Today in Music History - Feb. 24

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Mon, 24 Feb 2014 01:15:00 CST

Today in Music History for Feb. 24:

In 1897, Emile Berliner took out a Canadian patent on his gramophone talking machine. Manufacturing facilities were set up in Montreal. Berliner had built a crude model of his machine 10 years earlier at his home laboratory in Washington, D.C., and he applied for a U.S. patent on Sept. 26, 1887. Today the terms "gramophone" and "phonograph" mean the same thing. But in Berliner's day this was not so. "Gramophone" referred to a talking machine employing lateral-cut discs, while the "phonograph," invented by Thomas Edison, used vertical-cut cylinders. Berliner's discs eventually made Edison's cylinders obsolete.

In 1944, Nicky Hopkins, one of the foremost studio keyboard players in rock music, was born in London. He got his start with "Screamin' Lord Sutch's Savages" and "The Cyril Davies R&B All-Stars" -- two groups which included many soon-to-be-famous musicians. In 1964, Hopkins began working as a sessions player, recording with "The Beatles," "The Rolling Stones," "The Who" and other British bands. Hopkins was later a member of "The Jeff Beck Group" and "Quicksilver Messenger Service." He toured with "The Rolling Stones" in 1972. He was with the group "Night" for their 1979 hit single, "Hot Summer Nights." He died on Sept. 6, 1994, in Nashville of complications from abdominal and heart ailments.

In 1956, Cleveland, now the home of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, invoked a 1931 law barring people under 18 from dancing publicly without an adult guardian.

In 1964, the Canadian music industry magazine "RPM" began publication in Toronto. "RPM" and its publisher, Walt Grealis, were major lobbyists for the Canadian content regulations imposed upon radio stations by the CRTC "RPM" also began the RPM Gold Leaf Awards in 1964 to honour Canadian talent. These awards later became known as the Junos, after then-CRTC chairman Pierre Juneau.

In 1969, "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" played their last concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. After the "Experience" broke up, Hendrix formed "Band of Gypsies."

In 1969, Johnny Cash recorded his second live prison performance, this one at San Quentin. It followed a concert the previous year at Folsom Prison. The LP "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" topped the Billboard pop and country charts.

In 1976, the "Eagles" "Greatest Hits" became the first LP in the U.S. to be certified platinum -- one-million copies sold.

In 1979, the "Sex Pistols" released the album "The Great Rock N' Roll Swindle."

In 1985, rock singer David Crosby bolted from a drug treatment centre during his first supervised exercise period. He was recaptured the next day.

In 1986, "The Rolling Stones" played a private gig at London's 100 Club in memory of pianist and sometime group member Ian Stewart, who had recently died.

In 1987, a spokeswoman for bandleader Lawrence Welk said some Welk fans who bought his "Polka Party" compact disc ended up with the punk rock soundtrack to the movie "Sid and Nancy." The CD's apparently were mislabelled at the factory in Japan.

In 1988, Peter Chatman, the blues pianist known as "Memphis Slim," died in Paris at the age of 72. Chatman wrote the standard "Every Day I Have the Blues," and helped spread blues music throughout the world.

In 1988, Alice Cooper announced he was running for governor of Arizona.

In 1990, 1950s balladeer Johnnie Ray died in Los Angeles of liver failure at 63. He's known for his double-sided hit "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried."

In 1991, Webb Pierce, one of the biggest country stars of the 1950s and early '60s, died in Nashville at age 65.

In 1992, it was a marriage of lead vocalists as "Nirvana's" Kurt Cobain wed "Hole's" Courtney Love on a cliff overlooking a beach in Waikiki.

In 1992, Paula Abdul performed before 6,000 people in Guangzhou -- formerly Canton -- China, even though Chinese authorities had banned her album "Spellbound" for being too sexy.

In 1993, British rock legend Eric Clapton, who had been virtually ignored in the Grammy Awards for most of his career, won six Grammys, including the music industry's three major awards -- record, album and song of the year. Clapton was honoured for his album "Unplugged," and the song "Tears in Heaven." Clapton wrote it as a tribute to his young son Conor, who died in 1991 at the age of four when he fell out a window of Clapton's 53rd floor New York apartment.

In 1994, Dinah Shore, star of radio, TV, records and movies, died in Beverly Hills, Calif., of cancer. She was 76.

In 1998, Elton John became Sir Elton when he was knighted at Buckingham Palace by the Queen. John's recording of "Candle in the Wind 1997," the song he sang at Princess Diana's funeral in September of that year, had sold more than 35 million copies. John donated all proceeds to the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial fund.

In 1998, drummer Tommy Lee of "Motley Crue" was arrested for kicking his wife, actress Pamela Anderson Lee. She filed for divorce. He eventually served four months in prison.

In 1999, three Canadian singers won awards at the Grammys in Los Angeles. Celine Dion won best female pop vocal and record of the year for "My Heart Will Go On," Shania Twain won best country song and best country vocal performance for "You're Still the One" and Alanis Morissette took the best rock song award for "Uninvited."

In 1999, also at the Grammys, Lauryn Hill won five awards, including album of the year and best new artist, on the strength of her solo debut album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

In 2009, the "Barenaked Ladies" announced on their website that co-lead singer Steven Page had left the band to pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities. Page had been the signature voice for the band, performing on hits including "One Week," "Brian Wilson," "If I Had $1,000,000" and "Jane." The news came months after drug charges against Page were dropped in the U.S.

In 2011, Suze Rotolo, the girl arm-in-arm with Bob Dylan on the 1963 album cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," died of lung cancer in New York at age 67. She was Dylan's girlfriend for three years and is credited with inspiring him to inject politics into his music.

In 2012, unable to fulfill a Facebook campaign to be his date to his June prom, country music crossover starlett Taylor Swift invited 18-year-old leukemia sufferer Kevin McGuire to be her date to the ACM award show in Las Vegas on April 1. He accepted.

In 2013, Adele won the Oscar for best original song for co-writing (with Paul Epworth) "Skyfall," a first for a James Bond theme song. Toronto composer Mychael Danna won best original score for his work on "Life of Pi." Anne Hathway won best supporting actress as Fantine in the movie musical "Les Miserables." Also, a film about a musician won best documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man," about Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez.


(The Canadian Press)