Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  March 8, 2002 at 6:15 AM
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(March 9)

Today's birthdays include country's Mickey Gilley, who was born in 1936 (age 66); Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and John Cale of The Velvet Underground, both in 1942 (age 60); Procol Harum's Robin Trower in 1945 (age 57); Jimmie Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Jeffrey Osbourne, former lead singer of the R&B/funk group LTD, both in 1948 (age 54); guitarist Trevor Burton of The Move in 1949 (age 53); and ABC's Martin Fry in 1958 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, Rolling Stone Brian Jones was hospitalized with respiratory problems.

In 1972, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and Carly Simon, Carole King, Quincy Jones and Mama Cass Elliot were among the stars at a fund-raising concert held for Democratic presidential hopeful George McGovern at The Forum in Los Angeles.

In 1974, the Grand Ole Opry was performed for the last Saturday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

In 1977, the Sex Pistols signed what turned out to be a short-lived contract with A&M Records in a ceremony outside Buckingham Palace in London.

In 1985, producer/songwriter Bumps Blackwell died at age 66. He once headed a band that included Quincy Jones and Ray Charles. It was Blackwell who helped turn gospel singer Sam Cooke into a soul/R&B star.

In 1987, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Carole King, Gerry Goffin and Carole Bayer Sager were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Boyz II Men won three awards at the seventh annual Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. Michael Jackson took home two awards and was also named Humanitarian of the Year.

Also in 1993, Garth Brooks and Whitney Houston were named favorite musical performers, and Alabama the favorite musical group, at the 19th annual People's Choice Awards.

In 1994, Elton John's AIDS foundation and a Los Angeles charity reached a compromise -- both would still hold competing AIDS fundraisers on Oscar night.

Also in 1994, British authorities turned down a request by Jimi Hendrix's ex-girlfriend to open a new inquest into the musician's 1970 death.

And in 1994, Alan Jackson's No.1 hit single "Chattahoochie" -- co-written with Jim McBride -- was named song of the year at 11th annual Music City News Country Songwriters Awards.

In 1995, Neil Young signed again with Reprise Records. The five-year deal was said to be worth eight figures.

Also in 1995, Don Henley testified at a congressional hearing in favor of a bill expanding the rights of musicians to collect royalties from recordings.

In 1997, rapper Notorious B.I.G. -- a.k.a. Biggie Small, whose real name was Christopher Wallace -- was gunned down in Los Angeles. He was 24.

Also in 1997, Tragically Hip took home three awards from the Juno Awards, Canada's answer to the Grammys. Other multiple winners included Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette.

In 1998, rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs kicked off the second leg of his "No Way Out" tour in Miami.

Today's musical quiz:

What was the original name of Procol Harum? Answer: Initially, the band called itself the Paramounts.


(March 10)

Today's birthdays include the late Jethro Burns, of Homer and Jethro fame, who was born in 1923; Dean Torrence, of Jan and Dean fame, in 1941 (age 61); Boston's Tom Scholz in 1947 (age 55); Swedish rap/pop singer Neneh Cherry in 1964 (age 38); and Edie Brickell of the New Bohemians, who's also Paul Simon's wife, in 1966 (age 36).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Johnnie Ray was mobbed on his arrival in Australia for his first visit "down under."

In 1971, in the aftermath of the break-up of the Beatles, a London court appointed an independent receiver to handle the group's complex finances. It also barred manager Allen Klein from further participation in Beatle affairs.

In 1974, David Bowie recorded his "David Live" album at Philadelphia's Tower Theater.

In 1979, James Brown played at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album marked its 37th week atop the Billboard Top-200 album chart. That was longer than any other contemporary rock or pop album. Only the cast album of "West Side Story" -- at 54 weeks -- had a longer run at the top.

Also in 1984, Ian Gillan left Black Sabbath.

In 1988, Andy Gibb died of heart inflammation. He was only 30.

In 1990, a survey of Russian teenagers found the Western rock acts they'd most like to see in concert were Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and the Beatles.

In 1992, jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis was named the next music director of "The Tonight Show." He replaced Doc Severinsen when Jay Leno replaced Johnny Carson.

In 1993, a federal judge in Cleveland ordered former Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards to pay his former management company for breaking his contract.

In 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur was sentenced to 15 days in jail for the 1993 attack on his ex-employer on the set of a music video production.

In 1996, Hootie and the Blowfish were named America's favorite rock group at the 22nd annual People's Choice Awards.

Also in 1996, Alanis Morissette won four awards at the 25th annual Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent to the Grammys.

In 1997, legendary R&B singer LaVern Baker died in New York. She was 67 and had suffered from diabetes that'd cost her both of her legs.

In 1998, Mariah Carey was named favorite female pop artist, Boyz II Men favorite R&B group, Janet Jackson, favorite female R&B artist, and Sugar Ray favorite modern rock group at the fourth annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.

Today's musical quiz:

Who performed "The Ballad of Jeb Clampett," otherwise known as the theme song from "The Beverly Hillbillies"? Answer: Homer and Jethro.


(March 11)

Today's birthdays include Manfred Mann drummer Mike Hugg, who was born in 1940 (age 62); drummer Ric Rothwell of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders in 1944 (age 58); session guitarist Harvey Mandel in 1945 (age 57); keyboardist Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge in 1947 (age 55); Golden Earring's George Kooymans in 1948 (age 54); Bobby McFerrin in 1950 (age 52); Mike Percy of Dead or Alive, and Big Country guitarist Bruce Watson, both in 1961 (age 41); and Lisa Loeb in 1968 (age 34).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1968, a gold record was awarded posthumously to Otis Redding for his No.1 single "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."

In 1972, Crystal Gayle first entered the country music charts.

In 1974, an insurance company paid out $112,000 on a life insurance policy taken out by Janis Joplin. The payment was in keeping with a court agreement that the coroner had ruled Joplin's 1970 overdose death an accident rather than a suicide.

In 1976, the Paul Simon single "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" was certified "gold."

In 1986, Jay Black, lead singer for Jay and the Americans, filed for bankruptcy.

In 1995, the Spin Doctors performed a concert to raise money for a trip by a Princeton, N.J., high school choir. Lead singer Chris Barron had graduated from the school.

Today's musical quiz:

Bobby McFerrin's 1988 hit single "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is from what movie? Answer: "Cocktail."


(March 12)

Today's birthdays include Al Jarreau, who was born in 1940 (age 62); Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame in 1942 (age 60); Liza Minnelli in 1946 (age 56); James Taylor in 1948 (age 54); Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne and Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbons, both in 1949 (age 53); and the Jackson 5's Marlon Jackson and Iron Maiden's Steve Harris, both in 1957 (age 45).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, jazz great Charlie "Bird" Parker died at age 34.

In 1969, Paul McCartney -- the last bachelor Beatle -- married photographer Linda Eastman in a civil ceremony in London. Paul's brother, Mike, was his best man. No other Beatles attended the wedding.

Also in 1969, George and Patti Harrison were arrested on marijuana possession charges in London. Harrison later said the bust was timed to coincide with Paul McCartney's wedding.

In 1971, John Lennon released "Power to the People." He was backed by the New York-based band Elephant's Memory.

Also in 1971, Jethro Tull released its "Aqualung" album.

In 1974, John Lennon and Harry Nielsen were thrown out of the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles after constantly interrupting a show by The Smothers Brothers. Ironically, five years earlier, Tom Smothers sang backing vocals on Lennon's first Top-40 single "Give Peace A Chance."

In 1976, Joe Stampley's "The Sheik of Chicago" -- a tribute to Chuck Berry -- entered the country music charts.

In 1991, Janet Jackson signed what was then called the biggest recording deal in music history -- a $50 million contract with Virgin Records.

In 1992, Dizzy Gillespie underwent surgery to remove an abdominal blockage.

Also in 1992, singer/actor David Carroll collapsed and died from AIDS-related causes during a recording session in New York. He was 41.

In 1995, George Clinton toured the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He also donated memorabilia to the museum.

In 1996, Nancy Sinatra donated her white go-go boots -- presumably, the ones she sang about in "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" -- to the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1999, Elvis Costello, Kiki Dee and Lulu were among the mourners at the funeral for pop singer Dusty Springfield, who died March 2 of breast cancer. The service was held at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Henley-On-Thames, England.

Today's musical quiz:

She was Eric Clapton's "Layla." Who? Answer: Patti Harrison. Clapton was in love with his buddy George Harrison's wife and wrote the song about her. The Harrisons later divorced and Clapton wed his Patti, although their marriage didn't last.


(March 13)

Today's birthdays include songwriter Mike Stoller of the composing duo Stoller and Leiber, who was born in 1933 (age 69); Neil Sedaka in 1939 (age 63); Donald York of ShaNaNa in 1949 (age 53); Ronnie Rogers of the British group T'Pau in 1959 (age 43); and U2 bassist Adam Clayton in 1960 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1959, members of the pop-folk group The Kingston Trio were nearly killed in a plane crash in Indiana.

In 1965, Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds on the eve of the band's release of its third single, "For Your Love."

In 1966, Rod Stewart left Steampacket to resume his solo career.

In 1971, the Allman Brothers Band recorded its "Live at Fillmore East" album.

In 1975, country couple George Jones and Tammy Wynette were divorced.

In 1987, "Heat of the Night" by Bryan Adams became the first commercially released cassette single.

In 1991, Chicago jazz coronet great Jimmy McPartland died at age 83.

In 1995, Barry White, Anita Baker and Boyz II Men each won two awards at the ninth annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Also in 1995, Carly Simon launched her first tour in 15 years in Boston.

In 1996, viral laryngitis forced Rod Stewart to cancel two concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Also in 1996, at least seven people were injured in a riot in downtown Buenos Aires after they were unable to get free tickets to a Ramones concert from a Coca Cola bottler. The company said the tickets were being given away elsewhere.

In 1998, a judge in Malibu, Calif., revoked Tommy Lee's probation in the wake of charges that he beat his wife -- former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson -- during an argument. However, the judge delayed for 3 1/2 weeks the decision on whether to send the rocker back to jail. The Motley Crue drummer had been sentenced to probation after pleading no contest to charges he attacked a photographer attempting to videotape him and his wife outside a Hollywood nightclub in 1996. Lee eventually was returned to jail.

Also in 1998, James Brown pleaded no contest to firearm charges stemming from his arrested two months earlier at his Beech Island, S.C., home. The "Godfather of Soul" was then sentenced to two years in prison, with his sentence suspended pending completion of a 90-day drug treatment program.

Today's musical quiz:

Neil Sedaka's career was revived in 1975 when he sang a duet with this pop star. Name the duet partner and the song. Answer: Sedaka's duet partner was Elton John and the tune was "Bad Blood." It was Sedaka's biggest hit.


(March 14)

Today's birthdays include Quincy Jones, who was born in 1933 (age 69); Chicago's Walter Parazaider in 1945 (age 57); disc jockey-turned-comic recording star Rick Dees in 1951 (age 51); Level 42 guitarist Boon Gould in 1955 (age 47); and Taylor Hanson of Hanson in 1983 (age 19).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Sam Cooke -- whose music would influence the neophyte reggae movement -- opened his first Caribbean tour in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

In 1968, Elvis Presley's 26th movie, "Stay Away Joe," premiered.

In 1981, Eric Clapton was hospitalized in St. Paul, Minn., suffering from ulcers and exhaustion. He was forced to cancel the remaining dates of his U.S. tour.

In 1984, the Hard Rock Cafe -- filled with rock 'n' roll memorabilia -- opened in New York City.

In 1991, songwriter Doc Pomus died at age 65. He'd penned such hits as "Save the Last Dance for Me" for the Drifters, Jay and the Americans' "This Magic Moment," as well as several Elvis Presley hits.

In 1992, as many as 40,000 people attended Farm Aid 5 at the Texas Stadium near Dallas. The 12-hour concert featured Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Waylon Jennings, Tracy Chapman, Kris Kristofferson, Arlo Guthrie, and Merle Haggard.

In 1994, a bomb threat disrupted a Jay and the Americans' concert on Long Island, N.Y. No bomb was found.

Also in 1994, a fourth show was added to Barbra Streisand's London concerts, due to the demand for tickets.

And in 1994, the Boring Institute of New Jersey named Madonna's movie "Body of Evidence" the most boring film of 1993.

In 1995, Garth Brooks, Michael Bolton and Kenny G testified before Congress on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1997, U2's eighth studio album, "Pop," debuted on the Billboard Top-200 album chart at No.1.

In 2000, Elton John made his first in-store appearance in more than five years, visiting Tower Records in West Hollywood in connection with the release of "Elton John's 'The Road to El Dorado.'" The album was the musical accompaniment to the animated movie "The Road to El Dorado."

Today's musical quiz:

Who produced Michael Jackson's album "Thriller"? Answer: Quincy Jones.


(March 15)

Today's birthdays include producer Arif Mardin, who was born in 1932 (age 70); Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh in 1940 (age 62); Mike Love of the Beach Boys in 1941 (age 61); Sly Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, and David Costell of Gary Lewis and the Playboys, both in 1944 (age 58); War guitarist Howard Scott in 1946 (age 56); guitarist Ry Cooder in 1947 (age 55); Dee Snider of Twisted Sister in 1955 (age 47); Steve Coy of Dead or Alive, and Terence Trent D'Arby, both in 1962 (age 40); Rockwell, whose real name is Kenneth Gordy, son of Motown's Berry Gordy, in 1964 (age 38); and Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath in 1968 (age 34).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Col. Tom Parker became Elvis Presley's personal manager.

In 1957, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers arrived in Britain for a tour.

In 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army.

In 1966, Roger Miller won six Grammys, giving him a total of 11 in two years.

In 1972, a Los Angeles radio station played the Donny Osmond song "Puppy Love" for 90 minutes non-stop. Police were called to the station by listeners thinking something was wrong. Nope.

In 1975, Marc Bolan's group T-Rex disbanded.

In 1980, the Clash film "Rude Boys" opened in London.

Also in 1980, Phil Lynott's third volume of poetry -- "A Collected Work of Phil Lynott" -- was published.

In 1984, Liverpool, England, named the surviving Beatles "freemen" -- the city's highest honor.

In 1987, Barbara Mandrell was named All-Around Female Entertainer by the People's Choice Awards.

In 1994, Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton each took home two awards from the eighth annual Soul Train Music Awards.

In 1995, Paul McCartney announced that the surviving Beatles had recorded some new songs, which would be released at year's end, along with the TV documentary "The Beatles Anthology."

Also in 1995, Mick Jagger and "Forrest Gump" producer Steve Tisch announced they'd formed a film production company, to be known as Lip Service.

And in 1995, Madonna told a Los Angeles radio station that she'll star in the title role of the movie version of "Evita."

In 1999, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Curtis Mayfield, the Staple Singers, the late Dusty Springfield and the late Del Shannon were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony in New York City.

Today's musical quiz:

In 1978, Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott was among the artists who recorded a rock music version of this sci-fi classic novel. What? Answer: H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

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