Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International
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(Oct. 12)

Today's birthdays include Samuel Moore, "Sam" of Sam and Dave, who was born in 1935 (age 67); Melvin Franklin of the Temptations in 1942; Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt in 1948 (age 54); and Dave Vanian of The Damned in 1956 (age 46).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1938, production began on the movie that propelled Judy Garland to international fame, "The Wizard Of Oz."

In 1962, the Beatles were among the opening acts for Little Richard at Liverpool's New Brighton Tower.

In 1966, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell got together to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

In 1968, John Sebastian left the Lovin' Spoonful to go solo.

In 1971, "Jesus Christ Superstar" premiered at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in New York.


Also in 1971, Gene Vincent died from bleeding ulcers at age 36. He'd had a top-10 hit in 1956 with "Be-Bop-a-Lula."

In 1975, Rod Stewart played his last show with Faces at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, N.Y.

In 1978, Sid Vicious was arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.

In 1986, The Clash was the opening act for The Who at New York's Shea Stadium on The Who's first farewell tour.

In 1986, "My Way" -- Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra -- made the best-seller list.

In 1992, Michael Jackson broke his own record for album sales when "Dangerous" sold more than 15 million copies in 10 months.

Also in 1992, a security guard accused Elton John of hitting him on the back of his head during an AIDS benefit concert at New York's Madison Square Garden.

In 1993, Duran Duran kicked off the North American leg of its concert tour in Merrillville, Ind.

In 1994, 60 people were injured -- none seriously -- when seating collapsed at the start of a Pink Floyd concert in London.


In 1996, Hootie and the Blowfish joined regulars Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and 45,000 fans at Farm Aid '96 in Columbia, S.C.

In 1997, John Denver was killed when his experimental plane nose-dived into Monterey Bay off the California coast. He was 53.

In 1998, Johnny Cash was readmitted to Nashville's Baptist Hospital for a check on the medications he was taking for a nervous system disorder known as Shy-Drager syndrome, a disease in the Parkinson's family. Cash had left the hospital 10 days earlier after being treated for pneumonia.

Also in 1998, Elton John turned down an offer to serve as a United Nations "messenger of peace" -- citing a lack to time to do the job justice.

In 2000, Venice Underground, former Porno For Pyros guitarist Peter DiStefano's new band, released its self-titled debut album.

Topping the charts on this date:

The Yellow Rose of Texas -- Mitch Miller (1955), Sugar Shack -- Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs (1963), Maggie May/Reason to Believe -- Rod Stewart (1971), Sad Eyes -- Robert John (1979).

Today's musical quiz:


In the mid-1970s, John Sebastian had a No. 1 single with the theme song from what TV show? Answer: "Welcome Back, Kotter."


(Oct. 13)

Today's birthdays include Paul Simon, who was born in 1941 (age 61); keyboardist Robert Lamm of Chicago in 1944 (age 58); former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar in 1949 (age 53); Marie Osmond in 1959 (age 43); and Joey Belladonna of Anthrax in 1960 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, the Beatles appeared for the first time on a major British TV show, "Sunday Night at the London Palladium." The resulting chaos led to the coining of the term "Beatlemania."

In 1971, it was announced that David Essex would play the part of Jesus in the London stage production of the neo-religious musical "Godspell."

In 1975, Neil Young underwent successful surgery for a growth on his vocal cords.

In 1977, Shirley Brickley -- a founding member of the Orlons -- died of gunshot wounds. She was 32. The Philadelphia-based R&B group had a number of top-40 hits in the early 1960s.

In 1983, Culture Club's second album, "Colour by Numbers," was released.


In 1986, a one-hour performance by Bruce Springsteen and the surprise reunion of Crosby Stills Nash and Young highlighted a Mountain View, Calif., benefit concert for disabled children. The show was the idea of Neil Young, whose son has cerebral palsy.

In 1992, Bruce Springsteen defied his image as a working man's rocker when he crossed picket lines at the Tacoma Dome in Washington state to perform.

Also in 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the families of two teenage suicide victims could not sue Ozzy Osbourne for allegedly inspiring their sons to kill themselves through the song "Suicide Solution."

And in 1992, the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to rename the San Francisco Civic Auditorium after rock promoter Bill Graham, who'd been killed a year earlier in a helicopter crash.

In 1993, Paul Simon announced that he and Art Garfunkel would perform a United Way benefit concert the following month in Toronto.

In 1994, Yoko Ono donated items from her personal collection of John Lennon memorabilia to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.


Also in 1994, Glenn Frey was released from a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing surgery for diverticulitis. The operation had postponed the first Eagles tour in 14 years.

And in 1994, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, the founders of A&M Records, announced the formation of a new label, Almo Sounds.

In 1995, rapper Tupac Shakur was freed from a New York state prison pending an appeal of his 1994 sexual assault conviction.

In 1997, NPR debuted Billy Joel's classical piano composition "Reverie."

Topping the charts on this date:

Sherry -- The 4 Seasons (1962), Cracklin' Rose -- Neil Diamond (1970), Kiss You All Over -- Exile, When I Think Of You -- Janet Jackson (1986).

Today's musical quiz:

What kind of art does Ozzy Osbourne collect? Answer: Osbourne is partial to Victorian nudes.


(Oct. 14)

Today's birthdays include British pop star Cliff Richard, who was born in 1940 (age 62); Them guitarist Billy Harrison in 1942 (age 60); Colin Hodgkinson of Whitesnake in 1945 (age 57); Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues in 1946 (age 56); Thomas Dolby in 1958 (age 44); Karyn White in 1965 (age 37); and Usher, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, in 1979 (age 23).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, the Lubbock, Texas-based duo of Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery opened for Bill Haley and the Comets in Lubbock.

In 1957, Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" was released.

In 1964, Rolling Stone drummer Charlie Watts married Shirley Ann Shepherd in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

In 1966, Grace Slick appeared for the first time with Jefferson Airplane at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. She replaced Signe Anderson.

In 1968, the Beatles wrapped up recording the self-titled double album that's more commonly known as the "white album."

In 1972, 13-year-old Michael Jackson topped the charts with "Ben."

Also in 1972, the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" was released.

And in 1972, Joe Cocker was arrested on drug possession charges in Australia.

In 1975, "Rock and Roll All Night" by Kiss was released.

In 1977, Bing Crosby died at age 74.

In 1985, a beardless Dan Fogelberg went unrecognized at his own New York concert.

In 1989, the name of Roy Orbison was added to the West Texas Walk of Fame.


In 1992, John Denver launched a concert tour of China. It was the most extensive tour by a Western artist ever approved by the Beijing government.

In 1993, a car carrying Michael Jackson and his entourage hit and injured two teenagers in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The pop star offered to pay their medical expenses. A year later, he was sued by one of the teens, who claimed Jackson reneged on his offer.

In 1996, Madonna gave birth by caesarean section in a Los Angeles hospital to her first child -- a six-pound, nine-ounce girl she named Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon.

In 1997, Mick Jagger's sore throat forced the Rolling Stones to cancel a performance on the premiere of MTV's "Live From The 10 Spot." David Bowie filled in for the Stones.

Also in 1997, federal aviation officials said John Denver didn't have a valid pilot's license when his plane crashed off the California coast two days earlier. The National Transportation Safety Board said Denver's license had been revoked in 1996 and he was told he couldn't get it back until he provided medical certification that he didn't have a drinking problem. (Denver had been arrested twice on drunk driving charges in Colorado.)


And in 1997, Duran Duran released its new album, "Medazzaland."

And in 1997, Paul McCartney's new orchestral work, "Standing Stone," had its world premiere with a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra at London's Royal Albert Hall.

In 1999, Sting launched his world concert tour in Las Vegas in support of his seventh solo album, "Brand New Day."

Also in 1999, France honored David Bowie with one of its highest tributes, naming him a Commander of Arts and Letters, for his lifetime achievements in music.

Topping the charts on this date:

Hit the Road Jack -- Ray Charles (1961), Sugar, Sugar -- The Archies (1969), Star Wars Theme/Cantina Bank -- Meco (1977), Oh Sheila -- Ready for the World (1985).

Today's musical quiz:

What prompted Cliff Richard to go into music? Answer: Richard was inspired to begin singing after seeing Bill Haley and the Comets in concert in 1957.


(Oct. 15)

Today's birthdays include Mickey Baker, of Mickey and Sylvia, who was born in 1925 (age 77); Barry McGuire, who had a No.1 single in 1965 with "Eve of Destruction," in 1935 (age 67); Moby Grape drummer Don Stevenson in 1942 (age 60); Richard Carpenter in 1946 (age 56); Chris De Burgh in 1948 (age 54); and Jackson brother Tito Jackson in 1953 (age 49).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, the Miracles' "Shop Around" became the first Motown million-seller.

Also in 1960, Loretta Lynn made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. She was warmly received and invited to return.

In 1966, Pink Floyd played its first major concert, at the London Roadhouse. It was a launch party for the underground newspaper International Times.

In 1969, Howlin' Wolf suffered a severe heart attack. He recovered and would live another six years.

In 1970, Derek and the Dominoes opened what would become an extended U.S. tour.

In 1973, Rolling Stone Keith Richard and girlfriend Anita Pallenburg were given suspended sentences and fined after being convicted on drug charges in Nice, France.

In 1976, Ike and Tina Turner split up to go solo.

Also in 1976, Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album was released.

In 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Street Survivors" album was released. The original cover showed group members enveloped in flames. It was changed after three of the rockers were killed in a fiery plane crash five days later.

In 1983, Elvis Costello's "Every Day I Write the Book" debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot-100 chart. It was his first U.S. Top-40 chart appearance.


In 1986, John Denver was among those awarded Ellis Island Medals of Honor by the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation to honor "distinguished members" of various ethnic groups. Denver's heritage was German.

In 1992, rapper Eric Wright --- a.k.a. Eazy-E, founder of the gangsta' rap group NWA -- filed a federal lawsuit, claiming Sony Music Entertainment and others sent thugs to intimidate him into releasing three artists from their recording contracts.

In 1996, a Los Angeles judge ruled that a "Hard Copy" freelance reporter owed Michael Jackson monetary damages for claiming the pop star had been videotaped molesting a teenage boy.

Also in 1996, Cuban Beatles fans gathered in Havana for a three-day exhibit of Beatles music and movies.

In 1997, John Denver's remains were cremated in California and his ashes then flown to Aurora, Colo., where a memorial service was planned by the late singer's mother and brother.

In 1999, TLC kicked off the first leg of its concert tour in Montreal.

Also in 1999, Rob Zombie was honored at the 3rd annual Eyegore Awards. He received the Achievement In Horror award for his CD "Hellbilly Deluxe," which merged horror imagery with rock music.


And in 1999, police in Asbury Park, N.J., reported nine computers worth about $16,000 donated by Bruce Springsteen had been stolen from the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County.

Topping the charts on this date:

Mr. Custer -- Larry Verne (1960), Hey Jude -- The Beatles (1968), A Fifth of Beethoven -- Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band (1976), I Just Called To Say I Love You -- Stevie Wonder (1984).

Today's musical quiz:

What's Tito Jackson's full name? Answer: Toriano Adaryll Jackson.


(Oct. 16)

Today's birthdays include Nico of the Velvet Underground, who was born in 1938; Bachman-Turner-Overdrive bassist Fred Turner in 1943 (age 59); Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead in 1947 (age 55); Rainbow keyboardist Tony Carey in 1953 (age 49); Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet in 1960 (age 42); and singer Wendy Wilson in 1969 (age 33).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1954, Elvis Presley appeared on the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show in Shreveport, La., and was given a one-year contract to appear on the program.


In 1957, Sam Cooke's biggest hit, "You Send Me," was released.

In 1967, Joan Baez was among the more than 100 anti-draft protesters arrested outside an army induction center in Oakland, Calif.

In 1969, Leonard Chess, the founder of Chess Records, died at age 52. He'd signed Chuck Berry to his first recording contract.

In 1971, Isaac Hayes' "Theme From 'Shaft'" was released.

In 1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up.

In 1976, "Disco Duck," a satiric send-up of the 1970s disco craze, became a No. 1 hit.

In 1986, Dizzy Gillespie donated his trumpet to the Smithsonian.

In 1986, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Julian Lennon and Eric Clapton performed at Berry's 60th birthday concert in St. Louis. The show was filmed for the rockumentary "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll." Berry's birthday actually is Oct. 18.

Also in 1986, John Denver performed a benefit concert in Kiev for the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Another concert was held the next day in Moscow.

In 1991, Jane's Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell was arrested at a Santa Monica, Calif., motel on drug charges.


In 1992, a two-day concert tribute to the late Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations began in Redondo Beach, Calif. Featured artists included Lou Rawls, Bill Withers, and Hall and Oates. Kendricks had died 11 days earlier.

Also in 1992, Billy Preston was sentenced to 90 days house arrest and five years probation on assault and drug charges stemming from his alleged attacks on two laborers at his Malibu, Calif., home the year before.

And in 1992, Barbara Mandrell's tour was disrupted when her tour bus caught fire in North Dakota.

In 1995, Stevie Wonder and rapper Ice-T were among the celebrities at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

In 1996, a London tabloid (The Sun) reported Mick Jagger's wife, Jerry Hall, had retained Princess Diana's divorce lawyer to begin divorce proceedings against the Rolling Stone frontman. The couple later reconciled, but finally divorced in July 1999.

Also in 1996, the first of Michael Jackson's three concerts in Taiwan was postponed after the plane carrying the stage equipment had mechanical trouble and arrived from South Korea too late to set up for the show. The concert was rescheduled for six days later.


In 1997, Bob Dylan showed up and actually gave a brief speech in accepting an award from the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize Trust in New York City.

Also in 1997, Alice Cooper was honored with the 1st Eyegore Award from Universal Studios Hollywood for contributions to the world of fantasy and horror.

In 2000, Madonna reclaimed her name on the Internet when the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, ruled in her favor -- returning to her the right to use as her Web address.

Also in 2000, rapper-turned-Rev. Joseph "Run" Simmons was among the speakers at the Million Family March in Washington, D.C.

Topping the charts on this date:

"Mack the Knife" -- Bobby Darin (1959), The Letter -- The Box Tops (1967), Bad Blood -- Neil Sedaka (1975), Total Eclipse of the Heart --Bonnie Tyler (1983).

Today's musical quiz:

Wilson-Phillips had two No.1 hit singles. Can you name them? Answer: "Hold On" and "Release Me."


Oct. 17)

Today's birthdays include Jim Seals of Seals and Crofts and Alan Howard of Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, both born in 1941 (age 61); Gary Puckett of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap in 1942 (age 60); James Tucker of the Turtles in 1946 (age 56); Spinal Tap's David St. Hubbins (actor Michael McKean) in 1947 (age 55); Ziggy Marley, son of the late reggae star Bob Marley and a reggae musician in his own right, in 1968 (age 34); and Wyclef Jean in 1969 (age 33).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" opened at the Public Theater in New York's East Village. It later moved to Broadway for an extended run.

In 1972, Billy Williams died at age 62. He had a hit single in 1957 with "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter."

In 1974, Olivia Newton-John topped the U.S. album charts for the first time with "If You Love Me, Let Me Know."

In 1975, Maurice Gibb married his second wife, Yvonne Spencely, whom he had met shortly after separating from his first wife, Lulu.

In 1979, Fleetwood Mac released the first single from "Tusk," the follow-up album to the group's record-setting "Rumours" album.

In 1985, Sean Penn -- then married to Madonna -- pleaded no contest to charges he assaulted two reporters in Nashville. He was fined $15 and given a 90-day suspended sentence.

In 1990, for the first time, the No. 1 album in the United States was only available on CD or cassette -- and could not be found on vinyl. The album was Vanilla Ice's "To The Extreme."

Also in 1990, Steppenwolf's 1968 single "Born To Be Wild" re-entered the top-10 in the Netherlands.


In 1991, John Mellencamp was hospitalized in Seattle after nearly passing out during a live radio performance. The incident occured on the last day of a four-week promotional tour. He was released the next day and told to go home and take it easy.

Also in 1991, Jordan Knight of the New Kids On The Block was charged with ordering his bodyguard to beat up a heckler outside a Boston nightclub four months earlier.

And in 1991, "Tennessee" Ernie Ford died of liver disease in a Reston, Va., hospital. He was 72.

In 1994, Canadian police found the bodies of three young men in a storage building near Vancouver. A diary at the scene said they'd killed themselves in despair over the suicide of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

In 1995, Bruce Springsteen joined Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers on stage for a 100-minute-long set at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J. That's the club where "The Boss" had started out.

Also in 1995, a London court sentenced Sting's ex-accountant to six years in prison for stealing more than $9 million from the rocker.

In 1996, Chuck Berry made a rare public appearance at a St. Louis nightclub. At midnight, on his 70th birthday, the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to him.


In 1997, more than 2,000 people jammed an Aurora, Colo., church for John Denver's funeral service. He'd died Oct. 12 in a plane crash.

In 1999, country legend Johnny Cash was readmitted to Baptist Hospital in Nashville, suffering from pneumonia. He had nearly died from the illness a year earlier.

In 2000, at an auction at the Hard Rock Café in London, George Michael paid $2.2 million for the upright Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed "Imagine" and then donated it to the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool.

Also in 2000, the Squirrel Nut Zippers' fifth album, "Bedlam Ballroom," hit stores.

And in 2000, the first release from Marilyn Manson's newly formed label, Posthuman Records, was the soundtrack to the film "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2."

Topping the charts on this date:

It's All in the Game --Tommy Edwards (1958), Reach Out I'll Be There -- Four Tops (1966), I Honestly Love You -- Olivia Newton-John (1974), Jack & Diane -- John Cougar (1982).

Today's musical quiz:

This member of the Fugees sang at the memorial service for John F. Kennedy, Jr., in 1999. Who? Answer: Wyclef Jean.



(Oct. 18)

Today's birthdays include Chuck Berry, who was born on this day in either 1926 or 1931. He won't say. But most reference books list 1926 (age 76). Ronnie Bright of the Coasters was born in 1938 (age 64); the Association's Russ Giguere in 1943 (age 59); Laura Nyro in 1947; REO Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath and Stealers Wheel's Joe Egan, both in 1949 (age 53); Keith Knudsen of the Doobie Brothers in 1952 (age 50); and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis in 1961 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1952, Hank Williams, Sr., and Billie Jean Jones Eshlimar were married by a Justice of the Peace in Minden, La.

On this day in 1961, the movie version of the Broadway musical "West Side Story" opened in New York. It went on to win the Oscar for best picture of the year.

In 1966, the Jimi Hendrix Experience debuted at Olympia Theatre in Paris.

In 1967, "How I Won The War" -- a movie with John Lennon in his first solo film role -- premiered in London.

In 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were arrested at Ringo Starr's London apartment on drug charges. Lennon pleaded guilty so the police wouldn't press charges against Ono, although he swore the hash had been planted. The arrest became the backbone of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Department's case to keep Lennon from becoming a U.S. citizen.


Also in 1968, Led Zeppelin performed for the first time in Britain at London's Marquee Club.

In 1969, Rod Stewart joined Faces, replacing Steve Marriott, who'd left to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton.

Also in 1969, Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" was released.

And in 1969, Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner was charged with possession of marijuana after being arrested outside his home in Honolulu. Kantner said he was set up.

In 1974, Al Green was scalded on the back when his ex-girlfriend, Mary Woodson, threw boiling grits at him. She then shot and killed herself.

In 1986, for the first time, the top three spots on the Billboard Hot-100 single chart were occupied by three different female artists -- Janet Jackson's "When I Think Of You," Tina Turner's "Typical Male," and "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. The next week, Jackson and Lauper traded places, placing Lauper into the No. 1 position.

Also in 1986, Christine McVie married Portuguese musician Eduarto Quintela de Mendonca.

And in 1986, Ink Spot Wilburt Harris died at age 44.

In 1993, the trial of George Michael's lawsuit seeking to break his contract with Sony began in London. He would lose -- although a year later, the music division of the newly formed DreamWorks SKG would buy out his contract.


In 1994, John Denver's lawyer asked that his client's blood alcohol test taken after an August car crash in Aspen, Colo., be thrown out. He said the singer was suffering from a concussion and in no condition to give permission for a blood test.

In 1995, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performed at the Montreal Forum -- making up a Led Zeppelin concert canceled 15 years before by the death of drummer John Bonham.

Also in 1995, Linda McCartney's veggie burgers were recalled in Britain after a study found the fat content was 20-to-23 percent instead of the 11 percent listed on the package.

In 1996, Madonna's newborn daughter made Entertainment Weekly's list of the 101 most powerful people in the entertainment industry -- she was 101.5 on the list. Madonna herself placed 82nd.

Also in 1996, a federal court in Los Angeles issued a preliminary injunction barring former members of Creedence Clearwater Revival from using a similar name for their new group.

Topping the charts on this date:

Chances Are/The Twelfth of Never -- Johnny Mathis (1957), Yesterday -- The Beatles (1965), Half-Breed -- Cher (1973), Arthur's Theme (Beast That You Can Do) -- 1981.


Today's musical quiz:

Who said, "If we had to give rock 'n' roll another name, we'd probably call it Chuck Berry"? Answer: John Lennon, during an appearance on "The Mike Douglas Show."

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