Today's birthdays include actor/singer Tommy Steele, who was born in 1936 (age 65); Art Neville, one of the Neville Brothers, in 1937 (age 64); the late Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations was born in 1939; the late Paul Butterfield was born in 1942; Raspberries drummer Jim Bonfanti in 1949 (age 52); Wanda Hutchinson of the Emotions in 1951 (age 50); R.E.M.'s Michael Mills in 1958 (age 43); and Bananarama's Sarah Dallin in 1961 (age 40).
Today's musical milestones:
In 1955, Carl Perkins wrote "Blue Suede Shoes."
In 1957, Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" entered the charts for the first time.
In 1962, the Beatles made its British TV debut on "People and Places." The group performed "Love Me Do," which had just become the Fab Four's first U.K. Top-20 single.
In 1966, the Royal Guardsmen released "Snoopy Versus the Red Baron."
In 1970, the Beach Boys performed for Princess Margaret at London's Royal Albert Hall.
In 1971, David Bowie's "Hunky Dory," his first U.S. album, was released.
In 1973, Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis fielded a bogus band under the "Fleetwood Mac" name, prompting the REAL members of Mick Fleetwood's group to sue. They won.
In 1975, "Hound Dog" Taylor died at age 59.
In 1977, Elvis Costello performed on "Saturday Night Live," substituting for the Sex Pistols, who'd failed to show up. It was Costello's first U.S. television appearance.
In 1982, The Who played the band's last show, in Toronto, on what members of the group said was their last tour.
In 1991, C&C Music Factory and Color Me Badd each received six nominations to lead the list of American Music Award nominees.
Also in 1991, rock 'n' roll pioneer Alan Freed received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
And in 1991, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati threw out the six-year prison sentence given a man convicted of stalking and threatening to kill pop singer Debbie Gibson. The judges said the sentence was longer than federal guidelines allowed.
In 1992, Barbra Streisand signed a new record and movie deal with Sony. The agreement was estimated to be worth about $60 million.
Also in 1992, Paul McCartney and ABC said they were near a deal that'd have the TV network airing two McCartney specials.
And in 1992, Ice-T invited "honest" cops in Bloomington, Ill., to his Christmas concert. Police officers were angry because some had to work security at the show and didn't get the day off. But they also weren't impressed with the offer from the rapper, whose songs included one titled "Cop Killer."
In 1993, a St. Louis radio station dropped Michael Jackson from its playlist, saying music by the pop star and alleged child molester was "inappropriate" considering the holiday season.
Also in 1994, Canadian singer Celine Dion married manager Rene Angelil in Montreal.
In 1996, Virgin Records announced it was making more copies of the Smashing Pumpkins CD boxed set "The Aeroplane Flies High" after demand exceeded supply.
In 1998, "Too Close" by Next was named the No. 1 single of the year, while the "Titanic" soundtrack won for top album and Usher named top artist, at the 1998 Billboard Music Awards.
Also in 1998, rapper Michael "Mystikal" Tyler was arrested on drug and weapons possession charges in Kenner, La. He later said the police had stopped him because he was driving a "flashy" car and that the joint he supposedly was smoking was actually in the car's ashtray.
Today's musical quiz:
In the annals of music history, what's "Blue Suede Shoes" claim to fame? Answer: The Carl Perkins-penned tune was the first song EVER to top the R&B, country and Top-40 charts.