Today in Music: a look back at pop music

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

Today's birthdays include Nina Simone, who was born in 1933 (age 70); music and film mogul David Geffen in 1943 (age 60); Uriah Heep's Paul Newton in 1945 (age 58); Jerry Harrison of Modern Lovers and also Talking Heads in 1949 (age 54); Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick in 1951 (age 52); Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel in 1952 (age 51); country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1958 (age 45); and Ranking Roger of The English Beat and also General Public in 1961 (age 42).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1976, country music stars Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson topped the country singles chart with "Good Hearted Woman," a track from "The Outlaws" album. The song was named song of the year by the Country Music Association. "The Outlaws" became the first country album in country music history to be certified platinum, with sales of more than 1 million copies.

Also in 1976, former Supreme Florence Ballard died a pauper in Detroit. She was 32.

In 1982, New York disc jockey Murray "Murray the K" Kaufman -- the self-proclaimed "fifth Beatle" -- died of cancer at age 60.

In 1992, a Cleveland court dropped rape charges against Joseph Simmons, a.k.a. "Run" of the rap group Run-DMC. The charges had stemmed from accusations made by a woman who said the rapper raped her in August 1991.

In 1994, New York Newsday reported Frank Sinatra had agreed to a face-to-face duet with Elton John for his next "Duets" album.

Also in 1994, Houston Astrodome security guards tackled two cowboys invited on-stage by country singer Wynonna during a show. Officials later apologized and offered the men free Wynonna concert tickets.

In 1995, Bruce Springsteen showed up at a New York nightclub to play a full set with the E Street Band. The concert was filmed for the "Murder Incorporated" video.

In 1996, a mistrial was declared in the Los Angeles murder trial of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and his former bodyguard after jurors deadlocked over whether or not to convict them of manslaughter. The charges stemmed from what police said was a gang-style drive-by shooting at an L.A. park in August 1993 that killed one man.

Also in 1996, Whitney Houston led with five nominations for the 27th annual NAACP Image Awards.

And in 1996, MCA announced it had purchased half of Interscope Records, known for its roster of gangsta rappers.

In 1997, "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls topped the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart -- making the group the first British act since the Beatles in 1964 to top the U.S. charts with a debut single.

Today's musical quiz:

Who recorded the title track for the Tom Cruise movie "Risky Business"? Answer: Talking Heads.

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