Presty the DJ for April 17

The number one British album today in 1965 was “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”:

Today in 1970, Johnny Cash performed at the White House, getting a request from its resident:

Today in 1971, British record-buyers could buy records from the Beatles, but separately:

None of them were from Britain’s number one album, “Motown Chartbusters Volume 5”:

The number one single over here that day wasn’t from any of the ex-Beatles either:

Today in 1973, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” went gold on its way to its stay on the U.S. album charts for more than a decade:

Today in 1974, Chris “Vinnie Taylor” Donald, singer and lead guitarist of Sha Na Na, died of a heroin overdose.

Two months after Taylor’s death, Elmer Edward Solly, who was serving a prison sentence for beating to death his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in 1969, escaped from Leesburg State Prison in Maurice River Township, N.J. Solly then spent the next 27 years living under assumed identities, including Taylor, who he claimed faked his own death to work undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency. Solly then changed his name to Daniel “Danny C” Catalano, and began performing as a former member of Sha Na Na. The group (which had already dealt with a “tribute” group called Na Na Sha) threatened to sue, but decided that suing would give him publicity. Solly was arrested while fishing in Florida in 2001, was imprisoned until 2003, and died in 2009.

The number one album today in 1982 was the soundtrack to “Chariots of Fire”:

The number one British album today in 1994 was Pink Floyd’s “The Division Bell”:

Birthdays start with Don Kirschner of “Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert”:

Pete Graves of the Moonglows:

Jan Hammer, who composed one of the coolest TV themes ever:

Four deaths of note today: Eddie Cochran, killed in a taxi crash in Britain that injured Gene Vincent …

Felix Pappalardi of Mountain, producer of Cream’s “Disraeli Gears” and “Wheels of Fire,” shot dead by his wife in 1983 …

… Linda McCartney in 1999 …

… and Danny Federici, Bruce Springsteen’s keyboard player, in 2008:

And happy birthday to Ralphie Parker. Don’t shoot your eye out.

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