Rock 'n' Roll History for
December 17






1954 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Bill Haley And His Comets put the first Rock and Roll song on the UK singles chart with "Rock Around The Clock", which would later peak at number 4.

1955 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
While their hit "Only You" was still at #2, The Platters' "The Great Pretender" enters the Billboard R&B chart at #13.

December 17
Tennessee Ernie Ford's version of "Sixteen Tons" is number one on both the Billboard Pop and Country & Western charts. The song was first recorded in 1946 by American Country singer Merle Travis.

1957 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" enters the Billboard Pop chart for the first time, where it will reach #6. It will make the chart again in December 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1962.

1963 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
James Carroll at WWDC in Washington, DC, became the first disc jockey to broadcast a Beatles' record on American airwaves. Carroll played "I Want To Hold Your Hand", which he had obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from Britain. Due to listener demand, the song was played daily, every hour. Since it hadn't been released yet in the States, Capitol Records initially considered court action, but instead released the single earlier than planned.

1966 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
The Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" enters the Billboard Pop chart, where it will peak at #2 during its eleven week run.

December 17
The Four Tops' "Standing in the Shadows of Love" enters the Billboard Hot 100. During a ten week stay, the record will peak at #6. It also reaches #2 on the R&B chart.

1969 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
An estimated 40 million viewers tuned in to see 36 year old Tiny Tim marry 17 year old Victoria May Budinger, whom he refers to as "Miss Vicki", on The Tonight Show. For appearing on the program, they received a free reception, wedding apparel, hair styling, flowers and a honeymoon in the Bahamas. The couple would later have one daughter, Tulip, but divorced in 1972.

1970 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
The Beach Boys play a command performance for Princess Margaret at London's Royal Albert Hall.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Elvis Costello appears on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live, where producer Lorne Michaels refuses to allow him to perform "Radio, Radio" because of the song's criticism of the broadcasting industry. A few measures into "Less than Zero", Costello halts his group and goes into "Radio, Radio". He was never invited back.

1979 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Paul McCartney and Wings played the Glasgow Apollo where they recorded a live version of "Coming Up", which would rise to number two in the UK and top the Billboard chart in America, selling over four million copies. They closed the show with "Mull Of Kintyre", accompanied by the same pipers and drummers from the Campbelltown Pipe Band who appeared on the record.

1982 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Karen Carpenter made her last public appearance, singing Christmas carols at Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California.

1986 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Paul McCartney's limo catches fire en route to a TV taping in Newcastle, England. Both he and his wife Linda escape unharmed.

December 17
The Doobie Brothers reunite for a benefit in Palo Alto, California. The performance inspires a reunion tour the next year and leads to one last Billboard Top Ten hit, 1989's "The Doctor".

1994 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
A remixed version of The Four Seasons' "December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)" re-enters the Billboard Hot 100, where it will stay for another 27 weeks, just as it did when it first charted in 1976. The combined run will establish a record for the longest total chart appearance in history. The song reached #1 the first time out and #14 during its second stay.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards decides to keep a guitar that he was asked to autograph, outside his birthday party at the Russian Tea Room in New York City. The owner of the guitar decides not to press charges saying, "It's Keith, man."

December 17
Rex Allen, a musician and actor who had a US Top 20 hit with a song called "Don't Go Near The Indians" in 1962, died after suffering a heart attack and was later accidentally run over in the driveway of his home by his caretaker. The 78 year old Allen was also known as the narrator in many Disney nature and Western film productions, which earned him the nickname, "The Voice of the West."

2004 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie, agreed to sell 85% of his estate to businessman Robert FX Sillerman in a deal worth $100,000,000. Sillerman will run Presley's Memphis home, Graceland, will own Elvis' name and likeness, as well as the rights to his photographs and revenue from his music and films. Lisa Marie will retain ownership of Graceland and many of her father's personal effects. The agreement was to pay her $53 million in cash and absolve her of $25m in debts owed by the estate. She will also receive shares in the new company expected to be worth more than $20 million. Actress Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie's mother and Presley's former wife, remained executive consultant to the business.

2005 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Dennis Payton, saxophonist for The Dave Clark Five, died of cancer at the age of 63.

2009 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Insisting that he has let go of all his "anger and bitterness", John Lennon's son Julian said that he has finally forgiven his late father for walking out on him as a child. "I realized if I continued to feel that anger and bitterness towards my dad, I would have a cloud hanging over my head." After John was murdered in 1980, it was revealed that he had left very little to Julian in his will.

2010 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Don Van Vliet, who became a Rock legend as Captain Beefheart, died from complications from multiple sclerosis at the age of 69. He rose to prominence in the 1960s with a unique style of Blues-inspired, experimental Rock 'n' Roll. His "Trout Mask Replica" LP was #58 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

2015 - ClassicBands.com

December 17
Cleveland's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame announced that Deep Purple, Chicago, Cheap Trick and Steve Miller would be inducted into the shrine at their ceremony next April.






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