Rock 'n' Roll History for
March 17






1956 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
The movie Rock Around The Clock premieres in Washington, DC. The film features performances by Bill Haley, The Platters and Little Richard.

1957 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Elvis Presley buys the Graceland mansion from Mrs. Ruth Brown-Moore for $102,500, outbidding the YMCA's offer of $35,000. The 23 room, 10,000 square foot home, sitting 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.

1958 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
The Coasters record what will prove to be their only US number one hit, "Yakety Yak". In the UK, it reached #12.

March 17
Starting out as the "B" side of a single called "Train To Nowhere", The Champs' "Tequila" had gained enough attention from radio disc jockeys to rise to the top spot on both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts as well as the Cashbox Best Sellers list. It was also a #5 hit in the UK.

1962 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
The Shadows started an eight week run at the top of the UK chart with "Wonderful Land". It was not a hit in America.

1967 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Bobby Vee records "Come Back When You Grow Up", which will reach number 3 on the Billboard Pop chart next September, becoming the 12th of his 14 Top 40 hits.

1968 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
The Bee Gees make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing "Words" and "To Love Somebody".

1970 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Eddie Holman received a Gold record for the single, "Hey There Lonely Girl", originally recorded by Ruby And The Romantics under the title, "Hey There Lonely Boy" in the 1960s.

1978 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
American Hot Wax, a fictionalized movie account of the early days of Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, premieres in the US. The film featured performances by Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Ford and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

March 17
Four Irish, high school teens who call themselves U2, win the top prize of 500 Pounds ($1,000) in the Limerick Civic Week Pop '78 Competition, sponsored by The Evening Express and Guinness Harp Lager. They also win a chance to audition for CBS Ireland next June.

1982 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Samuel George Jr., lead singer of the Capitols, who had a 1966 US #7 hit with "Cool Jerk", died in Detroit after being stabbed with knife during a family argument. He was 39 years old.

1984 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Van Halen's "Jump" peaks at #1 in the US and #7 in the UK. Over the years David Lee Roth has given various accounts of the meaning behind the lyrics, but most often says they are about a TV news story he saw where a man was about to kill himself by jumping off a building.

1990 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Rick Grech, former bassist for Blind Faith, died from drug related causes at the age of 44.

March 17
Hall And Oates, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and Barry Manilow take part in Arista Records' 15th anniversary concert where they raise over $2 million for various AIDS organizations.

1996 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Terry Stafford, whose Elvis sound-a-like voice helped make the song "Suspicion" a Billboard #3 hit in 1964, died of liver failure at the age of 54.

2004 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
The Kinks' Ray Davies received a CBE medal (Commander of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for services to the music industry. The CBE is considered to be one level below knighthood.

2006 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Michael Jackson closed the house on his Neverland Ranch in California and laid off a handful of employees, although some workers remained to maintain the rest of the property.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Ola Brunkert, the drummer for ABBA on all of their albums, died after he hit his head against a glass door in his dining room, shattering the glass and cutting himself in the neck. He managed to wrap himself with a towel around but collapsed before reaching help. He was 62.

2009 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that they have signed a new deal with Roadrunner Records and are working on their first album in six years. The LP, titled "God and Guns", would be released on September 29th.

2010 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Alex Chilton, the lead singer for The Box Tops on their Billboard Top Ten hits "The Letter" and "Cry Like A Baby", died following a heart attack. He was 59.

2011 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Ferlin Husky, a Country-music entertainer who reached the Billboard Top 40 twice with "Gone" (#4 in 1957) and "Wings of a Dove" (#12 in 1960), died of heart related problems at the age of 85.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

March 17
Barry Manilow's management launched a lawsuit that claimed Princess Cruises repeatedly used a film of the entertainer's Vegas show without permission. Stiletto Entertainment, which manages Manilow's affairs, requested statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each instance of direct and contributory copyright infringement, punitive damages, restitution, attorneys fees and additional damages.






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