Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   March 12, 2003 at 2:30 AM

(March 12)

Today's birthdays include Al Jarreau, who was born in 1940 (age 63); Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame in 1942 (age 61); Liza Minnelli in 1946 (age 57); James Taylor in 1948 (age 55); Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne and Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbons, both in 1949 (age 54); and the Jackson 5's Marlon Jackson and Iron Maiden's Steve Harris, both in 1957 (age 46).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, jazz great Charlie "Bird" Parker died at age 34.

In 1969, Paul McCartney -- the last bachelor Beatle -- married photographer Linda Eastman in a civil ceremony in London. Paul's brother, Mike, was his best man. No other Beatles attended the wedding.

Also in 1969, George and Patti Harrison were arrested on marijuana possession charges in London. Harrison later said the bust was timed to coincide with Paul McCartney's wedding.

And more from this date in 1969, Simon and Garfunkel's soundtrack of "The Graduate" won the Grammy for best record of 1968.

In 1971, John Lennon released "Power to the People." He was backed by the New York-based band Elephant's Memory.

Also in 1971, Jethro Tull released its "Aqualung" album.

In 1974, John Lennon and Harry Nielsen were thrown out of the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles after constantly interrupting a show by The Smothers Brothers. Ironically, five years earlier, Tom Smothers sang backing vocals on Lennon's first Top-40 single "Give Peace A Chance."

In 1976, Joe Stampley's "The Sheik of Chicago" -- a tribute to Chuck Berry -- entered the country music charts.

In 1991, Janet Jackson signed what was then called the biggest recording deal in music history -- a $50 million contract with Virgin Records.

In 1992, Dizzy Gillespie underwent surgery to remove an abdominal blockage.

Also in 1992, singer/actor David Carroll collapsed and died from AIDS-related causes during a recording session in New York. He was 41.

In 1995, George Clinton toured the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He also donated memorabilia to the museum.

In 1996, Nancy Sinatra donated her white go-go boots -- presumably, the ones she sang about in "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" -- to the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1999, Elvis Costello, Kiki Dee and Lulu were among the mourners at the funeral for pop singer Dusty Springfield, who died March 2 of breast cancer. The service was held at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Henley-On-Thames, England.

Today's musical quiz:

She was Eric Clapton's "Layla." Who? Answer: Patti Harrison. Clapton was in love with his buddy George Harrison's wife and wrote the song about her. The Harrisons later divorced and Clapton wed his Patti, although their marriage didn't last.

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