Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  May 2, 2003 at 2:45 AM
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(May 3)

Today's birthdays include trumpeter Hank Lawson, in 1911; composer Betty Comden in 1915 (age 88); Pete Seeger, who was born in 1919 (age 84); Joe Ames of the Ames Brothers in 1924 (age 79); James Brown, in 1928 (age 75); Dave Dudley in 1928 (age 75); Englebert Humperdinck in 1936 (age 67); Frankie Valli in 1937 (age 66); Peter Staples of the Troggs in 1944 (age 59); Christopher Cross in 1951 (age 52); Mary Hopkin in 1952 (age 51); bassist Bruce Hall of REO Speedwagon in 1953 (age 50); and Soft Cell keyboardist David Ball in 1959 (age 44).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1968, the Beach Boys launched a U.S. tour, on which their co-headliner was the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was arrested on heroin possession charges at Toronto International Airport. He was freed on $10,000 bail.

In 1972, in one of the most bizarre incidents in rock history, Stone the Crows guitarist Les Harvey was electrocuted by a poorly grounded microphone on stage during a show in Swansea, Wales. He was 25. His death was witnessed by -- among others -- his girlfriend, the group's vocalist Maggie Bell.

In 1976, Paul McCartney and Wings opened the "Wings Over America" tour in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1986, Dolly Parton opened her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Fork, Tenn.

In 1991, Gov. Ann Richards proclaimed it ZZ Top Day in Texas.

Also in 1991, singer Andy Williams married his longtime girlfriend Debby Hass in New York.

In 1994, the Rolling Stones announced plans for a world concert tour to promote the band's "Voodoo Lounge" album.

Also in 1994, Michael Bolton charged that a Los Angeles jury decision that he and a co-writer stole the Isley Brothers song "Love Is A Wonderful Thing" was racially motivated.

And in 1994, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks were the big winners at the 29th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles. Brooks didn't attend the ceremonies. He was in Nashville with his wife as she gave birth to the couple's second child -- another girl.

In 1995, Paul McCartney's 17-year-old son, James, broke his ankle when his Range Rover overturned near his dad's farm southeast of London.

In 1996, Hootie and the Blowfish's second album, "Fairweather Johnson," debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Top-200 album chart.

In 1997, the Wallflowers performed a concert in the parking lot of the Hard Rock Cafe to raise money for the "Give Kids The World" charity.

In 2000, Metallica's Lars Ulrich showed up with the band's lawyer at the San Mateo, Calif., offices of Napster, Inc., to deliver 13 boxes of documents they claimed identified more than 300,000 Napster users who are violating copyright law. Metallica was suing Napster for providing the file-sharing software that allowed users to download music off the Internet.

Today's musical quiz:

There's an art gallery in New York City named after a Carly Simon song. True? Answer: Yes. Riverrun art gallery is named after Simon's Oscar-winning tune "Let The River Run."


(May 4)

Today's birthdays include Maynard Ferguson, who was born in 1928 (age 75); Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy in 1931 (age 72); Ritchie Burns of the Hondells in 1941 (age 62); Nick Ashford, of Ashford and Simpson, in 1942 (age 61); Troggs drummer Ronnie Bond and Angels lead singer Peggy Santiglia, both in 1944 (age 59); Stella Parton, Dolly's sister, in 1949 (age 54); Jackie Jackson, one of Michael Jackson's older brothers, and Bruce Day of Pablo Cruise, both in 1951 (age 52); country's Randy Travis in 1959 (age 44); and 'N Sync's Lance Bass in 1979 (age 24).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps recorded "Be Bop A Lula."

In 1959, the first Grammy Awards were handed out. Among the winners: Henry Mancini for best album, "The Music from Peter Gunn," Perry Como and Ella Fitzgerald as best vocalists, Domenico Modugno for best record, "Volare," and the Kingston Trio for best country song, "Tom Dooley."

In 1963, the Beach Boys made the group's national album chart debut with "Surfin' USA."

In 1968, British model/actress Twiggy saw Welsh teenage singer Mary Hopkin perform on a TV talent show and recommended her to Beatle Paul McCartney. Three months later, Hopkin's debut single for Apple Records -- "Those Were the Days," produced by McCartney -- was released.

In 1970, the National Guard killings of four Kent State University students inspired the Crosby Stills Nash and Young anti-war anthem "Ohio."

In 1976, Kiss played its first concert, in New York.

In 1984, songwriter Larry Stock died at age 87. He wrote "Blueberry Hill" and "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You," among others.

In 1987, a San Francisco judge threw out a 21-year-old lawsuit filed by a former Jefferson Airplane manager, which had kept the group from collecting $2 million in back royalties.

Also on 1987, blues harp great Paul Butterfield was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment. The coroner later announced Butterfield had died from a lethal mixture of drugs and alcohol.

In 1991, Dennis Crosby -- the son of Bing Crosby -- was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in his San Francisco-area home. He'd had a rocky career as part of a singing group with his three brothers.

In 1992, it was "Kiss Day" in Baltimore. Members of the rock group were given the key to the city.

Also in 1992, fans buying tickets for a Garth Brooks concert in Waterloo, Iowa, overloaded phone lines -- knocking out 911 service in a three-county area.

In 1993, BMI said Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" was the most played song in the United States.

In 1994, prosecutors in Los Angeles announced that no charges would be filed against Courtney Love, who had been arrested a month earlier after police found syringes in her Beverly Hills hotel room. The syringes turned out to be for prescription pain medication. Love's arrest had come one day before the body of her husband -- Nirvana's Kurt Cobain -- was found at their Seattle home. He'd committed suicide.

In 1995, a federal judge in San Francisco awarded Creedence Clearwater Revival co-founder John Fogerty a record $1.35 million to cover legal expenses after winning a copyright lawsuit.

Also in 1995, Peter Paul and Mary performed Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

In 1999, rapper Busta Rhymes pulled out of a tour with R&B singer R.Kelly, saying the promoter "made it impossible to mount a production that would be compatible with the kind of show (his) fans have come to expect."

Also in 1999, Toto was inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk.

Today's musical quiz:

Who won the most awards at that very first Grammy Awards? Answer: Ross Bagdasarian, a.k.a. Dave Seville, with three. His "Chipmunks" song won for best recording for children, best comedy and best engineered.


(May 5)

Today's birthdays include actress-singer Alice Faye in 1912; Johnnie Taylor, whose 1976 hit "Disco Lady" was the first single to be certified platinum, meaning it sold two million copies, was born in 1938; Roni Stoneman of the Stoneman Family in 1941 (age 62; country's Tammy Wynette in 1942; Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward in 1948 (age 55); guitarist Rex Goh of Air Supply in 1951 (age 52); Peter Erskine, drummer with Weather Report, in 1954 (age 49); Ian McCullock of Echo and the Bunnymen in 1959 (age 44); and Adam and The Ants bassist Kevin Mooney in 1962 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1956, Johnny Burnette and his Rock and Roll Trio recorded their first single, "Tear It Up."

In 1967, one-hit wonder Scott McKenzie released "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" -- the definitive song of the "flower power" era.

In 1968, Buffalo Springfield played its last show in Long Beach, Calif. But two major new acts rose from the ashes -- Steve Stills and Neil Young joined David Crosby and Graham Nash, while Jim Messina joined Kenny Loggins.

In 1978, one person was killed when a Preston, England, concert by the punk band Vibrators erupted into a riot between two rival soccer fan clubs.

In 1984, the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde married Simple Minds' Jim Kerr in New York's Central Park following her relationship with the Kinks' Ray Davies.

In 1987, Bryan Adams opened his U.S. tour in support of his "Into the Fire" album in Shreveport, La.

In 1990, a John Lennon tribute concert was held in Liverpool, England -- with Hall and Oates, and Terrence Trent D'Arby among the performers.

In 1996, Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott and his live-in girlfriend both were arrested on spousal assault charges following a fight at a West Hollywood hotel.

In 1997, Bruce Springsteen was awarded the 1997 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. The honor is often considered the musical equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Today's musical quiz:

He replaced Sam Cooke in the gospel group the Soul Stirrers when Cooke went mainstream. Who? Answer: Johnnie Taylor.


(May 6)

Today's birthdays include singer Martha Bowell of the Boswell Sisters in 1908; pianist-bandleader Carmen Cavallaro in 1913; and Bob Seger in 1945 (age 58).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1942, "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin was published. Just Bing Crosby's recording alone has sold more than 140 million copies.

In 1965, Keith Richards created the classic guitar riff that would become "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." He played it for Mick Jagger in a hotel room in Clearwater, Fla.

In 1967, Grateful Dead's self-titled debut album entered the national charts.

In 1973, Paul Simon launched his first solo tour since splitting up with Art Garfunkel with a concert in Boston.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin broke its own record for the biggest-ever attendance at a concert with a single headliner. More than 76,000 fans attended the show at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., exceeding the 57,000 at a Zeppelin concert in Tampa almost four years earlier. (That show, in turn, had taken the record from the 1965 Shea Stadium Beatles concert.)

In 1984, Spinal Tap -- the fictional band formed to star in a comedy neo-documentary -- played CBGBs in New York City.

In 1992, Frederick's of Hollywood offered a $1,000 reward for the return of Madonna's bustier, which had been stolen from its lingerie museum during the Los Angeles riots.

Also in 1992, Bruce Springsteen performed for an invitation-only crowd at New York's Bottom Line.

And in 1992, 11 people were hurt -- none seriously -- when a man tossed a bomb into the crowd at a Skid Row concert in Kalamazoo, Mich.

In 1993, David Bowie announced he'd donate the royalties from his single "Black Tie White Noise" to a recreation center in South Central Los Angeles.

Also in 1993, IRS agents seized possessions from the Mississippi home of rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis for failing to pay more than $1.6 million in overdue taxes.

In 1994, rapper Tupac Shakur was charged with violating his probation. The charges stemmed from two previous arrests -- in March and in April -- for carrying concealed and loaded weapons.

In 1995, dozens of Bon Jovi fans were injured in the rush for the gate at a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur agreed to stage a benefit concert and perform community service in South Central Los Angeles after pleading guilty to possession of a concealed weapon.

Also in 1996, Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville performed on the White House South Lawn. The concert was taped for later broadcast on PBS.

In 1997, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Jackson Five, the BeeGees, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, the Young Rascals and Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the first-ever Cleveland ceremony.

Today's musical quiz:

What's the name of Bob Seger's backing band? Answer: The Silver Bullet Band.


(May 7)

Today's birthdays include 1950s singer and disc jockey Jim Lowe, who was born in 1927 (age 76); bass player Mitch Jayne of the electric bluegrass band the Dillards in 1930 (age 73); Teresa Brewer in 1931 (age 72); Jimmy Ruffin in 1939 (age 64); Johnny Maestro, the lead singer of the Crests who later formed the pop group Brooklyn Bridge, also in 1939 (age 63); Rick West, guitarist with Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, in 1943 (age 60); Rare Earth's Ray Monette and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann Jr., both in 1946 (age 59); Tubes drummer Prairie Prince in 1950 (age 53); and Janis Ian in 1951 (age 52).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1925, Paul Whiteman recorded "The Charleston."

In 1968, the British rock group the Move detonated explosives onstage as part of its show in Rome. No one was hurt but riot police were not amused.

In 1969, Roger Miller entered the country singles charts with his version of "Me and Bobby McGee," which was written by Kris Kristofferson.

In 1972, the Rolling Stones released "Exile on Main Street," the band's first double album of all original material.

In 1978, 90,000 tickets were sold in eight hours for Bob Dylan's upcoming London concerts.

In 1983, Paul Weller unveiled his post-Jam group -- Style Council -- at an anti-nuclear rally in South London.

Also in 1983, Billy Currie announced he was leaving Visage but would remain in Ultravox.

In 1986, John Mellencamp joined farmers in protest on the steps of the Farmers Home Administration office in Chillicothe, Mo.

In 1992, a federal appeals court in Atlanta declared 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty As They Wanna' Be" album was not obscene, overturning a federal court decision out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In 1997, a federal judge ordered the Meadowlands to let Marilyn Manson perform at the upcoming "OzzFest '97" heavy-metal festival in June. The agency that ran the New Jersey sports complex felt the band was too extreme and canceled the concert when the promoter refused to remove Manson from the lineup.

In 1998, country-pop singer/songwriter Eddie Rabbit died in Nashville of lung cancer. He was 53.

Today's musical quiz:

The musical "Evita" is based on her life. Who? Answer: Argentine first lady Eva Peron, called "Evita" by her fans. Peron was born on this date in 1919.


(May 8)

Today's birthdays include cornetist Red Nichols in 1905; Rick Nelson in 1940; Toni Tennille of the Captain and Tennille, and bassist Paul "Sam" Samwell-Smith of the Yardbirds and, later, Renaissance, both in 1943 (age 60); Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, in 1944 (age 59); Keith Jarrett in 1945 (age 58); Phillip Bailey of Earth Wind and Fire and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, both in 1951 (age 52); Fleetwood Mac's Billy Burnette in 1953 (age 50); drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen in 1955 (age 48); and Enrique Iglesias, son of Julio, in 1975 (age 28).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1965, nine of the top-10 U.S. singles on the Billboard pop singles charts were by British artists -- led by "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits.

In 1970, the Beatles' final original album -- "Let It Be" -- was released.

In 1972, Billy Preston became the first rock star to headline at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

In 1974, Graham Bond -- a key early figure in the jazzy side of British rock -- was struck and killed by a London subway train. He was 37.

In 1977, Olivia Newton-John made her New York concert debut at the Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1978, Donny Osmond got married at age 21.

In 1982, Casablanca Records executive Neil Bogart died of cancer at age 39. He created numerous trends -- from his production of bubblegum hits to the development of Casablanca Records, where he was responsible for the "disco explosion" led by Donna Summer and the Village People.

In 1995, Rick Nelson was posthumously inducted into Hollywood's Rock Walk on what would've been his 55th birthday.

In 1996, civil rights figure Rose Parks teamed up with Hootie and the Blowfish for an MTV "Rock the Vote" commercial.

Also in 1996, a newspaper in Seoul, Korea, sued Michael Jackson in Santa Barbara, Calif. It claimed his parents transferred the deed of their suburban Los Angeles home to him so the paper couldn't collect the $4 million a Korean court had decided the Jacksons owed for reneging on a planned Jackson family concert.

And in 1996, a Los Angeles judge ruled against Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and his actress/wife, Pamela Anderson Lee, in their bid to bar Penthouse from publishing still photos from an X-rated home video stolen from their house.

In 1998, Johnny Winter was inducted into Hollywood's Rockwalk on Sunset Boulevard.

Also in 1998, James Taylor performed a private concert at a Danbury, Conn., middle school. The show was part of the prize won by a 13-year-old girl in the "Where The Music Takes You" contest sponsored, in part, by Sony.

In 1999, David Bowie received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Today's musical quiz:

Who wrote the Captain and Tenille's 1975 Grammy-winning tune "Love Will Keep Us Together"? Answer: Neil Sedaka.


(May 9)

Today's birthdays include country singer Hank Snow in 1914; singer/songwriter Lloyd Price, who was born in 1933 (age 70); Crickets guitarist Sonny Curtis (age 70), and Dave Prater of Sam and Dave, both in 1938; Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist with the Ventures, in 1939 (age 64); Freddie and the Dreamers bassist Pete Birrell in 1941 (age 62); Tommy Roe in 1943 (age 60); Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and later with Poco, and Don Dannemann of the Cyrkle, both in 1944 (age 59); Blood Sweat and Tears guitarist Steve Katz in 1945 (age 58); Billy Joel in 1949 (age 54); Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson in 1950 (age 53); and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode and Housemartins singer/guitarist Paul Heaton, both in 1962 (age 41).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1962, George Martin signed the Beatles to the band's first recording contract -- with EMI.

In 1964, Chuck Berry launched his first tour of the United Kingdom.

In 1978, Fee Waybill of the Tubes broke a leg when he fell off the stage during a concert in England.

In 1987, Paul Simon hired civil rights activist Julian Bond to boost black attendance on his "Graceland" tour.

In 1994, in a rare interview, Barbra Streisand complained in Time magazine that she was misunderstood by the critics and the news media.

Also in 1994, the wife of Billy Ray Cyrus gave birth to the couple's second child -- a boy -- in Nashville.

In 1995, Elton John and classical cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich shared the 1995 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1996, Los Angeles prosecutors refiled spousal battery charges against Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen after the one-armed rocker failed to complete a substance abuse counseling program. The charges stemmed from his alleged attack on his wife in a bathroom at Los Angeles International Airport in July 1995.

Also in 1996, the New York Daily News reported that LaToya Jackson and her agent/husband Jack Gordon were splitting up -- she said he beat her again but he denied that.

In 1998, Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson played his first-ever solo concert in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill. Wilson was promoting his new "Imagination" album.

Also in 1998, Linda McCartney was posthumously awarded the Ellis Island, N.Y., Medal of Honor.

In 2000, the soundtrack album for "Mission: Impossible 2" included Metallica's "I Disappear," the first song the band had ever written for a film soundtrack.

Also in 2000, "This Time Around," Hanson's first album in three years, hit stores.

Today's musical quiz:

What's "Piano Man" about? Answer: "Piano Man" chronicles Billy Joel's experiences playing piano at the Executive Room, a sleezy lounge in Los Angeles.

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Topics: Aaron Neville, Alan Jackson, Andy Williams, Ann Richards, Art Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand, Bill Kreutzmann, Billy Joel, Billy Ray, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bing Crosby, Bobby McGee, Brian Poole, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Busta Rhymes, Carly Simon, Chrissie Hynde, Chuck Berry, Courtney Love, Dave Seville, David Bowie, David Crosby, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, Donny Osmond, Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, Enrique Iglesias, Garth Brooks, Gary Glitter, George Martin, Graham Nash, James Brown, James Taylor, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Kerr, Jim Messina, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, Joni Mitchell, Julian Bond, Keith Richards, Kenny Loggins, Kris Kristofferson, Kurt Cobain, Lance Bass, Lars Ulrich, Lloyd Price, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Marilyn Manson, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Neil Sedaka, Neil Young, Paul Gadd, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Perry Como, Pete Seeger, R. Kelly, Randy Travis, Range Rover, Rick Nelson, Roger Miller, Salvatore "Toto" Riina, Sam Cooke, Tammy Wynette, Tom Dooley, Tommy Lee Jones, Tupac Shakur
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