March 17 – The Champs, Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello


Chicano rock band The Champs have a rare US#1 instrumental hit with B-Side Tequila.

The song is written by Danny Flores aka ‘Chuck Rio’, the ‘godfather of Latino rock.’ The recording is done by Challenge Records, owned by Gene Autry. ▷Recording session ▹

The band manages three more top-40 singles — one of which, Limbo Rock, will become a US#2 for Chubby Checker in 1962. Other sometime band members marked by destiny include Glen Campbell and Seals and Crofts.

Among other charting Chicano artists of the 55-65 era are Ritchie Valens, Sunny & the Sunglows, Rosie & The Originals, Thee Midniters, Cannibal and the Headhunters. TM:Land of a Thousand Dances (’65) 

▷’Champs’ bio at S&C site▹ ▷SF:List of hit instrumentals▹ ▷PBS:Chicano Rock▹

1967 (Mar 17)

San Francisco psychedelic jammers The Grateful Dead release their eponymous first album, recorded in 4 days in L.A. (US#37)

It includes Bonnie Dobson‘s 1962 apocalyptic folk-rock song Morning Dew. Previously the band played for many of Ken Kesey‘s 1965 ‘Acid Tests‘, most notably on Dec. 10 at the Fillmore. The Dead and its extended jams will enjoy one of the most loyal fanbases in all of music, and guide many to the light.

Skull & roses

Their 7th, live double album, also titled Grateful Dead, is released Oct. 24, 1971 (US#25). Fans call it Skull and Roses and the original name rejected by Warner. Playing in the Band 

Dead: Tech pioneers MB Wall of Sound ▹ ▷Rock HoF 1994 ▹ ▷RS Greatest artists #57 ▹
( Website )


English punk, new wave singer-songwriter Elvis Costello & The Attractions release second hit Pump It Up.

It originally appears on Costello’s second album This Year’s Model (UK#4, US#30). It’s produced by Costello’s fellow Stiff Records artist Nick Lowe. Several dozen covers exist. First hit Watching the Detectives  is included on the US release of first album My Aim Is True.

Costello has released over 30 albums. In 2009 he has another US top-20 album with Secret, Profane & Sugarcane (US#13,UK#71).

 ( Website ▷Costello Wiki▹ ▷Rock HoF, 2003▹