February 17th: On this day
1960, Elvis Presley won his first Gold record for his second studio album ‘Elvis’. It spent four weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, making Presley the first recording artist to have both albums go straight to No.1 in the same year.
1966, Nancy Sinatra was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’, Frank’s eldest daughters first No.1. Written by Lee Hazlewood Sinatra’s recording of the song was made with the help of Los Angeles session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.
1967, The Beatles started recording a new John Lennon song ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite’. at Abbey Road studios, London. John’s lyrics for the song came almost entirely from an antique poster advertising a circus performance scheduled to take place in Rochdale, Lancashire, in February 1843. John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks on January 31 while The Beatles were on location for the filming of the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ promotional film.
1969, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash recorded ‘Girl From The North Country’ together in Nashville at CBS Studios. The track appeared on Dylan’s ‘Nashville Skyline’ album.
1970, Joni Mitchell announced she was retiring from live performances during a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Joni was on stage again by the end of the year.
1971, James Taylor made his TV debut on The Johnny Cash Show. Other guests included Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt and Tony Joe White.
1975, AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.
1978, Kate Bush released her debut studio album The Kick Inside which contained her UK number one hit, ‘Wuthering Heights’, (marking the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song). Bush was just 19 years old and had written some of the songs when she was only 13.
1979, Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Parallel Lines’ started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl.’
1979, The Clash opened the US leg of their ‘Pearl Harbour ’79’, North American tour at New York’s Palladium.
1989, David Coverdale married actress Tawny Kitaen (known for her provocative appearances in Whitesnake’s music videos ‘Here I Go Again, ‘Is This Love’ and ‘Still of the Night’). The couple divorced in 1991.
1996, A Platinum American Express card once belonging to Bruce Springsteen was sold for $4,500 (£2,650) at a New York memorabilia sale. The singer had given the expired card to a waiter in a LA restaurant by mistake and let them keep it as a souvenir.
2000, John Lennon’s Steinway piano, on which he composed ‘Imagine’, went on display at the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England. The piano was set to be auctioned on the Internet later in the year and was expected to fetch more than £1 million ($1.7 million).
2003, The man behind the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC was being investigated over complaints that aspiring stars paid $1,500 (£882) to feature on his website. Lou Pearlman was accused by Florida authorities of getting young actors and models to pay upfront to appear on his Trans Continental company’s website by saying he would also help them to find work.
2004, Prosecutors in the murder case of producer Phil Spector demanded that a fingernail overlooked by police investigating Lana Clarkson’s shooting should be put forward as evidence. They claimed the fingernail, blackened with gunpowder, could indicate that the 40-year old actress killed herself at Spector’s Los Angeles mansion. Spector, had denied murdering Clarkson.
2005, A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix sold for £100,000 at an auction in London. Other Hendrix items sold included a poem written two weeks after his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival which went for £10,000 and the first Jimi Hendrix Experience’s single ‘Hey Joe’, signed by all the band sold for £2,000.
2005, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand made music history after taking two top prizes at the NME Awards. The band, who won best album and best single, became the first act ever to win the Mercury Music Prize, Brit Awards and NME awards in the same year.
2008, British soul singer Duffy started a five week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Mercy’, from the Welsh singers debut album ‘Rockferry’. ‘Mercy’ was the UK’S best selling single of 2008, and won Duffy a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
2014, American musician and sound engineer Bob Casale, best known as a guitarist and keyboardist in the new wave band Devo died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California. He engineered the first solo album for Police guitarist, Andy Summers.
February 17th: Born on this day
1905, Born on this day, Orville ‘Hoppy’ Jones, bassist, singer and cello player with the Ink Spots, who had a 1955 UK No.10 single with ‘Melody Of Love’. He Died 18th October 1944.
1922, Born on this day, Tommy Edwards, singer who had the 1958 US & UK No.1 single with ‘Its All In The Game’). The song was written by US Vice President Charles Dawes. Edwards died on October 22nd 1968, aged 47.
1933, Born on this day, Bobby Lewis, US singer, who had the 1961 US No.1 single ‘Tossin’ and Turnin’.
1939, Born on this day, John Leyton, UK singer, actor, who had the 1961 UK No.1 single ‘Johnny Remember Me’.
1941, Born on this day, Gene Pitney, singer, who had the 1962 US No.4 single ‘Only Love Can Break A Heart’. Also scored the 1967 solo UK No.5 & 1989 UK No.1 single with Marc Almond ‘Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart’, plus over 15 other US & UK Top 40 hits. Pitney was found dead aged 65 in his bed in a Cardiff hotel on 5th April 2006. The American singer was on a UK tour and had shown no signs of illness.
1966, Born on this day, Melissa Brooke-Bellard, Voice Of The Beehive, who had the 1988 UK No.15 single ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’.
1972, Born on this day, Taylor Hawkins, drummer, who worked with Alanis Morissette as her touring drummer on her Jagged Little Pill tour. Joined Foo Fighters in 1997, has a side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, in which he plays drums and sings.
1972, Born on this day, Billie Joe Armstrong, American singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and actor with Green Day who had the 1995 UK No.7 single with ‘Basket Case’. Their 1994 album Dookie has sold over 10 million copies and they were the Top Modern Rock Act in the US in 1995. Armstrong is also a member of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day’s side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network.
1976, Born on this day, Svein Berge, Norwegian electronic musician who makes up half of the duo Röyksopp. Berge has done several remixes for other artists, amongst them artists like Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode and Beck.
1981, Born on this day, John Hassall, bassist with English group The Libertines who had the 2004 UK No.1 album ‘The Libertines’.
1981, Born on this day, Paris Hilton, American socialite, singer, actress and fashion model. Heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, featured in the reality TV series, The Simple Life. Had the UK No.5 and US No.18 single ‘Stars Are Blind’, from her debut album ‘Paris’ released in 2006.
1988, Born on this day, Arin Ilejay, American drummer of Avenged Sevenfold, who had the 2010 US No.1 album Nightmare and the 2013 US No.1 album Hail to the King.
1991, Born on this day, Ed Sheeran, British singer, songwriter. In 2012, he won two BRIT Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist, and British Breakthrough of the Year, while ‘The A Team’ also won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Also won Best Song of the Year at the 2016 Grammys for ‘Thinking Out Loud’.