Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Oct. 25, 2002 at 2:45 AM
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(Oct. 26)

Today's birthdays include singer Mahalia Jackson, born in 1911, Neal Matthews of the Jordanaires, who was born in 1929 (age 73); Keith Hopwood of the Herman's Hermits in 1940 (age 62); Michael Piano of the Sandpipers in 1944 (age 58); Maggie Roche and William "Bootsy" Collins, both in 1951 (age 51); and the B-52's Keith Strickland in 1953 (age 49).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1961, Bob Dylan signed with Columbia Records.

In 1965, in a Buckingham Palace ceremony, the Beatles were awarded the prestigious MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queeen Elizabeth. The Fab Four later revealed they were very nervous about meeting the queen and, to bolster their confidence, retreated to a Palace bathroom for a quick joint (according to John Lennon).

It was during the Buckingham Palace session that Lennon made his highly controversial statement to a reporter, "We're more popular than Jesus Christ right now."

In 1971, Al Green's first hit, "Tired of Being Alone," was certified "gold."

In 1980, Paul Kantner suffered a brain hemorrhage during a recording session for Jefferson Starship's "Modern Times" album. He was hospitalized for two weeks in Los Angeles but recovered completely.

In 1981, the David Bowie-Queen collaboration "Under Pressure" was released.

In 1985, Whitney Houston scored her first No. 1 hit, "Saving My Love for You."

In 1991, it was "Tom Petty Day" in Gainesville, Fla. Petty and members of his band, the Heartbreakers, attended Gainesville High School in the 1960s.

In 1992, a Madison Square Garden security guard sued Elton John for $100 million, saying the singer beat him during a New York concert 2 1/2 weeks earlier.

In 1993, Rick James sued his former manager and his bank for allowing unauthorized withdrawals from his account.

In 1994, Israeli officials had earlier announced that Barbra Streisend would sing at the Israel-Jordon peace-treaty signing, but she didn't.

In 1995, Selena's convicted killer, Yolanda Saldivar, was sentenced to life in prison.

Also in 1995, jury selection began in Los Angeles in the murder trial of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and his bodyguard. They would be acquitted.

In 1999, Counting Crows kicked off a tour in Atlanta in support of the band's new CD "This Desert Life." It was the Crows' third full-length studio album and their first in three years.

Also in 1999, the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a private, radio station-sponsored concert on the 107th floor of New York's World Trade Center to celebrate the release of their new single "Around the World."

And in 1999, singer, songwriter and actor Hoyt Axton died after suffering a heart attack during surgery. He was 61. Axton wrote tunes for Elvis Presley, the Kingston Trio and Ringo Starr, among others.

Topping the charts on this date:

Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (1957), Yesterday - The Beatles (1965). Angie - The Rolling Stones (1973), Arthur's Theme (Best that You Can Do) - Christopher Cross (1981).

Today's musical quiz:

Hoyt Axton's mother, Mae --- a composer in her own right --- co-wrote what song that became a huge hit for Elvis Presley? Answer: "Hound Dog."


(Oct. 27)

Today's birthdays include pianist/singer Floyd Cramer, who was born in 1937 (age 65); country's Lee Greenwood in 1942 (age 60); and Duran Duran's Simon LeBon in 1958 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Ben E. King, formerly of the Drifters, recorded his first two solo tracks: "Spanish Harlem" and "Stand by Me." The tunes were produced by songwriting team Leiber and Stoller, with Phil Spector assisting.

In 1963, Peter Paul and Mary occupied the top two positions on the U.S. album charts, with "Peter Paul and Mary" and "In the Wind."

In 1973, "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips topped the Billboard Hot-100 pop singles chart.

In 1975, Bruce Springsteen appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek simultaneously. But it wasn't enough to get him into Graceland: the guards at Elvis Presley's estate threw him out after Springsteen hopped the fence.

In 1983, Paul McCartney's "Pipes of Peace" album was released.

In 1990, Michael Waite of Musical Youth was sentenced to four years in prison for robbery.

In 1992, Cher sued Malibu, Calif., after city officials denied her application to build a new home on a bluff overlooking a beach.

In 1995, Gloria Estefan performed on a Vatican-TV show honoring priests.

In 1996, Bruce Springsteen performed and then spoke at a Los Angeles rally aimed at voting down a ballot initiative that would end government affirmative action programs in the state of California.

In 1997, Johnny Cash announced he had a form of Parkinson's disease. He canceled plans to promote his memoirs "Cash: The Autobiography" and his latest CD. However, the singer said he expected to resume touring once the disease was stabilized through medical treatment.

Also in 1997, Universal bought the film rights to 1992's "Where Is Joe Merchant" by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet.

And in 1997, raunchy rapper-turned-reformer Luther Campbell spoke at the annual Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Awareness Conference in Miami, which was sponsored by the 500 Role Models of Excellence.

In 1998, the late Linda McCartney's debut solo CD "Wide Prairie" was released by Capitol Records.

Also in 1998, The Artist, a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, was interviewed live on "BET Tonight with Travis Smiley."

In 2000, Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water" topped the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart, becoming the sixth album -- and the first by a rock band -- to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week of release.

Topping the charts on this date:

Canadian Sunset - Hugo Winterhalter and Eddie Haywood (1956), Do Wah Diddy Diddy -- Manfred Mann (1964), My Ding-A-Ling -- Chuck Berry (1972), Woman in Love -- Barbra Steisand (1980).

Today's musical quiz:

Luther Campbell, while part of 2 Live Crew, ended up in hot water with Lucasfilms. Why? Answer: Campbell called his record label Skyywalker Records, prompting trademark infringment litigation from the folks who held the rights to the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker.


(Oct. 28)

Today's birthdays include country's Charlie Daniels, who was born in 1936 (age 66); Hank Marvin, lead guitarist with The Shadows, in 1941 (age 61); Wayne Fontana in 1945 (age 58); singer-turned-actress Telma Hopkins of Dawn, and Black Oak Arkansas' Ricky Lee Reynolds, both in 1948 (age 54); and Stephen Morris of the British techno-dance band New Order in 1957 (age 45).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Elvis Presley performed "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Hound Dog" and "Love Me" on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1958, Buddy Holly made his last major TV appearance, on "American Bandstand."

In 1968, Cynthia Lennon sued her Beatle husband John for divorce on the grounds of adultery. John Lennon, who was living with a pregnant Yoko Ono at the time, didn't fight the action.

In 1972, the U.S. Council for World Affairs adopted "Join Together" by The Who as its anthem.

In 1977, the Sex Pistols album "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols" was released.

In 1983, CBS Records sued the rock group Boston for breach of contract, saying the band had failed to deliver all of the albums called for in its recording contract. At the time, Boston had recorded only two albums since 1976.

In 1989, Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" topped the charts.

In 1992, thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans were disappointed when a sore throat forced The Boss to cancel his St. Louis concert.

In 1993, 21 MTV camera crews fanned out to 15 cities to videotape "A Day in the Life of Rock 'n' Roll."

In 1994, Berry Gordy told ABC's "20/20" he loved Diana Ross but didn't know he had fathered her daughter until many years later.

Also in 1994, Liv Tyler, the 17-year-old daughter of Aerosmith's Steve Tyler, made her film debut in "Silent Fall" with Richard Dreyfuss.

In 1997, Business Age magazine reported David Bowie was the richest British rocker, worth $917 million. That placed him ahead of Paul McCartney -- net worth $868 million -- for the first time. Tom Jones, Phil Collins and Elton John rounded out the top five. Annie Lennox was listed as the richest woman in British rock, worth $43 million, which was only good for 34th place overall among U.K. rockers.

Also in 1997, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen were among the 35 artists who signed on to record a charity album in memory of Princess Diana (released Dec. 2, 1997, in the United States). Others on "Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute" included Queen, Annie Lennox, R.E.M., Seal, Michael Jackson, U2, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion. (Elton John's "Candle In the Wind 1997" was not on the album.)

And in 1997, the mother of Tupac Shakur signed a deal with Interscope Records and Jive Records to release a double-CD set of previously unreleased material by the late rapper. The recordings were made between 1991 and '94. Shakur was killed in a September 1996 drive-by shooting in Las Vegas that remains unsolved.

And in 1997, authorities in Monterey County, Calif., said John Denver had no alcohol or drugs in him when he was killed in a plane crash Oct. 12.

In 1998, a memorial service was held in Los Angeles for Marvin Gay Sr., the father and killer (in April 1984, during an argument) of soul singer Marvin Gaye. The senior Gay had died 11 days earlier at age 84.

Topping the charts on this date:

Autumn Leaves - Roger Williams (1955), Sugar Shack - Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs (1963), Maggie May/Reason to Believe - Rod Stewart (1971), Rise - Herb Alpert (1979).

Today's musical quiz:

Telma Hopkins co-starred in what two sitcoms? Answer: "Gimme A Break" and "Family Matters."


(Oct. 29)

Today's birthdays include guitarist Denny Laine of Moody Blues and then Wings, who was born in 1944 (age 58); Melba Moore in 1945 (age 57); Peter Green, guitarist with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and then with Fleetwood Mac, in 1946 (age 56); Arnell Carmichael of Raydio, Ray Parker Jr.'s group, in 1952 (age 50); Quiet Riot's Kevin Dubrow in 1955 (age 47); and Randy Jackson in 1961 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy," with "Not Fade Away" on the flip side, was released.

In 1965, the Rolling Stones song "Get Off Of My Cloud" topped pop music charts in both the United States and the band's native Britain.

In 1966, "96 Tears" by ? (Question Mark) and the Mysterians topped the charts.

In 1971, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident near Macon, Ga. He was 24.

In 1977, Chic's "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" entered the R&B charts.

In 1983, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" became the longest listed album in the history of the Billboard Top-200 album chart when its number of weeks on the chart reached 491.

In 1984, Wells Kelly, Meat Loaf's drummer, was found dead in London. He'd choked on his own vomit after a party. Kelly was 35.

In 1991, Pink Floyd's David Gilmore, Nick Mason and Steve O'Rourke were injured when their car went off the road in Mexico during the 1740-mile Pan-American auto race.

In 1992, rapper Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew fame explained that his inviting women onstage at a Japanese concert and having them perform oral sex on him was "art."

In 1998, Cypress Hill kicked off its world tour in Philadelphia in support of the band's new CD "IV (four)."

In 1999, former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth filed suit against his ex-personal manager in Los Angeles for not shutting down his Web site that was selling Van Halen stuff.

Topping the charts on this date:

Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers (1962), I'll be There - The Jackson 5 (1970), Hot Child in the City - Nick Gilder

(1978), True Colors - Cyndi Lauper (1986).

Today's musical quiz:

What part did Meat Loaf play in the film version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"? Answer: He portrayed Eddie, Dr. Frank 'N Furter's first "creation."


(Oct. 30)

Today's birthdays include Eddie Holland of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who was born in 1939 (age 63); Grace Slick also in 1939 (age 63); Kinky Friedman in 1944 (age 58); Chris Slade of Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1946 (age 56); Poco and Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmidt in 1947 (age 55); bassist David Green of Air Supply and Otis Williams, one of the original Temptations, both in 1949 (age 53); and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale in 1967 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, the Yardbirds' "I'm A Man" was released.

In 1969, King Crimson made its U.S. debut at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt.

In 1971, John Lennon's "Imagine" was the No. 1 album in the United States.

In 1972, Elton John played a command performance for Queen Elizabeth. He was the first rocker to do so since the Beatles in 1963.

In 1975, Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue started rolling in Plymouth, Mass.

In 1982, singer, songwriter and guitarist Paul Weller of The Jam announced the British punk rock band was breaking up.

In 1984, Linda Ronstadt and country's Gary Morris opened in the opera "La Boheme" in New York.

In 1990, Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose was charged with allegedly attacking his neighbor with a wine bottle. The charges were later dropped.

In 1995, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, the Velvet Underground, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Jefferson Airplane, Little Willie John and the Shirelles were announced as the 1996 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also in 1995, charges were refiled against the drifter accused of stalking Madonna. The case had been dismissed by a Los Angeles judge when the pop singer didn't show up in court.

In 1996, Michael Jackson arrived in India for his first-ever concert in the nation. He made an unscheduled visit to the slums of Bombay to give autographs to children.

In 1997, R.E.M. announced that drummer Bill Berry was leaving the group after 10 albums and 17 years. His departure reportedly had nothing to do with the brain aneurysm he'd suffered March 1995 in Switzerland during the band's "Monster" concert tour.

Also in 1997, a temporarily reunited Jane's Addiction kicked off a 19-date U.S. tour in New York City.

In 1998, Chaka Khan signed copies of her new album "Come 2 My House" at Tower Records in New York's Greenwich Village.

Topping the charts on this date:

Runaround Sue - Dion (1961), I Can't Get Next to You - The Temptations (1969), You Light Up My Life - Debbie Boone (1977), Saving All My Love for You - Whitney Houston (1985).

Today's musical quiz:

What was the name of Gavin Rossdale's former band? Answer: Midnight. The group had a record deal in the mid-1980s but produced no hits.


(Oct. 31)

Today's Halloween birthdays include folk singer/songwriter Tom Paxton, who was born in 1937 (age 65); Argent guitarist Russ Ballard in 1947 (age 55); Bernard Edwards of Chic in 1952; Tony Brook of the Babys in 1953 (age 49); Simply Red's Tony Bowers in 1956 (age 46); U2 drummer Larry Mullen in 1961 (age 41); The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr in 1963 (age 39); Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin in 1965 (age 37); Adam Horovitz, a.k.a. King Ad-Rock, of the Beastie Boys in 1966 (age 36); and Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, in 1968 (age 34).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1964, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez performed a Halloween show at New York's Philharmonic Hall.

In 1967, Rolling Stone Brian Jones was sentenced to nine months in jail after being convicted of drug possession.

In 1968, political rockers MC5 recorded the band's first album, "Kick Out the Jams," live at Detroit's Grande Ballroom.

In 1969, Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, his first chart-topper in seven years and his last. Presley's flagging career was enjoying a brief revival thanks to his popular Las Vegas shows. However, he failed to hit the Top 10 again before his death in 1977.

In 1970, Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas married actor Dennis Hopper.

In 1975, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was released in England.

Also in 1975, the Marshall Tucker Band played a benefit in Atlanta for the presidential candidacy of Jimmy Carter.

In 1980, Annabelle Lwin of Bow Wow Wow celebrated her birthday onstage at London's Rainbow Theater. Also on stage: a backing vocalist named Lt. Lush, later known as Boy George.

In 1983, "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was released.

In 1988, at a Halloween party, pop singer Debbie Gibson held a seance in an attempt to contact Liberace and Sid Vicious.

In 1993, Blind Melon lead singer Shannon Hoon was arrested after stripping off his clothes and urinating into the audience during a concert in Vancouver, Canada.

In 1995, James Brown arrested and charged with domestic violence after his wife accused him of beating her at their Aiken, S.C., home.

Also in 1995, Frank Zappa look-a-likes roamed Manhattan, N.Y., in a promotional stunt for a new Zappa 54-track compilation album.

In 1996, a Geffen Records spokeswoman confirmed that guitarist Slash had left Guns N' Roses. Creative differences were cited as the reason for the departure.

Also in 1996, after 13 weeks atop the Billboard singles chart, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" by Los Del Rios dropped to number four. It tied with Boyz II (to) Men's "End of the Road" as the second-longest single atop the Hot-100.

And in 1996, Porno For Pyros's Halloween concert was broadcast live over the Internet from the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

In 2000, John Prine's new album, "Souvenirs," was released. All of the tracks were new studio re-recordings of his classic tunes.

Also in 2000, Go-Gos singer/songwriter Jane Wiedlin released a new solo album, "Kissproof World," on her own label, Painful Discs.

And in 2000, rapper-turned-actor Will Smith became a father for the third time when his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, gave birth to the couple's second child -- a girl. The couple also had a son and Smith a boy from a previous marriage.

Topping the charts on this date:

Save the Last Dance for Me - The Drifters (1960), Hey Jude - The Beatles (1968), If You Leave Me Now - Chicago (1976), I Just Called to Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder (1984).

Today's musical quiz:

U2 once opened for themselves. True? Answer: Yes. In Nov. 1987, the band pretended to be the country-rock group The Dalton Brothers and opened the show at the L.A. Coliseum.


(Nov. 1)

Today's birthdays include Keith Emerson, of Emerson Lake and Palmer, who was born in 1944 (age 58); bassist Rick Grech of Blind Faith and Traffic in 1945 (age 57); Sugarloaf's Robert Yeazel in 1946 (age 56); Dan Peek, formerly with America, in 1950 (age 52); Kool and the Gang saxophonist Ronald Bell in 1951 (age 51); Chris Morris, once with Paper Lace, in 1954 (age 48); country singer Lyle Lovett in 1957 (age 45); Alarm bassist Eddie MacDonald in 1959 (age 43); a-ha keyboardist "Mags" Furuholmen in 1962 (age 40); and Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen in 1963 (age 39).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, Carl Perkins recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" at Sun Studios in Memphis.

In 1962, the Beatles opened a two-week gig at the Star Club in Hamburg, West Germany.

In 1963, the Beatles launched the group's second British tour in Cheltenham, England. Beatlemania was born.

In 1964, the Dave Clark 5 performed "Glad All Over" on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Sullivan pointed out that, "Unlike the Rolling Stones, they were nice, neat boys."

In 1968, George Harrison's "Wonderwall" album was released. The movie soundtrack was the first release on the Apple Records label and the first Beatle solo recording.

In 1979, Bob Dylan kicked off a U.S. tour in San Francisco, promoting his first religious album "Slow Train Coming."

In 1983, Innervision Records -- the only record company interested enough to sign Wham!, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, at the start of the duo's career -- went to court to prevent them from recording. Relations between the label and Wham! had been slowly deteriorating.

In 1986, Roger Waters -- a founding member of Pink Floyd -- asked a court to dissolve the group's partnership.

In 1993, Public Enemy's Flavor Flav, a.k.a. William Drayton, was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting at a neighbor during a dispute.

Also in 1993, Michael Jackson's lawyers asked that the civil lawsuit filed by the teenager he allegedly molested be postponed until the statute of limitations run out on possible criminal charges in the year 2000. That same day, Jackson had dental surgery in Mexico City, forcing cancellation of his concert.

And in 1993, a news report (on ABC's "Day One") claimed Dionne Warwick's charity functions raised little cash and sometimes actually COST non-profit groups money.

In 1994, a tentative settlement was announced in the lawsuit by 60 women against Chuck Berry. They'd accused him of videotaping them in restrooms at his former restaurant and recreation park in Weintzville, Mo.

Also in 1994, charges against James Brown were dropped after the singer settled out of court with the bicyclist he'd hit with his car three months earlier in Augusta, Ga.

In 1995, Barry White was hospitalized with exhaustion and flu-like symptoms, forcing him to cancel his appearance on the "Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Special."

In 1996, Michael Jackson performed his first-ever concert in India. The show, in Bombay, was mired in controversy after Jackson said he'd donate proceeds to a charity run by the right-wing state ruling political party. A brouhaha also erupted over an announcement that the state government had exempted concert organizers from paying $3.3 million in entertainment taxes.

In 1997, Britain's Prince Harry attended a Spice Girls concert with his father, Prince Charles, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Topping the charts on this date:


Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin (1959),To Sir with Love - Lulu (1967),

Island Girl - Elton John (1975), All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Richie (1983).

Today's musical quiz:

Michael Jackson owns an Oscar statuette awarded for what? Answer: Jackson owns the Oscar awarded to "Gone With The Wind" for Best Picture. He bought it at an auction for $1.54 million.

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Topics: Adam Horovitz, Andrew Ridgeley, Annie Lennox, Aretha Franklin, Axl Rose, Barbra Streisand, Barry White, Ben E. King, Berry Gordy, Bob Dylan, Boy George, Brian Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Buckingham Palace, Buddy Holly, Celine Dion, Charlie Daniels, Chris Morris, Chuck Berry, Columbia Records, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Clark, David Bowie, David Green, David Lee, David Lee Roth, Debbie Boone, Debbie Gibson, Dennis Hopper, Diana Ross, Ed Sullivan, Elizabeth II, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Floyd Cramer, Frank Zappa, Gavin Rossdale, George Michael, Gladys Knight, Gloria Estefan, Grace Slick, Hey Jude, Hugo Winterhalter, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Brown, Jesus Christ, Jimmy Buffet, Jimmy Carter, Jive Records, Joan Baez, John Denver, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Lionel Richie, Lyle Lovett, Madonna, Mahalia Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Melba Moore, Michael Jackson, Nick Mason, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Phil Spector, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Randy Jackson, Richard Dreyfuss, Rick James, Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Roger Williams, Sid Vicious, Stevie Wonder, Telma Hopkins, Tom Jones, Tom Paxton, Tom Petty, Tupac Shakur, Whitney Houston, Will Smith, Yoko Ono
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