Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Jan. 18, 2002 at 1:30 PM
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(Jan. 19)

Today's birthdays include Phil Everly, one-half of the Everly Brothers, who was born in 1939 (age 63); Janis Joplin in 1943; Shelley Fabares in 1944 (age 58); Rod Evans of Deep Purple in 1945 (age 57); Dolly Parton in 1946 (age 56); Hot Chocolate guitarist Harvey Hinsley in 1948 (age 54); Robert Palmer in 1949 (age 53); Dewey Bunnell of America in 1951 (age 51); the Motels' Martha Davis, also in 1951 (age 51); singer/actor Desi Arnez, Jr., in 1953 (age 49); and UB40's Mickey Virtue in 1957 (age 45).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Pat Boone sang at President Eisenhower's inaugural ball.

In 1967, singer Lesley Gore appeared on the "Batman" TV series as a villain named Pussycat.

In 1974, a Bob Dylan concert in Miami caused huge traffic jams.

In 1975, Paul McCartney and Wings arrived in New Orleans to begin recording the "Venus and Mars" album at Allen Toussaint's Sea-Saint Studio.

In 1976, promoter Bill Sargent offered the Beatles $30 million for a reunion show. The unanimous answer was no.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter's presidential inaugural festivities included a concert featuring Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt and Loretta Lynn on stage -- and John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul Simon and Gregg Allman in the audience.

In 1980, Michael Jackson received his first gold record, for "Off the Wall."

In 1981, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Charlie Pride joined Donny and Marie Osmond among the entertainers at Ronald Reagan's inauguration.

In 1984, Ellie Greenwich's "Leader of the Pack" revue opened in New York.

In 1986, Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at an Asbury Park, N.J., benefit concert. The show raised money for workers at a factory that was closing in "The Boss's" hometown of Freehold.

In 1988, Iceland's first rock group, the Sugarcubes, had to re-edit the music video of its second hit single "Cold Sweat" when a British TV show producer objected to a scene in which it appeared that a bandmember's throat was cut.

In 1993, a rare public concert by Barbra Streisand and a reunion by Fleetwood Mac highlighted a President-elect Bill Clinton pre-inaugural bash in suburban Washington, D.C.

Also in 1993, R&B singer Anita Baker gave birth to her first child, a boy, in Detroit.

In 1994, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner saw a possible end to the Paul McCartney-Yoko Ono feud when McCartney presented Ono with the statuette as John Lennon was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The other inducees included Elton John, Rod Stewart, Bob Marley, the late blues singer Willie Dixon, Johnny Otis, the Grateful Dead, the Band, and the Animals.

In 1994, former Door Robby Krieger jammed with his son's band Bloodline at a concert in New York.

In 1996, MCA reportedly was negotiating to buy half of Interscope Records, known for its roster of "gangsta" rap artists. Time Warner had sold its 50-percent interest in the label in September 1995.

In 1997, Madonna was named best actress in a musical or comedy for her role in "Evita" at the 54th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Also in 1997, Duran Duran's John Taylor announced at DuranCon in Los Angeles that he was leaving the group. The split was said to be amicable.

And in 1997, the auditorium at Passaic High School in New Jersey was renamed the Shirelle Auditorium, after the all-girl group which got its start at a student talent show at the school 40 years earlier.

In 1998, rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins died of complications from three strokes he'd suffered in the previous two months. He was 65.

In 1999, Capitol Records announced that John Hiatt was canceling all February tour dates because he needed surgery to remove a cyst in his throat. The cyst was not life-threatening and doctors predicted Hiatt would recover within three months.

In 2000, Geffen Records filed suit against Hole band members Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson for breach of contract in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming the group still owed the label five albums under a 1992 agreement.

Also in 2000, former School Of Fish singer and guitarist Josh Clayton-Felt died of cancer less than a month after his illness was diagnosed. He was 32.

Today's musical quiz:

What reportedly is Dolly Parton's personal CB radio "handle"? Answer: "Booby Trap."


(Jan. 20)

Today's birthdays include yodeling country singer Otis "Slim" Whitman, who was born in 1924 (age 78); Ronald Townson of the Fifth Dimension in 1941 (age 61); 10cc guitarist Eric Stewart in 1945 (age 57); Poco drummer George Grantham and rock band manager Malcolm McLaren, both in 1947 (age 55); Paul Stanley of Kiss in 1952 (age 50); and country singer John Michael Montgomery in 1965 (age 37).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, disc jockey and promoter Alan Freed died at age 42. Freed is credited with coining the phrase "rock 'n' roll."

In 1967, already a huge hit in the United States, "The Monkees" TV show began airing in Britain.

In 1968, Bob Dylan, the Band, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Richie Havens appeared at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In 1973, Jerry Lee Lewis debuted at the Grand Ole Opry. He played "Great Balls of Fire" and other rock tunes over the objections of Opry officials.

In 1974, Stevie Wonder's concert at the Rainbow Theater in London was his first show following a bad car accident five months earlier.

In 1982, a UNICEF benefit at the Savoy in New York City featured Charlie Daniels, Rick Derringer, Phil Lynott and Carmine Appice.

Also in 1982, bluesman B.B. King donated his entire record collection -- some 7,000 discs, including many rare blues recordings -- to the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

And in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne was hospitalized after biting the head off a bat someone had thrown on stage during a concert. After undergoing rabies shots, the rocker said he thought the bat was plastic.

In 1988, the Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1990, the original members of the Byrds reunited for a Roy Orbison tribute concert.

In 1993, President Clinton picked up a saxophone and jammed at five of the 12 inaugural balls he and his wife, Hillary, attended.

In 1994, a ceremony to honor members of the Pointer Sisters a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was canceled due to the Los Angeles earthquake three days earlier.

In 1995, a Los Angeles judge granted rapper Dr. Dre a one-month delay on his sentence for drunk driving so he could finish work on a music video.

Today's musical quiz:

Name the first country performer to play at the London Palladium. Answer: "Slim" Whitman.


(Jan. 21)

Today's birthdays include DJ Wolfman Jack, who was born Robert Smith in 1939; Richie Havens in 1941 (age 61); Mac Davis and War's Edwin Starr, both in 1942 (age 60); Nitty Gritty Dirt Band bassist Jim Ibbotson in 1947 (age 55); Billy Ocean in 1950 (age 52); and Emma Bunton, Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, in 1976 (age 26).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Patsy Cline appeared on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts."

In 1961, Elvis Presley signed a five-year movie contract with veteran producer Hal Wallis.

In 1966, George Harrison married Patti Boyd. They'd met on the set of the Beatles' movie "Help."

In 1974, Bob Dylan visited with Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter following his "Rolling Thunder" concert in Atlanta.

In 1978, the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack topped the Billboard Top-200 album chart, where it remained for nearly eight months.

In 1984, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" topped the singles charts, marking a dramatic comeback for Yes.

Also in 1984, Jackie Wilson died at age 49, after spending more than eight years in a semi-coma following a stroke.

In 1987, Jackie Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the anniversary of his death. Other inductees included Aretha Franklin, Bo Diddley, Rick Nelson, Bill Haley, Roy Orbison, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Carl Perkins and B.B. King.

In 1988, Pollstar reported that U2 was the top-earning touring band in the United States in 1987.

In 1992, three dancers sued Madonna -- accusing the singer of violating their privacy by not telling them that the film footage of them discussing their homosexuality would be used in her "Truth or Dare" documentary.

Also in 1992, Billy Idol pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery charges for punching a woman he'd just met at a Los Angeles restaurant. The incident had occurred the previous October.

In 1995, rocker Courtney Love was arrested in Melbourne, Australia, after threatening and harassing the crew on a flight from Brisbane. She pleaded guilty and was released.

Also in 1995, a New York auction billed as the biggest rock 'n' roll auction flopped when most of the famous items went unsold.

In 1997, "Colonel" Tom Parker -- Elvis Presley's manager who was credited with turning the singer into the King of Rock 'n' Roll -- died one day after suffering a stroke. He was 87.

In 1999, the wife of Paul Shaffer, David Letterman's musical director, gave birth to boy -- the couple's second child and first son.

Today's musical quiz:

Where was Billy Ocean born? Answer: The Caribbean island of Trinidad. His real name is Leslie Sebastian Charles.


(Jan. 22)

Today's birthdays include Sam Cooke, who was born in 1935; Addie "Micki" Harris of the Shirelles was born in 1940; Alabama bassist Teddy Gentry in 1952 (age 50); Journey's Steve Perry in 1953 (age 49); and Michael Hutchence of INXS in 1960.

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Sam Cooke signed with RCA Records on his 25th birthday.

In 1969, Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman" was certified "gold." It was his first gold record.

In 1971, "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" -- a concert film capturing Joe Cocker's 1970 U.S. tour -- premiered in London.

In 1972, songwriting and production team Holland, Dozier and Holland settled out of court with Motown Records, which had sued the trio when they left the label.

In 1987, Reba McEntire's "Whoever's In New England" album was certified "gold."

In 1991, rapper Hammer reached a financial settlement with former Oakland A's baseball players Mike Davis and Dwayne Murphy. The amount was not made public. The athletes had invested in Hammer's music career back in 1987. Hammer was a former ballboy with the As.

In 1992, Mariah Carey's stepfather filed a breach-of-contract suit against the pop star. He claimed he'd helped make her a star and she'd promised to share her earnings with him when she made it big.

In 1994, Crosby Stills and Nash and Bonnie Raitt performed a concert at the pro-choice Voters for Choice rally in Washington, D.C.

In 1996, a Los Angeles judge ordered Tupac Shakur returned to jail after ruling the rapper had violated his probation from a 1994 assault and battery conviction.

Also in 1996, Disney announced a two-year, first-look deal with Whitney Houston's Houston Productions film company.

In 1997, Don Henley and John Mellencamp joined the growing protest of TCI's decision to dump MTV and VH1 in some areas. The protest worked and the cable giant returned the music channels to its line-up.

In 1998, Mary Bono, widow of entertainer-turned-politician Sonny Bono, announced she would run for the congressional seat held by her late husband. She won both the special election and the November general election, and now represents the 44th Congressional District, which includes Palm Springs, Calif.

Today's musical quiz:

Before Sam Cooke went solo as an R&B singer, he was in a gospel group. Can you name it? Answer: The Soul Stirrers.


(Jan. 23)

Today's birthdays include Jerry Lawson of the Persuasions, who was born in 1944 (age 58); the Pointer Sisters' Anita Pointer in 1948 (age 54); Bill Cunningham of the Box Tops, Danny Federici of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, and Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, all in 1950 (age 52); Cheap Trick's Robin Zander in 1953 (age 49); and UB40's Earl Falconer in 1955 (age 47).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1969, Cream released its final album, appropriately titled "Goodbye Cream."

In 1970, the judge hearing the trial of the Chicago Seven denied Judy Collins permission to sing as part of her testimony for the defense.

In 1972, "Big Maybelle" Smith died at age 47.

In 1973, Neil Young interrupted his concert in New York City to announce the end of the Vietnam War.

In 1978, Chicago guitarist Terry Kath accidentally shot himself to death during a party in Los Angeles. He was 31.

In 1979, Beach Boy Brian Wilson divorced his wife of 15 years. Marilyn Rovell had been 16 when she married Wilson.

In 1982, Daryl Hall and John Oates collected their first platinum album for "Private Eyes."

In 1991, rapper Hammer and vocal group En Vogue became the first recording artists to get five nominations each for the fifth annual Soul Train Music Awards.

Also in 1991, the IRS began auctioning off Willie Nelson's property to satisfy the $16.7 million in back taxes owed by the country singer.

In 1994, Ray Charles provided the after-dinner entertainment for the largest sit-down dinner party in Britain since 1925.

In 1995, a breakdown of the truck carrying the sound equipment forced Boyz II Men to reschedule the group's concert in suburban Detroit.

Also in 1995, William Horton -- lead singer of the 1950's R&B group the Silhouettes -- died at age 65.

In 1998, "Spice World" -- the film debut of the Spice Girls -- opened nationwide.

Today's musical quiz:

Who wrote the 1974 Doobie Brothers' hit "Black Water"? Answer: Singer/guitarist Patrick Simmons.


(Jan. 24)

Today's birthdays include Neil Diamond, Ray Stevens and Aaron Neville, all of whom were born in 1941 (age 61); Warren Zevon in 1947 (age 55); keyboardist Patrick Moraz, who played with -- among other bands -- the Moody Blues, in 1948 (age 54); the late John Belushi was born in 1949; Matthew Wilder in 1953 (age 49); and Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland in 1958 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1962, the Beatles signed a management contract with Brian Epstein -- although Epstein himself never signed it.

In 1964, the Osmonds played a musical family alongside Mickey Rooney in "The Seven Little Foys" on TV.

In 1969, British rock group Jethro Tull played its first U.S. show, opening for Led Zeppelin in New York City.

In 1970, inventor Dr. Robert Moog unveiled a miniaturized synthesizer that'd become known as the mini-moog.

In 1979, the Clash released its first U.S. single, "I Fought The Law," which was written by Buddy Holly associate Sonny Curtis.

In 1984, John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and their son Sean toured the Liverpool, England, landmarks made famous by the Beatles.

Also in 1984, a London judge fined Linda McCartney 75 pounds for trying to smuggle marijuana into England.

And in 1984, "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood topped the charts in Britain despite restricted radio airplay.

In 1994, Los Angeles prosecutors announced that no extortion charges would be filed against the father of the teenage boy who accused pop star Michael Jackson of molesting him.

In 1995, New York Newsday reported Paul McCartney had secretly visited Yoko Ono to discuss the surviving Beatles recording another of John Lennon's songs, using a tape recording Lennon had done before his death.

Also in 1995, David Cole -- music producer and one-half of C&C Music Factory -- died of complications from AIDS. He was 32.

And in 1995, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Jon Bon Jovi and James Brown performed at a Los Angeles tribute to John Belushi on the 46th anniversary of his birth.

In 1996, Michael Jackson and his "Earth Song" music video won the Doris Day Music Award from The Ark Trust animal protection group.

Also in 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported that MCA was to buy half of Interscope Records, known for its "gangsta rap" roster.

Today's musical quiz:

Before Matthew Wilder achieved solo success with 1983's "Break My Stride," he was a session singer with what artists? Answer: Bette Midler and Rickie Lee Jones.


(Jan. 25)

Today's birthdays include Tubes keyboardist Michael Cotten, who was born in 1950 (age 52); Richard Finch of K.C. and the Sunshine Band in 1954 (age 48); Fine Young Cannibals guitarist Andy Cox, who was also with English Beat, in 1956 (age 46); and Gary Tibbs of Roxy Music, as well as Adam and the Ants, in 1958 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1958, Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" became the first single to enter the British music charts at No. 1.

In 1964, producer Phil Spector appeared on the panel of the BBC-TV's "Juke Box Jury" in London. The show rated new releases.

In 1971, a daughter, China, was born to Grace Slick and Paul Kantner.

In 1978, Bob Dylan headlined a seven-hour benefit concert for imprisoned boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. The show at the Houston Astrodome also featured Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Carlos Santana, Steve Stills and Ringo Starr.

In 1980, Paul McCartney was released from a Tokyo jail after nine days and then ordered out of Japan. He'd been arrested at the airport after Japanese customs officials found marijuana in his luggage.

In 1982, a daughter, Chelsea, was born to Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell.

In 1984, Yoko Ono donated $375,000 to the Liverpool nursing home Strawberry Fields, the institution that inspired the Beatles song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

In 1989, Bobby Brown was arrested in Georgia for alleged lewdness on stage. He was fined $652.

In 1993, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men and newcomer Billy Ray Cyrus were the big winners at the 20th annual American Music Awards.

In 1999, Paul McCartney took out an ad in the Times of London, urging parents to tell broadcasters that it was okay to play his late wife Linda's record -- despite lyrics that included a vulgar word.

Also in 1999, a jury in Columbus, Ohio, cleared Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Bryon "Bizzy Bone" McCane of charges that he attacked a barber school student who supposedly had been spreading rumors about him.

In 2000, Virgin Records announced that D'Angelo's sophomore album, "Voodoo," had shipped "gold," with more than 800,000 units sent to stores prior to its release. Nearly 100,000 copies of the CD were sold on the first day.

Today's musical quiz:

Grace Slick and Paul Kantner reportedly had wanted to name their daughter this but instead chose China. What was the name they decided against? Answer: God.

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Topics: Aaron Neville, Alan Freed, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Bill Clinton, Billy Idol, Billy Ray, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bobby Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Epstein, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Buddy Holly, Carlos Santana, Charlie Daniels, Courtney Love, Daryl Hall, David Cole, Dean Martin, Dolly Parton, Dr. Dre, Elton John, Emma Bunton, Frank Sinatra, Grace Slick, Gregg Allman, Hal Wallis, Isaac Hayes, James Brown, Janis Joplin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Belushi, Jimmy Carter, John Belushi, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, John Michael, John Oates, John Taylor, Jon Bon Jovi, Jools Holland, Judy Collins, Lee Jones, Lesley Gore, Loretta Lynn, Mac Davis, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Marie Osmond, Marvin Gaye, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Mickey Rooney, Mike Davis, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Patsy Cline, Paul Simon, Paul Stanley, Pete Seeger, Phil Everly, Phil Spector, Ray Charles, Richard Finch, Rick Nelson, Robert Palmer, Robert Smith, Rod Stewart, Rosanne Cash, Sam Cooke, Shelley Fabares, Smokey Robinson, Sonny Bono, Steve Perry, Stevie Wonder, Tupac Shakur, U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Willie Dixon, Yoko Ono
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