Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Aug. 11, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(Aug. 11)

Today's musical birthdays include Mike Hugg of Manfred Mann, who was born in 1942 (age 60); Guess Who's Michael James Kale and Dave Clark 5's Denis Payton both in 1943 (age 59); John Conlee in 1946 (age 56); Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1947 (age 55); Eric Carmen, formerly of the Raspberries, in 1949 (age 53); Iron Butterfly guitarist Erik Braunn in 1950 (age 52); Joe Jackson in 1955 (age 47); Richie Ramone (real name: Richie Beau) of the Ramones in 1957 (age 45); and Glass Tiger's Alan Frew in 1959 (age 43).

Today in music history:

Back in 1877, Thomas Edison presented details of the first phonograph.

In 1956, Elvis Presley's single "Don't Be Cruel" was released.

In 1962, the Beach Boys' first hit single, "Surfin' Safari," was released.

In 1966, at a news conference in Chicago, John Lennon apologized for saying -- during a March interview in London -- that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

In 1968, the Beatles formed their own label, Apple Records.

In 1969, Diana Ross invited 350 guests to a trendy Beverly Hills, Calif., nightclub to see the Jackson Five -- newly signed with Motown Records.

In 1972, Elvis and Priscilla Presley filed for divorce after less than five years of marriage.

Also in 1972, this was "Cheech and Chong Day" in San Antonio, Texas -- as proclaimed by the mayor.

In 1973, guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell left Wings, the group led by Paul McCartney.

In 1984, blues songwriter Percy Mayfield -- who wrote "Hit the Road Jack" -- died at age 63.

In 1985, a British racing yacht -- with Duran Duran's Simon LeBon as part of the crew -- capsized four miles off the coast of England during a race. LeBon and the others escaped without serious injury.

In 1986, 18-year-old Lisa Marie Presley -- in her first interview -- denied tabloid reports that she was estranged from her mother, Priscilla, and that she'd been victimized by her church, the Church of Scientology.

In 1993, jury selection began in Los Angeles in the trial of Rick James. The musician was charged with torturing a woman he thought stole cocaine from him.

Also in 1993, author Salman Rushdie -- still under a death threat -- made a surprise appearance onstage at a U2 concert in London.

In 1995, REM performed in concert in Prague, Czech Republic. The show had been canceled twice -- once by drummer Bill Berry's brain surgery and again by bassist Mike Mill's abdominal surgery. Following the concert, frontman Michael Stipe flew to Atlanta to undergo a hernia operation.

In 1996, Mel Taylor -- drummer for the Ventures -- died of cancer. He was 72.

In 1998, the Rolling Stones made its concert debut in Moscow, 31 years after Soviet officials turned down a request for the Stones to play in Moscow because the band was too "decadent."

Also in 1998, Sunrise, Fla., declared this day "Smashing Pumpkins Day."

In 1999, the California state Supreme Court rejected a request by Death Row Records CEO Marion "Suge" Knight for an early release from prison. Knight had been sentenced to nine years for violating his probation in an assault case.

Topping the charts on this date:

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini - Brian Hyland (1960), Hello, I Love You - The Doors (1968), Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee (1976), Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr. (1984).

Today's musical quiz:

The song "Hungry Eyes," from the 1988 film "Dirty Dancing," was performed by what artist? Answer: Eric Carmen.

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