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Today in Music History - Jan. 19
[January 19, 2014]

Today in Music History - Jan. 19

(Canadian Press Broadcast Wire (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Today in Music History for Jan. 19: In 1853, ``Il Trovatore'' by Giuseppe Verdi, the foremost Italian composer of opera, premiered in Rome. Verdi was greatly honoured during his lifetime, and his superbly melodic works are still performed throughout the world.

In 1943, Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Influenced by blues singers like Bessie Smith, she began singing during her early teen years. She eventually settled in San Francisco, where she joined the group ``Big Brother and the Holding Company,'' with whom she appeared at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Joplin embarked on a solo career in 1969, and for the next two years, was rock music's leading female vocalist. Janis Joplin was found dead of an accidental drug overdose in October, 1970.

In 1949, Robert Palmer, the well-tailored British rock singer who created one of the first iconic music videos with the look-alike models of ``Addicted to Love,'' was born in Batley, Yorkshire, England. A two-time Grammy winner in the 1980s for ``Addicted to Love'' and ``Simply Irresistible,'' he also scored hits in his three-decade career with ``Bad Case of Lovin' You (Doctor, Doctor),'' and ``I Didn't Mean to Turn You On.'' Working in 1985 in supergroup ``Power Station,'' alongside John and Andy Taylor of ``Duran Duran,'' they scored three U.S. top-10 hits, including and ``Some Like It Hot,'' ``Communication'' and ``Get it On.'' He died of a heart attack in Paris on Sept. 26, 2003.

In 1953, Marty Robbins made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. His first big hit, ``Singin' the Blues,'' was at the top of the country charts at the time.

In 1959, Dick Clark's ``American Bandstand'' was rated the No. 1 daytime television program.

In 1967, singer Lesley Gore appeared on a ``Batman'' episode as a villainess named Pussycat. She also managed to work in a performance of her current hit, ``California Nights.'' In 1974, a traffic jam kept fans from attending performances by Bob Dylan and ``The Band'' in Miami. Many ticketholders didn't get in until the show was half over, prompting a few demonstrations.

In 1976, promoter Bill Sargent offered ``The Beatles'' US$30 million in the first of several pitches for a reunion concert. The event never took place.

In 1979, a self-titled debut album by the British rock group ``Dire Straits'' was released in North America. It quickly became a million-seller.

In 1980, Michael Jackson got his first gold record, for ``Off the Wall.'' In 1980, Kenny Rogers' ``Coward of the County'' hit the top of the country charts.

In 1981, ``The Beach Boys'' headlined U.S. President Reagan's sparsely-attended youth gala in Washington. They sang ``I Wish They All Could Be Republicans'' to the tune of ``California Girls.'' In 1983, orchestra leader, composer and producer Don Costa died at age 57. Among the hit records he produced were Paul Anka's ``Diana,'' ``Goin' Out of My Head'' by ``Little Anthony and the Imperials'' and Frank Sinatra's ``My Way.'' In 1986, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris began recording sessions for their ``Trio'' album. The project had been announced seven years earlier.

In 1986, Bruce Springsteen and his ``E Street Band'' walked on stage unannounced at a benefit for 3M plant workers being laid off in Ashbury Park, N.J. He performed four numbers for a crowd of 500 in the Stone Pony, the nightclub that helped spawn Springsteen's career.

In 1988, Chicago music critic Charles Eddy sued the ``Beastie Boys'' for $500,000. He alleged that the rap music group broke into his Hollywood hotel room while he slept, poured water on his head and filmed the prank for a video.

In 1993, singer Tom Waits was allowed to keep the $2.5 million that a judge awarded him after he sued Frito-Lay for using a sound-alike in a commercial. The Supreme Court refused to change the amount of the award.

In 1995, Canadian poet and songwriter Gene MacLellan, whose tune ``Snowbird'' became a worldwide hit for Anne Murray in 1970, died in Summerside, P.E.I., at 54.

In 1996, William Lee Golden rejoined ``The Oak Ridge Boys'' after nearly nine years, playing a show with them in East Lansing, Mich. He had been fired from the country group in 1987.

In 1996, Bob Seger kicked off his first tour in nine years in Charleston, S.C.

In 1998, Joe Stubbs, lead singer on the 1959 top-20 hit ``You're So Fine'' from ``The Falcons,'' died in Detroit of complications from heart disease. He was 56.

In 1998, rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins died in Nashville following three strokes. He was 65. Perkins is remembered as much for his influence on other artists, such as Elvis Presley and ``The Beatles,'' as for his own hits, which included ``Blue Suede Shoes.'' It sold two million copies in 1956 before Presley recorded his version and stole some of the thunder. Perkins likely would have been a huge star if he hadn't been seriously injured in a car crash while on the way to New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como TV shows to promote ``Blue Suede Shoes.'' It was a setback from which his career never recovered. He continued to perform and record over the years but there was never another hit to rival ``Blue Suede Shoes.'' Perkins played with Johnny Cash's band in the 1960s and '70s and in 1987 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1999, the rock magazine ``Spin'' fired editor-in-chief Michael Hirschhorn and executive editor Craig Marks.

In 1999, the February issue of Cosmopolitan, featuring cover girl Shania Twain, went on sale. The magazine's three-page feature on the country star included details of her early life in Timmins, Ont.

In 2002, Canadian folksinger-songwriter Wade Hemsworth died in Morin Heights, Quebec at age 85. Several of his tunes, including ``The Log Driver's Waltz,'' were the basis of films by the National Film Board of Canada. The Brantford, Ontario native also wrote ``The Blackfly Song,'' a popular son in schools, song circles and around campfires. That song inspired an Oscar-nominated NFB cartoon. Hemsworth's other songs included ``The Story of the I'm Alone'' and ``The Wild Goose.'' In 2006, singer Wilson Pickett died of a heart attack in Reston, Va. He was 64.

In 2007, Denny Doherty, the Canadian member of ``The Mamas and The Papas,'' died at age 66 at his home in Mississauga, Ont. The Halifax-born Doherty had been suffering from an aneurysm in his abdomen. ``The Mamas and the Papas'' had 10 hit singles in the 1960s including ``Monday, Monday'' and ``California Dreamin'.'' The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

In 2008, John Stewart, who wrote ``The Monkees'' hit ``Daydream Believer'' and became a well-known figure in the 1960s folk music revival as a member of ``The Kingston Trio,'' died. He was 68. He joined the group in 1961, three years after the band released its version of an old folk song, ``Tom Dooley,'' that went on to become a hit. He replaced the band's founder Dave Guard, who had left to pursue a new musical direction. After the trio disbanded in 1967, he went on to an acclaimed solo career that included recording more than 40 albums.

In 2009, ``U2'' released its first single in five years, ``Get On Your Boots.'' In 2009, country singer Jo Dee Messina and her husband Chris Deffenbaugh announced the birth of their first child, Noah Roger Deffenbaugh.

In 2009, the late Jeff Healey and his band won seven awards at the Maple Blues Awards, including best entertainer, electric artist, guitarist and recording of the year for his posthumous album ``Mess of Blues.'' Healey died in March, 2008 after a battle with cancer.

In 2010, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that ``Rush'' and Quebec singer Robert Charlebois were its newest inductees. They both had five of their songs inducted as well as Dolores Claman's iconic ``The Hockey Theme,'' often referred to as Canada's second national anthem.

In 2011, in London, former ``Culture Club'' singer Boy George personally handed over an 18th century icon of Christ to Bishop Porfyrios of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. It was stolen from a church in the breakaway north of the divided island. Boy George bought it from a London art dealer in 1985 and agreed to return it after being presented with proof of its true origin.

In 2011, when ``Hold It Against Me'' debuted at No.1, Britney Spears became the second artist in the Billboard Hot 100's history to debut mutliple songs at the top spot. Her single ``3'' debuted No. 1 in Oct. 2009. She joined Mariah Carey who had three, ``Fantasy,'' ``One Sweet Day'' ``Honey.'' In 2011, ``Showroom of Compassion'' by ``Cake'' debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album chart, selling only 44,000 copies, a record low for a No. 1 album since Soundscan began tracking album sales in 1991. (The record was short-lived when two weeks later Amos Lee's ``Mission Bell'' only sold 40,000).

In 2012,, one of the world's largest file-sharing sites, was shut down and its founder and several company executives were charged with violating piracy laws.

(The Canadian Press) (The Canadian Press) (c) 2014 The Canadian Press

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