Today In Music : October 17th — The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and More!

Today is the first of a series of articles I’ve decided to try doing to take a look at has happened on certain dates in the history of music.

First of if today is your birthday you share the same birthday as rapper Eminem (born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph on 1972), singer Wyclef Jean of Fugees (born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti on 1969), Reggae musician Ziggy Marley ( born David Nesta Marley in Kingston, Jamaica. Ziggy is also the son of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley) and pop singer (‘N Sync)  Christopher Kirkpatrick (born in Clarion Pennsylvania)

If you’re playing a show today I have to say the pressure is on. In 1962, The Beatles make their very first television appearance anywhere when part of their afternoon show at the Cavern in Liverpool is broadcast live on Granada television’s People And Places. The band performs two songs: “Some Other Guy” and “Love Me Do.”5 years later, the musical “Hair” also premieres at New York’s Public Theatre and continued running  for 1,758 performances. Additionally The Rolling Stones release 12X5 in 1964 and The Zombies release “She’s Not There”  in 1966


On October 17th  1969, – “Led Zeppelin II” was released along with the start of Led Zeppelin’s third U.S. tour. Led Zeppelin II was the band’s first album to hit No. 1 in the US, knocking The Beatles’ Abbey Road (1969) twice from the top spot, where it remained for seven weeks.  By April 1970 it had registered three million American sales, whilst in Britain it enjoyed a 138 week residence on the LP chart, climbing to the top spot in February 1970.

The album also yielded Led Zeppelin’s biggest hit with the track “Whole Lotta Love”. This song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1970, after Atlantic went against the group’s wishes by releasing a shorter version on 45. The single’s B-side, “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)”, also hit the Billboard chart, peaking at No. 65 in April 1970. The album helped establish Led Zeppelin as an international concert attraction, as for the next year, the group continued to tour relentlessly, initially performing in clubs and ballrooms, then in larger auditoriums and eventually stadiums as their popularity grew.

10 years later on 1979 Fleetwood Mac ‘s two record set “Tusk” would also be released by Warner Brothers Records. Another 10 years down the road (1989) KISS would release the album “Hot in the Shade.”

If you’re sensing a pattern here you’re not completely wrong. ANOTHER  10 years down the road on 1999 Santana’s Supernatural album goes to #1, giving them their first chart topping album in 28 years. The album, conceived by Clive Davis and A&R’d by Pete Ganbarg, was a major global hit, eventually selling more than 30 million copies. It is the most successful album by Santana, hitting the number one spot in ten countries, including the United States. It is also the highest selling album of original material released by any artist who had already been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame prior to its release and second highest selling overall behind The Beatles compilation album

Supernatural debuted at number nineteen on the Billboard 200 on July 3, 1999 but topped (after 18 weeks) the chart on October 30, 1999 and stayed there for 12 non-consecutive weeks. It included the hit single “Smooth”, which featured Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas on vocals, and was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. The follow-up single, “Maria Maria” (which featured The Product G&B), was number one on the same chart for 10 weeks. Santana and Rob Thomas won three Grammys for their collaboration on the song “Smooth” while Santana and Everlast won another for the song “Put Your Lights On”. Santana also won a Grammy for “Maria Maria”. Carlos Santana became the first Hispanic to win the Record of the Year Grammy Award, while the Album of the Year award was bestowed upon Davis.


On top of the charts today are The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” hits #1  (1970), “You Win Again” by Bee Gees (1987), making them the first group with UK chart-toppers in three different decades (the ’60, ’70s and ’80s), “A Groovy Kind Of Love” a cover of a song from 1966 performed by Phil Collins hits #1 in 1988 and finally in 1998, “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies hits #1 in the US, where it stays for…. You guessed it. One week!

In Awards and Achievements, in 2004 at the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Music Awards, Jet dominates the competition, winning awards for six of their seven nominations, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Best Group and Breakthrough Artist. In 2006, Stevie Wonder receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

If your heading into the studio today, no pressure.  The Beatles only recorded the first of their “Christmas Records,” with spoken word greetings sent out on vinyl to members of their fan club and”I Want To Hold Your Hand on this day 1963. Bob Dylan records “Drifter’s Escape,” “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine,” and “The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest.” on 1967. Finally, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand record “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”  in 1978. Fun fact: the superstar session is produced by Bob Gaudio, who keeps a full orchestra standing by in the lobby.


Sounds like today is going to be a very musical day for everyone doing almost anything today, although there may be a tad bit of sure. Don’t worry though, if the pressure gets too much you can just not show up for band rehearsal and sleep at home. After all, on 1989 this year Four Non Blondes postponed their first practice session because of an earthquake that also disrupts the World Series.

I hope this has been a fun read, let me know in the comments if you enjoyed the read, especially now know “What’s Up”!

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