Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Aug. 2, 2002 at 3:20 AM
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(Aug. 3)

Today's musical birthdays include Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires, who was born in 1924 (age 78); Tony Bennett in 1926 (age 76); Beverly Lee of the Shirelles in 1941 (age 61); War bassist B.B. Dickerson in 1949 (age 53); and Metallica's James Hetfield in 1963 (age 39).

Today in music history:

In 1963, the Beatles played the band's last gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. That same day, "From Me To You" became the first Beatles single to appear on the U.S. music charts, debuting at No.125.

Also in 1963, comedian Allan Sherman released the novelty tune "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh."

In 1971, Paul McCartney unveiled his new band--Wings--featuring his wife, Linda, and former Moody Blue Denny Laine.

In 1974, guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and drummer Jim Hodder quit Steely Dan. Baxter went on to join the Doobie Brothers.

Also in 1974, Anne Murray headlined a concert at The Schaefer Festival in New York. The show was opened by Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

In 1986, Deniece Williams married her producer, Brad Westering.

In 1989, the Osmonds were sued over a bank loan taken out in 1980.

In 1991, rock singer and bow-and-arrow hunter Ted Nugent was confronted by angry animal rights activists at a hunting show in Houston.

In 1992, a Texas law enforcement group called a cease-fire in the battle against Time-Warner and Ice-T's song "Cop Killer."

In 1995, members of the rock band Hole walked off the stage at the Lollapalooza show in Pittsburgh when someone threw shotgun shells on stage. The shells were an apparent reference to the 1994 shotgun suicide of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, whose widow, Courtney Love, fronted Hole.

In 1999, the B.B. King Blues Festival '99 kicked off in Salt Lake City.

Topping the charts on this date:

I'm Sorry - Brenda Lee (1960), Hello, I Love You - The Doors (1968), Kiss and Say Goodbye - Manhattans (1978), When Doves Cry -- Prince (1984).

Today's musical quiz:

Who gave Tony Bennett--who was born Antonio Benedetto--his stage name? Answer: Bob Hope. In 1950, backstage at the Paramount Theatre in New York, Hope told the young singer, "You can't be a big star with a name like Benedetto. It'll never fit on the marquee."


(Aug. 4)

Today's musical birthdays include entertainer Louie Armstrong, who was born in 1901; composer William Schuman in 1910; Frankie Ford in 1940 (age 62); Fortunes keyboardist David Carr in 1943 (age 59); the late Maureen Cox Starkey, Ringo Starr's first wife, in 1946; and Paul Layton of the New Seekers in 1947 (age 55).

Today in music history:

In 1927, Jimmie "The Singing Brakeman" Rodgers held his first recording session in Bristol, Tenn.

In 1942, the film "Holiday Inn" was released on this date and Bing Crosby introduced America to "White Chrismas."

In 1956, Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" was released

In 1957, the Everly Brothers introduced "Wake Up, Little Susie" on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1958, Billboard first published its Hot 100 singles chart. The first No. 1 song was "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson,

In 1968, the two-day Newport Pop Festival opened in Costa Mesa, Calif. It featured the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, the Byrds, Animals Steppenwolf, Chambers Brothers, and Country Joe and the Fish.

In 1970, Jim Morrison was arrested and charged with public drunkenness in Los Angeles. He'd fallen asleep on a woman's porch.

In 1975, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, his wife and two children were injured in a car accident in Greece.

In 1979, a galaxy of stars -- including Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Michael McDonald and Nicolette Larson -- played at a Los Angeles benefit concert to raise money for the widow of Lowell George, the inspiration behind the group Little Feat. George had died of a heart attack linked to a drug overdose following a show in Washington, D.C., to promote his first solo album "Thanks, I'll Eat It Here." Little Feat had split up earlier in the year.

In 1980, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began recording "Double Fantasy."

Also in 1980, Pink Floyd presented "The Wall" on stage for the first time.

In 1984, Phil Collins married Jill Tavelman. Collins, Eric Clapton and Robert Plant performed at the wedding reception.

In 1986, country singer Merle Haggard stood up 10,000 Clark County, Wash., Fair fans. Fair officials said he'd had a fight with his wife, but a spokesman for Haggard said the singer had the flu.

In 1987, country singer Kenny Price -- who played Elrod the sheriff on TV's "Hee Haw" -- died of a heart attack at age 56.

Also in 1987, Dolly Parton announced she'd lost 50 pounds.

In 1990, Janet Jackson collapsed backstage in St. Louis after three songs. She was treated for exhaustion at a local hospital.

Also in 1990, $250,000 worth of souvenir programs were stolen from a New Kids On The Block concert in Montreal.

In 1992, the legendary Harlem Apollo Theater "Amateur Night" emcee Ralph Cooper died. He was in his late 80s. Cooper launched careers ranging from Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson and New Kids on the Block.

In 1993, Bell Biv DeVoe cancelled its entire summer tour.

In 1994, the Rolling Stones turned down an invitation to tour the White House, although some of the group's entourage showed up.

In 1995, the H.O.R.D.E Tour -- starring the Black Crowes, Ziggy Marley and Blues Traveler -- began in Noblesville, Ind.

In 1996, more than a dozen people were injured in a stampede during a concert by the R&B group Immature at the Wisconsin State Fair.

In 1998, George Strait led with five nominations for the 32nd annual Country Music Association Awards.

Also in 1998, 10,000 Maniacs performed a USO concert for U.S. Marines stationed in the Virgin Islands.

And in 1998, Squirrel Nut Zippers released its "Perennial Favorites" CD, the follow-up to the band's "Hot" album.

Topping the charts on this date:

Lonely Boy - Paul Anka (1959), Light My Fire - The Doors (1967), One of These Nights -- Eagles (1975), Every Breath You Take - The Police (1983).

Today's musical quiz:

Louie Armstrong was known as "Satchmo." What's that short for? Answer: "Satchelmouth."


(Aug. 5)

Today's musical birthdays include guitarist Les Paul, who was born in 1915 (age 87); Dave Clark 5 bassist Rick Huxley in 1942 (age 60); country's Sammi Smith in 1943 (age 59); composer Jimmy Webb ("Up, Up and Away") in 1946 (age 56), Rick Derringer and Greg Leskiw, formerly with The Guess Who, both in 1947 (age 55); Sammantha Sang in 1953 (age 49); and Pete Burns of Dead or Alive in 1959 (age 43).

Today in music history:

In 1957, Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" went national live from Philadelphia. It'd previously been a local show.

In 1967, Pink Floyd's debut album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" was released. Most of the songs were written by Syd Barrett.

Also in 1967, Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe" was released.

In 1972, Aerosmith was signed by Clive Davis of Columbia Records after he saw the band perform in a New York City club.

In 1974, Kim Fowley formed the all-girl group the Runaways. It included Joan Jett.

In 1981, Olivia Newton-John was honored with a gold star on Hollywood Boulevard.

In 1983, David Crosby was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of cocaine and illegal weapons possession charges in Dallas. He'd slept through most of the trial. Crosby was paroled in 1986.

In 1984, Bruce Springsteen launched the first of 10 nights of concerts at the Meadowlands.

In 1987, Hard Rock Cafe officials paid $37,000 at a London auction for a two-hour 1968 interview with John Lennon.

In 1992, Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro died from a heart attack at age 38. Initially, it was believed the heart attack had been brought on by a reaction to pesticides Porcaro was using in his backyard in Hidden Hills, Calif.

Also in 1992, Michael Jackson collapsed three times during a concert in Cardiff, Wales.

In 1993, Poison cancelled its entire summer tour.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and his new wife, Lisa Marie Presley, arrived in Budapest, Hungary, for a music video shoot. The couple also visited local children's hospitals.

In 1996, Bruce Springsteen sued two alleged bootleggers in London who were planning to release a bootleg album of his songs titled "Unearthed."

Also in 1996, police and "Phish-heads" -- fans of the rock group Phish -- clashed after ticketless fans were turned away from a Phish concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver.

And in 1996, an Edgartown, Mass., couple submitted the winning bid of $13,000 to sail around Martha's Vineyard with James Taylor.

In 1997, Dick Clark returned to Philadelphia to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first nationwide broadcast of "American Bandstand."

In 1998, a Tucson, Ariz., man was sentenced to 10 months in prison for the attempted stalking of Linda Ronstadt.

Topping the charts on this date:

Poor Little Fool - Ricky Nelson (1958), Wild Thing - The Troggs (1966), Annie's Song - John Denver (1974), Eye of the Tiger -- Survivor (1982).

Today's musical quiz:

Can you name the first record played on this date on "American Bandstand"? Answer: "That'll Be the Day," by Buddy Holly.


(Aug. 6)

Today's musical birthdays include Pat McDonald of Timbuk 3, who was born in 1952 (age 50); Randy DeBarge of DeBarge in 1958 (age 44); and singer Geri Halliwell, formerly known as Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls, in 1962 (age 40).

Today in music history:

In 1960, Chubby Checker performed "The Twist" on U.S. television for the first time, on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand."

In 1964, Loretta Lynn gave birth to twin girls she named Patsy and Peggy.

In 1971, Procol Harum played a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in Edmonton, Canada. Portions of the concert -- which was recorded -- became the 1972 album "Procol Harum In Concert With the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra." The album included the single "Conquistador."

In 1973, Stevie Wonder was seriously injured in a car-truck accident in North Carolina. He was hospitalized in a coma.

In 1977, at the Mont du Marsan Punk Festival, the Police played for the last time as a quartet.

In 1981, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame released her first solo album "Bella Donna." It included two top-10 singles that were both duets. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" teamed Nicks with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, while "Leather and Lace" featured her with Don Henley of the Eagles.

In 1982, the film version of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" -- starring Irish rocker Bob Geldof -- opened in New York City.

In 1985, Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA" tour kicked off its last leg in Washington, D.C.

In 1986, New York musician Michael Rudetski died from a drug overdose at Boy George's London home. He was 27.

In 1987, the Beastie Boys sued the city of Jacksonville, Fla., claiming an ordinance aimed specifically at them violated their constitutional rights.

Also in 1987, Madonna's film "Who's That Girl?" premiered in New York.

In 1990, it was announced that Michael Jackson would do his first television commercials in almost four years -- for LA Gear.

In 1992, Ella Fitzgerald cited ill health for canceling her appearance at Ravinia Fest, in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill.

In 1998, Deep Purple kicked off a North American tour in New Jersey in support of the band's latest CD "Abandon."

Also in 1998, Ted Nugent began a 15-city tour at Hollywood's House of Blues in support of his new album.

Topping the charts on this date:

Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley (1957), (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones (1965), The Morning After - Maureen McGovern (1973), Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield (1981).

Today's musical quiz:

Has Bruce Springsteen ever won an Oscar? Answer: Yes. In 1994, Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Song for his tune "Streets of Philadelphia," from the Tom Hanks movie "Philadelphia."


(Aug. 7)

Today's musical birthdays include Stan Freberg, who was born in 1926 (age 76); country songwriter Felice Bryant in 1927 (age 75); B.J. Thomas in 1942 (age 60); Free's Andy Fraser in 1952 (age 50); Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson in 1958 (age 44); and Jacqui O'Sullivan of Bananarama in 1960 (age 42).

Today in music history:

In 1954, 22-year-old Johnny Cash -- newly discharged from the Air Force -- married Vivian Liberto in San Antonio, Texas.

In 1960, Ike and Tina Turner made their debut on the national singles charts with "A Fool in Love."

In 1963, the original beach movie -- "Beach Party," starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello -- opened nationwide.

In 1965, Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five broke two ribs when he was pulled off-stage by fans in Chicago.

In 1970, Christine McVie -- then married to Fleetwood Mac's John McVie -- joined the band.

In 1971, the BeeGees topped the U.S. singles charts for the first time with "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?"

Also in 1971, Homer Haynes of the country duo Homer and Jethro died.

In 1974, Peter Wolf, then with the J.Geils Band, married actress Faye Dunaway in Beverly Hills, Calif. They were divorced five years later.

In 1984, blues/jazz vocalist Esther Phillips died at age 48.

In 1985, Mick Jagger's girlfriend, model Jerry Hall, gave birth to a boy they named James Leroy Jagger.

In 1986, a Los Angeles judge threw out lawsuit filed against rocker Ozzy Osbourne by the father of suicide victim John McCollum. The elder McCollum contended the "satanic influence" in Osbourne's music drove his 19-year-old son to kill himself after five hours of listening. The teen was found with the headphones still on his head. The judge said Osbourne's music "maybe totally objectionable and repulsive" to many, but it was still protected by the First Amendment.

In 1987, the Grateful Dead had the band's first top-10 album, "In the Dark," in 22 years. "Touch of Grey" became the group's first Top-40 single.

In 1991, Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose was charged with assault and property damage in the July 2 riot that erupted when the band walked off the stage in suburban St. Louis. The melee had begun when Rose allegedly attacked a fan who'd been taking his picture during the concert.

Also in 1991, Willie Nelson sold his Colorado ranch for $803,000 to help pay off the back taxes he owed the IRS.

In 1999, 17 people were arrested after hundreds rioted outside the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford, Conn., following a Dave Matthews Band concert.

Topping the charts on this date:

My Prayer - The Platters (1956), A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles (1964), Alone Again

(Naturally) -- Gilbert O'Sullivan (1972), Magic -- Olivia Newton-John (1980).

Today's musical quiz:

On tour in Britain in 1969, who was the opening act for the Rolling Stones? Answer: The Ike and Tina Turner Revue.


(Aug. 8)

Today's musical birthdays include country singer Webb Pierce, 1926 (age 76), country singer Mel Tillis, who was born in 1932 (age 70); Connie Stevens in 1938 (age 64); Statler Brothers' Philip Balsley in 1939 (age 63); Madness guitarist Chris Foreman in 1958 (age 44); Ricki Rocket of Poison in 1959 (age 43); and U2's Dave "The Edge" Evans in 1961 (age 41).

Today in music history:

In 1957, Fats Domino's first album -- "This Is Fats" -- was released.

In 1965, the Animals' "House Of The Rising Sun" was released.

In 1966, Beatles records were banned in South Africa following John Lennon's famous remark about the group being more popular than Jesus Christ.

Also in 1966, the Beatles' "Revolver" album was released.

In 1975, country's Hank Williams, Jr., had a near-fatal fall while mountain climbing in Montana.

In 1980, Wendy O. Williams' group the Plasmatics was banned by the London Council, whose members objected to the band's violent show, which included blowing up a car onstage.

In 1981, MTV broadcast its first live concert in stereo -- a show by REO Speedwagon from Denver.

In 1982, Jefferson Starship lead singer Mickey Thomas married Sara Kendrick.

In 1986, David Crosby was released from a Texas prison after serving one-third of his five-year sentence on drug and weapon possession charges. He declared he was off drugs.

In 1990, Guns N' Roses Axl Rose claimed Los Angeles police were harassing him after they told him to turn down the music at his apartment.

In 1991, Carlos Santana pleaded no contest to marijuana possession charges, was placed on six months' probation, and ordered to perform a free anti-drug concert. The rocker had been arrested June 27 at the Houston airport.

In 1992, more than 10,000 fans went on a rampage and set fire inside the stadium when Guns N' Roses canceled its Montreal concert in mid-show. Eight more people were injured in a second riot.

Also in 1992, sales of Ice-T's "Body Count" album soared after he promised to recall the album and reissue it without the controversial "Cop Killer" track, which critics said advocated violence against police officers.

In 1994, George Michael appealed a British court ruling against him in his bid to break his recording contract with Sony.

In 1995, demolition of New York's Fillmore East rock palace began.

In 1996, Smashing Pumpkins announced the resumption of its tour interrupted by the July drug overdose death of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and the firing of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. The road trip resumed Aug. 27 in Las Vegas with Filter drummer Matt Walker and Frogs keyboardist Dennis Felmion sitting in.

In 1999, more violence following the Dave Matthews Band concert in Hartford, Conn. About two dozen people were arrested after the crowd pelted police with rocks and bottles.

Also in 1999, about 3,000 people, mostly teenage girls, packed the stands of the Kenosha, Wis., Little League field to watch 'N Sync play softball with a local men's team. 'N Sync won, 12-4.

Topping the charts on this date:

Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets (1955), So Much in Love - The Tymes (1963), How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - The Bee Gees (1971), Bad Girls - Donna Summer (1979).

Today's musical quiz:

Name the rocker who has the notoriety of being the first artist in Grammy history to say the "f" word during the live telecast. Answer: U2's Bono. The incident took place during the 1994 awards show.


(Aug. 9)

Today's musical birthdays include Merle Kilgore, who was born in 1934 (age 68); Billy Henderson of the Spinners in 1939 (age 63); Golden Earrings' Marinus Gerritsen in 1946 (age 56); Barbara Mason in 1947 (age 55); Benjamin Orr of the Cars in 1955 (age 47); rapper Kurtis Blow in 1959 (age 43); and Whitney Houston in 1963 (age 39).

Today in music history:

In 1963, "Ready Steady Go," the British TV show that gave early breaks to many top 1960s stars, made its debut.

In 1964, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez sang together for the first time, in Forest Hills, N.Y.

In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four others were killed by followers of Charles Manson in first of two nights of bizarre slayings in the Los Angeles area. Manson -- who was later convicted of murder -- claimed the Beatles spoke to him through secret messages in the lyrics of five songs on the "white album."

In 1973, rock journalist Lillian Roxon died from asthma. She was 41.

In 1978, Muddy Waters performed at a White House picnic hosted by President Carter.

In 1986, Boy George flew to the Caribbean island of Montserrat to escape the clamor over his drug use and to write songs with Lamont Dozier.

In 1991, pop/funk musician Rick James and his girlfriend pleaded innocent to charges they tortured and sexually assaulted a woman at James' Hollywood Hills home. The incident allegedly occurred in mid-July after James reportedly accused her of stealing his cocaine.

Also in 1991, country singer Tanya Tucker was shaken but unhurt when her tour bus inadvertently ended up in the middle of a police chase in Dallas.

In 1993, Pete Townshend threw a temper tantrum after technical difficulties forced him to scrap part of his concert in Massachusetts.

In 1994, Michael Jackson donated $200,000 to pay for a liver transplant for a four-year-old Hungarian boy in a Budapest hospital.

Also in 1994, Johnny Cash withdrew from Woodstock '94.

And in 1994, a New York judge ruled in favor of Andrew Lloyd Webber in a plagiarism lawsuit filed by U.S. composer Ray Repp.

In 1995, Grateful Dead co-founder and lead guitarist Jerry Garcia died from a heart attack at age 53. He was found dead in his bed at a drug treatment center in Marin County, Calif.

In 1996, it was reported that rapper Ice-T and a partner were developing a TV series titled "Players," about bad guys recruited by authorities to catch other bad guys.

In 1999, Tonic headlined festivities in Austin, Texas, honoring cyclist Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor who'd won that year's Tour de France. He also won it in 2000 and 2001.

Topping the charts on this date:

Roses Are Red - Bobby Vinton (1962), (They Long to Be) Close to You -- Carpenters (1970), Miss You - The Rolling Stones (1978), Glory of Love - Peter Cetera (1986).

Today's musical quiz:

In what movie did Whitney Houston make her acting debut? Answer: "The Bodyguard," opposite Kevin Costner.

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