Today in Music: a look back at pop music

United Press International

(Sept. 30)

Today's birthdays include Johnny Mathis, who was born in 1935 (age 67); Frankie Lymon, of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, in 1942; Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin, also in 1942 (age 60); Marilyn McCoo, formerly with the Fifth Dimension, in 1943 (age 59); Spooky Tooth's Mike Harrison in 1945 (age 57); Marc Bolan of T-Rex in 1948; country's Deborah Allen in 1953 (age 49); Patrice Rushen in 1954 (age 48); and actress-turned-country singer Crystal Bernard in 1964 (age 38).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1950, the Grand Ole Opry was first televised.

In 1955, James Dean was killed in a car accident. He was 24.

In 1967, BBC One, Britain's long-awaited pop music radio network, signed on the air. The first record played was "Flowers in the Rain" by The Move.

In 1977, Mary Ford -- the vocal half of the husband-and-wife team Les Paul and Mary Ford -- died at age 53.

In 1986, Eddie Money launched his first concert tour in three years.

In 1992, thousands of Romanians -- including the country's premier -- flocked to a Bucharest orphanage, hoping to catch a glimpse of Michael Jackson at the opening of a playground financed by his Heal the World Charity.


In 1992, Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus were the big winners at the 26th annual CMA awards in Nashville.

In 1993, the B-52's Kate Pierson was arrested during an anti-fur sit-in at Vogue magazine in New York.

Also in 1993, two firefighters were fired and two more suspended for taking rock memorabilia from the burned-out Northern California home of Grace Slick.

In 1996, Smashing Pumpkins played a surprise concert for 300 contest winners in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In 1998, three of the four members of the punk band Dead Kennedys voted to severe ties with Alternative Tentacles Records, the label founded by frontman Jello Biafra in 1983. Guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride and drummer D.H. Peligro said they'd been unable to settle claims of royalty underpayments with the label. Biafra did not attend the meeting at which the vote was taken.

In 1999, John Lennon's handwritten original lyrics to "I Am the Walrus" were purchased for $129,200 by an anonymous phone bidder at an auction.

Topping the charts on this date:

It's All in the Game -- Tommy Edwards (1958), Cherish -- The Associationj (1966), Rock Me Gently -- Andy Kim (1974), Tell Her About It -- Billy Joel (1983).


Today's musical quiz:

One of the Fifth Dimension's biggest hits, "Aquarius," was from this Broadway musical. What? Answer: "Hair."

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