On this day, May 17 In Music History

On this day, May 17 In Music History


On this day, May 17 in 1958 – With ‘Who’s Sorry Now’Connie Francis went to number one on the UK singles chart. Also a hit in the US where it climbed to #4 on the Billboard charts. The record went to on to sell more than one million copies.

1963 – Bob Dylan was the opening act of the very first Monterey Folk Festival in Monterey, California. The festival also featured Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, The Weavers and Peter, Paul & Mary.

1964 – At the Royal Festival Hall in London, Bob Dylan made his first major stage appearance in the United Kingdom. He played 18 songs, including ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.

1967 – With their version of ‘Silence Is Golden’The Tremeloes went to number one on the UK singles chart. Also a chart topper in Ireland, South Africa, Norway and New Zealand. While in the US it peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1967 – The Beatles began recording John Lennon‘s song ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)’. However, after four more recording sessions, the song saw its release date on March, 20 1970.

1969 – The British music magazine NME announced that for the first time in history album sales outscored the single sales in the UK.

1971 – With ‘Knock Three Times’Dawn scored their first and only number one single in the UK. Four months earlier, they also topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with the same song.

1973 – Progressive rock band Yes received two Gold records for their live and studio albums. The LPs in question – Yessongs‘ and ‘The Yes Album’.

Yes – Roundabout

1975 – Elton John received a Platinum record for his ninth studio album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy’. Also the first ever LP to sell one million copies on the day of its release.

1975 – With their sixth studio album That’s The Way Of The World’Earth, Wind and Fire started a three week run at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. It also topped the Top Soul Albums chart later that year.

1976 – British heavy metal band Rainbow released their second studio album Rising through Polydor Records.

1980 – Paul and Linda McCartney appeared on NBC’s Saturday Night Live show where they performed ‘Coming Up’. A song that topped the US and Canadian single charts while in the UK and Australia it peaked at #2.

WATCH: Paul McCartney hypnotize Emma Stone in new music video

1986 – While Spitting Image topped the UK singles chart with ‘The Chicken Song’Whitney Houston went to number one on the Us singles chart with ‘Greatest Love of All’. Interestingly however, both of them topped the charts for three weeks.

1987 – A fire broke out in Tom Petty‘s home in Encino, California that destroyed most of his belongings. But luckily everyone escaped unharmed. An investigation later showed that the fire started because of a pyromaniac who was sadly never caught.

1992 – American musician, accordionist, bandleader and TV host Lawrence Welk died at the age of 89 from bronchial pneumonia.

1995 – At a show in Sheffield, England, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard shared a stage for the very first time.

1996 – American blues, soul, and funk musician Johnny “Guitar” Watson died while performing on stage in Japan, aged 61.

2002 – American songwriter Sharon Sheeley died at the age of 62 due to complications from a cerebral hemorrhage. Best known for writing the 1958 No.1 song ‘Poor Little Fool’.

2002 – Blues and soul singer Little Johnny Taylor died on this day, May 17 at the age of 59 in Conway, Arkansas.

2015 – Twenty One Pilots released their fourth studio album ‘Blurryface’. The record later became their first chart topper in the US.


1921 – Songwriter, theatrical composer and screenwriter Robert ‘Bob’ Merill was born on this day, May 17 in music history.

1925 – Bluegrass and country musician Lee “Red” Smiley was born on this day, May 17 in Asheville, North Carolina.

1942 – Blues musician Henry Fredericks also known professionally as Taj Mahal was born in Harlem, New York.

1944 – American country and folk musician James ‘Jesse’ Winchester was born on this day in Bossier City, Louisiana. Best known for his songs during the 70s and 80s such as ‘Yankee Lady’ and ‘Say What’.

1949 – English multi-instrumentalist William ‘Bill’ Bruford was born on this day, May 17 in music history. Best known for his work as a drummer with progressive rock band Yes from 1968 until 1972. Also played for King Crimson and toured with Genesis.

1959 – First lead vocalist of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, Paul Andrews also known as Paul Di’Anno was born in London, England.

1960 – Creator of the Idol franchise Simon Fuller was born on this day in Hastings, England. He is also the most successful British music manager of all time.

1961 – Irish singer-songwriter and record producer Enya Ni Bhraonain was born on this day, May 17 in music history.

1965 – Founder and lead vocalist of industrial rock band Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

1968 – American musician Dave Abbruzzese was born on this day in Stamford, Connecticut. Best known as drummer for Pearl Jam from 1991 until 1994.

1970 – Lead singer of the boy band New Kids on the BlockJordan Knight was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1973 – Founding member and lead vocalist of Queens of the Stone AgeJosh Homme was born on this day, May 17in music history.

1974 – Irish singer-songwriter and actress Andrea Corr was born on this day in Dundalk. Best known as the lead singer of folk and pop-rock group The Corrs.

Featured image by: Jimmy Baikovicius

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