Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Sept. 13, 2002 at 3:20 AM
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(Sept. 14)

Today's birthdays include Joey Heatherton, who was born in 1944 (age 58); Nazareth bassist Pete Agnew in 1946 (age 56); Sha Na Na's John "Bowser" Baumann in 1947 (age 55); Lynyrd Skynyrd's Steve Gaines in 1949; Paul Kosoff of Free in 1950; Barry Cowsill of the Cowsills in 1955 (age 47); and a-ha's Morten Harket in 1959 (age 43).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1920, at a Detroit station, Paul Specht's orchestra broadcast live dance music over the radio for the first time. Within months, dance music became a radio staple.

In 1955, Little Richard recorded "Tutti Frutti" in New Orleans.

In 1968, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, The Who's Pete Townshend mentioned a rock opera he was writing about a boy who was deaf, dumb and blind and "sure played a mean pinball."

Also in 1968, the cartoon group The Archies first appeared on TV.

In 1974, Eric Clapton had his first No. 1 hit, his version of Bob Marley's reggae song "I Shot the Sheriff."

In 1976, Jeff Beck's instrumental jazz/rock album "Wired" was certified gold.

In 1981, filming began on "Pink Floyd: The Wall," starring Bob Geldof.

In 1984, the first annual MTV Video Music Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd co-hosted the ceremonies.

In 1986, the man credited with creating the Top-40 radio format -- Gordon McLendon -- died of cancer at his home in Lake Dallas, Texas. He was 65.

In 1992, the New Kids On The Block dropped from first to fourth place on Forbes magazine's "Top 40" list of the world's highest-paid entertainers.

Also in 1992, Ink Spots lead singer Jim Nabbe died in Atlanta following coronary bypass surgery. He was 72.

In 1993, the 13-year-old boy who'd accused Michael Jackson of molesting him filed a lawsuit against the pop star in Los Angeles.

Also in 1993, Bette Midler's first concert tour in 10 years opened at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

In 1994, the National Association of Recording Arts and Science announced that the 1995 Grammy Awards would be held in Los Angeles once again.

In 1995, blues greats Buddy Guy and Junior Wells joined "The Blues Brothers Show Band" -- Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and John Goodman -- in a jam at the announcement of the building of a new House of Blues nightclub in Chicago.

Also in 1995, Earth Wind and Fire received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1998, about 30 veteran rock 'n' rollers sued EMI-Capitol Music Records in Los Angeles -- accusing the label of selling their music without first buying the rights. The plaintiffs included Chubby Checker, Pat Boone, William Berry (son of Jan Berry of Jan and Dean), Freddy Fender, the Dovells' Jerome Gross, Rod Bainbridge of the Fortunes, and Anthony Butala of the Lettermen.

Today's musical quiz:

Where did Little Richard come up for the song title "Tutti Frutti"? Answer: It's a flavor of ice cream.


(Sept. 15)

Today's birthdays include the late country singer Roy Acuff, who was born in 1903; singer/pianist Bobby Short in 1926 (age 76); and Iron Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman in 1942 (age 60).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1962, the Four Seasons topped the U.S. singles chart for the first time with "Sherry."

In 1974, Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain was nearly electrocuted onstage in Dallas.

In 1979, Bob Dylan released "Slow Train Coming," an album of religious songs.

In 1980, David Bowie made his Broadway debut as "The Elephant Man."

In 1992, a federal investigation cited pilot error as the probable cause of the Aug. 27, 1990, helicopter crash in southeastern Wisconsin that killed guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and four other people.

In 1993, rain failed to dampen the spirits of most of the 70,000 people attending Michael Jackson's outdoor concert in Moscow.

Also in 1993, the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge was dedicated in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

In 1994, a Los Angeles judge ruled Michael Jackson didn't have to answer questions about the child molestation accusations made against him in a lawsuit filed by five ex-bodyguards. The bodyguards claimed they were fired because they knew too much. The former employees eventually lost their suit.

Also in 1994, EMI paid $122,500 dollars for a 1957 John Lennon recording of The Quarry Men made on the same day he met Paul McCartney. At the same London auction -- but a day earlier -- U2's Bono paid $53,400 dollars for Charlie Chaplin's costume from "The Great Dictator."

In 1996, Bonnie Raitt was among about 150 people arrested in Carlotta, Calif., during a protest of plans to log the world's largest privately owned stand of ancient redwood trees.

In 1997, British rock stars -- including Elton John, Sting, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney -- performed a benefit concert in London to raise money for the volcano-ravaged Caribbean island of Montserrat.

In 1998, a notebook containing working drafts of the Beatles songs "Hey Jude" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was sold to a Liverpool man for $168,000 dollars at Sotheby's auction of rock'n'roll memorabilia in London.

Today's musical quiz:

Did variety show host Ed Sullivan ever record a rock song? Answer: Yes. Sullivan tried to spark a new dance craze with "The Sulli-Gulli" in 1969. His first and only rock record was not a hit.


(Sept. 16)

Today's birthdays include B.B. King, who was born in 1925 (age 77); Hollies bassist Bernie Calver in 1942 (age 60); drummer Joe Butler of the Lovin' Spoonful in 1943 (age 59); Betty Kelly of Martha and the Vandellas in 1944 (age 58); drummer Kenney Jones of Faces and the Who in 1949 (age 53); David Bellamy of the country-pop duo Bellamy Brothers in 1950 (age 52); Richard Marx in 1963 (age 39); and Marc Anthony in 1969 (age 33).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1946, Earl Scruggs first recorded with Bill Monroe.

In 1970, readers of the British publication Melody Makers voted Led Zeppelin the best group -- marking the first time in years that any other act had threatened the dominance of the Beatles.

In 1977, T-Rex lead singer Marc Bolan was killed in a car accident in London. He was 28.

In 1978, the Grateful Dead became the first western rock band to headline a concert in Cairo, Egypt. The show was held in front of the pyramids.

In 1986, Johnny Cash signed with Polygram after two decades with Columbia.

In 1992, Barbra Streisand performed a rare concert at a Beverly Hills, Calif., fund-raiser for Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton.

In 1993, Grace Slick's Marin County, Calif., home was destroyed by a brushfire that swept the neighborhood.

In 1994, Carly Simon denied rumors that she was selling her Martha Vineyard's home to Michael Jackson.

Also in 1994, Grace Slick donated the white-fringed dress she wore at the 1969 Woodstock festival to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

In 1995, Ringo Starr's 24-year-old daughter, Lee Starkey, underwent surgery in Boston to remove a brain tumor. Starr had canceled a tour of his All-Starr Band to be with her.

In 1996, Bruce Springsteen resumed his U.S. solo acoustic tour in Pittsburgh, Pa., in support of his new album "The Ghost of Tom Joad."

Also in 1996, Wilson Pickett was arrested and jailed after police said they caught him using drugs while on probation for a drunken driving accident.

In 1998, the managers for Brandy and Monica issued a joint statement, saying there was no truth to reports that the two teenage singers had feuded backstage during the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles six days earlier.

Also in 1998, Artis Ivey, a.k.a. rapper Coolio, was arrested in the Los Angeles suburb of Lawndale, Calif., after police spotted him driving on the wrong side of the street. In the car, officers allegedly found a gun, ammunition and a small bag of marijuana.

And in 1998, the Rolling Stones performed in Greece on the final leg of the band's "Bridges to Babylon" tour. The concert was in marked contrast to a Stones show in 1967, when Greek military police stopped the show and dragged Mick Jagger off-stage after he tried to toss red carnations into the audience.

And in 1998, Lou Reed entertained at a White House state dinner for visiting Czech President Vaclav Havel.

In 2000, R.E.M., the B-52's and country's Trisha Yearwood were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Today's musical quiz:

Latin pop singer Marc Anthony's real name is Antonio Marco Muniz. Why did he adopt a stage name? Answer: Anthony changed his name not only because his listeners are primarily English-speaking, but also because there's a known Mexican singer with the same name.


(Sept. 17)

Today's birthdays include legendary country singer Hank Williams Sr., who was born in 1923; Bill Black, Elvis Presley's original bassist and later the leader of the Bill Black Combo, in 1926; Little Milton, a.k.a. Milton Campbell, in 1934 (age 68); Lemonte McLemore of the Fifth Dimension in 1940 (age 62); 10cc's Lol Creme in 1947 (age 55); and Fee Waybill, whose real name is John Waldo, of the Tubes in 1950 (age 52).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, the Doors performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Sullivan had asked lead singer Jim Morrison to change or omit the line "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" in the song "Light My Fire." Morrison agreed -- and then sang it anyway.

In 1977, the Supremes topped the British album chart with "20 Golden Greats," a compilation of the trio's hits.

In 1986, Ella Fitzgerald was released from a Los Angeles hospital following heart bypass surgery.

In 1991, former MC5 lead singer Roy Tyner died of a heart attack. He was 46.

In 1992, Paul Simon brought a mobile children's health clinic from New York to Homestead, Fla., to help the victims of Hurricane Andrew.

In 1993, at least 14 workers were injured when the stage collapsed during preparations for the upcoming Garth Brooks concert at the Texas Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

Also in 1993, pop/funk singer Rick James was convicted of beating a woman at a Hollywood hotel. The jury, however, deadlocked on the other charges stemmed from the imprisonment and torture of another woman at James's home in July 1991.

And in 1993, Michael Jackson arrived in Israel, where he performed two concerts. It was his first time in Israel.

In 1996, London police intercepted and destroyed an acid bomb sent to Icelandic rocker Bjork by an obsessed Hollywood, Fla., fan, who'd committed suicide after mailing the device.

Also in 1996, Michael Jackson performed in Moscow as part of his "HIStory" world concert tour.

In 1997, a reunited Fleetwood Mac launched its first tour in more than a decade in Hartford, Conn.

Also in 1997, "Candle in the Wind 1997" -- Elton John's tribute to the late Princess Diana -- went on sale in Canada.

In 1998, a disruptive fan of Hootie and the Blowfish bugged members of the band so much during a New York-to-Los Angeles flight that the pilot was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Denver. The rockers said the man appeared drunk, but lead singer Darius Rucker said he wouldn't press charges.

Also in 1998, Russell Jones, a.k.a. Wu-Tang Clan rapper ODB, was arrested after he allegedly threatened to kill the bouncers that tossed him out of the Hollywood House of Blues. Police said the rapper was drunkenly annoying other patrons.

In 2000, Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp were joined by Barenaked Ladies, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Sawyer Brown and Arlo Guthrie -- among others -- for the organization's 15th benefit concert, held in Prince William County, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. Nelson's backing band included guest drummer Tipper Gore, who'd played for an all-girl rock band while in high school.

Today's musical quiz:

"Candle in the Wind 1997" isn't Elton John's only tribute song. In 1975, he wrote "Philadelphia Freedom" for whom? Answer: Tennis player Billie Jean King.


(Sept. 18)

Today's birthdays include Jimmie Rodgers, whose song "Honeycomb" topped the charts in 1957. Rodgers was born in 1933 (age 69). Frankie Avalon was born in 1940 (age 62); Alan King of Ace in 1946 (age 56); Kerry Livgren of Kansas in 1949 (age 53); Ramones' bassist Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name is Douglas Colvin, in 1952 (age 50); Cutting Crew drummer Martin Beedle in 1961 (age 41); Human League's Joanne Catherall in 1963 (age 39); Ian Spice of Breathe in 1966 (age 36); and Ricky Bell, of the New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe, in 1967 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1969, Tiny Tim announced his engagement to Miss Vicki Budinger at the New Jersey State Fair. The wedding was performed later that year on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last.

In 1970, Jimi Hendrix choked to death on his own vomit after overdosing on sleeping pills. Hendrix's death was followed two weeks later by Janis Joplin's and 10 months later by Jim Morrison's -- all dying at age 27.

In 1971, Pink Floyd became the first rock group to perform at the Classical Music Festival in Montreaux, Switzerland. The band performed a version of its album "Atom Heart Mother."

In 1974, Doris Day won a $22.8 million malpractice suit against her former lawyer.

In 1983, KISS appeared on MTV without the rock band's trademark make-up for the first time.

In 1985, Frank Zappa and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister went on record against record labeling in testimony before a congressional committee.

In 1986, Yale University announced Benny Goodman had bequeathed four truckloads of master recordings, arrangements and music memorabilia to the school.

In 1990, "Tonight" gave the New Kids On The Block their ninth straight top-10 single. However, the group's next single, "Let's Try It Again," failed to crack the top-40.

In 1993, devout Jews prevented tourist Michael Jackson from visiting the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

Also in 1993, Sinead O'Connor performed at the World of Music Arts and Dance Festival near Los Angeles. It was her first U.S. appearance since being booed off the stage during a tribute to Bob Dylan in New York the year before.

In 1996, a Los Angeles federal jury ruled against the Jackson family and awarded $2.6 million to the producers of the ill-fated 1994 "Jackson Family Honors" TV special. The producers said the charity benefit lost money because Michael Jackson failed to perform solo on the show.

Also in 1996, the BeeGees, Jackson 5, Rascals, Joni Mitchell, George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic, Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby Stills and Nash were announced as the 1997 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

In 1997, the Rolling Stones performed an intimate show at a small Chicago nightclub in preparation for the North American leg of the band's "Bridges to Babylon" tour, which kicked off the next week in the Windy City.

Also in 1997, the Farm Aid concert -- canceled due to slow ticket sales at the Texas Stadium -- was rescheduled at the New World Music Theatre in Tinley Park, Ill., for the same day, Oct. 4. The benefit was a sell-out.

And in 1997, Carlos Santana was honored with The Chicano Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award by Los Angeles radio personality Sancho (of KPCC-FM).

In 2000, a Detroit TV station (WDIV-TV) reported that Eminem had moved out of his Sterling Heights, Mich., home to a luxury home in the Manchester Estates neighborhood to get away from his estranged wife and his fans. A real estate agent was quoted saying the neighbors were worried the bad-boy rapper would bring unwanted attention to their quiet, upscale community.

Also in 2000, Madonna revealed during her first live online chat that she and her 4-year-old daughter Lourdes sing Britney Spears songs together.

Today's musical quiz:

There's an asteroid named after Frank Zappa. True or false? Answer: True. In July 1994, the International Astronomical Union announced that it had named an asteroid Zappafrank in honor of the late rocker, who died in December 1993.


(Sept. 19)

Today's birthdays include Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, who was born in 1934; Nick Massi, formerly with the Four Seasons, in 1935 (age 67); Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, singer/songwriter Paul Williams, and Sylvia Tyson of Ian and Sylvia, all in 1940 (age 62); "Mama" Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas in 1943; David Bromberg and Freda Payne, both in 1945 (age 57); John Coghlan of Status Quo in 1946 (age 56); Chic guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers in 1952 (age 50); Rex Smith in 1956 (age 46); and country singer Trisha Yearwood in 1964 (age 38).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1958, Elvis Presley -- the world's most famous soldier -- left Brooklyn, N.Y., on a ship bound for Germany to join his Army unit.

In 1960, Hank Ballard and The Midnighters became the first group with three singles in the U.S. Top 100 when "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" joined "Finger Poppin' Time" -- the band's first top-10 hit -- and "The Twist."

In 1973, Gram Parsons of the Flying Burrito Brothers and formerly the Byrds died from a drug overdose. He was 26.

In 1976, promoter Sid Bernstein publicly offered the Beatles $230 million to reunite in concert. He was ignored.

In 1979, MUSE -- Musicians United for Safe Energy -- launched a series of anti-nuclear concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden. The shows featured Bruce Springsteen, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Doobie Brothers and Jackson Browne -- and yielded the "No Nukes" album.

In 1981, Simon and Garfunkel reunited for their first show together in 11 years. The free concert drew half-a-million people to New York's Central Park.

In 1984, President Reagan -- on the re-election campaign trail in New Jersey -- quoted Bruce Springsteen.

In 1986, in response to reports that Michael Jackson was having a hyperbaric chamber built and that he planned to sleep in it to maintain his youth, the pop star's doctor said he'd advised Jackson against using the oxygen chamber for that purpose.

Also in 1986, drunken fans at a Los Angeles "Street Scene" festival pelted the stage with bottles and other debris after it was announced that the Ramones weren't going to perform.

In 1992, Paula Abdul and actor Emilio Estevez were married again at a country club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. They'd wed the first time in a judge's chambers five months earlier.

In 1993, Michelle Phillips -- formerly with the Mamas and the Papas -- was unhurt after being robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of a West Hollywood restaurant.

In 1994, country singer George Jones left the hospital one week after undergoing triple bypass surgery.

In 1995, Beach Boy founder Brian Wilson filed a $10 million lawsuit in Los Angeles against his former court-appointed conservator, Jerome Billet -- saying Billet misrepresented him in business dealings and cost him millions of dollars.

Also in 1995, Bryan Adams returned to his hometown of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, to break in a new stadium.

In 1997, David Bowie -- with the Chemical Brothers as his opening act -- was the "blind date" for 600 winners of a beer company's "blind date mystery concert" show in Chicago.

Also in 1997, Stephen Stills was enshrined on the Hollywood RockWalk.

In 1998, the Allman Brothers Band was named to the Georgia Hall of Fame.

In 2000, "Music," Madonna's eighth album of all-new material, reached stores.

Also in 2000, Sotheby's London auction house said the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant chain paid more than $49,000 for a psychedelic jacket once worn by legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix. The green silk jacket originally sold for $10.

Today's musical quiz:

Did Michelle Phillips ever guest-star on "Star Trek"? Answer: Yes. Phillips played an old flame of Capt. Picard's on a first-season episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."


(Sept. 20)

Today's birthdays include jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton in 1885; Mick Rogers of Manfred Mann's Earthband, who was born in 1946 (age 56); Chuck and John Panozzo of Styx in 1949 (age 53); Alannah Currie of the Thompson Twins in 1959 age 43); and Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, who performed under the name Nelson, in 1967 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1958, Tommy Steele became the first rock 'n' roll star to be immortalized in wax at London's Madame Tussaud's Waxworks.

In 1966, George Harrison made his first trip to India to visit guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

In 1970, a judge in Miami found Jim Morrison guilty of indecent exposure for an onstage incident at a Miami concert a year-and-a-half earlier.

In 1972, Paul McCartney was arrested for possession of marijuana at his farm in Scotland. It was the first of several pot busts.

In 1973, Jim Croce was killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, La. He was 30.

In 1975, David Bowie had his first No. 1 hit, "Fame," from the album "Young Americans."

Also in 1975, the Bay City Rollers made the band's U.S. TV debut on ABC's "Saturday Night Live With Howard Cossell" (correct), performing -- appropriately enough -- "Saturday Night," the group's first and only No. 1 U.S. single.

And more in 1975, Bruce Springsteen's hit single "Born to Run" was released.

In 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of his son, soul singer Marvin Gaye Jr., six months earlier.

Also in 1984, Steve Goodman died following a bone marrow transplant. He was 36 and had been suffering from leukemia.

In 1985, Motley Crue's Vince Neil was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $2.7 million in restitution to those injured in his drunk driving car accident the previous December. The crash killed Neil's passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas Dingley, a.k.a. Razzle.

In 1993, California police detectives flew to Manila to question a Philippine couple -- former employees of Michael Jackson -- who claimed they saw the pop star fondle young boys.

Also in 1993, the Moody Blues donated to the Los Angeles Hard Rock Cafe a cassette of the band's 1967 album "Days Of Future Passed" that'd been taken into orbit four times by shuttle astronaut and Moody Blues fan Robert "Hoot" Gibson.

And in 1993, Billy Idol reunited with members of his former band Generation X for a one-time-only concert in London.

And in 1993, Revlon announced a deal with Dolly Parton to develop her own line of beauty products.

In 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur pleaded innocent to charges of carrying a concealed gun in his car.

In 1995, Van Halen performed an outdoor concert in Denver despite a snowstorm that dumped 11 inches of snow on the city. During the show, the band got into a snowball fight with the audience.

Also in 1995, Eddie Money's wife, Laurie, gave birth to the couple's fifth child -- a boy -- in Los Angeles.

In 1996, Bonnie Raitt, bluesman Buddy Guy and surf musician Dick Dale of Dick Dale and the Del-Tones were enshrined on the Hollywood RockWalk. A commemorative plaque and a bronze bust of the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan were also unveiled.

Also in 1996, an estimated 100,000 fans attended Michael Jackson's concert in Warsaw, Poland.

Today's musical quiz:

What was Steve Goodman's song "The Lincoln Park Pirates" about? Answer: A Chicago towing company that trolled the north side neighborhood of Lincoln Park, towing vehicles illegally parked in its clients' parking lots and -- reputedly -- towing anything else, too.

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