Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  April 20, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(April 20)

Today's birthdays include country's Johnny Tillotson, who was born in 1939 (age 64); Jimmy Winston of Small Faces in 1945 (age 58); keyboardist Craig Frost of Grand Funk Railroad in 1948 (age 55); and Luther Vandross in 1951 (age 52).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1959, 13-year-old Dolly Parton's first record, "Puppy Love," was released.

In 1963, Rick Nelson married Kris Harmon.

In 1966, the Beatles recorded the vocal tracks for "Eleanor Rigby." Originally titled "Daisy Hawkins," the song's title was changed after Paul McCartney spotted the name Rigby on a clothes shop in Bristol, England.

In 1968, Deep Purple -- Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, Eian Paice, Rod Evans, and Nick Semper -- played the group's first live gig in Tastrup, Denmark.

In 1983, Marie Osmond gave birth to a boy she and her husband named Steven James Craig.

In 1984, nightclub singer Mabel Mercer died at age 84.

In 1987, "Tribute" -- a double live album by Ozzy Osbourne featuring his late guitarist Randy Rhoads -- was released.

Also in 1987, police in Coventry, R.I., said they were considering charges against a 17-year-old boy who allegedly bit the head off a gerbil during a party. The teenager said he got the idea from Ozzy Osbourne, who allegedly bit the head off a bat during a concert.

And in 1987, Eddie Rabbitt performed at the White House Easter Egg roll.

In 1991, an Earth Day benefit concert in Foxboro, Mass., featured Bruce Hornsby, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Jackson Brown, 10,000 Maniacs, Queen Latifah, and the Indigo Girls.

Also in 1991, Steve Marriott -- former lead singer of Small Faces and Humble Pie -- was killed in a fire at his rented home northeast of London. He was 44.

In 1992, Elton John, Guns N' Roses, Roger Daltrey, Liza Minnelli, David Bowie, George Michael, Def Leppard, and Spinal Tap joined the surviving members of Queen at an AIDS Concert for Life. The show honored Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury, who'd died of AIDS in Nov. 1991. More than 70,000 people attended the concert at London's Wembley Stadium.

Also in 1992, Madonna signed a deal with Time-Warner to form a multi-media entertainment company. The agreement reportedly made her the highest paid female pop star.

In 1993, LaToya Jackson's husband and manager, Jack Gordon, was arrested after he allegedly beat his wife with a dining room chair at their New York City apartment.

Also in 1993, Jethro Tull released a limited edition four-CD box set to mark the band's 25th anniversary.

In 1994, Barbra Streisand kicked off her first tour in 28 years with a sold-out concert at London's Wembley Arena.

In 1996, two men were killed and two more injured in Oakland, Calif., when they crashed their car while trying to get away from a riot that'd broken out outside a concert by the rap group Tha Dogg Pound.

In 2000, gospel singer Ginny Owens was named New Artist of the Year at the 31st Annual Dove Awards, held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Her debut album, "Without Condition," also won the award for Best Enhanced CD.

In 2001, the original members of Humble Pie reunited for the first time in a decade at London's Astoria Theatre to pay tribute to the late Steve Marriott, who co-founded the band with Peter Frampton. Marriott was killed in a house fire in 1991.

Today's musical quiz:

Grand Trunk Railroad had a hit single in 1974 with a cover version of this song. What? Answer: "The Locomotion," which originally was a hit for Little Evie a decade earlier.

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