Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  July 26, 2002 at 3:10 AM
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(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.

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