Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
Music History: October 17th:
2010 Blues scholar Stephen Calt dies in Queens, New York, at age 62.
2007 Teresa Brewer, known for the 1953 hit, "Till I Waltz Again with You," dies of progressive supranuclear palsy at age 76.
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 The state of California announces that Dionne Warwick owes nearly $2.67 million in back taxes.
2006 Stevie Wonder receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
2004 At the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Music Awards, Jet dominates the competition, winning awards for six of their seven nominations, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Best Group and Breakthrough Artist. During the ceremony Nic Chester performs as a member of the Australian super-group The Wrights.
2002 The International Bluegrass Music Awards honors Down from the Mountain as Album of the Year. The collection is comprised of artists featured on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack to the Coen Brothers movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, including Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, and Ralph Stanley (of The Stanley Brothers). Dan Tyminski, who sang lead on the Soggy Bottom Boys' "Man Of Constant Sorrow" for the movie, also wins Male Vocalist of the Year.
2002 Country musician Bashful Brother Oswald (real name Beecher Ray Kirby) dies in Madison, Tennessee, at age 90. Popularized the use of the resonator guitar.
2001 Composer Jay Livingston dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 86. Known for his work with songwriting partner Ray Evans, including the Doris Day hit "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)."
1999 Steel guitarist Tommy Durden, who co-wrote Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel," dies at age 79.
1998 The Wilkinsons make their first official appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. They had made an informal appearance on the Opry once before, when they joined Vince Gill onstage before they had a record deal.
1997 Rapper Warren G has a beef with Garth Brooks and files a lawsuit against the country star, claiming he infringed on his "G" logo.
1996 Composer Berthold Goldschmidt dies in London, England, at age 93.
1995 Sting's former financial adviser, convicted of bilking the singer to the tune of $9.4 million, is sentenced in a London court to six years in jail.
1993 Criss Oliva (lead guitarist for Savatage) is killed by a drunk driver in Zephyrhills, Florida, at age 30.
1991 Country singer Tennessee Ernie Ford dies in Reston, Virginia, after years of alcohol abuse, at age 72.
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 John Mellencamp is hospitalized in Seattle after suffering dizzy spells during a promotion at a local radio station. His doctor later attributes the problem to "too much coffee, stress and not enough breakfast."
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."
1987 "Lost in Emotion" by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam goes to #1 in the US.
1984 Blues singer/songwriter Alberta Hunter dies in New York City, at age 89. Composed "Downhearted Blues" in 1922.
1981 One man is killed and another injured in an attempted burglary of Rolling Stones ticket offices in Maryland.
1980 Bruce Springsteen releases The River.
1978 Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand record "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." The superstar session is produced by Bob Gaudio, who keeps a full orchestra standing by in the lobby.
1972 R&B singer Billy Williams, known for his hit 1957 cover of Fats Waller's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," dies in Chicago, Illinois, at age 62.
1971 Chris Kirkpatrick is born in Clarion, Pennsylvania. He joins 'N Sync, and also makes cameo appearances in music videos for A Day to Remember's "2nd Sucks," and Good Charlotte's "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous."
1970 The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" hits #1 for the first of five weeks.
1969 Wyclef Jean of Fugees is born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. When he is 9, his family moves to Brooklyn, New York, where he is raised.
1969 The Kinks play their first US concert in four years when they open for Spirit at the Fillmore East in New York. They were kept out of the country by a musician's union ban incurred on their 1965 American tour.
1969 Led Zeppelin's third US tour opens at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
1968 Jose Feliciano releases "The Star Spangled Banner."
1968 Reggae musician Ziggy Marley is born David Nesta Marley in Kingston, Jamaica.
1967 Rene Dif (of Aqua) is born in Frederiksberg, Denmark.
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.
1967 Bob Dylan records "Drifter's Escape," "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine," and "The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest."
1967 Hair, the first ever hippie-rock musical, debuts at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
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).
1966 Elvis Presley plays a race-car driver in his 22nd movie, Spinout. The film premieres in Memphis, Tennessee.
1964 Manfred Mann's version of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, hits #1 in America for the first of two weeks. The song was first recorded in 1963 by the female group The Exciters, who took it to #78.
1964 The Rolling Stones release 12X5.
1963 The Beatles record the first of their "Christmas Records," spoken word greetings sent out on vinyl to members of their fan club.
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.
1960 The Drifters' "Save The Last Dance For Me" hits #1 for the first of three weeks.
1958 Country singer Alan Jackson is born in Newnan, Georgia.
1956 Mickey & Sylvia record "Love Is Strange."
1949 Bill Hudson (the eldest of the three Hudson Brothers) is born in Portland, Oregon.
1947 Michael McKean (who portrayed frontman David St. Hubbins in the fictional band Spinal Tap) is born in New York City. Also known for his recurring role as wacky neighbor Lenny Kosnowski on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley.
1946 Mike Hossack (drummer for The Doobie Brothers) is born in Paterson, New Jersey.
1945 Hollywood starlet Ava Gardner marries her second husband, bandleader Artie Shaw.
1942 Gary Puckett (frontman for Union Gap) is born in Hibbing, Minnesota, but would be raised in Yakima, Washington (not far from the city Union Gap).
1941 Soft rocker Jim Seals (of Seals & Crofts) is born in Sidney, Texas.
1941 Alan Howard (bassist/vocalist for The Tremeloes) is born in Dagenham, Essex, England.
1940 Frank Sinatra hosts the weekly radio program Fame and Fortune, which gives amateur songwriters the chance to compete for $100 and a publishing deal with NBC Music.
1940 Will Bradley records "Five O'Clock Whistle."
1933 Jeanne Deckers, "The Singing Nun," is born in Brussels, Belgium. In 1963, she has a #1 hit in America with "Dominique."
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.
1914 Jazz musician John Clifford Mosley Jr., a trumpeter who also played the flugelhorn, the long horn and the flute, is born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. That's Mosley playing the flute during the intro of The Isley Brothers' 1971 cover of "Spill the Wine."
1909 Jazz drummer Cozy Cole is born William Randolph Cole in East Orange, New Jersey.
1972Eminem is born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph, Missouri. He eventually settles in Warren, Michigan.
2008 The Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs dies at age 72.
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.
2002 The Ronettes lose their case against Phil Spector, claiming they are owed royalties for songs used in movies, TV shows and commercials.More
2000 At a charity auction organized by Mick Fleetwood in London, singer George Michael pays 1.5 million pounds for the upright piano on which John Lennon wrote the 1971 hit "Imagine."
1998 "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies hits #1 in the US, where it stays for... one week.
1995 Rhino releases all 58 episodes of the The Monkees in a deluxe VHS box set. It's a big box: 21 tapes, making it the largest video release of all time.More
1987 "You Win Again" by the Bee Gees hits #1 in the UK, making them the first group with UK chart-toppers in three different decades (the '60, '70s and '80s).
1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd release Street Survivors, the last album with frontman Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines, as both are killed only three days later after the band's plane goes down en route to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.More