Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Dec. 27, 2002 at 2:30 AM
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(Dec. 27)

Today's birthdays include Gerry and the Pacemakers keyboardist Leslie Maguire and former Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder, both of whom were born in 1941 (age 61); bassist Peter Quaife of the Kinks in 1943 (age 59); Mick Jones, guitarist with Spooky Tooth and Foreigner, in 1944 (age 58); KISS drummer Peter Criss in 1947 (age 55); Steppenwolf's Larry Byrom in 1948 (age 54); and guitarist David Knopfler, co-founder of Dire Straits, in 1952 (age 50).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1927, the musical "Show Boat" opened on Broadway. With music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, it helped set the direction of the American musical theater.

In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, thousands turned out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall in New York.

In 1960, the Beatles played a "welcome home" show in Liverpool, England, following the group's first extended trip to Hamburg, West Germany.

In 1963, the Animals made the group's radio debut on the BBC's "Saturday Club."

In 1968, the MC5 debuted at the Filmore East in New York.

In 1969, the Rolling Stones album "Let It Bleed" entered the U.S. charts.

In 1975, the Four Seasons' "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)" was released.

In 1976, Queen's "A Day At The Races" album was released.

Also in 1976, bluesman Freddie King died at age 42. He was a substantial influence on a generation of British blues guitarists, in particular, Eric Clapton.

In 1981, composer Hoagy Carmichael died at age 82. Among other tunes, he wrote "Stardust" and "Lazy River."

In 1983, Van Halen's "1984" album was released.

Also in 1983, Walter Scott -- vocalist with the 1960s group Bob Kuban and the In-Men -- disappeared. His body was found three years later and his ex-wife and her husband were eventually convicted of his murder.

In 1985, Jerry Lee Lewis, 50, filed for divorce from his sixth wife, 23-year-old Kerrie. The couple later reconciled.

In 1992, Harry Connick Jr. was arrested when he was caught at New York's JFK Airport trying to carrying an unloaded pistol aboard a flight to New Orleans.

In 1996, Alanis Morissette was No.3 and Oasis No.5 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the top entertainers of 1996.

Also in 1996, Neil Diamond performed in Las Vegas for the first time in 20 years. His sold-out concert was held at the MGM Grand Garden.

In 1999, rapper/record mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs and his girlfriend, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, were arrested in New York City after fleeing the scene of a nightclub shooting in which three people were wounded. While charges against Lopez were later dropped, Combs was charged with weapons possession and witness tampering.

Topping the charts on this date: Heartaches by the Number - Guy Mitchell (1959), Daydream Believer - The Monkees (1967), The Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich (1975), Say Say Say - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (1983).

Today's musical quiz:

This Moody Blues' song is often cited as one of the, if not the, most-requested tune at high school proms. What? Answer: 1972's "Nights In White Satin."

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