17 February

Pick a Day

17 FEBRUARY

In Music History

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2014 Bob Casale (rhythm guitarist and keyboardist for Devo) dies of heart failure at age 61.

2013 Country singer Mindy McCready dies of a self-inflicted gunshot at age 37.

2010 Mumford & Sons make their US TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman.

2006 Ray Barretto, whose 1968 album Acid became a Latin jazz classic, dies at age 76.

2005 With Tommy Lee back in the band for the first time in five years, Mötley Crüe begin their Red, White & Crüe tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It's a circus theme, with clowns, fire-eaters and acrobats. For his drum solo, Tommy Lee and his rig go up on a trapeze and he performs from 30 feet in the air.

2004 The Darkness win Brit Awards for Best British group, Best British Rock Act and Best British Album (Permission to Land). Busted wins for the British Breakthrough Award and takes Best Pop Act.

2001 Shaggy's album Hot Shot hits #1 in America, where it goes on to sell over 6 million copies. The most popular track is "It Wasn't Me," where Shaggy (in character) explains how deny it when caught cheating.

2001 Brad Paisley joins the cast of the Grand Ole Opry.

1998 After a failed run on Elektra Records, Destiny's Child release their self-titled debut album on Columbia. The first single, "No, No, No," is a hit and introduces their crisp, punctuated vocal style.

1998 Songwriter Bob Merrill commits suicide aged 76. His compositions include the #1 UK hits "(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window?" and "She Wears Red Feathers (And A Huly-Huly Skirt)."

1997 ABC airs Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees, a one-hour comedy special written and directed by original Monkee Mike Nesmith. From their '60s pad, the group recalls their old shenanigans and sings a medley of their classic hits: "Last Train To Clarksville," "Daydream Believer," "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "I'm A Believer" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday."

1995 25 years after agreeing to sing at Marcia Brady's prom, Davy Jones reunites with the Bradys... sort of. Jones and fellow Monkees Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz appear in the spoof The Brady Bunch Movie. Jones performs at the prom again, singing a grungy rendition of "Girl," the same song he sang on the TV show.

1992 Shakespears Sister release their second album, Hormonally Yours. Initially based on a B-movie called Cat-Women Of The Moon, it produces a huge hit with "Stay," a sci-fi single that spends eight weeks at #1 in the UK.

1990 Emma Anderson admits in an interview that her band Lush is the "Most hated band in London."

1982 Jazz great Thelonious Monk dies at age 64.

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Kate Bush Releases Debut Album

1978

Kate Bush, a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Britain, releases her debut album, The Kick Inside. The collection of art pop features the #1 UK hit single "Wuthering Heights."

Based on Emily Bronte's 1847 novel of the same name, "Wuthering Heights" tells the love story of Heathcliff and Cathy, whose tempestuous romance comes to an end with Cathy's death. It's an unusual ballad – not because of its subject matter, but because of Kate's soaring pitch, which adds an ethereal quality to Cathy's ghostly pleas for Heathcliff to let her inside. EMI thought the song was too bizarre to be The Kick Inside's lead single and pushed for the rock-oriented "James and the Cold Gun," but Kate was insistent. Not only would UK listeners recognize the classic story set in the English countryside, but it was a chance to exploit her impressive range. When "Wuthering Heights" hit the airwaves, callers flooded the radio stations with inquires about the strange song they just heard. It shot to #1 in the UK, making the 19-year-old the first female solo artist to top the chart with a self-written song. The success of the single also proved that young Kate was capable of making decisions about her own career – a luxury not given to many artists, especially females. While she continues to take further control of her work in the future – producing her own albums – early on the wheels of EMI are greased by her association with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and The Kick Inside's producer, Andrew Powell. Gilmour discovered Kate while he was scouting for unknown talent in London and was given some of her tapes. Recognizing the potential in her unique sound and songwriting ability, the Pink Floyd guitarist financed a fully mastered three-song demo and helped her orchestrate a deal with the label. During the recording sessions for her debut album, Powell also encouraged the session musicians to take direction from Kate. "They were all very concerned about what I thought of the treatment of each of the songs," she recalled. "If I was unhappy with anything, they were more than willing to re-do their parts." The Kick Inside, bolstered by the success of "Wuthering Heights," peaks at #3 in the UK. It also includes key tracks that earn her accolades for her bold artistic choices, such as the incest-themed title track and "The Man With the Child In His Eyes," a progressive-pop ballad about a love affair between a young girl and an older man. That same year, Kate followed up with her sophomore release, Lionheart.

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