Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  May 3, 2002 at 6:10 AM
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(May 4)

Today's birthdays include Maynard Ferguson, who was born in 1928 (age 74); Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy in 1931 (age 71); Ritchie Burns of the Hondells in 1941 (age 61); Nick Ashford, of Ashford and Simpson, in 1942 (age 60); Troggs drummer Ronnie Bond and Angels lead singer Peggy Santiglia, both in 1944 (age 58); Stella Parton, Dolly's sister, in 1949 (age 53); Jackie Jackson, one of Michael Jackson's older brothers, and Bruce Day of Pablo Cruise, both in 1951 (age 51); country's Randy Travis in 1959 (age 43); and 'N Sync's Lance Bass in 1979 (age 23).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps recorded "Be Bop A Lula."

In 1959, the Kingston Trio won a country Grammy for "Tom Dooley." The ceremony was the first annual Grammy Awards.

In 1963, the Beach Boys made the group's national album chart debut with "Surfin' USA."

In 1968, British model/actress Twiggy saw Welsh teenage singer Mary Hopkin perform on a TV talent show and recommended her to Beatle Paul McCartney. Three months later, Hopkin's debut single for Apple Records -- "Those Were the Days," produced by McCartney -- was released.

In 1970, the National Guard killings of four Kent State University students inspired the Crosby Stills Nash and Young anti-war anthem "Ohio."

In 1976, Kiss played its first concert, in New York.

In 1984, songwriter Larry Stock died at age 87. He wrote "Blueberry Hill" and "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You," among others.

In 1987, a San Francisco judge threw out a 21-year-old lawsuit filed by a former Jefferson Airplane manager, which had kept the group from collecting $2 million in back royalties.

Also on 1987, blues harp great Paul Butterfield was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment. The coroner later announced Butterfield had died from a lethal mixture of drugs and alcohol.

In 1991, Dennis Crosby -- the son of Bing Crosby -- was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in his San Francisco-area home. He'd had a rocky career as part of a singing group with his three brothers.

In 1992, it was "Kiss Day" in Baltimore. Members of the rock group were given the key to the city.

Also in 1992, fans buying tickets for a Garth Brooks concert in Waterloo, Iowa, overloaded phone lines -- knocking out 911 service in a three-county area.

In 1993, BMI said Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" was the most played song in the United States.

In 1994, prosecutors in Los Angeles announced that no charges would be filed against Courtney Love, who had been arrested a month earlier after police found syringes in her Beverly Hills hotel room. The syringes turned out to be for prescription pain medication. Love's arrest had come one day before the body of her husband -- Nirvana's Kurt Cobain -- was found at their Seattle home. He'd committed suicide.

In 1995, a federal judge in San Francisco awarded Creedence Clearwater Revival co-founder John Fogerty a record $1.35 million to cover legal expenses after winning a copyright lawsuit.

Also in 1995, Peter Paul and Mary performed Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

In 1999, rapper Busta Rhymes pulled out of a tour with R&B singer R.Kelly, saying the promoter "made it impossible to mount a production that would be compatible with the kind of show (his) fans have come to expect."

Also in 1999, Toto was inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk.

Today's musical quiz:

Who won the most awards at that very first Grammy Awards? Answer: Ross Bagdasarian, a.k.a. Dave Seville, with three. His "Chipmunks" song won for best recording for children, best comedy and best engineered.


(May 5)

Today's birthdays include Johnnie Taylor -- whose 1976 hit "Disco Lady" was the first single to be certified platinum, meaning it sold 2 million copies -- was born in 1938; Roni Stoneman of the Stoneman Family in 1941 (age 61; country's Tammy Wynette in 1942; Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward in 1948 (age 54); guitarist Rex Goh of Air Supply in 1951 (age 51); Peter Erskine, drummer with Weather Report, in 1954 (age 48); Ian McCullock of Echo and the Bunnymen in 1959 (age 43); and Adam and The Ants bassist Kevin Mooney in 1962 (age 40).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Johnny Burnette and his Rock and Roll Trio recorded their first single, "Tear It Up."

In 1967, one-hit wonder Scott McKenzie released "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" -- the definitive song of the "flower power" era.

In 1968, Buffalo Springfield played its last show in Long Beach, Calif. But two major new acts rose from the ashes -- Steve Stills and Neil Young joined David Crosby and Graham Nash, while Jim Messina joined Kenny Loggins.

In 1978, one person was killed when a Preston, England, concert by the punk band Vibrators erupted into a riot between two rival soccer fan clubs.

In 1984, the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde married Simple Minds' Jim Kerr in New York's Central Park following her relationship with the Kinks' Ray Davies.

In 1987, Bryan Adams opened his U.S. tour in support of his "Into the Fire" album in Shreveport, La.

In 1990, a John Lennon tribute concert was held in Liverpool, England -- with Hall and Oates, and Terrence Trent D'Arby among the performers.

In 1996, Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott and his live-in girlfriend both were arrested on spousal assault charges following a fight at a West Hollywood hotel.

In 1997, Bruce Springsteen was awarded the 1997 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. The honor is often considered the musical equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Today's musical quiz:

He replaced Sam Cooke in the gospel group the Soul Stirrers when Cooke went mainstream. Who? Answer: Johnnie Taylor.


(May 6)

Today's birthdays include Cleftones lead singer Herbie Cox, who was born in 1939; and Bob Seger in 1945 (age 57).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1942, "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin was published. Just Bing Crosby's recording alone has sold more than 140 million copies.

In 1965, Keith Richards created the classic guitar riff that would become "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." He played it for Mick Jagger in a hotel room in Clearwater, Fla.

In 1967, Grateful Dead's self-titled debut album entered the national charts.

In 1973, Paul Simon launched his first solo tour since splitting up with Art Garfunkel with a concert in Boston.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin broke its own record for the biggest-ever attendance at a concert with a single headliner. More than 76,000 fans attended the show at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., exceeding the 57,000 at a Zeppelin concert in Tampa almost four years earlier. (That show, in turn, had taken the record from the 1965 Shea Stadium Beatles concert.)

In 1984, Spinal Tap -- the fictional band formed to star in a comedy neo-documentary -- played CBGBs in New York City.

In 1992, Frederick's of Hollywood offered a $1,000 reward for the return of Madonna's bustier, which had been stolen from its lingerie museum during the Los Angeles riots.

Also in 1992, Bruce Springsteen performed for an invitation-only crowd at New York's Bottom Line.

And in 1992, 11 people were hurt -- none seriously -- when a man tossed a bomb into the crowd at a Skid Row concert in Kalamazoo, Mich.

In 1993, David Bowie announced he'd donate the royalties from his single "Black Tie White Noise" to a recreation center in South Central Los Angeles.

Also in 1993, IRS agents seized possessions from the Mississippi home of rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis for failing to pay more than $1.6 million in overdue taxes.

In 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur was charged with violating his probation. The charges stemmed from two previous arrests -- in March and in April -- for carrying concealed and loaded weapons.

In 1995, dozens of Bon Jovi fans were injured in the rush for the gate at a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur agreed to stage a benefit concert and perform community service in South Central Los Angeles after pleading guilty to possession of a concealed weapon.

Also in 1996, Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville performed on the White House South Lawn. The concert was taped for later broadcast on PBS.

In 1997, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Jackson Five, the BeeGees, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, the Young Rascals and Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the first-ever Cleveland ceremony.

Today's musical quiz:

What's the name of Bob Seger's backing band? Answer: The Silver Bullet Band.


(May 7)

Today's birthdays include 1950s singer and disc jockey Jim Lowe, who was born in 1927 (age 75); bass player Mitch Jayne of the electric bluegrass band the Dillards in 1930 (age 72); Teresa Brewer in 1931 (age 71); Jimmy Ruffin in 1939 (age 63); Johnny Maestro, the lead singer of the Crests who later formed the pop group Brooklyn Bridge, also in 1939 (age 62); Rick West, guitarist with Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, in 1943 (age 58); Rare Earth's Ray Monette and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann Jr., both in 1946 (age 57); Tubes drummer Prairie Prince in 1950 (age 52); and Janis Ian in 1951 (age 51).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1968, the British rock group the Move detonated explosives onstage as part of its show in Rome. No one was hurt but riot police were not amused.

In 1969, Roger Miller entered the country singles charts with his version of "Me and Bobby McGee," which was written by Kris Kristofferson.

In 1972, the Rolling Stones released "Exile on Main Street," the band's first double album of all original material.

In 1978, 90,000 tickets were sold in eight hours for Bob Dylan's upcoming London concerts.

In 1983, Paul Weller unveiled his post-Jam group -- Style Council -- at an anti-nuclear rally in South London.

Also in 1983, Billy Currie announced he was leaving Visage but would remain in Ultravox.

In 1986, John Mellencamp joined farmers in protest on the steps of the Farmers Home Administration office in Chillicothe, Mo.

In 1992, a federal appeals court in Atlanta declared 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty As They Wanna' Be" album was not obscene, overturning a federal court decision out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In 1997, a federal judge ordered the Meadowlands to let Marilyn Manson perform at the upcoming "OzzFest '97" heavy-metal festival in June. The agency that ran the New Jersey sports complex felt the band was too extreme and canceled the concert when the promoter refused to remove Manson from the lineup.

In 1998, country-pop singer/songwriter Eddie Rabbit died in Nashville of lung cancer. He was 53.

Today's musical quiz:

The musical "Evita" is based on her life. Who? Answer: Argentine first lady Evan Peron, called "Evita" by her fans. Peron was born on this date in 1919.


(May 8)

Today's birthdays include the late Rick Nelson, who was born in 1940; Toni Tennille of the Captain and Tennille, and bassist Paul "Sam" Samwell-Smith of the Yardbirds and, later, Renaissance, both in 1943 (age 59); Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, in 1944 (age 58); Keith Jarrett in 1945 (age 57); Phillip Bailey of Earth Wind and Fire and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, both in 1951 (age 51); Fleetwood Mac's Billy Burnette in 1953 (age 49); drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen in 1955 (age 47); and Enrique Iglesias, son of Julio, in 1975 (age 27).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, nine of the top-10 U.S. singles on the Billboard pop singles charts were by British artists -- led by "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits.

In 1970, the Beatles' final original album -- "Let It Be" -- was released.

In 1972, Billy Preston became the first rock star to headline at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

In 1974, Graham Bond -- a key early figure in the jazzy side of British rock -- was struck and killed by a London subway train. He was 37.

In 1977, Olivia Newton-John made her New York concert debut at the Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1978, Donny Osmond got married at age 21.

In 1982, Casablanca Records executive Neil Bogart died of cancer at age 39. He created numerous trends -- from his production of bubblegum hits to the development of Casablanca Records, where he was responsible for the "disco explosion" led by Donna Summer and the Village People.

In 1995, Rick Nelson was posthumously inducted into Hollywood's Rock Walk on what would've been his 55th birthday.

In 1996, civil rights figure Rose Parks teamed up with Hootie and the Blowfish for an MTV "Rock the Vote" commercial.

Also in 1996, a newspaper in Seoul, Korea, sued Michael Jackson in Santa Barbara, Calif. It claimed his parents transferred the deed of their suburban Los Angeles home to him so the paper couldn't collect the $4 million a Korean court had decided the Jacksons owed for reneging on a planned Jackson family concert.

And in 1996, a Los Angeles judge ruled against Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and his actress/wife, Pamela Anderson Lee, in their bid to bar Penthouse from publishing still photos from an X-rated home video stolen from their house.

In 1998, Johnny Winter was inducted into Hollywood's Rockwalk on Sunset Boulevard.

Also in 1998, James Taylor performed a private concert at a Danbury, Conn., middle school. The show was part of the prize won by a 13-year-old girl in the "Where The Music Takes You" contest sponsored, in part, by Sony.

In 1999, David Bowie received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Today's musical quiz:

Who wrote the Captain and Tenille's 1975 Grammy-winning tune "Love Will Keeo Us Together"? Answer: Neil Sedaka.


(May 9)

Today's birthdays include singer/songwriter Lloyd Price, who was born in 1933 (age 69); Crickets guitarist Sonny Curtis (age 65), and Dave Prater of Sam and Dave, both in 1937; Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist with the Ventures, in 1939 (age 63); Freddie and the Dreamers bassist Pete Birrell in 1941 (age 61); Tommy Roe in 1943 (age 59); Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and later with Poco, and Don Dannemann of the Cyrkle, both in 1944 (age 58); Blood Sweat and Tears guitarist Steve Katz in 1945 (age 57); Billy Joel in 1949 (age 53); Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson in 1950 (age 52); and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode and Housemartins singer/guitarist Paul Heaton, both in 1962 (age 40).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1962, George Martin signed the Beatles to the band's first recording contract -- with EMI.

In 1964, Chuck Berry launched his first tour of the United Kingdom.

In 1978, Fee Waybill of the Tubes broke a leg when he fell off the stage during a concert in England.

In 1987, Paul Simon hired civil rights activist Julian Bond to boost black attendance on his "Graceland" tour.

In 1994, in a rare interview, Barbra Streisand complained in Time magazine that she was misunderstood by the critics and the news media.

Also in 1994, the wife of Billy Ray Cyrus gave birth to the couple's second child -- a boy -- in Nashville.

In 1995, Elton John and classical cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich shared the 1995 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1996, Los Angeles prosecutors refiled spousal battery charges against Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen after the one-armed rocker failed to complete a substance abuse counseling program. The charges stemmed from his alleged attack on his wife in a bathroom at Los Angeles International Airport in July 1995.

Also in 1996, the New York Daily News reported that LaToya Jackson and her agent/husband Jack Gordon were splitting up -- she said he beat her again but he denied that.

In 1998, Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson played his first-ever solo concert in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill. Wilson was promoting his new "Imagination" album.

Also in 1998, Linda McCartney was posthumously awarded the Ellis Island, N.Y., Medal of Honor.

In 2000, the soundtrack album for "Mission: Impossible 2" included Metallica's "I Disappear," the first song the band had ever written for a film soundtrack.

Also in 2000, "This Time Around," Hanson's first album in three years, hit stores.

Today's musical quiz:

What's "Piano Man" about? Answer: "Piano Man" chronicles Bill Joel's experiences playing piano at the Executive Room, a sleezy lounge in Los Angeles.


(May 10)

Today's birthdays include the late Larry Williams, who had a 1957 hit with "Bony Moroney." He was born in 1935. The Spinners' Henry Fambrough was born in 1938 (age 64); the late Danny Rapp, of Danny and the Juniors, in 1941; Jackie Lomax in 1944 (age 58); Donovan, whose full name is Donovan Leitch, 10cc bassist Graham Gouldman, and Dave Mason, formerly with Traffic, all in 1946 (age 56); Spirit's Jay Ferguson in 1947 (age 55); reggae musician Sly Dunbar in 1952 (age 50); the late Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, whose real name was John Simon Ritchie, was born in 1957; and U2 frontman Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, in 1960 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1928, the Carter Family recorded "Wildwood Flower."

In 1963, the Rolling Stones began its first recording session in London.

In 1965, Donovan and members of the Beatles were in the audience for the first of two Bob Dylan shows at London's Royal Albert Hall.

In 1967, this day saw Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones all defending themselves in separate drug-related cases.

In 1969, the Turtles and the Temptations performed at Tricia Nixon's Masque Ball at the White House. Mark Volman of the Turtles fell off the stage five times.

In 1974, the Who sold out New York's Madison Square Garden. All 80,000 tickets for four shows were sold in eight hours.

In 1975, Stevie Wonder played an unannounced, free concert near the Washington Monument, drawing 125,000 people to celebrate "Human Kindness Day."

In 1986, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee married actress Heather Locklear. They were later divorced.

In 1993, fire heavily damaged country singer Mickey Gilley's theater in Branson, Mo.

In 1994, pop singer Paul Abdul filed for divorce from actor Emilio Estevez after just two years of marriage.

Also in 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur surrendered to Los Angeles authorities to begin serving a 15-day sentence for beating up a music video director.

And in 1994, Willie Nelson was arrested on drug possession charges in Hewitt, Texas, after police found him asleep in his car with a marijuana cigarette in the ashtray. The case was later thrown out.

And in 1994, Linda McCartney unveiled her new line of frozen meatless entrees at a Chicago news conference.

In 1995, members of the Black Crowes donated all proceeds from their Oklahoma City concert to charities helping the victims and survivors of the federal building bombing.

Also in 1995, Reba McEntire became the first woman in 15 years to be named entertainer of the year at the 30th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

In 1996, "Tha Crossroads" by the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony topped the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart -- becoming the fasting rising No.1 song since the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" 32 years before.

In 2000, Bobby Brown was arrested in New Jersey for allegedly violating the terms of his probation on a drunk driving conviction. He allegedly flunked a drug test and had neglected to tell his parole officer about a trip to the Bahamas.

Today's musical quiz:

Who added the whispering in the Donovan hit song "Mellow Yellow"? Answer: Paul McCartney.

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Topics: Aaron Neville, Art Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand, Bill Kreutzmann, Billy Joel, Billy Preston, Billy Ray, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bing Crosby, Bob Dylan, Bobby Brown, Bobby McGee, Brian Jones, Brian Poole, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Busta Rhymes, Chrissie Hynde, Chuck Berry, Courtney Love, Dave Seville, David Bowie, David Crosby, Donna Summer, Donny Osmond, Elton John, Emilio Estevez, Enrique Iglesias, Garth Brooks, Gary Glitter, George Martin, Graham Nash, Heather Locklear, James Taylor, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Kerr, Jim Messina, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, John Simon, Joni Mitchell, Julian Bond, Keith Richards, Kenny Loggins, Kris Kristofferson, Kurt Cobain, Lance Bass, Lloyd Price, Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Neil Sedaka, Neil Young, Paul Abdul, Paul Gadd, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, R. Kelly, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Rick Nelson, Roger Miller, Salvatore "Toto" Riina, Sam Cooke, Sid Vicious, Stevie Wonder, Tammy Wynette, Tom Dooley, Tommy Lee Jones, Tupac Shakur, Willie Nelson
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