Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Aug. 8, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(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.

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