17 October

Pick a Day

17 OCTOBER

In Music History

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2020 Directed by Spike Lee, the film version of David Byrne's American Utopia, which ran on Broadway from October 2019 to February 2020, debuts on HBO. Many of the songs from Stop Making Sense, the concert film Byrne did with the Talking Heads, are also in this one, but a showstopper is a cover of Janelle Monáe's "Hell You Talmbout," which ties into the Black Lives Matter movement.

2017 Gord Downie, leader of the Canadian band The Tragically Hip, dies at 53 after a battle with cancer.

2017 To commemorate the 28-year anniversary of Selena's self-titled debut album, Google Doodle pays tribute to the late singer, who was murdered by her ex-fan club president in 1995, with an animated video about her rise to fame. The clip features her hit single "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom."More

2010 Blues scholar Stephen Calt dies in Queens, New York, at age 62.

2008 The Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs dies at age 72.

2007 Teresa Brewer, known for the 1953 hit, "Till I Waltz Again with You," dies of progressive supranuclear palsy at age 76.

2007 A section of Detroit's West Grand Boulevard (the original home of Motown Records) is renamed "Berry Gordy, Jr. Boulevard" after the Motown founder.

2007 The state of California announces that Dionne Warwick owes nearly $2.67 million in back taxes.

2006 Stevie Wonder receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

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. During the ceremony Nic Chester performs as a member of the Australian super-group The Wrights.

2002 The International Bluegrass Music Awards honors Down from the Mountain as Album of the Year. The collection is comprised of artists featured on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack to the Coen Brothers movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, including Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, and Ralph Stanley (of The Stanley Brothers). Dan Tyminski, who sang lead on the Soggy Bottom Boys' "Man Of Constant Sorrow" for the movie, also wins Male Vocalist of the Year.

2002 Country musician Bashful Brother Oswald (real name Beecher Ray Kirby) dies in Madison, Tennessee, at age 90. Popularized the use of the resonator guitar.

2001 Composer Jay Livingston dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 86. Known for his work with songwriting partner Ray Evans, including the Doris Day hit "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)."

1999 Steel guitarist Tommy Durden, who co-wrote Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel," dies at age 79.

1998 The Wilkinsons make their first official appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. They had made an informal appearance on the Opry once before, when they joined Vince Gill onstage before they had a record deal.

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Ronettes Lose Case Against Phil Spector

2002

The Ronettes lose their case against Phil Spector, claiming they are owed royalties for songs used in movies, TV shows and commercials.


When Ronnie and her fellow Ronettes - her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley - began working with Spector in 1963, they signed a five-year "personal services" contract giving his company, Philles Records, ownership of the recordings. The suit claimed that this did not cover "synchronization" rights, which are needed when a song is edited to video, such as for use in a movie, TV show or commercial. This wasn't a big deal until 1987, when "Be My Baby" was used in the blockbuster Dirty Dancing. The following year, the group sued, opening a slow-moving case complicated by a number of issues, including the 1974 agreement between Ronnie and Phil Spector signed after they divorced. The 1963 contract, which the Ronettes signed without legal council, gives Spector the right to "make phonograph records, tape recordings or other reproductions of the performances embodied in such recordings by any method now or hereafter known." And while it makes no mention of synchronization licenses, the court rules that such licenses are covered under Spector's full ownership rights. Also at issue in the lawsuit are royalty payments The Ronettes were promised as part of that 1963 contract which they were never paid. The court awards a lump-sump payment and proper compensation moving forward, but The Ronettes have a hard time collecting. They keep filing lawsuits in an attempt to collect, but find it rather difficult to get Spector, known since 2004 as Inmate Number G63408, to pay up.

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