Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   July 25, 2002 at 5:36 AM
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(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.

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