Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   Jan. 15, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(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.

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