Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  May 2, 2003 at 1:44 PM
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(March 8)

Today's birthdays include Johnny Dollar, who was born in 1933 (age 70); Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees in 1945 (age 58); Randy Meisner, bassist and vocalist with Poco and with the Eagles, in 1946 (age 57); singer/songwriter Carole Bayer Sager and Three Dog Night guitarist Mike Allsup, both in 1947 (age 56); Whitesnake's Mel Galley in 1948 (age 55); Clive Burr of Iron Maiden in 1957 (age 46); Gary Numan of the Cars in 1958 (age 45); Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Peter "Pedro" Gill in 1960 (age 43); and triplets Bob, Clint and Dave Moffatt of the country band the Moffatts in 1984 (age 19).

Today's musical milestones:

in 1933, the landmark musical "42nd Street," choreographed by Busby Berkeley, opened on Broadway.

In 1957, Britain's Mew Music Express magazine predicted that newcomer Tommy Sands would quickly eclipse the success of Elvis Presley. He didn't.

In 1962, the Beatles -- with Pete Best on drums -- made the band's TV debut on the BBC show "Teenager's Turn." They played Roy Orbison's "Dream Baby."

In 1964, The Dave Clark Five made the first of many appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1968, Bill Graham's Fillmore East opened in New York. On the bill -- Albert King, Tim Buckley, and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

In 1969, the Beatles held the top two places on the Billboard Top-200 album chart with "The Beatles," a.k.a. the "white album," and the soundtrack album to the animated feature film "Yellow Submarine."

In 1970, former Supreme Diana Ross opened her first solo engagement -- an 11-night run at a nightclub in Framingham, Mass.

In 1973, the Grateful Dead's Rod "Pigpen" McKernan died at age 27. The cause of death was a stomach hemorrhage, exacerbated by liver damage.

Also in 1973, former Beatle Paul McCartney and wife Linda were fined 100 pounds after pleading guilty to growing marijuana at their Scottish farm.

In 1980, Willie Nelson's "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" topped the country music charts.

In 1984, a daughter, Molly Kate, was born to country singer Ricky Skaggs and his wife, Sharon.

Singer and band leader Billy Eckstine, pioneer of bebop, died on this day in 1993.

Also in 1993, Michael Jackson established a film production company to make movies with positive and uplifting themes.

In 1994, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was released from a Rome hospital four days after lapsing into what was said to have been an accidental drug-induced coma.

Also in 1994, Aerosmith was named favorite rock band at the People's Choice Awards.

And in 1994, Eddie Van Halen visited quadriplegics at a hospital in Chatsworth, Calif., after a conman pretended to be friends with the rock star and stole their nurse's car.

In 1995, Madonna's album "Bedtime Stories" was certified double platinum. The song "Take A Bow" was her 11th No.1 single -- more than any other female artist in music history.

In 1996, BBC Radio One declined to air the second Beatles single "Real Love" from "The Beatles Anthology," calling it of insufficient merit.

Today's musical quiz:

"The Monkees" wasn't Mickey Dolenz's first TV show. What was? Answer: As a child in the 1950s, Dolenz starred in the TV series "Circus Boy," billed as Mickey Braddock.


(March 9)

Today's birthdays include country's Mickey Gilley, who was born in 1936 (age 67); Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and John Cale of The Velvet Underground, both in 1942 (age 61); Procol Harum's Robin Trower in 1945 (age 58); Jimmie Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Jeffrey Osbourne, former lead singer of the R&B/funk group LTD, both in 1948 (age 55); guitarist Trevor Burton of The Move in 1949 (age 54); and ABC's Martin Fry in 1958 (age 45).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, Rolling Stone Brian Jones was hospitalized with respiratory problems.

In 1972, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and Carly Simon, Carole King, Quincy Jones and Mama Cass Elliot were among the stars at a fund-raising concert held for Democratic presidential hopeful George McGovern at The Forum in Los Angeles.

In 1974, the Grand Ole Opry was performed for the last Saturday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

In 1977, the Sex Pistols signed what turned out to be a short-lived contract with A&M Records in a ceremony outside Buckingham Palace in London.

In 1985, producer/songwriter Bumps Blackwell died at age 66. He once headed a band that included Quincy Jones and Ray Charles. It was Blackwell who helped turn gospel singer Sam Cooke into a soul/R&B star.

In 1987, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Carole King, Gerry Goffin and Carole Bayer Sager were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Boyz II Men won three awards at the seventh annual Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. Michael Jackson took home two awards and was also named Humanitarian of the Year.

Also in 1993, Garth Brooks and Whitney Houston were named favorite musical performers, and Alabama the favorite musical group, at the 19th annual People's Choice Awards.

In 1994, Elton John's AIDS foundation and a Los Angeles charity reached a compromise -- both would still hold competing AIDS fundraisers on Oscar night.

Also in 1994, British authorities turned down a request by Jimi Hendrix's ex-girlfriend to open a new inquest into the musician's 1970 death.

And in 1994, Alan Jackson's No.1 hit single "Chattahoochie" -- co-written with Jim McBride -- was named song of the year at 11th annual Music City News Country Songwriters Awards.

In 1995, Neil Young signed again with Reprise Records. The five-year deal was said to be worth eight figures.

Also in 1995, Don Henley testified at a congressional hearing in favor of a bill expanding the rights of musicians to collect royalties from recordings.

In 1997, rapper Notorious B.I.G. -- a.k.a. Biggie Small, whose real name was Christopher Wallace -- was gunned down in Los Angeles. He was 24.

Also in 1997, Tragically Hip took home three awards from the Juno Awards, Canada's answer to the Grammys. Other multiple winners included Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette.

In 1998, rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs kicked off the second leg of his "No Way Out" tour in Miami.

Today's musical quiz:

What was the original name of Procol Harum? Answer: Initially, the band called itself the Paramounts.


(March 10)

Today's birthdays include the late Jethro Burns, of Homer and Jethro fame, who was born in 1923; Dean Torrence, of Jan and Dean fame, in 1941 (age 62); Boston's Tom Scholz in 1947 (age 56); Swedish rap/pop singer Neneh Cherry in 1964 (age 39); and Edie Brickell of the New Bohemians, who's also Paul Simon's wife, in 1966 (age 37).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Johnnie Ray was mobbed on his arrival in Australia for his first visit "down under."

In 1971, in the aftermath of the break-up of the Beatles, a London court appointed an independent receiver to handle the group's complex finances. It also barred manager Allen Klein from further participation in Beatle affairs.

In 1974, David Bowie recorded his "David Live" album at Philadelphia's Tower Theater.

In 1979, James Brown played at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album marked its 37th week atop the Billboard Top-200 album chart. That was longer than any other contemporary rock or pop album. Only the cast album of "West Side Story" -- at 54 weeks -- had a longer run at the top.

Also in 1984, Ian Gillan left Black Sabbath.

In 1988, Andy Gibb died of heart inflammation. He was only 30.

In 1990, a survey of Russian teenagers found the Western rock acts they'd most like to see in concert were Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and the Beatles.

In 1992, jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis was named the next music director of "The Tonight Show." He replaced Doc Severinsen when Jay Leno replaced Johnny Carson.

In 1993, a federal judge in Cleveland ordered former Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards to pay his former management company for breaking his contract.

In 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur was sentenced to 15 days in jail for the 1993 attack on his ex-employer on the set of a music video production.

In 1996, Hootie and the Blowfish were named America's favorite rock group at the 22nd annual People's Choice Awards.

Also in 1996, Alanis Morissette won four awards at the 25th annual Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent to the Grammys.

In 1997, legendary R&B singer LaVern Baker died in New York. She was 67 and had suffered from diabetes that'd cost her both of her legs.

In 1998, Mariah Carey was named favorite female pop artist, Boyz II Men favorite R&B group, Janet Jackson, favorite female R&B artist, and Sugar Ray favorite modern rock group at the fourth annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.

Today's musical quiz:

Who performed "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," otherwise known as the theme song from "The Beverly Hillbillies"? Answer: Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.


(March 11)

Today's birthdays include Manfred Mann drummer Mike Hugg, who was born in 1940 (age 63); drummer Ric Rothwell of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders in 1944 (age 59); session guitarist Harvey Mandel in 1945 (age 58); keyboardist Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge in 1947 (age 56); Golden Earring's George Kooymans in 1948 (age 55); Bobby McFerrin in 1950 (age 53); Mike Percy of Dead or Alive, and Big Country guitarist Bruce Watson, both in 1961 (age 42); and Lisa Loeb in 1968 (age 35).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1950, after 26 years on the radio, the long-running country music show "The National Barn Dance" aired for the last time.

In 1968, a gold record was awarded posthumously to Otis Redding for his No.1 single "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."

In 1972, Crystal Gayle first entered the country music charts.

In 1974, an insurance company paid out $112,000 on a life insurance policy taken out by Janis Joplin. The payment was in keeping with a court agreement that the coroner had ruled Joplin's 1970 overdose death an accident rather than a suicide.

In 1976, the Paul Simon single "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" was certified "gold."

In 1986, Jay Black, lead singer for Jay and the Americans, filed for bankruptcy.

In 1995, the Spin Doctors performed a concert to raise money for a trip by a Princeton, N.J., high school choir. Lead singer Chris Barron had graduated from the school.

Today's musical quiz:

Bobby McFerrin's 1988 hit single "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is from what movie? Answer: "Cocktail."


(March 12)

Today's birthdays include Al Jarreau, who was born in 1940 (age 63); Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame in 1942 (age 61); Liza Minnelli in 1946 (age 57); James Taylor in 1948 (age 55); Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne and Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbons, both in 1949 (age 54); and the Jackson 5's Marlon Jackson and Iron Maiden's Steve Harris, both in 1957 (age 46).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1955, jazz great Charlie "Bird" Parker died at age 34.

In 1969, Paul McCartney -- the last bachelor Beatle -- married photographer Linda Eastman in a civil ceremony in London. Paul's brother, Mike, was his best man. No other Beatles attended the wedding.

Also in 1969, George and Patti Harrison were arrested on marijuana possession charges in London. Harrison later said the bust was timed to coincide with Paul McCartney's wedding.

And more from this date in 1969, Simon and Garfunkel's soundtrack of "The Graduate" won the Grammy for best record of 1968.

In 1971, John Lennon released "Power to the People." He was backed by the New York-based band Elephant's Memory.

Also in 1971, Jethro Tull released its "Aqualung" album.

In 1974, John Lennon and Harry Nielsen were thrown out of the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles after constantly interrupting a show by The Smothers Brothers. Ironically, five years earlier, Tom Smothers sang backing vocals on Lennon's first Top-40 single "Give Peace A Chance."

In 1976, Joe Stampley's "The Sheik of Chicago" -- a tribute to Chuck Berry -- entered the country music charts.

In 1991, Janet Jackson signed what was then called the biggest recording deal in music history -- a $50 million contract with Virgin Records.

In 1992, Dizzy Gillespie underwent surgery to remove an abdominal blockage.

Also in 1992, singer/actor David Carroll collapsed and died from AIDS-related causes during a recording session in New York. He was 41.

In 1995, George Clinton toured the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He also donated memorabilia to the museum.

In 1996, Nancy Sinatra donated her white go-go boots -- presumably, the ones she sang about in "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" -- to the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1999, Elvis Costello, Kiki Dee and Lulu were among the mourners at the funeral for pop singer Dusty Springfield, who died March 2 of breast cancer. The service was held at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Henley-On-Thames, England.

Today's musical quiz:

She was Eric Clapton's "Layla." Who? Answer: Patti Harrison. Clapton was in love with his buddy George Harrison's wife and wrote the song about her. The Harrisons later divorced and Clapton wed his Patti, although their marriage didn't last.


(March 13)

Today's birthdays include songwriter Mike Stoller of the composing duo Stoller and Leiber, who was born in 1933 (age 70); Neil Sedaka in 1939 (age 64); Donald York of ShaNaNa in 1949 (age 54); Ronnie Rogers of the British group T'Pau in 1959 (age 44); and U2 bassist Adam Clayton in 1960 (age 43).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1959, members of the pop-folk group The Kingston Trio were nearly killed in a plane crash in Indiana.

In 1965, Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds on the eve of the band's release of its third single, "For Your Love."

In 1966, Rod Stewart left Steampacket to resume his solo career.

In 1971, the Allman Brothers Band recorded its "Live at Fillmore East" album.

In 1975, country couple George Jones and Tammy Wynette were divorced.

In 1987, "Heat of the Night" by Bryan Adams became the first commercially released cassette single.

In 1991, Chicago jazz coronet great Jimmy McPartland died at age 83.

In 1995, Barry White, Anita Baker and Boyz II Men each won two awards at the ninth annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Also in 1995, Carly Simon launched her first tour in 15 years in Boston.

In 1996, viral laryngitis forced Rod Stewart to cancel two concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Also in 1996, at least seven people were injured in a riot in downtown Buenos Aires after they were unable to get free tickets to a Ramones concert from a Coca Cola bottler. The company said the tickets were being given away elsewhere.

In 1998, a judge in Malibu, Calif., revoked Tommy Lee's probation in the wake of charges that he beat his wife -- former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson -- during an argument. However, the judge delayed for 3 1/2 weeks the decision on whether to send the rocker back to jail. The Motley Crue drummer had been sentenced to probation after pleading no contest to charges he attacked a photographer attempting to videotape him and his wife outside a Hollywood nightclub in 1996. Lee eventually was returned to jail.

Also in 1998, James Brown pleaded no contest to firearm charges stemming from his arrested two months earlier at his Beech Island, S.C., home. The "Godfather of Soul" was then sentenced to two years in prison, with his sentence suspended pending completion of a 90-day drug treatment program.

Today's musical quiz:

Neil Sedaka's career was revived in 1975 when he sang a duet with this pop star. Name the duet partner and the song. Answer: Sedaka's duet partner was Elton John and the tune was "Bad Blood." It was Sedaka's biggest hit.


(March 14)

Today's birthdays include Quincy Jones, who was born in 1933 (age 70); Chicago's Walter Parazaider in 1945 (age 58); disc jockey-turned-comic recording star Rick Dees in 1951 (age 52); and Taylor Hanson of Hanson in 1983 (age 20).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1960, Sam Cooke -- whose music would influence the neophyte reggae movement -- opened his first Caribbean tour in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

In 1968, Elvis Presley's 26th movie, "Stay Away Joe," premiered.

And, renowned director and choreographer Busby Berkeley died on this date in 1976.

. In 1981, Eric Clapton was hospitalized in St. Paul, Minn., suffering from ulcers and exhaustion. He was forced to cancel the remaining dates of his U.S. tour.

In 1984, the Hard Rock Cafe -- filled with rock 'n' roll memorabilia -- opened in New York City.

In 1991, songwriter Doc Pomus died at age 65. He'd penned such hits as "Save the Last Dance for Me" for the Drifters, Jay and the Americans' "This Magic Moment," as well as several Elvis Presley hits.

In 1992, as many as 40,000 people attended Farm Aid 5 at the Texas Stadium near Dallas. The 12-hour concert featured Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Waylon Jennings, Tracy Chapman, Kris Kristofferson, Arlo Guthrie, and Merle Haggard.

In 1994, a bomb threat disrupted a Jay and the Americans' concert on Long Island, N.Y. No bomb was found.

Also in 1994, a fourth show was added to Barbra Streisand's London concerts, due to the demand for tickets.

And in 1994, the Boring Institute of New Jersey named Madonna's movie "Body of Evidence" the most boring film of 1993.

In 1995, Garth Brooks, Michael Bolton and Kenny G testified before Congress on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1997, U2's eighth studio album, "Pop," debuted on the Billboard Top-200 album chart at No.1.

In 2000, Elton John made his first in-store appearance in more than five years, visiting Tower Records in West Hollywood in connection with the release of "Elton John's 'The Road to El Dorado.'" The album was the musical accompaniment to the animated movie "The Road to El Dorado."

Today's musical quiz:

Who produced Michael Jackson's album "Thriller"? Answer: Quincy Jones.

Topics: Al Jarreau, Alanis Morissette, Barbra Streisand, Barry White, Branford Marsalis, Brian Jones, Bryan Adams, Buckingham Palace, Busby Berkeley, Carly Simon, Carole King, Celine Dion, Chuck Berry, Crystal Gayle, Dave Clark, David Bowie, David Carroll, Diana Ross, Dizzy Gillespie, Dusty Springfield, Earl Scruggs, Ed Sullivan, Eddie Van Halen, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton, Garth Brooks, George Clinton, George Jones, James Brown, James Taylor, Janet Jackson, Janis Joplin, Jay Leno, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, Johnnie Ray, Johnny Carson, Kris Kristofferson, Kurt Cobain, Lester Flatt, Lisa Loeb, Liza Minnelli, Mariah Carey, Marlon Jackson, Mel Galley, Merle Haggard, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Neil Sedaka, Neil Young, Notorious B.I.G, Paul McCartney, Paul Revere, Paul Simon, Pete Best, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Sam Cooke, St Mary, Steve Harris, Tammy Wynette, Tom Smothers, Tommy Sands, Tupac Shakur, Waylon Jennings, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson
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