Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Aug. 25, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(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.

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