Today in Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International

(May 11)

Today's birthdays include Irving Berlin, who was born in 1888; Eric Burdon, formerly with the Animals, in 1941 (age 61); Gerry and the Pacemakers bassist Les Chadwick in 1943 (age 59); Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers Band drummer, in 1947 (age 55); and Alabama's Mark Herndon in 1955 (age 47).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Elvis Presley entered the British pop charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel."

In 1970, the triple-album soundtrack to "Woodstock" was released.

In 1972, ex-Beatle and New York resident John Lennon appeared on the "Dick Cavett TV Show," claiming he was under constant surveillance by the FBI and that his telephone had been tapped. He said it was part of a plot to have him deported from the United States.

In 1979, Eric Clapton and Charlie Watts were part of an ad-hoc band that played at the wedding reception of record producer Glyn Johns and his new wife.

Also in 1979, Lester Flatt -- of Flatt and Scruggs -- died.

In 1981, brain cancer claimed the life of reggae star Bob Marley. He was 35.


In 1984, Nudie Cohn -- famous country-and-western costume designer -- died.

In 1987, the Oak Ridge Boys announced that rhythm guitarist Steve Sanders would replace ousted member William Lee Golden.

In 1988, fans of Irving Berlin stood below his Manhattan apartment and serenaded him with his songs on his 100th birthday. Berlin also watched on closed-circuit TV a gala salute to him at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In 1991, Madonna's arrival at the Cannes (kahn) International Film Festival in France practically turned the event into the first International Madonna Festival.

In 1992, the Los Angeles Times reported Barbra Streisand and Sony were on the verge of signing a $40 million recording contract.

Also in 1992, Tammy Wynette had surgery for an inflammation of a bile duct in St. Louis.

In 1993, Nirvana denied rumors that its recording label, Geffen, didn't want to release the band's upcoming album because it wasn't commercial enough.

Also in 1993, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Brooks and Dunn were the big winners at the 28th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles.


In 1994, one of the two police officers that Tupac Shakur was accused of shooting and wounding during a traffic altercation the year before in Atlanta filed a $10 million lawsuit against the rapper.

Also in 1994, an unwed Wynonna Judd confirmed she was pregnant -- with no plans to marry the baby's father.

In 1995, ABC announced that the long-awaited Beatles documentary would air in November.

In 1996, a 17-year-old Irish high school girl suffered fatal injuries in the mosh pit at a Smashing Pumpkins concert in Dublin.

Also in 1996, 17 people were arrested and 25 more suffered minor injuries when rioting erupted at an outdoor rock festival featuring Seven Mary Three in downtown Cincinnati.

In 1998, John Lennon's sons, Julian and Sean, both released albums on the same day. Julian's "Photograph Smile" was his first in several years, while Sean's "Into the Sun" was his debut album.

Also in 1998, R.E.M. was honored by the University of Georgia's Student Historic Preservation Organization for the band's concern for historic buildings in Athens, Ga.

In 1999, Latin-pop singer Ricky Martin signed posters and blew kisses to an estimated 5,000 fans that flooded New York's Broadway for a glimpse of him.


Today's musical quiz:

This singer released what became the best-selling album ever by a Latin artist in the United States. Who? Answer: Ricky Martin. His 1999 self-titled album sold more than 5 million copies in the United States alone.


(May 12)

Today's birthdays include Burt Bacharach, who was born in 1928 (age 74); Ian Dury and Billy Swan, both in 1942 (age 60); David Walker, keyboardist with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, in 1943 (age 59); Jayotis Washington of the Persuasions in 1945 (age 57); Faces keyboardist Ian McLagen in 1946 (age 56); Steve Winwood in 1948 (age 54); John "Jocko" Marcellino of Sha Na Na and Billy Squier, both in 1950 (age 52); and Billy Duffy, lead guitarist with The Cult, in 1961 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Elvis Presley made his TV comeback after two years in the army on a "Welcome Back" special hosted by -- believe it or not -- Frank Sinatra.

In 1965, the Rolling Stones laid down the basic tracks for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" at the famed Chess Studios in Chicago. The song would be finished in Los Angeles.


In 1971, Mick Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macia in a Roman Catholic ceremony in St. Tropez, France. The wedding guests included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Steven Stills, and the rest of the Rolling Stones.

In 1983, Meat Loaf -- whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday -- filed for bankruptcy.

In 1987, Frank Sinatra canceled a performance in Sweden after Stockholm levied a special tax on him because he broke the entertainment boycott and played in South Africa.

In 1991, the "Simple Truth Appeal" benefit concert was held in London and nine other cities around the world to raise money for the Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq. Participants included Hammer, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, Paul Simon, Yes, Peter Gabriel, Sting, and INXS.

In 1992, Guns N' Roses and Metallica announced plans for a joint North American summer concert tour.

Also in 1992, Paul Simon and Billy Joel met with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in New York.

In 1994, the Clintons attended Barbra Streisand's concert in Landover, Md., near Washington, D.C.


Also in 1994, country superstar Garth Brooks made a cameo appearance on the NBC sitcom "Mad About You."

In 1998, Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band performed at New York's Bottom Line nightclub to preview his new album, "Vertical Man."

In 2000, Gloria Estefan marked the release of her new album "Alma Caribena (Caribbean Soul)" with her first network television special. "Gloria Estefan, Caribbean Soul: The Atlantis Concert" aired on CBS and also featured Latin pop star Marc Anthony.

Today's musical quiz:

Marc Anthony has been quoted in People magazine saying he needs to call Tom Jones and ask his advice. About what? Answer: About how to remain cool while picking up the panties girls throw at him from the audience.


(May 13)

Today's birthdays include the late Ritchie Valens, who was born in 1941; the late Mary Wells was born in 1943; J. Geils Band harmonica player Magic Dick, aka Richard Salwitz, in 1945 (age 57); Pete "Overend" Watts, bassist with Mott the Hoople, in 1949 (age 53); Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel, both in 1950 (age 52); Roxy Music drummer Paul Thompson in 1951 (age 51); Deacon Blue's Lorraine McIntosh in 1964 (age 38); and Darius Rucker, lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish, in 1968 (age 34).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1975, country's Bob Wills died from a stroke at age 70.

In 1977, the Jam's first album -- "In the City" -- was released.

In 1985, Bruce Springsteen married actress Julianne Philips in a secret candlelight midnight church ceremony in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She would file for divorce three years later on the grounds he was romantically involved with E Street Band backing singer Patti Scialfa.

In 1987, songwriters Stephen Bishop and David Foster got top honors at the 35th annual BMI pop awards.

In 1991, "In Bed With Madonna" was screened out of competition at the Cannes International Film Festival. The documentary was shot during Madonna's 1990 "Blonde Ambition Tour."

In 1995, Diana Ross returned to Bessemer, Ala. -- where she lived as a girl -- to shoot the cover photo for her upcoming album, as well as film a documentary on her life.

In 1996, a thief broke into The Cure's van parked in front of a New York hotel, stealing the road manager's suitcase containing thousands of dollars in expense money, the group's return tickets in London, and lead singer Robert Smith's passport.


In 1997, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds was named songwriter of the year at the 45th annual BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles.

Also in 1997, a Los Angeles judge dismissed the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by a former security guard against Michael Jackson.

And in 1997, Tina Turner unveiled her painting that'd appear on the 1997 edition of Discover Card's Private Issue credit card.

And in 1997, talk show host Oprah Winfrey joined Tina Turner on stage in Los Angeles for a rendition of "Simply the Best."

In 1998, Quincy Jones and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds were among the music industry heavyweights who threw a surprise birthday party at a Hollywood nightclub for Stevie Wonder.

Today's musical quiz:

Who's the father of Diana Ross's oldest child, Rhonda? Answer: Motown mogul Berry Gordy.


(May 14)

Today's birthdays include the late Bobby Darin, who was born in 1936; Jack Bruce of Cream in 1943 (age 58); former Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish in 1944 (age 57); Al Ciner, guitarist with American Breed, in 1947 (age 54); David Byrne of Talking Heads in 1952 (age 49); Tom Cochrane, guitarist with Red Rider, in 1953 (age 48); Poison's C.C. Denville and Ian Astbury of The Cult, both in 1962 (age 39); Fabrice Morvan, one-half of the lip-synching duo Milli Vanilli, in 1965 (age 36); and Danny Wood of NKOTB -- formerly known as the New Kids on the Block -- in 1969 (age 32).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1976, Keith Relf of the Yardbirds was electrocuted at his London home while tuning a guitar. He was 33.

In 1982, "Fast" Eddie Clark quit Motorhead in the middle of the band's U.S. tour. Guitarist Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy flew to the United States to replace him.

In 1987, Emmylou Harris told a congressional panel that she believed digital audio tape machines should be required to have anti-copying devices.

Also in 1987, Frank Sinatra -- criticized by anti-apartheid forces for playing South Africa in 1981 -- attacked the system of racial separation, calling South African President P.W. Botha "a bum."

In 1991, the Bee Gees' 27th album, "High Civilization," was released in the United States.

Also in 1991, Motown sued MCA for $10 million, accusing it of refusing to promote Motown records to pop radio stations.

In 1994, former Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish celebrated his 50th birthday with an all-star guitar jam at the Classic American Guitar Show in Long Island, N.Y.

In 1998, "ol' blue eyes" Frank Sinatra died of a heart attack after being rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 82.

Also in 1998, George Michael was sentenced to two years probation, fined and ordered to perform community service after pleading no contest to lewd conduct charges. The singer was arrested April 7 after a police officer witnessed him committing a "lewd act" in a Beverly Hills, Calif., park restroom.


Today's musical quiz:

Thin Lizzy's lead singer Phil Lynott performed on this 1978 rock musical version of a famous science fiction novel. What? Answer: Lynott was featured on "War of the Worlds," a rock music version of the H.G. Wells novel of the same name.


(May 15)

Today's birthdays include country singer Eddy Arnold, who was born in 1918 (age 84); Trini Lopez in 1937 (age 65); Little River Band guitarist Graham Goble in 1947 (age 55); Brian Eno in 1948 (age 54); Toto's Dennis Fredericksen in 1951 (age 51); Mike Oldfield of "Tubular Bells" fame in 1953 (age 49); and Ahmet Zappa, one of the late Frank Zappa's sons and lead singer of the group Z, in 1974 (age 28).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, two groups had their first hit singles -- the Yardbirds with "For Your Love" and the Byrds with "Mr. Tamborine Man."

In 1971, two films made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono -- "Apotheosis" and "Fly" -- were shown at the Cannes International Film Festival in France.

In 1973, the Pointer Sisters made their live debut.


In 1974, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman became the first Stone to release a solo album, "Monkey Grip." He would not be the last.

In 1987, a judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., ruled that a $20 million civil lawsuit against Boy George would be heard in the United States. The suit was filed by the parents of a musician who died of a heroin overdose at George's home in Britain.

In 1988, Led Zeppelin reunited at the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary bash in New York -- with the late John Bonham's son, Jason, on drums.

In 1993, Duran Duran performed an "interactive" concert in Los Angeles that was beamed live to London; Tokyo; Sydney, Australia; and Berlin. Fans at the remote sites could ask the rockers questions and request songs.

In 1995, R.E.M. resumed the concert tour interrupted two months earlier by drummer Bill Berry's aneurysm and brain surgery.

Also in 1995, Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland was arrested on drug possession charges in Pasadena, Calif.

And in 1995, a rare guitar was stolen from Cranberries guitarist Noel Hogan during a melee at a free concert in Washington, D.C.


And in 1995, "I Swear" -- written by Gary Baker and Frank Myers -- was named song of the year at the ASCAP annual awards dinner in Los Angeles.

In 1997, Muzak announced it was adding four instrumental versions of KISS songs to its playlist.

In 2000, Entertainment Weekly reported that Korn's lead singer Jonathan Davis had teamed up with composer Richard Gibbs to write a full orchestral score for "Queen of the Damned," a movie based on the Anne Rice vampire novel of the same name. Davis was also writing songs for Lestat, the movie's blood-sucking rock star character, to lip-synch.

Today's musical quiz:

Frank Zappa's highest-charting pop single was this novelty tune, recorded with daughter Moon Unit. What was the title? Answer: "Valley Girl."


(May 16)

Today's birthdays include Lainie Kazan, who was born in 1940 (age 62); Billy Cobham in 1944 (age 58); Robert Fripp of King Crimson and Foghat's Roger Earl, both in 1946 (age 56); Barbara Lee of the Chiffons and Nazareth drummer Derrell Sweet, both in 1947 (age 55); Jock Bartley of Firefall in 1950 (age 52); Jonathan Richman, of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, in 1951 (age 51); Richard Page of Mr. Mister in 1953 (age 49); Heaven 17th's Glenn Gregory in 1958 (age 44); Janet Jackson in 1966 (age 36); and Ralph Tresvant of the New Edition in 1968 (age 34).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1966, the Beach Boys released the "Pet Sounds" album.

In 1969, The Who's Pete Townshend spent the night in jail after he kicked a man offstage at New York's Fillmore East. The man turned out to be a plainclothes police officer trying to warn the audience about a nearby fire.

In 1970, guitarist Randy Bachman quit The Guess Who.

In 1980, Brian May of Queen collapsed onstage. It turned out he was suffering from hepatitis.

Also in 1980, former Buggles members Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn joined Yes, replacing the departing Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

In 1981, the Pretenders' Martin Chambers married Tracy Atkinson in Los Angeles.

In 1984, Marvin Gaye, Sr., had brain surgery a month-and-a-half after killing his soul-singer son, Marvin Gaye, Jr., during an argument.

In 1986, country singer Johnny Paycheck was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting a man in a barrom fight in Hillsboro, Ohio, the previous December. Paycheck claimed the shooting was an accident.

Also in 1986, Willie Nelson underwent two hours of surgery to repair his left thumb, which he broke in a fall from a bicycle.


And in 1986, King Crimson's Robert Fripp married British actress Toyah Willcox.

In 1987, David Crosby married his longtime girlfriend Jan Dance in Los Angeles. Stephen Stills gave away the bride. Graham Nash and his wife, Susan, renewed their wedding vows during the ceremony.

Also in 1987, Johnny Cash left the stage in mid-performance in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was hospitalized, suffering from exhaustion and an irregular heartbeat.

In 1988, Run-DMC released "Tougher Than Leather," the band's first album in two years.

In 1992, a reunited Procol Harum launched a concert tour in Washington, D.C.

In 1993, Motown singer Marv Johnson died two days after suffering a stroke backstage in South Carolina. He was 54.

Today's musical quiz:

Paula Abdul worked as this singer's choreographer before launching her own career. Who? Answer: Janet Jackson.


(May 17)

Today's birthdays include Pervis Jackson of the Spinners, who was born in 1938 (age 64); Taj Mahal, whose real name is Henry St. Clair Fredericks, in 1942 (age 60); Jesse Winchester in 1944 (age 58); drummer Bill Bruford of King Crimson, Yes and Genesis in 1950 (age 52); George Johnson of the Brothers Johnson in 1953 (age 49); Tracy Bryn of Voice of the Beehive in 1962 (age40); Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor in 1965 (age 37); and Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block -- later known as NKOTB -- in 1970 (age 32).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, the first Monterey Folk Festival opened in Monterey, Calif. It featured Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary, and Pete Seeger.

In 1967, "Don't Look Back" -- a film about Bob Dylan's United Kingdom tour -- opened in San Francisco.

In 1969, Chicago's debut album -- "Chicago Transit Authority" -- entered the album charts.

In 1975, Mick Jagger cut his fist when he smashed it through a window at a Long Island, N.Y., restaurant. He needed 20 stitches to close the wound.

In 1978, the disco movie "Thank God It's Friday" -- featuring tracks by Donna Summer -- premiered in Los Angeles.

In 1980, drummer Peter Criss left KISS. He was replaced by Eric Carr, who died of cancer in 1991 at age 41.

In 1986, virtually all of Ireland's best-known rock musicians -- and a few rockers of Irish heritage -- played a benefit concert in Dublin to raise money to help Irish youngsters. The bill included Van Morrison, U2, the Pogues, Elvis Costello and Bob Geldof, who'd organized "Live Aid" the previous summer.


In 1987, a fire caused $1 million damage to Tom Petty's estate in Encino, Calif.

In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling that granted Hank Williams, Sr.'s, illegitimate daughter partial rights to his music. The appeal had been filed by Hank Williams, Jr., and publisher Acuff-Rose.

In 1994, Quincy Jones was awarded the 1994 Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm.

In 1995, ABC-TV announced that Michael Jackson and his wife, Lisa Marie Presley, had agreed to a joint interview on "PrimeTime Live."

Also in 1995, 67-year-old Fats Domino was hospitalized in England following a concert in Sheffield with Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Domino's promoter said he was suffering from a "serious infection" and needed to rest.

In 1996, Capitol Records announced plans by three original members of Grand Funk Railroad to reunite and tour the United States for the first time in 21 years.

Also in 1996, blues/funk pioneer Johnny "Guitar" Watson died of an apparent heart attack in Yokohama, Japan. He was 61.

In 1997, Paul McCartney answered about 200 questions from fans during a 90-minute Internet "McCartney's Town Hall Meeting" in London. It was part of a Q&A session broadcast worldwide on satellite TV.


In 2000, jury selection began in the New York trial of a lawsuit against Sean "Puffy" Combs and fellow rapper Heavy D in connection with an event they sponsored in 1991 that resulted in a stampede. Nine people died and 21 more were injured after ticket holders for a basketball game featuring rap artists stormed the doors to a New York University gym after the event was oversold.

Today's musical quiz:

Nine Inch Nails performed at Woodstock '94 covered in this substance. What? Answer: Mud. Trent Reznor tripped his guitarist en route to the stage and the musician fell on his face in the mud, prompting the band to get into a mud fight.

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