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Today in Music History - March 5
[February 21, 2014]

Today in Music History - March 5

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Today in Music History for March 5: In 1882, Canadian soprano Pauline Donalda was born in Montreal. Considered a rival of the famous Melba in the early years of the 20th century, Donalda often replaced her in roles and sang with such renowned performers as Enrico Caruso. Most of her performing career was spent in Europe, but in 1937, she returned to Montreal. There she formed the Opera Guild and directed it until 1969, the year before her death.

In 1955, Elvis Presley made his TV debut on the regional show "The Louisiana Hayride." In 1958, pop singer Andy Gibb, the younger brother of the "Bee Gees," was born in Brisbane, Australia. His brothers often supervised his recording sessions, and Andy came up with the No. 1 hits "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" in 1977 and "Shadow Dancing" in '78. Andy Gibb was the host of the "Solid Gold" TV show from 1981 to mid-1982. He died on March 10, 1988 in Oxfordshire, England of a heart condition.

In 1960, Elvis Presley was discharged from the U.S. army in one of the most publicized returns of a soldier since Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Presley made almost no personal or TV appearances following his two-year army stint, concentrating instead on making a string of successful movies.

In 1963, country singers Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins were killed when their small plane crashed near Camden, Tenn. The three were returning to Nashville from Kansas City, where they had participated in a benefit concert for the widow of a disc jockey. The deejay, Cactus Jack Call, had been killed in a car crash.

In 1966, "The Ballad of the Green Berets" by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the top song in the U.S. for five weeks. The album did even better, topping the LP chart for 13 weeks.

In 1971, "Badfinger" began its first American tour, in Toledo, Ohio.

In 1975, Rod Stewart met actress Britt Ekland at a Los Angeles party. Their romance would be a staple of gossip columns until it ended four years later.

In 1979, Canadian tenor and actor Alan Crofoot committed suicide in Dayton, Ohio. He was 50. Only a year earlier, his career had gained momentum when he signed a contract with the Metropolitan Opera.

In 1979, MCA Records absorbed the ABC record label. More than 300 staffers were fired.

In 1989, Pepsi Cola in the U.S. said it would withdraw its Madonna TV ads from any station that showed the singer's new video, "Like a Prayer." Pepsi in Canada declined to take similar action. But in any case, the entire Madonna-Pepsi campaign was scrapped a month later. The video, which already had been banned in Italy, showed a scantily-clad Madonna kissing the naked feet of a statue in a church sanctuary and caressing a priest. Pepsi had paid the singer a reported $5 million to star in a two-minute TV commercial, featuring the same music as the video but showing a more subdued Madonna.

In 1989, London's critics raved as Toronto singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O'Hara made her British debut at the Duke of York Theatre. "The Daily Telegraph's" Tim de Lisle said O'Hara "sings like nobody else, a true blues voice, summoning depths of defeat and despair with an easy, almost casual delivery." In 1994, former "Jefferson Airplane" and "Starship" lead singer Grace Slick was charged with assault and pointing a shotgun at police at her home in Tiburon, Calif. Officers went there to investigate a report of a drunken woman firing a shotgun. One officer wrestled the unloaded weapon away from Slick. She later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, and agreed to attend three months of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

In 1998, Chuck Berry performed for an hour at the opening of a Hard Rock Cafe in Dubai. The 71-year-old rocker even managed to crouch down in his famous "duck walk." The Hard Rock Cafe building in the United Arab Emirates is a 35-metre-tall replica of the Empire State Building in New York.

In 1998, singer Mariah Carey flew to the Dominican Republic for a quickie divorce from Sony Music president Tommy Mottola. They had separated the previous May after five years of marriage.

In 1998, the teenage daughter of heavy-metal star Ozzy Osbourne paid $16,000 at a charity auction in Los Angeles for the privilege of hanging out with the teen band "Hanson." Aimee Osbourne's prize included socializing, concert tickets and backstage passes.

In 2009, country music star Taylor Swift appeared in the crime-drama "C.S.I." Her character's parents owned a seedy motel where three murders -- including her own -- took place. Investigators look into her death, and Swift was seen in flashbacks that appeared throughout the show.

In 2011, for the first time in 23 years, the original lineup of the British group "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark" toured North America, opening in Toronto.

In 2011, music publishers settled with P2P service LimeWire for an undisclosed amount for copyright infringement. (In May, LimeWire reached a US$105 million out-of-court settlement with major U.S. record labels).

In 2012, Grammy and Academy Award-winning songwriter Robert B. Sherman, who wrote the tongue-twisting "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,"died at age 86. Working with his brother Richard as the Sherman Brothers, they composed scores for Disney films including "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Their songs also included "It's a Small World (After All)," written for the 1964 World Fair.

In 2013, nearly 43 years after his death, a new Jimi Hendrix album, "People, Hell and Angels," was released. It contained 12 previously unreleased tracks recorded in 1968 and '69. He recorded the songs apart from the Jimi Hendrix Experience as he considered new, experimental directions for his follow-up to "Electric Ladyland." He played keyboards, percussion and a second guitar on the album.

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

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