Today in Music History - Jan. 28

Today in Music History for Jan. 28:


In 1834, Sabine Baring-Gould, Anglican clergyman and author, was born. He published numerous books on history, biography, poetry and fiction. He also penned the enduring hymns, "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "Now the Day is Over."

In 1887, Arthur Rubinstein, the most popular classical pianist of the 20th century, was born in Lodz, Poland. He made his debut with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in 1898, at the age of 11, and first performed in the U.S. in 1906. Rubinstein became well known in North America, beginning in 1937. He was renowned for his interpretations of Chopin, as well as the works of Spanish composers. He died in 1982 at the age of 95.

In 1940, renowned Canadian tenor Rodolphe Plamondon died in Montreal at age 64. He performed as a soloist with Europe's leading choirs and orchestras until the late 1920s. Although he performed rarely in Canada, Plamondon returned to Montreal in 1928 and taught there until his death.

In 1955, the "Top Ten R&B Show," starring "The Clovers" and Fats Domino, among others, kicked off in New York.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first national television appearance on the "Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Stage Show" on CBS. Although Elvis' name was on the marquee of the New York theatre where the show took place, his appearance attracted little attention. In fact, the promoter is said to have returned to the theatre at show time with dozens of tickets, unable even to give them away in Times Square. After the show, however, Elvis was a national star. Sales of his debut single for RCA Victor, "Heartbreak Hotel," snowballed.

In 1968, "The Who" vocalist Roger Daltrey's wife, Jacqueline, sued for divorce.

In 1968, "The Who," "The Small Faces" and Paul Jones were kicked off a plane in Australia for harassing a stewardess and making her cry.

In 1972, country singer T. Texas Tyler died of cancer in Springfield, Mo. He was 65.

In 1976, George Harrison announced that he would participate in a planned "Beatles" reunion concert. The other three members had already agreed, but nonetheless the concert did not materialize.

In 1983, Billy Fury, one of England's major pre-"Beatles" pop stars, died of heart disease in London. He had nearly 20 records on the British charts in the late 1950s and early '60s. His early hits were in a rockabilly style, but he later turned to cover versions of American hits.

In 1985, "We Are the World," the Michael Jackson-Lionel Richie penned song for African famine relief, was recorded at the A&M Records studio in Hollywood by 45 rock, pop and country stars. A year later, the song won Grammy Awards for song, record and video of the year. Produced by Quincy Jones, "We Are the World" included contributions from Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Cyndi Lauper. U.S.A. For Africa, the organization responsible for administering the money raised from sales of the single, album, video and other merchandise, said $61.8 million was eventually raised. About 7.2 million singles and albums were sold.

In 1989, the "Bachman-Turner Overdrive" lineup of guitarists Randy Bachman and Blair Thornton, bassist Fred Turner and drummer Robbie Bachman played together for the first time in 11 years at a reunion concert in a Vancouver nightclub.

In 1991, during the American Music Awards ceremony, Gloria Estefan performed for the first time since breaking her back in a bus accident. She received a standing ovation.

In 1992, U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton apologized to country singer Tammy Wynette, who was angry over comments Mrs. Clinton made on "60 Minutes." Clinton had said "I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by her man like Tammy Wynette."

In 1993, MTV said it would not air "Big Boys Bickering" as part of its special "Paul McCartney Up Close." The U.S. music video channel was upset with the profanity in the song, which McCartney's publicist said was a protest against governments' refusal to act together against global pollution.

In 1993, a mixup at a Dallas CD manufacturer resulted in about 30 copies of "The Dead Kennedys" album "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" being mislabelled as a religious radio program called "Powerline." The Southern Baptist Radio-TV Commission had to call more than 1,200 stations to warn them of the error. "The Dead Kennedys" album contained such lines as "God told me to skin you alive."

In 1998, a judge in Las Vegas found country singer Tracy Lawrence guilty of domestic battery for striking his wife Stacie the previous September.

In 1999, rock band "Rage Against the Machine" staged a benefit concert in East Rutherford, N.J., for convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Government and law-enforcement officials were up in arms over the benefit for Abu-Jamal, a black former radio newsman convicted of killing a white police officer in Philadelphia in 1981. Critics questioned Abu-Jamal's conviction, with some going so far as to suggest he was framed because he was outspoken about police violence against minorities.

In 1999, Pat Boone announced he was forming "The Gold Label," a recording company for pop singers aged 45 and over.

In 2005, 45 Fiona Apple fans picketed outside Sony headquarters in New York in what they called Free Fiona Day. They wanted Sony to release Apple's "Extraordinary Machine" album, which had been shelved for two years. (It was released in October)

In 2009, "Lynyrd Skynyrd" keyboard player Billy Powell, who played on such hits as "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird" and survived the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, died at age 56 of a suspected heart attack. Powell, who had a history of heart problems, missed the previous day's appointment with his doctor for a cardiac evaluation.

In 2009, Kelly Clarkson set a new record on the Billboard Hot 100 with a 97-1 jump for her song "My Life Would Suck Without You." She did one better than Britney Spears' comeback song "Womanizer" which jumped 96-1 on Oct. 16, 2008.

In 2010, Sly Stone (born Sylvester Stewart), the frontman of the 1970s funk group "Sly and The Family Stone," sued former business manager Gerald Goldstein and several companies, claiming they kept 20 years of royalty payments from him. Some of Stone's hits include "Dance to the Music," "Everyday People" and "Family Affair." (Stone was awarded $5 million.)

In 2016, death claimed two original members of the Jefferson Airplane - guitarist Paul Kantner and lead singer Singe Toly Anderson. Both were 74. Anderson appeared on the group's debut album, then left after she gave birth to a child and was replaced by Grace Slick. Kantner stayed with the seminal San Francisco band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship. The Airplane combined folk, rock, blues and jazz and sang about the sex, drugs and politics lifestyle of the 1960s. It was the first group from the Bay Area scene to achieve mainstream success, thanks to the classics "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit." Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

In 2018, Bruno Mars won all six Grammys he was nominated for, including the three most prestigious for album ("24K Magic"), record (title track) and song of the year ("That's What I Like"); Alessia Cara won her first Grammy and became the first Canadian-born winner of the best new artist; The Weeknd's "Starboy" picked up best urban contemporary album; the late Leonard Cohen won for best rock performance ("You Want It Darker"); Nova Scotia soprano Barbara Hannigan for classical solo vocal album.


(The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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