Today in Music: a look back at pop music

United Press International

(March 19)

Today's birthdays include guitarist Paul Atkinson of the Zombies, who was born in 1946 (age 57); Pointer Sister Ruth Pointer also in 1946 (age 57); Bay City Rollers drummer Derek Longmuir in 1952 (age 51); the B-52s Ricky Wilson in 1953; and Terry Hall of the Specials in 1959 (age 44).


Today's musical milestones:

In 1957, Elvis Presley purchased "Graceland," a stately colonial mansion on what was then the outskirts of Memphis.

In 1958, setting the stage for future heavy metal groups, guitarist Link Wray's instrumental "Rumble" was released.

In 1970, Rolling Stone magazine revealed that the opening words of Lennon and McCartney's "Come Together" were the same as lyrics in Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me" -- "Here come old flat top/He come groovin' up slowly..."

In 1974, Jefferson Starship -- a revamped, updated Jefferson Airplane fronted by Paul Kantner and Grace Slick -- launched its first tour.

In 1976, guitarist Paul Kossoff -- a founding member of Free -- died in his sleep from a heart attack on a flight from London to New York. He was 26.

Also in 1976, Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain died from a drug overdose.


In 1982, Randy Rhoads -- Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist -- was killed during a flying prank gone awry in Orlando, Fla. He was a passenger aboard a plane that -- while buzzing Osbourne's tour bus -- clipped a wing and crashed. Rhoads was 25.

In 1984, Duran Duran played to a full house at New York's Madison Square Garden.

In 1988, The Cult drummer Les Warner left the group when its members decided to relocate to Los Angeles.

In 1993, drummer Jeff Ward -- who had performed with Ministry and also with Nine Inch Nails -- killed himself.

In 1995, former Giant Records President Charles Minor was shot to death, allegedly by an ex-girlfriend. Minor was 46.

In 1996, at a London news conference, members of the Sex Pistols announced plans for a 20th anniversary reunion tour.

Also in 1996, Michael Jackson and Saudi Prince Al Walid announced a deal to create an international multi-media entertainment company.

And in 1996, "The Beatles Anthology 2" was released in the United States.

In 1999, the Boston Globe reported that a $1.2 million agreement in principle had been reached in a woman's lawsuit against Everclear, the Paradise nightclub in Boston and two members of the New England Patriots football team. The woman allegedly had been injured when the players dove off the stage during a 1997 concert at the nightclub by the rock band.


Also in 1999, the Dallas Morning News reported that House Majority leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, had tried to get Dallas's Reunion Arena to cancel a Marilyn Manson concert. However, arena management refused, saying it could not cancel a legal contract.

And in 1999, rapper Master P donated $250,000 to the New Orleans Catholic Archdiocese to save the school he attended.

Today's musical quiz:

Before achieving fame on their own, how did the Pointer Sisters help pay the bills? Answer: Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and Ruth Pointer did work as backing singers for such artists as Grace Slick and Boz Scaggs.

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