Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  July 28, 2002 at 3:10 AM
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July 28

Today's musical birthdays include crooner Rudy Vallee in 1901;, conductor Carmen Dragon in 1914;, musician Frankie Yankovich in 1915; Dr. Hook's lead guitarist George Cummings, who was born in 1938 (age 64; the late Mike Bloomfield in 1944; Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright in 1945 (age 57; Jonathan Edwards in 1946 (age 56; the late Steven Took of T. Rex was born in 1949; Peter Doyle of the New Seekers and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, both also in 1949 (age 53; and Rachel Sweet in 1962 (age 30.)

Today in music history:

In 1954, Elvis Presley gave his first interview. Reporters were hard-pressed to get the 19-year-old former truck driver to say much more than "yes" or "no."

In 1956, Gene Vincent made his national TV debut on "The Perry Como Show."

On this date in 1956 Elvis Presley scored his second No. 1 hit with "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." In April, he had topped the charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel."

In 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis made his TV debut on "The Steve Allen Show."

In 1970, Jimi Hendrix played his final gig in his hometown of Seattle.

In 1973, an estimated 600,000 fans gathered for "Summer Jam" at the Watkins Glen, N.Y., racetrack to hear the Grateful Dead, The Band, and the Allman Bros. Band--among others.

In 1976, Steve Miller's album "Fly Like An Eagle" was certified "gold."

In 1980, the Police and Squeeze headlined the Dalmount Festival in Dublin, Ireland. Further down on the bill--a local band known as U2.

In 1986, Keith Richards' girlfriend, Patti Hansen, gave birth to a girl they named Alexandra. She was the couple's second daughter.

In 1987, the Beatles--through Apple Corps Ltd. and Apple Records--sued Nike and EMI-Capitol for using "Revolution" in a TV commercial for athletic shoes.

In 1992, at the request of Ice T, Warner Brothers Records said it was pulling the song "Cop Killer" from the rapper's "Body Count" album. The action followed controversy and criticism that the tune promoted violence against police officers.

In 1993, John Mellencamp kicked off a series of three concerts in Chicago to raise money for the victims of Midwest flooding.

In 1994, the ceremonial top beam was hoisted into place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, under construction in Cleveland.

Also in 1994, Sun Records announced it was getting back into the contemporary music business by releasing traditional country music.

In 1995, the Los Angeles Times reported that a Michael Jackson music video had to be digitally corrected because a shot of the pop star floating naked in the water showed too much of his anatomy.

In 1998, rocker Patti Smith began a rare U.S. concert tour in New York. Other dates included San Francisco and Hollywood.

In 1999, a Los Angeles judge ordered rapper ODB (real name: Russell Jones) to stand trial under a new law that made it illegal for convicted felons to wear bullet-proof vests. ODB was allegedly wearing one when stopped by LA police earlier in the year.

Also in 1999, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder joined The Who's co-founder Pete Townshend on stage at a New York nightclub.

And in 1999, legendary South African singer Simon Nkabinde--who had popularized Zulu music around the world in the 1970s under his middle name, Mahlathini--died at age 61. He had suffered from diabetes for many years.

In 2000, a federal appeals court issued a stay halting an injunction that required Napster to shut down its controversial Web site. The three-judge panel in San Francisco ruled Napster can continue providing its popular music-sharing service while the company formally appeals an injunction requested by the recording industry.

Also in 2000, Rage Against the Machine and the Beastie Boys canceled their first tour together. The "Rhyme and Reason" tour had been slated to begin in August but Beasties drummer Mike D. needed time to recover from a dislocated shoulder--sustained when he hit a pothole while riding his bicycle in New York City.

And in 2000, Counting Crows and Live launched a co-headlining North American summer tour in Kansas City, Mo.

Topping the charts on this date:

Patricia - Perez Prado (1958), Hanky Panky - Tommy James and The Shondells (1966), Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (1982).

Today's musical quiz:

Bob Dylan's song "Like A Rolling Stone" featured what musician on electric guitar? Answer: Mike Bloomfield.

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