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Today in Music History for May 22: In 1813, composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany. In 1836, Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio "St. Paul (Paulus)" was first performed in Dusseldorf at the Lower Rhine Festival to great enthusiasm.

Today in Music History for May 22:

In 1813, composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany.

In 1836, Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio "St. Paul (Paulus)" was first performed in Dusseldorf at the Lower Rhine Festival to great enthusiasm.

In 1892, Ralph Peer, the most notable talent scout of the 1920s, was born in Kansas City. Peer, who discovered such artists as Jimmie Rodgers and "The Carter Family," was appointed recording director for Okeh Records in 1920. He first began recording blues artists, but when the rival Victor company scored a hit with Wendell Hall's hillbilly song, "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More," in 1923, he was authorized to organize field recording centres throughout the American South. Peer's first session with Fiddlin' John Carson proved to be a landmark in country music. By 1927, Peer was working for Victor Records, and in August of that year assured himself a place in country music history by recording the first sessions of both Jimmie Rodgers and "The Carter Family." In 1928, Peer formed the Southern Music Publishing Company, which continues today as the Peer-Southern Organization. He died in 1960.

In 1950, pop lyricist Bernie Taupin was born in Sleaford, England. Taupin has been closely linked throughout his career with rock star Elton John, with whom he combined for 23 top-40 singles in the '70s. Five of them made No. 1, including "Crocodile Rock" and "Bennie and the Jets." Taupin and John collaborated on another chart-topper in 1997, rewriting their 1970's song "Candle in the Wind" to honour the late Princess Diana.

In 1955, police in Bridgeport, Conn., cancelled a dance that featured Fats Domino. Authorities were worried that rock 'n' roll music could cause a riot.

In 1958, singer Jerry Lee Lewis announced his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin, Myra, as he arrived in London. The resulting controversy caused Lewis to be booed off stage and forced the cancellation of all but three of the 37 scheduled concerts on his British tour. It would take years for Lewis' career to recover.

In 1966, Bruce Springsteen and his band, "The Castiles," recorded two songs co-written by Springsteen. The recordings, Springsteen's first, were never released. He and "The Castiles" did, however, perform several dates at New York's "Cafe Wha" the following year.

In 1979, "Cheap Trick's" "Live at Budokan" LP was certified gold in the U.S. It eventually sold more than one million copies, delaying the release of the followup album, "Dream Police."

In 1989, independent record promoter Ralph Tashjian became the first person ever convicted under the U.S. payola law. He pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to distributing cash and cocaine to a radio station in order to get airplay on records by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Laura Branigan. The artists did not know of Tashjian's illegal activities.

In 1991, the "Memphis Commercial Appeal" fired music critic Ron Wynn after he reviewed a performance by the hard rock band "Lynch Mob." There was one only problem ... the group never showed up for the concert. Wynn said he arrived late for a performance by "Cinderella," "Nelson" and "Lynch Mob," and gathered his information on the opening act from other concert-goers.

In 1992, members of the rap group "NWA" were arrested after a brawl in a New Orleans hotel lobby. Police on horseback were brought in to control the fighting, which involved about 50 people. Police said the battle started when some of the rappers and their entourage were denied entry to the hotel because they didn't have passes.

In 1992, Ringo Starr released "Time Takes Time," his first studio album in nine years. To promote it, Starr toured with an all-star band that included his son Zak on drums, along with Burton Cummings, Dave Edmunds and Todd Rundgren.

In 1993, more than 40,000 fans packed a heavily-secured park along Tel Aviv's beachfront to see "Guns N' Roses" kick off a 15-country European tour. Tickets were $43 -- the highest ever price for a rock concert in Israel.

In 1996, Garth Brooks celebrated his 60 millionth album sold with a 1960s themed party in Nashville. The Recording Industry Association of America said Brooks was the best-selling country artist of all-time, and second to "The Beatles" among all artists in the U.S.

In 1997, the hit-making "Fleetwood Mac" lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks reunited for their first full-fledged public performance in 15 years. The show was one of two taped at the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, Calif., for an MTV special and a live album. Nicks stopped the concert -- twice -- because she forgot the words to "Dreams," Fleetwood Mac's only No. 1 single.

In 1998, Royce Kendall, half of the father-daughter country music duo "The Kendalls," died in La Crosse, Wis., after collapsing at a concert site in neighbouring Iowa. He was 61. Kendall and his daughter Jeannie teamed up for three chart-topping singles -- "Heaven's Just a Sin Away" in 1977, "Sweet Desire" the following year and "Thank God for the Radio" in 1984.  "Heaven's Just a Sin Away" won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and was named the Country Music Association's Single of the Year.

In 2002, the members of "Alien Ant Farm" were hospitalized after their tour bus collided with a truck west of Madrid, Spain. Singer Dryden Mitchell fractured a vertebra and the bus driver was killed.

In 2005, "Mamma Mia!," the longest-running show in the 98-year history of Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, ended after 2,044 performances and $200 million in ticket sales.

In 2010, Canadian pop star Alanis Morissette married rapper Souleye (born Mario Treadway) at their home in Los Angeles.

In 2010, country music star Alan Jackson donated all the profits from his show in Charleston, W. Va., to the families of the 29 miners killed in the April 5th explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine.

In 2011, country music star John Rich won "The Celebrity Apprentice," winning an additional $250,000 for his charity, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

In 2011, Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard and songwriter Bobby Braddock were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

In 2011, Joseph Brooks, the Academy Award-winning songwriter of Debbie Boone's hit "You Light Up My Life," was found dead in his apartment of an apparent suicide. He was 73. He was awaiting trial for rape and had pleaded not guilty to attacks on 13 women.

In 2011, rapper Eminem and Canadian teen pop sensation Justin Bieber each took home six official awards at the Billboard Music Awards, which returned after a five-year hiatus.

In 2017, a suicide bomber struck outside an arena in Manchester, England, as fans were leaving a concert by U.S. pop star Ariana Grande. Twenty-two people were killed, including an 8-year-old girl, and over 100 others were injured.

In 2017, Toronto rapper Drake became the first artist to remain on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight consecutive years, beginning the streak with his May 2009 hit "Best I Ever Had." (His streak ended on Aug. 14 at 431 consecutive weeks.)


The Canadian Press