Today in Music: A look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  June 14, 2002 at 8:33 AM
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(June 14)

Today's musical birthdays include the late Burl Ives, who was born in 1909; Muff Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group in 1943 (age 59); keyboardist Rod Argent of the Zombies, who also played with Argent, in 1945 (age 57); Alan White, who played with the Plastic Ono Band before joining Yes, in 1949 (age 53); Slade's Jimmy Lea in 1952 (age 50); Boy George, whose real name is George O'Dowd, in 1961 (age 41); and Queensryche's Chris DeGarmo in 1963 (age 398).

On this day in music history:

In 1953, Elvis Presley graduated from L.C. Humes High School in Memphis.

In 1961, country singer Patsy Cline was seriously injured in a car accident near Madison, Tenn.

In 1969, R&B singer Wynonie Harris -- who claimed Elvis Presley "stole" his hip shaking and sneer -- died.

In 1970, Blood Sweat and Tears opened a tour of Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland. The road trip was the first of the Soviet bloc by a Western rock band.

In 1979, Little Feat broke up, two weeks before leader Lowell George died of a heart attack.

In 1981, Bruce Springsteen, Graham Nash, Steve Stills, Gary "U.S." Bonds and Bonnie Raitt appeared at the "No Nukes" benefit at the Hollywood Bowl. Recordings of the event were later released as a triple album and a feature film.

In 1984, the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame in New York.

Also in 1984, Boy George unveiled his wax statue at Madame Tussaud's in London.

And in 1984, MTV announced an exclusivity deal with four record companies.

In 1986, songwriter Alan Jay Lerner died at age 67.

In 1988, Chuck Berry was sued for $5 million by a woman who claimed he slugged her in the mouth six months earlier.

In 1993, Pepsi pulled its Ray Charles Diet Pepsi TV commercials following a spate of tampering reports involving needles or syringes in cans of the soft drink.

In 1994, AT&T introduced Whitney Houston as the star of a new series of TV commercials for the long-distance phone company.

Also in 1994, Henry Mancini died of cancer at age 70.

In 1995, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley gave their first TV interview as a married couple. However, they didn't say anything new or revealing to Diane Sawyer on ABC's "PrimeTime Live."

Also in 1995, Whitney Houston was granted a restraining order against an overzealous fan her lawyer thought was bent on violence.

In 1996, the Beach Boys played for 15,000 fans at Nashville's Fan Fair.

In 1997, Sinead O'Connor, Natalie Merchant, Van Morrison and the Saw Doctors were among the performers at the two-day Guinness Fleadh at New York's Randall's Island.

Also in 1997, it was reported that an investigation by Minnesota authorities had concluded that the newborn son of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince had died the previous October of natural causes. The boy had been born Oct. 16, 1996, suffering from an often fatal skeletal defect. The death investigation had been prompted by two former employees of The Artist, who had objected to the parents' decision to take the baby off life support.

And in 1997, the lawyer for Naughty By Nature rapper Vincent Brown claimed racism was behind the arrests one day earlier of Brown and bandmate Anthony "Treach" Criss. He said New York police had stopped the rappers because they were black and driving luxury cars.

In 2000, the "Return to Love" tour, Diana Ross's reunion with former Supremes Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne, began in Philadelphia. It marked the first time Ross performed the hit songs of the Supremes, in their entirety, since she left the group in 1970. (Less than a month later, the tour was canceled due to poor ticket sales.)

Today's musical quiz:

How old was Natalie Merchant when she joined 10,000 Maniacs as their lead singer. Answer: Just 17. She left the band to go solo in 1992.

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