April 17 in music history
On This Day

On This Day, April 17 In Music history


On this day April 17 in 1960 – While on tour in the UK, American singer Eddie Cochran died in a car crash at the age of 21 when the taxi in which he was travelling crashed into a lamppost. Musicians Sharon Sheeley and Gene Vincent were also in the car but luckily survived the accident.

1965 -- Bob Dylan topped the British album chart with his second studio album ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’. While in the US, the album had moderate success where it peaked at No.22. However, it still went platinum.

1969  – After years of touring and performing as a backing group for various musicians, including Bob Dylan and Ronnie Hawkins – The Band made their first solo concert at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, California.

1970  – Couple days after his departure from The BeatlesPaul McCartney released his debut solo album McCartney. The record topped the US albums chart for three weeks, while in the UK it peaked at #2.

1971  – All Fab Four members had singles charting in the UK as solo artists on this day April 17 in music history. But it was George Harrison who had the biggest success with ‘My Sweet Lord’ which topped the charts not only in Britain, but all around the world. It was also the first number one single by a former Beatle.

1971  – Rock band Three Dog Night topped the singles charts in North America with ‘Joy To The World’ on this day, April 17. In the UK the song peaked at No.24.

1973 -- Pink Floyd‘s best-selling studio album The Dark Side of The Moon‘ went Gold for the first time in the US. The album later became the longest charting album of all time in America where it stayed for over ten years on the music charts.

Pink Floyd – Brain Damage

1974  – Lead guitarist of the rock and roll group Sha Na NaVincent Taylor died at the age of 24 from an accidental heroin overdose.

1982  – Greek composer Vangelis topped the US albums chart with the soundtrack from the film ‘Chariots of Fire’ on this day April 17. Also a Top 5 hit in Canada, UK and Australia. On top of that he also won an Oscar for Best Original Score.

1983  – Bassist and vocalist of the rock band MountainFelix Pappalardi was murdered by his wife Gail Collins during a heated argument over his affair with a younger woman.

1987  – Jamaican drummer and percussionist Carlton Barret died at the age of 36 after being shot outside his house. Best known for his work with Bob Marley and The Wailers.

1989 -- Neil Young released the EP (extended play) ‘Eldorado‘ on this day April 17 in music history. However, it was released only in Japan and Australia.

1993  – With his eighteen studio album Black Tie White NoiseDavid Bowie went to number one on the UK albums chart.

10 Interesting David Bowie Facts

1994 Pink Floyd went to number one in the UK with their fourteenth studio album ‘The Division Bell’ on this day, April 17 in music history.

1998  – American musician and photographer Linda McCartney died at the age of 56 after a long battle with breast cancer. She was also the wife of Paul McCartney.

2008 – Multi-instrumentalist Daniel ‘Danny’ Federici died on this day April 17, aged 58 from cancer. Best known as a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band with whom he was posthumously inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


1934  – Music publisher, producer and talent manager Donald Clark Kirshner was born on this day April 17 in New York City. Also known as The Man With the Golden Ear.

1940  – English singer Ronald Wycherley also known as Billy Furry was born on this day April 17 in music history.

1943  – American musician and vocalist Roy Estrada was born on this day April 17 in Santa Ana, California. Best known for his work with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Also as the founding member of Little Feat.

1943  – Canadian rock and roll singer and teen idol Robert ‘Bobby’ Curtola was born in Porth Arthur, Ontario.

1948  – Czech American composer and record producer Jan Hammer was born on this day April 17 in Prague. Best known as the composer of the famous ‘Miami Vice Theme’ from the TV crime drama Miami Vice.

1954  – Grammy Award winning singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Sembello was born in Philadelphia. Also an Oscar nominee for his chart-topping 1983 single ‘Maniac’.

1955  – Co-founder of the punk rock band BuzzcocksPete Shelley was born on this day April 17 in Leigh, England.

1964  – Founding member and vocalist for ToolJames Keenan was born on this day April 17 in music history. He is also known as a member of the rock supergroups A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.

1967  – Singer-songwriter, guitarist and composer Liz Phair was born on this day in New Haven, Connecticut. 

1970  – American rapper Reginald Noble also known as Redman was born on this day April 17 in Newark, New Jersey.

1974 – Singer, fashion designer and model Victoria Beckham was born in Harlow, England. Best known as ‘Posh Spice’ from the all-female pop group Spice Girls.

1988  – English singer and songwriter Eliza ‘Doolittle’ Caird was born on this day April 17 in music history.  

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