Classic Rock Almanac

Classic Rock Almanac April 17, 2019

April 17, 2019


1960-Rock and Roll pioneer Eddie Cochran was just 21 years old when he was killed after the taxi in which he was riding blew a tire, then hit a lamp post. Cochran enjoyed hits with"Sittin' in the Balcony" (#18 in 1957), "Summertime Blues" (#8 in 1958) and "C'mon Everybody" (#35 in 1959). Gene Vincent, who recorded "Be Bop A Lula" in 1956, and Cochran's fiancee, Sharon Sheeley, survived the crash. Their touring mate, Freddy Cannon, was supposed to be with them, but was running late and took another cab.

1966-"Wild Thing" by The Troggs is released. Adults hate it, the UK music trade paper Record Retailer dubbed it "A most curious record..." but by next June it will be number one in the US and number two in the UK.

1969-Bob Dylan's former backing group, simply known as The Band, make their first stand alone appearance at the Fillmore West in San Francisco.

1971-Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" hit the top of the US singles chart for a six week stay. It made #24 in the UK. The record became the best selling song of the year in the US, beating out Rod Stewart's "Maggie May". Hoyt Axton, son of "Heartbreak Hotel" author, Mae Axton, wrote the song.

1971-All four former Beatles have solo singles on the UK chart: Paul McCartney: "Another Day", Ringo Starr: "It Don't Come Easy", John Lennon, "Power To The People" and George Harrison: "My Sweet Lord".

1971-The Doors' "Love Her Madly" is released. It would become the band's 7th Billboard Top 40 single, reaching #11.

1973-Pink Floyd receives a Gold Record for "The Dark Side of the Moon", one of Rock's landmark albums. The LP remained on the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history and has sold an estimated 45 million copies.

1983-Felix Pappalardi, bassist for the group Mountain, who had a hit in 1970 with "Mississippi Queen", was shot and killed by his wife Gail Collins when they argued over his long-standing affair with a younger woman. She was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to four years in prison. Felix was 43.

1987-Carlton Barrett, drummer for Bob Marley And The Wailers, was shot and killed outside his home in Kingston, Jamaica. Barrett's widow, her lover and an accomplice were charged with murder two weeks later.

1993-David Bowie went to the top of the UK album chart with "Black Tie, White Noise", his eighth UK #1 LP.

1998-Linda Eastman McCartney, wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, died while vacationing with her family near Tucson, Arizona. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. Paul was at her bedside, speaking to her when she passed away.

2008-Danny Federici, the longtime keyboard player for Bruce Springsteen, died of cancer at the age of 58. His stylish work helped define the E Street Band's sound on hits from "Hungry Heart" through "The Rising".

2013-Cleveland's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducts Heart, Rush, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy and Donna Summer along with Lou Adler and Quincy Jones.

2015-Eagles' drummer Don Henley settled his lawsuit with the Duluth Trading Company after the Wisconsin apparel makers sent promotional emails to their customers urging them to "Don a Henley and Take It Easy" last Fall. Duluth Trading posted an apology on its website and made an undisclosed contribution to the Walden Woods Project, the not-for-profit organization founded by Henley in 1990.

2016-The annual independent music retailer celebration called Record Store Day spurred sales of 521,000 vinyl albums according to Nielsen Music. Vinyl album sales in 2016 stood at 4.09 million, which accounted for 6.6 percent of all album sales.


1943-Roy Estrada
bassist with Frank Zappa and a founder member of Little Feat, playing on their first two albums.

1948-Jan Hammer
keyboard player, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck.

1964-James Keenan