Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Jan. 29, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(Jan. 29)

Today's birthdays include Ron Towson of the Fifth Dimension, who was born in 1933 (age 70); Uriah Heep singer David Byron in 1947 (age 56); Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone, whose real last name is Erdelyi, in 1952 (age 51); "Handsome" Dick Manitoba of the Dictators in 1954 (age 49); LaToya Jackson in 1956 (age 47); Queensryche bassist Eddie Jackson in 1961 (age 42); and Jonny Lang in 1981.

Today's musical milestones:

In 1962, Warner Bros. Records signed Peter Paul and Mary.

In 1967, London's famed Marquee Club was the site of a remarkable battle of the bands -- Jimi Hendrix versus The Who -- as part of a tribute to the late Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles.

In 1977, Kenny Rogers' "Lucille" entered the singles charts.

In 1979, Emerson Lake and Palmer disbanded after 10 years together. They would eventually reunite.

In 1979, a San Diego teenager opened fire on her schoolmates, killing 11 of them. When asked why by police, the girl replied, "I don't like Mondays." Her excuse inspired Boomtown Rat frontman Bob Geldof to write the song "I Don't Like Mondays." It was a huge hit in Britain but a flop in the United States.

In 1981, Barry Kramer -- the publisher of rock's Creem Magazine -- was found dead in his apartment in Birmingham, Mich. He was 37.

In 1983, the Australian band Men At Work became the first act since Rod Stewart in 1971 to top the singles and album charts simultaneously in the United States and Britain. The album was "Business As Usual" and the single, "Down Under."

In 1992, the Starlight Foundation named Paula Abdul its 1992 Humanitarian of the Year.

Also in 1992, blues legend Willie Dixon died at age 76.

In 1993, MTV banned the Paul McCartney single "Bad Boys Bickering" because it included the "f" word seven times. The song was a protest about the world's governments failing to curb pollution.

In 1994, former Supreme Mary Wilson was injured -- and her 14-year-old son killed -- when their Jeep hit a highway median and overturned near Barstow, Calif.

And in 1994, longtime ASCAP president and song lyricist Stanley Adams died at age 86.

In 1996, the Eagles and country superstar Garth Brooks were triple winners at the 23rd annual American Music Awards. Brooks was named artist of the year but politely left the trophy on the podium, saying the other nominees deserved the award more, especially Hootie and the Blowfish.

In 1998, Bobby Brown was convicted on DUI charges in Florida. He was sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to undergo alcohol and drug rehabilitation in connection with the August 1996 one-car accident.

In 1999, Meredith Brooks performed at a Los Angeles high school and then spoke with the kids about her career in music. The singer was in the Mentoring Musicians Program, which was part of "Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation," dedicated to promoting music instruction in U.S. public schools.

Today's musical quiz:

Before his days with The Fifth Dimension, Ron Towson toured with what entertainer? Answer: Nat King Cole. He was part of Cole's trio.

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