Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Dec. 10, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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(Dec. 10)

Today's birthdays include famed producer and talent scout John Hammond Sr., who was born in 1910; Chad Stuart of Chad and Jeremy fame in 1943 (age 58); Commodores drummer Walter Orange and Ace Kefford, bassist with The Move, both in 1946 (age 55); ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard in 1949 (age 52); and country singer Johnny Rodriguez in 1952 (age 49).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1927, the "WSM Barn Dance" program was re-named the "Grand Ole Opry."

In 1949, a 21-year-old Fats Domino recorded "The Fat Man" in New Orleans. It became his first million-seller.

In 1966, the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" topped the Billboard Hot-100 pop singles chart.

Also in 1966, Keith's "98.6" and the Monkees' "I'm A Believer" were released.

In 1967, Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash near Madison, Wis. He was 26. Four members of his backing band the Bar-Kays also died.

Also in 1967, the Steve Miller Blues Band signed with Capitol Records.

In 1968, the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb married Molly Hullis.

In 1971, Frank Zappa suffered a fractured skull and broken leg when he was attacked onstage in London by a young man who was jealous because his girlfriend said she loved the rocker. It took Zappa almost a year to recover from his injuries.

In 1976, Paul McCartney's "Wings Over America" album was released.

Also in 1976, Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin was buried wearing the same ring Jimi Hendrix was wearing the day he died.

In 1990, charges were dropped against a San Antonio, Texas, record store owner for selling 2 Live Crew's album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be."

In 1991, singer Headman Tshabalala -- co-founder of the South African a-capella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo -- was killed during a scuffle with a security guard in Natal province. The guard was later charged with murder.

In 1992, Paul McCartney announced that he, George Harrison and Ringo Starr might work together on new music for a TV documentary titled "The Long and Winding Road."

In 1993, rapper "Fresh Prince" --- a.k.a. Will Smith -- was sued by a former co-star on his TV show who contended he forced her off the series after she became pregnant.

In 1995, "Fat Boy" rapper Darren "The Human Beat Box" Robinson dropped dead while performing for friends at his New York home. Robinson was 28.

In 1997, Motley Crue's Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx were arrested in Phoenix, Ariz., after beating up a security guard who tried to keep fans from rushing the stage during a concert.

Also in 1997, Elton John handed a check for $32 million to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. It was the first installment of royalties from sales of "Candle in the Wind 1997," John's tribute to Diana.

And in 1997, Harry Connick Jr., Mariah Carey, Boys II Men, Emmylou Harris, Jewel and Sinead O'Connor performed in Oslo, Norway, at a concert honoring Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-land mine activist Jody Williams.

In 1999, one day after turning 56, The Band frontman and bass player Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, N.Y.

Today's musical quiz:

Name the first posthumous No. 1 single of the rock era. Answer: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," which topped the charts in 1968, a few months after Otis Redding's untimely death.

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