Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   Jan. 20, 2003 at 2:30 AM   |   0 comments

(Jan. 20)

Today's birthdays include yodeling country singer Otis "Slim" Whitman, who was born in 1924 (age 79); Ronald Townson of the Fifth Dimension in 1941 (age 62); 10cc guitarist Eric Stewart in 1945 (age 58); Poco drummer George Grantham and rock band manager Malcolm McLaren, both in 1947 (age 56); Paul Stanley of Kiss in 1952 (age 51); and country singer John Michael Montgomery in 1965 (age 38).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, disc jockey and promoter Alan Freed died at age 42. Freed is credited with coining the phrase "rock 'n' roll."

In 1967, already a huge hit in the United States, "The Monkees" TV show began airing in Britain.

In 1968, Bob Dylan, the Band, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Richie Havens appeared at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In 1973, Jerry Lee Lewis debuted at the Grand Ole Opry. He played "Great Balls of Fire" and other rock tunes over the objections of Opry officials.

In 1974, Stevie Wonder's concert at the Rainbow Theater in London was his first show following a bad car accident five months earlier.

In 1982, a UNICEF benefit at the Savoy in New York City featured Charlie Daniels, Rick Derringer, Phil Lynott and Carmine Appice.

Also in 1982, bluesman B.B. King donated his entire record collection -- some 7,000 discs, including many rare blues recordings -- to the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

And in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne was hospitalized after biting the head off a bat someone had thrown on stage during a concert. After undergoing rabies shots, the rocker said he thought the bat was plastic.

In 1988, the Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1990, the original members of the Byrds reunited for a Roy Orbison tribute concert.

In 1993, President Clinton picked up a saxophone and jammed at five of the 12 inaugural balls he and his wife, Hillary, attended.

In 1994, a ceremony to honor members of the Pointer Sisters a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was canceled due to the Los Angeles earthquake three days earlier.

In 1995, a Los Angeles judge granted rapper Dr. Dre a one-month delay on his sentence for drunk driving so he could finish work on a music video.


Today's musical quiz:

Name the first country performer to play at the London Palladium. Answer: "Slim" Whitman.

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