Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Date In Music History- May 17

Bob Dylan and the Hawks (a.k.a. The Band) performed at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England in 1966. Dylan was booed by folk purists who object to his appearing with an electric band. This widely bootlegged concert, often misidentified as having been performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall, was officially released 22 years later as 'Live 1966.'

The Grateful Dead’s self-titled first album, a potpourri of blues, bluegrass and psychedelic rock, was released on Warner Bros. Records in 1967.

In 1970, Rock artists such as Pink Floyd, the Who, and Yes incorporate synthesizers into their work.

Elton John picked up a platinum disc for Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy in 1975. The album was the first to sell a million copies on its first day of release.

Kraftwerk formed in 1971.

The Traveling Wilburys – a low-key supergroup comprising Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison – came together to record their first album, which was released in October of 1988.

Lawrence Welk, legendary TV bandleader, died in Santa Monica, Calif., of pneumonia in 1992. He was 89.

In 1995, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard appeared together for the first time onstage, in Sheffield, England.

The Donna Summer/Village People movie, "Thank God It's Friday" debuts in Los Angeles in 1978. Sadly, I wasn’t there.

Jean Knight recorded "Mr. Big Stuff" and King Floyd cuts "Groove Me" at the same Jackson, Mississippi recording session in 1970.

Today in 1986, the song "Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Red Smiley, no relation to Sesame Street's Guy Smiley, was born in Asheville, N.C. in 1925. With Dan Reno, he formed the Tennessee Cut-Ups, a famed bluegrass combo.

Folk/bluesman Taj Mahal, who has played almost every kind of African-American style of music there is, was born today in New York in 1942.

Prog-rock drummer Bill Bruford was born in Sevenoaks, England in 1948. He was a founding member of Yes and later joined King Crimson.

Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor was born today in Mercer, PA in 1965.

In 1969, Chicago released their double debut album, Chicago Transit Authority. The real C.T.A. sued.

In 1980, drummer Peter Criss left KISS after Gene Simmons' then girlfriend Diana Ross tells him he is too talented to be in the band.

In 1996, Blues guitarist Johnny "Guitar" Watson died while touring Japan.

Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, The Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary were the featured acts at the very first Monterey Folk Festival in Monterey, California in 1963.

Rock producer (Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC), Bruce Fairbairn, died in his Vancouver home in 1999.

Songwriter Sharon Sheeley died on May 17th 2002, in a Los Angeles hospital from complications following a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 62. Sheeley wrote "Poor Little Fool" for Ricky Nelson as well as "Dum Dum", a hit for Brenda Lee. Sharon was the girlfriend of Eddie Cochran and was in the London car accident that took Eddie's life on April 17th, 1960.