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Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   May 2, 2003 at 2:15 PM   |   Comments

(April 12)

Today's birthdays include Tiny Tim (real name: Herbert Khaury), believed born in 1932; Herbie Hancock in 1940 (age 63); John Kay of Steppenwolf in 1944 (age 59); David Cassidy in 1950 (age 53); Pat Travers in 1954 (age 49); Alexander Briley of the Village People in 1956 (age 47); country singer Vince Gill in 1957 (age 46); and Echo and the Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant in 1958 (age 45).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1954, Bill Haley and the Comets recorded "Rock Around The Clock."

In 1966, Jan Berry of Jan and Dean fame was severely injured when his Corvette crashed into a truck in Los Angeles.

In 1978, Aretha Franklin married actor Glynn Turman. Her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, officiated at the ceremony.

In 1987, a rock record smashing at a Dallas church turned into a confrontation when rock music fans started shouting "Jesus loves rock 'n' roll."

In 1992, singer/songwriter Don Henley was joined by other celebrities and 6,000 people on a six-mile "Walk for Walden Woods" to save the area in Concord, Mass., from commercial development.

In 1993, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album was back on the charts after Capitol Records released the 20th anniversary limited edition CD.

In 1994, Entertainment Weekly quoted music industry sources saying Barbra Streisand would get up to 90 percent of the $45 million in ticket sales for her first concert tour in 28 years.

And in 1994, Chicago artist Dwight Kalb carved a 180-lb. ham into a statue of Madonna, to be sent to David Letterman.

Also in 1994, a British-born Michael Jackson fan, Denise Pfeiffer, was charged with making obscene calls to the father of the boy who accused the pop star of molesting him.

In 1996, surf-rock groups the Ventures, Jan and Dean, the Surfaris and the Chantays were honored at the Hollywood Rock Walk.

Also in 1996, Jamaican pop singer Shaggy was slightly hurt -- and six other musicians injured, three seriously -- when a light panel fell on them during rehearsal for a concert in Poznan, Poland.

In 1997, the Fugees performed a benefit concert in Port-au-Prince in their homeland of Haiti.

In 1999, a judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., gave Bobby Brown a 90-day suspended sentence for showing up drunk to serve his jail time for a 1996 one-car accident that allegedly occurred when he was "under the influence."

In 2000, former Eagle Joe Walsh and his new band performed at the Fillmore in San Francisco.


Today's musical quiz:

Besides being the song that many consider as having ushered in the rock 'n' roll era, "Rock Around The Clock" is also noteworthy for this feat. What? Answer: "Rock Around The Clock" was the first rock 'n' roll song to be featured in a motion picture. It was used during the opening and closing credits of "Blackboard Jungle" in 1955, after which record sales skyrocketed with six million copies sold by the end of that year.

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(April 13)

Today's birthdays include Chambers Brothers percussionist Lester Chambers, who was born in 1940 (age 63); bassist Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane and also Hot Tuna, and Brian Pendleton, guitarist with The Pretty Things, both in 1944 (age 59); Al Green, Roy Loney of the Flaming Groovies, and Jim Pons of the Turtles and also the Mothers of Invention, all in 1946 (age 57); Peabo Bryson and Max Weinberg, drummer with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and also music director of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," both in 1951 (age 52); Blondie keyboardist Jimmy Destri in 1954 (age 49); Louis Johnson of the Johnson Brothers in 1955 (age 48); and Wayne Lewis, who with his brothers David and Jonathan formed the R&B band Atlantic Starr, in 1957 (age 46).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, Roger Miller won five Grammy Awards.

In 1967, the Rolling Stones played for the first time in a communist country. The concert at the Palace of Culture in Warsaw sparked a near-riot among fans unable to get tickets.

In 1973, Roger Daltrey released his first solo album -- the self-titled "Daltrey" -- which was produced by British rock and movie star Adam Faith.

In 1979, a stomach virus caused David Lee Roth to collapse on stage during a Van Halen concert in Spokane, Wash.

In 1982, less than three weeks after being busted in Los Angeles on cocaine possession charges, David Crosby was arrested again -- this time in his dressing room at Cardi's, a Dallas nightclub -- after police found him in possession of cocaine as well as a gun.

In 1985, USA for Africa's famine relief song "We Are the World" topped the pop singles charts.

In 1987, in cooperation with the music industry, Amnesty International launched a campaign to get record buyers to write letters demanding the release of 18 political prisoners held in jails around the world.

In 1992, Natalie Cole and her husband, Andre Fischer, announced a trial separation.

In 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported that Kurt Cobain's March drug overdose in Rome had been a failed suicide attempt.

In 1996, Art Garfunkel taped the first of two career-retrospective concerts at New York's Ellis Island.

In 1999, Brandy, Cher, Whitney Houston, LeAnn Rimes and Tina Turner -- with special guest Elton John -- performed on VH1's Divas concert, airing live from New York's Beacon Theater on the cable network.

Also in 1999, new albums by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ("Echo") and George Thorogood and the Destroyers ("half a boy/Half A Man") reached stores.

In 2000, Metallica filed suit against Napster in federal court in Los Angeles, accusing the online music swapping service of allowing visitors to its Web site to download and exchange with others copyrighted songs by the band.

Also in 2000, Detroit Wheels frontman Mitch Ryder was in Cleveland to help the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum designate Cleveland's WEWS-TV studios -- the home of the "Upbeat" TV show -- a historic landmark. "Upbeat" –- an early rock 'n' roll TV show -- featured a live audience, dancers and live performances by such artists as Ryder, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding.

And in 2000, Gloria Estefan was among the celebrities who came to Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to show support for the Gonzalez family, which is fighting to keep 6-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez in the United States.

In 2001, the Cadillacs, the Flamingos, Dion & the Belmonts, the Platters, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, and Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters were among the vocal groups inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame in Boston.


Today's musical quiz:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers once toured with what legendary singer/songwriter as his backing band? Answer: Bob Dylan, for two years.

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(April 14)

Today's birthdays include country's Loretta Lynn in 1935 (age 67); Tony Burrows, lead singer with Edison Lighthouse as well as with White Plains, in 1942 (age 61); Ritchie Blackmore, of Deep Purple and of Rainbow, in 1945 (age 57); Hot Chocolate keyboardist Larry Ferguson in 1948 (age 55); and Kenny Aaronson and Raydio's Jerry Knight, both in 1952 (age 51).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, the title of the Beatles' upcoming second movie was changed from "Eight Arms to Hold You" to "Help!"

In 1970, Steven Stills broke his wrist in a car accident in Los Angeles.

In 1972, "Starman" -- the first single from David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" album -- was released.

In 1974, Pete Townshend made his solo performing debut at the Roundhouse in London, accompanied by tapes recorded in his home studio.

In 1980, "The Touring Principle" by Gary Numan was released. It was the first rock videocassette offered for sale to the general public.

In 1983, former Pretenders bassist Pete Farndon died from a heart attack at age 30. His death followed that in 1982 of bandmate James Honeyman-Scott, who'd died from a drug overdose.

Also in 1983, Stevie Wonder re-signed with Motown Records.

In 1984, Phil Ramone married singer Karen Kamon in New York. Quincy Jones was his best man.

In 1987, Whitney Houston broke the record for consecutive No. 1 singles with seven -- the seventh being "Where Do Broken Hearts Go."

Also in 1987, "Tango in the Night" was Fleetwood Mac's first album in five years.

And in 1987, Mickey Gilley sued to dissolve his ties with the Pasadena, Texas, nightclub bearing his name.

In 1992, a University of Massachusetts music professor retracted charges that the New Kids on the Block had pulled a "Milli Vanilli" -- lip-synching during concerts and on albums.

In 1993, Vanessa Williams gave birth to a boy, her third child and first son for her and her husband/manager Ramon Hervey.

In 1994, the King County, Wash., medical examiner said Kurt Cobain had been dead three days when his body was found. The doctor also said the Nirvana lead singer had taken heroin and Valium the day he shot himself.

Also in 1994, Los Angeles prosecutors said the child molestation investigation of Michael Jackson was nearing an end, and that a decision on whether to file charges would be announced by the end of the month. No charges were ever filed.

And in 1994, Billy Joel and model Christy Brinkley announced they were splitting up after nine years of marriage.

In 1995, the family and business associates of the late Eric "Eazy-E" Wright asked a judge to settle their fight over the ownership of Wright's Ruthless Records.

Also in 1995, Burl Ives died following a long battle with cancer. He was 85.

In 1996, actor Steven Seagal jammed onstage at a Beverly Hills, Calif., nightclub with Joe Walsh, Yes's Trevor Rabin and Chris Squire, CCR's John Fogerty and Brian Setzer -- among others.

In 1997, Ringo Starr made his debut as host of a five-nights-a-week series on VH1 titled "Classic Albums."

In 1998, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan and country's Shania Twain performed at a special benefit concert for "VH1 Save The Music."

In 2000, Kid Rock, rapper Eminem and Motown legend Stevie Wonder were among the winners at the annual Detroit Music Awards, handed out at the State Theatre in downtown Detroit. The awards honor musicians based in or with strong Detroit ties.

In 2001, Rare Essence, Philly's Most Wanted, Iconz, Lil Romeo, Master P, Silk the Shocker and The Roots headlined the 4th Annual BET College Hip Hop Fest, held at Paramount's Kings Dominion amusement park outside Richmond, Va.


Today's musical quiz:

Kid Rock is said to have a contract rider for his concerts demanding this beverage in his dressing room. What? Answer: Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

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(April 15)

Today's birthdays include country's Roy Clark in 1933 (age 70); the late Bob Luman was born in 1938; the Hollies' Allan Clarke in 1942 (age 71); Dave Edmunds of Rockpile in 1944 (age 59); Wet Wet Wet guitarist Graeme Clark and Samantha Fox in 1966 (age 37).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1982, Billy Joel's left wrist and thumb were badly injured in a motorcycle crash near his Long Island, N.Y., home. He was hospitalized for a month.

In 1987, NBC announced it was considering producing a TV mini-series based on the book "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", written by a woman who claimed she had a secret, 24-year-long affair with Elvis Presley. The idea was later dropped.

In 1989, almost 25 years after he last appeared in the Billboard singles chart's Top 10, Roy Orbison returned posthumously with "You Got It."

Also in 1989, Tone Loc's "Loc-ed After Dark" became the first rap album by a black artist to top the Billboard Top-200 album chart.

In 1991, Donnie Wahlberg of the New Kids on the Block said the reason the arson charges against him were dropped was because there was no fire. Wahlberg had been arrested March 27 for starting a fire in a Louisville, Ky., hotel hallway. The judge later ordered him to record public service announcements in return for dismissing the charges.

Also in 1991, Sonny Bono announced he was selling his restaurant in Palm Springs, Calif.

In 1996, Rob Pilatus -- formerly with the lip-synching duo Milli Vanilli -- was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 180 days of drug rehabilitation in Los Angeles after he pleaded no contest to charges stemming from three separate attacks on people.

Also in 1996, Jerry Garcia's ashes were scattered on the water beneath San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

In 1997, Richmond, Va., officials cancelled a scheduled concert by the shock-rock band Marilyn Manson after getting complaints. The American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the show's cancellation on constitutional grounds.

Also in 1997, on the cable television show "Praise the Lord," Pat Boone apologized for offending anyone by appearing on January's American Music Awards wearing a heavy-metal get-up. He said the new look was supposed to be funny and promote his new album -- a cover of classic heavy-metal songs.

In 1998, the Spice Girls -- via satellite from London -- announced plans for their first North American tour. By the time the tour began June 15 in Miami, Ginger Spice had left the group.

In 2000, Will Smith, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, the Backstreet Boys and Smashmouth were among the winners at Nickelodeon's 13th Annual Kids' Choice Awards.


Today's musical quiz:

Where did Jennifer Lopez make her TV debut? Answer: Lopez debuted on television in 1990 as a "Fly Girl" on the Fox TV series "In Living Color."

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(April 16)

Today's birthdays include the late Henry Mancini, who was born in 1924; Bobby Vinton in 1935 (age 68); the late Dusty Springfield in 1939; Gerry Rafferty, formerly with Steeler's Wheel, in 1947 (age 56); Bill Spooner of the Tubes in 1949 (age 54); and Jimmy Osmond in 1963 (age 40).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, the Hollies opened the group's first U.S. tour with a show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater in New York.

In 1987, Ray Stevens released the song "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?"

In 1988, the Scorpions played the first of 10 concerts in Leningrad and in Moscow, becoming the first major hard rock group to play the Soviet Union.

In 1990, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Simple Minds, the Neville Brothers and Tracy Chapman were among the artists who took part in a concert at London's Wembly Stadium to celebrate the release of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela from prison.

In 1991, William Drayton -- "Flavor Flav" of the militant rap group Public Enemy -- was sentenced to 30 days in a Long Island, N.Y., jail after being convicted of punching his girlfriend in the face.

In 1993, David Lee Roth was arrested for buying marijuana in a New York City park. The judge later ordered the charges dropped if the rocker remained clean for a year.

In 1995, Bob Seger's wife gave birth to baby girl, the couple's second child and first daughter.

In 1996, members of the rap trio Salt-N-Pepa -- all three moms themselves -- announced their support for California's BabyCal Campaign, which was aimed at encouraging pregnant teenagers to get prenatal care.

Also in 1996, Judy Collins married Korean War memorial designer Louis Nelson in New York City.

In 1998, Los Angeles prosecutors filed criminal charges against George Michael in connection with his arrest a week earlier in a Beverly Hills park restroom. The pop singer was charged with one misdemeanor count of engaging in a lewd act.

In 1999, Sean "Puffy" Combs surrendered to New York City police to face charges in connection with the beating of a Universal Records executive one day earlier.

Also in 1999, Randi Valli, the wife of 1960s pop singer Frankie Valli, was convicted by a Ventura, Calif., jury of misdemeanor battery for slapping a restaurant owner during an argument over the establishment's prices.


Today's musical quiz:

Where did Bonnie Raitt attend college? Answer: Radcliffe College.

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(April 17)

Today's birthdays include promoter Don Kirshner, who was born in 1934 (age 69); Billy Fury in 1941; composer/musician Jan Hammer in 1948 (age 55); Michael Sembello in 1954 (age 49); Buzzcocks guitarist Pete Shelley in 1955 (age 48); former ABC saxophonist Stephen Singleton in 1959 (age 44); Liz Phair in 1967 (age 36); and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham of the Spice Girls in 1974 (age 29).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, while on tour in Britain, Eddie Cochran was killed in a car accident in Chippenham, England, that seriously injured Gene Vincent. Cochran was 21. The last single released before his death was "Three Steps to Heaven."

In 1962, Tony Bennett recorded his first-ever song, titled "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

In 1964, the Rolling Stones' first, self-titled album was released in England. It contained one original tune -- a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition titled "Tell Me."

In 1969, The Band -- previously a backing group for Bob Dylan and Ronnie Hawkins, when it was known as the Hawks -- made its solo concert debut at the Winterland in San Francisco.

In 1970, Paul McCartney's first post-Beatles solo album -- "McCartney" -- was released as he publicly announced the end of the Beatles.

Also in 1970, Johnny Cash performed at the White House for President Nixon, who asked Cash to play "Okie from Muskogee," "A Boy Named Sue" and "Welfare Cadillac."

In 1971, "Joy to the World" ("Jeremiah was a bullfrog...") by Three Dog Night hit the top of the charts and became the bestselling single of 1971. It was written Hoyt Axton, whose mother Mae had written a No. 1 hit 15 years earlier, Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." The Axtons were the only mother and son songwriters to both score No. 1 hits.

In 1974, Sha Na Na guitarist Vinnie Taylor died from a heroin overdose in a hotel room in Charlottesville, Va. He was 25.

In 1980, Bob Marley and the Wailers performed at the inauguration of Prime Minister Robert Mugabe in the new African nation of Zimbabwe.

In 1986, guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan canceled his European tour. He feared reprisals against Americans from Libyan terrorists in the wake of the U.S. bombing of Libya two days earlier.

In 1991, songwriter Jack Yellen died at age 98. He wrote the lyrics for more than 130 popular songs -- including "Happy Days Are Here Again," "Rain Or Shine" and "Ain't She Sweet."

In 1993, several hundred youths rampaged in and outside Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita, Calif., after they couldn't get into a sold-out concert by rappers TLC and Paperboy. The incident prompted amusement park officials to announce there'd be no more rap concerts.

In 1995, R.E.M. announced the resumption of its world tour following drummer Bill Berry's recovery from surgery to repair a brain aneurysm.

In 1998, Linda McCartney died following a more than two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 56.


Today's musical quiz:

It's well known how the members of R.E.M. met in Athens, Ga., but do you know where lead singer Michael Stipe attended college before transferring to the University of Georgia? Answer: Southern Illinois University.

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(April 18)

Today's birthdays include Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, who was born in 1924; Manfred Mann guitarist Mike Vickers in 1942 (age 61); Lenny Baker of Sha Na Na in 1946 (age 57); Alexander "Skip" Spence of Jefferson Airplane as well as Moby Grape, in 1946; and Les Pattinson, bassist with Echo and the Bunnymen, in 1958 (age 45).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1936, Gene Autry recorded "Back in the Saddle Again."

In 1981, Yes broke up when drummer Alan White and bassist Chris Squire went into rehearsals with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page for a new group that never materialized. Yes reunited in 1983.

In 1985, the first-ever Western pop album -- by Wham! -- was released in China.

In 1988, the murder trial began in Kingston, Jamaica, in the killing of reggae singer Peter Tosh.

In 1994, Mike Starr of Alice In Chains was sentenced to 30 days in a Houston jail after being convicted on drug possession charges.

In 1995, Michael Jackson and his wife, Lisa Marie Presley, hosted a three-day World Children's Congress at his Neverland Ranch in California.

Also in 1995, a Los Angeles judge appointed an administrator to manage Ruthless Records until a battle for control of the label founded by the late Eric "Eazy-E" Wright was resolved.

And in 1995, Pantera lead singer Phillip Anselmo apologized to the security guard he hit on the head during a June 1994 concert in Dairan, N.Y.

In 1997, Tupac Shakur's mother sued Death Row Records, claiming the label failed to pay royalties and also cheated her rap-artist son out of millions of dollars. Shakur had been gunned down by unknown assailants in September 1996.

In 1998, Bonnie Raitt kicked off the first leg of her "Fundamental" tour in San Diego, Calif.

In 2000, the male answer to VH1's Diva concert -- "Men Strike Back" -- featured Sting, the Backstreet Boys, Tom Jones, D'Angelo, Enrique Iglesias, Sisqo and Christina Aguilera. The show was taped at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In 2001, Bon Jovi launched its "One Wild Night 2001" Tour in Phoenix, Ariz.


Today's musical quiz:

What's Sisqo's real name? Answer: Sisqo was born Mark Andrews in Baltimore, Md.

Topics: Al Green, Alan White, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand, Bill Haley, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bobby Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Britney Spears, Burl Ives, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Conan O'Brien, David Crosby, David Lee, David Lee Roth, David Letterman, Donnie Wahlberg, Dusty Springfield, Elian Gonzalez, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Enrique Iglesias, Gene Autry, George Michael, George Thorogood, Gloria Estefan, Glynn Turman, Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Page, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Kurt Cobain, LeAnn Rimes, Lisa Marie Presley, Loretta Lynn, Lou Reed, Louis Johnson, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, Michael Stipe, Mick Jagger, Natalie Cole, Neil Young, Nelson Mandela, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Phil Ramone, Quincy Jones, Robert Mugabe, Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Roger Miller, Shania Twain, Sonny Bono, Steven Seagal, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Tom Jones, Tom Petty, Tony Bennett, Vanessa Williams, Vince Gill, Wayne Lewis, Whitney Houston, Will Smith
© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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