Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Sept. 8, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(Sept. 8)

Today's birthdays include the late country singers Jimmie "The Singing Brakeman" Rodgers, who was born in 1897, and Patsy Cline in 1932; John Sylvia, bassist with the Tune Weavers, in 1934 (age 68); Brian Cole of The Association and Beau Brummels lead singer Sal Valentino, both in 1942 (age 60); Kelly Groucutt of ELO in 1945 (age 57); the late Rod "Pigpen" McKernan of the Grateful Dead in 1946; Atlanta Rhythm Section keyboardist Dean Daughtry, also in 1946 (age 56); Great White's Michael Lardie in 1958 (age 44); and David Steele of Fine Young Cannibals, and formerly with English Beat, in 1960 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1937, a 19-year-old Frank Sinatra was discovered, singing with a group called The Hoboken Four, on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio show. The appearance led to a regular job with the show and several small nightclub performances.

In 1957, "Reet Petite," Jackie Wilson's first solo record after leaving the Dominoes, was released. The song was written by Berry Gordy Jr.

In 1958, Paul Anka launched a month-long concert tour of Asia in Tokyo.

In 1962, "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers entered Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for the first time.

In 1965, an advertisement announcing auditions for "The Monkees," an upcoming TV show, appeared in Variety magazine.

In 1971, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave Elvis Presley its Bing Crosby Award. Previous winners included Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby. The award honors those who've "made creative contributions of outstanding ... significance to the field of phonograph records."

In 1972, the three-day Ann Arbor, Mich., Blues and Jazz Festival was dedicated to the memory of R&B pianist Otis Spann, who'd died two years earlier a month after his 30th birthday.

Also in 1972, a son -- Zeke -- was born to rocker Neil Young and actress Carrie Snodgrass.

In 1977, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch left Wings -- Paul McCartney's band -- to join a reunited Small Faces.

In 1986, Westinghouse agreed to sell Muzak to the Field Corp. of Chicago. Earlier, Ted Nugent had expressed an interest in buying it.

In 1992, a British court cleared a man accused of assaulting the 15-year-old son of Rolling Stone Ron Wood. A London newspaper reported Wood was upset with the decision.

In 1994, Aerosmith and R.E.M. dominated the 11th annual MTV Video Music Awards. The show kicked off with a surprise appearance by Michael Jackson and his new wife, Lisa Marie Presley.

Also in 1994, what was described as a heart problem forced John Mellencamp to cancel the rest of his tour. It later was reported the rocker had suffered a mild heart attack.

And in 1994, a portion of 125th Street in front of the Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y., was renamed "James Brown Boulevard."

And in 1994, at a London auction, a new jazz museum opening in Kansas City paid a record $144,925 for a saxophone played by Charlie "Bird" Parker.

In 1996, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones were among the world's best-paid entertainers, according to Forbes magazine's top-40 list.

In 1998, Joan Jett collapsed and went into convulsions at an ACLU banquet in Century City, Calif. She refused to go to the hospital, and was well enough the next day to attend a meeting at PolyGram, her record company, to discuss marketing for her upcoming CD.

Today's musical quiz:

Who was the first country artist to appear in a motion picture? Answer: Jimmie Rodgers. The year was 1929 and the 10-minute film was titled "Singing Brakeman."

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