Today in Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  May 11, 2002 at 2:02 AM
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(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.

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