Today In Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   Feb. 14, 2003 at 2:45 AM

(Feb. 15)

Today's birthdays include Brian Holland of the songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland, who was born in 1941 (age 62); Kinks drummer Mick Avory in 1944 (age 59); John Helliwell, saxophonist with Supertramp, in 1945 (age 58); Santana bassist David Brown in 1947 (age 56); Melissa Manchester in 1951 (age 52); UB40's Ali Campbell in 1959 (age 44); and Culture Club's Mikey Craig in 1960 (age 43).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, Nat "King" Cole died of cancer at age 46.

In 1968, blues harmonica player Little Walter Jacobs -- a key member of Muddy Waters' band -- was stabbed to death during a street fight in Chicago. He was 38.

In 1974, New York's Bottom Line -- a showcase for major new talent -- opened with Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and Carly Simon in the audience.

In 1976, Bette Midler bailed out seven members of her entourage after they were arrested on drug possession charges.

In 1981, blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield was found dead in his car in San Francisco. The cause of death -- an apparent accidental drug overdose. He was 36.

In 1984, stage and screen actress and singer Ethel Merman died at age 75

Also In 1984, the revamped Pretenders began a 52-date U.S. tour.

In 1987, People magazine reported that John Lennon's murderer, Mark David Chapman, had considered killing many other celebrities -- including Paul McCartney, Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, and President Reagan.

In 1993, an overflow crowd jammed NBC's Burbank, Calif., studios to see Duran Duran on "The Tonight Show."

In 1994, a federal court jury ruled that Michael Jackson did not steal the idea for his hit song "Dangerous" from a Denver woman who'd sent him a demo tape.

In 1999, the Detroit Free Press reported that 31 lawsuits had been filed against Aretha Franklin since 1988 for unpaid bills to dentists, accountants, plumbers, caterers, florists, etc.

Today's musical quiz:

How did Melissa Manchester get her start in the music business? Answer: Manchester got her start in the early 1970s with a group that backed Bette Midler.


(Feb. 16)

Today's birthdays include Sonny Bono who was born in 1935; R&B singer James Ingram in 1956 (age 47); actor-rapper Ice T (real name: Tracy Morrow) in 1959 (age 44); former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in 1961 (age 42); and the Blow Monkeys' Tony Kylie in 1962 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, the Beatles had the group's first No.1 single in Britain with "Please, Please Me."

Also in 1963, heart-throb Paul Anka married Ann Denzogheb in Paris.

In 1964, the Beatles appeared for a second week on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1970, Elvis Presley recorded his show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas for an album that would be titled "On Stage, February, 1970."

The Bee Gees received the Grammy for Best Album of 1978 for Saturday Night Fever and also win the Best Pop Group award

In 1978, the members of ABBA attended the London premiere of their feature film debut, titled "ABBA -- The Movie."

In 1982, influential jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, known as the "High Priest of BeBop," died at the age of 65.

In 1986, Pat Benatar gave birth to her first child, a girl she named Haley.

In 1987, Bon Jovi fans camping out in the bitter cold at the Nassau, N.Y., Coliseum for concert tickets began rioting, smashing doors and windows. But 5,000 of them lined up when the box office opened.

In 1991, Sinead O'Connor announced she would not accept any Grammy Awards she might win.

Also in 1991, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin were among the celebrities who joined fans at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium to pay tribute to gospel musician the Rev. James Cleveland, who'd died a week earlier at age 59.

In 1992, Japanese customs officials refused to allow Mick Jagger into the country because he didn't have the proper papers. The Rolling Stone frontman spent the night in an airport hotel before immigration officials issued him a visa. The snarl stemmed from Jagger's past drug convictions.

In 1993, Rod Stewart received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BRITS Awards in London. He was then reunited with former Faces bandmates Ron Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones to perform a couple of classic Faces tunes.

Also in 1993, an out-of-court settlement was announced in former Motown producer Johnny Bristol's lawsuit against BeeBee and CeeCee Winans. He charged that their 1984 song "I Really Love You" was very similar to his 1974 "Hang On In There, Baby."

In 1994, Bette Midler testified that her 1991 movie "For The Boys" was not based on the life of Martha Raye. The actress was suing Midler and others in Los Angeles court for $1 million and 10 percent of the movie's profits.

In 1995, a spokesman for Michael Jackson denied a report on TV's "Hard Copy" that he'd set up a $1 million trust fund for O.J. Simpson's two young children.

Also in 1995, the Recording Industry Association of America reported a record $12 billion in revenue for the music industry in 1994.

In 1999, rapper ODB (real name: Russell Jones) was arrested in Los Angeles after the police discovered he was wearing a bullet-proof vest -- a no-no considering his prior violent felony arrests.

Today's musical quiz:

How did Andy Taylor get his job with Duran Duran? Answer: He's said to have answered a newspaper advertisement placed by the band looking for a "live-wire" guitarist.


(Feb. 17)

Today's birthdays include Bobby Lewis, who had a chart-topping hit in 1961 with "Tossin' and Turnin'," was born in 1933 (age 70); Gene Pitney in 1941 (age 62); Dodie Stevens, who had a hit in 1959 with "Pink Shoe Laces," in 1947 (age 56); Melissa Brooke-Belland of Voice of the Beehive in 1966 (age 37); Ronald DeVoe of Bell Biv DeVoe in 1967 (age 36); and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong in 1972 (age 31).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Elvis Presley received his first gold record for an album, a 1956 release titled "Elvis."

In 1965, "Tennessee Waltz" was declared the state song of Tennessee.

In 1968, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Donovan flew to India to study transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

In 1969, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash collaborated on a recording project at the CBS Studios in Nashville. Although a number of songs were recorded, only one -- "Girl From The North Country" -- appeared on Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" album, for which Cash wrote the sleeve notes. Another tune -- "One Too Many Mornings" -- appeared in the documentary film "Johnny Cash, The Man And His Music."

In 1970, Joni Mitchell announced she would make no more public appearances. Before the year was out, she was on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival.

In 1972, a year before releasing the album, Pink Floyd premiered "The Dark Side of the Moon" before an audience at London's Rainbow Theatre.

In 1975, John Lennon's "Rock 'N' Roll" album of songs from his teenage years was released in the United States.

In 1979, the Clash launched the U.S. leg of its "Pearl Harbor '79" tour in New York. The first song of the set was "I'm So Bored With the USA."

In 1984, "Footloose" opened at 1,200 U.S. movie theaters.

In 1986, a daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, was born to Olivia Newton-John and her husband, Matt Lattanzi.

In 1987, Sly Stone was jailed in Los Angeles on two outstanding warrants on drug charges.

In 1988, a 12-year-old Motley Crue fan accidentally set his legs on fire while trying to imitate a stunt shown in the group's "Live Wire" video. The rockers sent their condolences to the boy, advising that their stunts should not be tried at home.

In 1992, more than 50 fans were hurt in a stampede at a New Kids On The Block concert in Seoul, South Korea. One teenage girl later died from her injuries.

Today's musical quiz:

Who wrote "He's a Rebel," a hit song for the Crystals? Answer: Gene Pitney.


(Feb. 18)

Today's birthdays include artist/musician Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, who was born in 1933 (age 70); Herman Santiago of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers in 1941 (age 62); Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung in 1947 (age 56); Juice Newton and Randy Crawford, both in 1952 (age 51); drummer Robbie Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and Little River Band drummer Derek Pellici, both in 1953 (age 50); and John Travolta in 1954 (age 49).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, the Everly Brothers recorded "When Will I Be Loved" during the duo's last session for Cadence Records before joining the Warner Bros. label.

In 1968, Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett left the band and checked into a psychiatric hospital. He was replaced by guitarist David Gilmore.

In 1969, Bee Gee Maurice Gibb married pop star Lulu (real name: Marie Laurie) in England. His brother Robin served as best man.

In 1971, Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band made its New York debut at Unganos.

In 1980, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman told a London newspaper he planned to leave the band in 1982, after the group's 20th anniversary. He stayed on until the early '90s.

In 1992, legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was hospitalized in Oakland, Calif., after collapsing following a performance at an area nightclub. He was treated for exhaustion and diabetes.

In 1993, Emerson Lake and Palmer appeared on "The Tonight Show." It was the group's first performance on U.S. network television in 20 years.

Also in 1993, rapper Marky Mark (Wahlberg) apologized for the racially motivated attacks he committed as a teenager.

And in 1993, Israeli tourism officials invited Michael Jackson to soak in the Dead Sea to help his skin problems. (A week earlier, Jackson had told Oprah Winfrey and a national TV audience he suffered from a disease that caused a loss of skin pigmentation.)

And in 1993, an off-Broadway tribute to Carole King -- "Tapestry: The Music of Carole King" -- opened in New York.

In 1994, the Englewood, N.J., hospital where Dizzy Gillespie had died a month earlier announced it would offer free medical care to out-of-work jazz artists with no medical insurance.

In 1995, former Replacements guitarist Bob Stinson was found dead in a Minneapolis apartment. He was 35.

Also in 1995, legendary producer Denny Cordell died of lymphoma. He was credited with discovering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, T-Rex, Joe Cocker, and the Cranberries.

In 1996, Sting ripped Michael Jackson in an interview with a London newspaper. (He called Jackson's "Earth Song" a "pile of crap" and accused the pop singer of behaving as if he were God.)

In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to get involved in a fight over who wrote the 1956 Frankie Lymon and the Teen-agers' hit song "Why Do Fools Fall In Love." The justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that overturned a federal jury verdict that group members Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago had written the tune. The copyright lists Lymon and another man as composers.

In 1999, Lauryn Hill began her first-ever solo tour in Detroit.

Today's musical quiz:

What does Yoko Ono's name mean in Japanese? Answer: "Ocean child."


(Feb. 19)

Today's birthdays include Bob Engemann, formerly of the Lettermen, who was born in 1936 (age 67); William "Smokey" Robinson in 1940 (age 63); Lou Christie, who topped the charts in 1966 with "Lightnin' Strikes," in 1943 (age 60); guitarist Mark Andes, whose bands include Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall and Heart, and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, both in 1948 (age 55); guitarist Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, and former Scorpions bassist Francis Buchholz, both in 1950 (age 53); Dave Wakeling, guitarist with The English Beat and also General Public, in 1956 (age 47); Falco, a.k.a. Johann Holzel, who had a No.1 hit in 1986 with "Rock Me Amadeus," in 1957; William "Holly" Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and Fat Boy rapper Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, both in 1960 (age 43); Seal, who was born Sealhenry Samuel, in 1963 (age 40); and Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell in 1975 (age 28).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1878, Thomas Edison patented the first phonograph.

In 1958, Carl Perkins of "Blue Suede Shoes" fame left Sun Records and became the first major rockabilly artist to sign with Columbia Records.

In 1972, the British government banned airplay of Paul McCartney's "Give Ireland Back to the Irish."

In 1976, Donna Summers' first disco hit -- "Love To Love You Baby" -- was certified "gold."

In 1977, Fleetwood Mac released its masterpiece album "Rumours."

In 1980, AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning following a drinking bout in London. He was 35.

In 1981, in a case of what the judge called "subconscious plagiarism," George Harrison was ordered to pay $587,000 to Allen Klein's ABKCO Music for lifting the melody of The Chiffons' 1963 hit "He's So Fine" for his own 1970 hit "My Sweet Lord."

In 1992, Michael Jackson cut short his African trip, reportedly due to emergency business matters. The non-singing tour had been plagued by controversy due to Jackson's "habit" of touching his nose. African newspapers claimed the singer couldn't stand the smell of the continent.

Also in 1992, Ray Charles was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Whitney Houston's cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" topped the Billboard charts for the 14th week -- breaking the record for longest-running No.1 single in history. That record had been set just the previous October by Boyz II Men's "End of the Road." (Since then, the record has been broken -- yet again -- by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," which topped the charts for 16 weeks in 1996.)

In 1994, the Canadian rock group Crash Test Dummies debuted on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

In 1995, Roxette performed in Beijing, becoming the first major western pop group in a decade to play China.

Also in 1995, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson were married in Cancun, Mexico.

And in 1995, a second child -- a boy -- was born to Jon Bon Jovi and his wife in New York City.

In 1996, the New York Post reported that Michael Jackson wanted to recreate his Neverland Ranch near EuroDisney outside Paris. The same day, Jackson was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual BRIT Awards in London.

In 1998, Everclear launched a concert tour in Sacramento, Calif., in support of its new album "So Much For The Afterglow."

Also in 1998, country legend Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones -- the star of TV's "Hee-Haw" and host of the Grand Ole Opry -- died from complications of a stroke he'd suffered a month earlier. Jones was 84.

In 1999, Elton John began his first-ever solo American tour -- just him and a piano -- in Roanoke,Va.

Also in 1999, "Scary Spice" Melanie Gulzar gave birth to girl in London. It was the first child for her and husband Jimmy Gulzar.

Today's musical quiz:

The first single released by the Miracles, in 1958, was a response to the Silhouettes' tune "Get A Job." What was its title? Answer: "Got A Job."


(Feb. 20)

Today's birthdays include David Ackles, who was born in 1937 (age 66); Nancy Wilson also was born in 1937 (age 66); Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1941 (age 62); former Blood Sweat and Tears trumpet player Lewis Soloff in 1944 (age 59); Randy California of Spirit and guitarist Jerome Geils of the J. Geils Band, both in 1946 (age 57); Walter Becker of Steely Dan in 1950 (age 53); Stone Roses singer Ian Brown in 1963 (age 40); the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana in 1968; and Charlotte Church in 1986 (age 17).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1974, Cher filed for separation from Sonny Bono after 10 years of marriage.

In 1976, a New York court ruled that John Lennon's verbal contract with Roulette Records to release an album of the ex-Beatle singing rock 'n' roll hits from the 1950s was invalid, because Lennon was already under contract with Capitol/EMI Records and so unable to make such an agreement.

Also in 1976, members of KISS placed their footprints in concrete outside Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.

In 1982, Pat Benatar married her guitarist/producer, Neil Geraldo, on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

In 1991, producer/composer Quincy Jones became the all-time non-classical Grammy winner when he won six awards at the 33rd annual Grammy Awards. Bette Midler won Song of the Year for a second year in a row with the tune "From A Distance."

In 1992, singer Paula Abdul and actor Emilio Estevez announced their engagement.

In 1995, authorities in Westchester, N.Y., ordered singer Mariah Carey and her husband, Sony Music President Tommy Mottola, to apply for a dam permit after they built twin ponds on their Long Island estate much too big.

In 1996, almost 50 artists -- including Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine -- sued the Amway Corp. for using their work without permission on motivational tapes.

In 1997, "Evita," starring Madonna, opened in Argentina amid controversy -- with Peronists calling for a boycott of the film version of the musical about former first lady Eva Peron.

Also in 1997, the Trinity Broadcasting Network cancelled Pat Boone's weekly "Gospel America" program until he explained why he showed up at the American Music Awards dressed as a heavy metal rocker. The 62-year-old Boone said he was spoofing his squeaky-clean image and promoting his latest album -- a cover of heavy metal classics.

In 1998, the first of two concerts was held in Santa Monica, Calif., in memory of the late pop singer Nicolette Larson. Participating artists included Crosby Stills and Nash, Linda Rondstadt and Carole King.

Today's musical quiz:

Buffy Sainte-Marie co-wrote what 1982 No.1 single? Answer: "Up Where We Belong," recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.


(Feb. 21)

Today's birthdays include Nina Simone, who was born in 1933 (age 70); music and film mogul David Geffen in 1943 (age 60); Uriah Heep's Paul Newton in 1945 (age 58); Jerry Harrison of Modern Lovers and also Talking Heads in 1949 (age 54); Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick in 1951 (age 52); Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel in 1952 (age 51); country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1958 (age 45); and Ranking Roger of The English Beat and also General Public in 1961 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1976, country music stars Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson topped the country singles chart with "Good Hearted Woman," a track from "The Outlaws" album. The song was named song of the year by the Country Music Association. "The Outlaws" became the first country album in country music history to be certified platinum, with sales of more than 1 million copies.

Also in 1976, former Supreme Florence Ballard died a pauper in Detroit. She was 32.

In 1982, New York disc jockey Murray "Murray the K" Kaufman -- the self-proclaimed "fifth Beatle" -- died of cancer at age 60.

In 1992, a Cleveland court dropped rape charges against Joseph Simmons, a.k.a. "Run" of the rap group Run-DMC. The charges had stemmed from accusations made by a woman who said the rapper raped her in August 1991.

In 1994, New York Newsday reported Frank Sinatra had agreed to a face-to-face duet with Elton John for his next "Duets" album.

Also in 1994, Houston Astrodome security guards tackled two cowboys invited on-stage by country singer Wynonna during a show. Officials later apologized and offered the men free Wynonna concert tickets.

In 1995, Bruce Springsteen showed up at a New York nightclub to play a full set with the E Street Band. The concert was filmed for the "Murder Incorporated" video.

In 1996, a mistrial was declared in the Los Angeles murder trial of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and his former bodyguard after jurors deadlocked over whether or not to convict them of manslaughter. The charges stemmed from what police said was a gang-style drive-by shooting at an L.A. park in August 1993 that killed one man.

Also in 1996, Whitney Houston led with five nominations for the 27th annual NAACP Image Awards.

And in 1996, MCA announced it had purchased half of Interscope Records, known for its roster of gangsta rappers.

In 1997, "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls topped the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart -- making the group the first British act since the Beatles in 1964 to top the U.S. charts with a debut single.

Today's musical quiz:

Who recorded the title track for the Tom Cruise movie "Risky Business"? Answer: Talking Heads.

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Topics: Ali Campbell, Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Bill Wyman, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Carly Simon, Carole King, Columbia Records, David Brown, David Geffen, Dionne Warwick, Dizzy Gillespie, Ed Sullivan, Elizabeth Taylor, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Emilio Estevez, Ethel Merman, Florence Ballard, Frank Sinatra, Gloria Estefan, Ian McLagan, James Ingram, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, John Lennon, John Travolta, Johnny Carson, Johnny Cash, Jon Bon Jovi, Joni Mitchell, Kurt Cobain, Madonna, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Mariah Carey, Mark Wahlberg, Martha Raye, Mary Chapin, Matt Lattanzi, Maurice Gibb, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Nancy Wilson, Nicolette Larson, Nina Simone, Oprah Winfrey, Pamela Anderson, Pat Benatar, Paul Anka, Paul Newton, Paula Abdul, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Sinead O'Connor, Smokey Robinson, Sonny Bono, Stevie Wonder, Syd Barrett, Thomas Edison, Tom Cruise, Tom Petty, Tommy Lee Jones, Waylon Jennings, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono
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