Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Sept. 13, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(Sept. 13)

Today's birthdays include the late Bill Monroe, the "father of bluegrass," who was born in 1911, the late Mel Torme in 1925, James Johnson of the 1950s R&B group the Jayhawks in 1939 (age 63), the late Tim Hardin in 1940; Blood Sweat and Tears lead singer David Clayton-Thomas in 1941 (age 61); former Chicago bassist and lead singer Peter Cetera in 1944 (age 58); Randy Jones of the Village People in 1952 (age 50); Sister Sledge's Joni Sledge in 1956 (age 46); Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr's son and a drummer in his own right, in 1965 (age 37); and singer Fiona Apple in 1977 (age 25).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, Louis Armstrong won the Best Male Vocalist Grammy for "Hello, Dolly!"

In 1969, the Plastic Ono Band -- with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman and Alan White -- performed for the first time in public at the Toronto Peace Festival. The concert yielded the album "Live Peace In Toronto." Also on the bill -- The Doors, Chicago, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard and Alice Cooper.

Also in 1969, Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" was released. It turned out to be his final No.1 single.

And in 1969, Santana's self-titled debut album entered the U.S. album charts.

In 1974, Stevie Wonder performed in concert for the first time since being nearly killed in a car accident the year before.

In 1979, ABBA opened its first North American concert tour in Edmonton, Canada.

In 1984, President Reagan attended country singer Roy Acuff's 80th birthday party at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Acuff's birthday was actually three days later.

In 1994, respiratory problems forced Roger Daltry to put his tour on hold for three weeks.

In 1995, members of Hootie & the Blowfish announced they don't want to be considered for South Carolina's highest honor -- Order of the Palmetto -- for the band's charity work.

Also in 1995, two of Kenny Rogers' Roasters chicken restaurants closed in Buffalo, N.Y.

In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur died from the injuries suffered in a drive-by shooting six days earlier in Las Vegas. He was 25. His murder has never been solved.

Also in 1996, Michael Jackson toured the Parliament House in Bucharest, Romania. More than 5,000 fans flooded the once-prohibited inner grounds to try to catch a glimpse of the pop star.

In 1999, Oasis's Liam Gallagher became a father when his wife, actress Patsy Kensit, gave birth to the couple's first child in London. They named the boy Lennon Francis Gallagher after the singer's hero, John Lennon

Today's musical quiz:

Mel Torme said he wrote this song on a hot July day in 1946. What? Answer: "The Christmas Song," known by a lot of people from the first line, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." It was a huge hit for Nat "King" Cole.

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