ON THIS DAY in 1846
the telegraph ticker was patented by R.E. House of New York City.
In 1877, Charles Cros wrote a paper on the process of recording and reproducing sound. In France, Mr. Cros is still regarded as the inventor of the phonograph, while on this side of the Atlantic, Thomas Edison gets the credit.
In 1918, guitarist Tony Mottola was born in Kearney New Jersey. Nicknamed ‘Mr. Big,’ he was one of the most prolific and respected studio musicians of the post-World War Two era. He played with the CBS studio orchestra, and with Raymond Scott backing up a young Frank Sinatra and Perry Como; was the arranger for Como’s TV variety show. After a stroke & double pneumonia he died Aug. 9 2004 at age 86.
In 1929, Red Nichols and his Five Pennies recorded the Glenn Miller arrangement of Indiana for Brunswick Records. Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Jack Teagarden were all part of the recording session that took place in New York City.
In 1939, Gene Autry, the most successful of all the singing cowboys of the ’30s and ’40s, recorded “Back in the Saddle Again,” which soon became his signature song, and the theme for his long running “Melody Ranch” radio show.
In 1944, London Ontario-born Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians had a #1 Billboard Pop Hit with “It’s Love-Love-Love,” one of 26 No. 1 songs for the orchestra, the only dance band to ever sell more than 100 million records.
In 1945, in Europe, Clandestine Radio 1212, after having broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda for months, turned and used its influence to trap 350,000 German troops.
In 1946, rock & roll singer/guitarist/drummer Alexander (Skip) Spence was born at Windsor Ontario in 1926. Spence was lead vocalist of Moby Grape, and also played with Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service. He died April 16 1999 at age 72, a victim of lung cancer & alcoholism.
In 1952, Canadian composer, cellist and music teacher Leo Smith died in Toronto at age 70. Smith influenced many of Canada’s future musical leaders through his teachings at the University of Toronto from 1927 to ’50. Among his pupils were Louis Applebaum, John Beckwith and Margaret Sargent.
In 1957, comedian Johnny Carson played a bored New Jersey husband with a gift for picking horse-racing winners, in the Playhouse 90 production of “Three Men on a Horse” on CBS-TV. Carson, currently of “Who Do You Trust?” fame, was five years from becoming the host of The Tonight Show.
Also in 1957, singer Buddy Knox, a member of the US Army Reserves, was called up for six months of active duty. That prompted his record label (Roulette) to have him tape no fewer than 20 tracks as potential followups to his rockabilly hit “Party Doll.” None of them made it onto the charts.
In 1959, actor/director Irving Cummings, the host of radio’s Lux Radio Theatre in its final years, died at age 70.
In 1960, radio’s Mutual Broadcasting System was sold to the 3M Company of Minnesota for just $1.25 million. Previously, the network had been owned by MONY (Mutual of New York).
In 1963, The Beatles and Del Shannon performed on Swinging Sound ’63 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The show was broadcast live on the BBC.
Also in 1963, country singer Bobby Bare recorded his second single for RCA Victor, and first crossover pop hit “Detroit City,” which would win him a Grammy.
In 1965, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Game of Love” by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders.
In 1966, Bob Hope was back to host the Oscars, and received a gold medal, the Honorary Award for unique and distinguished service to the film industry and the Academy. The Sound of Music won for best picture and best director; the Oscar for the Best Music/Song from a 1965 movie was The Shadow of Your Smile from The Sandpiper.
In 1971, The Jackson 5, Danny Thomas and Bill Cosby were guests on Diana Ross‘ first solo TV special “Diana” on ABC. 12-year old Michael Jackson performed solo for the first time, singing Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year.”
In 1974, James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul”, received a gold record for the single, The Payback. Of the 44 hits that Brown would put on the charts over three decades, he received only one other gold record — for Get on the Good Foot – Part 1 in 1972.
In 1975, Ottawa ended tax breaks for Canadians advertising on US border TV stations and in foreign owned Canadian magazines.
Also in 1975, John Lennon released the single “Stand By Me.”
Still in 1975, ABC aired in prime time “Welcome To My Nightmare: The Making Of A Record Album,” Alice Cooper‘s first TV special, which was named after his first solo LP.
In 1977, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston.
In 1979, the reality TV show “Real People” debuted, featuring John Barbour, Sarah Purcell, Byron Allen, Skip Stephenson, and Bill Rafferty. It quickly became NBC’s most popular program, and stayed on the air until 1984.
In 1981, the progressive rock band Yes broke up, ending their 13 years together, following the release of their album “Drama.” The group was re-formed two years later by original lead vocalist Jon Anderson.
In 1983, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners.
In 1984, Michael Jackson faced surgery in Los Angeles. Doctors performed scalp surgery to repair damage done after the megastar’s hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial on January 27. Jackson was hospitalized and recuperated for months before he could return to work. His single recording of “Thriller” had been certified platinum in February, 1984.
In 1985, the sequined “King of Show Business”, Liberace, broke his own record for ticket sales at Radio City Music Hall. Liberace grossed more than $2,000,000 for his engagement in the historic New York City venue.
Also in 1985, Wham! became the first Western act to release a pop album, “Make It Big,” in China
In 1988, Holland/Dozier/Holland, the legendary songwriting team responsible for many Motown hit singles during the 1960’s, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 1990, author W. O. Mitchell won the Steven Leacock Humour Award for ‘According to Jake and the Kid,’ published in 1989 by McClelland & Stewart. He also won for the original ‘Jake and the Kid’ in 1962. The books formed the basis for successful radio & TV series of the same name.
Also in 1990, the TV movie “Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys” aired on ABC.
In 1992, in his rented flat, UK comedian/TV host Benny Hill suffered a fatal heart attack at age 68. Many friends believe he “overate” himself to death, leaving a fortune of £7.5 million. Did you know he’d renamed himself after Jack Benny?
Also in 1992, authorities in Hobart, Australia allowed killer Richard Dickinson out of prison to see his idol, Bob Dylan, perform. Dickinson had trampled his mother to death in 1987 while Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee for the Road” played in the background. He then sprinkled instant coffee over the body. Mom had complained the music was too loud.
In 1994, Arsenio Hall announced he would end his five-year-old late-night TV talk show the following month. (He plans a revival this coming September.)
Also in 1994, TV star Roseanne Arnold filed for divorce from Tom Arnold. Although she initially changed her mind and withdrew the action she refiled the paperwork less than a month later.
In 1996, musician and record producer Bernard Edwards, a leading creative force behind the disco music of the ’70s, was found dead in a Tokyo hotel room. He was 43. Edwards and Nile Rodgers formed the group Chic, which had number-one hits with “Le Freak” in 1978 and “Good Times” the following year. They also produced albums for Diana Ross and Rod Stewart, and wrote and produced disco hits like Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.”
In 1998, country group Diamond Rio were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. The band opened their performance with their first number one hit “Meet in the Middle.”
In 2001, bebop tenor saxophonist Billy Mitchell died at age 74. He was known for a deep sound that borrowed from Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. Mitchell played in the bands of Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie.
In 2002, police arrested actor Robert Blake (Baretta, Hell Town) in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, nearly a year earlier. Blake was acquitted at his criminal trial but found liable in a civil trial.
In 2003, soul singer Etta James was on hand to help unveil her new star (#2,223) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2005, the CRTC approved Port Alberni (BC) radio station CJAV to move from 1240 KHz to FM at 93.3 MHz with 6000 watts. The FM transmitter signed on Sept. 2nd.
In 2006, in New York City, a 5-day sale of more than 10,000 pieces of clothing belonging to Sir Elton John and his partner raised more than $700,000 for the singer’s Aids Foundation.
Also in 2006, a line from U2‘s 1992 hit ‘One’ was voted the UK’s favourite song lyric after in a poll of 13,000 people by music channel VH1. The line “One life, with each other, sisters, brothers” came out on top.
In 2009, the Black Eyes Peas started a 12 week run at No.1 on the Billboard pop singles chart with ‘Boom Boom Pow’. The single was finally knocked from the top of the chart by the band’s next single ‘I Gotta Feeling’.
Also in 2009, Keith Urban went to No.1 on the Billboard pop album chart with ‘Defying Gravity’, the Australian singer’s fifth studio album.
Still in 2009, the Florida-based rock band Shinedown performed an acoustic version of “Second Chance” on CBS-TV’s The Early Show.
In 2012, legendary TV host/producer Dick Clark suffered a massive and fatal heart attack at age 82. He had never fully recovered from a stroke in 2004 which left his speaking ability severely impaired.
In 2013, Toronto-based Rush and Seattle-based Heart were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Nokia Theater in L.A.
“They (Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson) blasted any sexist barriers in front of them,” said Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell in his induction speech.
Actress Barbara Hale (Perry Mason) is 93.
Actor James Drury (The Virginian, Firehouse) is 81.
Actor Robert Hooks (N.Y.P.D., Backstairs at the White House) is 78.
Pianist (for Elvis Presley’s 1970s concerts) Glen D. Hardin is 76.
Actress Hayley Mills (The Love Boat, Good Morning Miss Bliss) is 69.
Actor James Woods (Shark) is 68.
Actress-director Dorothy Lyman (Life Goes On, Mama’s Family) is 68.
Actress Cindy Pickett (St. Elsewhere, Guiding Light) is 68.
Country keyboardist Walt Richmond of The Tractors is 68.
Country bassist Jim Scholten of Sawyer Brown is 63.
Toronto-born actor Rick Moranis (SCTV) is 62.
Actor Eric Roberts (Heroes, Less Than Perfect) is 59.
Actress Melody Thomas Scott (Young and the Restless) is 59.
Actor John James (Dynasty, The Colbys) is 59.
Bassist Les Pattinson of Echo and the Bunnymen is 57.
Actress Jane Leeves (Hot in Cleveland, Frasier) is 54.
Comedian Jeff Dunham is 53.
Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 52.
Toronto-born actor Eric McCormack (Perception, Will and Grace, Lonesome Dove) is 52.
Actor Camille Coduri (Dr. Who, Rumpole of the Bailey) is 50.
Actress Maria Bello (ER, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) is 48.
Actress Mary Birdsong (Crash & Bernstein, Reno 911!) is 47.
Actor David Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis) is 47.
Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 45.
Actor David Tennant (Broadchurch, Gracepoint, Dr. Who) is 44.
Actress Tamara Braun (General Hospital) is 44.
Guitarist Mark Tremonti of Creed and of Alter Bridge is 41.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina of Trina and Tamara is 41.
Actor Kevin Rankin (Gracepoint, Unforgettable, Trauma, Friday Night Lights) is 39.
Actor Sean Maguire (Once Upon a Time, Scott & Bailey, EastEnders) is 39.
Actress Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey, Sabrina the Teenage Witch) is 39.
Actor Sean Maguire (The Class, EastEnders) is 39.
TV host/actress Cindy Taylor (Wild On!, Full Frontal Fashion) is 38.
Actor Bryce Johnson (Pretty Little Liars) is 38.
TV personality Kourtney Kardashian (Keeping Up with the Kardashians) is 36.
BC-born actress Laura Mennell (Motive, Alphas) is 35.
Actor Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful) is 32.
Actress America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) is 31.
Actress Jessica Lu (Awkward) is 30.
Actress Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) is 26.
Actress Britt Robertson (Under the Dome, Life Unexpected, Swingtown) is 25.
Actress Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nashville) is 23.
Actress Ginny Gardner (The Goldbergs) is 20.
Chart Toppers – April 18
Now is the Hour – Bing Crosby
I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover – The Art Mooney Orchestra
But Beautiful – Frank Sinatra
Anytime – Eddy Arnold
Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds
Party Doll – Buddy Knox
Come Go with Me – The Dell-Vikings
Gone – Ferlin Husky
(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration – The Righteous Brothers
(Bang Bang) My Baby Shot Me Down – Cher
Secret Agent Man – Johnny Rivers
I Want to Go with You – Eddy Arnold
Philadelphia Freedom – The Elton John Band
(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song – B.J. Thomas
He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You) – Tony Orlando & Dawn
Always Wanting You – Merle Haggard
Footloose – Kenny Loggins
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) – Phil Collins
Hello – Lionel Richie
Thank God for the Radio – The Kendalls
Informer – Snow
Freak Me – Silk
Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang – Dr. Dre
The Heart Won’t Lie – Reba McEntire & Vince Gill
Ain’t It Funny – Jennifer Lopez
Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
Blurry – Puddle Of Mudd
I Breathe In, I Breathe Out – Chris Cagle
E.T. – Katy Perry featuring Kanye West
S&M – Rihanna
Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas
Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band