Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Jan. 26, 2002 at 1:00 AM
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(Jan. 26)

Today's birthdays include Eartha Kitt, who was born in 1928 (age 74); Huey "Piano" Smith in 1934 (age 68); Derek Holt of the Climax Blues Band in 1949 (age 53); former Little River Band member David Briggs in 1951 (age 51); Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen in 1957 (age 45); Norman Hassan of UB40, and Anita Baker, both in 1958 (age 44); Cinderella's Tom Keifer in 1961 (age 41); and Andrew Ridgeley, formerly of Wham!, and Beresford "Jazzie B" Romeo of Soul II Soul, both in 1963 (age 39).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1958, Buddy Holly and the Crickets performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1967, Mick Jagger's verdict on a show by newcomer Jimi Hendrix was: "The most sexual thing I've seen in a long time!"

In 1968, the Bee Gees made their U.S. concert debut at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

In 1970, John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed "Instant Karma" -- with help from producer Phil Spector -- all in one day.

Also in 1970, Australia's first rock fest -- the Ourimbah Rock Festival -- drew 11,000 fans.

In 1977, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was confined to a mental institution after threatening someone -- variously identified as an accountant or a delivery boy -- with a gun.

In 1979, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash headlined the first of three anti-nuclear benefit concerts.

In 1980, Prince made his TV debut on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand."

In 1992, Harry Connick Jr. sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXVI.

In 1998, the Spice Girls swept the 25th annual American Music Awards, winning in all three categories in which the group was nominated.

In 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board wrapped up its probe into the Oct. 12, 1997 plane crash that killed John Denver. It blamed the accident on fuel problems and the singer's inexperience with the new experimental plane.

Today's musical quiz:

Eddie Van Halen and his brother, Alex, grew up in Southern California, but they weren't born there. Where were they born? Answer: The Netherlands.

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