Gene Chandler started a three week run at No.1 on the U.S. singles music chart in 1962 with “Duke Of Earl”. The song was considered the best known song by Chandler and because of this, Chandler subsequently dubbed himself “The Duke Of Earl”. “Duke Of Earl” was written by Chandler, Earl Edwards and Bernice Williams. Once a warmup song and Gene sang “Do do do do…….” in different keys. Gene changed the words one time to “Du du du Duke of Earl” and the song took off.
In 1966, Nancy Sinatra was at No.1 on the U.K. singles music chart with “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, the daughter of Frank Sinatra, this was Nancy’s first No.1. Written by Lee Hazelwood, Sinatra’s recording of the song was made with the help of Los Angeles sessions musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.
The Beatles, in 1967, started recording a new John Lennon song “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite” at Abbey Road Studios, London. John’s lyrics for the song came almost entirely from an antique poster advertising a circus performance scheduled to talk place in Rochdale, Lancashire, in February 1843. John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks on January 31st, while The Beatles were on location for the filming of the “Strawberry Fields Forever” promotional film.
AC/DC released their debut album “High Voltage” in 1975. The album featured a cover of “Baby, Please Don’t Go” a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and “Big Balls” which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote the lyrics.
The Eagles released “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” in 1976 through Asylum Records. The album became the best-selling album of the 20th century in the U.S. The Recording Industry Association of America claimed it the second highest-certified album at 29x platinum, only behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. All songs on the album charted in the top 40 with the exception of “Tequila Sunrise”.
In 1979, Blondie scored their first U.K. No.1 album when “Parallel Lines” started a four week run at the top of the music charts, featuring the singles “Heart Of Glass”, “Hanging On The Telephone” and “Sunday Girl”.
In 1980, US country singer Kenny Rogers was at No.1 on the UK singles music chart with “Coward Of The County”, his second and last UK chart topper. The song was written by Roger Bowling and Ed Wheeler and was released as the second single from Kenny’s Triple Platinum album “Kenny”.
Country music artist Joe Diffie hits the top of the Billboard country singles music chart in 1996 with “Bigger Than The Beatles”. The song is written by Jeb Stuart Anderson and Steve Dukes and was released as the lead single from the album “Life’s So Funny”. The song also reached No.1 on the Canadian RMP Country Tracks music chart.
Bruce Springsteen accidentally gave a waiter in an LA restaurant an expired Platinum American Express card by mistake and let them keep it as a souvenir. The card was sold for $4,500 at a New York memorabilia sale in 1996.
In 2000, John Lennon’s Steinway piano, on which he composed “Imagine”, went on display at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England. The piano was set to be auctioned on the Internet later in the year and was expected to fetch more than $1.7 million.
Australian county music artist Jamie O’Neal peaked at No.1 on the Billboard Country music chart in 2001 with “There Is No Arizona”. Co-written by Jamie, Lisa Drew and Shaye Smith, the song was released as the first single from O’Neal’s debut album “Shiver”.
A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix sold for over $200,000 at an auction in London in 2005. Other Hendrix items sold included a poem written two weeks after his appearance at the Monterey Festival which went for $13,000 and the first Jimi Hendrix Experience’s single “Hey Joe”, signed by all the band for $3,000.
Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand made music history after taking two top prizes at the NME Awards in 2005. The band, who won best album and best single, became the first act ever to win the Mercury Music Prize, Brit Awards and NME awards in the same year.
And now it is time to say Happy Birthday to the people who brought us great music or had a hand in creating the music we love. Those born today, February 17th are:
Orville “Hoppy” Jones – born in 1905, Jones was originally a dancer and that is where he got the nickname “Hoppy”. Later, “Hoppy” became a bassist, singer and cello player with the Ink Spots.
Tommy Edwards – born in 1922, Tommy was an American singer and songwriter. His biggest-selling record was the multi-million selling song “It’s All In The Game”. This became a No.1 single in the U.S. and U.K. on the music charts in 1958.
Bobby Lewis – born in 1933, Bobby was an American rock and roll and rhythm and blues singer. Lewis began his music career in the 1950s and 1960s playing at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. He had the 1961 U.S. No.1 single “Tossin’ And Turnin’.
Taylor Hawkins – born in 1972, Taylor is an American musician who is best known as the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters. Prior to joining Foo Fighters, Hawkins was a touring drummer with Alanis Morrisette on her Jagged Little Pill and Can’t Not Tour.lk Taylor also drummed for a bit with the progressive experimental band Sylvia.
Billie Joe Armstrong – born in 1972, Billie is an American singer, songwriter and actor who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and guitarist with the punk band Green Day. Green Day is was co-founded by Armstrong and Mike Dirnt.
Bryan White – born in 1974, Bryan is an American country music artist. Signed with Asylum Records at the age of 20, White released his self-titled debut album in 1994. Both this album and his 1996 “Between Now and Forever” were certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Hit 1997 album “The Right Place” went on to be certified Gold.
Svein Berge – born in 1976, Svein is a Norwegian electronic musician who makes up half the dup Royksopp. Berge has also done several remixes for other artists, amongst them are Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode and Beck.