BORN ON MARCH 17
1915 – Ray Ellington, English singer, drummer, and bandleader (d. 1985)
1919 – Nat King Cole, American singer, pianist (d. 1965)
1938 – Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters) (d. 2007)
1941 – Paul Kantner, American guitarist (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and KBC Band) (d. 2016)
1944 – Bob Johnson, American guitarist (Steeleye Span)
1944 – John Sebastian, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Lovin’ Spoonful, Even Dozen Jug Band, and The Mugwumps)
1950 – Patrick Adams, American songwriter and producer
1950 – Michael Been, American singer-songwriter (The Call) (d. 2010)
1951 – Scott Gorham, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns, and Black Star Riders)
1954 – Wally Stocker, English guitarist (The Babys)
1955 – Paul Overstreet, American singer-songwriter (S-K-O)
1959 – Paul Black, American singer-songwriter and drummer (L.A. Guns)
1961 – Alexander Bard, Swedish singer-songwriter (Army of Lovers, Vacuum, and Bodies Without Organs)
1962 – Clare Grogan, Scottish singer (Altered Images)
1967 – Van Conner, American bass player (Screaming Trees, Valis)
1967 – Billy Corgan, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Smashing Pumpkins, Zwan)
1970 – Gene Ween, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Ween)
1972 – Melissa Auf der Maur, Canadian-American singer-songwriter and bass player (Hole, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Tinker)
1972 – Marc Gunn, American autoharp player (Brobdingnagian Bards)
1973 – Caroline Corr, Irish singer and drummer (The Corrs)
1975 – Justin Hawkins, English singer-songwriter (The Darkness, British Whale, and Hot Leg)
1986 – Miles Kane, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Little Flames, The Rascals, and The Last Shadow Puppets)
DIED ON MARCH 17
1990 – Ric Grech, Ukrainian-English bass player (Family, Blind Faith, and Traffic) (b. 1946)
1996 – Terry Stafford, American singer-songwriter (b. 1941)
1997 – Jermaine Stewart, American singer (b. 1957)
2004 – J.J. Jackson, American radio and television host (b. 1941)
2007 – Roger Bennett, American singer-songwriter and pianist (Legacy Five and Cathedral Quartet) (b. 1959)
2010 – Alex Chilton, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Box Tops and Big Star) (b. 1950)
2011 – Ferlin Husky, American singer (b. 1925)
EVENTS ON MARCH 17
1956 – Carl Perkins makes his television debut on the ABC variety show Ozark Jamboree.
1957 – Elvis Presley bought the Graceland mansion from Mrs Ruth Brown-Moore for $102,500. The 23 room, 10,000 square foot home, on 13.8 acres of land, would be expanded to 17,552 square feet of living space before the king moved in a few weeks later. The original building had at one time been a place of worship, used by the Graceland Christian Church and was named after the builder’s daughter, Grace Toof.
1976 – Boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s murder case is reopened, largely due to the attention brought upon it by Bob Dylan’s recent hit song “Hurricane.”
1990 – That’s What Friends Are For, an AIDS benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall that also serves to celebrate 15 years of the Arista label, features performances by label artists Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, Hall and Oates, and Whitney Houston.
1992 – White Zombie released their third and breakout album “La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. One.” The album became the band’s first charting album backed by the singles “Thunder Kiss ’65” and “Black Sunshine,” the former earning the band their first Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance. The album has been certified two times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States.
1998 – Van Halen released “Van Halen 3.” It was the band’s first album with lead singer Gary Cherone (of Extreme).
2003 – Throwing Muses released their eighth studio album, which happened to be their second self-titled album. It was recorded over three weekends and released simultaneously with Kristin Hersh’s sixth solo record ‘The Grotto.’ The album features Bernard Georges on bass and David Narcizo on drums as well as original bandmate Tanya Donelly on backing vocals. Hersh’s ‘Grotto’ album features Howe Gelb on piano and Andrew Bird on violin. Kristin Hersh produced the album as well as playing all other instruments.
2008 – Ola Brunkert, the former drummer with the Swedish group ABBA, was found dead with his throat cut at his home in Majorca, Spain. Brunkert died after he hit his head against a glass door in the dining room at his home. He was found dead in his garden after trying to seek help. The 62 year old musician had played on every Abba album and had toured with the group.
2010 – Alex Chilton singer and guitarist with Big Star died in hospital of heart problems in New Orleans aged 59. As a teenager Chilton had been a member of The Box Tops who had the 1967 hit ‘The Letter’.