Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International   |   March 15, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(March 15)

Today's birthdays include producer Arif Mardin, who was born in 1932 (age 71); Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh in 1940 (age 63); Mike Love of the Beach Boys in 1941 (age 62); Sly Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, and David Costell of Gary Lewis and the Playboys, both in 1944 (age 59); War guitarist Howard Scott in 1946 (age 57); guitarist Ry Cooder in 1947 (age 56); Dee Snider of Twisted Sister in 1955 (age 48); Steve Coy of Dead or Alive, and Terence Trent D'Arby, both in 1962 (age 41); Rockwell, whose real name is Kenneth Gordy, son of Motown's Berry Gordy, in 1964 (age 39); and Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath in 1968 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1954, the Chords recorded "Sh-boom," a song with a lighthearted melody and nonsensical lyrics, and kicked off the new era of "doo-wop" music.

In 1955, an obscure Fats Domino opened the door to stardom when he recorded "Ain't That a Shame."

In 1956, Col. Tom Parker became Elvis Presley's personal manager.

In 1957, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers arrived in Britain for a tour.

In 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army.

In 1966, Roger Miller won six Grammys, giving him a total of 11 in two years.

In 1972, a Los Angeles radio station played the Donny Osmond song "Puppy Love" for 90 minutes non-stop. Police were called to the station by listeners thinking something was wrong. Nope.

In 1975, Marc Bolan's group T-Rex disbanded.

In 1980, the Clash film "Rude Boys" opened in London.

Also in 1980, Phil Lynott's third volume of poetry -- "A Collected Work of Phil Lynott" -- was published.

In 1984, Liverpool, England, named the surviving Beatles "freemen" -- the city's highest honor.

In 1987, Barbara Mandrell was named All-Around Female Entertainer by the People's Choice Awards.

In 1994, Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton each took home two awards from the eighth annual Soul Train Music Awards.

In 1995, Paul McCartney announced that the surviving Beatles had recorded some new songs, which would be released at year's end, along with the TV documentary "The Beatles Anthology."

Also in 1995, Mick Jagger and "Forrest Gump" producer Steve Tisch announced they'd formed a film production company, to be known as Lip Service.

And in 1995, Madonna told a Los Angeles radio station that she'll star in the title role of the movie version of "Evita."

In 1999, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Curtis Mayfield, the Staple Singers, the late Dusty Springfield and the late Del Shannon were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony in New York City.

Today's musical quiz:

In 1978, Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott was among the artists who recorded a rock music version of this sci-fi classic novel. What? Answer: H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

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