Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Jan. 31, 2003 at 2:45 AM
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(Feb. 1)

Today's birthdays include Bob Shane of the Kingston Trio, who was born in 1934 (age 69); Don Everly and Ray "Dr. Hook" Sawyer, both in 1937 (age 65); Kansas guitarist Rich Williams in 1950 (age 53); funkster Rick James in 1952 (age 51); guitarist Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1954 (age 49); and Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla and the ex-wife of Michael Jackson, in 1968 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1929, "The Broadway Melody," Hollywood's first original film musical, opened in Los Angeles. It became the first sound film to win an Academy Award for best picture.

In 1949, RCA unveiled its new 45-rpm record player.

In 1958, Elvis Presley recorded his last single, "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck," before joining the Army. He served until 1960.

In 1964, the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for seven weeks.

Also in 1964, "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen was declared pornographic by the governor of Indiana, who, while admitting he couldn't understand the lyrics, said the song "made his ears tingle."

In 1967, Pink Floyd turned professional.

In 1978, Bob Dylan's "Renaldo and Clara" -- largely a film documentary of the Rolling Thunder tour -- premiered in Los Angeles.

In 1986, Diana Ross married Norwegian shipping magnate Arne Naess in Switzerland.

Also in 1986, music publisher Dick James died of a heart attack at age 65.

In 1993, country singer Reba McEntire made a guest appearance on the CBS sitcom "Evening Shade."

In 1994, newcomer Toni Braxton and relative veteran Janet Jackson led the field with four nominations each for the annual Soul Train Music Awards.

Also in 1994, a man was arrested defacing Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He told police he didn't like child molesters.

In 1995, Jon Secada was named an AT&T spokesperson for the phone company's Spanish-language TV commercials.

In 1996, American Music Award executive producer Dick Clark announced that the artist of the year award would become a "traveling trophy" -- as suggested by that year's winner, Garth Brooks.

In 1999, Gloria Estefan's husband, Emilio, was jogging on a Miami Beach, Fla., beach when a boatload of Cuban refugees came ashore. He bought them coffee and pastries before the police showed up. The Estefans are former Cuban refugees themselves.

Today's musical quiz:

Ray "Dr. Hook" Sawyer appeared in what Dustin Hoffman movie? Answer: "Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?"


(Feb. 2)

Today's birthdays include bassist Skip Battin of the Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and also the Flying Burrito Brothers, who was born in 1934 (age 69); Tornados guitarist Alan Caddy and Rusty Kershaw, both in 1940 (age 63); Graham Nash, of the Hollies and also Crosby Stills and Nash, in 1942 (age 61); Bellamy Brother Howard Bellamy in 1946 (age 57); Gentle Giant singer/saxophonist Derek Shulman, and drummer Peter Lucia of Tommy James and The Shondells, both in 1947 (age 56); Alan McKay of Earth Wind and Fire in 1948 (age 55); and Journey bassist Ross Valory in 1949 (age 54).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson played what would be their final show -- at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The three were killed early the next morning in a plane crash.

In 1963, English singer Helen Shapiro began a concert tour of Britain with the Beatles as her opening act.

In 1973, NBC's rock show "Midnight Special" debuted with Helen Reddy hosting.

In 1977, Robert Plant came down with tonsillitis and Led Zeppelin's North American tour was postponed until June.

In 1979, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols died from a heroin overdose, one day after being released on bail while facing murder charges in his girlfriend's death.

In 1984, Pat Benatar was hospitalized in Los Angeles for what was described as "minor surgery."

In 1987, Blue Note record label founder Alfred Lion died at age 78.

In 1993, Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty lost his battle with his record company when a federal appeals court rules that the label didn't breech its contract when it withheld $1.2 million in royalties. Fogerty would later win his suit on appeal.

Also in 1993, country singer Willie Nelson reached a compromise with the IRS over the back taxes he owed the government. The deal meant they'd call it even, and his debt would be marked "paid."

And in 1993, Harry Connick Jr. was given a conditional release from illegal gun possession charges. The charges stemmed from his trying to carry an unloaded pistol onto a flight at JFK Airport in New York the previous December.

And in 1993, Arrested Development received a record six nominations for the Soul Train Music Awards.

And in 1993, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and George Strait tied with five nominations each for the TNN/Music City News Country Awards.

In 1994, New York promoter Sid Bernstein -- who brought the Beatles to the United States in 1964 -- announced plans for a 25th anniversary Woodstock Festival.

Also in 1994, Quincy Jones received the Legend in Leadership Award from Emory University in Atlanta.

In 1995, the Recording Industry Association of America announced that "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac was now the second-best-selling album in the United States -- with sales topping the 17 million mark.

Also in 1995, Billboard Magazine reported that Capital Records was working on a three-CD compilation that included significant portions of the fabled Beach Boys album "Smile" -- Brian Wilson's unfinished masterpiece that was never released.

In 1998, the Rolling Stones resumed their "No Security" tour after Mick Jagger's flu forced the band to cancel two shows in San Jose, Calif.

Also in 1998, the widow of entertainer-turned-politician Sonny Bono -- killed the previous month in a skiing accident -- launched her campaign for her late husband's California congressional seat.

In 1999, a Los Angeles jury decided PBS had stolen from ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith the home video rights to its programs after selling him the rights and promising to help him and his video company. PBS was ordered to pay $47 million to Nesmith.

Today's musical quiz:

Where is Helen Reddy from? Answer: Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia.


(Feb. 3)

Today's birthdays include Johnny "Guitar" Watson, who was born in 1935 (age 68); Angelo D'Aleo of Dion and the Belmonts in 1940 (age 63); Dennis Edwards of the Temptations and also formerly with the Contours, and Hollies bassist Eric Haydock, both in 1943 (age 60); Kinks guitarist Dave Davies in 1947 (age 56); Melanie, whose full name is Melanie Schekeryk, also in 1947 (age 56); and Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst of the Cure in 1959 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1959, this is "The Day the Music Died." Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa. Holly was 22, Valens, 17;and Richardson 28.

In 1969, Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr appointed Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein as their new Mr. Fix-It. Paul McCartney refused to sign with Klein, preferring his father-in-law, Lee Eastman.

In 1984, a ZZ Top concert in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, ended in chaos -- with two fans in hospitalized and 149 chairs destroyed.

In 1992, Michael Jackson announced a concert tour that would begin in June and raise money for his new "Save The World" foundation.

Also in 1992, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young announced plans for the fifth Farm Aid concert March 14 in Irving, Texas.

In 1993, Billy Idol denied reports that he was ill. Rumors to that effect had begun circulating after the British rocker collapsed in the parking lot of a Los Angeles nightclub.

Also in 1993, Gloria Estafan received the 1,974th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1997, Graham Nash was honored by the New York Institute of Technology with an Arts and Technology Medal and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree for his work in bridging arts and technology.

In 1999, a New York grand jury decided not to induct Wu Tang Clan rapper Russell Jones, a.k.a. Ol' Dirty Bastard, on attempted murder and other charges. Jones had been arrested Jan. 15, 1999, after police said he shot at them when they stopped his car. The rapper said he didn't even have a gun and the cops reportedly found no weapon in the car.

Also in 1999, Creed made its national television debut on CBS's "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Today's musical quiz:

For what did Melanie win an Emmy? Answer: Melanie won an Emmy Award for writing the theme to TV's "Beauty and the Beast."


(Feb. 4)

Today's birthdays include Animals drummer John Steel, who was born in 1941 (age 62); Florence LaRue of the 5th Dimension in 1944 (age 59); Alice Cooper, whose real name is Vincent Furnier, in 1948 (age 55); Kansas drummer Phil Ehart in 1950 (age 53); Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley in 1952 (age 51); country singer Clint Black in 1962 (age 41); and Natalie Imbruglia in 1975 (age 28).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1969, the Beatles appointed Eastman and Eastman -- the law firm of Paul McCartney's father-in-law -- as general counsel to Apple. This was McCartney's response to the hiring of Allen Klein the day before.

In 1971, the Osmonds received their first "gold" record, for "One Bad Apple."

In 1974, John Lennon and Yoko Ono temporarily split up -- apparently due to personal strains caused by Lennon's lengthy battle with U.S. immigration.

In 1982, Alex Harvey of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band died at age 46.

In 1983, Karen Carpenter died from a heart attack apparently brought on by anorexia. She was 32.

In 1987, a 21-year-old man was stabbed in the chest and three teenagers robbed of their tickets at gunpoint outside a Bon Jovi concert in San Antonio, Texas.

Also in 1987, Liberace died of AIDS. He was 67.

In 1992, a disgruntled fan filed a $75 million class-action lawsuit in Chicago against the New Kids on the Block, claiming the group didn't do its own singing on its records or in concert. The lawsuit echoed charges made by group's former music producer a week earlier.

In 1997, the Los Angeles Times reported Las Vegas police had three suspects in the killing of rapper Tupac Shakur five months earlier, but said an arrest was not likely because the witnesses refused to cooperate.

In 1998, Ben Folds Five launched the final leg of the band's world tour in Portland, Ore.

In 1999, a court hearing in Malibu, Calif., on whether Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee had violated his probation by allegedly drinking at a Florida nightclub was rescheduled after the probation officer said he'd been unable to check out the report. Lee was on probation after pleading no-contest to charges that he hit his wife, actress Pamela Anderson.

Today's musical quiz:

Alice Cooper made a cameo appearance in what Mike Myers/Dana Carvey film? Answer: "Wayne's World."


(Feb. 5)

Today's birthdays include Cory Wells of Three Dog Night, who was born in 1942 (age 61); Charles Winfield of Blood Sweat and Tears in 1943 (age 60); Al Kooper, formerly with Blood Sweat and Tears, and Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist J.R. Cobb, both in 1944 (age 59); the late reggae star Bob Marley was born in 1945; Nigel Olsson, drummer with Elton John's band, in 1949 (age 54); and Bobby Brown in 1969 (age 34).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1961, the Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" topped the charts.

In 1972, "Mother and Child Reunion" -- Paul Simon's first solo single following his break-up with Art Garfunkel -- was released.

In 1976, sax player Rudy Pompill -- formerly of Bill Haley and the Comets - died.

In 1977, the Rolling Stones signed with EMI. That same day, Iggy Pop signed with RCA.

In 1992, the New Kids on the Block performed on "Arsenio Hall" to deny lip-synching charges made by a Chicago fan as well as the group's former music producer.

Also in 1992, a New Orleans-style funeral was held in Chicago for blues pioneer Willie Dixon, who died a week earlier in California.

And in 1992, disco pioneer Gloria Gaynor underwent surgery described as an alternative to a hysterectomy in Burbank, Calif.

In 1995, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley showed up hand-in-hand at a party in the Los Angeles offices of O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran, who was also Jackson's lawyer.

In 1998, Slaughter guitarist Tim Kelly was killed in a traffic accident on an Arizona highway. He was 34.

Also in 1998, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee pleaded innocent to assault charges stemming from a December concert in Phoenix. He and the band's bassist, Nikki Sixx, were accused of attacking a security guard who tried to hold back fans rushing the stage by invitation of the band.

And in 1998, Elton John and Stevie Wonder entertained at a White House state dinner for British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Today's musical quiz:

Musician Al Kooper is credited with "discovering" what bands? Answer: Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Tubes.


(Feb. 6)

Today's birthdays include Fabian (real name: Fabiano Forte), who was born in 1943 (age 60); Natalie Cole in 1950 (age 53); Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose in 1962 (age 41); and Rick Astley in 1966 (age 34).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Jesse Belvin was killed in an auto accident. He was 26.

In 1971, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn made their debut as a duo on the U.S. country charts with "After The Fire Is Gone."

In 1981, Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" -- the song she and John Lennon were mixing the night Lennon was murdered -- was released. The tune featured Lennon on guitar.

Also in 1981, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recorded "All Those Years Ago," a tribute to John Lennon.

In 1995, Pearl Jam performed two free concerts in Seattle for fan club members only.

Also in 1995, Beach Boy Brian Wilson married auto saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter in Los Angeles.

And in 1995, Jamaica marked the 50th anniversary of reggae star Bob Marley's birth by issuing four special stamps and a commemorative coin.

In 1996, a judge in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, cleared the way for Michael Jackson to shoot a music video in a Rio shantytown. Local officials had objected because they thought it'd hurt investments and tourism.

Also in 1996, Madonna told reporters in Buenos Aires she was "hurt" by criticism of her portrayal of Argentine first lady Eva Peron in the film version of the musical "Evita."

In 1997, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made the band's live Internet debut with a cybercast of a concert from the Fillmore in San Francisco.

In 1998, Beach Boys co-founder Carl Wilson died of complications from lung cancer. He was 51.

Also in 1998, Austrian-born techno-pop singer Falco was killed in a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic. He was 40.

Today's musical quiz:

Fabian was only 14 when he signed his first recording contract. What were the circumstances surrounding this? Answer: Fabian was waiting outside his Philadelphia home for an ambulance to take his father to the hospital when the executive approached him about a job. Fabian told the guy to "go to hell." Later, after his dad recovered, he got in touch with the executive and accepted his offer.


(Feb. 7)

Today's birthdays include New Orleans-based R&B singer Earl King, who was born in 1934 (age 69); King Curtis also was born in 1934; Three Dog Night keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon in 1948 (age 55); Status Quo's Alan Lancaster in 1949 (age 54); Brian Travers of UB40 in 1959 (age 44); and country superstar Garth Brooks and David Bryan, keyboardist with Bon Jovi, both in 1962 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1959, 1,000 mourners attended Buddy Holly's funeral in Lubbock, Texas.

In 1964, Beatlemania reached the shores of North America as the Beatles arrived at New York's Kennedy Airport for the first time.

In 1965, George Harrison had his tonsils removed.

In 1980, Pink Floyd's spectacular "The Wall" tour debuted in Los Angeles.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's record label threw a party for him at New York City's Museum of Natural History to thank him for "rejuvenating the music industry."

In 1987, Paul Simon -- who'd broken the U.N. anti-apartheid boycott of South Africa -- defended his use of South African black musicians on his "Graceland" album at a news conference in London.

In 1994, Whitney Houston was the big winner at the 21st annual American Music Awards, winning eight honors to tie with Kenny Rogers for the then-record total number of AMA awards.

In 1995, a New York judge sentenced rapper Tupac Shakur to up to four years in prison for his role in the November 1993 sexual attack on a woman in his Manhattan hotel suite.

In 1996, Gloria and Emilio Estefan lobbied Florida lawmakers for stricter boating laws. The couple had been involved in a fatal boating accident the previous September off the Miami Beach coast.

Also in 1996, ex-Milli Vanilli duo member Rob Pilatus was charged with assault and making terrorist threats in connection with two incidents in Los Angeles.

In 1998, Bruce Springsteen was among the storytellers at a national read-in in honor of Black History Month at the Count Basie Learning Center in Red Bank, N.Y.

In 2000, rapper Christopher Rios -- a.k.a. Big Pun, which was short for Big Punishment -- died after suffering suffered cardiac arrest at the White Plains, N.Y., hotel where he, his wife and three young children were staying while their home in the Bronx was being renovated.

Also in 2000, Dave Peverett, founding member of the rock band Foghat, died at age 56 from complications of cancer. The singer/songwriter had been diagnosed with kidney cancer in 1998 following a series of kidney infections.

And in 2000, rapper-producer Sean "Puffy" Combs pleaded innocent to two charges in connection with a shooting at a New York City nightclub on Dec. 27, 1999.

And in 2000, it was Ricky-mania as Ricky Martin returned to his native Puerto Rico for his first concerts on the island in two years.

Today's musical quiz:

Garth Brooks attended Oklahoma State University on a scholarship. For what? Answer: Javelin throwing.

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Topics: Alice Cooper, Arsenio Hall, Art Garfunkel, Axl Rose, Billy Idol, Bob Marley, Bobby Brown, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Buddy Holly, Carl Wilson, Conway Twitty, Dave Davies, David Letterman, Diana Ross, Dick Clark, Don Everly, Dustin Hoffman, Elton John, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Graham Nash, Harry Connick, Iggy Pop, Janet Jackson, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, Jon Secada, Kenny Rogers, Lisa Marie Presley, Loretta Lynn, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mike Myers, Mike Nesmith, Natalie Cole, Natalie Imbruglia, Neil Young, O.J. Simpson, Pat Benatar, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Reba McEntire, Rick James, Ricky Martin, Ritchie Valens, Robert Plant, Sid Vicious, Sonny Bono, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Tommy James, Tommy Lee Jones, Toni Braxton, Tupac Shakur, Vince Gill, Whitney Houston, Willie Dixon, Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono
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