August 17


Today In Music History

1950 : The Weavers’ Goodnight Irene hits #1

1955 : Elvis Presley released his first number 1 hit, ‘I Forgot to Remember to Forget / Mystery Train’. It hit the top of the country charts several months later and stayed there for 5 weeks.

1960 : The Beatles began their first Hamburg engagement at the Indra Club, Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, West Germany, playing the first of 48 nights at the Club. The owner, Bruno Koschmider, asked The Beatles to “Mach Shau”, or really put on a show, which led to the band screaming, shouting, and leaping about the stage and sometimes playing lying on the floor. John Lennon once appeared wearing only his underwear and on another occasion, wearing a toilet seat around his neck. The Beatles lodged in a single room behind the screen of a nearby movie house.

1962 : A riot breaks out during a Gary U.S. Bonds performance at the Boston Arena.

1963 : Rory Storm And The Hurricanes, Gus Travis And The Raincoats and Johnny Sandon And The Remo 4 all appeared at the Royal Lido, Prestatyn, Wales, in a Merseybeat package show. Tickets 5 shillings, ($0.70).

1964 : Glasgow council in Scotland announced that all boys and men with Beatle styled haircuts would have to wear bathing caps after a committee was told that hair from ‘Beatle-cuts’ was clogging the pools filters.

1965 : The Byrds were forced to cancel a concert during their UK tour at The Guildhall, Portsmouth when only 250 of the 4,000 tickets had been sold.

1966 : During a press conference in Toronto (where the group was scheduled to play that night) The Beatles create more controversy by siding with American “draft dodgers” who moved to Toronto rather than be sent to Vietnam. John jokes, “Ah, we’ve had it in Memphis now,” referring to the death threats received there after his “bigger than Jesus” statement.

1966 : During a North American tour The Beatles played two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada. The attendance for each show was 18,000.

1968, The Doors started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Waiting For The Sun’. The group’s third album spawned their second US No.1 single, ‘Hello, I Love You’.

1968 : The Rascals (formally the Young Rascals), started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘People Got To Be Free’. The group had thirteen US top 40 hits.

1969 : The final day of the three day Woodstock festival took place at Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. Acts who appeared included Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After, John Sebastian, Sha Na Na, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, The Band, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter and Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Over 186,000 tickets had been sold but on the first day the flimsy fences and ticket barriers had come down. Organizers announced the concert would be a free event, prompting thousands more to head for the concert. There were two deaths – a teenager was killed by a tractor as he lay in his sleeping bag and another died from a drugs overdose.

1972 : Gladys Knight appears as a contestant on ABC-TV’s The Dating Game.

1973 : Former Temptations singer Paul Williams was found dead in his car, after shooting himself. He owed $80000 in taxes and his celebrity boutique business had failed.

1974 : Eric Clapton started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’, a No.3 hit in the UK. The house featured on the album cover is 461 Ocean Boulevard in the town of Golden Beach, Florida near Miami where Clapton lived while making the album.

1974 : Paper Lace’s The Night Chicago Died hits #1

1977 : It’s the day after Elvis Presley is found dead, and throngs of fans come to Graceland to mourn. President Jimmy Carter releases a statement saying, in part, “Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable.”

1979 : The New York Post reported that Anita Pallenberg (the wife of Keith Richards) was linked to a witches coven in South Salem, New York where Richards owned a house. A policeman claimed he was attacked by a flock of black-hooded, caped people and a local youth claimed he had been invited by Pallenburg to take part in ‘pot smoking sex orgies’. Locals also claimed they found ‘ritualistic stakes’ and small animals that had been ‘sacrificed’ near the house.

1984 : At the outset of his latest world tour, a fatigued Elton John announces his upcoming retirement, which, like so many before and after, wouldn’t take.

1987 : Session drummer Gary Chester died of cancer. He had been a member of The Coasters and played on many major hits for other acts including: ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ ‘Under The Boardwalk’ ‘Walk On By’, ‘It’s My Party.’

1991 : Nirvana shot the video for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ at GMT Studios in Culver City, California, costing less than $50,000 to make, the shoot features real Nirvana fans as the audience. The video won Nirvana the Best New Artist and Best Alternative Group awards at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, and in 2000 the Guinness World Records named ‘Teen Spirit’ the Most Played Video on MTV Europe.

1993 : While in therapy, the thirteen-year-old son of a Beverly Hills dentist, Jordan Chandler, alleges that singer Michael Jackson molested him while he visited Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The resultant civil suit costs Jackson over $20 million, but no criminal charges are filed, with Jackson’s lawyers claiming the family in question had previously attempted to extort the singer.

1995 : Microsoft buys the rights to The Rolling Stones’ 1981 smash Start Me Up to use as the theme for their Windows 95 rollout.

1995 : Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre after an apparent suicide attempt. Police had found him at his Los Angeles home with a two-inch laceration on his wrist.

1997 : Liverpool, Nova Scotia, dedicates The Hank Snow Country Music Centre, a museum dedicated to its native country music legend.

1998 : Santana’s Carlos Santana is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1999 : Former Bay City Rollers drummer Derek Longmuir appeared at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court accused of child porn and drugs offences. Longmuir, 48, denied the charges. He was later sentenced to 300 hours community service.

1999 : Led Zeppelin topped a chart of Britain’s most bootlegged musicians, compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), after identifying 384 bootleg titles featuring Led Zeppelin performances. The bootleg chart was complied from the BPI’s archive of some 10,000 recordings seized over the past 25 years. The Beatles, came in second with 320 entries, other acts listed included The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd.

2002 : Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland held the No.1 position on the US singles chart with ‘Dilemma’. The UK No.1 album was ‘By The Way’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the US No.1 album was ‘The Rising’ by Bruce Springsteen.

2004 : Chevy officially ends its association with Bob Seger, whose 1986 hit “Like A Rock” had been used in Silverado ads since 1989. Two years later, General Motors would begin using John Mellencamp’s Our Country as the Silverado theme.

2004 : A report showed how touts were now using eBay to sell tickets for sold-out concerts. It said the touts were not breaking the law by using auction sites on the internet, it showed tickets for Madonna’s Wembley gig worth £150 were for sale at £350 and a pair of tickets to see The White Stripes worth £90 were currently on eBay for £130.

2007 : High School Musical 2 premiered on the US Disney Channel and Family Channel. Watched by a total of 17.2 million viewers in the United States, making it the highest rated basic cable broadcast in US history.

2008 : Jackson Browne was suing US Republican presidential candidate John McCain for using one of his songs without permission. Browne claimed the use of his song Running on Empty in an advert was an infringement of copyright and would lead people to conclude he endorses McCain. Browne was seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

2009 : A thief in New Zealand took the unusual step of leaving his contact details at the site of his crime. The man reserved a copy of Pink Floyd’s The Wall at a record shop in Christchurch, leaving his name and phone number, before robbing the till. He was a regular customer at the shop and already had several records on order.

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