Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - Jan. 29

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - Jan. 29

Article excerpt

Today in Music History - Jan. 29

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Today in Music History for Jan. 29:

In 1925, Lois Marshall, one of Canada's leading sopranos in the 1950s and '60s, was born in Toronto. She died of cancer on Feb. 19, 1997.

In 1947, David Byron, lead singer of "Uriah Heep," was born in Essex, England. The band's blend of heavy metal and art rock kept them on the charts for much of the 1970s. Their 1971 album "Look at Yourself" brought them success in both Britain and North America. Byron was fired from the group in 1976 and his replacement was John Lawton. "Uriah Heep" disbanded in 1978, then reformed in 1982. Byron died on Feb. 28, 1985.

In 1958, Challenge Records released the single "Tequila" by "The Champs."

In 1962, "Peter, Paul and Mary" signed a record deal with Warner Brothers.

In 1966, Canadian avant-garde composer Pierre Mercure died in a traffic accident near Avallon, France. He was 38. In 1952, Mercure, already an established composer, became the CBC's first producer of TV music programs. He began exploring electronic music in the late 1950s, and in 1961, organized the International Week of Today's Music, a world-class symposium on music and the visual arts held in Montreal.

In 1971, New York music business financier Allen Klein was found guilty on 10 counts of evading U.S. income taxes. His conviction was upheld on appeal. Klein once controlled the finances of both "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones." The Fab Four, apparently over Paul McCartney's objections, hired Klein in 1969 to try to rescue their ailing Apple Corps Ltd., which was losing thousands of pounds a week. The tangled business affairs of Apple, and Klein's failure to solve them, are cited as one reason for "The Beatles'" breakup.

In 1983, Stevie Nicks of "Fleetwood Mac" wed Kim Anderson outside her Los Angeles home at sunset. They divorced the next year.

In 1988, Canadian rock band "Prism," which faded in 1983 after earlier hit records and a Juno award, staged a reunion at the 86 Street club in Vancouver. The reunion group featured three of the original members -- Lindsay Mitchell, Rocket Norton and Al Harlow. Prism was formed in 1977 and produced such hit records as "Armageddon," "Spaceship Superstar" and "Night to Remember." It won the Juno for Group of the Year in 1980 and served as a springboard for writers such as Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

In 1992, Willie Dixon, probably the most important figure in Chicago blues, died in Burbank, Calif., at age 76. He was a songwriter, producer and bass player for Chess Records in the 1950s, backing, writing and arranging for the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. He was also an important link between blues and rock, with both "The Rolling Stones" and "The Doors" covering his "Little Red Rooster," Elvis Presley and "The Everly Brothers" recording "My Babe" and "Led Zeppelin" waxing "I Can't Quit You Baby." Dixon's other blues classics included "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Wang Dang Doodle." He released both an album and an autobiography titled "I Am the Blues."

In 1994, the 14-year-old son of former "Supreme" Mary Wilson died when the Jeep she was driving hit a freeway median and overturned in Barstow, Calif. Wilson was only slightly hurt. She was the only member to stay with the group from its beginning in 1959 to its breakup in 1977.

In 1996, the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" became, at the time, the world's longest-running musical with 6,138 performances. …

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