Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Jan. 8, 2002 at 4:45 AM
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(Jan. 8)

Today's birthdays include the "King of Rock 'n' Roll," Elvis Presley, who was born in 1935; Shirley Bassey in 1937 (age 65); Anthony Gourdine, of Little Anthony and the Imperials, in 1941 (age 61); Marcus Hutson of The Whispers in 1943 (age 59); Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger in 1946 (age 56); David Bowie and Hollies guitarist Terry Sylvester, both in 1947 (age 55); and Loverboy's Mike Reno in 1955 (age 47).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Bill Haley and the Comets kicked off its first tour of Australia. LaVern Baker and Big Joe Turner were the opening acts.

In 1979, the Canadian government named the rock group Rush "Canadian Ambassadors of Music."

In 1982, Johnny Cash Parkway was dedicated in Henderson, Tenn, making the country singer the town's first living inhabitant to have a road named after him.

In 1985, tickets for the first solo concerts by ex-Wham! member George Michael -- two nights at London's Earls Court arena -- sold out so quickly that two more shows were added to his debut tour.

In 1987, Elton John left a Sydney, Australia, hospital two days after having throat surgery to remove a benign lesion.

Also in 1987, the boyfriend of country singer Tanya Tucker, Jerry West, was sentenced by a Nashville judge to four years in prison after being convicted of drug dealing.

In 1991, Def Leppard guitarist "Steamin'" Steve Clark was found dead in his London apartment. He was 30.

In 1992, R.E.M. topped the list of nominees -- with seven -- for the 34th annual Grammy Awards.

In 1993, long lines were reported at U.S. post offices nationwide as the Elvis Presley commemorative stamps went on sale.

In 1995, a bronze sculpture of Elvis Presley by Felix de Weldon -- who did the Iwo Jima flag-raising memorial at Arlington National Cemetery -- was dedicated at Graceland.

In 1996, a Los Angeles jury convicted drifter Robert Dewey Hoskins of stalking Madonna.

Also in 1996, Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary led a two-hour concert and sing-along when the Boston-to-New York train he was riding on got stuck in snow outside the Big Apple during what became known as the Blizzard of '96.

In 1999, Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter announced they were separating after eight years of marriage and two children.

Today's musical quiz:

How many movies did Elvis Presley star in? Answer: A total of 33, between 1956 and 1972.

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