Elvis Presley On This Day February 17th 1960, won his first Gold record for his second studio album ‘Elvis’. It spent four weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, making Presley the first recording artist to have both albums go straight to No.1 in the same year.
On Aug 16th 1977, Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden; he’d been sitting on the toilet reading The Scientific Search For Jesus. He died of heart failure at the age of 42.
The King of rock & roll dead at 42! I was 19 at the time and working at HMV records, the largest record store outside of London. I wasn’t important, in fact as well as making the tea, I worked the shrink-wrapping machine that all records were covered in before going out in the racks. This was well before the days of CD’s. Our stock consisted of vinyl, cassettes and 8-track cartridges.
I didn’t know of Presley’s demise until I arrived for work that morning. I was in shock, as was everyone else – except the boss. He saw a huge marketing opportunity. All the rival shops would soon sell out of everything Elvis, as would we. So, here’s the plan: Cossar and a mate can get on a train to London, (just over 200 miles away) and go to RCA records, and buy as many Elvis Presley records as you can fit into a black cab taxi. Bring them back on the train and HMV will be the only shop in the north of England with any Elvis records for sale.
Other interesting things that happened on this day in music history.
1966 – Nancy Sinatra
Nancy Sinatra was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’, Frank’s eldest daughters first No.1. Written by Lee Hazlewood Sinatra’s recording of the song was made with the help of Los Angeles session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.
1967 – The Beatles
The Beatles 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 take place in Rochdale, Lancashire, in February 1843. John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks on January 31 while The Beatles were on location for the filming of the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ promotional film.
1969 – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash recorded ‘Girl From The North Country’ together in Nashville at CBS Studios. The track appeared on Dylan’s ‘Nashville Skyline’ album.
1971 – James Taylor
James Taylor made his TV debut on The Johnny Cash Show. Other guests included Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt and Tony Joe White.
1975 – AC/DC
AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.
1978 – Kate Bush
Kate Bush released her debut studio album The Kick Inside which contained her UK number one hit, ‘Wuthering Heights’, (marking the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song). Bush was just 19 years old and had written some of the songs when she was only 13.
Elvis Presley On This Day February 17th 1960