May 17th: On this day
1963, The first Monterey Folk Festival took place over three days in Monterey, California. The festival featured Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary. The 1967 Monterey Rock festival is remembered for the first major American appearances by Jimi Hendrix and The Who as well as the first major public performances of Janis Joplin. It was also the first major performance by Otis Redding in front of a predominantly white audience.
1964, Bob Dylan made his first major concert UK appearance when he played at the Royal Festival Hall in London with an afternoon show listed as a ‘Folksong Concert’. Dylan’s 18-song set included the live debut of Mr. Tambourine Man and took place on a Sunday afternoon. In the interval, Dylan received a telegram from John Lennon seeking a meeting which never materialised.
1966, During a UK tour, Bob Dylan appeared at The Free Trade Hall in Manchester. This was the concert where a member of the audience shouted out ‘Judas’ at Dylan unhappy with the singers move from acoustic to rock. Dylan replied with ‘You’re a liar’, the entire concert was eventually officially released in The Bootleg Series by Sony Music in 1999.
1967, The Tremeloes were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of a Four Seasons song, (the B-side to Rag Doll), ‘Silence Is Golden’, the group’s only UK No.1.
1967, Working at Abbey Road studios The Beatles began recording a new John Lennon song ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)’. The song was not finished until November 1969, and was not released until March 1970 (as the B-side of the ‘Let it Be’ single).
1969, It was reported that for the first time ever album sales had overtaken single sales in the UK. 49,184,000 albums were produced during 1968 compared with 49,161,000 singles.
1971, Dawn were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Knock Three Times’, the group’s first of two UK No.1’s. Singer Tony Orlando had retired from singing when he was persuaded to front Dawn for studio recordings.
1975, Elton John was awarded a Platinum Record for sales of a million copies of the LP ‘Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy’, the first album ever to be certified Platinum on the day of its release.
1975, Led Zeppelin played the first of five sold-out nights to 17,000 fans at Earls Court Arena, London England. The set list included: Rock And Roll, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Going To California, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, and Black Dog. Tickets cost £1 ($1.70) – £2.50 ($4.25).
1986, Spitting Image started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Chicken Song.’ Spitting Image had become the ‘must see’ Sunday night UK TV show, which mocked politicians and public figures.
1986, Whitney Houston started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Greatest Love Of All’, the singers third US No.1, a No.8 hit in the UK.
1987, A fire destroyed Tom Petty’s house in Los Angeles, the cost was estimated at $800,000.
1990, Nirvana played the last date of a North American tour at the Zoo in Boise, Idaho. This was Chad Channing’s final gig with the band, drummer Dave Grohl replaced him in Sept of this year after his band Scream had split-up.
1996, US blues guitarist Johnny Guitar Watson died of a heart attack while on tour in Yokohama, Japan. According to eyewitness reports, he collapsed mid guitar solo. His last words were “ain’t that a bitch.”
1996, Kevin Gilbert, multi instrumentalist and songwriter, died of accidental asphyxiation. Member of Giraffe, worked with Sheryl Crow, co-wrote her 1994 UK No.4 hit ‘All I Want To Do.’
2002, Sharon Sheeley, US songwriter, died aged 62. Hits include ‘Poor Little Fool’ US No.1 for Ricky Nelson in 1958 and 1959 hit for Eddie Cochran ‘Somethin’ Else’. Sheeley survived the car crash that killed Eddie Cochran during a 1960 UK tour.
2003, Singer with Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland, was arrested on suspicion of drug possession after being stopped during a routine traffic search in Los Angeles, He was released on $10,000 (£6,125) bail.
2006, Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills admitted that they had given up the fight to save their marriage, saying that after four years together, they were going their separate ways.
2008, Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty posted a two-minute clip of themselves playing with newborn mice on Youtube. The video showed Doherty and Winehouse in a bare room, making rambling comments, picking up the mice and talking to them.
2012, Donna Summer, the 1970s pop singer known as the Queen of Disco, died of lung cancer, an illness she believed she contracted from inhaling toxic particles released after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York. She won five Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and had three multi-platinum albums, including the hits ‘Hot Stuff’, ‘Love to Love You, and ‘Baby’ and ‘I Feel Love’.
2013, Bob Dylan was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dylan, who was unable to attend the New York ceremony, said he felt “extremely honoured” and “lucky” to be admitted. Dylan’s induction was decided by a vote of the Academy’s 250 members.
2015, Rapper Chinx was shot and killed in Queens, New York. The 31 year-old, was part of French Montana’s Coke Boys group, was riding in a car in the early hours of the morning when another vehicle pulled up and opened fire. He was hit in the torso and chest, and died later at a Queens hospital.
2016, American Texas country and folk singer, songwriter Guy Clark died in Nashville following a lengthy battle with lymphoma. He wrote songs for Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett and many other artists.
May 17th: Born on this day
1941, Born on this day, Malcolm Hale, Spanky And Our Gang, (1967 US No.9 single ‘Sunday Will Never Be The Same Again’). Hale died on 31st October 1968 of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty heater.
1942, Born on this day, Taj Mahal, US multi-instrumentalist, composer of film soundtracks. In the early 60’s he formed The Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, one of the first interracial bands of the period. Mahal has worked with Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm of The Band, and Muddy Waters.
1944, Born on this day, Jesse Winchester, Canadian folk singer, songwriter. His songs have been covered by many artists including Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, Anne Murray, Reba McEntire, The Everly Brothers and Emmylou Harris. He died on April 11, 2014.
1948, Born on this day, Bill Bruford, English drummer. He was the original drummer for the progressive rock group Yes, from 1968–1972, and then joined King Crimson. He worked as the touring drummer for Genesis in 1976 and U.K. in 1978.
1953, Born on this day, George Johnson, guitarist , singer with American funk and R&B band Brothers Johnson, (1980 US No.4 & UK No.6 single ‘Stomp’).
1958, Born on this day, Alan Rankine, The Associates, (1982 UK No.9 single ‘Party Fears Two’).
1959, Born on this day, Paul Dianno, vocals, the first vocalist to record with heavy metal band Iron Maiden, from 1978 to 1981. Di’Anno has issued numerous albums over the years, as both a solo artist and as a member of such bands as Gogmagog, Di’Anno’s Battlezone, Praying Mantis, Killers and Rockfellas.
1960, Born on this day, Simon Fuller, record and television producer, manager of the Spice Girls, S Club 7, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Will Young, Emma Bunton and Gareth Gates and the creator of the Idol series. First seen as Pop Idol, and now with over 50 other versions, including American Idol, Canadian Idol, and World Idol.
1961, Born on this day, Enya Ni Bhraonain, Clannad, (1982 UK No.5 single ‘Harry’s Game’), solo, (1988 UK No.1 single ‘Orinoco Flow’, plus eight other UK Top 40 singles, 2001 US No.2 album ‘A Day Without Rain’).
1962, Born on this day, Tracy Bryn, Voice Of The Beehive, (1988 UK No.15 single ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’).
1963, Born on this day, Page Samuel McConnell, pianist, organist, keyboardist, Phish.
1965, Born on this day, Trent Reznor, American singer-songwriter, record producer and member of Nine Inch Nails, (2005 US No.1 album ‘White Teeth’). He and his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, are members of the post-industrial group How to Destroy Angels. Reznor with Atticus Ross scored the David Fincher films The Social Network (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl (2014), winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
1966, Born on this day, Jan Kincaid, The Brand New Heavies, (1994 UK No.13 single ‘Midnight At The Oasis’).
1967, Born on this day, Simon Friend, guitar, The Levellers, (1995 UK No.12 single ‘Just The One’).
1968, Born on this day, Dave Abbruzzese, American drummer with Pearl Jam from 1991 to 1994. In 1997, Abbruzzese rehearsed with Axl Rose during the making of Guns N’ Roses’ 2008 album, Chinese Democracy. However, none of the material from the sessions ended up on the album.
1970, Born on this day, Jordan Knight, singer, New Kids On The Block, (1989 UK No.1 single ‘You Got It, The Right Stuff’ 1990 US No.1 single ‘Step By Step’, solo, 1999 UK No.5 single ‘Give It To You’).
1971, Born on this day, Vernie Bennett, Eternal, (1997 UK No.1 single ‘I Wanna Be The Only One’, 1993 UK No.2 album ‘Always & Forever’).
1973, Born on this day, American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, Josh Homme, founding and only continuous member of Queens of the Stone Age. He formed Eagles of Death Metal in 1998. In 2009, he formed Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones. In 2016, he released Post Pop Depression, an album with Iggy Pop.
1974, Born on this day, Andrea Corr, singer, tin whistle, piano with Irish group The Corrs. Had the 1998 UK No.3 single ‘What Can I Do’ and their ‘Talk On Corners’ was the best selling UK album of 1998, spending 142 weeks on the UK chart. Andrea released her debut album, Ten Feet High, in 2007. Along with her siblings, she was appointed an honorary M.B.E. in 2005.
1984, Born on this day, English singer-songwriter Michael David Rosenberg, better known by his stage name Passenger. His most successful single, “Let Her Go”, topped the charts in many countries. In 2014 the song was nominated for the Brit Award for British Single of the Year.