Friday, December 16, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 17

1955:  Carl Perkins wrote "Blue Suede Shoes".
1957:  Sam Cooke ruled over the R&B chart for a fourth week with "You Send Me".

1961:  "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes was positioned at #1 for a fourth week on the R&B chart.
1961:  Jimmy Dean enjoyed week #1 at the top of the Easy Listening chart with one of the biggest hits of the early Rock Era--"Big Bad John".

1962:  Paul & Paula released the single "Hey Paula".
1962:  Bob Dylan arrived in England for the first time, getting ready for his first gig in the U.K. at the Troubadour Club.
1963:  As you know if you have followed this blog, the Beatles paid their dues and then some.  So when I tell you that when James Carroll of WWDC in Washington, D.C. became the first disc jockey to play a Beatles song in America ("I Want To Hold Your Hand") on this date, and that the demand was so great that the song was played hourly, you know the success wasn't overnight.  Carroll had obtained the 45 from his stewardess girlfriend who brought the song from the U.K.  Capitol Records, which had to this point ignored the group even though they had great success in the U.K., was forced to release the record earlier than planned.
1965:  The Supremes and Judy Garland gave a grand opening concert for the Houston Astrodome in Texas.
1966:  "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band topped the adult chart.  
1966:  "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes was the #1 R&B song for a fourth consecutive week.
  "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" from Simon & Garfunkel's first great album...

1966:  The Monkees prevailed on the Album chart for a sixth week with soundtracks from "Doctor Zhivago" and "The Sound of Music still going strong after 40 and 92 weeks, respectively.  The Supremes A' Go-Go was fourth and today was the day that one of the great albums of the Rock Era--Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by Simon & Garfunkel cracked the Top 10.  

1966:  The New Vaudeville Band took over at #1 with "Winchester Cathedral".  "Mellow Yellow" from Donovan was #2 again with the former #1 "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys third.  Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels were stuck with "Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" and the Supremes' former #1 "You Keep Me Hangin' On" hadn't dropped further than 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Frank Sinatra's "That's Life", Roger Williams edged up with "Born Free", the Monkees flew up from 44 to 8 with "I'm A Believer", Nancy Sinatra joined father Frank in the Top 10 with "Sugar Town" and Stevie Wonder was at 10 with "A Place In The Sun".
1968:  The Doors' black and white documentary The Doors Are Open aired on British television.  The film shows footage of the group's show at The Roundhouse in London on September 7.  (Note:  Numerous websites show the date that the Doors' documentary, 'The Doors Are Open', aired on British television as October 4 or October 6.  But Granada Television, the company that filmed the documentary, has log sheets that show the airing date as December 17, and both 'The London Times' and 'The Guardian' confirm this.  Some sites show the date of the concert as September 6, but camera problems forced Granada television to come back to next night to film the footage that is shown in the documentary.)
1968:  Yes opened for the Who at a Christmas party at the Marquee Club in London.
1969:  John Lennon announced he was organizing a peace festival to take place in July of 1970 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1970:  The Beach Boys performed for Princess Margaret at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
1971:  John Lennon appeared at a benefit at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York for families of the victims of the Attica State Prison riots.


1973:  John Denver released the single "Sunshine On My Shoulders", one of his biggest and best career hits.

1973:  Sister Janet Mead released the single "The Lord's Prayer".
1975:  Aerosmith and Blue Oyster Cult appeared at the San Diego Sports Arena in California.
1977:  George Harrison made a surprise performance for regulars at his local pub in Henley-on-Thames in England.
1977:  Elvis Costello and the Attractions appeared on Saturday Night Live on NBC-TV after the Sex Pistols failed to get visas into the United States.
1977:  Earth, Wind & Fire dominated the R&B chart for the fifth week with "Serpentine Fire".
1977:  Linda Ronstadt's Simple Dreams (#1 on the Album chart for a third week) continued to hold of Fleetwood Mac's bid to return to #1 with Rumours.
1977:  The Bee Gees held on to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a fourth week with "How Deep Is Your Love".

    Fleetwood Mac had another big hit from 'Rumours'...

1977:  Debby Boone set a Rock Era record that would last four years with her 10th and final week at #1 for "You Light Up My Life".  The rest of the Top 10 on that famous day:  "How Deep Is Your Love" from the Bee Gees, Linda Ronstadt had #3 ("Blue Bayou") and #5 ("It's So Easy"), Crystal Gayle was lodged between with "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", L.T.D. was at #6 with "(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again", Rita Coolidge held on to #7 with "We're All Alone", newcomer Player moved into the Top 10 with "Baby Come Back", Fleetwood Mac and "You Make Loving Fun" and Dolly Parton was at #10 with "Here You Come Again".
1982:  Karen Carpenter gave her final public performance as the Carpenters were in concert in Sherman, California.
1983:  The Police, Duran Duran and Culture Club appeared on the children's television show Saturday Superstore in the U.K.
1983:  Walter Scott, lead singer of the Whispers died at age 40.
1983:  A new singer debuted on the chart for the first time.  Cyndi Lauper was her name and her first single was "Girls Just Want To Have Fun".

1983:  "Laura" was a popular soap opera character on General Hospital on this date--everyone followed what was going on with Luke & Laura.  Christopher Cross's song wasn't about that Laura but he gave permission for the song to be played on the show and on this date, it was one of the fastest-rising songs--"Think Of Laura".
1983:  Lionel Richie was at #1 for a third week with his follow-up album Can't Slow Down.

1984:  Wham released the single "Careless Whisper".
1986:  The Doobie Brothers reunited for a benefit concert in Palo Alto, California.  The bros liked it so much they went on a full-fledged tour the following year.
1986:  The limousine that Paul and Linda McCartney were riding in en route to a television taping in Newcastle, England caught fire.  Luckily both were unharmed and were able to escape the burning car.
1987:  Robert Plant played Led Zeppelin songs for the first time as a solo artist in Folkstone, England, including "Trampled Under Foot" and "Misty Mountain Hop".

1988:  Boy Meets Girl took over at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Waiting For A Star To Fall".

1989:  Alannah Myles released the single "Black Velvet".

1989:  Paula Abdul to the rescue!  With the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund strained due to the earthquake in San Francisco California and Hurricane Hugo, Ms. Abdul performed a benefit at the America Has Heart show at the Universal City Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
1990:  Olivia Newton-John starred in the NBC television movie A Mom for Christmas.
1991:  Gilbert O'Sullivan won a copyright infringement case against a rapper who sampled one of his songs without permission.  These guys don't think they have to play by the rules so you have to sting 'em--good job Gilbert.
1993:  Sting and his wife Trudie Styler celebrated the birth of son Giacomo Luke in London.
1994:  Richie Sambora, elite guitarist for Bon Jovi, married Heather Locklear.
1994:  Celine Dion married her manager Rene Angelil at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1994:  A remix of "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)" by the Four Seasons reappeared on the chart, 19 years after it was first a hit.  With another 27 weeks on its second run, the song would set a Rock Era record with 54 combined weeks on the chart.
1994:  Ini Kamoze jumped up to #1 with "Here Comes The Hotstepper".

1994:  Miracles - The Holiday Album by Kenny G was #1 for a second week.
1996:  Celine Dion announced that she was taking a break from music and would concentrate on starting a family.
1999:  When a fan seeking an autograph at the Russian Tea Room in New York City handed Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones a guitar to sign, Richards walked off with it.  Hey, sorry fan, but you have to know who you're dealing with.
1999:  Rex Allen ("Don't Go Near The Indians") died in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 78 after suffering a heart attack when his caretaker ran accidentally ran over him in his driveway.

1999:  Grover Washington Jr., saxophonist and solo artist, collapsed and died at the age of 56 in New York City after taping a performance for The Saturday Early Show on CBS.  (Note:  some websites report he died on December 16, others on December 11.  '' and 'MTV' both confirm that Grover died on Friday, December 17.)
2003:  In today's Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music segment, Nas turned himself into police and was charged with assault for throwing a bottle at a man in the Greenwich Village club Ciclo in New York City.

2003:  Ruben Studdard owned the top album with Soulful.
2004:  Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis, agreed to sell 85% of his estate to businessman Robert Sillerman for $100 million.  Sillerman took control of the business portion of Graceland and owned rights to all revenue from Elvis's music and films, while Lisa Marie retained ownership of Graceland itself and her father's personal effects.
2005:  U2 finished the year with the top-grossing tour, as three million people watched the group, paying over $260 million (sixth all-time).  The Eagles were second with $117 million while Neil Diamond's tour grossed $71m.  Paul McCartney took in $60 million, Rod Stewart's tour grossed $49m followed by Elton John ($45.5m), the Dave Matthews Band ($45m), Jimmy Buffett ($41m) and Green Day with $36.5m as artists from the 60's and 70's continued to dominate.
2006:  Denis Payton, saxophonist for the Dave Clark Five, died in Bournemouth, England from cancer at age 63.
2010:  Sir Paul McCartney performed an intimate show before 300 people in an effort to keep the 100 Club in London open.  The club had threatened to shut its doors.
2010:  Captain Beefheart died from complications from multiple sclerosis at age 69.

Born This Day:
1937:  Art Neville, vocalist and keyboardist for the Neville Brothers, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1938:  Carlo Little, the first drummer of the Rolling Stones, was born in Sudbury, England; died of small cell lung cancer in Jarrow, England on August 6, 2005.  (Note:  '' and the book 'Sand Against the Wind' by Riccardo Maffey both state Little's birthplace as London; however, this contradicts three respected British newspapers, which all confirmed that Little was born in Sudbury.)

1939:  Eddie Kendricks, lead singer of the Temptations and a solo artist ("Keep On Truckin'" from 1974) was born in Union Springs, Alabama; died of lung cancer October 5, 1992 in Birmingham, Alabama.  (Note:  some websites report that Kendricks was born in Birmingham; according to the newspaper 'The Birmingham Record', Eddie was born in Union Springs.)
1942:  Paul Butterfield was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1947:  Jim Hodder, drummer for Steely Dan, who did session work for Sammy Hagar and David Soul, was born in Bethpage, New York; drowned in his swimming pool in Point Arena, California on June 5, 1990.  (Note:  some websites report Hodder was born on September 17.  Although there are no credible sources for either date, our best information indicates he was born on December 17.)
1948:  Jim Bonfanti, drummer of the Raspberries ("Go All The Way" from 1972) was born in Windber, Pennsylvania.

1949:  Paul Rodgers, the great vocalist of Free, Bad Company and the Firm, was born in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England.
1951:  Wanda Hutchinson of the Emotions ("Best Of My Love" from 1977) was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1958:  Mike Mills, bassist for R.E.M., was born in Orange County, California.
1959:  Bob Stinson, guitarist of the Replacements, was born in Waconia, Minnesota; died of drugs in Minneapolis, Minnesota at age 35 on February 18, 1995.  (Note:  several websites claim that Stinson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but according to 'The New York Times', Bob was born in Waconia.)
1961:  Sarah Dallin of Bananarama was born in Bristol, England.
1970:  Craig Bullock of Sugar Ray ("Someday") was born in Pasadena, California.
1978:  Neil Sanderson, drummer and co-founder of Three Days Grace, was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

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