Today's birthdays include J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, who was born in 1930; former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman in 1936 or, possibly, 1941 (age 65 or 60); Starland Vocal Band's Taffy Danoff and Ted Templeman of Harpers Bizarre, both in 1944 (age 57); drummer Jerry Edmonton of Steppenwolf and Shocking Blue guitarist Rob van Leeuwen, both in 1946 (age 55); Mott the Hopple drummer Dale "Buffin" Griffin in 1948 (age 53); and Monica (last name: Arnold) in 1980 (age 21).
Today's musical milestones:
In 1962, James Brown recorded the classic "Live at the Apollo, Vol.1."
In 1964, the Ronnettes released "Walking In The Rain."
In 1978, a Toronto judge found Keith Richards guilty of drug possession. The Rolling Stone was given a suspended sentence and ordered to play a charity concert in Canada.
In 1980, the Guinness Book of Records recognized Paul McCartney as history's biggest-selling songwriter and recording artist.
In 1983, Yoko Ono announced she planned to liquidate some of her vast wealth and donate it to charity.
In 1987, Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" marked its 397th week on British album charts, making it the U.K.'s best-selling rock album.
In 1991, the Temptations' Eddie Kendricks underwent surgery for lung cancer in Atlanta. The doctors said the cancer was caught in time. They were wrong. Kendricks died a year later of cancer.
Also in 1991, the Whitehall Hotel in Chicago -- favored by Mick Jagger and other rock stars -- announced it was closing in mid-December. The hotel has since re-opened.
In 1993, Garth Brooks gave a fan an autographed guitar at a North Dakota concert after she gave him a painting she'd had commissioned just for him.
In 1994, the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde said she'd changed her will so PETA can use her picture in anti-fur campaigns after she dies.
In 1995, Def Leppard performed three concerts on three continents within 24 hours in support of the band's new album "Vault." The shows were held in Tangier, Morocco; London; and Vancouver, Canada.
Also in 1995, an unbilled Bruce Springsteen performed in concert in Chicago with his buddy Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers.
And in 1995, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders sang the national anthem before the World Series game in Cleveland.
In 1996, Michael Jackson's 35-minute movie "Ghosts" finally debuted in 11 cities. The project had been shelved in 1993 after news broke of the child molestation allegations against Jackson.
Also in 1996, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2000, Lenny Kravitz's "Greatest Hits" album was released.
Also in 2000, Bruce Hornsby's first-ever live recording, "Here Come The Noisemakers," was released. The 18-track double album was recorded at various concerts between late 1998 and late 1999.
Today's musical quiz:
Before he became a recording star, what did J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson do for a living? Answer: He was a disc jockey (at KTRM in Beaumont, Texas.)