Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  July 20, 2002 at 3:15 AM
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(July 20)

Today's musical birthdays include country's T.G. Sheppard, who was born in 1944 (age 58); singer Kim Carnes and Moody Blues bassist John Lodge, both in 1945 (age 57); Carlos Santana in 1947 (age 55); Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony in 1955 (age 47); drummer Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols in 1956 (age 46); Michael McNeill of Simple Minds in 1958 (age 44); and Soundgarden drummer Chris Cornell in 1964 (age 38).

Today in music history:

In 1940, Billboard issued its first U.S. singles chart. The first No. 1 hit was "I'll Never Smile Again" by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Frank Sinatra on the vocal.

In 1954, Elvis Presley performed on a flatbed truck outside a drug store in Memphis.

In 1958, the last episode of the popular Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts aired, after nearly a decade on television. The program, one of television's earliest amateur talent shows, was a breakthrough vehicle for many entertainers including Rosemary Clooney, Pat Boone, Steve Lawrence, Connie Francis and Patsy Cline. Elvis Presley flunked his audition for the show in 1955.

In 1968, Iron Butterfly's "Inna Gadda Da Vida" entered the pop music chart.

In 1974, David Bowie played New York's Madison Square Garden during his tour promoting the album "Diamond Dogs."

In 1975, "Miami" Steve Van Zandt officially joined Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band at a show in Providence, R.I.

In 1984, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters played the first of three solo concerts at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

In 1986, Carlos Santana celebrated his 39th birthday with a concert that reunited the former members of his old band, Santana, on stage.

In 1987, a Manhattan jury decided that Brazilian singer Morris Albert stole the million-selling song "Feelings" from prominent French composer Louis Gaste. Albert and his publisher were ordered to pay $501,000 in damages.

In 1990, Paul McCartney played Cleveland Stadium.

In 1991, EMF's "Unbelievable" topped the Billboard Hot-100 pop singles chart.

Also in 1991, composer Earl Robinson was killed in a car accident in Seattle. He was probably best known for co-writing with David Arkin the 1972 Three Dog Night hit single "Black and White."

In 1993, John Mellencamp announced that all proceeds from his concerts in Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis would be donated to the Red Cross for the victims of the Midwest flooding.

In 1994, the Dominican Republic judge who said he married Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley threatened to sue them -- saying their denial of the wedding was hurting his reputation. Jackson and Presley eventually 'fessed up.

Also in 1994, funkster Rick James began serving a prison sentence following his conviction in the assaults of two women.

And in 1994, the all-astronaut rock band Max Q performed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Houston to mark the 25th anniversary of the moon landing.

In 1995, the HBO special "Barbra Streisand: The Concert" picked up 12 Emmy nominations.

In 1996, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil was arrested at a North Carolina hotel when he got into an altercation with some drunken hotel guests.

In 2000, the North American leg of Carlos Santana's world concert tour opened in West Palm Beach, Fla. The 22-city tour was already completely sold out.

Topping the charts on this date:

Hard Headed Woman - Elvis Presley (1958), Hanky Panky - Tommy James and The Shondells (1966), Rock Your Baby - George McCrae (1974), Don't You Want Me - The Human League (1982).

Today's musical quiz:

The Santana Blues Band played Woodstock in 1969, even though it didn't have a record deal. The band's later appearance on what TV show landed them a contract with Columbia Records? Answer: "The Ed Sullivan Show."


(July 21)

Today's musical birthdays include producer Kim Fowley in 1942 (age 60); Herman's Hermits drummer Barry Whitham in 1946 (age 56); Cat Stevens, who now goes by the name Yusef Islam, in 1948 (age 54); Raydio's Larry Tolbert and rock/R&B singer Billy Ocean, both in 1950 (both age 52); and Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin in 1961 (age 41).

Today in music history:

In 1955, the popular Roy Rogers Show ended its 11-year run on radio.

In 1959, Bobby Vee and The Shadows released its first single, "Suzy Baby."

In 1973, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" became Jim Croce's first U.S. No.1 single.

In 1977, Linda Ronstadt joined the Rolling Stones on stage in Tucson, Ariz., where they dueted on "Tumbling Dice," a 1972 hit for the Stones.

In 1980, Grateful Dead pianist Keith Godchaux was mortally injured in an auto accident in Marin Co., Calif. He died two days later.

In 1989, Weird Al Yankovic made his movie debut in "UHF."

In 1990, a concert by the Moody Blues closed the Goodwill Games in Seattle.

In 1992, John Mellencamp's longtime bassist Toby Myers lost part of a toe in a boating accident in Saratoga, N.Y.

In 1993, En Vogue, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and Aerosmith led the nominees for the MTV Video Music Awards.

Also in 1993, 200 angry women walked out of a Houston meeting of black journalists after Geto Boys rapper Bushwick Bill insulted them by using crude street terms for women during a speech.

In 1995, the British rock group Elastica replaced Sinead O'Connor in the line-up of Lollapalooza '95.

Also in 1995, Bad Brains lead singer H.R. -- a.k.a. Paul Hudson -- was arrested in Lawrence, Kan., after whacking two fans on the head with a microphone stand.

In 1997, Whitney Houston was treated for a cut on her face on the Italian island of Capri. She said she cut herself on a rock while swimming, but local police investigated the incident amid allegations that Houston was injured when her husband, Bobby Brown, slapped her.

In 1998, reporters were given a preview tour of Paul McCartney's boyhood home in Liverpool, England. It had been restored to its 1950s condition by Britain's National Trust.

Topping the charts on this date:

Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley (1957), Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce (1973), Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes (1981).

Today's musical quiz:

What is Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam's real name? Answer: Islam was born Stephen Demetri Georgiou in London.


(July 22)

Today's musical birthdays include R&B singer Keith Sweat, who was born in 1931 (age 71); Chuck Jackson of the Del Vikings in 1937 (age 65); George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic is somewhere in his late 50s or 61, depending on if he was born in 1940, '41 or '44; Supertramp's Rick Davies was born in 1944 (age 58); actor/singer Bobby Sherman in 1945 (age 57); Estelle Bennett of the Ronettes in 1946 (age 56); drummer Don Henley, lately of the Eagles again, in 1947 (age 55); and film score composer Alan Menken in 1949 (age 53).

Today in music history:

In 1963, Chicago-based Vee Jay Records released "Introducing the Beatles." The album was virtually ignored by U.S. record buyers.

In 1969, Aretha Franklin was arrested for causing a disturbance in a Detroit parking lot. After paying a $50 fine, the singer apparently ran over a road sign on her way back to the street.

In 1972, Paul and Linda McCartney were arrested on drug possession charges in Sweden.

In 1977, Elvis Costello's album debut -- "My Aim Is True," on the independent label Stiff Records -- was released.

Also in 1977, during a concert with Dawn, Tony Orlando announced his retirement from performing. He didn't.

In 1979, Little Richard announced he was giving up music to be a full-time minister. He didn't, either -- at least not for long.

In 1984, Loretta Lynn's son, Jack Benny Lynn, drowned in a swimming pool near Waverly, Tenn. He was 34.

In 1986, David Crosby was paroled from a Texas prison, where he'd done time after being convicted on cocaine and weapons possession charges.

In 1987, Michael Jackson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" was released. It was the first single from the "Bad" album.

In 1992, the estate of blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the pilot, charter company and makers of the helicopter that crashed Aug. 27, 1990, into a fog-shrouded hill in southeastern Wisconsin, killing Vaughan and four others.

In 1994, a planned acoustical concert by Toad the Wet Sprocket at a Schaumburg, Ill., appliance store was canceled by village officials, who said the store hadn't gotten the proper permits.

In 1995, David Clayton-Thomas of Blood Sweat and Tears sparked outrage at an outdoor concert in West Bloomfield, Mich., when he remarked that the air was "as hot as the last train car going to Auschwitz." West Bloomfield has a large Jewish population. Clayton-Thomas later apologized in a newspaper interview.

In 1997, Jamiroquai topped the list of 1997 MTV Video Music Award nominees -- capturing 10 nominations. Beck received seven nominations; and Nine Inch Nails, five.

Topping the charts on this date:

The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant (1956), Rag Doll - The 4 Seasons (1964), Lean on Me - Bill Withers (1972), It's Still Rock and Roll to Me - Billy Joel (1980).

Today's musical quiz:

After actor/singer Bobby Sherman set female hearts aflutter on TV's "Shindig" and "Here Come the Brides," he changed careers. To what? Answer: Sherman is now a certified Emergency Medical Technician and founder of the paramedics group TAC-5.


(July 23)

Today's musical birthdays include Cleveland Duncan, lead vocalist on the Penguins' 1955 hit "Earth Angel," who was born in 1935 (age 67); Madeline Bell in 1942 (age 60); Rascals drummer Dino Danelli in 1945 (age 57); Andy MacKay of Roxy Music in 1946 (age 56); David Essex in 1947 (age 55); guitarist Blair Thornton of Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1950 (age 52); Depeche Mode's Martin Gere in 1961 (age 41); and Tim Kellett of Simply Red in 1964 (age 38).

Today in music history:

In 1938, bandleader Artie Shaw first recorded the still popular "Begin the Beguine."

In 1955, Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" was released on the Chess label.

In 1966, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson reopened Liverpool's Cavern Club.

In 1969, it was James Brown Day in Los Angeles -- as proclaimed by the mayor.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and the band's manager, Peter Grant, were charged with assault following a backstage fracas at the Oakland Coliseum in California.

In 1980, Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux died from injuries suffered in a car accident two days earlier. He was 32.

In 1987, the surviving Beatles sued EMI-Capitol Records for $40 million, accusing the label of cheating on CD royalties. The lawsuit also asked for the master recordings back.

In 1990, an expert told a Reno, Nevada, courtroom that two teenage boys did not commit suicide because of alleged subliminal messages on a Judas Priest album. The teens' parents would lose their lawsuit against the band.

In 1991, U.S. Post Office officials said they were considering issuing an Elvis Presley stamp, maybe in 1993.

Also in 1991, lawyers representing two Kansas teenage boys said music by the rap group Geto Boys inspired the teens to shoot and kill a man. The president of the group's label, Rap-A-Lot Records, called the claim "nonsense."

In 1993, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince launched a European concert tour -- supposed the last with his band, the New Power Generation.

In 1998, Aerosmith announced the postponement of the first 13 dates of its upcoming tour to give drummer Joey Kramer more time to recover from the burns he'd suffered in a freak gas station fire one week earlier.

Also in 1998, SoundScan reported the Beastie Boys' fifth album "Hello Nasty" had become the biggest first-week seller of the year. The CD topped both the Billboard Top 200 and the Top Rap Album charts.

And in 1998, rapper Queen Latifah joined the all-female Lilith Fair Tour for five shows.

And in 1998, "The Big Rewind Tour" -- starring a reunited Culture Club, Human League and Howard Jones -- opened in Atlanta.

In 1999, Phil Collins, 48, married Orianne Cevey, 27, in a private ceremony in Switzerland. It was his third marriage.

Topping the charts on this date:

Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets (1955), Surf City - Jan and Dean (1963), It's Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King (1971), Bad Girls - Donna Summer (1979).

Today's musical quiz:

David Essex played what religious figure on the London stage in the 1970s? Answer: Essex portrayed Jesus in the London production of "Godspell."


(July 25)

Today's musical birthdays include Grammy-winning jazz musician and composer Don Ellis in 1934 (age 68) ; (Nazareth's Manny Charlton, who was born in 1941 (age 61); Bruce Woodley of the Seekers in 1942 (age 60); drummer Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds and, later, Renaissance, in 1943 (age 59); Cyrkle's Tom Dawes in 1944 (age 58); the late Steve Goodman was born in 1948; Mark Clarke of Uriah Heep and, later, Rainbow, in 1950 (age 52); and Earth Wind and Fire bassist Verdine White in 1951 (age 51).

Today in music history:

In 1960, Elvis Presley began filming "Flaming Star," the first movie in which he played a dramatic role and did not sing.

In 1965, Bob Dylan went "electric" and was booed from the stage of the Newport (R.I.) Folk Festival.

In 1969, Neil Young joined Crosby Stills and Nash onstage for the first time at the Fillmore East in New York.

In 1970, "(They Long to Be) Close To You" by the Carpenters became the brother-and-sister duo's first No.1 single.

In 1978, former Sex Pistol John Lyndon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, announced the formation of Public Image Ltd.

In 1984, blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton died from a heart attack in Los Angeles. She was 57.

In 1990, Dion challenged the request for a blood test in a paternity suit filed against him in a West Palm Beach, Fla., court.

Also in 1990, the Moody Blues launched a 40-city concert tour in Atlanta.

And in 1990, the father of New Kid on the Block Danny Wood reported someone fired a shot into his Boston home. No one was hurt.

In 1993, Michael Bolton's team beat Michael Jordan's team, 7-1, in a celebrity softball game in Chicago.

Also in 1993, Willie Nelson announced he'd donate money from his next three concerts to Midwest flood relief.

In 1994, Paul McCartney announced he was boycotting Gillette because the company tests its products on animals.

Also in 1994, the International Astronomical Union said it had named an asteroid after the late Frank Zappa. The space rock was dubbed "Zappafrank."

In 1995, the Michael and Janet Jackson video duet "Scream" captured 11 nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards.

Also in 1995, Motown star Martha Reeves marched with striking employees of the Detroit News and Free Press.

And in 1995, country singer Charlie Rich died in his sleep in a Hammond, La., motel. The cause of death: a bloodclot in a lung. He was 62.

In 1997, "Elvis Presley's Memphis," the first restaurant to bear "The King's" name, opened for business at 126 Beale Street in Memphis.

In 1999, Woodstock '99 -- held at the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, N.Y. -- ended in a near riot involving or witnessed by as many as 10,000 people, Many injuries were reported. The site was trashed.

Topping the charts on this date:

Tossin' and Turnin' -- Bobby Lewis (1961), In the Year 2525 -- Zager and Evans (1969), Looks Like We Made It -- Barry Manilow (1977), A View to a Kill" -- Duran Duran (1985).

Today's musical quiz:

Who wrote the Cyrkle's big hit "Red Rubber Ball"? Answer: Paul Simon.


(July 26)

Today's musical birthdays include bandleader Erskine Hawkins, born in 1914, Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger, who was born in 1943 (age 59); drummer Roger Taylor of Queen in 1949 (age 53); and keyboardist Duncan Mackay in 1950 (age 52). 1941 - Bobby Hebb (Grammy Award-winning songwriter: A Natural Man [1971]; singer: Sunny; Grand Ole Opry at age 12)

1943 - Dobie Gray (Leonard Ainsworth) (singer: Drift Away, Look at Me, Loving Arms, You Can Do It; singer, songwriter: The 'In' Crowd

Today in music history:

In 1942, Gene Autry was sworn into the Army Air Corps on the air during his regular radio show "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch." He served as an officer until 1945 when he resumed his show business career. While he was gone another singing cowboy showed up -- a fella known as Roy Rogers.

In 1965, British pop singer Cilla Black made her live U.S. debut at the Persian Room of New York's Plaza Hotel.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin's U.S. tour came to an abrupt halt when Robert Plant was told that his six-year-old son, Karac, had died from complications of a viral infection.

In 1984, "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson" became the first TV network show to broadcast in stereo.

In 1986, Peter Gabriel's song "Sledgehammer" became his first solo No.1 single.

Also in 1986, Ella Fitzgerald was hospitalized for congestive heart failure in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

In 1987, Billy Joel became the first U.S. pop star to launch a concert tour of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland was found dead from a drug overdose at his home in Lafayette, Calif. He was 37.

In 1992, Motown singer/songwriter Mary Wells died of throat cancer in Los Angeles. She was 49.

In 1993, on his 50th birthday, Mick Jagger announced that he's not so aggressive anymore.

In 1994, a new blues-oriented record label was launched by the founder of the House of Blues nightclub chain.

In 1995, Elton John and Sting sang a few bars of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" at London's Hard Rock Cafe to kick off the sales of T-shirts to raise money for AIDS care.

In 1996, James Brown performed at the House of Blues in Atlanta, but outside the club because he didn't feel comfortable singing tunes like "Sex Machine" inside the former church building.

In 1998, David-Allen "Chico" Ryan, bassist and singer with the mock '50s group Sha Na Na, died at age 50.

In 2000, a federal judge in San Francisco ordered Napster to stop allowing its millions of users to download copyrighted music for free through its Internet site. However, a stay halting the injunction allowed Napster to continue providing its popular music-sharing service for the time being while the company appealed the court order.

Topping the charts on this date:

I'm Sorry -- Brenda Lee (1960), Please Help Me, I'm Falling -- Hank Locklin (1958), Kiss And Say Goodbye -- Manhattans (1976), When Doves Cry -- Prince (1984).

Today's musical quiz:

What was pop singer Cilla Black's real name? Answer: Priscilla WHITE.

Topics: Alan Menken, Aretha Franklin, Artie Shaw, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bobby Brown, Brenda Lee, Carlos Santana, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Charlie Rich, Chris Cornell, Columbia Records, Connie Francis, Danny Wood, David Bowie, David Crosby, Donna Summer, Ed Sullivan, Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, Erskine Hawkins, Estelle Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Gene Autry, George Clinton, Howard Jones, Jack Benny, James Brown, Janet Jackson, Jim Croce, Jim Martin, John Mellencamp, Johnny Carson, Johnny Rotten, Kim Carnes, Leroy Brown, Lisa Marie Presley, Little Richard, Mary Wells, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Patsy Cline, Paul Cook, Paul Simon, Peter Grant, Phil Collins, Queen Latifah, Rick James, Robert Plant, Roger Waters, Roy Rogers, Sinead O'Connor, Steve Goodman, Steve Lawrence, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy James, Tony Orlando, Uriah Heep, Weird Al Yankovic, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, Yusef Islam
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