Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Jan. 21, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(Jan. 21)

Today's birthdays include DJ Wolfman Jack, who was born Robert Smith in 1939; Richie Havens in 1941 (age 62); Mac Davis and War's Edwin Starr, both in 1942 (age 61); Nitty Gritty Dirt Band bassist Jim Ibbotson in 1947 (age 56); Billy Ocean in 1950 (age 53); and Emma Bunton, Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, in 1976 (age 27).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Patsy Cline appeared on "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts."

In 1961, Elvis Presley signed a five-year movie contract with veteran producer Hal Wallis.

In 1966, George Harrison married Patti Boyd. They'd met on the set of the Beatles' movie "Help."

In 1974, Bob Dylan visited with Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter following his "Rolling Thunder" concert in Atlanta.

In 1978, the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack topped the Billboard Top-200 album chart, where it remained for nearly eight months.

In 1984, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" topped the singles charts, marking a dramatic comeback for Yes.

Also in 1984, Jackie Wilson died at age 49, after spending more than eight years in a semi-coma following a stroke.

In 1987, Jackie Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the anniversary of his death. Other inductees included Aretha Franklin, Bo Diddley, Rick Nelson, Bill Haley, Roy Orbison, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Carl Perkins and B.B. King.

In 1988, Pollstar reported that U2 was the top-earning touring band in the United States in 1987.

In 1992, three dancers sued Madonna -- accusing the singer of violating their privacy by not telling them that the film footage of them discussing their homosexuality would be used in her "Truth or Dare" documentary.

Also in 1992, Billy Idol pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery charges for punching a woman he'd just met at a Los Angeles restaurant. The incident had occurred the previous October.

In 1995, rocker Courtney Love was arrested in Melbourne, Australia, after threatening and harassing the crew on a flight from Brisbane. She pleaded guilty and was released.

Also in 1995, a New York auction billed as the biggest rock 'n' roll auction flopped when most of the famous items went unsold.

In 1997, "Colonel" Tom Parker -- Elvis Presley's manager who was credited with turning the singer into the King of Rock 'n' Roll -- died one day after suffering a stroke. He was 87.

In 1999, the wife of Paul Shaffer, David Letterman's musical director, gave birth to boy -- the couple's second child and first son.

Today's musical quiz:

Where was Billy Ocean born? Answer: The Caribbean island of Trinidad. His real name is Leslie Sebastian Charles.

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