EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY MAY 17 IN MUSIC HISTORY
On this day May 17 in 1957 – American pop singer Guy Mitchell scored his seventh and final number one single in the UK with ‘Rock-a-Billy’.
1962 – With ‘Nut Rocker’, a rendition of Tchaikovsky‘s composition ‘Nutcracker Suite’, the instrumental ensemble B. Bumble and the Stingers topped the UK Singles chart.
1971 – Paul and Linda McCartney released their studio album ‘Ram’ in the UK on this day May 17 in music history. The LP peaked at No.1 in the UK, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, and it features McCartney‘s first chart-topping single in the US as a solo artist ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’.
1975 – Country music singer Tammy Wynette started a three-week stint at No.1 on the UK Singles chart with ‘Stand by Your Man’ on this day May 17.
1975 – With their sixth studio album ‘That’s the Way of the World’, Earth, Wind and Fire reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart for the first of three weeks straight. The album features their chart-topping single ‘Shining Star’.
1976 – Heavy metal band Rainbow released their second studio album ‘Rising’ through Polydor Records on this day May 17. The album was well received by both critics and fans, and it peaked at No.11 in Britain.
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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 singles charts and peaked at No.2 in the UK and Australia.
1980 – Irish singer Johnny Logan reached number one on the UK Singles chart with ‘What’s Another Year’ on this day May 17. The song also hit No.1 in several other European countries that year.
1980 – Euro-Caribbean vocal group Boney M topped the UK Albums chart with their greatest hits compilation ‘The Magic of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits’.
1986 – Whitney Houston started a three-week stint at No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with her rendition of ‘Greatest Love of All’. She also returned at No.1 on the Billboard 200 with her eponymous debut studio album for a seven-week run on this day May 17 in music history.
1986 – With the novelty tune ‘The Chicken Song’, the cast of the satirical TV puppet show Spitting Image featuring The Wet Gits started a three-week stint at No.1 in the UK.
1987 – A fire broke out in Tom Petty‘s home in Encino, California that destroyed most of his belongings. Fortunately, everyone escaped unharmed. The investigation later showed that the fire started by an arsonist who sadly was not caught.
1992 – American accordionist, bandleader and TV show host Lawrence Welk died on this day May 17 at the age of 89 from pneumonia.
1996 – American R&B/soul singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Johnny “Guitar” Watson died on this day May 17 of a heart attack while performing on stage in Yokohama, Japan, aged 61.
1997 – With his seventeenth studio album ‘Carrying Your Love with Me’, country music singer-songwriter and guitar player George Strait topped the US Billboard 200.
1997 – British trip hop group Olive started a two-week stint at number one on the UK Singles chart with ‘You’re Not Alone’ on this day May 17 in music history.
2002 – American songwriter Sharon Sheeley died at the age of 62 from complications of cerebral hemorrhage. Best remembered for writing hit songs such as ‘Poor Little Fool’, ‘Something Else’, ‘Heart in Hand’, etc.
2002 – American blues and soul singer Johnny Lamont Merrett also known professionally as Little Johnny Taylor died on this day May 17, aged 59.
2003 – With ‘Ignition (Remix)’, R&B singer and songwriter R. Kelly reached No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first of four consecutive weeks.
2003 – English rock band Blur topped the UK Albums chart with their seventh studio release ‘Think Tank’ on this day May 17.
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2007 – Singer and songwriter Madonna reached No.1 on the US Albums chart with her eleventh studio release ‘Hard Candy.
2008 – The number one album in the UK on this day May 17 in music history was ‘Jumping All Over the World’ by the German techno group Scooter.
2014 – With ‘All of Me’, singer-songwriter and pianist John Legend scored his first number one single in the US. The song also reached No.1 in a dozen other countries, including Canada and Australia.
2014 – English singer-songwriter Lilly Allen went to No.1 in the UK with her third studio album ‘Sheezus’ on this day May 17.
2015 – Musical duo Twenty One Pilots released their fourth studio album ‘Blurryface’. The album was a commercial success and it became their first chart-topper in the US. It also features their biggest hits ‘Stressed Out’ and ‘Ride’.
BORN ON THIS DAY MAY 17 IN MUSIC HISTORY
1921 – Songwriter, theatrical composer and screenwriter Robert “Bob” Merill was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on this day May 17 in music history. Best known for writing hit songs such as ‘Mambo Italiano’, ‘People’, ‘Love Makes the World Go ‘Round’, ‘Tina Marie’, etc.
1925 – American bluegrass and country music guitarist Arthur Lee “Red” Smiley was born on this day in Asheville, North Carolina.
1931 – American jazz alto saxophonist, bandleader, and composer John ‘Jackie’ McLean was born on this day May 17 in New York City.
1931 – American jazz multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Walter Dewet Redman was born in Fort Worth, Texas.
1942 – Blues multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Henry Fredericks also known professionally as Taj Mahal was born on this day May 17 in Harlem, New York.
1944 – Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer James “Jesse” Winchester was born on this day in Bossier City, Louisiana. Best known for songs such as ‘Yankee Lady’ and ‘Say What’.
1949 – English drummer, songwriter, producer and record label owner William ‘Bill’ Bruford was born in Sevenoaks on this day May 17 in music history. He rose to fame as a member of the progressive rock band Yes from 1968 until 1972.
1959 – English singer Paul Andrews better known by his stage name Paul Di’Anno was born in London. He rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden.
1961 – Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Enya was born Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin on this day May 17 in Gweedore, Ireland.
1965 – Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Trent Reznor was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Best known as the founder and leader of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.
1968 – American drummer Dave Abbruzzese was born on this day May 17 in Stamford, Connecticut. Best known as a member of the rock band Pearl Jam from 1991 until 1994.
1970 – American singer and songwriter Jordan Knight was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Best known as the lead singer of the boy band New Kids on the Block,
1973 – Founding member and frontman of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme was born in Palm Springs, California on this day May 17 in music history.
1974 – Irish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actress Andrea Corr was born on this day in Dundalk. Best known as the lead singer of folk and pop-rock sibling group The Corrs.