Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Aug. 30, 2002 at 3:25 AM
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(Aug. 31)

Today's birthdays include former Crickets drummer Jerry Allison, who was born in 1931 (age 71); Harold Reid of the Statler Brothers in 1939 (age 63); Van Morrison and violinist Itzak Perlman, both in 1945 (age 57); Rick Roberts of the Flying Burrito Brothers and also Firefall, in 1949 (age 53); Rudolph Schenker of the German heavy metal group the Scorpions in 1952 (age 50); Go-Gos drummer Gina Schock and British rocker Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, both in 1957 (age 45); and Deborah Gibson in 1970 (age 32); Chris Whitley, blues and folkrock musician, in 1960 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes entered the U.S. singles chart.

In 1969, Bob Dylan topped the bill at the second night of the Isle of Wight Festival.

In 1976, a judge ruled George Harrison had committed subconscious plagiarism in using the melody from the Chiffons' hit "He's So Fine" for his song "My Sweet Lord."

In 1986, 71 rowdy Aerosmith fans were arrested at the first rock concert to be held at Massachusetts' Sullivan Stadium since 1983.

Also in 1986, former Boomtown Rat and Live Aid inspiration Bob Geldof married his longtime girlfriend -- British television personality Paula Yates -- in Las Vegas. The witnesses at the wedding were Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, a.k.a. the Eurythmics.

In 1987, Michael Jackson released the album "Bad."

In 1990, 2,500 fans withstood 100-degree temperatures in Dallas to attend a memorial service for Stevie Ray Vaughan. The guitarist had died a week earlier in a helicopter crash in southern Wisconsin.

Also in 1993, country star Garth Brooks announced that he wanted to make movies and had signed with an agency to represent him.

In 1993, Don Henley filed a counterclaim against Geffen Records, accusing the label of persuading other labels to blackball him. Geffen was suing Henley for breach of contract.

In 1994, the surviving members of Nirvana changed their minds about releasing previously unreleased live recordings on a double album, saying the process of sorting through the tapes was too painful.

In 1997, Michael Jackson postponed his Belgium concert in the wake of Princess Diana's death in a Paris car crash. He called her "a friend of the world."

In 1999, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich chatted online with fans. His appearance inaugurated, the band's official Web site.

Also in 1999, Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, attended a concert by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Washington, D.C. The show was the first of three sold-out concerts at the MCI Center.

Today's musical quiz:

Van Morrison was the former lead singer of what group? Answer: Them.


(Sept. 1)

Today's birthdays include the late Conway Twitty, who was born Harold Jenkins in 1933; Dave White of Danny and the Juniors in 1940 (age 62); Archie Bell, of Archie Bell and the Drells, in 1944 (age 58); Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, and Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico, both in 1946 (age 56); Exile's Steve Goetzman in 1950 (age 52); guitarist Bruce Foxton of The Jam in 1955 (age 47; and Gloria Estefan in 1957 (age 45).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Elvis Presley bought his mother a pink Cadillac.

In 1967, singer/guitarist Boz Scaggs joined The Steve Miller Band, reuniting with the group's leader, Steve Miller, a teenage and college-years friend.

In 1970, on his birthday, Barry Gibb married Scottish beauty queen Linda Gray.

In 1977, singer-actress Ethel Waters died at the age of 81.

Also in 1977, Blondie signed with Chrysalis Records.

In 1979, U2 released its first record -- an EP titled "U2-3" -- in the band's native Ireland.

In 1980, Uriah Heep founding member Ken Hansley left the group, leaving guitarist Mick Box the only remaining original member of the band.

In 1983, the Clash fired lead guitarist Mick Jones, saying he'd "drifted apart from the original idea of the Clash."

In 1984, "What's Love Got to Do With It" became Tina Turner's first solo No.1 single.

Also in 1984, Cyndi Lauper launched her U.S. tour in Jones Beach, N.Y.

In 1992, Motown announced it was entering the jazz music field with the unveiling of its new recording label "MoJazz."

In 1993, Newsweek reported that Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose and Frank Sinatra were considering recording a song together for Sinatra's "Duets" album.

In 1994, a judge in Modesto, Calif., set an Oct. 26 trial date for a paternity suit filed against Michael Jackson by woman who claimed her 10-year-old son was conceived when the pop star raped her at a New Years Eve party in 1982 -- although the child's birthdate was listed as Jan. 20, 1984. Jackson's lawyer predicted the case would be thrown out. It was.

Also in 1994, Sinead O'Connor reportedly checked into a London rehabilitation center to kick her marijuana habit.

In 1995, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated. Little Richard and Yoko Ono were among the celebrities at the ceremony in Cleveland.

Also in 1995, Pearl Jam announced it would perform a concert Nov. 4 in San Jose, Calif., to make up for the June 24 concert in San Francisco, where lead singer Eddie Vedder fell ill and Neil Young sat in for him.

In 1998, Paula Cole and matchbox twenty launched a joint tour in Chula Vista, Calif.

In 1999, mechanical problems grounded Britney Spear's plane in Memphis, causing her to miss an autograph session in Boston. Needless to say, her fans were very disappointed.

In 2000, Alice Cooper kicked off the North American leg of his "Live From the Brutal Planet" tour, in support of his new CD, "Brutal Planet."

Also in 2000, the California state legislature named a freeway interchange for the late Rep. Sonny Bono, D-Calif. The interchange is in Moreno Valley, located in the Palm Springs congressional district Bono represented.

Today's musical quiz:

Where did Conway Twitty get his stage name? Answer: The country singer came up with the name by looking at a map that showed Conway, Ark., and Twitty, Texas.


(Sept. 2)

Today's musical birthdays include Sam Gooden of the Impressions, who was born in 1939 (age 63; Jimmy Clanton in 1940 (age 62); Maria Muldaur in 1942 (age 60); Rosalind Ashford of Martha and the Vandellas in 1943 (age 59); keyboardist Marty Grebb of The Buckinghams in 1946 (age 56); Steve Porcaro, formerly with Toto, in 1957 (age 45); Simply Red's Fritz McIntyre in 1958 (age 44); and k.d. lang in 1961 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1931, Bing Crosby's first radio show, "15 Minutes with Bing Crosby," debuted on CBS.

In 1970, Genesis ran an ad in "Melody Maker." Phil Collins answered it and joined the group.

In 1978, George Harrison married Olivia Trinidad Arias. They'd met in 1974 when Olivia worked as a secretary for Dark Horse Records in Los Angeles.

In 1982, the house in Surrey, England, owned by Rolling Stone Keith Richards was badly damaged by fire for the second time in nine years.

In 1986, former backing singer Cathy Evelyn Smith was sentenced to three years in prison for giving John Belushi the lethal combination of cocaine and heroin -- known as a "speedball" -- that killed him.

In 1988, a worldwide charity tour to raise funds for Amnesty International was launched with a concert in London featuring Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Tracy Chapman, among others.

In 1993, Pearl Jam and En Vogue were the big winners at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Also in 1993, a spokeswoman for Paisley Park Records denied reports that The Artist Formerly Known As Prince now wanted to be called "Victor."

In 1994, the promoters of Woodstock '94 announced refunds for those people who bought tickets but were turned away because of thw crowds.

On this day in 1995, Michael Jackson's newly released single, "You Are Not Alone," entered Billboard's Hot 100 in the No.1 spot, the first song in history to debut at the top of the chart.

Also in 1995, an all-star line-up -- including Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Sheryl Crow, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Melissa Etheridge, John Mellencamp, and Bon Jovi -- performed at a concert marking the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

Also in 1995, country singer Reba McEntire made history when her new song "On My Own" became the first single shipped through cyberspace to country music radio stations.

And in 1995, the fourth annual Hog Farm PIGnic in Northern California turned into a two-day celebration of the late Grateful Dead founder Jerry Garcia, who'd died the previous month.

In 1998, Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan pleaded innocent to charges that he assaulted a security guard during a concert the previous month (Aug. 15) in Pontiac, Mich.

Also in 1998, the Temptations immortalized their famous dance steps in cement at the Motown Cafe in New York City.

In 2000, Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell married actress Leighanne Wallace, 25, in Atlanta. Littrell's four bandmates attended the wedding at the Peachtree Christian Church.

Today's musical quiz:

The original members of the Impressions included these two musicians. Who? Answer: Jerry "the Ice Man" Butler and Curtis Mayfield.


(Sept. 3)

Today's musical birthdays include Al Jardine of the Beach Boys, who was born in 1942 (age 60); Walter and Wallace Scott, twin brothers who recorded as The Whispers, in 1943 (age 59); Gary Walker, whose real last name is Leeds, of the Walker Brothers in 1944 (age 58); Steppenwolf bassist George Biondo and Spooky Tooth's Mike Harrison, both in 1945 (age 57); Thin Lizzy's Eric Bell in 1947 (age 55); drummer Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad in 1948 (age 54); Sweet Sensations' Leroy Smith in 1952 (age 50); and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols in 1955 (age 47).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1966, Donovan topped the U.S. singles chart for the first -- and only -- time with "Sunshine Superman."

Also in 1966, the Four Tops' "Reach Out, I'll Be There" was released.

In 1967, Woody Guthrie died at age 55 of Huntington's disease.

In 1970, Alan Wilson of Canned Heat died from a drug overdose that apparently was a suicide. He was 27.

Also in 1970, pop singer Arthur Brown was arrested and jailed for four days after he set fire to his helmet and stripped naked during his performance at the Palermo Pop Festival in Italy. Upon his release, he was told to get out of Italy and stay out.

In 1977, Elvis Presley topped the British pop charts posthumously with "Way Down." In the United States, the single peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard pop chart, although it was a No. 1 country hit.

In 1978, Emilio and Gloria Estefan were married.

In 1982, the three-day US (as in "we") Festival opened in San Bernardino, Calif. Headliners included the Police, the Cars, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Talking Heads and the Grateful Dead. The fest was financed by the founder of Apple Computers, but lost money -- despite being hailed as an artistic success.

In 1985, Johnny Marks -- who wrote the perennial Christmas favorite "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" -- died at age 75.

In 1991, Ike Turner was freed from a California prison after spending almost two years behind bars on drug possession charges.

In 1992, the Los Angeles coronor announced that Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro had died the previous month of heart disease caused by long-time cocaine use -- not pesticide poisoning as had been reported by his managers.

In 1993, rapper Snoop Doggy Dog -- a.k.a. Calvin Broadus, the sidekick of Dr. Dre -- was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a Los Angeles park. He would later be acquitted.

In 1995, Beach Boy Brian Wilson told a London newspaper (The Times) that surfing is "very dangerous" and was something he'd never tried.

Also in 1995, Gerald O'Dowd -- the brother of Culture Club's Boy George -- was arrested in the stabbing death of his wife at their suburban London home.

And in 1995, ice skating vixen Tonya Harding and her rock band -- the Golden Blades -- were booed at their concert debut in Portland, Oregon.

In 1996, Michael Jackson arrived in Prague, Czech Republic, for a concert four days later that marked the beginning of his first international tour in two years.

Also in 1996, "Here Again" -- the first album by New Edition in 10 years -- was released.

In 1997, Michael Jackson dedicated his concert in Ostend, Belgium -- postponed from three days earlier -- to the late Princess Diana.

In 1998, David Bowie launched what was described as the world's first artist-created Internet access service, BowieNet. He kicked it off with a three-hour Webcast -- with live performances by Jesus and Mary Chain, The Specials, Ani DiFranco, The Jayhawks and Spacehog.

In 2000, Christina Aguilera canceled her performance at the New York State Fair after she lost her voice.

Also in 2000, it's reported that the new autobiography of The Beatles -- "The Beatles Anthology" -- had already attracted advance orders for 1.5 million copies, one month before its publication.

Today's musical quiz:

Where were the Estefans, Emilio and Gloria, born? Answer: Both Emilio Estefan and his future wife, Gloria, were born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States with their families as youngsters. However, they didn't meet until adulthood in Miami.


(Sept. 4)

Today's birthdays include Merald Knight, brother of Gladys Knight and one of her Pips, who was born in 1942 (age 60); drummer Gene Parsons of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, also in 1942 (age 60); drummer Greg Elmore and singer/guitarist Gary Duncan, both of Quicksilver Messenger Service and both in 1946 (age 56); the Commodores' Ronald LaPread also in 1946 (age 56); and Martin Chambers of the Pretenders in 1951 (age 51); singer Rose McGowan in 1973 (29).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1962, the Beatles began the group's first recording session at EMI Studios in London, with George Martin producing.

In 1964, the Animals headlined 10 nights at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater in New York.

In 1965, someone stole a bunch of equipment from The Who's van while the band was out buying a guard dog.

In 1968, the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" was banned from the radio in Chicago, where authorities feared rioting in the street.

On this day in 1971, the long-running Lawrence Welk Show aired its last episode on network TV. Welk later turned it into a syndicated series, which ran until 1982.

In 1976, the Sex Pistols made its first TV appearance on the British show "So It Goes."

In 1990, a Los Angeles judge dismissed payola charges against former record promoter Joseph Isgro.

In 1991, country singer Dottie West died in Nashville from the injuries she'd suffered in a car accident five days earlier.

In 1992, Prince signed a $100 million deal with Warner Bros. Records that reportedly made him a vice president.

Also in 1992, Billy Preston pleaded no contest to drug and assault charges stemming from his picking up of day laborers to work at his Malibu, Calif., home.

And in 1992, the wife of Simple Minds' Jim Kerr gave birth to a baby boy in London. The infant was the couple's first child.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and his new bride, Lisa Marie Presley, arrived in Paris for a two-day visit.

Also in 1994, the wife of former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman gave birth to the couple's first child -- a girl -- in London.

In 1996, Smashing Pumpkins dominated the MTV Video Music Awards, taking home seven awards.

In 1997, Beck won five awards, and Jamiroquai four, at the 14th annual MTV Video Music Awards.

Also in 1997, the Wu-Tang Clan canceled the rest of its tour following a pair of incidents -- including the alleged beating of a record label promoter by members of the rap group -- and charges the rappers urged the audience to stampede the stage during a show in Indianapolis.

In 1998, President Clinton met briefly in Dublin, Ireland, with the members of U2. Of the band, Clinton said "they're nice people" and called Bono "a smart man."

Today's musical quiz:

In what Caribbean nation did Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley tie the knot? Answer: Jackson and Presley were married in the Dominican Republic. Their divorce less than two years later would be finalized in Los Angeles.


(Sept. 5)

Today's birthdays include John Stewart of the Kingston Trio, who was born in 1939 (age 63); Joe "Speedo" Frazier of The Impalas in 1943 (age 59); Al Stewart in 1945 (age 57); the late Freddie Mercury of Queen was born in 1946; Buddy Miles and Loudon Wainwright III, also both in 1946 (age 56); Humble Pie guitarist Dave "Clem" Clemson in 1949 (age 53); and Dweezil Zappa, the rock singer son of the late Frank Zappa, in 1969 (age 33).

Today's musical milestones:

"Tumbling Tumbleweeds," the first of many Westerns starring legendary singing cowboy Gene Autry, opened on this date in 1935.

In 1964, the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" replaced the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go?" atop Billboard's Hot-100 singles chart.

In 1976, Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd was seriously injured in a car accident in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla.

In 1978, Joe Negroni died at age 37. He was the third member of the 1950s R&B group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to die prematurely.

In 1981, the all-girl trio Bananarama released its debut single "Ai A Mwana" on the British independent label Demon Records. It flopped. However, the single attracted enough attention to lead to Bananarama signing with London Records.

In 1984, at a news conference, Michael Jackson's manager Frank DiLeo read a statement from the pop star refuting various rumors about his cosmetic surgery and sexual orientation.

In 1986, the Who's Roger Daltry; Peter Frampton; and Genesis's Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford jammed at a Warner-Electra-Atlantic sales meeting in Hollywood, Fla.

Also in 1986, Mary Wells said she, her husband and baby were kidnapped in Michigan and held captive for two days by fans eager for her to record a song they wrote. They were released in Mojave, Calif. Police said the kidnapping was never reported.

And in 1986, Dire Straits won MTV's Best Video Award for "Money for Nothing."

In 1990, B.B. King was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1991, R.E.M., Chris Isaak and C&C Music Factory took top honors at the eighth annual MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens made a surprise first public appearance since his indecent exposure arrest in Florida two months earlier.

Also in 1991, a Chicago judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement in the Milli Vanilli lip-synching class action lawsuit.

In 1992, newspapers reported that Prince had signed a $100 million contract with Warner Bros., making him the highest-paid pop artist in the country.

In 1993, as many as 15 people were injured when fans rushed the stage at a Neil Young/Pearl Jam concert in George, Wash.

In 1994, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez and John Hiatt headlined the 24th annual Bumbershoot concert in Seattle.

Also in 1994, Rod Stewart's wife -- model Rachel Hunter -- gave birth to the couple's second child, a boy, in London.

In 1995, Cat Stevens -- now known as Yusuf Islam -- released his first album in 18 years. Holding to his religious beliefs, the recording was 80-percent talk and included a Muslim hymn. The musician said most of his 1970s love songs were "impure."

In 1998, Eddie Van Halen, Queen's Brian May and Aerosmith's Joe Perry helped actor Kevin Bacon kick off his new weekly radio show -- "The Guitar Show with Kevin Bacon" -- on the AMFM Radio Networks. Bacon and his brother have their own band, called The Bacon Brothers.

Also in 1998, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee was released early on good behavior from the Los Angeles County jail after serving less than four months of a six-month sentence on charges of spousal abuse.

In 2000, the Dixie Chicks earned their first RIAA Diamond Award for sales in excess of 10 million units on their album "Wide Open Spaces." The rare milestone marked the first Diamond Award for a country group and the first for Sony Music Nashville. It was also the first Diamond Award for a debut country album.

Today's musical quiz:

The Kingston Trio's John Stewart wrote what Monkees' hit single? Answer: "Daydream Believer."


(Sept. 6)

Today's birthdays include country musicians David Allen Coe, who was born in 1939 (age 63) and Mel McDaniel, in 1942 (age 60); trombonist Dave Bargeron of Blood Sweat and Tears, also in 1942 (age 60); former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters in 1944 (age 58); guitarist Claydes Smith of Kool and the Gang in 1948 (age 54); Molly Hatchet bassist Banner Thomas in 1954 (age 48); and Pal Gamst Waaktaar of the Norwegian pop group a-ha in 1961 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1961, Bob Dylan performed for the first time at a Greenwich Village, New York, folk club named the Gaslight Cafe.

In 1976, Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album topped the U.S. album chart -- well over a year after it was released. The album marked the debut of new members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

In 1978, Tom Wilson -- who produced such artists as Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention -- died of a heart attack. He was 47.

In 1989, Madonna's "Like A Prayer" won top video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

In 1990, Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" video was named best of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Also in 1990, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Tom Fogarty died of complications from tuberculosis in Scottsdale, Az. He was 48.

And in 1990, Paul Anka became a naturalized U.S. citizen in Las Vegas.

In 1993, Don Henley was joined by Elton John, Sting, Jimmy Buffet, Aerosmith and Melissa Etheridge in concert at the Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts. The show was a benefit for Henley's Walden Woods Project.

In 1994, British rock pianist Nicky Hopkins died at age 50.

In 1995, a Houston judge turned down a request to allow TV cameras in the courtroom during the upcoming murder trial of the woman accused of killing Tejano star Selena.

Also in 1995, the first Motown Cafe opened in New York City.

In 1997, Elton John sang a rewritten version of his song "Candle in the Wind" at Princess Diana's funeral in London. "Candle in the Wind '97" subsequently became the biggest-selling single of all time.

In 2000, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation presented Stevie Wonder with a lifetime achievement award at its Pioneer Awards in New York.

Today's musical quiz:

Where was Paul Anka born? Answer: Ottawa, Ont., Canada. By the way, he wrote the theme song for "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson."

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