Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International

(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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