Today in Music: a look back at pop music

By United Press International  |  May 23, 2003 at 2:45 AM
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(May 24)

Today's birthdays include Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong fame, who was born in 1938 (age 65); Bob Dylan -- born Robert Zimmerman -- in 1941 (age 62); Derek Quinn, guitarist with Freddie and the Dreamers, in 1942 (age 61); Patti LaBelle in 1944 (age 59); Steve Upton of Wishbone Ash in 1946 (age 57); country's Roseanne Cash in 1955 (age 48); Helen Terry in 1956 (age 47); and Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson in 1969 (age 34).

On this day in music history:

In 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis abandoned a British tour under a hail of press abuse concerning his marriage to his 13-year-old second cousin.

In 1968, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were busted for drug possession at their London home. The same day, "Jumping Jack Flash" was released.

In 1970, Peter Green -- guitarist and a founding member of Fleetwood Mac -- left the group to join a religious cult.

In 1971, Bob Dylan marked his 30th birthday by visiting the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

In 1974, jazz legend Duke Ellington died on this day at age 75. Ellington's hits ranged from pop tunes and jazz classics to ballets, film scores and religious suites.

In 1983, Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet broke up Yazoo to go solo.

In 1984, country singer Willie Nelson played the first of six sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

In 1991, Gene Clark -- co-founder of the Byrds -- died at home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., of a heart attack. He was 46.

In 1995, Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into Hollywood's Rockwalk.

In 1997, Bob Dylan -- on his 56th birthday -- was hospitalized with what was described as a "life-threatening" viral infection that causes the sac around the heart to swell. He recovered.

In 1998, New York City police arrested a Wisconsin man for allegedly stalking pop singer-turned-Broadway actress Deborah (Debbie) Gibson.

In 1999, David Bowie's recording session of a song co-written with contest winner Alex Grant was cybercast live from New York.

Today's musical quiz:

How old was Willie Nelson when he began writing songs? Answer: Just 7 years old.


(May 25)

Today's birthdays include dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, born in 1878; Tom T. Hall, who was born in 1936 (age 67); singer/actress Leslie Uggams in 1943 (age 60); the Tokens' Mitch Margo and country's Jessi Colter, both in 1947 (age 56); the Scorpions' Klaus Meine in 1948 (age 55); Paul Weller of Jam and also Style Council in 1958 (age 45); and Lauryn Hill in 1975 (age 28).

On this day in music history:

In 1968, Simon and Garfunkel replaced themselves atop the Billboard Top-200 album chart when "Bookends" replaced "The Graduate" soundtrack in the No.1 position.

In 1973, more than 100,000 people attended Carole King's "Sunset Concert" in New York's Central Park.

In 1978, Keith Moon played for the last time with The Who before his death, at a concert filmed for the rock documentary "The Kids Are Alright."

In 1992, the road manager of Boyz II Men was killed and his assistant wounded in a shooting at a posh hotel in Chicago. Three men were later arrested. Boyz II Men was on tour with rapper Hammer at the time of the incident.

In 1993, it was announced that the 1994 Grammy Awards would be held in New York after returning for a year to Los Angeles.

In 1994, viral laryngitis forced Barbra Streisand to postpone the opening show of a six-concert gig in Anaheim, Calif. She would eventually postpone four out of six shows.

In 1996, Sublime lead singer Brad Nowell was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room. He was 28. The band's co-manager said a heroin overdose was the likely cause of Nowell's death.

In 1999, the debut solo album from Squirrel Nut Zippers' Katharine Whalen, titled "Katharine Whalen's Jazz Squad," was released.

In 2000, Stevie Wonder performed at an all-star tribute to the late Grover Washington, Jr., in Philadelphia. Washington had died in December 1999 just after taping a performance on the "CBS Saturday Early Show."

Also in 2000, B.B. King was a big winner at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards in Memphis. The veteran R&B singer was named best soul/blues male artist and entertainer of the year, and his new CD "It's Harder Now" was honored as best soul-and-blues album and best comeback album.

Today's musical quiz:

Her five-Grammy haul for "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" tied her with what singer/songwriter for the most trophies by a female artist in a single year? Answer: Carole King.


(May 26)

Today's birthdays include Al Jolson, who was born in 1886; trumpeter Ziggy Elman in 1914; Peggy Lee in 1920; Miles Davis in 1926; Band drummer Levon Helm in 1943 (age 60); Verden "Phally" Allen, keyboardist for Mott the Hoople, in 1944 (age 59); the Guess Who's drummer Gerry Paterson in 1945 (age 58); Stevie Nicks in 1948 (age 55); country's Hank Williams, Jr., in 1949 (age 54); and Lenny Kravitz in 1964 (age 39).

On this day in music history:

In 1953, Elvis Presley placed second in a talent concert held at a Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Show.

In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono started their second "Bed-In for Peace" in a room at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. During the event, they recorded "Give Peace a Chance."

In 1974, a 14-year-old fan died in the audience crush at a David Cassidy concert at White City, London.

In 1977, William Powell of the O'Jays died at age 35.

In 1989, the estate of Roy Orbison was sued by a music publishing company, which claimed the late singer had failed to honor his commitments under a contract signed in 1985.

In 1990, for the first time ever, female artists held the top-five positions on the Billboard Hot-100 singles chart. Madonna was No.1 with "Vogue" -- followed by Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," Wilson-Phillips' "Hold On" and Janet Jackson's "Alright."

Also in 1990, David Bowie was sued for $56 million by his ex-wife, Angela.

In 1992, fraud and breach of contract charges against Aretha Franklin were dropped. The charges had stemmed from her failure to appear at a Chicago Music Fest in July 1991.

In 1993, an unauthorized biography claimed Mick Jagger's bedmates have ranged from Madonna to Princess Margaret to Eric Clapton to Rudolf Nureyev.

In 1993, health problems forced Bobby Brown to cancel the European leg of his tour.

Also in 1993, Singapore lifted its longtime ban on classic rock songs by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Chicago, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. But the ban remained on stuff by Prince, Sinead O'Connor, Guns N' Roses and the Rolling Stones.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in a secret ceremony in the Dominican Republic. The marriage lasted less than two years.

Also in 1994, the Temptations marked the 30th anniversary of their first hit song with a show at New York's Apollo Theater Hall of Fame.

In 1998, Chicago said "no thanks" to an offer of a free concert by hometown band Smashing Pumpkins. City officials said the show would attract too many people to the lakefront park concert site.

Also in 1998, the Moody Blues launched a 27-city U.S. concert tour in San Diego.

The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston confirmed that rocker Eddie Van Halan had enrolled in a cancer prevention clinical trial. In a statement, doctors said the 45-year-old lead guitarist for Van Halen was trying "to prevent cancer." It was later revealed the musician did indeed have cancer and was undergoing treatment.

Today's musical quiz:

When Madonna first moved to New York City, how did she support herself? Answer: She worked in a donut shop.


(May 27)

Today's birthdays include jazz man Ramsey Lewis in 1935 (age 68); country's Don Williams in 1939 (age 64); British pop singer Cilla Black, whose real name is Priscilla White, in 1943 (age 60); Pete Sears, bassist for Jefferson Starship, in 1948 (age 55); Siouxsie Sioux -- real name, Susan Dallion -- of Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1957 (age 46); Neil Finn, formerly with Crowded House, in 1958 (age 45); and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC in 1971 (age 32).

On this day in music history:

On this day in 1924, Jules Stein founded the Music Corporation of American in Chicago. MCA initially booked bands into clubs and dance halls, eventually growing into an entertainment conglomerate.

In 1957, Buddy Holly and the Crickets released their first single, "That'll Be The Day."

In 1963, Bob Dylan's classic "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" was released.

In 1977, Virgin Records released the Sex Pistols' widely banned "God Save the Queen."

Also in 1977, Tom Waits and a friend were arrested at a Los Angeles coffee shop for allegedly disturbing the peace.

In 1987, U2 set off an earthquake alarm during a concert in an exclusive area of Rome. Local police were flooded with phone calls.

Also in 1987, members of Menudo appeared at New York's Hard Rock Cafe to announce the newest member of the group -- to the screams of dozens of young girls.

In 1989, the Beach Boys and Chicago began their first joint tour since 1975 at the Pacific Amphitheater in Los Angeles. Brian Wilson sat in on three songs.

In 1992, Cher postponed three of five sold-out shows in New York due to severe bronchitis she'd caught in Europe.

In 1993, a 50-city art tour by various music celebrities opened in Boston. Called "Image Makers: The Rock 'N' Roll Art Expo," it featured artworks by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana, Donna Summer, Stevie Nicks, Roger McGinn, Ron Wood, Eric Burdon, Jon Anderson, Joe Walsh, Mickey Dolenz, Miles Davis and Joan Baez.

Today's musical quiz:

Where did the late Lisa Lopes' nickname "Left Eye" come from? Answer: The nickname stemmed from her habit of wearing a condom over the left eye of her glasses.


(May 28)

Today's birthdays include T-Bone Walker, who was born in 1910; Papa John Creach, who toured with Jefferson Starship, in 1917; Gladys Knight in 1944 (age 59); John Fogerty, co-founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival, in 1945 (age 58); Roxy Music's Eddie Johnson in 1955 (age 48); Steve Strange, whose real name is Stephen Harrington, in 1959 (age 44); Fine Young Cannibals singer Roland Gift in 1962 (age 41); and Australian singer Kylie Minogue in 1968 (age 35).

On this day in music history:

Hollywood's first all-color, all-sound musical, "On with the Show," debuted on this day in 1929.

In 1976, the Allman Brothers Band broke up following Gregg Allman's testimony against a band "roadie" in a drug case.

In 1984, "Love Language" -- Teddy Pendergrass' first album since the car accident that left him in a wheelchair -- was released.

In 1987, federal investigators announced that the 1985 New Year's Eve airplane fire that killed singer Rick Nelson, his fiance and the band apparently was caused by a malfunctioning heater -- not by the free-basing of cocaine.

In 1991, MCA countersued Motown in Los Angeles, accusing the record label and majority owner Boston Ventures of trying illegally to get out of a 1988 distribution agreement. Motown had sued MCA two weeks earlier, claiming MCA was not living up to the agreement.

In 1992, a Boston man said rapper Mark Wahlberg -- of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and the younger brother of New Kid On The Block Donnie Wahlberg -- was among the group of four or five people who beat him up.

In 1996, Depeche Mode lead singer David Gahan was arrested in Los Angeles on drug possession charges after being hospitalized for a drug overdose.

Today's musical quiz:

Do you remember the name of "Marky" Mark Wahlberg's debut album? Answer: "Music for the People" (1991), which was produced by his older brother, New Kid On The Block's Donnie Wahlberg.


(May 29)

Today's birthdays include Bob Hope in 1903 (100 years old); guitarist Roy Crewsdon of Freddie and the Dreamers, who was born in 1941 (age 62); Procol Harum's Gary Brooker and Status Quo's Francis Rossi in 1949 (age 54); Mel Gaynor of Simple Minds in 1960 (age 43); Melissa Etheridge in 1961 (age 42); and Melanie Brown, a.k.a. "Scary Spice" of the Spice Girls, in 1975 (age 28).

On this day in music history:

In 1942, Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas" in Los Angeles.

Actress and singer Fanny Brice died on this day in 1951.

In 1961, Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" topped the R&B singles chart.

In 1974, Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" was released.

In 1981, Bruce Springsteen launched his first British tour in five years.

In 1989, Quicksilver Messenger Service founder John Cipollina died of complications stemming from respiratory problems. He was 45.

In 1991, Steve Winwood was uninjured when his tour bus was sideswiped by an oncoming truck near Findley, Ohio.

In 1995, a security guard shot and wounded an intruder at Madonna's Hollywood Hills estate. The man was later convicted of stalking and threatening the pop star/actress and sentenced to prison.

In 1996, Michael Jackson announced plans for his first world tour in three years, to begin Sept. 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.

In 1999, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sold out all 15 of their shows at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., in only 13 hours -- breaking the old record of 11 sold-out shows at the arena in 1992. That record also belonged to Springsteen.

Also in 1999, hikers found a skeleton in a minivan at the bottom of a canyon near Malibu, Calif. It turned out to be the remains of Iron Butterfly bassist Philip "Taylor" Kramer, who'd been missing since Feb. 1995.

In 2000, in a guest column in Newsweek magazine, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich wrote that he and his fellow bandmates don't care what people think of the group for suing free music distributor Napster because "we think it's the right thing to do, period."

Today's musical quiz:

How did "Scary Spice" Melanie Brown meet her now-former husband? Answer: Jimmy Gulzar was a dancer on the Spice Girls' tour.


(May 30)

Today's birthdays include bandleader/clarinetist Benny Goodman in 1909; Dave Clark 5 guitarist Lenny Davidson, who was born in 1942 (age 61); Nicky "Topper" Headon of the Clash in 1955 (age 48); Roxette's Marie Fredericksson in 1958 (age 45); and Corey Hart in 1962 (age 41).

On this day in music history:

In 1966, Dolly Parton married Carl Dean.

In 1968, the Beatles began recording the "white album," a double album that was actually titled "The Beatles."

In 1972, Roxy Music made its first major live appearance at the Great Western Express Festival in Lincolnshire, England.

In 1980, bassist Carl Radle -- who'd performed with Derek and the Dominoes and on Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" album -- died of a kidney ailment. He was 37.

In 1987, Adam Horowitz of the Beastie Boys was arrested in Liverpool, England, after he allegedly hit a female fan during a riot that followed his band's concert.

In 1991, David Robinson of the Fat Boys was sentenced to two years' probation by a West Chester, Penn., judge for videotaping a 14-year-old girl having sex at a party hosted by the rap group.

In 1992, Paul Simon married singer Edie Brickell on Long Island, N.Y.

In 1993, jazz pianist/orchestra leader Sun Ra died following a series of strokes. He was 79.

In 1994, the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences announced it was adding seven more categories to the 81 Grammy Awards already handed out yearly.

In 1995, Eddie Money's 11th studio album -- "Love and Money" -- was released.

In 1996, the watchdog group Empower America unleashed a campaign against five record labels -- Time Warner, BMG, PolyGram, Thorn EMI and Sony -- for "obscene music" by such artists as Cannibal Corpse, Cypress Hill, Tupac Shakur and Tha Dogg Pound.

In 1997, Neil Young was forced to cancel his European tour after cutting his left index finger while slicing a ham sandwich. The doctors told him he couldn't play guitar while the wound healed.

In 2000, 3 Doors Down headlined the second annual Cutty Sark Rock the Boat Concert Tour, which kicked off in Des Moines, Iowa.

Today's musical quiz:

Is Paul Simon a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Answer: Yes. He and Art Garfunkel were inducted in 1990.

Topics: Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Bob Dylan, Bob Hope, Bobby Brown, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Buddy Holly, Carlos Santana, Carole King, Corey Hart, Dave Clark, David Bowie, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, Donnie Wahlberg, Duke Ellington, Elizabeth II, Eric Clapton, Fanny Brice, Francis Rossi, Gladys Knight, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmie Rodgers, Joan Baez, John Lennon, Jon Anderson, Keith Moon, Kylie Minogue, Lars Ulrich, Lenny Kravitz, M. D. Anderson, M.D. Anderson, Madonna, Mark Wahlberg, Melanie Brown, Melissa Etheridge, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Papa John, Patti Labelle, Paul Simon, Philip Taylor, Princess Margaret, Rick Nelson, Ron Wood, Roseanne Cash, Rudolf Nureyev, Sinead O'Connor, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, Tom Waits, Tommy Chong, Tupac Shakur, U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, W.C. Handy, William Powell, Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono
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