Today's birthdays include Tornadoes keyboardist Roger Lavern, who was born in 1938 (age 64); Jesse Colin Young in 1944 (age 58); Chris Dreja of the Yardbirds and Vanilla Fudge's Vincent Martell, both in 1945 (age 57); Paul Cowsill of the Cowsills in 1950 (age 52); Andy Partridge of XTC in 1953 (age 49); and Human League's Ian Craig Marsh in 1956 (age 46).
Today's musical milestones:
In 1945, Jerome Kern, one of the top songwriters of the 20th century, died on this date. He was 60. Among his musicals was "Show Boat," considered a masterpiece of the American theater, and among his songs, "Old Man River," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Way You Look Tonight."
In 1957, Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue" was released.
In 1958, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters recorded the original version of "The Twist."
In 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Unfinished Music Number 1: Two Virgins" album -- the one featuring full frontal nudity on its cover -- was released.
In 1970, Bob Dylan's novel "Tarantula" was published.
In 1972, Allman Brothers bassist Barry Oakley was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 24. The crash occured in Macon, Ga., only three blocks from the spot where Duane Allman had died in a similar accident one year earlier.
In 1989, Diane Warren became the first female composer to write the top two songs on the singles' chart: "When I See You Smile" by Bad English and Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On the Rain."
In 1993, Dolly Parton launched her new line of cosmetics at her Dollywood theme park in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains.
In 1994, Jimi Hendrix's stage outfit, John Lennon's "army" shirt, and guitars from Jerry Garcia and the Beach Boys were among the items sold at the first-ever pop memorabilia and guitar sale at Christie's in New York.
In 1995, Jay and the Americans' lead singer Jay Black was injured when his limousine skidded on icy pavement into a guardrail in Cleveland.
In 1997, Metallica performed a free concert for an estimated 30,000 fans outside the Corestates Center in South Philadelphia.
Also in 1997, Warner Bros. Records announced that Eddie Van Halen no longer needed hip replacement surgery.
In 1998, Barry Manilow and a full orchestra performed his new album "Manilow Sings Sinatra" at an exclusive one-night appearance at New York's Supper Club.
Topping the charts on this date:
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (1957), Get Off of My Cloud - The Rolling Stones
Today's musical quiz:
The Yardbirds turned into what legendary 1970s rock band? Answer: Led Zeppelin. When the Yardbirds broke up while on tour, Jimmy Page was left to fulfill the group's commitments. He first called his band the New Yardbirds, but later changed the name to Led Zeppelin when Keith Moon of The Who remarked that the group would go over like a "lead zeppelin."
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