Today's birthdays include composer Scott Joplin, "king of ragtime," born in 1858; Jim Yester of the Association, who was born in 1939 (age 63); bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn of the Mar-Keys, Booker T and the M-Gs, and the Blues Brothers, and Pete Best -- the original drummer of the Beatles who was kicked out of the group and replaced by Ringo Starr in August 1962 -- both in 1941 (age 61); Lee Michaels in 1945 (age 57); guitarist Chris Hayes of Huey Lewis and the News in 1957 (age 45); and Stone Roses guitarist John Squire in 1962 (age 40).
Today's musical milestones:
In 1991, Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS at his West London home, one day after confirming rumors that he had the disease. He was 45.
Also in 1991, Kiss drummer Eric Carr died of cancer at a New York hospital. He was 41.
In 1992, a London court granted the ex-wife of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman an $870,000 divorce settlement. Wyman had met Mandy Smith when she was 13. They married when she was 19 and he 52, and were divorced 23 months later in 1991.
Also in 1992, Michael Jackson donated $2.1 million in humanitarian aid to children in the former Yugoslav republics of Bosnia and Croatia.
And in 1992, a Boston magistrate ruled there was probable cause to bring a criminal complaint against rapper "Marky" Mark Wahlberg and a friend for allegedly beating up a man. The magistrate gave both sides two weeks to reach an agreement.
In 1993, Michael Jackson signed a music publishing deal with EMI, said to be worth more than $200 million.
In 1999, for the fifth year, James Brown handed out free Thanksgiving turkeys to the poor in his hometown of Augusta, Ga.
In 2000, the Beatles' new album "1" -- a compilation of 27 of the Fab Four's No. 1 U.S. and U.K. hits from 1962 to 1970 -- debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
Topping the charts on this date:
Today's musical quiz:
How did Pete Best become a Beatle? Answer: The future Beatles, then calling themselves the Quarrymen, were regular performers at The Casbah, Best's mother's club. When the band had a dispute with their drummer, Pete sat in and in August 1960 officially joined the band.
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