Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: April 17

1960: While touring in the U.K., 21-year-old Eddie Cochran was killed when the taxi he was taking crashed into a lamp post in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England.  Cochran died at a hospital in Bath, Somerset, England.  Singer Gene Vincent was also seriously injured but survived the crash.
1961:  Ray Charles landed the #1 R&B song with "One Mint Julep".
1961: "Blue Moon" was #1 for the second week in a row for the Marcels.  Del Shannon's classic "Runaway" was making its move at #2. The rest of the Top Five: "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe was #3, Floyd Cramer had #4 with "On The Rebound" and Clarence Henry was at 5 with "But I Do".
1962: Tony Bennett began recording his first song, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams".  (Note:  some websites claim he recorded the song on this date, as if he completed it in one day.  Bennett finished the song on April 20, according to the book 'All the Things You Are:  The Life of Tony Bennett' by David Evanier.)
1964: Van Morrison and Them made their first public appearance at the Maritime Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1965: Bob Dylan's first album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan topped the U.K. Album charts.
1965:  Roger Miller dominated the Easy Listening chart for a 10th week with "King Of The Road".

                                Freddie & the Dreamers topped the charts...

1965: Freddie & the Dreamers owned #1 with "I'm Telling You Now", followed by the Supremes' former #1 "Stop! In The Name Of Love" and "Game Of Love" by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders. The rest of the Top Ten: "I Know A Place" from Petula Clark at #4, Jr. Walker & the All Stars at 5 with "Shotgun", Herman's Hermits coming in at #6 with "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat", the Kinks had #7 with "Tired Of Waiting For You", "Nowhere To Run" by Martha & the Vandellas, "The Clapping Song" from Shirley Ellis at #9 and the Moody Blues' first top ten hit "Go Now" at #10.

1967:  The Music Explosion released the single "Little Bit O' Soul" on Laurie Records.


1969: The Band played for the first time by themselves apart from Bob Dylan with the first of three shows at the Winterland Auditorium in San Francisco.
1970: Paul McCartney played every instrument on his first solo album McCartney.
1971:  Marvin Gaye remained at #1 on the R&B chart for a fourth week amidst stiff competition with "What's Going On".

That's the Way I Always Heard it Should Be by Carly Simon on Grooveshark
1971:  We had the good fortune to be introduced to great talents on this date.  With her first career single, Carly Simon debuted on the chart with "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be".
1971:  Although most would not come to know him until several years later, Boz Scaggs debuted with his first career single, "We Were Always Sweethearts".
1971: All four ex-Beatles had solo singles on the Singles chart--Paul McCartney with "Another Day", John Lennon had "Power To The People", George Harrison with the classic "My Sweet Lord" and Ringo Starr had "It Don't Come Easy".

1971: "Joy To The World" by Three Dog Night first hit #1 on this date; they would monopolize the top spot for six weeks in a row. Marvin Gaye had #2 with his socially-conscious "What's Going On" and the former #1 "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me" by the Temptations fell to #3. The rest of the Top Ten: "She's A Lady" from Tom Jones, Paul McCartney's double sided hit "Another Day"/"Oh Woman Oh Why" was at #5, the rapid mover (16-6) "Put Your Hand In The Hand" by Ocean, Janis Joplin was at 7 with her former #1 written by Bob Dylan, "Me And Bobby McGee", #8 was "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted" by the Partridge Family, the Carpenters had #9 with "For All We Know" and Brewer & Shipley was at 10 with "One Toke Over The Line".

1972:  Neil Diamond released the single "Song Sung Blue".

1972:  Elton John released the single "Rocket Man".  (Note:  some websites report the release as being April 14 and other various dates.  According to the book 'His Song:  The Musical Journey of Elton John' by Elizabeth J. Rosenthal, EJ released "Rocket Man" in the United States on April 17.)
1973: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was certified gold in the U.S.  The album has now gone over 15 million in sales.
1974: Guitarist Vinnie Taylor (real name Chris Donald) of Sha Na Na was found dead in his hotel room in Charlottesville, Virginia from drugs at age 25.  (Note:  some websites report that "Taylor tied at age 24-25."  He was 25, according to United Press International.) 
1975: Elvis Presley bought a Convair 880 Jet from Delta Airlines for $250,000, when he named Lisa Marie.
1976: John Denver had another #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Looking For Space".
1976:  "Disco Lady" by Johnnie Taylor spent a sixth week at the top of the R&B chart.

1976:  A new group first appeared on the chart and the groundbreaking fact about them was that they were led by women--unheard of in the Rock Era to that point.  Music Directors at radio stations didn't quite have the ears to be able to recognize talent right away, and the song stalled at #36, making Heart's first single one of Inside the Rock Era's Top Unknown/Underrated Songs*.

                         The Commodores moved to #5 with "Sweet Love"...

1976: Johnnie Taylor was at #1 with "Disco Lady', followed by the Bellamy Brothers ("Let Your Love Flow") and Maxine Nightingale ("Right Back Where We Started From"). The remainder of the Top Ten: "Boogie Fever" by the Sylvers was song #4, the Commodores had their first big hit with "Sweet Love", "Only Sixteen" from Dr. Hook remained at #6, former Lovin' Spoonful leader John Sebastian moved into the Top Ten with "Welcome Back", Peter Frampton was at #8 with "Show Me The Way", Queen had song #9 with the classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Elvin Bishop climbed into the top ten with "Fooled Around And Fell In Love".
1977: The Police appeared at the Roundhouse in London, England.

1980:  lead singer Ronnie James Dio performed with Black Sabbath for the first time at the Stadhalle in Aurich, Germany.  (Note:  Some websites report that Dio performed with Black Sabbath for the first time on April 29, 1980.  There are two problems with this.  First, the scheduled April 29 show at the Guildhall in Portsmouth, England was canceled, as you can tell from the picture above.  Second, Dio made his debut with the group  at the Stadhalle in Aurich, Germany on April 17.  This information is courtesy of the official Black Sabbath website.)
1982: Bucks Fizz topped the U.K. Singles chart with "My Camera Never Lies".
1982:  Stevie Wonder had the top R&B song for the ninth straight week with "That Girl".
1982:  Vangelis had the #1 Adult Contemporary song with "Chariots Of Fire".

We Got the Beat by Go Gos on Grooveshark
                                The Go-Go's were gaining serious attention...

1982: "I Love Rock 'N Roll", Joan Jett's musical declaration, spent a fifth out of seven weeks at #1. The Go-Go's remained at #2 with "We Got The Beat", Vangelis was at 3 with "Chariots Of Fire" and the J. Geils Band had another Top 10 with "Freeze Frame". The rest of the Top Ten: Olivia Newton John had #5 with "Make A Move On Me", Rick Springfield remained at 6 with "Don't Talk To Strangers", Huey Lewis & the News climbed to #7 with their debut hit "Do You Believe In Love", Bertie Higgins moved "Key Largo" to #8, Journey's "Open Arms", one of the top #2 songs in history (6 weeks there) was on its way down at #9 and Stevie Wonder had the 10th spot with "That Girl".

1982: Vangelis topped the Album charts with Chariots of Fire; he also had the #1 Adult Contemporary song for the third week in a row with the title song from his album and the movie.
1983: Felix Pappalardi, bass player and producer of Mountain ,was shot dead by his wife during a fight in Manhattan, New York. He had also produced the Cream albums Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire and albums by Hot Tuna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Pappalardi was 43.
1987: Carlton Barrett, drummer and percussionist for Bob Marley and the Wailers, was shot dead outside his house in Kingston, Jamaica and died at age 36. Barrett invented the one-drop rhythm, a style of percussive drumming.
1992: The "Bodyguard Soundtrack" was the #1 album on this date, one of 20 weeks it ruled the Album charts.
1993: Former Bangles lead singer Susanna Hoffs married M. Jay Roach in Los Angeles.  Men around the world were heartbroken.
1993: David Bowie hit #1 in the U.K. with his album Black Tie White Noise.
1993:  Silk had the #1 R&B song for a sixth week with "Freak Me".
1993: Informer spent a sixth week at #1 with "Informer", followed by Silk's "Freak Me". Dr. Dre had the third most popular song with "Nuthin' But A "G" Thang", Whitney Houston was at #4 with "I Have Nothing" and Jade came in at 5 with "Don't Walk Away".
1994: Pink Floyd began four weeks at the top of the U.K. Album chart with The Division Bell.

1998: Linda McCartney died from cancer at the age of 57 in Tucson, Arizona. She had married Paul in 1969 and was a member of Wings.  (Note:  some websites still insist on printing that Linda died in Santa Barbara, California.  The family initially issued a press release saying she died in Santa Barbara to divert the press and give them privacy.  The official website for Linda, the newspaper 'The New York Times', and numerous other credible sources state that Linda died in Tucson.) 
2001: The late Joey Ramone, singer-songwriter and vocalist of the Ramones, was buried in Lyndhurst, New Jersey following a private service in Queens, New York.
2004: Usher spent the second of nine weeks at #1 on the Album chart with Confessions.
2008: Danny Federici, keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band, died from melanoma in New York City at age 58.

Born This Day:

1934: Rock promoter Don Kirshner, who helped break Carole King, Neil Diamond, the Monkees, Neil Sedaka and Bobby Darin, was born in the Bronx; Kirshner died of heart failure in Boca Raton, Florida on January 17, 2011
1943: Roy Estrada, bassist for the Frank Zappa Band, Little Feat, Mothers of Invention, and Captain Beefheart, was born in Santa Ana, California.
1948: Jan Hammer, keyboardist for Jeff Beck and Santana and solo performer on the "Miami Vice Theme", as born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).
1954: Michael Sembello, singer and guitarist ("Maniac"), was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1964: James Keenan, singer, songwriter, and producer of Tool and A Perfect Circle, was born in Ravenna, Ohio.  (Note:  some websites claim James was born in Akron, but according to his official website, he was born in Ravenna.)

1967: Liz Phair, songwriter and award-winning artist, was born in New Haven, Connecticut.  (Note:  some websites claim Liz was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.  While no credible sources exist for either place, our best research tells us she was born in New Haven.)
1967: Matt Chamberlain, one of the most prolific session drummers in the Rock Era, and also a producer and engineer, was born in San Pedro, California; Chamberlain has played for Elton John, Pearl Jam, Christina Aguilera, David Bowie, John Mayer, Kanye West, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Williams and many others.
1970: Redman (real name Reginald Noble) was born in Newark, New Jersey.

1974: Victoria Beckham (Adams), formerly of the Spice Girls and a solo performer, was born in Harlow, Essex, England.

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