Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Nov. 9, 2001 at 1:21 PM
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(Nov. 10)

Today's birthdays include lyricist Tim Rice, who wrote the words for "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Evita" -- among others -- and also worked with Elton John on the soundtrack of "The Lion King." Rice was born in 1944 (age 57). Dave Loggins, cousin of Kenny, and Alice Cooper's guitarist Glen Buxton were both born in 1947 (age 54); Greg Lake of King Crimson and, of course, Emerson Lake and Palmer, in 1948 (age 53); Donna Fargo in 1949 (age 52); and Atlanta Rhythm Section's Ronnie Hammond in 1950 (age 51).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, the Moody Blues released "Nights in White Satin." The single, from the "Days of Future Passed" album, became the band's most requested song.

In 1973, country singer David "Stringbean" Akeman and his wife were murdered in their home.

In 1975, the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior, inspiring Gordon Lightfoot to write a haunting ballad titled "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

In 1978, the Clash released its second album "Give 'Em Enough Rope," which was produced by Blue Oyster Cult manager Sandy Pearlman.

In 1984, Frankie Goes to Hollywood's debut album "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" entered the British music charts at No. 1.

Also in 1984, "Dukes of Hazzard" actor-turned-singer John Schenider had his first country music No. 1 single with "I've Been Around Enough to Know."

In 1986, Bruce Springsteen's five-album "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live 1975-1985" was released.

Also in 1986, Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and 46 members of his entourage were kicked off a United Airlines flight in Dallas following complaints they were smoking dope, throwing food and harassing the flight crew and passengers.

In 1990, it was announced that Madonna had sold 54 million albums and 26 million singles worldwide to date.

In 1992, Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to contribute $50,000 to charity after being found guilty of charges stemming from the July 2, 1991, riot that erupted at a suburban St. Louis concert.

In 1993, Madonna performed the first of three "Girlie Show" concerts in Mexico City, despite efforts by anti-Madonna groups to have the show canceled.

Also in 1993, Jackson Browne kicked off a seven-city U.S. tour in New York.

In 1994, Elton John sued the Star tabloid after it reported he was romantically involved with an Atlanta man. The singer said the story wasn't true.

Also in 1994, one person was killed and 25 others injured in the rush to get into a Costa Rican stadium to see Aerosmith.

And in 1994, Motown rolled out a new interactive video game with a rap music theme.

In 1996, a three-hour tribute to slain rapper Tupac Shakur was held at the Atlanta Civic Center.

In 1999, Lit lead singer A. Jay Popoff was arrested in Charlotte, N.C., after he stripped down to his boxer shorts during a concert at the University of North Carolina. He was charged with indecent exposure.

Today's musical quiz:

Donna Fargo's real name is Yvonne Vaughn. Where did she come up with "Fargo"? Answer: She took the name "Fargo" from the stuntman who drove the Batmobile in the "Batman" TV series.


(Nov. 11)

Today's birthdays include Tornadoes keyboardist Roger Lavern, who was born in 1938 (age 63); Jesse Colin Young in 1944 (age 57); Chris Dreja of the Yardbirds and Vanilla Fudge's Vincent Martell, both in 1945 (age 56); Paul Cowsill of the Cowsills in 1950 (age 51); Andy Partridge of XTC in 1953 (age 48); and Human League's Ian Craig Marsh in 1956 (age 45).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1945, Jerome Kern, one of the top songwriters of the 20th century, died. Although known mostly for his musicals -- such as "Show Boat" -- some of Kern's songs were hits in the rock era, including "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Way You Look Tonight."

In 1957, Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue" was released.

In 1958, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters recorded the original version of "The Twist."

In 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Unfinished Music Number 1: Two Virgins" album -- the one featuring full frontal nudity on its cover -- was released.

In 1970, Bob Dylan's novel "Tarantula" was published.

In 1972, Allman Brothers bassist Barry Oakley was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 24. The crash occured in Macon, Ga., only three blocks from the spot where Duane Allman had died in a similar accident one year earlier.

In 1989, Diane Warren became the first female composer to write the top two songs on the singles' chart: "When I See You Smile" by Bad English and Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On the Rain."

In 1993, Dolly Parton launched her new line of cosmetics at her Dollywood theme park in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains.

In 1994, Jimi Hendrix's stage outfit, John Lennon's "army" shirt, and guitars from Jerry Garcia and the Beach Boys were among the items sold at the first-ever pop memorabilia and guitar sale at Christie's in New York.

In 1995, Jay and the Americans' lead singer Jay Black was injured when his limousine skidded on icy pavement into a guardrail in Cleveland.

In 1997, Metallica performed a free concert for an estimated 30,000 fans outside the Corestates Center in South Philadelphia.

Also in 1997, Warner Bros. Records announced that Eddie Van Halen no longer needed hip replacement surgery.

In 1998, Barry Manilow and a full orchestra performed his new album "Manilow Sings Sinatra" at an exclusive one-night appearance at New York's Supper Club.

Today's musical quiz:

The Yardbirds turned into what legendary 1970s rock band? Answer: Led Zeppelin. When the Yardbirds broke up while on tour, Jimmy Page was left to fulfill the group's commitments. He first called his band the New Yardbirds, but later changed the name to Led Zeppelin when Keith Moon of The Who remarked that the group would go over like a "lead zeppelin."


(Nov. 12)

Today's birthdays include Jimmy Hayes of the Persuasions, Brian Hyland, and The Walker Brothers' John Maus, who were all born in 1943 (age 58); Neil Young in 1945 (age 56); Arthur Tavares of the R&B group Tavares in 1946 (age 55); Blue Oyster Cult's Buck Dharma, whose real name is Donald Roeser, in 1947 (age 54); Taste of Honey drummer Donald Johnson and Hot Chocolate's Erroll Brown, both in 1948 (age 53); and Leslie McKeown of the Bay City Rollers in 1955 (age 46).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1966, Donovan's "Mellow Yellow" was released.

In 1970, the Doors played its last concert as a four-some in New Orleans.

In 1973, Queen launched its first tour of Britain, opening for Mott the Hoople in Yorkshire, England.

In 1980, John Lennon's last single -- at least while he was still alive -- was released. "(Just Like) Starting Over" would top the charts following his death.

Also in 1980, Bruce Springsteen topped the U.S. album charts for the first time with the double album "The River."

In 1985, Jerry Lee Lewis underwent emergency stomach surgery.

In 1986, Priscilla Presley, Elvis's ex-wife, announced she was pregnant by her live-in boyfriend with no marriage plans.

In 1990, Rolling Stone guitarist Ron Wood suffered two broken legs in a car accident in Swindon, England. His wife and two children also were slightly injured.

Also in 1990, Willie Nelson's golf course and recording studio outside Austin, Texas, were padlocked after the IRS seized properties in six states to satisfy the $6.5 million in back taxes the country singer owed.

In 1991, a Los Angeles jury ruled Lionel Richie did not steal two songs from a part-time songwriter.

In 1993, Michael Jackson -- hounded by child molestation allegations -- cancelled the rest of his "Dangerous" world tour, citing an addiction to painkillers.

Also in 1993, Simon and Garfunkel played a special United Way fund-raising concert in Toronto.

In 1996, Michael Jackson arrived in Sydney for the Australian leg of his "HIStory" concert tour. It marked the first time he performed "down under."

Also in 1996, the Temptations attended ground-breaking ceremonies for the new Motown Cafe in Las Vegas.

In 1997, Kenny Loggins performed on A&E's "Live By Request" program.

Also in 1997, Russell Jones, a.k.a. rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan, was arrested and charged in New York City with failure to pay child support for three kids.

In 1998, Celine Dion's husband and manager told Radio Canada that his pop star wife would take a two-year break from show business beginning in 2000, right after a Millennium Eve concert in Montreal.

Today's musical quiz:

Celine Dion reportedly likes to collect what fashion accessory? Answer: Shoes. She is said to own more than 500 pairs of shoes.


(Nov. 13)

Today's birthdays include John Paul Hammond, who was born in 1943 (age 58); Tubes guitarist Roger Steen in 1949 (age 52); and bassist Wayne Parker of Glass Tiger in 1960 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1961, the Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was released.

In 1964, a supposedly official biography of the Rolling Stones, titled "Our Own Story," was published as a paperback book.

In 1968, Rolling Stone Brian Jones purchased Cotchford Farms in Sussex, England -- an estate dotted with statues of "Winnie the Pooh" characters. Author A.A. Milne wrote his books there.

In 1973, Jerry Lee Lewis Jr., drummer in his dad Jerry Lee Lewis' band, died in a car accident at age 19. He was the second of Lewis' children to die young.

In 1982, Robert Smith, leader and founder of The Cure, rejoined Siouxsie and the Banshees as a temporary substitute for guitarist John McGeoch, who was suffering from nervous exhaustion.

In 1983, a Texas woman suffered a broken arm at a Police concert in Dallas. She allegedly was injured when security guards threw a man atop her.

In 1986, Bob Dylan was denied admission to Tanya Tucker's show at the Toronto Royal York Hotel when he arrived wearing a parka and jeans. He was allowed in after Tucker's road manager loaned him a jacket.

Also in 1986, Little Richard put his palm prints on the Hollywood "Rock Walk."

In 1987, Sonny and Cher reunited for the first time in nearly 15 years on "Late Night with David Letterman."

In 1991, Bryan Adams and his record label, A&M, threatened legal action over the unauthorized use of the hit song "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by the campaign of Louisiana gubernatorial hopeful and ex-Klansman David Duke.

In 1992, Sting received an honorary degree from Northumbria University in his hometown of Newcastle, England.

Also in 1992, Bruce Hornsby was awarded the University of Miami's Alumnus of Distinction Award. He was a 1977 graduate of U.M.'s School of Music.

In 1996, Capitol Records announced that Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes had suffered a punctured ear drum, and had been ordered by his doctor to rest for a few months.

Also in 1996, Hong Kong's Urban Council denied permission for Michael Jackson to bring his "HIStory" tour to Victoria Park on Christmas Day. Officials said the show would clash with a Cirque de Soleil performance in another part of the park.

And in 1996, a Los Angeles judge issued a restraining order to keep an obsessed fan away from rapper Ice Cube and his family.

In 1997, a woman was injured when three New England Patriots football players dived off the stage and landed on her during an Everclear concert in Boston.

In 1998, Meat Loaf and Marie Osmond sang a duet, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," on the syndicated "Donnie and Marie" TV show.

In 1999, Lauryn Hill and Kid Rock each won three major awards at the annual Billboard Music Video Awards in Santa Monica, Calif.

In 2000, Faith Hill led the list of nominees for the 28th American Music Awards. Latin pop singer Marc Anthony and rockers Creed received three nominations each.

Also in 2000, Elvis Costello was among the people who lined up outside the HMV store in Liverpool, England, to be among the first to buy a copy of "1," the Beatles' first definitive "greatest hits" album.

Today's musical quiz:

What prompted Sting and his bandmates to call themselves the Police? Answer: The name refers to drummer Stewart Copeland's father, a former CIA employee.


(Nov. 14)

Today's birthdays include Cornelius Gunter, formerly with The Coasters, who was born in 1938; Freddie Garrity of Freddie and the Dreamers in 1940 (age 61); former Supreme Sherri Payne, Freda Payne's sister, in 1944 (age 57); Styx's James Young in 1949 (age 52); Stephen Bishop in 1951 (age 50); Yanni in 1954 (age 47); Frank Banali of Quiet Riot and Alec John Such, formerly with Bon Jovi, both in 1955 (age 46); and Joseph "Run" Simmons of Run-DMC in 1964 (age 37).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1954, Bill Haley's first top-10 single, "Shake, Rattle and Roll," peaked at No. 7.

In 1970, Santana's "Black Magic Woman" was released.

In 1975, Queen's "A Night At The Opera" album was released.

In 1980, Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" became her first top-10 single, peaking at No. 9.

In 1983, Ozzy Osbourn released his "Bark at the Moon" album.

In 1986, Bette Midler gave birth to her daughter, Sophie.

In 1990, a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld a $3.5 million judgment for the late Platters founder Paul Robi in his 16-year trademark fight with former manager Buck Ram.

In 1991, Michael Jackson's 11-minute music video "Black and White" debuted simultaneously on MTV and the Fox TV Network. Critics blasted the video's violence and Jackson's crotch-grabbing. The pop star later issued an apology and edited the controversial four minutes from future viewings.

Also in 1991, Rod Stewart and his wife, model Rachel Hunter, filed $25 million libel lawsuits against two tabloid newspapers.

Also in 1991, John Mellencamp was presented with the Silver Clef Award from the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation in New York. The group treats severely disabled children with music therapy. Mellencamp was born with spina bifida.

And in 1991, Bette Midler gave a rare live performance at the Los Angeles premiere of her film "For The Boys."

And in 1991, Stevie Nicks played her first-ever club gig, in Los Angeles.

And in 1991, MCA sued Polygram for persuading Motown to break its distribution agreement with MCA.

In 1992, John Mellencamp's longtime keyboardist, John Cascella, was found dead in his car from an apparent heart attack. He was 45.

In 1995, Beatles producer George Martin said coming back 25 years later to do "The Beatles Anthology" was a "traumatic" experience. In Australia, George Harrison told a TV station that the upcoming six-hour ABC documentary meant he'd no longer be anonymous.

Also in 1995, LaToya Jackson told "Geraldo" she didn't think her brother Michael was really married to Lisa Marie Presley.

And in 1995, Selena's convicted killer, Yolanda Saldivar, told an interviewer for a Univision TV magazine show that the shooting was an accident.

In 1997, the Bee Gees' sold-out concert at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino turned out to be the largest-grossing show ever at a Las Vegas venue. The concert, the Brothers Gibb's first U.S. show in 10 years, was taped and released as an album in 1999.

In 1999, Nine Inch Nails kicked off a European tour in Barcelona, Spain.

In 2000, MTViGroup celebrated the release of Ricky Martin's new album, "Sound Loaded," by turning over the homepages of, and for the entire day to the Latin pop singer.

Also in 2000, Judy Collins threw a party at the Hay Adams in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the launch of her own record label. Wildflower Records is named after her 1967 album, "Wildflowers."

Today's musical quiz:

What did the Bee Gees originally call themselves? Answer: The brothers Gibb first called themselves the Rattlesnakes.


(Nov. 15)

Today's birthdays include C.W. McCall, who was born in 1928 (age 73); Clyde McPhatter of the Dominoes, and also The Drifters, in 1931; Petula Clark in 1932 (age 69); Annifrid "Frida" Anderson of ABBA in 1945 (age 56); former Heart bassist Steve Fossen in 1949 (age 52); Chic's Tony Thompson in 1954 (age 47); and "Tonight Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks and Thompson Twin John Leeway, both in 1957 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Elvis Presley's first film, "Love Me Tender," premiered.

In 1969, Janis Joplin was arrested for using "vulgar and indecent" language on stage in Tampa, Fla., and also for allegedly threatening to kick a police officer in the face.

In 1980, John Lennon and Yoko Ono released their "Double Fantasy" album.

In 1990, Milli Vanilli's German producer revealed that the Grammy-winning pop duo did not sing a note on their 1989 debut album, and also lip-synched their way through live and video performances.

In 1993, an unauthorized biography of Barbra Streisand claimed she kept her mother in a rundown condo and sent her $1,000 a month.

In 1994, Stevie Wonder announced plans for his first national concert tour since 1989, with the benefits going to those organizations working to end world hunger.

Also in 1994, it was announced that the Allman Brothers, Al Green, the late Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Martha and the Vandellas, Neil Young and the late Frank Zappa would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1995.

In 1996, in a secret midnight ceremony in Sydney, Australia, Michael Jackson married his pregnant girlfriend Debbie Rowe. It was the second marriage for both. The couple has since separated after two children.

In 1999, Elton John almost canceled his first-ever concert in Winnipeg, Canada, after customs officials took so long to clear his entourage. The city's mayor made nice to John by making him an honorary citizen of the city, and the show went on as scheduled.

In 2000, a man accused of trying to kill ex-Beatle George Harrison and his wife in Dec. 1999 was judged insane and then ordered by a British judge to be kept indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital. Michael Abram, 34, had been arrested at Harrison's home in Oxfordshire after the Dec. 30 attack, during which the former Beatle guitarist, 57, suffered a punctured lung. Olivia Harrison was also stabbed in the attack and beaten as well. Abram, a heroin addict, believed the Beatles were sorcerers.

Today's musical quiz:

What was C.W. McCall's day job when he wrote and recorded 1976's "Convoy"? Answer: McCall, whose real name is William Fries, worked for an advertising agency. He created the C.W. McCall character for a bread company.


(Nov. 16)

Today's birthdays include blues composer W.C. Handy, who was born in 1873; and Toni Brown of the Joy of Cooking in 1938 (age 63).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, the first known rock concert "light show" was created by Houston promoter Bill Ham, later the manager of ZZ Top.

In 1968, B.J. Thomas's "Hooked On A Feeling" was released.

In 1973, David Bowie's first TV special, "1980 Floor Show," aired in the United States on NBC's "Midnight Special."

In 1974, John Lennon topped the singles charts for the first time as a solo artist with "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night." Elton John played piano and sang backing vocals on the song.

In 1979, the short-lived British label Infinity Records went belly-up when parent company MCA withdrew its financial support. The label's few hits included Spyro Gyra, Hot Chocolate, and Rupert Holmes, whose No. 1 single "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" was Infinity's greatest success.

In 1985, after 19 years, Starship finally had a No. 1 single with "We Built This City."

Also in 1985, the Irish rock group U2 formed its own label, Mother Records.

And in 1985, Joan Baez sang for Polish labor leader Lech Walesa at his home in Gdansk. The two also discussed human rights.

In 1986, the surviving members of Bob Wills's Original Texas Playboys reunited for a farewell concert in Fort Worth, Texas.

Also in 1986, Frank Sinatra left a Rancho Mirage, Calif., hospital one week after undergoing surgery for diverticulitis.

In 1992, a Manhattan jury cleared Rita Marley, widow of reggae star Bob Marley, of civil charges that she robbed her late husband's estate.

Also in 1992, a Missouri man was convicted in the December 1983 murder of 1960s pop singer Walter Scott. Scott was the lead singer of Bob Kuban and the In-Men, which had a hit in 1966 with "The Cheater."

In 1994, Sony Music announced plans to launch a West Coast record label through its Columbia Records Group.

Also in 1994, Quincy Jones teamed up with former football player Willie Davis and the Tribune Broadcasting Co. to form a company that buys TV and radio stations.

In 1998, Beach Boys Mike Love and Bruce Johnston took time off from touring to work as carhops at the Sonic Drive-In in Biloxi, Miss. Said Love: "Carhopping is a lot harder than I thought it would be."

Today's musical quiz:

What bet did John Lennon and Elton John make while recording "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night"? Answer: John predicted the tune would top the charts, something Lennon didn't think would happen. If it did, according to the bet, Lennon would have to perform at a John concert. The song went to No. 1 and Lennon appeared on stage with John Thanksgiving night 1974 in New York.

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Topics: A.A. Milne, Al Green, Axl Rose, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Brian Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Columbia Records, David Duke, David Letterman, Diane Warren, Dolly Parton, Donald Johnson, Donna Fargo, Eddie Van Halen, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Faith Hill, Fela Kuti, Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, George Harrison, George Martin, Gordon Lightfoot, Jackson Browne, Janis Joplin, Jerome Kern, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jesus Christ, Jimmy Page, Joan Baez, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, Judy Collins, Keith Moon, Kenny Loggins, Kid Rock, Lech Walesa, Lionel Richie, Lisa Marie Presley, Little Richard, Madonna, Marc Anthony, Marie Osmond, Michael Jackson, Neil Young, Olivia Harrison, Quincy Jones, Rachel Hunter, Robert Smith, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Stevie Wonder, Tim Rice, Tupac Shakur, U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, W.C. Handy, Walter Scott, Wayne Parker, Yoko Ono
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