Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   Feb. 7, 2003 at 2:45 AM

(Feb. 8)

Today's birthdays include "Star Wars" music composer and multi-Oscar winner John Williams, who was born in 1932 (age 71); Shadows drummer Brian Bennett in 1940 (age 63); Tom Rush in 1941 (age 62); Grass Roots guitarist and banjo player Creed Bratton in 1943 (age 60); Traffic's Jim Capaldi in 1944 (age 59); drummer Adolpho de la Parra of Canned Heat in 1946 (age 57); Dan Seals, one-half of the pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, in 1948 (age 55); country singer Merle Watson was born in 1949; and Motley Crue's Vince Neil in 1961 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Congress opened hearings into "payola," with disc jockeys Alan Freed and Dick Clark among those accused.

In 1967, Peter and Gordon -- a.k.a. Peter Asher and Gordon Wells -- split up after 14 hit singles.

In 1972, two years after the Beatles broke up, the group's official fan club went out of business.

In 1973, Max Yasgur -- the upstate New York farmer on whose land the 1969 Woodstock Festival was held -- died at age 53.

In 1980, David Bowie divorced Angela, his wife of 10 years, in London. The rocker was given custody of their nine-year-old son, Zowie.

In 1990, Del Shannon killed himself at his home in Santa Clarita, Calif. He was 50.

In 1995, "I Sent a Letter to My Love" -- a stage musical written by Melissa Manchester -- opened off-Broadway.

Also in 1995, Boyz II Men sued writer Rita Henderson, claiming she broke the terms of her deal to write a biography of the R&B group and instead was planning an unauthorized history.

In 1996, Michael Jackson, and country's Garth Brooks and Vince Gill were each nominated in the favorite male musical performer category for the 22nd annual People's Choice Awards. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and country's Reba McEntire would vie for the female musical performer award.

In 1997, Whitney Houston picked up three honors at the NAACP Image Awards, including best soundtrack and best gospel artist for "The Preacher's Wife."

Today's musical quiz:

Peter Asher almost became this musician's brother-in-law. Who? Answer: Paul McCartney, who was engaged to Peter's sister, Jane, briefly.


(Feb. 9)

Today's birthdays include Carole King, who was born in 1942 (age 61); Wishbone Ash guitarist Ted Turner in 1950 (age 53); saxophonist Dennis "Dee Tee" Thomas of Kool and the Gang in 1951 (age 52); Holly Johnson, whose real first name is William, of Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 1960 (age 43); country singer Travis Tritt in 1963 (age 40); and rapper Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, in 1969 (age 34).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1964, barely audible over the screams from the largely female audience, the Beatles made the group's first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1966, blues singer Sophie Tucker -- known as the "Last of the Red Hot Mamas" -- died at age 82.

In 1972, Paul McCartney made his first live appearance since the Beatles' break-up, with his new band Wings at Nottingham University in London.

In 1981, rock 'n' roll pioneer Bill Haley died from a heart attack. He was 55.

In 1982, after 11 years of legal wrangling over the money generated by his Concert for BanglaDesh, George Harrison gave UNICEF a check for $8.8 million.

In 1987, the Riverside Co., Calif., coroner announced that Liberace had died from AIDS.

In 1991, Grammy-winning musician the Rev. James Cleveland -- often called the "King of Gospel" -- died at age 64.

In 1993, Annie Lennox gave birth to a girl in London. It was the second daughter for her and her filmmaker husband, Uri Fruchtman.

In 1994, a grand jury convened in Santa Barbara, Calif., to hear child molestation evidence against Michael Jackson. No criminal charges were ever filed against the pop star.

Also in 1994, Janet Jackson met with nine of the 19 neglected Chicago children found in a filthy apartment during a drug raid a month earlier. She invited them to attend one of her concerts later in the year.

In 1995, Johnny Rivers -- whose 1960s hits included "Memphis," "Secret Agent Man" and "Poor Side of Town" -- recorded a live album at the Hollywood House of Blues to mark the 30th anniversary of his first hit album.

In 1996, a Los Angeles jury began deliberations in the murder trial of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and his bodyguard, accused in the killing of a man in an L.A. park three years earlier. They would be acquitted.

Also in 1996, the Los Angeles coroner said the results of an autopsy showed that Adrienne Brown, wife of the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown, had died a month earlier from heart disease and as the result of taking the drug PCP.

In 1998, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx pleaded innocent to assault charges stemming from a December concert in Phoenix. He and the band's drummer, Tommy Lee, were accused of attacking a security guard who'd tried to hold back fans rushing the stage at the invitation of the rockers.

Today's musical quiz:

Where did Frankie Goes To Hollywood get its name? Answer: The band took its name from a newspaper headline about Frank Sinatra's movie career.


(Feb. 10)

Today's birthdays include Ventures guitarist Don Wilson, who was born in 1937 (age 66); Roberta Flack in 1939 (age 64); Jimmy Merchant of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers in 1940 (age 63); singer/songwriter Peter Allen was born in 1944; Donovan, whose full name is Donovan Phillip Leitch, in 1946 (age 57); Pablo Cruise keyboardist and singer Cory Lerios in 1951 (age 52); and Robbie Neville in 1961 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1942, the first "gold" record was presented. The recipient was Glenn Miller, for sales of his "Chattanooga Choo Choo" single.

In 1958, Elvis Presley's ballad "Don't" became his ninth No. 1 single in two years -- since "Heartbreak Hotel" first topped the charts in 1956.

In 1971, British authorities banned a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention after deeming obscene the album "200 Motels," a fictionalized account of the band's experiences on the road.

In 1974, producer Phil Spector was severely injured in auto accident.

In 1982, guitarist Mick Moody left Whitesnake. That same day, drummer Kenny Hyslop departed from Simple Minds.

In 1990, with her debut album "Forever Your Girl," Paula Abdul became the first female artist with an album in the top-10 of the Billboard Top-200 album chart for more than 50 weeks.

In 1991, more than 100 celebrities gathered at Warner Bros. Records in Burbank, Calif., to record "Voices That Care," a song and video to show support for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.

In 1992, a Grosse Pointe, Mich., moving company said the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin had owed them $690 for seven months and had ignored a judgment from small claims court to pay up.

In 1993, in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson said he suffered from a hereditary skin disorder that had bleached his skin white.

In 1994, a Los Angeles jury convicted rapper Tupac Shakur in the beating of a music video director.

In 1995, a Los Angeles judge refused to dismiss murder charges against rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and two other men in a 1993 shooting that left another man dead.

In 1997, Melissa Etheridge's lover, filmmaker Julie Cypher, gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl, in Los Angeles. Etheridge would later reveal that the biological father of their two children was veteran rocker David Crosby.

In 1998, Axl Rose was arrested at the Phoenix, Ariz., airport after cursing a security guard who wanted to inspect his bag. The Guns N' Roses frontman spent a couple of hours in jail before being released. Police called it a "non-incident."

In 2000, funeral services were held in Orlando, Fla., for Dave Peverett, founding member of the rock band Foghat, who died three days earlier at age of 56 from complications of cancer.

Today's musical quiz:

The Roberta Flack hit song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was in what movie? Answer: "Play Misty For Me."


(Feb. 11)

Today's birthdays include the late Gene Vincent, who was born in 1935; Bobby "Boris" Pickett of "Monster Mash" fame in 1940 (age 63); Sergio Mendez in 1941 (age 62); trumpeter Alan Rubin of the Blues Brothers Band in 1953 (age 50); singer Sheryl Crow in 1962 (age 41); and Brandy (Norwood) in 1979 (age 24).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, the Beatles recorded the band's first album, "Please Please Me," during a 13-hour session.

In 1965, Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox in London. John Lennon and George Harrison attended -- but not Paul McCartney, who was vacationing in Tunisia. The marriage lasted 10 years.

In 1967, The Monkees set a record when the band's second album, "More of the Monkees," jumped from No.122 to No.1 on the Billboard Top-200 album chart, where it would remain for 18 weeks.

In 1969, Janis Joplin was interviewed by Mike Wallace for CBS's "60 Minutes" while in New York for a series of shows at the Fillmore East. Later, Joplin would say she didn't remember ever speaking with Wallace.

In 1973, jazz drummer Elvin Jones performed two benefit shows in Sacramento, Calif., to raise funds for a North Vietnamese hospital destroyed by U.S. bombers.

In 1984, a federal grand jury in Memphis indicted Jerry Lee Lewis on tax evasion charges. He would be acquitted the following October.

In 1985, Prince won best solo artist at the fourth annual BRIT Awards in London.

In 1986, Kenny Rogers had a benign growth removed from his vocal cords.

In 1988, British fans of the Butthole Surfers rioted when tickets for the Texas-based group's London concert sold out.

In 1993, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel announced they would reunite for a benefit concert in Los Angeles on March 1.

In 1997, Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and actress Patsy Kensit called off their wedding at the last minute, citing the "obsessive and intrusive" media attention as the reason. They later tied the knot but divorced in 2000.

Today's musical quiz:

Gene Vincent's 1956 hit single "Be-Bop-A-Lula" is about what comic strip character? Answer: Little Lulu.


(Feb. 12)

Today's birthdays include Ray Manzarek of the Doors, who was born in 1935 (age 68); Elephant's Memory drummer Rick Frank in 1942 (age 61); Moe Bandy also in 1942 (age 61); Three Dog Night bassist Joe Schermie in 1945 (age 58); guitarist Stanley Knight of Black Oak Arkansas in 1949 (age 54); former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett in 1950 (age 53); Gil Moore of the Canadian rock band Triumph and Vincent James, vocalist with the British soul group Sweet Sensation, both in 1951 (age 52); and Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips in 1968 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

On this day in 1924, American composer George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was performed for the first time. The 26-year-old Brooklyn-born Gershwin played the piano part in the concert in New York City.

In 1964, the Beatles wrapped up the band's first U.S. tour with a show at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

In 1965, London's Pye Records announced it had signed "the British Bob Dylan," a singer/songwriter who went by his first name of Donovan.

In 1967, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithfull were arrested at Richards' West Wittering, England, home and charged with possession of marijuana. It was the first in a series of highly publicized drug arrests involving members of the Rolling Stones.

In 1968, high school dropout Jimi Hendrix was awarded an honorary diploma from Garfield High School in his hometown of Seattle.

In 1976, Sal Mineo was found murdered in Los Angeles. He was 37.

In 1981, Blondie singer Debbie Harry confirmed she was planning a solo album without the other members of the group. The album, "Koo Koo," sold poorly.

In 1983, composer Eubie Blake died five days after his 100th birthday.

In 1995, Iron Butterfly bassist Philip "Taylor" Kramer vanished en route to Los Angeles International Airport from his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. His skeletal remains were found more than four years later by hikers at the bottom of a Malibu canyon.

In 1997, U2 announced plans for a two-year-long world tour in support of the band's 11th album, "Pop." The "Pop" tour kicked off April 25 in Las Vegas.

Also in 1997, David Bowie was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1998, the lyrics to Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" -- written in memory of Princess Diana -- were auctioned off at Christie's Beverly Hills for $442,500.

In 2000, Wyclef Jean, DMX and Cypress Hill performed at funeral services held in Bronx, N.Y., for rapper Christopher Rios -- a.k.a. Big Pun, which was short for Big Punishment - who died five days earlier at age 28.

Today's musical quiz:

Who is Chynna Phillips' dad? Answer: The late John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.


(Feb. 13)

Today's birthdays include Tennessee Ernie Ford, who was born in 1919; songwriter Boudleaux Bryant was born in 1920; Gene Ames of the Ames Brothers in 1925 (age 78); Dotty McGuire of the McGuire Sisters in 1930 (age 73); country's Razzy Bailey in 1939 (age 64); Peter Tork of the Monkees in 1944 (age 59); Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel in 1950 (age 53); Foreigner bassist Ed Gagliardi and singer/actor David Naughton, both in 1952 (age 51); bassist Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order in 1956 (age 47); and Big Country bassist Tony Butler in 1957 (age 46).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1961, after many years recording for Capitol Records, Frank Sinatra launched his own Reprise label under the auspices of Warner Bros. Records.

In 1966, the Rolling Stones appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1980, Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott married Caroline Crowther, daughter of British entertainer Leslie Crowther.

In 1981, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" became the longest-charted rock album in history when it completed its 402nd week on the Billboard Top-200 Albums chart.

In 1982, thieves removed a 300-pound marble tombstone from the grave of Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zant in Orange Park, Fla. Police found it in a riverbed two weeks later.

In 1984, Capitol Records reissued the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" with a music video.

In 1991, Gloria Estefan announced her first concert tour since the traffic accident that almost left her paralyzed the previous March.

Also in 1991, Curtis Mayfield made his first public appearance since a freak accident during a New York concert left him paralyzed the previous August. He donated $100,000 to a Miami medical center to treat spinal cord injuries.

In 1996, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Randy Newman were nominated for best song Oscars. Newman was also nominated for the best score Academy Award for his work on "Toy Story."

Also in 1996, members of the British pop group Take That confirmed they were breaking up.

And in 1996, the husband of former Pointer Sisters singer Patricia "Bonnie" Pointer was convicted of hitting his wife and her sister during a Christmas Eve family gathering.

In 1997, Michael Jackson became a father with the birth of a boy to his wife, Deborah Rowe Jackson, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In 1998, the Eagles sued the National Foundation to Protect America's Eagles, claiming the organization infringed on the band's name and image.

Also in 1998, Gregg Allman sued Capricorn Records in Los Angeles, accusing the label of copyright infringement stemming from its unauthorized release of 10 albums -- nine by the Allman Brothers Band and a solo effort by Gregg Allman.

In 1999, Will Smith was named Entertainer of the Year at the 30th annual NAACP Image Awards.

Also in 1999, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir was joined on-stage by the pop trio Hanson as the Wetlands in New York City marked its 10th anniversary.

Today's musical quiz:

Who wrote the 1967 Monkees' hit "I'm A Believer"? Answer: Neil Diamond.


(Feb. 14)

Today's birthdays include McGuire Sister Phyllis McGuire, who was born in 1931 (age 72); Eric Andersen in 1943 (age 60); the late Tim Buckley was born in 1947; and former Heart guitarist Roger Fisher in 1950 (age 53).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1970, the Who performed in concert at Leeds University in England. The show produced the "Live at Leeds" album.

In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hosted "The Mike Douglas Show" while its host took a weeklong vacation. Among their guests -- Chuck Berry and Black Panther leader Bobby Seale.

Also in 1972, the original stage production of "Grease" opened in New York City.

In 1974, with Neil Young, Ringo Starr and Carole King in the audience, the bulk of Bob Dylan's "Before the Flood" live album was recorded with The Band at the Forum in Los Angeles. The concert was the final date of his first tour in eight years.

Also in 1974, the Captain, Daryl Dragon, married Toni Tennille in California.

In 1977, ABBA closed out their first British tour with a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.

In 1980, Lou Reed married Sylvia Morales at his Greenwich Village apartment in New York.

In 1981, Billy Idol left his Generation X band for a solo career.

In 1984, Elton John married German-born studio engineer Renate Blauel in Sydney, Australia. They were later divorced.

Also in 1984, Stray Cat rocker Brian Setzer married Deanna Morgan.

In 1994, Barbra Streisand announced plans for her first international tour of Europe and the United States, scheduled for mid-April through July.

Also in 1994, Grateful Dead co-founder Jerry Garcia married independent filmmaker Deborah Koons.

In 1995, three Elton John/Tim Rice songs from "The Lion King" were nominated for the best song Oscar.

Also in 1995, Courtney Love's engagement ring from her late husband Kurt Cobain was stolen when it was sent to the wrong hotel room.

In 1996, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince married his longtime girlfriend, dancer Mayte Garcia, in a Valentine's Day ceremony in Minneapolis. They later separated.

Also in 1996, another new Beatles single "Real Love" was released in Britain.

In 1998, Madonna chose Valentine's Day night for her first live performance in four years, at the Roxy. She had performed at the New York nightclub 14 years earlier when she first arrived in town from Detroit.

Today's musical quiz:

In "At Seventeen," Janis Ian sings that she never gets any of these on this holiday. What? Answer: Valentine's Day cards.

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