Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Sept. 3, 2002 at 3:17 AM
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(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.

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