Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Dec. 4, 2001 at 4:44 AM
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(Dec. 4)

Today's birthdays include Freddy Cannon, who was born in 1940 (age 61); Bob Mosley of Moby Grape, and Chris Hillman of the Byrds and later the Flying Burrito Brothers, both in 1942 (age 59); Dennis Wilson, drummer with the Beach Boys, in 1944; Southside Johnny (Lyon) of Southside Johnny and The Asbury Dukes in 1948 (age 53); and Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington in 1952 (age 49).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Elvis Presley -- back in Memphis to visit his family -- dropped by the Sun Records studios and ended up jamming with former label mates Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. The resulting recording was dubbed "The Million-Dollar Quartet."

In 1965, Keith Richards was knocked cold by an electric shock when he tried to move his ungrounded microphone stand with the neck of his guitar during a Rolling Stones concert.

In 1976, reggae star Bob Marley was shot and wounded at his home in Kingston, Jamaica. It didn't prevent him from playing a political show two days later.

Also in 1976, Deep Purple singer/guitarist Tommy Bolin died from a drug overdose in Miami. He was 25.

In 1980, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin announced they "could not continue as we were" following the death of drummer John Bonham two months earlier.

In 1986, fans stopped traffic on London's Oxford Street when members of the Norwegian pop group A-Ha made a personal appearance at a record store.

In 1988, Roy Orbison played his final gig, in Cleveland. He died two days later.

In 1990, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said it would not give the 1989 New Artist Grammy to someone else after yanking the award from Milli Vanilli.

In 1991, a Madonna spokesperson denied rumors the pop star was HIV-positive.

Also in 1991, Van Halen gave a free concert in Dallas to make up for a 1988 show canceled by lead singer Sammy Hagar's sinus infection.

And in 1991, singer/dancer Paula Abdul was honored with the 1944th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And in 1991, The Judds gave what they said would be their final concert as a duo, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Mom Naomi was retiring due to ill health. However, she has since "unretired."

In 1992, Deep Purple's Ian Gillan and Roger Glover awarded the Harp Rock Plaque to the mayor of Montreux, Switzerland -- sight of the 1971 casino fire that inspired the Deep Purple hit song "Smoke on the Water." The Harp Rock Plaque honors significant geographical locations in music history.

In 1993, Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer at age 52.

Also in 1993, former Gin Blossoms member Douglas Hopkins shot himself to death at his Tempe, Ariz., apartment. He was 32.

In 1995, Michael Jackson and French mime Marcel Marceau pantomined at a weird New York photo-op for an upcoming HBO concert. The show never took place -- it was canceled when Jackson fell ill.

Also in 1995, Barbra Streisand was "uninvited" to sing at a New York memorial rally for slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after orthodox Jewish rabbis cited Talmudic law banning men from listening to a woman sing in public.

In 1996, Alanis Morissette was named Artist of the Year at the 1996 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. At the awards, Madonna made her first public appearance since becoming a mother the previous October.

Also in 1996, Reba McEntire injured her knee in a skiing accident in Utah. The injury forced the singer to cancel the next night's concert in Tucson, Ariz.

In 1997, the original Black Sabbath line-up of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward reunited for two sold-out concerts in their hometown of Birmingham, England.

Also in 1997, the Recording Industry Association of America updated the platinum and multi-platinum certifications of 11 Led Zeppelin albums, making Led Zeppelin second only to the Beatles as the all-time top-selling artist.

Today's musical quiz:

During her teenage dance pop days, Alanis Morissette toured with what rapper? Answer: Vanilla Ice.

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