at #1 for Michael Jackson.  This despite that it was in its 65th week of release.  1984 from Van Halen was second with Culture Club's Colour By Numbers and Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down trailing.  Learning to Crawl, the best album the Pretenders did, was fifth with Sports from Huey Lewis & the News moving up to #6.  The rest of the Top 10:  Synchronicity by the Police, Billy Joel fell with An Innocent Man, the Soundtrack from "Footloose" moved from 21-9 and Duran Duran with Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

1986:  Mike + the Mechanics released the single "All I Need is a Miracle".

1988:  Michael McDonald & Patti Austin released the single "On My Own".
1988:  George Michael played at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Sydney, Australia.
1990:  Wilson Phillips first appeared on the chart with their debut single "Hold On".
1990:  That's What Friends Are For, an AIDS benefit concert that also celebrates Arista's 15th birthday, featured Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston and Hall and Oates.
1990:  Rick Grech, bassist with Blind Faith and Traffic, died from kidney and liver failure.
1990:  Janet Jackson scored a third week at #1 with "Escapade".  Roxette was #2 with "Dangerous", the B-52's found themselves at 3 with "Roam" while newcomer Alannah Myles rose from 9 to 4 with "Black Velvet".

1990:  Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville teamed for the #1 Adult Contemporary song for the third straight week--"All My Life".
1990:  Paula Abdul, who logged one week at #1 back in October with Forever Your Girl, then returned to the #1 spot four months later in its 81st week of release, was now the rage as she spent her eighth week at the top.  
1995:  Suzanne Vega ("Luka") married Mitchell Froom.
1996:  Terry Stafford ("Suspicion") died of liver failure at the age of 54.
1997:  The RIAA announced that the Eagles Greatest Hits album had tied Michael Jackson's Thriller as the best-selling album of all-time.
1997:  Jermaine Stewart ("We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" from 1986), who also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George, died of cancer at the age of 39.
1998:  Van Halen released Van Halen III, the group's first album with lead singer Gary Cherrone (formerly of Extreme) aboard.
2002:  Nickelback had the #1 album in the U.K. with Silver Side Up.
2004:  Ray Davies of the Kinks was awarded a Commander of the British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
2006:  The Smiths turned down a $5 million offer to reform for the Coachella U.S. festival.

2006:  Michael Jackson closed his Neverland Ranch in California.
2008:  Heather Mills was awarded $48.6 million in her divorce settlement from Paul McCartney.
2008:  Ola Brunkert, drummer with Abba, was found dead at the age of 62 in his garden after he had hit his head against a glass door in the dining room of his home and went outside to get help.  Brunkert had played on every album with the group.
2010:  Alex Chilton, singer-songwriter with the Box Tops and later a producer, died at the age of 59 from a heart attack.
2011:  Ferlin Husky ("Gone" from 1957) died of congestive heart failure at the age of 56.

Born This Day:

1919:  Nat "King" Cole was born in Montgomery, Alabama; died from lung cancer in Santa Monica, California on February 15, 1965.
1935:  Adam Wade ("The Writing on the Wall" from 1961) was born in Pittsbirgh, Pennsylvania.
1937:  Vince Martin ("Cindy, Oh Cindy" from 1956)
1938:  Zola Taylor, original member of the Platters 
1942:  Clarence Collins of Little Anthony & the Imperials was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1943:  Jim Weatherly ("The Need To Be" from 1974), who also wrote "Midnight Train To Georgia", Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) and "Best Thing That Happened to Me" for Gladys Knight & the Pips and was an All-American quarterback at the University of Mississippi, was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi.

1944:  John Sebastian, singer, songwriter and guitarist of Lovin' Spoonful and a solo artist ("Welcome Back Kotter") was born in Greenwich Village, New York City.

1944:  Paul Kantner, co-founder and guitarist of Jefferson Airplane and Starship, was born in San Francisco, California.
1944:  Pat McAuley, keyboardist and drummer of Them ("Gloria")
1946:  Harold Brown, founding member, drummer and vocalist of War, was born in Long Beach, California
1951:  Scott Gorham, guitarist and songwriter of Thin Lizzy, was born in Glendale, California.
1954:  Wally Stocke of the Babys
1959:  Mike Lindup, keyboardist with Level 42 ("Something About You")

1967:  Billy Corgan, singer, songwriter and guitarist of the Smashing Pumpkins, was born in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
1972:  Melissa Auf der Mar, bassist of Hole, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1973:  Caroline Corr of the Corrs was born in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.
1975:  Justin Hawkins, lead singer and lead guitarist of the Darkness, was born in Chertsey, Surrey, England.
1976:  Stephen Gately, a lead singer of Boyzone, was born in Dublin, Ireland; died October 10, 2009 of pulmonary oedema.

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