Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International

(Jan. 11)

Today's birthdays include singer-turned-pro golfer Don Cherry, who had a hit in 1956 with "Band of Gold," was born in 1924 (age 79); Clarence Clemons, with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, in 1942 (age 61); country singer Naomi Judd in 1946 (age 57); Sha Na Na's Denny Greene in 1949 (age 54); Vicky Peterson of the Bangles in 1960 (age 43); and Mary J. Blige in 1971 (age 32).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1928 Bing Crosby sang the lead as Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded the hit song "Old Man River" from the musical "Showboat." Crosby left Whiteman the next year and went on to become the best selling recording artist of his day.

In 1964, "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash became the first country album to top the U.S. pop album chart.


In 1969, Jethro Tull released its debut album, titled "This Was."

In 1977, Keith Richards was convicted of cocaine possession and fined $1,300.

In 1980, the Pretenders' self-titled first album was released.

In 1984, Michael Jackson collected a record 12 Grammy nominations for his "Thriller" album and the singles from it. 13 years later, producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds would tie that record.

Also in 1984, a BBC disc jockey announced he would no longer play Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" due to the song's alleged sexual content. The action led to a complete BBC ban of the single.

In 1987, Frankie Goes To Hollywood opened its farewell tour in Manchester, England.

In 1988, "So Emotional" became the sixth straight No. 1 single for Whitney Houston -- following "Saving All My Love For You," "How Will I Know," "The Greatest Love of All," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and "Didn't We Almost Have It All."

In 1990, Paul McCartney performed Beatles songs to the delight of the audience at London's Wembley Arena. Previously, he'd generally avoided playing anything associated with the Fab Four.


In 1992, Paul Simon opened his tour of South Africa in Johannesburg. He was the first international star to visit the country since the United Nations lifted a cultural ban.

Also in 1992, thieves broke into the Miami Beach mansion of rapper Vanilla Ice and stole $100,000 worth of stuff. Police arrested three suspects a week later and recovered most of the missing items.

In 1993, rap artists Bell Biv DeVoe and Whodini accused New York cops of police brutality after they say they were pulled from cars and beaten by white officers investigating an East Harlem supermarket robbery.

In 1994, pop singer-turned-politician Sonny Bono announced he was running for Congress on the Republican ticket. He won and represented the Palm Springs, Calif., area in the U.S. House until his death in January 1998.

In 1996, Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Calif., needed 11 stitches to close a gash on his face after colliding with another skier near Big Bear Lake, Calif.

In 1998, Garth Brooks was named Favorite Male Musical Performer, and Whitney Houston and Reba McEntire tied for Favorite Female Musical Performer at the 24th annual People's Choice Awards.


Also in 1998, bad weather unplugged the Rolling Stones' concert in Montreal, as a winter storm cut power to most of the city and ice pierced the roof of the Olympic Stadium.

In 1999, rapper/actor Will Smith, Canadian pop singer Celine Dion and country superstar Garth Brooks were the big winners at the 26th annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Also in 1999, a New York judge found rappers Sean "Puffy" Combs and Dwight "Heavy D" Myers liable for a deadly stampede at a charity event they'd organized in 1991. The judge ruled that the rappers and the state of New York were each 50-percent responsible for mishandling the event and ordered a trial to assess the damages against the rappers.

In 2000, a newspaper in Hilo, Hawaii, (the Tribune-Herald) reported a security guard at Keahole-Kona International Airport found about half an ounce of marijuana in a bag that pop superstar Whitney Houston was carrying. Security officers tried to detain Houston but she walked away -- and her flight to San Francisco was gone by the time police arrived at the scene.

Today's musical quiz:

What was the original name of the Bangles? Answer: The Bangs.



(Jan. 12)

Today's birthdays include the late Tex Ritter, who was born in 1905; country singer Ray Price in 1926 (age 77); Glenn Yarborough in 1930 (age 73); William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys in 1939 (age 64); British blues pioneer "Long" John Baldry in 1941 (age 62); Maggie Bell in 1945 (age 58); Cynthia Robinson, trumpet player with Sly and the Family Stone, in 1946 (age 57); “shock jock” Howard Stern in 1954 (age 49); Per Gessle of Roxette in 1959 (age 44); Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips in 1968 (age 35); and Melanie Chisholm, a.k.a. "Sporty Spice" of the Spice Girls, in 1974 (age 29).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1963, "Please Please Me" became the Beatles' first No. 1 single in Britain.

Also in 1963, Bob Dylan appeared in a play on BBC Radio, "Madhouse On Castle Street," playing the part of -- what else? -- a folk singer.

In 1965, the pop music show “Hullabaloo” premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1979, the Bee Gees received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


In 1981, the Recording Industry Association of American donated 800 albums to the White House record library. The titles included "Alive" by KISS, Bob Dylan's "Blonde On Blonde," and "Never Mind the Bollocks" by the Sex Pistols.

In 1986, Luther Vandross was behind the wheel of his Mercedes Benz when it went out of control and crashed on Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Los Angeles. His passenger was killed and Vandross was charged with vehicular manslaughter. He later pleaded no contest to lesser charges and was ordered to perform a benefit concert.

In 1987, rumors abounded that Michael Jackson was about to make a bid to purchase Motown records from its founder, Berry Gordy Jr.

In 1992, Mick Jagger's wife, Jerry Hall, gave birth to the couple's third child, a girl, in London. The child was named Georgia May Ayeesha.

In 1993, Cream, Van Morrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Doors, Etta James, Sly and the Family Stone, Ruth Brown, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The highlight of the ceremony in New York City was the reunion concert by Eric Clapton and the other members of Cream.


Also in 1993, Ted Nugent was fined $1,000 for shooting two flaming arrows across the stage during a Cincinnati concert.

And in 1993, Michael Jackson's lawyer denied rumors the pop star had wanted a white dancer hired to portray him as a child in a new Pepsi TV commercial.

And in 1993, a Missouri man, James Williams, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in the 1983 murder of 1960s pop singer Walter Scott.

In 1994, a Los Angeles federal jury ruled Michael Jackson did not steal the songs "Thriller," "The Girl Is Mine" and "We Are The World" from his former neighbors in Gary, Ind.

In 1995, the Allman Bros. Band, Al Green, Janis Joplin, Martha and the Vandellas, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also in 1995, Stevie Wonder performed his first paid concert in Arizona in nearly nine years. The singer had boycotted the state for canceling its observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The state had reinstated the holiday in 1993.


In 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported that Janet Jackson was ready to sign an $80 million, four-album deal with Virgin Records. The contract was said to be unprecedented for any artist.

Also in 1996, Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar led 1,000 music students in the world's largest guitar lesson at the new Hard Rock Cafe in Universal City, Calif.

In 1997, James Taylor sang the national anthem at the AFC title contest between the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars. (The Patriots won.)

In 1998, Carlos Santana became the first Hispanic inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inducted along with Santana -- the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas and the Papas, Gene Vincent and Lloyd Price.

Also in 1998, a judge in Beverly Hills, Calif., placed Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee on two years' probation and ordered the rocker to undergo anger management counseling. This -- after Lee pleaded no contest to charges stemming from a September 1996 altercation outside a Hollywood nightclub with a photographer who was trying to take pictures of Lee and his actress wife, Pamela Anderson.


In 1999, Madonna made her seventh appearance on Mr. Blackwell's "Worst Dressed Women." She was described as "a Neo Gothic fright -- a glitzy gargoyle searching for a 'Ray of Fashion Light.'" Other pop artists on the list -- Courtney Love and Mariah Carey.

Also in 1999, Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow was arrested upon his arrival at the Charlotte, N.C., airport. He was accused of not paying a $105,000 judgment awarded to a woman injured at a Quiet Riot concert in 1994.

In 2000, Carlos Santana’s “Supernatural” returned to the top of the Billboard Top-200 album chart after receiving 10 Grammy nominations.

Today's musical quiz:

Name the first host of “Hullabaloo.” Answer: Singer/actor Jack Jones.


(Jan. 13)

Today's birthdays include Chi-Lites singer Robert "Squirrel" Lester, who was born in 1930 (age 73); Earth Wind and Fire drummer Fred White in 1955 (age 48); guitarist Trevor Rabin of Yes, also in 1955 (age 48); and Madness's Graham McPherson in 1961 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1948, the WLW Midwestern Hayride was first broadcast on television in Cincinnati.


In 1957, Elvis Presley recorded "All Shook Up."

In 1962, Chubby Checker's hit "The Twist" became the first song to reach the No. 1 spot twice in two years. "The Twist" had hit the top of the charts also in September, 1960.

In 1969, Elvis Presley returned to a recording studio in Memphis for the first time since he signed with RCA Records in 1955. He recorded "Suspicious Minds."

In 1973, Eric Clapton performed an impressive comeback show at London's Rainbow Theatre following a two-year hiatus, during which he kicked his heroin addiction with the help of The Who's Pete Townshend. Clapton's band for his comeback concert included Townshend, Ron Wood, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech.

In 1979, singer Donny Hathaway died in a mysterious fall from a 15th-floor New York City hotel room. He was 33. The police said Hathaway's death was a suicide, but his friends said it was an accident.

Also in 1979, the YMCA sued the Village People for their single “YMCA.” The lawsuit was later dropped.

In 1980, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship and the Beach Boys headlined a benefit concert in Los Angeles to aid the victims of the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea.


In 1984, Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin ruptured his spleen in a Miami swimming pool accident.

In 1986, John Lydon -- a.k.a. Johnny Rotten -- and his former Sex Pistols bandmates sued Malcolm McLaren and his Glitterbest company for $1.5 million in unpaid royalties. The punk rockers won their claim.

In 1988, plans to erect a 12-foot-tall statue of Madonna in a bikini in the Italian village where her grandparents had lived were dropped after the mayor objected.

In 1992, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams sparked a mini-firestorm when he complained that "Canadian content" rules limiting radio airplay by foreign artists and promoting local artists limited the airplay of his new album, which had been co-written by his British producer, Jeff "Mutt" Lange.

In 1994, country singer Tammy Wynette was released from a Pittsburgh hospital after successful treatment of a bile duct infection.

Also in 1994, Barbra Streisand donated $200,000 dollars to establish a fund at an Arkansas hospital in memory of President Clinton's mother, who'd recently died of breast cancer.

In 1998, the Spice Girls topped Mr. Blackwell's annual Worst-Dressed List. Other artists making the infamous list included Madonna and Marilyn Manson.


Today's musical quiz:

Jeff “Mutt” Lange married what country singer? Answer: Shania Twain.


(Jan. 14)

Today's birthdays include New Orleans-based pianist, singer and producer Alain Toussaint, and singer Jack Jones, both of whom were born in 1938 (age 65); White Lion's Mike Tramp in 1961 (age 42); and rapper-turned-actor LL Cool J in 1968 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, DJ promoter Alan Freed held his first "Rock 'n' Roll Ball" at the St. Nicholas Arena in New York's Harlem. The show featured Fats Domino, the Clovers, the Moonglows, the Drifters, the Harptones, and Big Joe Turner.

In 1960, Elvis Presley was promoted to sergeant in the U.S. Army.

In 1964, the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was released in the United States.

In 1966, Davie -- spelled D-A-V-I-E -- Jones changed his name to David Bowie so he wouldn't be confused with the Monkees' Davy Jones.

In 1967, the first "Human Be-In and Gathering of the Tribes" was held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It featured the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Dizzy Gillespie on stage, and Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary among the 20,000 people in the audience.


In 1973, Elvis Presley drew what was then the largest TV audience in history with his live, worldwide broadcast from Honolulu.

In 1975, Three Dog Night earned its 10th -- and last -- gold record for the band's third album "Joy To The World: Their Greatest Hits."

In 1978, the Sex Pistols performed what would be the band's last show, at the Winterland Theater in San Francisco.

In 1984, ZZ Top received more than 131,000 votes in a "Saturday Night Live" phone-in poll of Democratic candidate preferences.

Also in 1984, Madonna got her first taste of national exposure, singing "Holiday" on "American Bandstand."

And in 1984, Paul McCartney's single "Pipes of Peace" was released.

In 1992, Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose accidentally sliced his hand open during a concert in Dayton, Ohio. The injury forced the band to cancel its two shows in Detroit.

In 1994, lawyers agreed to postpone Michael Jackson's sworn deposition in the child molestation case against him until later in the month.

In 1997, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Bette Midler made Mr. Blackwell's annual best-dressed list.

In 1998, Paula Cole's road manager, Philip Sullivan, was cleared on charges of rape and burglary after an ex-girlfriend in Kentucky admitted to making up the story.


Today's musical quiz:

LL Cool J’s real name is James Smith. Where did he come up with LL Cool J? Answer: “LL Cool J” is an abbreviation for “Ladies Love Cool James.”


(Jan. 15)

Today's birthdays include Captain Beefheart, a.k.a. Don Van Vliet, who was born in 1941 (age 62); Lynyrd Skynyrd's late lead singer Ronnie Van Zant in 1949; Kool and the Gang drummer George Brown also in 1949 (age 54); ELO bassist Melvyn Gale in 1952 (age 51); and Lisa Lisa, born Lisa Velez, of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam in 1967 (age 36).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, "I Can't Explain" -- The Who's first single -- was released.

In 1967, the Rolling Stones substituted the line "Let's spend some time together" for "Let's spend the night together" during the band's performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1970, Diana Ross quit the Supremes.

In 1972, Don McLean topped the charts with "American Pie."

In 1983, in a first for an Australian band, Men At Work's single "Down Under" and its album "Business As Usual" topped the U.S. charts.


In 1984, Paul and Linda McCartney were arrested on marijuana possession charges during a police raid on the private home where they were staying in Barbados.

In 1992, 11 artists were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- including Bobby "Blue" Bland, Johnny Cash, Booker T and the MGs, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Isley Brothers, Sam and Dave, and the Yardbirds.

Also in 1992, Elton John's longtime bassist Dee Murray died of cancer. He was 45.

In 1993, Stevie Wonder ended his boycott of Arizona with an appearance at a rally in Phoenix marking the state's first official observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Also in 1993, four-time Oscar-winning songwriter Sammy Cahn died at age 79.

In 1994, singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson died from an apparent heart attack. He was 52.

Also in 1994, Michael Jackson invited about 100 inner-city children to his Neverland Ranch in California to watch movies, play at the estate's amusement park and check out the private zoo.

In 1996, Canadian Bryan Adams performed the first of two concerts in his native country to promote his upcoming album.


Also in 1996, government officials in West Bengal, India, banned British pop singer Samantha Fox from performing, saying her shows lacked "dignity."

In 1997, a probate judge upheld the $5 million contract between the late Grateful Dead star Jerry Garcia and his ex-wife, Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Adams Garcia. Garcia's widow had challenged Adams Garcia's claim on the musician's estate.

In 1998, the "Godfather of the Blues," Junior Wells, died of cancer in a Chicago hospital. He was 63.

In 1999, Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland was arrested on possible probation charges stemming from his guilty plea to drug possession charges in the summer of '98.

Also in 1999, Russell Jones, a.k.a. ODB or Ol' Dirty Bastard or Big Baby Jesus, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after he allegedly opened fire on plainclothes New York City police officers who stopped his car in Brooklyn.

And in 1999, Jerry Hall filed for divorce from Rolling Stone Mick Jagger after 21 years together, including eight years of marriage and four children.

Today’s musical quiz:

What was the original theme song of the TV show “Happy Days,” which premiered on this date in 1974? Answer: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets.



(Jan. 16)

Today's birthdays include Ertha Kitt, who was born in 1928 (age 75); Ventures guitarist Bob Bogle in 1937 (age 66); Bill Francis, who plays keyboard and sings with Dr. Hook, in 1942 (age 61); Jim Stafford in 1944 (age 59); country's Ronnie Milsap in 1946 (age 57); Sade (shah-DAY') in 1960 (age 43); and Frank O'Toole of Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 1964 (age 39).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, the Cavern Club -- home base for the early Beatles -- opened in Liverpool, England.

In 1963, Los Angeles' first disco, Whiskey-A-Go-Go, opened on Sunset Boulevard, becoming a popular meeting place for record-industry executives. A number of bands, including the Doors, got their start there.

In 1972, Ross Bagdasarian -- probably best known as David Seville of "The Chipmunks" fame -- died at age 52.

In 1975, synthesizer wizard Paul Beaver died at age 49. He did the soundtracks for "The Graduate," "Catch-22" and "Rosemary's Baby."

In 1976, the music variety show "Donny and Marie" premiered, starring 18-year-old Donny Osmond and his 16-year-old sister, Marie.

In 1979, the divorce of Cher and Greg Allman was finalized.


In 1980, Paul McCartney was arrested on marijuana possession charges at the Tokyo Airport. He spent nine days in a Japanese jail and then was deported.

In 1984, Michael Jackson won seven American Music Awards.

Also in 1984, Paul and Linda McCartney were fined $100 each by a judge in Barbados after being arrested for marijuana possession.

In 1986, the Sex Pistols was awarded nearly 1 million British pounds in a court ruling against the group's former manager, Malcolm McLaren.

In 1987, the Beastie Boys became the first act ever to be censored on "American Bandstand."

In 1988, a then-record 180,000 fans filled Rio de Janiero's Americana Stadium for Tina Turner's "Break Every Rule" tour. The concert was broadcast live to an estimated 26 million homes in the United States and Japan.

In 1991, the outbreak of the Gulf War led Michael Jackson to cancel his upcoming trip to Africa.

Also in 1991, the Byrds, Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, the Impressions, Lavern Baker, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Michael Jackson was named entertainer of the year and his video "Black Or White" named outstanding music video at the NAACP's 25th Annual Image Awards in Los Angeles.


In 1996, Virgin Records announced Janet Jackson had signed a record $80 million recording contract with the label.

Also in 1996, MCA announced the appointment of rapper Heavy D as the president of Uptown Records.

In 1997, Joni Mitchell and Phil Spector were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 1999, Warren Zevon, America and Jonny Lang helped former pro-wrestler-turned-Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota celebrate his inauguration.

Today’s musical quiz:

Before her singing career got rolling, what did the Nigerian-born and London-raised Sade do for a living? Answer: She designed men’s clothing.


(Jan. 17)

Today's birthdays include Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who was born in 1948 (age 55); Sheila Hutchinson of the Emotions in 1953 (age 50); country's Steve Earle in 1955 (age 48); Paul Young in 1956 (age 47); Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles in 1957 (age 46); and Berlin bassist/singer John Crawford in 1960 (age 43).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1938, Benny Goodman and his orchestra performed the first jazz concert at Carnegie Hall in New York with guest performers including Count Basie and members of the Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras.


In 1969, Led Zeppelin released its first album.

In 1970, the Doors recorded the band's "Absolutely Live" double album at the Felt Forum in Los Angeles.

Also in 1970, "Bag One" -- an exhibition of erotic lithographs by John Lennon -- opened in London. Two days later, police closed the show and confiscated eight prints deemed obscene.

In 1972, Highway 51 South -- also known as Bellvue St. -- in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Blvd.

In 1984, Linda McCartney was arrested on marijuana possession charges at London's Heathrow airport on her return from Barbados, where she and her ex-Beatle husband Paul had been fined just days earlier for the same thing.

In 1990, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, the Four Seasons, the Four Tops, Hank Ballard, the Platters and the Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ray Davies commented: "Rock and roll has become respectable. What a bummer."

In 1991, a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., acquitted the New York band Too Much Joy of obscenity charges stemming from a performance of 2 Live Crew songs.

In 1994, the wife of Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach gave birth to the couple's second child, a boy they named London Siddhartha Halford Bach.


In 1995, Billy Joel and his entourage at a hotel in Osaka, Japan, were awakened by the powerful earthquake that rocked nearby Kobe. The musicians were unhurt. Joel donated the proceeds from his Osaka concert to earthquake relief.

Also in 1995, Paul Simon's father, professional musician Louis Simon, died at age 79.

In 1996, no-shows David Bowie, Jefferson Airplane lead singer Grace Slick, and Pink Floyd founders Roger Waters and Syd Barrett marred the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York.

Also in 1996, Steve Krass -- lead singer of the Detroit-based punk rockers Feisty Cadavers -- died three days after being shot in the head during a robbery. He was 32.

In 2000, country superstar Garth Brooks was the big winner at the 27th annual American Music Awards. Other winners included country/pop sensation Shania Twain, hip-hop artist Lauryn Hill, Santana and the Backstreet Boys.

Today's musical quiz:

Who did Mick Taylor replace when he joined the Rolling Stones in 1969? Answer: Brian Jones.

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