ON THIS DAY in 1904
actor/dancer Ray Bolger was born Raymond Wallace Bulcao in Dorchester Mass. Besides his iconic movie role as the Tin Woodsman in Wizard of Oz, on TV Bolger hosted the Bell Telephone Hour & played Grampa on The Partridge Family, among dozens of guest appearances. He succumbed to cancer Jan 15, 1987 five days after his 83rd birthday.
On this day in 1908, actor/director Paul Henreid was born in Trieste, Austria-Hungary (now Italy.) After a successful bigscreen acting career (Casablanca, Goodbye Mr. Chips), he directed many episodes of TV’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Schlitz Playhouse, Big Valley, The Iron Horse & Bracken’s World. He died of pneumonia Mar 29, 1992 at age 84.
On this day in 1914, actress Polly Rowles was born in Philadelphia. She was cast in recurring roles in the TV series The Defenders, The Nurses, and Somerset. She also appeared more than once in the anthologies US Steel Hour, Alcoa Hour, Philco TV Playhoiuse, Kraft TV Theatre and Studio One. She died Oct 7 2001 at age 87.
On this day in 1927, singer Johnnie Ray was born in smalltown Oklahoma. Credited with a style that was a forerunner to rock & roll, his hits in the early 50’s included Cry, Please, Mr. Sun, The Little White Cloud That Cried, Walkin’ My Baby Back Home, and Just Walking in the Rain. A lifelong alcoholic he died of liver failure Feb 24, 1990 at age 63.
Also this day in 1927, singer & program host Gisele MacKenzie was born Marie LaFeche in Winnipeg. After having her own daily CBC radio show the high points of her career include starring on NBC-TV’s Your Hit Parade & playing the violin on the Jack Benny Show (CBS). She also had a top 10 hit recording, Hard to Get. She died Sep 5, 2003 at age 76.
Still this day in 1927, Lee Philips was born in Brooklyn. After starring in The Adventures of Ellery Queen in the 1959 TV season & dozens of guest roles, he turned to directing, on series such as My World & Welcome to It, The Governor & JJ, Gidget, The Waltons, The Practice, and Diagnosis Murder. He died March 3 1999 of progressive supranuclear palsy, at age 72.
On this day in 1939, actor/singer Sal Mineo was born in The Bronx. Although his breakthrough roles were on the big screen (Rebel Without a Cause, The Gene Krupa Story) he was seen on TV in dozens of guest roles before his life was cut short. He was stabbed to death in a homicide behind his apartment building Feb 12, 1976 at age 37.
On this day in 1943, singer/songwriter Jim Croce was born in South Philadelphia.
His hits include You Don’t Mess Around with Jim, Time in a Bottle, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, & I’ve Got a Name. He left us at age 30 when he was killed in plane crash Sep 20, 1973.
On this day in 1945, Erskine Hawkins & his Orchestra waxed a classic for RCA Victor records, “Tippin’ In”.
On this day in 1949, vinyl records were introduced by RCA (45 rpm) and Columbia (33.3 rpm). RCA’s entry was a new 7-inch, 45 rpm phonograph record. Soon, the 45, the record with the big hole in the middle, would change the pop music business. RCA even manufactured a record player that played only 45s — with a fat spindle that made “stacking wax” real simple.
Also this day in 1949, the Jewish family show “The Goldbergs”, which debuted on network radio as a daily broadcast 20 years earlier, premiered as a weekly 30 minute CBS-TV show.
Also this day in 1949, actress Teresa Graves was born in Houston. She was a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, then starred in TV’s Get Christie Love. She died tragically in a house fire in 2002, aged only 54.
On this day in 1950, Hank Williams made his first recordings as “Luke The Drifter,” the name hs adopted for an idealized character who preached the gospel and did good deeds, while Hank Williams, the drunkard, cheated on women, and in return was cheated on by them.
On this day in 1952, Nat King Cole recorded his next hit ballad which peaked at #8 on Billboard’s best sellers chart, “Somewhere Along the Way.”
On this day in 1953, “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” by Perry Como topped the charts and stayed there for 5 weeks.
On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley recorded his first tunes as an RCA Victor artist in a marathon 8-hour session. Recording in Nashville, Elvis sang “Heartbreak Hotel”, “I Was the One”, “I’m Counting On You”, “I Got a Woman” and “Money Honey”. Elvis was backed by a drummer, D.J. Fontana, for the first time, in addition to guitarists Scotty Moore and Chet Atkins, bassist Bill Black and piano player Floyd Cramer.
On this day in 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis‘ “Great Balls of Fire” reached #1 on the country and r&b charts, #2 on the pop chart.
On this day in 1960, Canada’s Wayne & Schuster comedy team were guest hosts on CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show and did a Professor Van Gartner sketch. Frankie Avalon sang his current hit “Why,” organist Earl Grant sang “Birth of the Blues,” and Susan Barrett did her singing impressions of Patti Page and Eartha Kitt.
Also this day in 1960, Marty Robbins‘ hit tune, “El Paso”, set the mark for the longest #1 song to that time. The song ran 5 minutes and 19 seconds, giving many radio Program Directors fits; because the average record length at that time was around 2 minutes, and formats and commercial loads didn’t allow for records much longer than that.
On this day in 1961, author Dashiell Hammett, who gave us the hit radio series Sam Spade, and radio & TV’s The Thin Man, died from throat cancer at age 66.
On this day in 1963, on his second visit to the UK in less than a month Bob Dylan played at the Troubadour Club in London.
On this day in 1964, the US version of the British hit “That Was The Week That Was” premiered on NBC-TV. The recurring cast included David Frost, Henry Morgan, Buck Henry and Alan Alda, with Nancy Ames (pictured) singing the opening song.
Also in 1964, the first North American Beatles album, “Introducing The Beatles,” was released by Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records.
Still in 1964, The Rolling Stones recorded Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ at Regent Sound Studios in London. It became the Stones’ first US single.
On this day in 1965, John Lennon appeared on the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore BBC TV show, ‘Not Only But Also.’
On this day in 1966, the UK duo of Peter & Gordon, still looking for a repeat of their success with “A World Without Love” which had topped the charts two years earlier, released what would be their sixth single to enter the Top 20, “Woman.”
On this day in 1967, National Educational Television, the forerunner of the Public Broadcasting Service, operated as a true network for the first time as it carried President Lyndon B. Johnson’s State of the Union address across the US on 70 stations.
On this day in 1968, Aretha Franklin was awarded her fourth Gold Record with Atlantic Records for the single “Chain of Fools.”
On this day in 1969, a frustrated George Harrison quit the Beatles, saying sarcastically as he walked out ‘see you around the clubs.’ With Eric Clapton being considered as his replacement, George came back a week later.
Also in 1969, Elvis Presley’s single, “Don’t Cry Daddy”, entered the Top 10 on the pop charts. If you listened to this song carefully, you’d hear a vocal duet with country music’sRonnie Milsap.
On this day in 1971, “Masterpiece Theatre” premiered on PBS with host Alistair Cooke. The introductory 12-episode series from the BBC was “The First Churchills” starring John Nevilleand Susan Hampshire.
On this day in 1972, Al Goodman, the orchestra leader for Fred Allen in the latter years of his radio show, and for TV’s Colgate Comedy Hour, died at age 81.
On this day in 1975, Al Green‘s eighth album “Al Green Explores Your Mind,” his fifth straight LP to top the Soul Albums chart, was certified Gold.
On this day in 1976, C.W. McCall‘s “Convoy” was the #1 single in the U.S. — on both pop and country charts. “Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck … You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon? Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer shure, fer shure. By golly, it’s clean clear to Flag Town, c’mon. Yeah, that’s a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen, yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy…”
Also this day in 1976, bluesman Howlin’ Wolf died in a hospital near Chicago following brain surgery. His biggest hit was the 1951 song “How Many More Years,” which featured Ike Turner on piano. He was a major influence on musicians like Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.
On this day in 1978, The Sex Pistols made their US TV debut on the show ‘Variety’.
On this day in 1979, musician Richard Carpenter (“The Carpenters”) entered the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, for an eight-week drug dependency treatment program. He had become addicted to sleeping pills (Qualludes).
On this day in 1980, James Garner starred in the last original episode of “Rockford Files” on NBC TV.
On this day in 1981, actor Richard Boone died of throat cancer at 63. He was Paladin in Have Gun Will Travel, and also starred in two other TV series, Medic, & The Richard Boone Show.
Also in 1981, John and Yoko‘s ‘Double Fantasy’ album started an eight-week run at No.1 on the Billboard pop album chart. And ‘Just Like Starting Over’ was at No.1 on the singles chart.
On this day in 1982, comedian/actor Paul Lynde died at age 55…the cause, cardiac arrest resulting from extreme substance abuse. Lynde was best known as the permanent centre square in TV’s Hollywood Squares, but also was featured in the cast of Bewitched & The Paul Lynde Show.
On this day in 1984, Calgary radio station CFFR signed on as 66-CFR with 50,000 watts at 660 KHz.
Also in 1984, Cyndi Lauper became the first female recording artist since Bobbie Gentry  to be nominated for five Grammy Awards in one year.
On this day in 1985, Ted Nugent appeared as an actor on TV’s “Miami Vice.”
On this day in 1987, singer/actress Marion Hutton, sister of Betty Hutton, and who sang on many of Glenn Miller’s big hits, was claimed by cancer at age 67.
On this day in 1991, two years after bursting onto the country music scene Clint Black was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry as member #66.
On this day in 1994, English actor Michael Aldridge, known in North America for his role in TV’s ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, died at age 73.
On this day in 1997, actor/producer/director Sheldon Leonard died at 89. Best known as an actor on the Jack Benny radio & TV shows, his impressive television production resume includes Make Room for Daddy, I Spy, the Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, My World & Welcome to It, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Also this day in 1997, the syndicated “Entertainment Tonight” aired its 4,000th episode.
Still this day in 1997, James Brown was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On this day in 1999, HBO began airing the award-winning series “The Sopranos.” The 86 hour-long episodes were released over a span of 8 years.
Also in 1999, DMX were at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood.’
On this day in 2000, singer Melissa Etheridge ended speculation about the paternity of the children the rock star shared with partner Julie Cypher, announcing that David Crosby was the children’s father/sperm donor.
On this day in 2001, guitarist/songwriter and founder member of The Cramps Bryan Gregory died after suffering a heart attack at age 46 at an Anaheim medical center.
On this day in 2002, Ethan Zohn was announced as the winner of CBS’ “Survivor 3.”
On this day in 2003, George Strait was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.
Also in 2003, some 500 Beatles reel-to-reel tapes from 1969 (called the ‘Get Back’ sessions) which had been stolen in the 1970’s, were recovered when police cracked a major bootleg operation in London and the Netherlands. Two men were arrested in the UK, and three more in a town west of Amsterdam.
On this day in 2005, CBS fired four executives following the release of an independent investigation into a “60 Minutes Wednesday” story about U.S. President George W. Bush’s military service. The investigation said a “myopic zeal” led to the story being aired that was neither fair nor accurate. Forged documents had been used for proof in the story.
Also in 2005, a woman was suing Gene Simmons from Kiss for slander, alleging a documentary made her out to be a “sex-addicted nymphomaniac”. Georgeann Walsh Ward, 53, of New York, said during a VH1 documentary her photo was flashed up as Simmons boasted of having sex with over 4,600 women.
On this day in 2006, an Australian woman appeared in court charged with repeatedly stabbing her partner with a pair of scissors in the back, shoulder and thigh because he played Elvis Presley‘s song “Burning Love” over and over again.
On this day in 2008, the lead voice on the hits “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” and “You’ve Got Your Troubles,” Rod Allen of the UK group The Fortunes, succumbed to liver cancer at age 63.
Also in 2008, the TV horror movie hostess known as Vampira, actress Maila Nurmi died of cardiac arrest at the age of 86.
Still in 2008, Radiohead topped the Billboard album charts with the physical release of ‘In Rainbows’, originally sold via the internet for a price chosen by fans. The album sold 122,000 copies during its first week on release, giving the band its second chart topper.
On this day in 2011, one of the top female pop singers of the 1940’s and ’50’s, Margaret Whiting, who co-starred in the early TV sitcom ‘Those Whiting Girls’, died at age 86. She was one of the first artists signed when Capitol Records was formed in 1942.
Also in 2011, actor John Dye, best remembered as Andrew in the last six seasons of the CBS-TV series ‘Touched By an Angel,’ died of heart failure at age 47.
On this day in 2012, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Weston was found dead in his North London home, at age 64. He joined Fleetwood Mac in late ’72, replacing Danny Kirwan. Weston’s departure in ’74 paved the way for the arrival of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
On this day in 2013, as she entered her 60th year Meredith Vieira announced she would soon be stepping down after 11 years of hosting the daytime edition of the syndicated TV quiz “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” A new daytime talk show was in her future.
On this day in 2014, singer/actor David Cassidy was arrested for Driving while Drunk for the 3rd time since 2010. This time, in Los Angeles, he blew .19 … more than twice the legal limit. At his March court appearance David pled no contest, was placed on probation for five months, ordered into three months of rehab and also to undergo a nine-month alcohol education program.
Blues artist Eddy Clearwater is 80.
Rocker “Rompin'” Ronnie Hawkins (The Band) is 80.
Singer Frank Sinatra Junior is 71.
Singer Rod Stewart is 70.
English musician Bob Lang (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders) is 69.
Drummer Aynsley Dunbar (Mothers Of Invention, Journey, Jefferson Starship) is 69.
Singer-keyboardist Donald Fagen of Steely Dan is 67.
Actor William Sanderson (Deadwood, Newhart) is 67.
Ontario-born actress Lally Cadeau (Road to Avonlea, Hangin’ In) is 66.
Miss Black California-1971/model/TV presenter Kathleen Bradley(The New Price Is Right) is 64.
Singer Pat Benatar is 62.
Guitarist Michael Schenker (Scorpions) is 60.
Singer Shawn Colvin is 59.
Singer-guitarist Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets is 56.
Actor Evan Handler (Californication, Sex & the City, One Life to Live) is 54.
TV hostess Julie Moran (Entertainment Tonight, ABC’s Wide World of Sports) is 53.
Singer Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies is 51.
Actress Trini Alvarado (Sensibility & Sense, Dreams Don’t Die) is 48.
Vancouver-born actor Antonio Cupo (Bomb Girls) is 37.
Guitarist Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down is 37.
Singer Brent Smith of Shinedown is 37.
Rapper Chris Smith of Kris Kross is 36.
Actress Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest, Life, The L-Word) is 35.
Actress Emily Meade (Back, Trooper) is 26.
Chart Toppers – Jan. 10
Buttons and Bows – Dinah Shore
On a Slow Boat to China – The Kay Kyser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood)
A Little Bird Told Me – Evelyn Knight
I Love You So Much It Hurts – Jimmy Wakely
At the Hop – Danny & The Juniors
Stood Up/Waitin’ in School – Ricky Nelson
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine – Jimmie Rodgers
Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
I’m a Believer – The Monkees
Tell It Like It Is – Aaron Neville
Good Thing – Paul Revere & The Raiders
There Goes My Everything – Jack Greene
Convoy – C.W. McCall
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) – Diana Ross
Fox on the Run – Sweet
Convoy – C.W. McCall
Like a Virgin – Madonna
All I Need – Jack Wagner
You’re the Inspiration – Chicago
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind – George Strait
Hero – Mariah Carey
All for Love – Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting
Gangsta Lean – D.R.S.
Wild One – Faith Hill
Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
Jenny from the Block – Jennifer Lopez
Lose Yourself – Eminem
She’ll Leave You with a Smile – George Strait
Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO
We Found Love – Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
The One That Got Away – Katy Perry
Keep Me in Mind – Zac Brown Band