Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  April 27, 2003 at 2:30 AM
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(April 27)

Today's birthdays include "America's Top 40" host Casey Kasem in 1932 (age 71); drummer Jerry Mercer of April Wine in 1939 (age 64); Kate Pierson of the B-52's in 1948 (age 55); Kiss guitarist Paul "Ace" Frehley in 1951 (age 52); and Adam and the Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni and Sheena Easton, both in 1959 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

"White Christmas," starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, debuted on this day in 1954. The film, which opened at Radio City Music Hall, was Paramount's first wide-screen film, made with a process called VistaVision.

In 1972, Blue Oyster Cult manager Phil King was killed by a gambling partner in New York.

Also in 1972, Grand Funk Railroad fired manager Terry Knight. The band later sued him to recover $8 million in unpaid songwriting royalties.

In 1973, the Opryland theme park opened in Nashville.

In 1975, Pink Floyd opened a five-night series of concerts in Los Angeles, during which more than 500 marijuana smokers were arrested.

In 1976, a collection of Nazi books and memorabilia being carried by David Bowie was confiscated at the Soviet-Polish border.

In 1979, Stevie Wonder made an unannounced appearance at a UCLA Duke Ellington tribute concert. He performed "Sir Duke" and Ellington's "C-Jam Blues."

In 1981, Ringo Starr married actress Barbara Bach in London. Paul and Linda McCartney, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson were among those at the wedding.

Also in 1981, Gary Numan played a "farewell" concert in London.

In 1984, Elton John and Poland's Lech Walesa exchanged autographs and chatted following a concert in Gdansk.

Also in 1984, Texas bluesman Z.Z. Hill died at age 48.

In 1992, Carnie Wilson of Wilson Phillips had her purse snatched outside a Los Angeles restaurant. The parking attendants gave chase and recovered the purse.

In 1993, La Toya Jackson decided not to press charges against her husband/manager Jack Gordon. The charges stemmed from his allegedly beating her with a dining room chair.

In 1994, Aerosmith's Steve Tyler told ABC's "Turning Point" of his battle to overcome heroin addiction.

Also in 1994, John Mellencamp's wife, Elaine, gave birth to a son. It was the first child for the couple and first son for Mellencamp, who had three daughters by previous marriages.

In 1995, Grammy-winning gospel artist Steven Curtis Chapman swept the 36th Annual Dove Awards in Nashville, taking home six awards.

In 1998, Billy Joel, Elton John, Sting and James Taylor performed at the ninth annual Rainforest Foundation International benefit concert at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In 1999, the children and estate of the late Temptations singer Melvin Franklin sued Franklin's widow and the group's co-founder, Otis Williams, in Nashville federal court. They accused Williams and Kim English -- the widow Franklin -- of unlawfully using the Temptations' name and conspiring to collect royalty payments that should have gone to the estate and Franklin's children.

Also in 1999, a 21-year-old Ohio man was injured when he fell from a 3rd-level balcony during a Neil Young concert in Akron. The three people he landed on also were hurt.

Today's musical quiz:

Where did Ringo Starr and actress Barbara Bach meet? Answer: In Mexico, while filming the movie "Cave Man."

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