Thursday, March 17, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: March 17

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's father Vernon signed a sales contract that confirmed the Presleys had made a $1,000 cash deposit (believed to have been made the previous night by Elvis's mother Glayds) on the 18-room, 10,000-square foot Graceland mansion (the mansion was renovated aby Presley nd now includes 23 rooms) in Memphis, Tennessee. 

 (Note:  some websites claim that Presley bought the home on this date.  In fact, according to the official real estate contract signed by his father, Vernon, with Virginia Grant Realty, the only thing that happened was that the Presleys signed an agreement (subject to approval from Elvis) to put the cash deposit on the home.  On March 19, Presley agreed to buy the home, the Presleys signed an official sales contract on March 21, and on March 26, the sale closed (the official date of the sale.  This information courtesy of Heritage Auctions, University Archives, and the book 'Elvis Presley:  Rock & Roll's King' by Stephanie Watson.)
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:  "Soldier Boy" was released by the Shirelles

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 began work on the track "She's Leaving Home".  (Note:  some websites claim that the song was recorded only on March 17, or that the group added vocals on this date.  According to the reliable source 'Beatles Bible', as well as the book 'The Beatles Encyclopedia:  Everything Fab Four' by Kenneth Womack, the group was likely not present in the studio on March 17, when the strings were recorded for the song.  Vocals were recorded on March 20.) 
1968:  The Bee Gees made their United States television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words".

Badge by Cream on Grooveshark
1969:  Cream released the single "Badge".

1972:  Dr. Hook released the single "Sylvia's Mother".
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 go on to be the longest-running album of all-time.

Thank God I'm a Country Boy by John Denver on Grooveshark
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 [Instrumental] by The Doobie Brothers on Grooveshark                                  "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.  

Dupree, Robbie / Steal Away by Robbie Dupree on Grooveshark
1980:  Robbie Dupree released the single "Steal Away".
1982:  Samuel George Jr. of the Capitols ("Cool Jerk" from 1965) was stabbed to death in Detroit, Michigan 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".

(Please skip ad after five seconds...)

Van Halen, with one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*

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 Luftballons" 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 by The Pretenders on Grooveshark
"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 on the Album chart, 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:  Simply Red released the single "Holding Back the Years".
1988:  Michael McDonald & Patti Austin released the single "On My Own".  (Note:  some websites claim the single was released on March 17, the date the song debuted on the charts.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released by a record company to radio stations, the song listened to and added to radio station playlists, reported by the radio stations to the trade papers, and printed and published by the trade papers, all on the same date.)
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 celebrateed 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 at age 43 in Leicester, Lancashire, England.
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 on the Album chart 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 in Amarillo, Texas.

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 AIDS-related liver cancer in Homewood, Illinois 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, on Warner Brothers Records.
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 by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
2006:  The Smiths turned down a $5 million offer to reform for the Coachella Valley Arts and Music 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.
2010:  Alex Chilton, singer-songwriter with the Box Tops and later a producer, died at the age of 59 from a heart attack in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2011:  Ferlin Husky ("Gone" from 1957) died of congestive heart failure in Westmoreland, Tennessee at the age of 85.

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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1937:  Vince Martin ("Cindy, Oh Cindy" from 1956) was born in New York City, New York.
1938:  Zola Taylor, original member of the Platters; died of pneumonia after several strokes in Riverside, California on April 30, 2007.  (Note:  some websites say Taylor was born in 1934, while '' states she was born in 1943.  According to the much more reliable source 'The New York Times', Taylor was born in 1938.)
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 New York City.  (Note:  some websites erroneously say Sebastian was born in Greenwich Village, New York City.  Greenwich Village is a neighborhood, not a city, and of course New York City is not a state.  The official place of birth is New York City, New York.)

1944:  Paul Kantner, co-founder and guitarist of Jefferson Airplane and Starship, was born in San Francisco, California.
Note:  some websites state Kantner was born on March 12, but the official website for Jefferson Airplane, as well as the book 'Got a Revolution!:  The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane' by Jeff Tamarkin and other reputable sources says Kantner was born March 17.)
1944:  Pat McAuley, keyboardist and drummer of Them ("Gloria"), was born in Colerain, Londonderry, Ireland.
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.  (Note:  some websites claim Gorham was born in Los Angeles, but according to the official Thin Lizzy website, Scott was born in Glendale.)
1953:  Wally Stocker, guitarist of the Babys, who also worked with Air Supply and Humble Pie, was born in London.  (Note:  some websites say Stocker was born in 1954.  Although no credible sources exist for either birth year, our best information is that he was born in 1953.)
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.  (Note:  some websites claim Corgan was born in Chicago, or in Elk Grove, Illinois.  There is no such city as Elk Grove; the name of the city is Elk Grove Village.  Corgan was born in Elk Grove Village, according to Dr. William E. Watson and Dr. Eugene J. Halus in their book 'Irish Americans:  The History and Culture of a People.) 1972:  Melissa Auf der Maur, bassist of Hole, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1973:  Caroline Corr, singer and drummer 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 in Mallorca, Spain of pulmonary oedema.

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