Today's birthdays include guitarist Roy Crewsdon of Freddie and the Dreamers, who was born in 1941 (age 60); Procol Harum's Gary Brooker in 1949 (age 52); Mel Gaynor of Simple Minds in 1960 (age 41); Melissa Etheridge in 1961 (age 40); and Melanie Brown, a.k.a. "Scary Spice" of the Spice Girls, in 1975 (age 26).
On this day in music history:
In 1942, Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas" in Los Angeles.
In 1961, Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" topped the R&B singles chart.
In 1974, Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" was released.
In 1981, Bruce Springsteen launched his first British tour in five years.
In 1989, Quicksilver Messenger Service founder John Cipollina died of complications stemming from respiratory problems. He was 45.
In 1991, Steve Winwood was uninjured when his tour bus was sideswiped by an oncoming truck near Findley, Ohio.
In 1995, a security guard shot and wounded an intruder at Madonna's Hollywood Hills estate. The man was later convicted of stalking and threatening the pop star/actress and sentenced to prison.
In 1996, Michael Jackson announced plans for his first world tour in three years, to begin Sept. 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.
In 1999, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sold out all 15 of their shows at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., in only 13 hours -- breaking the old record of 11 sold-out shows at the arena in 1992. That record also belonged to Springsteen.
Also in 1999, hikers found a skeleton in a minivan at the bottom of a canyon near Malibu, Calif. It turned out to be the remains of Iron Butterfly bassist Philip "Taylor" Kramer, who'd been missing since Feb. 1995.
In 2000, in a guest column in Newsweek magazine, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich wrote that he and his fellow bandmates don't care what people think of the group for suing free music distributor Napster because "we think it's the right thing to do, period."
Today's musical quiz:
How did "Scary Spice" Melanie Brown meet her former husband, Jimmy Gulzar? Answer: Gulzar was a dancer on the Spice Girls' tour.