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Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   April 8, 2003 at 2:30 AM   |   Comments

(April 8)

Today's birthdays include Connie Stevens, who was born in 1938 (age 65); guitarist Steve Howe of Yes and Asia in 1947 (age 56); Mel Schacher, bassist with Grand Funk Railroad, in 1951 (age 52); actor/singer John Schneider in 1959 (age 44); and Julian Lennon, John's eldest son, in 1963 (age 40).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1970, "Woodstock," the movie, had its British premiere in London.

In 1976, folk singer Phil Ochs hanged himself at his sister's home in Queens, N.Y. He was 35.

In 1977, The Damned became the first British punk band to play in the United States.

In 1987, in her book "Are You Lonesome Tonight," Lucy de Barbin said she had a 24-year-long affair with Elvis Presley that produced a daughter. The claim was laughed off by Graceland.

In 1988, R.E.M. signed with Warner Bros. Records.

In 1989, Cure drummer Lawrence "Lol" Tollhurst -- a founding member of the group in 1977 -- left the band. Reportedly, Cure frontman Robert Smith felt Tollhurst wasn't making appropriate musical contributions.

In 1991, backing singer Yvette Marine sued Virgin Records, saying the lead vocals on at least two songs on Paula Abdul's 1988 debut album "Forever Your Girl" were a mix of her and Abdul's voices. Virgin and Abdul denied the charges. Marine would eventually lose her lawsuit.

In 1993, contralto singer Marian Anderson died one month after suffering a stroke. She was 91. Anderson was the first black performer to appear at the New York Met.

In 1994, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was found dead from a gunshot wound at his home in Seattle. He was 27. The cause of death was ruled a suicide.

In 1996, rocker and hunting advocate Ted Nugent demonstrated archery at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. He declared the sport a way to keep kids off booze and drugs.

In 1997, singer/songwriter Laura Nyro died of ovarian cancer. She was 49. Among other songs, Nyro wrote "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Wedding Bell Blues" for the Fifth Dimension, "And When I Die" for Blood Sweat and Tears, and "Stoney End" for Barbra Streisand.

In 1999, two suspects were arrested in New York in the shooting death two weeks earlier of rapper Freaky Tah (real name Raymond Rogers) of The Lost Boyz.

Also in 1999, Celine Dion announced she was rearranging her schedule and postponing about a month's worth of concerts to be with her husband following his cancer surgery.

In 2000, the Bacon Brothers -- headed by actor Kevin Bacon and his brother, Michael -- played a benefit concert at the Community College of Philadelphia. The show raised money for an award named for the Bacon brothers' mother, who had taught at the school.


Today's musical quiz:

What's Julian Lennon's full name? Answer: John Charles Julian Lennon. He was the first child born to a Beatle.

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