Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  July 3, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(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.

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