On This Day, April 17 In Music History


On this day April 17 in 1953 – With her rendition of ‘(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window’Lita Roza became the eighth artist to top the newly formed UK Singles chart. 

1960 – American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eddie Cochran died in a car accident at the age of 21 when the taxi he was travelling with hit a concrete lamppost. His fiancée and songwriter Sharon Sheeley, friend and musician Gene Vincent, tour manager Patrick Tompkins and the taxi driver George Martin all survived the crash.

1965 – Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan scored his first No.1 album in the UK with ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’.

1966 – The Rolling Stones released their studio album ‘Aftermath’ through Decca Records. The album was a big hit that year and it became a chart-topper in the UK, Canada, Finland, Germany, and the US.

1970 – Paul McCartney released his debut solo studio album ‘McCartney’ through Apple Records. The album wasn’t positively received by the critics due to its lo-fi style but it fared well with the audience and it became a chart-topper in the US and Canada, while in the UK it peaked at No.2.

1971 – Rock group Three Dog Night started a six-week stint at No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Joy To The World’.

1971 – The fifth edition of the compilation albums ‘Motown Chartbusters’ started a three-week run at No.1 in the UK. The album features hit songs by artists such as Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Jimmy Ruffin, Stevie Wonder, and The Temptations among others.

1973 – Pink Floyd‘s best-selling studio album ‘The Dark Side of The Moon’ was certified Gold for the first time by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As of April 2024, it holds the record for the longest-charting album on the Billboard 200 with 988 weeks.

1974 – American guitarist Vincent “Vinnie” Taylor died at the age of 25 from an accidental heroin overdose. Best remembered as a member of the group Sha Na Na.

1980 – Heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath kicked off their ninth world concert tour ‘Heaven & Hell’ with a show in Aurich, Germany. This was the band’s first tour with Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals who replaced Ozzy Osbourne. The tour lasted for 128 shows and concluded on February 2, 1982 at the Cornwall Coliseum in St Austell.

10 Fun Facts About Black Sabbath

1982 – Pop group Bucks Fizz reached the top spot on the UK Singles chart with ‘My Camera Never Lies’.

1982 – Greek composer Vangelis started a four-week stint at No.1 on the US Billboard 200 with the soundtrack album ‘Chariots of Fire’ to the film of the same name. The album also won him four Academy Awards, including Best Original Music Score.

1983 – American multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, vocalist, and producer Felix Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife Gail Collins Pappalardi, aged 43. Best remembered as the co-founder of the rock group Mountain.

1987 – Jamaican drummer and percussionist Carlton Barret was shot and killed outside his house, aged 36. Best known for his work with Bob Marley and The Wailers.

1993 – With his eighteenth studio album ‘Black Tie White Noise’David Bowie reached number one in the UK.

10 Interesting David Bowie Facts

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

1999 – English actress and singer Martine McCutcheon topped the UK Singles chart with her rendition of ‘Perfect Moment’.

Martine McCutcheon – Perfect Moment

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2008 – Multi-instrumentalist Daniel “Danny” Federici died at the age of 58 from cancer. Best known as a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s backing group E Street Band with whom he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

2010 – R&B singer Usher scored his third consecutive US Billboard 200 number one album with his sixth studio release ‘Raymond V. Raymond’.

2021 – Musical super-duo Silk Sonic topped the US Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single ‘Leave the Door Open’.


1930 – Jazz instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader Christopher “Chris” Barber was born in Welwyn Garden City, England.

1931 – American soul/jazz composer, producer, and arranger David Axelrod was born in Los Angeles, California.

1934 – Music publisher, record producer, songwriter, and talent manager Donald Clark Kirshner dubbed the “The Man With the Golden Ear” was born in New York City.

1940 – English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor Ronald Wycherley also known as Billy Furry was born in Liverpool. Best known for hit songs such as ‘Wondrous Place’, ‘Jealousy’, and ‘Halfway to Paradise’.

1942 – American jazz double bassist Charles Anthony “Buster” Williams was born in Camden, New Jersey.

1943 – Canadian rock and roll singer and teen idol Robert “Bobby” Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario.

1948 – Czech-American composer, record producer, and instrumentalist Jan Hammer was born in Prague. Best known for composting the theme for the crime drama TV series ‘Miami Vice’.

1954 – Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Sembello was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Best known for his 1983 chart-topping single ‘Maniac’ which featured in the film “Flashdance” and was nominated for an Academy and Golden Globe awards.

1955 – Singer-songwriter, and guitarist Pete Shelley was born in Leigh, England. He came to prominence as the co-founder of the punk band Buzzcocks.

1964 – Singer, songwriter, and record producer Maynard James Keenan was born in Ravenna, Ohio. Best known as the co-founder and lead singer of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

1967 – American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist ElizabethLiz” Phair was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Best known for the songs ‘Supernova’ and ‘Why Can’t I?’.

1970 – American rapper, record producer, and DJ Reginald Noble also known by his stage name Redman was born in Newark, New Jersey. Best known as one half of the rap duo Method Man & Redman.

1974 – British singer and fashion designer Victoria Beckham was born in Harlow, England. She came to prominence as ‘Posh Spice’ from the best-selling female group of all time – Spice Girls.

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