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Today in Music History for July 10: In 1941, Ian Whitcomb, singer, record producer and pop music historian, was born. In 1941, pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, who claimed he invented jazz, died in Los Angeles at age 50.

Today in Music History for July 10:

In 1941, Ian Whitcomb, singer, record producer and pop music historian, was born.

In 1941, pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, who claimed he invented jazz, died in Los Angeles at age 50. Morton, born Ferdinand La Menthe in New Orleans, may not have created jazz, but he was the first jazz composer to put his works down on paper. Among the jazz classics that flowed from Morton's pen were "Jelly Rolly Blues," "Wolverine Blues" and "King Porter Stomp." Morton's peak years of popularity were from 1917-22, when his "Red Hot Peppers Band" played college and hotel dates and recorded for the Victor company. But with the coming of the swing era in the '30s, Morton's combination of ragtime and blues was considered old-fashioned. He recorded his music and his life story for the U.S. Library of Congress three years before his death.

In 1942, legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio was born in Portsmouth, N.H. He rose to fame in 1975 as the first lead singer of "Rainbow," the heavy metal band put together by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who had just quit "Deep Purple." He then replaced Ozzy Osbourne in "Black Sabbath" in 1980 with the critically acclaimed album "Heaven and Hell," considered by many critics to be one of the finest heavy metal albums of all time. He also enjoyed a successful solo career with his self-titled band, "Dio," in between his three stints with "Black Sabbath" (1980-82; 1992; and 2007-2009 when the band toured as "Heaven and Hell" to differentiate it from Osbourne-led versions of "Sabbath"). He died May 16, 2010 of stomach cancer in Los Angeles.

In 1947, singer Arlo Guthrie was born in Coney Island, N.Y., the eldest son of famed folk singer Woody Guthrie. Arlo is best known for 1967's "Alice's Restaurant" and 1972's "City of New Orleans." One of Arlo Guthrie's first professional appearances was on the CTV network show "Let's Sing Out" in 1966.

In 1950, "Your Hit Parade" premiered on NBC.

In 1952, Canadian rock singer and guitarist Kim Mitchell was born.

In 1954, New York radio station WINS announced the hiring of pioneer rock disc jockey Alan Freed to be the host of "Rock 'n' Roll Party." As he did on his earlier Moondog's "Rock 'n Roll Party Show" on WJW in Cleveland, Freed programmed records by black R&B artists that many white teenagers had never heard before. Freed is often credited with coining the term "rock 'n' roll."

In 1964, both the single and album "A Hard Day's Night" by "The Beatles" were released in Britain. The single was No. 1 for four weeks in the U.K. and the soundtrack album topped the LP charts for 21 weeks. Both single and LP also hit No. 1 in North America.

In 1967, Kenny Rogers and several other members of "The New Christy Minstrels" quit to form "The First Edition." The new group received its first national exposure on the Smothers Brothers TV show, and went on to have such hits as "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" in 1968, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" in 1969 and 1971's "Something's Burning." Kenny Rogers began his immensely successful solo career in 1974.

In 1968, guitarist Eric Clapton announced the breakup of "Cream," the power rock trio he had formed with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. "Cream" played a farewell concert in London in November, and Clapton and Baker then formed the short-lived "Blind Faith" (with Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech).

In 1968, the art rock band "The Nice" was banned from London's Royal Albert Hall after stomping on and burning an American flag during a concert. Two years later, group leader Keith Emerson joined Greg Lake and Carl Palmer in "Emerson, Lake and Palmer."

In 1974, David Bowie ended a North American tour by recording a live double album at Philadelphia's Tower Theater.

In 1975, after being married for only 10 days, Cher petitioned for divorce from Greg Allman.

In 1979, Chuck Berry was sentenced to four months in prison for tax evasion dating back to 1973.

In 1979, Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra for nearly 50 years, died at age 84. Fiedler managed to build a strong bridge between popular and classical music, often including arrangements of pop and rock tunes in his concerts. His recordings with the Boston Pops sold more than 50 million copies during his lifetime.

In 1986, "Grateful Dead" lead guitarist Jerry Garcia lapsed into a diabetic coma in Greenbrae, Calif. He recovered and was released from hospital three weeks later -- on his 44th birthday.

In 1987, the man who was once called the world's greatest talent scout, John Hammond, died in New York at age 76. Hammond, who worked most of his life for Columbia Records, discovered such diverse talents as Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

In 1987, Winnipeg musician and bandleader Jimmy King died of cancer at age 67. King dominated the city's jazz and big band circles for 45 years, directing "The Jimmy King Orchestra" and "The Golden Boy Brass."

In 1991, Gerome Ragni, who co-wrote and starred in the 1960s rock musical "Hair," died in New York of cancer. He was 48. Ragni and James Rado wrote the book and lyrics, and Montreal-born Galt McDermot wrote the music, for the show that portrayed the sexual liberation, anti-war movement and flower children of the era.

In 1993, U.S. music video channel MTV debuted in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the former Soviet Union.

In 1993, Pete Townshend of "The Who" began his first-ever solo North American tour with a show in Toronto.

In 1995, a concert featuring "Boyz II Men," Mary J. Blige and Montell Jordan was postponed in Springfield, Ill., after four of Blige's dancers were hurt in a traffic accident.

In 1998, the "Spice Girls" played Canada for the first time, selling out the Molson Centre in Montreal. Shows in Toronto the next night and in Vancouver the following month were also quick sellouts, despite the fact that Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) had dropped out of the group on the eve of the world tour. During their Toronto visit, the British group also appeared on a live MuchMusic special telecast across the country.

In 2000, Diana Ross announced the cancellation of the rest of "The Supremes'" "reunion" tour, which featured Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence. They were in "The Supremes" after Ross had left the group.

In 2009, "Led Zeppelin" frontman Robert Plant was bestowed Commander of the British Empire by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

In 2009, the city of Gary, Ind., bade farewell to Michael Jackson. The late pop icon spent the first 11 years of his life there. Several thousands of people showed up to watch performers sing and dance to his hits.

In 2009, British maestro Edward Downes, who conducted the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Opera, died with his wife Joan at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. He was 85 and she was 74. Downes struggled in recent years as his hearing and sight failed and Joan had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

In 2009, United Airlines agreed to donate $3,000 to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz for music education for kids to make up for its poor customer service. Dave Carroll of the Halifax group "Sons of Maxwell" had spent several frustrating months dealing with the airline's customer service workers trying to get reimbursement for the $1,200 he paid to repair his damaged Taylor acoustic guitar. The airline's change of heart only came after a video of a song he wrote, "United Breaks Guitars," appeared on YouTube and got worldwide attention with over 1.6 million views.

In 2010, for the first time since the mid-1980s, the original lineup of "Modern English" -- Robbie Grey, Mick Conroy, Gary McDowell and Stephen Walker -- performed together, at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Ky. The British band was famous for their 1982 hit "I Melt With You."

In 2010, country music star Carrie Underwood married Ottawa Senator forward Mike Fisher at the Reynolds Plantation resort in Greensboro, Ga.

In 2011, Michael Todd, bassist for "Coheed and Cambria," was arrested just hours before a show and charged with making a bomb threat and robbing a Mansfield, Mass., pharmacy of six bottles of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin earlier in the day. (The band replaced him with former member Wes Styles and continued on the tour. Todd left the band in August by mutual agreement. He was later sentenced to one year of home confinement and three years of probation.)

In 2011, former "Spice Girl" Victoria Beckham gave birth to her daughter, Harper Seven Beckham. She and soccer star husband David Beckham, married in 1999 and whose celebrity is entrenched on both sides of the Atlantic, already had three boys.

In 2012, guitar virtuoso Slash (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver) received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2015, Canadian-born opera singer John Vickers, nicknamed "God's tenor" for his voice and his Christian beliefs, died after a struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 88. Born in Prince Albert, Sask., Vickers studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and made his Royal Opera debut in 1957. For three decades Vickers performed around the world, collecting devoted fans, numerous honorary degrees, companionship in the Order of Canada and two Grammy Awards.

In 2015, the music industry initiated Global Release Day, a worldwide shift toward pushing out almost all new albums on Fridays thus upending the previous North American standard of Tuesday releases.


The Canadian Press