Today in Music: A look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  June 28, 2002 at 3:55 AM
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(June 29)

Today's musical birthdays include Johnny Ace, who was born in 1929; Eva Boyd, a.k.a. Little Eva, Carole King's babysitter-turned-singer, whose No.1 single in 1962 was "The Loco-Motion," in 1945 (age 57); Paper Lace's Carlo Santanna in 1947 (age 55); drummer Ian Paice of Deep Purple and, later, Whitesnake, in 1948 (age 54); and Colin Hay of Men At Work in 1953 (age 49).

Today in music history:

In 1967, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were convicted on drug charges stemming from a bust at Richards' home in London.

In 1968, Pink Floyd's "A Saucerful of Secrets" album was released. That same day, Pink Floyd played a free concert in London's Hyde Park with Jethro Tull and pop poet Roy Harper opening.

In 1969, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played its final show at the Denver Pop Festival. Hendrix would form a new group with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox.

Also in 1969, Shorty Long drowned. He was 29. Long did "Here Comes the Judge" as well as the original version of "Devil With a Blue Dress."

In 1973, Deep Purple played in concert in Osaka, Japan. It was vocalist Ian Gillan's and bass player Roger Glover's last gig with the band -- at least for many years.

In 1975, Elton John turned up, unannounced, at an Eagles-Doobie Bros. show in Oakland, Calif.

Also in 1975, Tim Buckley died from a drug overdose. He was 28.

In 1977, rocker Bob Geldof was attacked onstage during a Boomtown Rats gig in London.

In 1978, Peter Frampton was seriously injured in a car accident in the Bahamas.

In 1979, Lowell George, formerly with Little Feat, died from a heart attack at age 34.

In 1980, country's George Jones topped the charts with "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

In 1984, 2 million copies of the Jackson's "Victory" album were shipped to music stores.

Also in 1984, Prince's "When Doves Cry" topped the 1 million mark in sales.

In 1993, at a news conference in New York, Ike Turner denied beating his ex-wife Tina Turner, saying he only punched her once and slapped her around. Turner also challenged Tina to a musical duel. The challenge went unanswered.

In 1998, Aerosmith performed at a private party for 500 guests at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the world premiere of "Armageddon" was held. The movie co-starred Liv Tyler, the daughter of Aerosmith lead singer Steve Tyler.

In 2000, the graves of Ronnie VanZant and Steve Gaines, two members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, were among the five disturbed by vandals at an Orange Park, Fla., cemetery. The musicians had been killed in a 1977 plane crash.

Today's musical quiz:

When Aerosmith reunited in 1984, what did the band have to do before signing with Geffen Records? Answer: They had to audition first.


(June 30)

Today's musical birthdays include the late legendary drummer Buddy Rich, who was born in 1917; singer/actress Lena Horne also in 1917 (age 85); Newbeats' Larry Henley in 1941 (age 61); the late Florence Ballard of the Supremes in 1943; Glen Shorrock of the Little River Band in 1944 (age 58); Sweet guitarist Andrew Scott in 1949 (age 53); Stanley Clarke in 1951 (age 51); and Adrian Wright of Human League in 1956 (age 46).

Today in music history:

In 1922, Eck Robertson and Henry Gilliland recorded the first discs ever made by Southern country musicians. The session was held in New York.

In 1923, jazz pioneer Sidney Bechet cut his first record, "Wildcat Blues," backed by "Kansas City Blues."

In 1959, Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife" entered the pop charts.

In 1971, Bill Graham closed the Fillmore West in San Francisco.

In 1974, members of the Modern Jazz Quartet -- Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Percy Heath and Connie Kay -- played their last U.S. show in San Francisco. The quartet would then tour Australia before retiring after 22 years together.

In 1975, four days after divorcing Sonny Bono, Cher married Gregg Allman. Within 10 days, they announced they were splitting up, then reconciled, then split up again. Eventually, the marriage lasted three years -- long enough for Gregg and Cher to become the parents of a son, Elijah Blue.

In 1977, Marvel Comics published the "KISS Book," featuring members of KISS as superheroes.

Also in 1977, the organizers of the Newport Jazz Festival announced they would relocate the festival the following year from New York City to Sarasota Springs.

In 1981, rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis underwent emergency surgery in Memphis for a hole in his stomach. He wasn't expected to survive -- but did.

In 1983, the Everly Brothers announced they'd settled their differences after a decade apart and would reunite for a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall in September.

In 1985, John Lennon's psychedelic-painted, Flower Power-era Rolls Royce was sold for more than $2 million at a New York auction.

Also in 1985, actor Sean Penn punched two reporters who tried to photograph him and his fiancee, Madonna, in Nashville, Tenn., where he was making a movie.

In 1991, a Tyler, Texas-based cable-TV company, TCA, dropped MTV, saying the music videos shown on the channel were "borderline pornographic materials." MTV said the dispute was over fees, not content.

In 1993, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince was given the "Humanitarian of the Year" Award by the St. Paul, Minn., Urban League.

In 1994, Virgin Records shipped the Rolling Stones new album "Voodoo Lounge" early after several radio stations played bootleg copies.

Also in 1994, Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament testified before a congressional panel about what they called Ticketmaster's monopolistic practices.

And in 1994, Chubby Checker returned to his hometown of Philadelphia to perform at the third annual "Hoagie Day."

In 1995, Michael Jackson's "HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1" debuted at No.1 on the Billboard album chart.

In 1997, Aerosmith kicked off its North American tour in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Also in 1997, the Smokin' Grooves tour began in Boston. It featured George Clinton and Funkadelic, Foxy Brown, Erykah Badu and Cypress Hill, among others.

In 1998, the Smashing Pumpkins opened the band's latest tour in San Francisco to promote its new album "Adore." The 13-city, 14-show North American jaunt also supported local charities.

Also in 1998, the Vans Warped Tour -- featuring Bad Religion, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and the Specials, among others -- opened in Phoenix, Ariz.

And in 1998, Wu-Tang Clan member Big Baby Jesus, a.k.a. Ol' Dirty Bastard (real name: Russell Jones), was shot and wounded during a robbery at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In 1999, rapper DMX (real name: Earl Simmons) and his wife were arrested at their home in Teaneck, N.J., on weapons charges following the shooting three days earlier of Simmons' cousin and manager.

Also in 1999, Madonna filed a $2 million lawsuit against her former financial advisers. She claimed their screw-up caused her to overpay more than $2 million in income tax to the state of New York.

In 2000, tragedy struck one of Europe's biggest rock festivals. Nine people were crushed to death against a barrier in front of the stage as Pearl Jam performed at the annual festival in Roskilde, Denmark, near Copenhagen. In a statement, the members of Pearl Jam said they were "devastated" by the incident.

Also in 2000, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots and Fishbone launched a tour in Saratoga, N.Y.

And in 2000, Metallica's "Summer Sanitarium Tour," with Korn and Kid Rock, kicked off in Foxboro, Mass.

Today's musical quiz:

How old was Buddy Rich when he made his professional debut as a drummer? Answer: 18 months old. By the time he was 15, Rich was earning $1,000 a week. By the way, on his deathbed in 1987, a nurse asked Rich if there was anything making him uncomfortable. He reportedly replied: "Yes, country music."

(July 1)

Today's musical birthdays include the late blues musician and composer Thomas Dorsey, born in 1899, blues musician Willie Dixon in 1915; Delaney Bramlett of Delaney and Bonnie in 1939 (age 63); Deborah Harry, once and again with Blondie, in 1945 (age 57); B52's keyboardist and vocalist Fred Schneider in 1951 (age 51); Dan Aykroyd, one-half of the Blues Brothers, in 1952 (age 50); White Lion guitarist Vito Bratta in 1961 (age 41); Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum in 1963 (age 39); and Alanis Morissette in 1974 (age 28).

Today in music history:

In 1956, Elvis Presley appeared on "The Steve Allen Show," serenading a basset hound with his hit single "Hound Dog."

Also in 1956, Brenda Lee -- not yet 12 years old -- signed a recording contract with Decca Records.

In 1967, the Parliaments -- to be later known as Parliament-Funkadelic and led by funk king George Clinton -- made its chart debut with "(I Wanna) Testify."

In 1968, John Lennon publicly announced his love for Yoko Ono at the opening of his first art exhibit in London.

In 1969, rock 'n' roll pioneer Sam Phillips sold his Memphis-based Sun Records to Nashville music-biz powerhouse Shelby Singleton.

In 1970, Jimi Hendrix began recording for the first time at his own studio in New York City. It was known as the Electric Ladyland.

In 1972, the tribal rock musical "Hair" closed on Broadway after 1,729 performances.

In 1975, David Bowie began filming "The Man Who Fell To Earth" -- his motion picture debut -- in Albuquerque, N.M.

Also in 1975, Ringo Starr and his wife, Maureen, were divorced.

In 1984, the Music Theater Network launched its Concert Cinema service that put rock concert videos in 600 movie theaters.

In 1986, as part of her prize in an MTV contest, Prince's "Under the Cherry Moon" premiered in Lisa Barber's hometown of Sheridan, Wyo. He also sang for her and 200 friends.

In 1987, Wilson Pickett was convicted in Hackensack, N.J., of illegally carrying a loaded shotgun. It was his second weapons conviction.

In 1993, Bon Jovi offered free tickets to its July 3 show in Moline, Ill., to anyone who'd filled three sandbags to help shore up levees along the flooded Mississippi River.

In 1994, a judge in Baton Rouge, La., sentenced Percy Sledge to five years' probation and fined him $95,000 for tax evasion.

In 1995, legendary disc jockey "Wolfman Jack" (real name: Robert Smith) died of a heart attack. He was 57.

In 1996, tickets for the first 10 rows of the upcoming Hootie and the Blowfish concert in Long Island, N.Y., were voided after the band found out theater workers had held back tickets and sold them to scalpers instead.

Also in 1996, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled against John Denver, meaning he must stand trial for a 1994 drunk driving accident near Aspen. Denver had allegedly run his car into a tree.

And in 1996, members of the rock group the Wrens were arrested on trespassing charges after they were caught filming a music video in an abandoned Edgewater, N.J., building. They were released after the cops checked their identification.

In 1999, Blues Traveler cancelled its two scheduled Fourth of July weekend annual appearances at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado after lead singer John Popper was hospitalized with chest pains.

Also in 1999, singer Guy Mitchell died of complications from surgery in Las Vegas. He was 72. Between 1950 and '60, Mitchell had nearly 40 hit records -- most of them novelties, folk tunes and country songs.

Today's musical quiz:

Alanis Morissette has a twin brother. True or false? Answer: True. His name is Wade.


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(July 2)

Today's musical birthdays include Paul Williams, a former member of the Temptations, who was born in 1939 (age 63); British pop singer Leapy Lee, born Lee Graham, in 1942 (age 60); Ambrosia's Joe Puerta in 1951 (age 51); Johnny Colla of Huey Lewis and the News in 1952 (age 50); Paul Briquette of the Boomtown Rats in 1954 (age 48); and Jerry Hall, the ex-wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, in 1956 (age 46).

Today in music history:

In 1955, Lawrence Welk TV show debuted.

In 1956, Elvis Presley recorded "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" at the RCA studios in in New York City.

Also in 1956, Buddy Holly's first single -- "Love Me" with "Blue Days, Black Nights" on the flip side -- was released.

In 1964, country singer Jim Reeves held what would be his last recording session.

In 1973, Roxy Music's Eno -- full name, Brian Peter George St. John Le Baptiste De La Salle Eno -- quit the band after numerous personality clashes with singer/songwriter Bryan Ferry.

In 1981, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played the first of six sold-out shows at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

In 1982, the Clash's Nicky Headon was charged with stealing a bus stop sign.

In 1987, rock promoter Bill Graham announced a badly kept secret -- a Fourth of July rock concert for peace in Moscow featuring Carlos Santana, the Doobie Bros., James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.

In 1988, George Thorogood and Brian Setzer opened a nationwide tour together in Los Angeles.

In 1991, a riot broke out at a Guns N' Roses concert in suburban St. Louis, Mo., after lead singer Axl Rose allegedly attacked a fan taking photographs. The band then walked off the stage and fans went on a rampage. The destruction of the band's equipment forced the cancellation of its next two tour stops.

In 1992, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger became a grandfather when his daughter, Jade, 20, gave birth to a baby boy.

In 1994, pioneering gospel singer Marion Williams died in Philadelphia at age 66. She influenced Aretha Franklin and Little Richard, among others.

In 1995, a Seattle newspaper quoted Courtney Love saying she was unable to find a final resting place for Kurt Cobain's ashes. No cemetery wanted to accept the remains of the Nirvana lead singer because of security costs.

In 1996, Diana Ross's family added $25,000 to the $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed Diana's younger brother, Arthur "T-Boy" Ross. He and his wife had been found slain in a suburban Detroit home.

In 1997, EMI said it paid $132 million for a 50-percent stake in Berry Gordy Jr.'s company that held the rights to the classic Motown song library. The deal involved copyrights to tunes made famous by Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles -- among others.

Also in 1997, Bruce Springsteen donated part of the money from his Polar Music Prize to a Swedish school program that helps troubled teenagers stay out of trouble.

Today's musical quiz:

Who was the first artist to have five No.1 singles from one album? Answer: Michael Jackson. From his "Bad" album, the tracks "Bad," "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana" all topped the Billboard Hot-100 pop singles chart.


(July 3)

Today's musical birthdays include Jerry Gray, bandleader and Glenn Miller arranger, in 1915, jazz musician Pete Fountain, in 1930, Fontella Bass in 1940 (age 62); country singer Johnny Lee in 1946 (age 56); Paul Barrere, formerly of Little Feat, in 1948 (age 54); Heatwave's Johnnie Wilder in 1949 (age 53); Mike Corby, formerly of the Babys, and Neil Clark, guitarist with Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, both in 1955 (age 47); Laura Branigan in 1957 (age 45); Ratt's Stephen Percy, who later formed Arcade, in 1959 (age 43); Erasure keyboardist Vince Clarke in 1961 (age 41); and Taylor Dayne in 1962 (age 40).

Today in music history:

In 1960, Elvis Presley was heartbroken when his dad Vernon announced plans to remarry, less than two years after his mom's death.

In 1969, former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones drowned in his swimming pool. He was 27.

In 1970, the three-day Atlanta Pop Festival opened. It featured Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, the Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King and Procol Harum.

In 1971, Jim Morrison of the Doors died in a bathtub in Paris. He was 27. His death was listed as a heart attack but he probably died from a drug overdose.

In 1976, following a 12-year hiatus, Brian Wilson rejoined his brothers on stage at a Beach Boys show at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.

In 1986, Teddy Pendergrass -- paralyzed from the waist down since a 1982 traffic accident -- was again injured when he crashed his specially-equipped van into a utility pole in suburban Philadelphia.

Also in 1986, Boy George reportedly confessed to being addicted to heroin, then denied he had a drug problem.

And in 1986, Rudy Vallee -- the nation's first pop singing sensation -- died while watching the Statue of Liberty centennial festivities on TV. He was 84.

In 1987, the world premiere of the Ritchie Valens movie "La Bamba" was held in Watsonville, Calif., home of the Valens family.

In 1993, Blue Cheer drummer Paul Whaley died from an apparent heart attack in Los Angeles. He was 40.

In 1995, a Grateful Dead concert at the Deer Creek Music Center in suburban Indianapolis was canceled after ticket-less fans rioted the night before.

In 1996, Pollstar reported 1996 concert ticket sales were off 26 percent -- in part due to the absence of the Grateful Dead from the tour circuit.

Also in 1996, hundreds of fans gathered at Jim Morrison's Paris grave to mark the 25th anniversary of his death.

In 1999, Whitney Houston cancelled her concert in Holmdel, N.J., at the last minute. A spokeswoman said the singer had developed throat problems but had been hoping she'd still be able to perform.

Also in 1999, Blues Traveler lead singer John Popper left a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing angioplasty to clear a blocked artery. The surgery forced the band to cancel its annual Fourth of July weekend appearances at the Red Rock Amphitheatre outside Denver.

And in 1999, Morphine frontman Mark Sandman suffered a fatal heart attack onstage at a Rome music festival. He was 46.

In 2000, a utility worker claimed he was attacked by James Brown when he came to the singer's Beech Island, S.C., home to investigate a power outage. Authorities later decided not to charge "The Godfather of Soul."

Also in 2000, Christian pop star Amy Grant sang "America the Beautiful" as U.S officials unveiled the three-year, $10 million facelift of the Washington Monument during ceremonies on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Today's musical quiz:

What's Taylor Dayne's real name? Answer: Leslie Wonderman.


(July 4)

Today's birthdays include composer Stephen Foster who was born in 1826, band leader Mitch Miller in 1911 (age 91); Ray Pillow in 1937 (age 65); Bill Withers in 1938 (age 64); the late Al Wilson of Canned Heat in 1943; Fleetwood Mac's Jeremy Spencer in 1948 (age 54); John Waite of the Babys in 1952 (age 50); and INXS's Kirk Pengilly in 1958 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1952, Britain had its first U.S. No.1 single with Vera Lynn's "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart."

In 1970, "American Top-40," hosted by Casey Kasem, aired for the first time on radio.

In 1971, Donald McPherson of Main Ingredient died from leukemia at age 29.

In 1972, 61 fans were arrested as the Rolling Stones played Washington, D.C.

In 1973, David Bowie retired from live work as Ziggy Stardust.

In 1980, half-a-million people attended a free Beach Boys concert in Miami.

In 1982, Diana Ross opened her first solo world tour at Giants' stadium in the Meadowlands, N.J. Miles Davis was the opening act.

In 1983, Interior Secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from playing at the Washington, D.C., Capitol Mall. He said their music attracted a "bad element."

In 1984, the Beach Boys were allowed to play the Capitol Mall after President Reagan said he was a fan. Ringo Starr sat in with the band, which played the Mall again the next year.

In 1986, Willie Nelson held an 18-hour Farm Aid 2 at Manor Downs racetrack near Austin, Texas. It starred 88 performers -- ranging from the Beach Boys to Julio Iglesias -- and raised $1.3 million.

In 1987, at a "Welcome Home" concert for Vietnam veterans in Washington, D.C., John Fogerty finally performed "Proud Mary" and other Creedence tunes, ending a bitter dispute with Creedence Clearwater Revival's record company. Also performing -- Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby Stills and Nash, and the Four Tops.

Also in 1987, Willie Nelson's 15th Fourth of July Picnic -- dedicated to the nation's truckers -- was held in Carl's Corner, Texas.

In 1993, Whitney Houston opened her first tour in two years in Miami. She was booed when she snapped at a fan wanting an autograph.

In 1997, rapper Stanley Howse -- a.k.a. Flesh-N-Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony -- was arrested at a Los Angeles-area home on illegal explosives charges and for firing off a shotgun.

In 1999, Spice Girl Victoria Adams, a.k.a. Posh Spice, married her English soccer hero boyfriend, David Beckham, in a ceremony held at a 15th-century Irish castle. Elton John performed at the reception. The 52-year-old singer later collapsed and was fitted with a pacemaker.

In 2000, Limp Bizkit launched its "Back to Basics" tour, a series of free concerts to thanks fans for their support. The road trip, sponsored by, featured special guests Cypress Hill.

Today's musical quiz:

What was the No.1 song on Casey Kasem's first "American Top 40" countdown? Answer: "Mama Told Me Not to Come" by Three Dog Night.


(July 5)

Today's musical birthdays include the late Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers, who was born in 1915; Robbie Robertson of The Band in 1944 (age 58); Steppenwolf's Michael Monarch in 1946 (age 56); and Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News, in 1951 (age 51).

Today in music history:

In 1954, Elvis Presley cut his first commercial single "That's All Right Mama" at the Sun Records studio in Memphis. Two days later it was an instant hit on Memphis radio.

Also in 1954, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" became Bill Haley and the Comets' first top-20 single.

In 1958, Ray Charles made his first appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island.

In 1964, the Four Seasons was invited by President Johnson to perform at the White House.

In 1969, the Rolling Stones gave a free concert in London's Hyde Park that was attended by 250,000 people. The event became a tribute to former Stones guitarist Brian Jones, who'd drowned two days earlier.

In 1982, Bill Justis died at age 55. He had a No.2 single in 1957, an instrumental titled "Raunchy."

In 1984, the Everly Brothers launched a reunion tour in Cincinnati. It was their first outing together in 11 years.

Also in 1984, the Jackson family announced they were scrapping the controversial mail-order ticket sales policy for their upcoming "Victory" tour. Michael Jackson also said he'd donate his tour income to charity.

In 1988, residents of Oxford, Maine, who wanted to ban concerts following a Grateful Dead show withdrew their petition when they found out it would also ban concerts at county fairs.

In 1994, Detroit songwriter Kevin McCord announced he was suing Mariah Carey for copyright infringement for the unauthorized use of his song "I Want 2 Thank U" in her 1992 hit "Make It Happen."

Also in 1994, Public Enemy's Flavor Flav was arrested in New York following a minor traffic accident after the police discovered he was driving on a license that had been suspended 43 times.

Again in 1994, Whitney Houston announced at her Atlanta concert that she was expecting her second child. The singer later suffered a miscarriage.

In 1995, more than 100 people were hurt after a balcony packed with Grateful Dead fans collapsed at a suburban St. Louis campground. The crowd had been seeking shelter from a thunderstorm.

Also in 1995, the Justice Department announced it was dropping its anti-trust investigation of Ticketmaster. The probe was sparked by complaints from members of Pearl Jam.

Again in 1995, Def Leppard's one-armed drummer Rick Allen was arrested and charged with spousal abuse after he allegedly slapped his wife around at Los Angeles International Airport.

In 1999, a reunited Eurythmics -- Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart -- performed a mini-concert aboard a Greenpeace ship on the Thames River in London to announce plans for an upcoming tour. It would be their first tour together in 10 years.

Today's musical quiz:

Huey Lewis had a cameo in the 1985 film "Back to the Future." In what scene? Answer: Lewis portrayed one of the judges picking contestants for the school's Battle of the Band contest. He told Michael J. Fox's character that his band was "too loud."

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