Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Dec. 26, 2002 at 2:30 AM
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(Dec. 26)

Today's birthdays include the late Steve Allen in 1921; Abdul Fakir of The Four Tops, who was born in 1935 (age 67); and famed producer Phil Spector in 1940 (age 62).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, "See You Later, Alligator" by Bill Haley and the Comets was released.

In 1963, after rejecting all previous Beatles singles offered, Capitol Records released "I Want To Hold Your Hand," backed with "I Saw Her Standing There."

In 1964, the Kinks' "All Day and All Of The Night" was released.

In 1967, the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" appeared on BBC-TV to near-unanimous critical yawns. It was the Beatles' first flop.

In 1971, the first duet by George Jones and Tammy Wynette made its chart debut.

In 1988, a drunken Shane McGowan -- lead singer and main songwriter with the Irish rock band The Pogues -- was arrested after kicking the glass out of a London shop window. He was fined $400.

In 1989, U.S. troops were ordered to pay loud rock music outside the Vatican Embassy in Panama City, where Gen. Manuel Noriega had sought asylum. American forces had invaded Panama to capture Noriega.

In 1996, trade magazine Pollstar reported the KISS reunion tour was the top-grossing concert event of 1996.

Also in 1996, the Recording Industry Association of America reported that Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" was the top-selling album of 1996.

In 1997, the New York Post reported the Rolling Stones was the top concert draw of 1997, grossing more than $89 million. U2 came in second with more than $79 million.

In 1999, singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield died, nine years after being left paralyzed when a piece of lighting equipment fell on him during a concert. He was 57.

Topping the charts in this date: Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley (1960), I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye (1968), Tonight's the Night (Gonna be Alright) - Rod Stewart (1976), Like a Virgin - Madonna (1984).

Today's musical quiz:

Has Phil Spector ever been a member of any singing groups? Answer: Yes. Besides acting as producer, Spector was also a part of The Teddy Bears when they had a No.1 single, "To Know Him Is To Love Him," in 1958.

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