Today in Music: a look back at pop music

United Press International

(Dec. 16)

Today's birthdays include Jim Glaser of the Glaser Brothers, who was born in 1937 (age 65); Hollies guitarist Anthony Hicks in 1945 (age 57); Benny Andersson of ABBA in 1946 (age 56); and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons in 1949 (age 53).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1966, Jimi Hendrix's first single, "Hey Joe," was released. It was a top-10 hit in Britain, but failed to chart in the United States.

In 1971, Don McLean's "American Pie" was released.

In 1972, on an anti-war mission, folk singer Joan Baez arrived in Hanoi simultaneously with American B-52s, which bombed the North Vietnamese capital city.

In 1974, Ian Hunter quit Mott the Hoople, causing the group to split up.

In 1977, the movie "Saturday Night Fever" opened nationwide.

In 1983, Pete Townshend was quoted in the London Sun as saying The Who had broken up. The band had never recovered from the death of Keith Moon five years earlier.

Also in 1983, members of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard played each other in a heavy-metal SOCCER match. No word on who won.


In 1984, ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill was accidentally shot in the stomach when the derringer he carried in his boot went off as his girlfriend helped him take off the boot. He recovered after surgery.

In 1991, Chubby Checker sued McDonald's Canada for $17 million, accusing the fast-food giant of using a sound-alike version of "The Twist" in an ad campaign.

In 1992, a Pittsburgh nightclub owner canceled a concert by rapper Ice-T after off-duty police refused to work security at the show. Ice-T had angered law enforcement officials with his tune "Cop Killer."

Also in 1992, Vanilla Ice was sued by a former limo driver who said the rapper ordered two bodyguards to beat him up.

In 1995, Michael Jackson flew to EuroDisney near Paris only days after being released from the hospital, where he'd spent six days after collapsing during a rehearsal for an HBO concert.

In 1996, a Lou Harris poll found country artist Reba McEntire had replaced Frank Sinatra as America's favorite music star. Also on that list -- Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, the Beatles, George Strait, Alabama, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey, the Statler Brothers and the Rolling Stones.


In 1997, Nicolette Larson died at UCLA Medical Center of brain edema. She was 45.

Also in 1997, Carl Perkins suffered what his family described as a "severe" stroke.

And in 1997, Bobby Brown settled a lawsuit brought against him by a New York City woman who paid his brother to arrange a concert by Brown in her native Trinidad. The show was never held and Brown's brother refused to return her phone calls or the money she'd paid him.

In 2000, a Los Angeles radio station was forced to issue an apology after Cedric Hailey -- K-Ci of the soul-pop duo K-Ci & JoJo -- allegedly pulling down his boxer shorts and displayed his private parts on stage during a holiday concert attended by families with small children.

Topping the charts on this date:

Big Girls Don't Cry - The 4 Seasons (1962), The Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (1970), You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond (1978), The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby and The Range (1986).

Today's musical quiz:


An episode of the 1980s medical drama "St. Elsewhere" featured a dream sequence that took the form of a ZZ Top music video. Can you name the tune? Answer: 1984's "Legs."

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