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Today in Music History - April 8

The Canadian Press logo The Canadian Press 2021-04-08

Today in Music History for April 8:


In 1906, Raoul Jobin, considered one of the greatest French tradition tenors of the '30s and '40s, was born in Quebec City. He joined the Paris Opera in 1930, and also became a featured performer with New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Opera Comique in Paris. Jobin died in Quebec City in 1974. His son Andre was also a renowned tenor.

In 1933, Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb was born. His best-known creation, with composer John Kander, is the musical "Cabaret." It began its 1,166 Broadway performances in 1966, starring Joel Grey, Jill Haworth and Lotte Lenya. The 1972 film produced Oscars for Grey, Liza Minnelli and director Bob Fosse. He died in September 2004.

In 1947, rock guitarist Steve Howe was born in London. Originally with a British underground band called "Tomorrow," Howe later became one of the stars of the art-rock group "Yes," which recorded such hit '70s albums as "Close to the Edge" and "Yessongs." Howe later helped form the supergroup "Asia" and joined a "Yes" reunion.

In 1963, Julian Lennon, the son of John and Cynthia, was born in Liverpool. He first appeared on record playing drums on the last track of his father's 1974 "Walls and Bridges" album. Julian became a successful solo artist in 1985 when his song "Valotte" hit the pop charts.

In 1973, Canadian rock musician Neil Young's autobiographical film, "Journey Through the Past," premiered at the U.S. Film Festival in Dallas.

In 1985, pop duo "Wham!" sold out the 12,000-seat Workers' Gymnasium in Beijing, becoming the first Western rock group to appear in China.

In 1986, Japanese singer Yukiko Okada jumped to her death, prompting 33 teen suicides in Japan in the next 10 days.

In 1986, Lynda Matarazzo had her nose broken at a Philadelphia concert by "Aerosmith." She sued the group, their record company and the concert promoter, claiming that "Aerosmith's" song "My Fist, Your Face" encouraged the crowd to beat her up.

In 1989, 26-year-old David Hirsch replaced 59-year-old Dick Clark on "American Bandstand." His debut also marked "Bandstand's" move to the U.S. cable network from national syndication. Clark hosted the program for 33 years, introducing teens to Stevie Wonder, "The Jackson Five," Madonna and dance crazes like the "Twist" and the "Jerk."

In 1991, "Nirvana" gave grunge an international following with the album "Nevermind," which included the single "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Another best-selling album, "In Utero," followed in 1993.

In 1991, a lawsuit was filed against Virgin Records, claiming that Paula Abdul did not do all of the singing on her hit album "Forever Your Girl." The record company eventually won.

In 1993, contralto Marian Anderson, whose 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., helped many people rethink their racist attitudes, died at her Portland, Ore., home. She was 96. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, arranged for the outdoor concert, which attracted 75,000 people, after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to rent out their hall because Anderson was black.

Gallery: 2021 ACM Award Performers (ET Canada)

In 1994, Cleveland's fire chief suspended firefighter Robert Readinger for three days after he gave Billy Joel a ride to a concert in a rescue vehicle. Readinger's rescue crew showed up after Joel was involved in a fender bender on his way to the suburban arena.

In 1994, the Recording Industry Association of America announced that "Pink Floyd's" 1973 album "The Dark Side of the Moon" had become, at the time, the fourth biggest-selling album in U.S. history. Sales of more than 13 million made it the best-selling album ever in the U.S. by a British act.

In 1994, Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the pioneering grunge rock band "Nirvana," was found dead in his Seattle home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 27. A suicide note was found nearby. Cobain, who was 27, died a month after he was treated in Rome for a drug-induced coma.

In 1997, singer-songwriter Laura Nyro died in New York of ovarian cancer at age 49. She wrote "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Stoned Soul Picnic" for "The Fifth Dimension," "When I Die" for "Blood, Sweat and Tears," and "Eli's Coming" for "Three Dog Night."

In 2006, "The Rolling Stones" made their debut in mainland China with a censored — but still raucous — concert in Shanghai.

In 2009, David "Pop" Winans Sr., the Grammy-nominated patriarch of the award-winning gospel music family, died at age 76.

In 2009, country music star Keith Urban celebrated his first No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart when "Defying Gravity" sold 171,000 copies in its first week of release in the U.S.

In 2009, Madonna pledged a "substantial amount" of money to aid the earthquake victims in central Italy. Madonna's paternal grandparents came from Pacentro -- about 100 kilometres south of L'Aquila, the epicentre of the April 6th earthquake.

In 2009, "Boom Boom Pow" became the first "Black Eyed Peas" song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It scored 465,000 digital downloads, at the time, the most ever by a group in one week.

In 2010, the Golden Gods Awards, honouring the best in heavy metal and hard rock, were handed in out in Los Angeles. The winners were: Ronnie James Dio as Best Vocalist, Zakk Wylde as Best Guitarist and the late Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan of "Avenged Sevenfold" as Best Drummer. "Alice in Chains" won Album of the Year and Comeback of the Year. Lemmy of "Motorhead" was given a lifetime achievement award.

In 2010, Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the "Sex Pistols" and one of the seminal figures of the punk rock era, died in Switzerland of an aggressive form of cancer. He was 64.

In 2012, B.C.-native Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's U.K. singles chart, partly spurred on by a viral video made by fellow Canadian and label-mate Justin Bieber, his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez, and a host of other teen celebrities.

In 2013, actress-singer Annette Funicello died of complications from multiple sclerosis at age 70. She was mostly known for "The Mickey Mouse Club" and the beach movies she did with Frankie Avalon. Funicello hit No. 7 with her first record, "Tall Paul," in 1959. "Pineapple Princess" reached No. 11 and "O Dio Mio" hit No. 10, both in 1960. She also put out "The Annette Funicello Country Album" in 1984.

In 2016, 1980s groundbreaking L.A. rappers N.W.A. were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with a quartet of 1970s-era FM radio rockers — Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and Steve Miller.


(The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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