October 17

1919 : The Radio Corporation of America, soon to be simply known as RCA, is founded by General Electric as a publicly-held monopoly, much the same way “the phone company” was originally envisioned.

1952 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: I Went to Your Wedding by Patti Page.

1956 : Recorded on this day, Mickey & Sylvia – “Love Is Strange”

1960 : The Drifters’ Save The Last Dance For Me hits #1

1960 : Dion & The Belmonts breakup becomes official when it is reported in Billboard magazine. Lead singer Dion DiMucci claims the group’s not bluesy enough; the band claims Dion just wants a taste of solo fame.

1962 : In between their lunchtime and night shows at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, The Beatles travelled to Granada TV Centre in Manchester to make their television debut. They appeared live on the local magazine program People and Places performing two songs ‘Some Other Guy’ and ‘Love Me Do’.

1962 : Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers hits #1 on its way to becoming the most famous Halloween song of all time. Pickett’s vocals were his impression of Boris Karloff, who was known for his role as Frankenstein’s monster.

1963 : Recorded on this day, The Beatles – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

1964 : Released on this day, The Rolling Stones – “12X5” LP

1964 : Manfred Mann started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’, possibly the first No.1 with a nonsense song title. Also a No.1 in the UK, the song was first released by the US group The Exciters.

1967 : The Beatles attend a small, quiet memorial service for their manager Brian Epstein, held at the New London Synagogue in St. John’s Wood (near the Abbey Road Studios).

1967 : Hair, the world’s first hippie rock musical, makes its public debut at the New York Shakespeare Festival.

1967 : Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart and Phil Spector all guest on tonight’s “Jeannie, The Hip Hippie” episode of NBC-TV’s I Dream Of Jeannie.

1969 : The Kinks play their first US concert in four years when they open for Spirit at the Fillmore East in New York. They had been blacklisted in 1965 when they refused to join the musicians’ union.

1969 : Led Zeppelin’s third US tour opens, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

1969 : Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner is busted for possessing marijuana.

1970 : The Jackson Five started a five-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I’ll Be There’. The group’s fourth No.1 of 1970, it made No.4 in the UK. Motown records claimed the group had sold over 10 million records during this year.

1973 : The Rolling Stones performed two shows at Foret Nationale, Brussels, Belgium, as part of a tour of the UK and Europe. Opening for the tour’s shows were Billy Preston and American group Kracker, the first band to be signed to Rolling Stones Records. Bobby Keys didn’t show up for the concert, which resulted in him being banned by Mick Jagger from future Rolling Stones tours until 1989, with occasional exceptions. According to legend Bobby missed the gig due to him filling a hotel bathtub with Dom Perignon champagne and drinking most of it.

1981 : One man is killed and another injured in an attempted burglary of Rolling Stones ticket offices in Maryland.

1987 : The Bee Gees became the only group to have a UK No.1 single in each of the three decades, (60’s, 70’s & 80’s), when ‘You Win Again’ went to No.1 on the UK singles chart. The brothers fifth and last No.1.

1988 : The #1 hit is a cover of a song from 1966: A Groovy Kind Of Love by Phil Collins

1989 : The first practice by the San Francisco band Four Non Blondes is postponed because of an earthquake, which also disrupts the World Series. The band would later have a hit with “What’s Up.”

1991 : Sixties British singer Sandie Shaw is arrested and fined 100 pounds for refusing to take a breathalyzer test outside her home in London.

1991 : American singer and television presenter Tennessee Ernie Ford died of liver failure. Had the 1955 US & UK No.1 hit with his version of the Merle Travis song ‘Sixteen Tons’. In the 60’s hosted a daytime talk show, The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show on the ABC television network.

1992 : Tasmin Archers debut single ‘Sleeping Satellite’ was at No.1 in the UK, the English singer, songwriters only No.1. Archer wrote the song in the late 1980s about the moon landings in 1969, but it was only when Archer got a record deal that the song saw the light of day.

1995 : During an interview with The Observer magazine Noel Gallagher from Oasis said he wished Damon Albarn and Alex Cox of Blur would die from AIDS. He later retracted his statement.

1995 : Sting’s former financial adviser Keith Moore was convicted of bilking the singer to the tune of $9.4 million from the singer’s 108 bank accounts, is sentenced in a London court to six years in jail.

1998 : UK newspaper the Daily Star ran a story claiming that R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe had admitted that he was gay during an MTV interview shown in the US. Stipe was voicing his disgust at the killing of a young gay student in the US.

1998 : The Barenaked Ladies went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘One Week’.

1999 : Santana’s Supernatural album goes to #1, giving them their first chart topping album in 28 years.

1999 : It was reported that Michael Jackson had played a secret gig at a martial arts exhibition in Barnstaple, England. The man who had arrived in the white stretch limo was Navi, a Londoner who claims to be the world’s number one Jako impersonator.

1999 : Thomas Durden died aged 79. Wrote the lyrics to ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ one of Elvis Presley’s early hits. Durden had read a newspaper account of a man who had committed suicide, the man had left a note saying, ”I walk a lonely street,” Durden used the phrase as the basis for ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’

2000 : A flat in Montague Sq. London, which was once owned during the 60’s by Ringo Starr, went on the market for £575,000. The two bedrooms, two-story property was also home for Jimi Hendrix, John & Yoko and Paul McCartney during the 60’s.

2000 : At a charity auction organized by Mick Fleetwood in London, singer George Michael pays one and a half million pounds for the upright piano on which John Lennon wrote the 1971 hit Imagine.

2001 : Songwriter and composer Jay Livingston died of pneumonia. Best known for writing hits with Ray Evans for Doris Day, (‘Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)’ and Nat King Cole, (Mona Lisa).

2002 : Derek Bell instrumentalist in the Irish folk group The Chieftains died of cardiac arrest in Phoenix, Arizona. Joined the group in 1975, released the 1981 solo album Derek Bells Plays With Himself, awarded an MBE in the 2000 for services to traditional music.

2004 : Michael Jackson’s long-time lawyer, Steve Cochran, left the star’s defence team. Jackson who was fighting child abuse charges, said in a statement that the lawyer had taken a “temporary leave of absence” but would still “collaborate”.

2005 : Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow failed to sell in an eBay auction, having not met its reserve price. It had been listed by his sister, Kashmira Cooke, who had inherited the car from him. The auction had attracted nearly 200 bids and exceeded $93,000. The luxury vehicle had not appeared in public since 2002, when it had been used to transport the Bulsara family to the premiere of the Queen stage musical We Will Rock You. It came with a box of Kleenex Mansize tissues left in the car by Freddie.

2005 : Fats Domino returns to his Ninth Ward home for the first time since Hurricane Katrina to find it utterly destroyed, with his piano and several of his gold records among the ruined items.

2006 : Stevie Wonder receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

2007 : A section of Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard (the original home of Motown Records) is renamed “Berry Gordy, Jr. Boulevard” after the Motown founder.

2007 : US singer Teresa Brewer died aged 76. She was one of the most popular US pop singers of the 1950s scoring hits such as ‘Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now’ and ‘Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall.’ She also sang with Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis.

2008 : Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel are among the many artists lining up to play benefit shows for Barack Obama.

2008 : Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs died at his Detroit home, aged 72. Stubbs had been in ill health since being diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and a stroke and other health problems led him to stop touring in 2000. The group signed with Motown Records in 1963 and produced 20 Top 40 hits over the following 10 years, making music history with other acts in Berry Gordy’s Motown stable.

2008 : Madonna and Guy announced that their seven-year marriage was over because they had drifted apart. The press reported that without a pre-nuptial agreement, Ritchie could be looking at up to £50million of Madonna’s £300million fortune.

2009 : Johnny Depp presented Keith Richards with the the ‘Rock Immortal’ Award at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California, as part of this years Scream Awards.

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