Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Dec. 25, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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(Dec. 25)

Today's birthdays include the late Cab Calloway, who was born in 1907; the late Chris Kenner was born in 1929; "Little Richard" Penniman, who uses Christmas Day as his birthdate, in 1932 (age 69); the late O'Kelly Isley of the Isley Brothers was born in 1937; guitarist Henry Vestine of Canned Heat and the Mothers of Invention in 1944 (age 57); bassist Noel Redding, who played with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1945 (age 56); Jimmy Buffett in 1946 (age 55); country's Barbara Mandrell in 1948 (age 53); Robin Campbell of UB40, and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics, both in 1954 (age 47); and Shane McGowan of The Pogues in 1957 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1958, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Jackie Wilson, Frankie Avalon and the Everly Brothers opened a 10-day gig at Loew's State Theater in Manhattan. The show was promoted by Alan Freed.

In 1959, an 18-year-old Richard Starkey -- the future Ringo Starr -- received his first drum kit for Christmas.

In 1960, Mary Wells made her first chart appearance with "Bye Bye Baby."

In 1967, Paul McCartney announced his engagement to actress Jane Asher, the sister of singer Peter Asher. The marriage never took place.

In 1969, Robbie Bachman, 16, was given his first drum kit as a Christmas present. Three years later, he became the drummer in older brother Randy's group, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

In 1978, Public Image Limited -- the group formed by Sex Pistol John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten -- performed its first public concert, at London's Rainbow Theater.

In 1990, James Brown entertained the troops at Fort Jackson, S.C. It was the "Godfather of Soul's" first concert since going to prison two years earlier for leading police on a high-speed chase across two states.

Also in 1990, it was announced that the year's New Kids On The Block concert tour was the second-highest grossing road trip in music history and the year's highest.

In 1998, the Backstreet Boys, Lauryn Hill and Shania Twain were named to Entertainment Weekly's list of the year's top entertainers.

Also in 1998, the Beatles' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was returned to the legendary walk following an absence of almost five years.

In 2000, rapper Eminem, 'N Sync, Destiny's Child and country diva Faith Hill made Entertainment Weekly's list of the top-12 entertainers of the year.

Today's musical quiz:

Where did the members of UB40 come up with their group's name? Answer: UB40 is the title of a British unemployment form.

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