BORN ON FEBRUARY 17
1911 – Orrin Tucker, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 2011)
1922 – Tommy Edwards, American singer-songwriter (d. 1969)
1940 – Gene Pitney, American singer-songwriter (d. 2006)
1944 – Karl Jenkins, Welsh saxophonist, keyboard player (Soft Machine)
1949 – Fred Frith, English guitarist (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre and Skeleton Crew)
1950 – Rickey Medlocke, American musician (Blackfoot and Lynyrd Skynyrd)
1957 – Loreena McKennitt, Canadian singer-songwriter and accordion player
1962 – David McComb, Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist (The
Triffids and The Blackeyed Susans) (d. 1999)
1966 – Michael Lepond, American bass player (Symphony X and Seven Witches)
1972 – Billie Joe Armstrong, American singer-songwriter, guitarist (Green Day, Pinhead Gunpowder, The Network)
1972 – Taylor Hawkins, American singer-songwriter and drummer (Foo Fighters and Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders)1972 – Lars Göran Petrov, Swedish singer and drummer (Entombed and Morbid)
DIED ON FEBRUARY 17
1982 – Thelonious Monk, American pianist (b. 1917)
2006 – Ray Barretto, American drummer (b. 1929)
2006 – Bill Cowsill, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Cowsills) (b. 1948)
2007 – Dermot O’Reilly, Irish-Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist (Ryan’s Fancy) (b. 1943)
2013 – Mindy McCready, American singer-songwriter (b. 1975)
EVENTS ON FEBRUARY 17
1968 – Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring singer Janis Joplin, are signed by Columbia after a performance at the Anderson Theatre in New York City.
1969 – Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash recorded ‘Girl From The North Country’ together in Nashville at CBS Studios. The track appeared on Dylan’s ‘Nashville Skyline’ album.
1970 – Joni Mitchell announced her retirement from live performances. She returned to the stage within a year.
1971 – Johnny Cash is the guest of honor on NBC-TV’s This Is Your Life; a few channels over, on Cash’s ABC variety show, a young James Taylor makes his TV debut singing “Fire And Rain” and “Carolina On My Mind.”
1972 – KDAY in Los Angeles plays two new Rolling Stones songs on the air, after getting their hands on tapes stolen from producer Jimmy Miller’s home.
1972 – At London’s Rainbow Theatre, Pink Floyd debut some new material, including a song that would be called “Echoes” when released on the album Meddle, and some songs, including “Eclipse,” that would be recorded for Dark Side Of The Moon.
1973 – The band Free, which would mutate into Bad Company, disband after playing their final show at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Florida.
1975 – John Lennon released “Rock n’ Roll.” It was his last record before he left the music business for five years.
1975 – AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.
1979 – Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Parallel Lines’ started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl.’
1979 – The Clash opened the US leg of their ‘Pearl Harbour ’79’, North American tour at New York’s Palladium.
1988 – A 12-year old fan of Motley Crue set his legs on fire while trying to imitate a stunt in the band’s “Live Wire” video. The boy suffered burns over ten percent of his body.
1988 – Ani DiFranco released her eighth studio album ‘Little Plastic Castles.’ The album is her highest charting album on Billboard, reaching #22 on the Top 200 list. The song “Glass House” earned DiFranco a Grammy Award nomination for Rock Female Vocalist.
1996 – A Platinum American Express card once belonging to Bruce Springsteen was sold for $4,500 at a New York memorabilia sale. The singer had given the expired card to a waiter in a LA restaurant by mistake and let them keep it as a souvenir.
2005 – A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix sold for over $14,000 at an auction in London. Other Hendrix items sold included a poem written two weeks after his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival which went for over $1,400 and the first Jimi Hendrix Experience’s single ‘Hey Joe’, signed by all the band sold for over $2,800.
2008 – During a Temptations/Four Tops concert in Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, Little Richard, sitting in the audience, gets a standing ovation from all 2,400 concertgoers.
2010 – Susan Jacks, singer of “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?” with the Poppy Family, has a kidney donated to her from brother Billy, the inspiration for the hit song.
2014 – American musician and sound engineer Bob Casale, best known as a guitarist and keyboardist in the new wave band Devo died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California. He engineered the first solo album for Police guitarist, Andy Summers.