On This Day, June 17 In Music History


On this day June 17 in 1954 – American guitarist and bandleader Donato “Danny” Cedrone died at the age of 33 after falling down a staircase. Best remembered for his work with Bill Halley & His Comets and for playing guitar on the rock and roll classic ‘Rock Around the Clock’.

1965 – The Beatles finished recording Paul McCartney‘s song ‘Yesterday’. The song was released on August 6 in the UK and it became a chart-topper in Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the US. As of June 2023, it’s one of the most covered songs in music history with over 2,200 official renditions by various artists.

1965 – Elvis Presley topped the UK Singles chart with his rendition of ‘Crying in the Chapel’ on this day June 17 in music history.

1967 – With their eight album ‘Sounds Like…’, instrumental group Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass scored their 4th chart-topper on the US Billboard 200.

1972 – Folk rock singer-songwriter Don McLean started a two-week stint at No.1 in the UK on this day June 17 with ‘Vincent’, a tribute song to the 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

1972 – The Rolling Stones hit number one in the US with their twelfth studio album ‘Exile on Main St.’ for the first of four weeks straight. The album was also a chart-topper in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the UK that year.

1972 – The compilation album ’20 Dynamic Hits’ released by the K-Tel record label started an eight-week run at No.1 in the UK on this day June 17. The album features songs by various artists, such as – Deep Purple, Santana, Blood Sweat & Tears, Sly and The Family Stone, and others.

1976 – American new wave band Blondie released their debut single ‘X Offender’ through Private Stock Records. The song featured on their self-titled debut studio album and it failed to chart.

1978 – Actors/singers John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John hit No.1 in the UK with ‘You’re the One That I Want’  for the first of nine consecutive weeks on this day June 17 in music history. The song featured in the film version of the musical ‘Grease’ in which they both starred.

1978 – Andy Gibb hit No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with the disco song ‘Shadow Dancing’ for the first of seven consecutive weeks.

1980 – Led Zeppelin kicked off their European concert tour with a show in Dortmund, Germany on this day June 17. Sadly this was the last tour the group did before disbanding in September the same year due to the untimely death of drummer John Bonham-Bonzo.

10 Fun Facts About Led Zeppelin

1985 – Sting released his first solo studio album ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’ on A&M Records. The album went to number one in Australia and the Netherlands, while in the UK and US it peaked at No.3 and No.2 respectively.

1986 – American singer Kathryn “Kate” Smith dubbed the “First Lady of Radio” died on this day June 17 at the age of 79. Best remembered for her renditions of ‘God Bless America’ and ‘When the Moon Comes over the Mountain’.

1989 – The No.1 single in the United States on this day June 17 in music history was ‘I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)’ by the boy band New Kids on the Block.

1997 – With Ozzy Osbourne unable to perform at the annual Ozzfest music festival tour, disappointed fans began thrashing the venue. Dozens were arrested.

10 Ozzy Osbourne Facts You May Have Not Known

1999 – English musician David Sutch also known by his stage names 3rd Earl of Harrow or Screaming Lord Sutch committed suicide on this day June 17 at the age of 58.

2000 – Singer and actress Aaliyah scored her first and only No.1 single in the US with ‘Try Again’. The song featured in the action film ‘Romeo Must Die’ in which she starred.

2006 – Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean topped the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ on this day June 17. The song was a worldwide hit and it went to No.1 in fifteen other countries, including the UK and Australia.

Shakira – Hips Don’t Lie

YouTube player

2006 – With ‘Maneater’, Canadian singer and songwriter Nelly Furtado hit No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first of three weeks straight.

2006 – Scottish singer and songwriter Sandi Thom topped the UK Albums chart on this day June 17 with her debut studio release ‘Smile …It Confuses People’.

2016 – American rapper Attrell Cordes better known professionally as Prince Be died on this day at the age of 46. Best remembered as the co-founder and lead vocalist of the hop group P.M. Dawn.

2016 – Rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers released their eleventh studio album ‘The Getaway’ on this day June 17 in music history. The LP debuted at No.1 in ten countries.

2017 – With his second studio album ‘True to Self’, singer and rapper Bryson Tiller reached number one on the US Billboard 200.

2021 – The number one album in the United Kingdom on this day June 17 was ‘Blue Weekend’ by alternative rock band Wolf Alice.


1902 – American composer of popular music Samuel Feinberg also known professionally as Sammy Fain was born in New York City on this day June 17 in music history.

1921 – Jazz clarinetist and arranger Tony Scott was born Anthony Joseph Sciacca in Morristown, New Jersey.

1930 – Rockabilly musician Clifton “Cliff” Gallup was born on this day June 17 in Norfolk, Virginia. Best known as the lead guitarist of the Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps group.

1940 – Prolific bassist Charles “Chuck” Rainey was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Best known for collaborating with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones and Steely Dan, and for playing on more than 1,000 albums.

1943 – American singer and songwriter Barry Pincus also known professionally as Barry Manilow was born on this day June 17 in New York City. Best known for hit songs such as ‘Could It Be Magic’, ‘Looks Like We Made It’, ‘Can’t Smile Without You’, ‘Mandy’, etc.

1944 – English guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Christopher Spedding was born Peter Robinson on this day in Staveley.

1947 – British singer-songwriter Paul Young was born in Benchill, Manchester on this day June 17 in music history. Best known as a member of Sad Cafe and Mike + the Mechanics.

1947 – Singer, songwriter and keyboardist Gregg Rolie was born in Seattle, Washington. He rose to fame as the lead signer of the bands Santana and Journey.

1949 – American singer-songwriter Russell Smith was born on this day June 17 in Nashville, Tennessee. Best known for fronting the groups The Amazing Rhythm Aces and Run C&W, and also for his solo work.

1957 – Irish singer, songwriter, and guitarist Philip Ryan also known professionally as Philip Chevron was born in Dublin. Best known for playing with the punk bands The Pogues and The Radiators from Space.

1983 – Singer, songwriter and founding member of the boy band BlueLee Ryan was born on this day June 17 in Chatham, England.

1987 – American rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar was born on this day in Compton, California. Best known for songs such as ‘DNA’, ‘Bad Blood’, ‘N95’, ‘Humble’, etc.

1989 – Singer, dancer and actress Simone Battle was born in Los Angeles, California on this day June 17 in music history. She came to prominence as a member of the girl group G.R.L..

<< June 16

June 18 >>