Today in music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Dec. 15, 2002 at 2:30 AM
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(Dec. 15)

Today's birthdays include Alan Freed, who was born in 1922. It was Freed who (according to legend) coined the phrase "rock 'n' roll." Cindy Birdsong, who sang with Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells as well as the Supremes, was born in 1939 (age 63); drummer Dave Clark, of the Dave Clark Five, in 1942 (age 60); veteran drummer Carmine Appice, who sat behind the drum kit for Vanilla Fudge, Jeff Beck, Bogert and Appice, Rod Stewart, Ted Nugent, among others, in 1946 (age 56); and the Clash's Paul Simenon in 1959 (age 43).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1943, Fats Waller died at age 39.

In 1964, the "Beatles '65" album was released in the United States.

In 1968, Jefferson Airplane appeared on the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." They performed the song "Crown of Creation."

In 1969, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, The Who's Keith Moon, Billy Preston, and Delaney and Bonnie performed "Peace For Christmas" -- a UNICEF benefit show -- at the Lyceum Gallery in London. The concert marked the start of Lennon and Ono's "War Is Over If You Want It" billboard/newspaper campaign. It was also the Plastic Ono Band's first, and only, concert in Britain.

In 1973, Jermaine Jackson married Hazel Gordy, daughter of Motown founder Berry Gordy.

In 1977, The Who played a private concert for fan club members at Shepperton Film Studios, the results of which became part of "The Kids Are Alright," the feature-length documentary on the group.

In 1984, Olivia Newton-John married Matt Lattanzi at her home in Malibu, Calif.

Also in 1984, Bette Midler married Martin von Haselbert in Las Vegas.

In 1990, Rod Stewart married New Zealand model Rachel Hunter in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1992, Mariah Carey led the list of American Music Award nominees, with six nominations. Michael Jackson and Kris Kross each received five.

In 1993, Whitney Houston received eight nominations, and Janet Jackson five, for the American Music Awards.

Also in 1993, a former maid for Michael Jackson gave a sworn deposition in the investigation into allegations the pop star molested a teenage boy. The maid had previously told TV interviewers that Jackson kept a secret hideaway apartment where he took boys. She also claimed she'd seen him naked in showers and in hot tubs with boys.

In 1998, Rick James told reporters the stroke he'd suffered a month earlier might've been a message from God to get his life in order. At that point in time, James had been hospitalized for more than a month at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Topping the charts on this date:

Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955), Dominique - The Singing Nun (1963), Family Affair - Sly and the Family Stone (1971), Babe - Styx (1979).

Today's musical quiz:

Cindy Birdsong was not one of the original Supremes. How did she end up in the group? Answer: Birdsong replaced Florence Ballard after she left the Supremes in 1967.

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