Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  April 3, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(April 3)

Today's birthdays include pianist/comedian Stan Freeman, who was born in 1920 (age 83); Doris Day in 1924 (age 79); Jan Berry of Jan and Dean in 1941 (age 62); entertainer Wayne Newton in 1942 (age 61); Richard Manuel of The Band was born in 1944; Tony Orlando and The Fortunes' Barry Pritchard, both also in 1944 (age 59); Dee Murray, who played with the Spencer Davis Group and also with Elton John, was born in 1946; Richard Thompson, formerly with Fairport Convention, in 1949 (age 54); and Grand Funk Railroad's Mel Schacher, who'd also been with "?" (Question Mark) and the Mysterians, in 1951 (age 52).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1948, the "Louisiana Hayride" country music variety show on KWKH Radio in Shreveport, La., aired for the first time.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on TV's popular "Milton Berle Show" -- singing "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Money, Honey" live from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hancock.

In 1959, the Coasters' single "Charlie Brown" was banned by the BBC because of the word "spitball."

In 1969, Jim Morrison surrendered to authorities in Los Angeles to answer to the indecent exposure charges filed against him following a Doors concert in Miami a month earlier.

In 1975, Emmylou Harris played her first concert with The Hot Band in San Francisco.

In 1984, a record producer won a $3 million-plus settlement in a court battle with Yoko Ono over royalties relating to "Double Fantasy," the album Ono and John Lennon had just completed when he was murdered in Dec. 1980.

In 1987, President Reagan presented Minnie Pearl with the American Cancer Society's annual Courage Award for her personal fight against cancer.

In 1990, internationally renowned jazz singer and pianist Sarah Vaughan died at the age of 66.

In 1992, Dolly Parton's new movie "Straight Talk" premiered nationwide.

In 1993, Guns N' Roses cut short a sold-out concert in suburban Sacramento, Calif., after a fan threw a bottle that hit one band member in the head.

In 1995, shock-jock Howard Stern triggered an uproar when he ridiculed the mourners of slain Tejano star Selena on his nationally syndicated radio show and aired her music with gunshots dubbed in.

In 1996, rapper Hammer filed for bankruptcy, saying he was $10 million in debt.

In 1998, Michael Jackson's wife, Debbie Rowe, gave birth to the couple's second child, a girl, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Their first child, a boy, had been born in February 1997.

In 2000, Mariah Carey was hospitalized in Boston with complications from food poisoning. She'd gotten sick after eating raw oysters in Atlanta. The pop singer's illness forced postponement of her Boston concert.

Also in 2000, at least 10 people were injured -- including six who were stabbed -- when a backstage melee erupted at the Ruff Ryder/Cash Money Tour concert at Boston's FleetCenter.

And in 2000, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) presented Elton John with its Vito Russo Entertainer Award for furthering the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through his work.

Today's musical quiz:

What's said to be the second-most recorded song of the rock era, after the Beatles' "Yesterday"? Answer: "Tie A Yellow Ribbon," a hit in 1973 for Tony Orlando and Dawn.

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