Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   Sept. 27, 2002 at 3:08 AM
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(Sept. 27)

Today's birthdays include the late jazz pianist and composer Bud Powell, who was born in 1924; Bar-Keys singer-turned-producer Don Nix in 1941 (age 61); Randy Bachman of the Guess Who and also Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1943 (age 59); Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Aday, in 1947 (age 55); Robbie Shakespeare and Men at Work's Greg Ham, both in 1953 (age 49); pop singer/actor Shaun Cassidy in 1958 (age 44); and Third Eye Blind's Stephen Jenkins in 1965 (age 37).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1935, a 13-year-old Judy Garland signed her first contract with MGM.

In 1962, Martha and the Vandellas' first single "I'll Have to Let Him Go" was released.

In 1963, British pop singer Cilla Black's first single, "Love of the Loved," was released. The song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. That same day, Black made her TV debut on the British show "Ready, Steady, Go."

In 1972, Rory Storme, of Rory Storme and the Hurricanes, died of an overdose of sleeping pills. His real name was Alan Caldwell. Ringo Starr had played drums with the group before joining the Beatles in 1962.

In 1979, a flu-stricken Elton John collapsed onstage at the Universal Amphitheater in Hollywood. He returned after a 10-minute break to finish his set.

Also in 1979, Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCullough was found dead in his apartment. He'd just left Paul McCartney's group Wings. McCullough was 26.

In 1980, the Stray Cats, led by Brian Setzer, signed with Arista Records.

In 1983, reggae artist Prince Far I (eye) was killed by gunmen at his home in St. Catherine's, Jamaica. The motive behind his murder was unclear.

Also in 1983, "Chorus Line" became the longest running Broadway musical in history on this date with its 3,389th performance.

In 1984, Culture Club released five versions of its single "The War Song" -- with vocals in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

In 1986, Metallica bass player Cliff Burton was killed when the band's tour bus flipped over on ice in Sweden. He was 24.

In 1990, as hundreds of fans looked on, Marvin Gaye was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1991, funkster Rick James pleaded innocent to charges he and his girlfriend tortured a woman at his Hollywood Hills home in July.

Also in 1991, Vanilla Ice, a.k.a. Robert Van Winkle, pleaded no contest in a Los Angeles courtroom to charges of pulling a gun on a man who'd tried to sell him some jewelry in a Studio City, Calif., parking lot the previous June. The rapper was sentenced to two years probation.

In 1993, a spokesperson for Madonna said the pop star would stay at a hotel in Jerusalem while in Israel because she wanted to be near the holy sites. However, she ended up staying in Tel Aviv.

In 1994, Metallica sued Elektra Records to break its 10-year-old contract with the label. The band said it wasn't getting paid enough in royalties.

Also in 1994, a Brazilian teenager sued Michael Jackson in New York federal court. He said the singer broke a promise to help him financially after Jackson's van hit and injured him in 1993 in Sao Paulo.

Topping the charts on this date:

Take Good Care of My Baby -- Bobby Vee (1961), Sugar, Sugar -- The Archies (1969), Best of My Love -- Emotions (1977), Money for Nothing -- Dire Straits (1985).

Today's musical quiz:

Shaun Cassidy once was a regular on what daytime soap opera? Answer: "General Hospital."

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