Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Aug. 23, 2002 at 3:20 AM
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(Aug. 24)

Today's birthdays include bassist David Freiberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship, and also guitarist Mason Williams, both born in 1938 (age 64); Joe Chambers of the Chambers Brothers in 1942 (age 60); John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1943 (age 59); Traffic drummer Jim Capaldi and the Sandpipers' Jim Brady in 1944 (58); Ken Hendley of Uriah Heep and Average White Band's Malcolm Duncan, both in 1945 (age 57); Mike DeRosier of Heart in 1951 (age 51); Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniel in 1955 (age 47); and Mark Bedford of Madness in 1961 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, "Little" Stevie Wonder became the first artist ever to hold the No.1 positions on the pop singles, pop albums and R&B singles charts simultaneously. The album was "The 12-year-old Genius"; and the single, "Fingertips, Part Two."

In 1968, Iron Butterfly's "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida" was released. In 1969, Arlo Guthrie's movie "Alice's Restaurant" opened.

In 1977, Waylon Jennings -- not long after being named honorary police chief in Nashville -- was arrested on cocaine charges.

In 1979, the Cars drew an estimated half-a-million people to a free show in New York's Central Park.

In 1981, John Lennon's confessed killer, Mark David Chapman, was sentenced to spend 20-years-to-life in a New York prison.

In 1983, Jerry Lee Lewis's fifth wife, Shawn Michelle Stephens Lewis, was found dead of a drug overdose at their home in Nesbit, Miss. The couple had been married only two-and-a-half months.

In 1984, Neil Young made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1988, Al Stewart released "Last Days of the Century," his first album in four years.

In 1990, Sinead O'Connor caused considerable controversy when she refused to allow the playing of the national anthem "The Star Spangled Banner" at a New Jersey concert.

In 1991, funkster Rick James was freed on bail after spending three weeks in the Los Angeles county jail in connection with the imprisonment and torture of a woman at his Hollywood Hills home. In 1993, Michael Jackson kicked off the Asian leg of his "Dangerous" tour in Bangkok, Thailand.

In 1994, Beach Boy Carl Wilson and his mother, Andree, sued Harper Collins, the publisher of Brian Wilson's 1991 book "Wouldn't It Be Nice." They said the book unfairly depicted them as drug users and alcoholics.

Also in 1994, Bob Dylan sued Apple Computers over software he said used his name without permission.

And in 1994, Geffen Records announced Nirvana was planning to release a double album -- the first since Kurt Cobain's suicide four months earlier. The album was to have included previously unreleased live performances recorded between 1989 and '94. However, the remaining band members later decided against releasing such an album for the time being.

And in 1994, Elton John's handwritten score for "The Lion King" brought $9,300 dollars at a Boston auction to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Also in 1994, Quaker Oats announced it had chosen Gladys Knight as its new spokeswoman for Aunt Jemima products.

In 1995, Sony Music said Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" was the first single to debut at No.1 on the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart. In 1996, Warner Bros. Records announced R.E.M. had re-signed with the label. The five-album deal was worth $80 million.

In 1998, Billy Joel filmed a cameo appearance for the NBC sitcom "Mad About You" on location in New York's Central Park. Also in 1998, a commemorative plaque was placed at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis to honor the site of what turned out to be Elvis Presley's final live concert, which took place on June 26, 1977.

Topping the charts on this date: Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and his Comets (1955), Fingertips - Part Two - Little Stevie Wonder (1963), How Do You Mend a Broken Heart - The Bee Gees (1971), Good Times - Chic (1979).

Today's musical quiz: Mason Williams' biggest hit was the 1968 instrumental "Classical Gas." But he also was known as a song/sketch/comedy writer for what TV variety shows? Answer: "The Smothers Brothers Hour" and "The Glenn Campbell Goodtime



(Aug. 25)

Today's birthdays include dancer Ruby Keeler in 1909, bandleader Bob Crosby in 1913, composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1918, Walter Williams of the O'Jays, who was born in 1942 (age 60); bassist Gene Simmons of KISS in 1949 (age 53); Rob Halford of Judas Priest in 1951 (age 51); Elvis Costello in 1954 (age 48); and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus in 1961 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, Brian Wilson made his first appearance on-stage with the Beach Boys in two years at a show in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 1970, Elton John played his first U.S. gig -- at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

Also in 1970, Emerson Lake and Palmer performed their first concert ever -- in Plymouth, England.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's music video "Thriller" aired on British TV for the first time.

In 1986, members of ZZ Top were proclaimed "Official Texas Heroes" by the Texas state House of Representatives.

In 1993, Michael Jackson postponed his second concert in Bangkok, Thailand, saying he was suffering from dehydration from his first performance. The pop star denied it had anything to do with the news that Los Angeles police were investigating allegations that he'd molested a teen-age boy he'd befriended.

Also in 1993, songwriter Janna Allen died of leukemia. She was 36.

In 1994, Jimmy Buffett suffered minor injuries when his seaplane crashed right after take-off from Nantucket, Mass.

Also in 1994, Pearl Jam announced that drummer Dave Abbruzzese had quit the band.

In 1995, Ringo Starr's 24-year-old daughter underwent emergency brain surgery in England. The ex-Beatle canceled the rest of his All-Starr Band's North American tour to be by his daughter's side.

Also in 1995, three nephews of Michael Jackson filed a wrongful death suit, saying their mother Delores Jackson, the ex-wife of Tito Jackson, had been drowned by her new boyfriend. Delores Jackson had died a year earlier in a swimming pool accident.

In 1998, Eddie Serrano -- formerly with the 1960s band Cannibal and the Headhunters -- died eight days after falling off his bicycle in Los Angeles. He'd suffered massive head injuries. Serrano was 51.

In 1999, Oasis founding member and bassist Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan quit the band. He was the second in as many weeks to leave Oasis. His departure followed that of guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs.

Also in 1999, Lenny Kravitz kicked off the North American leg of his "Freedom Tour" in Minneapolis. Also on the bill: Smashmouth and Buckcherry.

Topping the charts on this date: The Loco-Motion - Little Eva (1962), Make It with You - Bread (1970), Three Times A Lady - Commodores (1978), Papa Don't Preach - Madonna (1986).

Today's musical quiz: Where was KISS's Gene Simmons born? Answer: In Israel. The family name is Klein, but Gene took the last name Simmons from actress Jean Simmons.


(Aug. 26)

Today's musical birthdays include singer Georgia Gibbs in 1920, Fred Milano of Dion & the Belmonts, who was born in 1940 (age 62); former Searchers drummer Chris Curtis in 1941 (age 61); Valerie Simpson, one-half of the pop duo Ashford and Simpson, in 1948 (age 54); Robert Cowsill of the Cowsills in 1950 (age 52); guitarist John O'Neill of the Undertones in 1957 (age 45); Stranglers drummer Jet Black, whose real name is Brian Duffy, in 1958 (age 44); and jazz musician Branford Marsalis in 1960 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" entered the album charts. The single "Purple Haze" was released.

Also in 1967, the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Wales.

In 1970, Jimi Hendrix played what would be his last show -- at the Isle of Wight Pop Festival. The bill also included Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell.

Also in 1970, Hendrix opened the Electric Lady recording studio.

In 1973, 10cc made its live concert debut on England's Isle of Man.

In 1975, AWB, a.k.a the Average White Band, topped the R&B singles chart with "Cut the Cake." In 1986, WGBH-FM in Boston became the first radio station in the nation to broadcast in ultra-clear digital sound. In 1991, former KISS drummer Peter Criss sued the Star tabloid in Los Angeles for reporting he was a homeless drunk living on the streets of Santa Monica, Calif.

In 1993, the Hollywood Reporter reported that the father of a 13-year-old boy Michael Jackson was suspected of molesting wanted the pop star to foot the $20 million bill to start his own film production company. Jackson, meanwhile, postponed for a second time his concert in Bangkok, Thailand.

Also in 1993, Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose sued his ex-girlfriend in Los Angeles, accusing her of assault as well as mental and emotional abuse.

In 1995, Sheryl Crow was given the key to the city in her hometown of Kennett, Mo.

Also in 1995, Ronnie White, an original member of the Miracles, died at age 57.

In 1997, U2 performed in concert in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1998, recurring throat problems forced Billy Joel to reschedule his September and October concerts for November and December.

Topping the charts on this date: Tossin' and Turnin' - Bobby Lewis (1961), Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones (1969), Best of My Love - Emotions (1977), The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News (1985).

Today's musical quiz: For a couple of years, Branford Marsalis was the music director and sidekick on this late-night TV show. What? Answer: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."


(Aug. 27)

Today's musical birthdays include Tommy Sands, who was born in 1937 (age 65); Daryl Dragon, the "Captain" of Captain and Tennille, in 1942 (age 60); bassist Tim Bogert, of Vanilla Fudge and also of Cactus, in 1944 (age 58); Jeff Cook of the country band Alabama in 1949 (age 53); Wishbone Ash's Laurie Wisefield in 1952 (age 50); Rush's Alex Lifeson in 1953 (age 49); and Sex Pistol Glenn Matlock in 1956 (age 46).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, the Beatles met Elvis Presley at his Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion. It was the first and only time they would meet. In later years, Presley would say he didn't remember the meeting.

Also in 1965, Bob Dylan released his classic "Highway 61 Revisited" album.

In 1967, Beatles manager Brian Epstein died from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. He was 32.

In 1983, Barry Manilow played a sold-out concert at Buckingham Palace.

In 1986, John Lennon's leather jacket was auctioned off for $1,500 in London.

Also in 1986, John Fogerty launched his first tour since 1972.

And in 1986, it was ZZ Top Day in Texas.

And in 1986, Playboy was forced to remove a photograph of a semi-nude Wendy O. Williams from copies of its October issue after western Canadian customs officials declared it obscene.

In 1987, country's Randy Travis was hospitalized for complications from food poisoning in Wytheville, Va.

In 1988, Chinese officials reported Michael Jackson was negotiating to perform a live concert in China that would be broadcast to the world by satellite. The show was never held.

In 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan and three members of Eric Clapton's entourage were killed when their helicopter crashed into a man-made ski slope in southeastern Wisconsin. The chopper pilot also died. Vaughan had just performed in a concert that included Clapton, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray.

In 1991, the leader of the rap group NWA -- Dr. Dre (dray), aka. Andre Young Jr. -- pleaded no contest to charges he beat up a woman at a West Hollywood nightclub. He was sentenced to 24 months' probation and ordered to make a public service announcement advocating non-violence against women.

Also in 1991, Alice Cooper was honored with the addition of his handprints and signature in cement at Hollywood's Rock Walk of Fame.

In 1993, Ugly Kid Joe lead singer William Crane was arrested in Columbus, Ohio, after he allegedly egged on the audience to attack security guards.

In 1994, Delores Jackson -- the ex-wife of Michael Jackson's brother, Tito -- was found dead in her boyfriend's swimming pool. A boyfriend was eventually charged with her murder.

In 1996, Oasis opened the eastern U.S. leg of its concert tour in Chicago, but lead singer Liam Gallagher wasn't there. He reportedly was suffering from "acute laryngitis."

Also in 1996, Smashing Pumpkins resumed the concert tour that'd been interrupted a month earlier by the alcohol-and-drug-overdose death of keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and the arrest of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin on drug possession charges. Chamberlin was later fired. The same day, the Pumpkins' "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" was certified seven times platinum in the United States, making it the best-selling double-CD of all time.

In 1998, Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green kicked off a tour in Cleveland in support of "The Robert Johnson Songbook," his first studio CD in almost two decades.

In 1999, Bruce Springsteen made a surprise, unannounced visit to the New England Shelter for Homeless Vets in Boston.

Topping the charts on this date:1960 It's Now or Never - Elvis Presley (1960), People Got to be Free - The Rascals (1968), Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee (1976), Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr. (1984).

Today's musical quiz: Who wrote "Love Will Keep Us Together," a 1975 hit for the Captain and Tenille? Answer: Neil Sedaka.


(Aug. 28)

Today's birthdays include actor-dancer Donald O'Connor in 1925 (age 77); Clem Cattini of the English surf-rock instrumental quintet the Tornadoes, who was born in 1938 (age 64); singer/actor David Soul and Honeycombs drummer Ann "Honey" Lantree, both in 1943 (age 59); Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine in 1948 (age 54); Hugh Cornwell of the Stranglers in 1949 (age 53); Wayne Osmond of the Osmonds and Dave Hlubek of Molly Hatcher, both in 1951 (age 51); and country singers Shania Twain in 1965 (age 37) and LeAnn Rimes in 1982 (age 20).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, Bob Dylan was booed off stage by folk fans in Forest Hills, N.Y., when he tried to play "electric."

In 1969, Mary McCartney -- the first child of Paul and Linda McCartney -- was born. She was named after Paul's mom, who's mentioned in the song "Let It Be."

In 1973, Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" was certified gold in the United States, meaning it had sold half-a-million copies.

In 1983, Thin Lizzy played its farewell gig in Reading, England.

In 1984, Tina Turner performed at a McDonald's convention in Ontario, Canada, fulfilling a contract arranged before her comeback. In 1986, John Lennon's doodles in a booklet margin were auctioned off for $31,350 dollars in London.

Also in 1986, Tina Turner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And in 1986, Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young headlined a Long Beach, Calif., concert to raise lobbying money for a law targeting polluters.

In 1988, Charlie Daniels and several band members escaped injury when their motor home burst into flames on the Ventura Freeway in Southern California.

In 1994, "The Godfather of Soul" James Brown was ticketed after he allegedly hit a bicyclist while driving in his hometown of Augusta, Ga. The cyclist was unhurt.

In 1997, Genesis launched "Calling All Stations" -- its first studio album in six years -- with an acoustic performance at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

Topping the charts on this date: The Three Bells - The Browns (1959), Ode to Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry (1967), Fallin' In Love - Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds (1975), Every Breath You Take - The Police (1983).

Today's musical quiz: David Soul, who had a hit in 1977 with "Don't Give Up On Us," co-starred in what TV cop show? Answer: "Starsky & Hutch."


(Aug. 29)

Today's birthdays include legendary jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker, who was born in 1920; the late Dinah Washington in 1924; Dick Halligan of Blood Sweat and Tears in 1943 (age 59); Procol Harum's Chris Copping in 1945 (age 57); Pablo Cruise's Dave Jenkins in 1947 (age 55); Rick Downey of Blue Oyster Cult in 1953 (age 49); and Michael Jackson in 1958 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1958, 15-year-old George Harrison joined the Quarrymen, the skiffle band founded by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The group was the first act ever to play the Casbah Club in Liverpool, which was run by the mother of Quarrymen drummer Pete Best.

In 1964, Roy Orbison released "Oh, Pretty Woman." In 1966, the Beatles played San Francisco's Candlestick Park. It was the Fab Four's last concert appearance.

In 1970, the Kinks released "Lola."

In 1976, the original line-up of Spirit -- drummer Ed Cassidy, singer/guitarist Randy California, keyboardist John Locke, lead vocalist Jay Ferguson and bass player Mark Andes -- reunited for a concert in Santa Monica, Calif. They were joined onstage by Neil Young for an encore of Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone."

In 1977, Memphis police arrested three people and charged them with trying to steal the body of Elvis Presley, which had been buried at Forest Hill cemetery a week-and-a-half earlier. As a result of this incident, Presley's father, Vernon, had the bodies of his son and his wife, Gladys, disinterred and reburied at Graceland.

In 1986, it was reported that David Crosby had been allowed to return to California from Texas, where he'd served time in prison on drug- and weapon-possession charges.

Also in 1986, a Beatles' home movie of the band's 1965 U.S. tour was auctioned off for $40,000 dollars in London.

In 1988, Bob Seger filed for divorce from actress/model Annette Sinclair after 10 months of marriage.

In 1990, it was reported that Vince Welnick would be tabbed as the Grateful Dead's new keyboardist, replacing Brent Mydland, who'd died from a drug overdose a month earlier.

In 1991, a Chicago judge gave preliminary approval to a refund plan for people who bought Milli Vanilli records, tapes or CDs.

Also in 1991, an unidentified Japanese bidder paid almost $15,000 for a Christmas card drawn in 1958 by a then-18-year-old John Lennon for Cynthia Powell, his future first wife. At the same auction at Christie's in London, someone paid $9,610 for a guitar smashed by The Who's Peter Townshend. And the Hard Rock Cafe USA bought Elvis Presley's robe for $8,870.

In 1995, "Runaway" -- Janet Jackson's first solo single since 1993 -- was released.

Also in 1995, two members of Meat Loaf's music video film crew were killed when their helicopter struck some power lines and crashed in California's Sequoia National Forest.

In 1996, fans in Santiago, Chile, turned violent while waiting for the heavy metal band Iron Maiden to appear. Sixty-four people were arrested.

In 1997, a teenage boy died in the mosh pit during a Rage Against the Machine concert in Indianapolis. Earlier, the opening act -- the Wu-Tang Clan -- allegedly urged the crowd to rush the stage. In 1998, 11 people were arrested and 86,000 concertgoers ordered by police to leave the Pontiac, Mich., Silverdome after a chair-throwing melee erupted during a rap concert headlined by No Limit and Master P.

Topping the charts on this date:958 Little Star - The Elegants (1958), Summer in the City - The Lovin' Spoonful (1966), (You're) Having My Baby - Paul Anka (1974), Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (1982).

Today's musical quiz: He spent nearly $50 million buying the rights to 251 Beatles songs, outbidding Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono. Who? Answer: Michael Jackson.


(Aug. 30)

Today's birthdays include the "Queen of Country Music" Kitty Wells in 1919 (age 83), John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas in 1935, John McNally of the Searchers in 1941 (age 61), American Breed bassist Charles Colbert in 1944 (age 58), and Whitesnake's Mick Moody in 1950 (age 52).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1968, the Beatles released "Hey Jude."

In 1969, the Texas International Pop Festival opened its three-day run at a racetrack near Dallas. It featured Janis Joplin, Santana, Chicago, Grand Funk Railroad, Sly and the Family Stone and B.B. King.

In 1972, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack and Sha Na Na performed a benefit concert at New York's Madison Square Garden that raised $2 million for retarded children.

In 1980, Cher made a surprise appearance as singer in the group Black Rose, whose guitarist, Les Dudek, was her beau at the time.

In 1988, John Denver, who wanted to ride on a Soviet spaceship, underwent an astronaut-style physical at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Also in 1988, actress Julianne Phillips filed for divorce from Bruce Springsteen.

And in 1988, Kenny Rogers' drummer, Bobby Daniels, was charged with killing his ex-wife two weeks earlier.

Also in 1988, Brenda Lee announced she was suing MCA Records for $20 million in unpaid royalties she said should've been paid to her under her 1962 contract with the label.

In 1993, the Jackson family announced a family reunion TV special was in the works. Family members also announced their support for Michael Jackson and denounced the molestation allegations against him. Meanwhile, the pop star abruptly postponed his Singapore concert due to a migraine headache.

Also in 1993, U2 guitarist Adam Clayton and model Naomi Campbell postponed their wedding for a year. A spokesman cited work commitments for the delay.

In 1994, rapper Dr. Dre -- a.k.a. Andre Young -- was sentenced to eight months in jail after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving charges. Young had been arrested in January following a high-speed chase through Beverly Hills, Calif.

Also in 1994, Virgin Records signed a distribution deal with Rap-A-Lot Records. The agreement was aimed at expanding the label into the rap market.

In 1996, the saxophone-and-trumpet duo Memphis Horns sued Al Green, claiming the singer used their name for some of the members of his own band.

In 1997, a record label promoter said he was beaten by members of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan in a dressing room at the New World Theater in Tinley Park, Ill., for giving wrong information about an after-show party during a live radio interview.

Also in 1997, an auction of Elvis Presley memorabilia held simultaneously in London and Berlin brought in about $324,000. But a locket of hair from Elvis' famous sideburns and his army uniform failed to find buyers. In 1999, Beatles fans gathered in Liverpool, England, to celebrate the reissue of "Yellow Submarine." A screening of the 1968 cartoon musical was the highlight of International Beatles Week.

Topping the charts on this date: Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley (1957), I Got You Babe - Sonny and Cher (1965), Brother Louie - Stories (1973), Endless Love - Diana Ross and The Supremes (1981).

Today's musical quiz: How many rock-era posthumous No.1 singles have there been on the Billboard Hot-100 pop chart? Answer: Only three -- Otis Redding, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," 1968; Janis Joplin, "Me and Bobby McGee," 1971; and John Lennon, "(Just Like) Starting Over," 1980.

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