Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  March 17, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(March 17)

Today's birthdays include Nat "King" Cole, who was born in 1919; John Sebastian, who was with the Lovin' Spoonful before going solo, and Them drummer Patrick McCauley, both in 1944 (age 59); War drummer Harold Brown in 1946 (age 57); Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham in 1951 (age 52); country singer Susie Allanson in 1952 (age 51); and Level 42 keyboardist/singer Mike Lindup in 1959 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

One of radio's earliest shows, "The A&P Gypsies," featuring folk music with a Russian influence, debuted on this date in 1924.

In 1962, Alexis Korner's Blues Inc. debuted at the Ealing Club in London with future Rolling Stone Charlie Watts on drums. Within weeks, Mick Jagger and Jack Bruce would join the group -- Jagger as a vocalist and Bruce on bass.

In 1968, the Bee Gees made its U.S. television debut -- performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words" on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1973, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album first entered the Billboard Top-200 album chart -- and has hardly left it since.

In 1978, "American Hot Wax" -- the biopic about disc jockey Alan Freed -- premiered.

In 1982, Samuel George Jr., lead singer of the Capitols, was stabbed to death at age 39. The Capitols -- a Detroit trio -- had a top-10 hit in 1966 with the song "Cool Jerk."

In 1987, Boy George met Princess Diana at a London disco.

Also in 1987, fire damaged the San Diego, Calif., home of Jim Croce's widow, Ingrid.

In 1990, Prince began filming "Graffiti Bridge," the follow-up to his movie "Purple Rain."

Also in 1990, former Blind Faith bassist Ric Grech died at age 44.

In 1994, Michael Jackson's mother testified before a Los Angeles grand jury investigating whether to bring criminal charges of child molestation against her pop star son. No charges were ever filed.

In 1996, a British newspaper (the London Sun) reported that Michael Jackson had purchased a French castle near EuroDisney outside Paris.

In 1997, filming began on the first motion picture ever shot inside Graceland. It starred Harvey Keitel as a man who claims to be Elvis Presley and Bridget Fonda as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator.

In 1998, "Van Halen 3" -- featuring new vocalist Gary Cherone -- was released.

Also in 1998, Ice Cube kicked off a promotional tour to push the film "The Player's Club" as well as the soundtrack CD.

And in 1998, rapper C-Bo -- a.k.a. Shawn Thomas -- was sentenced to two more months in jail in Sacramento, Calif., after testing positive for marijuana. That was a violation of his probation.

Today's musical quiz:

Country singer Susie Allanson appeared in the film version of what Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock opera? Answer: "Jesus Christ Superstar."

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