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Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   May 9, 2003 at 2:45 AM   |   Comments

(May 10)

Today's birthdays include Fred Astaire and composer Dimitri Tiomkin, born in 1899; composer-conductor Max Steiner in 1888; Larry Williams, who had a 1957 hit with "Bony Moroney," in 1935. The Spinners' Henry Fambrough was born in 1938 (age 65); Danny Rapp, of Danny and the Juniors, in 1941; Jackie Lomax in 1944 (age 59); Donovan, whose full name is Donovan Leitch, 10cc bassist Graham Gouldman and Dave Mason, formerly with Traffic, all in 1946 (age 57); Spirit's Jay Ferguson in 1947 (age 56); reggae musician Sly Dunbar in 1952 (age 51); the late Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, whose real name was John Simon Ritchie, was born in 1957; and U2 frontman Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, in 1960 (age 43).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1928, the Carter Family recorded "Wildwood Flower."

In 1954, "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets was released on this date. A year later, the song became the first rock and roll number to top the charts.

In 1963, the Rolling Stones began the group's first recording session in London.

In 1965, Donovan and members of the Beatles were in the audience for the first of two Bob Dylan shows at London's Royal Albert Hall.

In 1967, this day saw Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones all defending themselves in separate drug-related cases.

In 1969, the Turtles and the Temptations performed at Tricia Nixon's Masque Ball at the White House. Mark Volman of the Turtles fell off the stage five times.

In 1974, the Who sold out New York's Madison Square Garden. All 80,000 tickets for four shows were sold in eight hours.

In 1975, Stevie Wonder played an unannounced, free concert near the Washington Monument, drawing 125,000 people to celebrate "Human Kindness Day."

In 1986, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee married actress Heather Locklear. They were later divorced.

In 1993, fire heavily damaged country singer Mickey Gilley's theater in Branson, Mo.

In 1994, pop singer Paul Abdul filed for divorce from actor Emilio Estevez after just two years of marriage.

Also in 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur surrendered to Los Angeles authorities to begin serving a 15-day sentence for beating up a music video director.

And in 1994, Willie Nelson was arrested on drug possession charges in Hewitt, Texas, after police found him asleep in his car with a marijuana cigarette in the ashtray. The case was later thrown out.

And in 1994, Linda McCartney unveiled her new line of frozen meatless entrees at a Chicago news conference.

In 1995, members of the Black Crowes donated all proceeds from their Oklahoma City concert to charities helping the victims and survivors of the federal building bombing.

Also in 1995, Reba McEntire became the first woman in 15 years to be named entertainer of the year at the 30th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

In 1996, "Tha Crossroads" by the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony topped the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart -- becoming the fasting rising No.1 song since the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" 32 years before.

In 2000, Bobby Brown was arrested in New Jersey for allegedly violating the terms of his probation on a drunken driving conviction. He allegedly flunked a drug test and had neglected to tell his parole officer about a trip to the Bahamas.


Today's musical quiz:

Who added the whispering in the Donovan hit song "Mellow Yellow"? Answer: Paul McCartney.

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(May 11)

Today's birthdays include cornetist Joseph "King" Oliver in 1885; Irving Berlin, who was born in 1888; trombonist J.C. Higginbotham, in 1906; bandleader, singer, trumpeter Johnny "Scat" Davis, in 1910; trumpeter, bandleader Tutti Camarata, in 1913 (age 90); Marylyn King, member of the King Sisters singing group, in 1930 (age 73); Eric Burdon, formerly with the Animals, in 1941 (age 62); Gerry and the Pacemakers bassist Les Chadwick in 1943 (age 60); Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers Band drummer, in 1947 (age 56); and Alabama's Mark Herndon in 1955 (age 48).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Elvis Presley entered the British pop charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel."

In 1970, the triple-album soundtrack to "Woodstock" was released.

In 1972, ex-Beatle and New York resident John Lennon appeared on the "Dick Cavett TV Show," claiming he was under constant surveillance by the FBI and that his telephone had been tapped. He said it was part of a plot to have him deported from the United States.

In 1979, Eric Clapton and Charlie Watts were part of an ad-hoc band that played at the wedding reception of record producer Glyn Johns and his new wife.

Also in 1979, Lester Flatt -- of Flatt and Scruggs -- died.

In 1981, brain cancer claimed the life of reggae star Bob Marley. He was 35.

In 1984, Nudie Cohn -- famous country-and-western costume designer -- died.

In 1987, the Oak Ridge Boys announced that rhythm guitarist Steve Sanders would replace ousted member William Lee Golden.

In 1988, fans of Irving Berlin stood below his Manhattan apartment and serenaded him with his songs on his 100th birthday. Berlin, who wrote 1,500 songs including "God Bless America," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "White Christmas," also watched on closed-circuit TV a gala salute to him at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In 1991, Madonna's arrival at the Cannes (kahn) International Film Festival in France practically turned the event into the first International Madonna Festival.

In 1992, the Los Angeles Times reported Barbra Streisand and Sony were on the verge of signing a $40 million recording contract.

Also in 1992, Tammy Wynette had surgery for an inflammation of a bile duct in St. Louis.

In 1993, Nirvana denied rumors that its recording label, Geffen, didn't want to release the band's upcoming album because it wasn't commercial enough.

Also in 1993, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Brooks and Dunn were the big winners at the 28th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles.

In 1994, one of the two police officers that Tupac Shakur was accused of shooting and wounding during a traffic altercation the year before in Atlanta filed a $10 million lawsuit against the rapper.

Also in 1994, an unwed Wynonna Judd confirmed she was pregnant -- with no plans to marry the baby's father.

In 1995, ABC announced that the long-awaited Beatles documentary would air in November.

In 1996, a 17-year-old Irish high school girl suffered fatal injuries in the mosh pit at a Smashing Pumpkins concert in Dublin.

Also in 1996, 17 people were arrested and 25 more suffered minor injuries when rioting erupted at an outdoor rock festival featuring Seven Mary Three in downtown Cincinnati.

In 1998, John Lennon's sons, Julian and Sean, both released albums on the same day. Julian's "Photograph Smile" was his first in several years, while Sean's "Into the Sun" was his debut album.

Also in 1998, R.E.M. was honored by the University of Georgia's Student Historic Preservation Organization for the band's concern for historic buildings in Athens, Ga.

In 1999, Latin-pop singer Ricky Martin signed posters and blew kisses to an estimated 5,000 fans that flooded New York's Broadway for a glimpse of him.


Today's musical quiz:

This singer released what became the best-selling album ever by a Latin artist in the United States. Who? Answer: Ricky Martin. His 1999 self-titled album sold more than five million copies in the United States alone.

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(May 12)

Today's birthdays include bandleader Gordon Jenkins and jazz trombonist Jack Jenney in 1910; Burt Bacharach, who was born in 1928 (age 75); Ian Dury and Billy Swan, both in 1942 (age 61); David Walker, keyboardist with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, in 1943 (age 60); Jayotis Washington of the Persuasions in 1945 (age 58); Faces keyboardist Ian McLagen in 1946 (age 57); Steve Winwood in 1948 (age 55); John "Jocko" Marcellino of Sha Na Na and Billy Squier, both in 1950 (age 53); and Billy Duffy, lead guitarist with The Cult, in 1961 (age 42).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Elvis Presley made his TV comeback after two years in the Army on a "Welcome Back" special hosted by Frank Sinatra.

IIn 1964, Barbra Streisand won the Grammy Award for Best Female Vocalist for "The Barbra Streisand Album."

In 1965, the Rolling Stones laid down the basic tracks for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" at the famed Chess Studios in Chicago. The song would be finished in Los Angeles.

In 1971, Mick Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macia in a Roman Catholic ceremony in St. Tropez, France. The wedding guests included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Steven Stills and the rest of the Rolling Stones.

In 1983, Meat Loaf -- whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday -- filed for bankruptcy.

In 1987, Frank Sinatra canceled a performance in Sweden after Stockholm levied a special tax on him because he broke the entertainment boycott and played in South Africa.

In 1991, the "Simple Truth Appeal" benefit concert was held in London and nine other cities around the world to raise money for the Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq. Participants included Hammer, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, Paul Simon, Yes, Peter Gabriel, Sting, and INXS.

In 1992, Guns N' Roses and Metallica announced plans for a joint North American summer concert tour.

Also in 1992, Paul Simon and Billy Joel met with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in New York.

In 1994, the Clintons attended Barbra Streisand's concert in Landover, Md., near Washington, D.C.

Also in 1994, country superstar Garth Brooks made a cameo appearance on the NBC sitcom "Mad About You."

In 1998, Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band performed at New York's Bottom Line nightclub to preview his new album, "Vertical Man."

In 2000, Gloria Estefan marked the release of her new album "Alma Caribena (Caribbean Soul)" with her first network television special. "Gloria Estefan, Caribbean Soul: The Atlantis Concert" aired on CBS and also featured Latin pop star Marc Anthony.


Today's musical quiz:

Marc Anthony has been quoted in People magazine saying he needs to call Tom Jones and ask his advice. About what? Answer: About how to remain cool while picking up the panties girls throw at him from the audience.

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(May 13)

Today's birthdays include singer Maxine Sullivan, in 1911; Ritchie Valens, who was born in 1941; Mary Wells in 1943; J. Geils Band harmonica player Magic Dick, aka Richard Salwitz, in 1945 (age 58); Pete "Overend" Watts, bassist with Mott the Hoople, in 1949 (age 54); Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel, both in 1950 (age 53); Roxy Music drummer Paul Thompson in 1951 (age 52); Deacon Blue's Lorraine McIntosh in 1964 (age 39); and Darius Rucker, lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish, in 1968 (age 35).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1975, Western swing bandleader Bob Wills died from a stroke at age 70.

In 1977, the Jam's first album -- "In the City" -- was released.

In 1985, Bruce Springsteen married actress Julianne Philips in a secret candlelight midnight church ceremony in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She would file for divorce three years later on the grounds he was romantically involved with E Street Band backing singer Patti Scialfa.

In 1987, songwriters Stephen Bishop and David Foster got top honors at the 35th annual BMI pop awards.

In 1991, "In Bed With Madonna" was screened out of competition at the Cannes International Film Festival. The documentary was shot during Madonna's 1990 "Blonde Ambition Tour."

In 1995, Diana Ross returned to Bessemer, Ala. -- where she lived as a girl -- to shoot the cover photo for her upcoming album, as well as film a documentary on her life.

In 1996, a thief broke into The Cure's van parked in front of a New York hotel, stealing the road manager's suitcase containing thousands of dollars in expense money, the group's return tickets in London, and lead singer Robert Smith's passport.

In 1997, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds was named songwriter of the year at the 45th annual BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles.

Also in 1997, a Los Angeles judge dismissed the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by a former security guard against Michael Jackson.

And in 1997, Tina Turner unveiled her painting that had appeared on the 1997 edition of Discover Card's Private Issue credit card.

And in 1997, talk show host Oprah Winfrey joined Tina Turner on stage in Los Angeles for a rendition of "Simply the Best."

In 1998, Quincy Jones and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds were among the music industry heavyweights who threw a surprise birthday party at a Hollywood nightclub for Stevie Wonder.


Today's musical quiz:

Who's the father of Diana Ross's oldest child, Rhonda? Answer: Motown mogul Berry Gordy.

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(May 14)

Today's birthdays include Sidney Bechet, in 1897; Bobby Darin, who was born in 1936; Jack Bruce of Cream in 1943 (age 60); former Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish in 1945 (age 58); Al Ciner, guitarist with American Breed, in 1947 (age 56); David Byrne of Talking Heads in 1952 (age 51); Tom Cochrane, guitarist with Red Rider, in 1953 (age 50); Poison's C.C. Denville and Ian Astbury of The Cult, both in 1962 (age 41); Fabrice Morvan, one-half of the lip-synching duo Milli Vanilli, in 1965 (age 38); and Danny Wood of NKOTB -- formerly known as the New Kids on the Block -- in 1969 (age 34).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, "Rock Around the Clock," re-released after the debut of the movie "Blackboard Jungle" entered the Billboard charts on this date and started climbing. By July, it had become No. 1 in the United States, and by the end of the year it had topped the English charts as well. The song, by Bill Haley and the Comets, became one of the most influential in history.

In 1976, Keith Relf of the Yardbirds was electrocuted at his London home while tuning a guitar. He was 33.

In 1982, "Fast" Eddie Clark quit Motorhead in the middle of the band's U.S. tour. Guitarist Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy flew to the United States to replace him.

In 1987, Emmylou Harris told a congressional panel that she believed digital audio tape machines should be required to have anti-copying devices.

Also in 1987, Frank Sinatra -- criticized by anti-apartheid forces for playing South Africa in 1981 -- attacked the system of racial separation, calling South African President P.W. Botha "a bum."

In 1991, the Bee Gees' 27th album, "High Civilization," was released in the United States.

Also in 1991, Motown sued MCA for $10 million, accusing it of refusing to promote Motown records to pop radio stations.

In 1994, former Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish celebrated his 50th birthday with an all-star guitar jam at the Classic American Guitar Show in Long Island, N.Y.

In 1998, Frank Sinatra died of a heart attack after being rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 82.

Also in 1998, George Michael was sentenced to two years probation, fined and ordered to perform community service after pleading no contest to lewd conduct charges. The singer was arrested April 7 after a police officer witnessed him committing a "lewd act" in a Beverly Hills, Calif., park restroom.


Today's musical quiz:

Thin Lizzy's lead singer Phil Lynott performed on this 1978 rock musical version of a famous science fiction novel. What? Answer: Lynott was featured on "War of the Worlds," a rock music version of the H.G. Wells novel of the same name.

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(May 15)

Today's birthdays include country singer Eddy Arnold, who was born in 1918 (age 85); pianist Erroll Garner, in 1921 (age 82); Trini Lopez in 1937 (age 66); Little River Band guitarist Graham Goble in 1947 (age 56); Brian Eno in 1948 (age 55); Toto's Dennis Fredericksen in 1951 (age 52); Mike Oldfield of "Tubular Bells" fame in 1953 (age 50); and Ahmet Zappa, one of the late Frank Zappa's sons and lead singer of the group Z, in 1974 (age 29).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1964, Tom and Dick Smothers made their debut at Carnegie Hall.

In 1965, two groups had their first hit singles -- the Yardbirds with "For Your Love" and the Byrds with "Mr. Tamborine Man."

In 1970, The Carpenters released their second album, "Close to You," which became a hit and made stars out of sibling singers Karen and Richard Carpenter, who won the Best New Artist Grammy that year.

In 1971, two films made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono -- "Apotheosis" and "Fly" -- were shown at the Cannes International Film Festival in France.

In 1973, the Pointer Sisters made their live debut.

In 1974, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman became the first Stone to release a solo album, "Monkey Grip." He would not be the last.

In 1987, a judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., ruled that a $20 million civil lawsuit against Boy George would be heard in the United States. The suit was filed by the parents of a musician who died of a heroin overdose at George's home in Britain.

In 1988, Led Zeppelin reunited at the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary bash in New York -- with the late John Bonham's son, Jason, on drums.

In 1993, Duran Duran performed an "interactive" concert in Los Angeles that was beamed live to London; Tokyo; Sydney, Australia; and Berlin. Fans at the remote sites could ask the rockers questions and request songs.

In 1995, R.E.M. resumed the concert tour interrupted two months earlier by drummer Bill Berry's aneurysm and brain surgery.

Also in 1995, Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland was arrested on drug possession charges in Pasadena, Calif.

And in 1995, a rare guitar was stolen from Cranberries guitarist Noel Hogan during a melee at a free concert in Washington, D.C.

And in 1995, "I Swear" -- written by Gary Baker and Frank Myers -- was named song of the year at the ASCAP annual awards dinner in Los Angeles.

In 1997, Muzak announced it was adding four instrumental versions of KISS songs to its playlist.

In 2000, Entertainment Weekly reported that Korn's lead singer Jonathan Davis had teamed up with composer Richard Gibbs to write a full orchestral score for "Queen of the Damned," a movie based on the Anne Rice vampire novel of the same name. Davis was also writing songs for Lestat, the movie's blood-sucking rock star character, to lip-synch.


Today's musical quiz:

Frank Zappa's highest-charting pop single was this novelty tune, recorded with daughter Moon Unit. What was the title? Answer: "Valley Girl."

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(May 16)

Today's birthdays include clarinetist/bandleader Woody Herman in 1913; entertainer Liberace in 1919; Lainie Kazan, who was born in 1940 (age 63); Billy Cobham in 1944 (age 59); Robert Fripp of King Crimson and Foghat's Roger Earl, both in 1946 (age 57); Barbara Lee of the Chiffons and Nazareth drummer Derrell Sweet, both in 1947 (age 56); Jock Bartley of Firefall in 1950 (age 53); Jonathan Richman, of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, in 1951 (age 52); Richard Page of Mr. Mister in 1953 (age 50); Heaven 17th's Glenn Gregory in 1958 (age 45); Janet Jackson in 1966 (age 37); and Ralph Tresvant of the New Edition in 1968 (age 35).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1966, the Beach Boys released the "Pet Sounds" album.

In 1969, The Who's Pete Townshend spent the night in jail after he kicked a man offstage at New York's Fillmore East. The man turned out to be a plainclothes police officer trying to warn the audience about a nearby fire.

In 1970, guitarist Randy Bachman quit The Guess Who.

In 1980, Brian May of Queen collapsed onstage. It turned out he was suffering from hepatitis.

Also in 1980, former Buggles members Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn joined Yes, replacing the departing Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

In 1981, the Pretenders' Martin Chambers married Tracy Atkinson in Los Angeles.

In 1984, Marvin Gaye, Sr., had brain surgery a month-and-a-half after killing his soul-singer son, Marvin Gaye, Jr., during an argument.

In 1986, country singer Johnny Paycheck was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting a man in a barrom fight in Hillsboro, Ohio, the previous December. Paycheck claimed the shooting was an accident.

Also in 1986, Willie Nelson underwent two hours of surgery to repair his left thumb, which he broke in a fall from a bicycle.

And in 1986, King Crimson's Robert Fripp married British actress Toyah Willcox.

In 1987, David Crosby married his longtime girlfriend Jan Dance in Los Angeles. Stephen Stills gave away the bride. Graham Nash and his wife, Susan, renewed their wedding vows during the ceremony.

Also in 1987, Johnny Cash left the stage in mid-performance in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was hospitalized, suffering from exhaustion and an irregular heartbeat.

In 1988, Run-DMC released "Tougher Than Leather," the band's first album in two years.

In 1992, a reunited Procol Harum launched a concert tour in Washington, D.C.

In 1993, Motown singer Marv Johnson died two days after suffering a stroke backstage in South Carolina. He was 54.


Today's musical quiz:

Paula Abdul worked as this singer's choreographer before launching her own career. Who? Answer: Janet Jackson.

Topics: Anne Rice, Barbara Lee, Barbra Streisand, Berry Gordy, Bill Haley, Bill Wyman, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bobby Brown, Boy George, Brian Eno, Brian Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Burt Bacharach, Charlie Watts, Danny Wood, Darius Rucker, David Byrne, David Crosby, David Foster, David Walker, Diana Ross, Dick Cavett, Dick Smothers, Eddy Arnold, Elvis Presley, Emilio Estevez, Eric Clapton, Erroll Garner, Frank Sinatra, Garth Brooks, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, Graham Nash, H.G. Wells, Heather Locklear, Ian Dury, Irving Berlin, Janet Jackson, John Lennon, John Simon, Johnny Cash, Jon Anderson, Keith Richards, Lester Flatt, Madonna, Marc Anthony, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Oprah Winfrey, P.W. Botha, Patti Scialfa, Paul Abdul, Paul Simon, Paul Thompson, Paula Abdul, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, Reba McEntire, Richard Carpenter, Richard Gibbs, Ricky Martin, Ritchie Valens, Rod Stewart, Scott Weiland, Sid Vicious, Sidney Bechet, Steve Sanders, Stevie Wonder, Tammy Wynette, Tina Turner, Tom Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Tupac Shakur, Vince Gill, 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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