Today's birthdays include the late Cab Calloway, who was born in 1907; the late Chris Kenner was born in 1929; "Little Richard" Penniman, who uses Christmas Day as his birthdate, in 1932 (age 70); the late O'Kelly Isley of the Isley Brothers was born in 1937; guitarist Henry Vestine of Canned Heat and the Mothers of Invention in 1944 (age 58); bassist Noel Redding, who played with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1945 (age 57); Jimmy Buffett in 1946 (age 56); country's Barbara Mandrell in 1948 (age 54); Robin Campbell of UB40 and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics, both in 1954 (age 48); and Shane McGowan of The Pogues in 1957 (age 45).
Today's musical milestones:
In 1959, an 18-year-old Richard Starkey -- the future Ringo Starr -- received his first drum kit for Christmas.
In 1960, Mary Wells made her first chart appearance with "Bye Bye Baby."
In 1967, Paul McCartney announced his engagement to actress Jane Asher, the sister of singer Peter Asher. The marriage never took place.
In 1969, Robbie Bachman, 16, was given his first drum kit as a Christmas present. Three years later, he became the drummer in older brother Randy's group, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
In 1990, James Brown entertained the troops at Fort Jackson, S.C. It was the "Godfather of Soul's" first concert since going to prison two years earlier for leading police on a high-speed chase across two states.
Also in 1990, it was announced that the year's New Kids On The Block concert tour was the second-highest grossing road trip in music history and the year's highest.
In 1995, actor-singer Dean Martin died at the age of 78.
In 1998, the Backstreet Boys, Lauryn Hill and Shania Twain were named to Entertainment Weekly's list of the year's top entertainers.
Also in 1998, the Beatles' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was returned to the legendary walk following an absence of almost five years.
In 2000, rapper Eminem, 'N Sync, Destiny's Child and country diva Faith Hill made Entertainment Weekly's list of the top-12 entertainers of the year.
Topping the charts on this date: The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens (1961), Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary (1969), How Deep is Your Love - Bee Gees (1977), Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie (1985).
Today's musical quiz:
Where did the members of UB40 come up with their group's name? Answer: UB40 is the title of a British unemployment form.
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