Today in Music History

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Today in Music History
In 1989, Cyndi Lauper released the first close-captioned video, for "My First Night Without You."

In 1989, Cyndi Lauper released the first close-captioned video, for "My First Night Without You."

Photograph by: GABRIEL BOUYS , AFP/Getty Images

In 1912, folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Okla. Many regard Guthrie as the greatest contemporary folk composer, and his songs of social comment and protest had a tremendous influence on Bob Dylan and other folk-rock performers. Among the best known of Guthrie's nearly 1,000 compositions are "This Land is Your Land" and "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You." Guthrie rode the rails as a hobo during much of the Depression of the 1930s. Although Guthrie's songs were widely known, he did not record until 1940. His recordings made little impact, and he's best remembered for his many compositions. Beginning in 1952, Guthrie spent many years in hospital with a nerve disease which caused his death in 1967. Woody's Guthrie's autobiography, "Bound For Glory," was made into a movie in 1976, with David Carradine playing Guthrie. Woody's son, Arlo, has carried on the Guthrie folk music tradition.

In 1932, country singer and songwriter Del Reeves -- full name Franklin Delano Reeves -- was born in Sparta, N.C. His "Girl on the Billboard" was a No. 1 country song in 1965. For a while in the '60s, Reeves had his own syndicated country TV show, "Del Reeves Country Carnival." He died Jan. 1, 2007.

In 1967, "The Who" began their first American tour, as the opening act for "Herman's Hermits."

In 1973, "The Everly Brothers" first career came to a sudden end during a concert at the John Wayne Theater at Knott's Berry Farm in Hollywood. Phil threw his guitar down and stalked off the stage, leaving Don to tell the audience that the duo was obviously finished. But Phil and Don got back together a decade later, coming up with a couple of hit albums.

In 1973, Clarence White, guitarist with "The Byrds," died after being hit by a car in Lancaster, Calif. He was 29. White joined "The Byrds" in 1968, after the group had recorded such hits as "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Eight Miles High."

In 1974, songwriter Jimmy Webb married Patty Sullivan, the daughter of actor Barry Sullivan.

In 1977, the "Sex Pistols" performed "Pretty Vacant" on the BBC television program "Top of the Pops." They had been banned previously from the network after cursing during a live interview.

In 1979, more than one million people filled the Place de la Concorde in Paris for a Bastille Day concert by composer and synthesizer player Jean-Michael Jarre.

In 1980, Allen Klein, former business manager for both "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones," began a prison term for income tax evasion.

In 1987, musician Steve Miller got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1988, Michael Jackson launched his first British tour with a two-hour concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Jackson rode over the heads of 72,000 screaming fans in a cradle suspended from a crane. The audience included Diana Ross, Boy George and Terence Trent D'Arby.

In 1989, Cyndi Lauper released the first close-captioned video, for "My First Night Without You."

In 1993, a judge in Austin, Texas, sentenced a gang member to death after a jury rejected defence arguments that rap music prompted 19-year-old Ronald Ray Howard to kill a state trooper. Police said Howard, who was driving a stolen car, was listening to a tape by Tupac Shakur moments before shooting the trooper.

In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled four stamps to mark the 100th anniversary of Broadway. Each illustrated a classic American musical -- "Show Boat," "Oklahoma!," "Porgy and Bess" and "My Fair Lady."

In 1996, the three-day "Eden" music festival in Bowmanville, Ont., ended on a sour note when organizers shut it down four hours early. Officials cited safety concerns in having 30,000 fans leave the Mosport Raceway after dark. But it was later revealed the promoter cut things short because he didn't have enough money to pay many of the bands performing on the final day. Mark Drost blamed his problems on a security breakdown that led to an onslaught of gate-crashers. About 55,000 people turned up over the three days to hear 61 bands, including "The Tragically Hip," the "Goo Goo Dolls" and "Spirit of the West."

In 2009, Whitney Houston appeared at the world premiere of her new album, "I Look to You" in London. A healthy-looking Houston appeared briefly on stage after Sony Music chief creative officer Clive Davis played nine tracks from the album. (In February, 2012, she was found submerged in the bathtub in her suite in a Los Angeles hotel. A a coroner's report ruled it an accidental drowning, though heart disease and chronic cocaine use were contributing factors.)

In 2009, Canadian rock band "Billy Talent" released their third album "Billy Talent III." The deluxe version, "Billy Talent III: Guitar Villain Edition" included a second disc of the CD's 11 songs that was stripped of guitars, but provided the notes for all the tracks so budding musicians could play along and try to match guitarist Ian D'Sa riff for riff.

In 2009, while in Ottawa for Bluesfest, "KISS" rocker Gene Simmons and his Canadian-born partner Shannon Tweed were given a semi-private tour of the House of Commons, parliamentary library and Senate.

In 2011, it was announced that scientists using advanced imaging technology had recovered a 123-year-old recording made by Thomas Edison that was believed to be the world's first attempt at a talking doll and may have marked the dawn of the American recording industry. In the sound recording, a woman can be heard reciting a verse of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Historians believed Edison hired the woman to make the recording less than two years before he unsuccessfully put the first talking doll on the market.

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