Today's birthdays include bassist Skip Battin of the Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and also the Flying Burrito Brothers, who was born in 1934 (age 69); Tornados guitarist Alan Caddy and Rusty Kershaw, both in 1940 (age 63); Graham Nash, of the Hollies and also Crosby Stills and Nash, in 1942 (age 61); Bellamy Brother Howard Bellamy in 1946 (age 57); Gentle Giant singer/saxophonist Derek Shulman, and drummer Peter Lucia of Tommy James and The Shondells, both in 1947 (age 56); Alan McKay of Earth Wind and Fire in 1948 (age 55); and Journey bassist Ross Valory in 1949 (age 54).
Today's musical milestones:
In 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson played what would be their final show -- at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The three were killed early the next morning in a plane crash.
In 1963, English singer Helen Shapiro began a concert tour of Britain with the Beatles as her opening act.
In 1973, NBC's rock show "Midnight Special" debuted with Helen Reddy hosting.
In 1977, Robert Plant came down with tonsillitis and Led Zeppelin's North American tour was postponed until June.
In 1979, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols died from a heroin overdose, one day after being released on bail while facing murder charges in his girlfriend's death.
In 1984, Pat Benatar was hospitalized in Los Angeles for what was described as "minor surgery."
In 1987, Blue Note record label founder Alfred Lion died at age 78.
In 1993, Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty lost his battle with his record company when a federal appeals court rules that the label didn't breech its contract when it withheld $1.2 million in royalties. Fogerty would later win his suit on appeal.
Also in 1993, country singer Willie Nelson reached a compromise with the IRS over the back taxes he owed the government. The deal meant they'd call it even, and his debt would be marked "paid."
And in 1993, Harry Connick Jr. was given a conditional release from illegal gun possession charges. The charges stemmed from his trying to carry an unloaded pistol onto a flight at JFK Airport in New York the previous December.
And in 1993, Arrested Development received a record six nominations for the Soul Train Music Awards.
In 1994, New York promoter Sid Bernstein -- who brought the Beatles to the United States in 1964 -- announced plans for a 25th anniversary Woodstock Festival.
Also in 1994, Quincy Jones received the Legend in Leadership Award from Emory University in Atlanta.
In 1995, the Recording Industry Association of America announced that "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac was now the second-best-selling album in the United States -- with sales topping the 17 million mark.
Also in 1995, Billboard Magazine reported that Capital Records was working on a three-CD compilation that included significant portions of the fabled Beach Boys album "Smile" -- Brian Wilson's unfinished masterpiece that was never released.
In 1998, the Rolling Stones resumed their "No Security" tour after Mick Jagger's flu forced the band to cancel two shows in San Jose, Calif.
Also in 1998, the widow of entertainer-turned-politician Sonny Bono -- killed the previous month in a skiing accident -- launched her campaign for her late husband's California congressional seat.
In 1999, a Los Angeles jury decided PBS had stolen from ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith the home video rights to its programs after selling him the rights and promising to help him and his video company. PBS was ordered to pay $47 million to Nesmith.
Today's musical quiz: Where is Helen Reddy from? Answer: Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia.