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Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   May 2, 2003 at 1:55 PM   |   Comments

(March 29)

Today's birthdays include the late Pearl Bailey, who was born in 1918; Vangelis in 1943 (age 60); and Toto's Bobby Kimball in 1947 (age 56).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge opened in Nashville.

In 1973, following its single "The Cover of the Rolling Stone," Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show actually made the cover of that particular magazine.

In 1975, all six Led Zeppelin albums released up to this time were on the U.S. album charts during the same week.

In 1980, the BeeGees were sued in Chicago by an amateur songwriter who claimed they plagiarized one of his tunes for their 1978 hit "How Deep Is Your Love?" The BeeGees won on appeal.

In 1985, Thompson Twin Tom Bailey was found collapsed on the floor of his hotel room, suffering from exhaustion.

In 1987, Prince won eight "Razzies" for worst achievement in movie making at the annual spoof of the Academy Awards.

On this day in 1990, recording companies agreed to put a warning label on music products that contain potentially offensive lyrics. Some companies already had started using labels to warn buyers of lyrics containing objectionable references to sex and violence.

In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear 2 Live Crew's appeal of a ruling that said the rap group broke federal copyright laws when it did a parody of Roy Orbison's "Oh Pretty Woman." The high court would reverse the decision.

Also in 1993, a judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., overturned the October 1990 conviction of a record store owner charged with obscenity for selling 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" album.

In 1996, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and his wife, "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson Lee, sued Penthouse for $10 million in a failed bid to force the magazine not to market a stolen home video of the couple.


Today's musical quiz:

How many musical instruments can Prince play? Answer: Prince reportedly can play more than two dozen instruments.

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(March 30)

Today's birthdays include Rolf Harris, who had a hit in 1963 with the novelty tune "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport," was born in 1930 (age 73); Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge in 1944 (age 59); Eric Clapton in 1945 (age 58); Turtles guitarist Dave Ball in 1946 (age 57); Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas in 1948 (age 55); Lene Lovich in 1954 (age 49); rapper Hammer -- real name, Stanley Kirk Burrell -- in 1963 (age 40); Tracy Chapman in 1964 (age 39); and Celine Dion in 1968 (age 35).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, the Chiffons topped the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart with "He's So Fine."

In 1966, 85 unruly fans were arrested after a Rolling Stones concert in Paris.

In 1967, the Beatles photographed what became the unusual front cover of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.

In 1976, punk music was launched in London when the Sex Pistols performed at the 100 Club.

In 1978, Paul Simenon and Nicky Headon of The Clash were arrested for shooting pigeons.

In 1984, Greg Lake left Asia -- to be replaced by John Wetton, whom Lake had earlier replaced.

In 1987, Herbie Hancock won the best original score Oscar for "Round Midnight." "Take My Breath Away" from "Top Gun" won for best original song.

Also in 1987, Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys said William Lee Golden had been kicked out of the group because he "hated" the other members. Golden would later return to the fold.

And in 1987, Blue Note musicians -- including Dexter Gordon, Bobby McFerrin, McCoy Tyner and Freddie Hubbard -- wrote an open letter against home taping. The letter was included in the label's new releases.

In 1994, Madonna made a foulmouthed appearance on David Letterman's "Late Show" -- causing CBS censors to bleep her numerous times.

In 2000, Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger returned to his boyhood school in Britain to open the Mick Jagger Performing Arts Centre at Dartford Grammar School.


Today's musical quiz:

Where did rapper Stanley Burrell get his stage name "Hammer"? Answer: Burrell was a batboy for the Oakland A's in the 1970s. One of the ball players, slugger Pedro Garcia, noticed he resembled home run king Hank Aaron and started calling him "Little Hammer." The name stuck.

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(March 31)

Today's birthdays include Lefty Frizzell, who was born in 1928; actress and "Partridge Family" mom Shirley Jones in 1934 (age 69); Herb Alpert, bandleader and co-founder of A&M Records, in 1935 (age 68); Rod Allen of the Fortunes in 1944 (age 59); Al Nichol of the Turtles in 1945 (age 58); guitarist Mick Ralphs of Mott the Hoople and also Bad Company, and Focus keyboardist and singer Thijs Van Leer, both in 1948 (age 55); Richard Hughes, who played drums for Johnny Winter, in 1950 (age 53); Huey Lewis and the News keyboardist Sean Hopper in 1953 (age 50); and AC-DC guitarist Angus Young in 1959 (age 44).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar on stage for the first time.

In 1982, the Doobie Brothers confirmed they were breaking up.

In 1986, O'Kelly Isley -- founding member of the Isley Brothers -- died of a heart attack at age 48.

In 1991, Whitney Houston gave a free concert for Operation Desert Storm troops and their families at the Norfolk Naval Air Station in Virginia.

In 1992, country singer Jonie Mitchell, age 52, gave birth to a "test-tube" baby boy. She already had four grown kids and an adopted daughter with her second husband.

In 1993, hit lyricist Mitchell Parish died at age 92. He wrote the lyrics for "Stardust," "Deep Purple" and "Volare," among others.

In 1995, Tejano star Selena Quintanilla was shot to death in a hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was 23. The former president of her fan club was later convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 1996, Phil Collins announced he was leaving Genesis after 21 years as the group's lead singer. He had replaced Peter Gabriel in 1975. Collins is probably better known for his solo hits than as Genesis' lead singer/drummer.

In 1998, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland released his first solo album, "12 Bar Blues."


Today's musical quiz:

The day Jimi Hendrix first torched his guitar on stage -- at a concert in Finsbury Park, England -- who else was on the bill? The show also included performances by Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdinck.

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(April 1)

Today's birthdays include Debbie Reynolds, who was born in 1932 (age 71); country's Jim Ed Brown in 1934 (age 69); Rudolph Isley of the Isley Brothers in 1939 (age 64); The Tokens' Phil Margo in 1942 (age 61); John Barbata, who sat behind the drum kit for the Turtles as well as for Jefferson Starship, in 1945 (age 57); Arthur Conley in 1946 (age 56); the late Ronnie Lane of Faces in 1948; Billy Currie of Ultravox in 1952 (age 50); Toto's Jeff Porcaro in 1954; ABC's Mark White in 1961 (age 41); and actress/singer Bijou Phillips in 1980 (age 22).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers opened a tour of the United Kingdom at London's Palladium.

In 1966, David Bowie's first solo single, "Do Anything You Say," was released.

In 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame opened in Nashville.

In 1969, the Beach Boys filed a $2 million lawsuit against Capitol Records to recover royalties and producers' fees for Brian Wilson.

In 1977, the three-day Mar y Sol rock festival opened in Puerto Rico. On the bill: the Allman Brothers Band, Emerson Lake and Palmer, B.B. King, the J. Geils Band and Black Sabbath.

In 1984, Marvin Gaye Jr. was shot to death by his father, one day before his 45th birthday.

In 1987, the Smithsonian Institute announced it was acquiring Folkways Records, the largest catalog of folk recordings in the world.

In 1991, in an April Fool's Day prank, Elton John -- dressed in drag -- surprised Rod Stewart onstage in London.

In 1992, British rocker Billy Idol was sentenced to two years' probation for punching a woman in the face the previous October.

Also in 1992, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the 1993 Grammys would be held in Los Angeles after two years in New York.

In 1993, Carole King, Bonnie Rait, David Crosby, Kenny Loggins, Phish and Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson headlined a free concert in Portland, Ore., to drum up support to preserve old-growth forests.

In 1995, it was announced that Aerosmith's Joe Perry had written the theme song for the new "Spider-Man" cartoon series on Fox TV.

In 1996, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince announced that he and his bride, Mayte Garcia, were expecting their first child in November. The baby was born prematurely in mid-October -- suffering from a severe birth defect -- and died a week later.

In 1998, the first annual Playboy Bacardi New Music Concert Series opened in Tallahassee, Fla., with Jimmie's Chicken Shack headlining.

Also in 1998, rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs became a father for the second time when his girlfriend, Kim Porter, gave birth to a baby boy in New York City. The couple named the child Christopher Casey Combs after the late rapper Notorious B-I-G, whose real name was Christopher Wallace.


Today's musical quiz:

Ronnie Lane did a lot of fundraising for research into what disease? Answer: Multiple sclerosis. Lane suffered from MS.

-----------------

(April 2)

Today's birthdays include the late Herbert Mills of the Mills Brothers, who was born in 1912; the late Marvin Gaye Jr. was born in 1939; Leon Russell in 1941 (age 62); Larry Coryell and the Fortunes' Glen Dale, both in 1943 (age 60); Kurt Winter, formerly of the Guess Who, in 1946 (age 57); Emmylou Harris in 1947 (age 56); Leon Wilkerson of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1952 (age 51); Cars drummer David Robinson in 1953 (age 50); and Keren Woodward of Bananarama in 1961 (age 42).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, the Beatles wrapped up recording "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

In 1971, Ringo Starr released his first solo single -- "It Don't Come Easy" -- which eventually reached No.4 on the charts.

In 1977, "Sir Duke" -- Stevie Wonder's tribute to Duke Ellington -- was released.

In 1981, a bottle-shaped children's book was published based on the lyrics of Sting's "Message in a Bottle."

In 1987, a five-hour benefit for AIDS at London's Wembley Stadium featured Elton John, Boy George, George Michael and Bob Geldof.

Also in 1987, British rocker Ronnie Lane debuted with his new band -- "Ronnie Lane and the Tremors" -- in Austin, Texas. The group included ex-Rolling Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys. Lane had been diagnosed as suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Also in 1987, the Washington Post reported that Tammy Faye Bakker's "crush" on Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Gary Paxton is what drove her husband, TV preacher Jim Bakker, into the arms of church secretary Jessica Hahn -- touching off the PTL scandal.

And in 1987, jazz drumming great Buddy Rich died following brain surgery. He was 69.

In 1991, singer Diahann Carroll and Vic Damone announced they were splitting up. It'd been the fourth marriage for both. The couple wed Jan. 3, 1987, in Atlantic City, N.J.

In 1993, a London newspaper reported that former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman's 30-year-old son, Stephen, was engaged to marry 46-year-old Patsy Smith, the mother of Bill's ex-wife Mandy.

In 1994, an unauthorized biography of Janet Jackson was published. It said she was the only sibling to emerge intact from the "mad, dysfunctional (Jackson) family."

In 1996, rocker Vince Neil sued his former Motley Crue bandmates for $5 million in damages, contending the group had dumped him four years earlier after signing a recording contract with Elektra.

In 1998, Rob Pilatus -- one-half of the lip-synching duo Milli Vanilli -- was found dead in a hotel room in Frankfort, Germany. He was 32. Pilatus's death was blamed on a lethal mix of booze and pills.

Also in 1998, a new interactive Hall of Fame opened at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

In 2000, British newspapers reported that the three surviving Beatles had finished work on the first "autobiography" about the Fab Four. The 360-page "Beatles' Anthology" was published in Oct. 2000.


Today's musical quiz:

In 1979, Leon Russell and Willie Nelson had a No.1 country single that'd been a hit for another singer 23 years earlier. Can you name the tune and the artist? Answer: The song was "Heartbreak Hotel," and the artist was Elvis Presley, who recorded it in 1956.

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(April 3)

Today's birthdays include pianist/comedian Stan Freeman, who was born in 1920 (age 83); Doris Day in 1924 (age 79); Jan Berry of Jan and Dean in 1941 (age 62); entertainer Wayne Newton in 1942 (age 61); Richard Manuel of The Band was born in 1944; Tony Orlando and The Fortunes' Barry Pritchard, both also in 1944 (age 59); Mel Schacher, bassist with Grand Funk Railroad, in 1951 (age 52); Dee Murray, who played with the Spencer Davis Group and also with Elton John, was born in 1946; Richard Thompson, formerly with Fairport Convention, in 1949 (age 54); and Grand Funk Railroad's Mel Schacher, who'd also been with "?" (Question Mark) and the Mysterians, in 1951 (age 52).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1948, the "Louisiana Hayride" country music variety show on KWKH Radio in Shreveport, La., aired for the first time.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on TV's popular "Milton Berle Show" -- singing "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Money, Honey" live from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hancock.

In 1959, the Coasters' single "Charlie Brown" was banned by the BBC because of the word "spitball."

In 1969, Jim Morrison surrendered to authorities in Los Angeles to answer to the indecent exposure charges filed against him following a Doors concert in Miami a month earlier.

In 1975, Emmylou Harris played her first concert with The Hot Band in San Francisco.

In 1984, a record producer won a $3 million-plus settlement in a court battle with Yoko Ono over royalties relating to "Double Fantasy," the album Ono and John Lennon had just completed when he was murdered in Dec. 1980.

In 1987, President Reagan presented Minnie Pearl with the American Cancer Society's annual Courage Award for her personal fight against cancer.

In 1990, internationally renowned jazz singer and pianist Sarah Vaughan died at the age of 66.

In 1992, Dolly Parton's new movie "Straight Talk" premiered nationwide.

In 1993, Guns N' Roses cut short a sold-out concert in suburban Sacramento, Calif., after a fan threw a bottle that hit one band member in the head.

In 1995, shock-jock Howard Stern triggered an uproar when he ridiculed the mourners of slain Tejano star Selena on his nationally syndicated radio show and aired her music with gunshots dubbed in.

In 1996, rapper Hammer filed for bankruptcy, saying he was $10 million in debt.

In 1998, Michael Jackson's wife, Debbie Rowe, gave birth to the couple's second child, a girl, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Their first child, a boy, had been born in February 1997.

In 2000, Mariah Carey was hospitalized in Boston with complications from food poisoning. She'd gotten sick after eating raw oysters in Atlanta. The pop singer's illness forced postponement of her Boston concert.

Also in 2000, at least 10 people were injured -- including six who were stabbed -- when a backstage melee erupted at the Ruff Ryder/Cash Money Tour concert at Boston's FleetCenter.

And in 2000, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) presented Elton John with its Vito Russo Entertainer Award for furthering the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through his work.


Today's musical quiz:

What's said to be the second-most recorded song of the rock era, after the Beatles' "Yesterday"? Answer: "Tie A Yellow Ribbon," a hit in 1973 for Tony Orlando and Dawn.

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(April 4)

Today's birthdays include Muddy Waters, whose real name was McKinley Morganfield, who was born in 1915; Hugh Masekela in 1939 (age 64); Major Lance in 1941 (age 62); Tangerine Dream's Christoph Franke in 1942 (age 61); Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers Band was born in 1948; Gail Davies was also born in 1948 (age 55); Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers in 1951 (age 52); Slade guitarist Dave Hill and Peter Haycock of the Climax Blues Band, both in 1952 (age 51); Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars, whose real name is Bob Deal, in 1955 (age 48); and Deacon Blue guitarist Graeme Kelling in 1957 (age 46).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1940, Ernest Tubb made his first record for Decca.

In 1964, in an event unique in pop music history, the Beatles had 12 songs on the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart and held the top-five positions with "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me."

In 1968, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and Buddy Guy played an all-night blues show in New York in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., who had been assassinated that day in Memphis.

In 1969, the most popular show on TV, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, was cancelled by CBS because the brothers failed to submit an episode to network executives before its broadcast. The show was well known for its irreverent political satire and the brothers had already engaged in several censorship skirmishes with the network.


In 1987, Starship scored its third No.1 single in 18 months with "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," from the film "Mannequin."

Also in 1987, U2 entered the Billboard Top-200 album chart with "The Joshua Tree" at No.7.

In 1993, a British newspaper (The Sunday Times) listed ex-Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison, Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and former Stone Bill Wyman among Britain's richest people.

In 1994, a Los Angeles judge refused to dismiss murder charges against rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg in what police said was a gang-related shooting in August 1993. The rap star would later be acquitted by a jury.

Also in 1994, police in Orlando, Fla., tear-gassed unruly Grateful Dead fans when they tried to get into a sold-out concert.

In 1995, Duran Duran's "Thank You" album of mostly covers was released.

In 1996, Jerry Garcia's widow and Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir scattered "a portion" of Garcia's ashes over the Ganges River in India. Garcia's ex-wife and their four daughters would later complain that they'd planned to scatter Garcia's ashes over the Pacific like he'd asked.

In 1999, the London Sunday Mirror reported that, in her will, Dusty Springfield had left her cat to a friend and arranged to have the cat's favorite food flown in from the United States.


Today's musical quiz:

The all-night jam Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and Buddy Guy played in New York on the night of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination raised money for what? Answer: The show raised funds for King-sponsored organizations.

Topics: Angus Young, B.B. King, Bill Wyman, Billy Idol, Bob Geldof, Bob Weir, Boy George, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Celine Dion, Charlie Brown, Dave Ball, David Crosby, Diahann Carroll, Duke Ellington, Dusty Springfield, Ed Brown, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Engelbert Humperdinck, Eric Clapton, Freddie Hubbard, George Michael, Hank Aaron, Herbie Hancock, Howard Stern, Huey Lewis, Janet Jackson, Jim Bakker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Perry, John Lennon, John Wetton, Keith Richards, Kenny Loggins, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Mark White, Martin Luther, Marvin Gaye, McCoy Tyner, Mick Jagger, Milton Berle, Nancy Wilson, Notorious B.I.G, Pamela Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Richard Thompson, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Scott Weiland, Spencer Davis, Stanley Burrell, Tom Bailey, Tommy Lee Jones, Tony Orlando, U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Wayne Newton, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono
© 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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