Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  Feb. 27, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(Feb. 27)

Today's birthdays include Eddie Gray, guitarist with Tommy James and the Shondells, who was born in 1948 (age 55); Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel in 1951 (age 52); Michael Bolton in 1953 (age 50); Journey guitarist Neal Schon in 1954 (age 49); Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith in 1957 (age 46); Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant in 1959 (age 44; Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark in 1960 (age 43; and Roderick Clark, formerly with Hi-Five, in 1973 (age 30).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, Billboard magazine reported that for the first time, the recently introduced seven-inch 45-rpm single had outsold the heavier 10-inch 78-rpm.

In 1956, yodeling country singer Slim Whitman started his first British tour.

In 1967, Pink Floyd released its debut single -- and first hit -- "Arnold Layne" in Britain. The song reportedly was based on an actual incident about a man who stole women's underwear from laundry lines.

In 1970, the Jefferson Airplane was fined $1,000 for singing the so-called "f"-word onstage in Oklahoma City. The city was enforcing an ordinance enacted a year earlier after the Doors' Jim Morrison allegedly exposed himself during a concert in Miami.

In 1977, Keith Richards was arrested in a Toronto hotel by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who allegedly found an ounce of cocaine in his possession. Later that year, the Rolling Stone would be sentenced to play a benefit concert.

In 1991, soul singer James Brown was paroled from a South Carolina corrections facility. He'd served less than three years of a six-year sentence imposed after he was convicted of trying to run over two police officers during a 1988 car chase.

Also in 1991, the British coroner ruled the Jan. 7 death of Def Leppard guitarist Steve "Steamin'" Clark was due to an accidental drug overdose.

In 1996, Emmylou Harris was honored with the lifetime achievement award at the Orville H. Gibson Guitar Awards luncheon.

In 1997, 44 people were injured when a lighting tower collapsed under the weight of fans during a Deep Purple concert in Santiago, Chile. The show resumed after the ambulances left.

In 1998, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee was released on bond after pleading innocent to charges he beat his wife, former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson Lee, during argument at their Malibu, Calif., home three days earlier.

In 1999, Nancy Sinatra joined the Ventures on stage at the House of Blues in Hollywood for a performance of her 1960s hit "These Boots Are Made for Walking."

Today's musical quiz:

Where did the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd get the name for their band? Answer: The band was named after a high school gym teacher named Leonard Skinner. The rockers had gone to high school together.

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