ON THIS DAY in 1903
actor Luther Adler was born in New York city. He played on many of the live drama shows of early TV, and had recurring roles in 77 Sunset Strip & Hawaii 5-0. He died Dec. 8 1984 at age 81.
In 1909, actor Howard Da Silva was born in Cleveland. He had featured roles in the TV series When The Boat Comes In, & For the People, the mini-series The American Parade, plus TV movies Masquerade & The Cafeteria. He died of lymphoma Feb 16, 1986 at age 77.
In 1922, radio station KNX Los Angeles, the longtime West Coast flagship of the Columbia Broadcasting System, signed on for the first time, powered with just 50 watts at 833 kc.
In 1928, jazz trumpeter/bandleader Maynard Ferguson was born in Verdun Quebec. He played with such greats as Tommy Dorsey and Stan Kenton before starting his own band in 1956. He had a hit single with Gonna fly Now, the theme song from Sylvester Stallone’s film Rocky. He died of liver & Kidney failure Aug. 23 2006 at age 78.
In 1945, June Christy sang with the Stan Kenton band on one of the most famous of all big band recordings, Tampico. The tune was waxed as Capitol record number 202.
In 1956, in Nashville, Gene Vincent and his group, The Blue Caps, recorded “Be-Bop-A Lula” b/w “Woman Love” as their first single for Capitol Records. The 45 was rush-released just two days later, and the “A” side became a rock and roll classic.
Also in 1956, Lonnie Donegan quit the popular Chris Barber Jazz Band to form a skiffle group. He went on to score 24 straight Top 30 hits as the UK’s most successful and influential recording artist prior to the Beatles.
In 1957, ABC-TV debuted “Alan Freed’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue,” an attempt to replicate in prime time the success of their own “American Bandstand” in the afternoon. The first show featured performances from The Clovers, The Del-Vikings, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Sal Mineo, and Guy Mitchell.
In 1958, Canadian comedians Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster made their first of a record 67 appearances on CBS TV’s Ed Sullivan Show.
In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles with comedian Mort Sahl as host. Domenico Modugno’s “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” won Record of the Year. Henry Mancini won album of the year for “The Music from Peter Gunn.” The Champs, the Kingston Trio, Perry Como & Ella Fitzgerald also won top honors.
In 1960, Liberty Records released “Dreamin'” by Johnny Burnette, his first single to crack the Top 20.
In 1963, Andy Williams started a 16-week run at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘Days Of Wine And Roses’.
In 1964, two long-running daytime TV dramas were seen for the first time. “Another World” had its premiere on NBC-TV, while “As the World Turns” debuted on CBS TV.
Also in 1964, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong.
Still in 1964, The Moody Blues formed in Birmingham, England, as singer Denny Laine recruited Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, Graham Edge and Clint Warwick to be members of his new R & B band.
In 1965, Ontario-born radio announcer & TV host Norman Brokenshire, who started in New York radio way back in 1924, died at age 66. His distinctive voice and excellent enunciation were used on his folksy greeting “How do you do ladies and gentlemen, how DO you do!”
In 1967, The Young Rascals started a four week run at No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Groovin.’
Also in 1967, The Turtles‘ only #1 song “Happy Together” was certified as a Gold Record.
In 1968, Steppenwolf (below) made their U.S. television debut performing their smash hit “Born To Be Wild” on ABC’s “American Bandstand.”
In 1970, four students at Kent University were killed and eleven wounded by National Guard troops at a protest against the escalation of the Vietnam War. The incident inspired Neil Young to compose ‘Ohio’ which became a hit for Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
In 1973, the 1st TV network female nudity was aired during the PBS production of “Steambath“; the nipples of actress Valerie Perrine were seen in a shower scene.
Also in 1973, at the Atlanta (Georgia) Stadium, Led Zeppelin opened their first tour of North America, which during the 36 dates grossed an estimated $4 million, a huge amount at the time.
In 1974, the song “The Loco-Motion” by Grand Funk topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. Meantime the film soundtrack to ‘The Sting’ by Marvin Hamlisch started a five-week run at No.1 on the Billboard album chart.
Also in 1974, the 100th episode of the syndicated TV music showcase “Soul Train” was aired.
In 1975, comedian Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, whose films were a staple of early TV, died of lung cancer at age 77.
Also in 1975, Elvis Presley began a 31-date tour of North America, playing two shows at Lake Charles, Louisiana.
In 1976, KISS performed their first concert in their hometown of New York City.
In 1977, former President Richard M. Nixon was seen on TV in the first of a four-part series of exclusive interviews by UK journalist David Frost. This night’s broadcast focused on the Watergate scandal,
Also in 1977, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Hotel California” The Eagles.
In 1978, the album “Earth” by Jefferson Starship, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard chart, was certified Platinum.
In 1981, “Rockline” premiered on KLOS FM in Los Angeles.
In 1984, game show producer and emcee Jack Barry, whose career began in radio & nearly ended in the scandal surrounding TV’s Twenty One, but who bounced back in the 70’s with The Joker’s Wild, died of cardiac arrest at age 66.
Also in 1984, the “British Marilyn Monroe,” actress Diana Dors, who was a regular on early TV’s Pantomime Quiz, & made a handful of guest appearances on other US shows, died at age 52 of ovarian cancer.
In 1985, the famed Apollo Theatre, once the showcase for the nation’s top black performers, reopened after a renovation that cost $10.4 million. The landmark building on West 125th Street in New York was the first place the Beatles wanted to see on their initial visit to the US. Ed Sullivan used to frequent the Apollo in search of new talent for his CBS TV Sunday showcase.
In 1986, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys.
YouTube Presents: West End Girls
In 1987, bluesman Paul Butterfield died as a result of his drug and alcohol abuse at the age of 44.
In 1989, Stevie Ray Vaughan embarked on what would be his last-ever tour at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. The guitarist was killed in a helicopter crash on 27th Aug 1999, after a concert in Wisconsin, the 107th of the 110 tour dates.
In 1990, in an interview on Fox TV’s Joan Rivers Show, David Bowie‘s ex-wife, Angie claimed for the first time that she once caught her ex-husband and Mick Jagger in a sex act.
Also in 1990, Madonna played the first show on the North American leg of her 57-date Blond Ambition World Tour at The Summit in Houston.
In 1991, one of Bing’s more troubled sons, Dennis Crosby committed suicide at age 54.
In 1996, “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion topped the charts and stayed there for 7 weeks.
In 1997, comic actor Alvy Moore, who played the incompetent county agent Hank Kimball on CBS’s Green Acres, as well as 30 other guest roles on TV, died of heart failure at age 75.
Also in 1997, Courtney Love placed an ad in The Seattle Times selling the house she had shared with Kurt Cobain. The five bedroom four bathroom house was on the market for $3 million.
In 2000, it was announced that KISS would auction off almost everything they own from its touring days. The auction was scheduled for June 24-25, 2000.
In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake (TV’s Baretta & Hell Town), was shot to death as she sat in a car in Los Angeles. Blake, accused of the killing, was acquitted in a criminal trial but was found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay $30 million in damages, a sum that eventually was cut in half.
In 2003, Sean Paul started a three week run at No.1 on the singles chart with ‘Get Busy,’ while Madonna was at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘American Life’, her fifth No.1 album.
In 2004, longtime personality at Montreal radio station CJAD George Balcan died at the age of 71.
In 2006, the longtime manager of Medicine Hat’s CHAT (both radio & TV) Orville (“Orv”) Kope died at age 81.
In 2007, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger punched a man in the face outside a Granville Street nightclub in Vancouver. According to reports the “victim” harassed Kroeger by shouting “Nickelback sucks.”
In 2008, thieves broke into the childhood home of Motown star Martha Reeves and stole about $1 million worth of uninsured recording equipment, including speakers, microphones and karaoke machines. A suspect was collared later in the day after he tried to sell the loot to a pawnshop for $400.
In 2009, comic actor & chef Dom Deluise died of respiratory failure and other complications from diabetes and high blood pressure. He first made the bigtime via the TV show The Entertainers in 1964, and was a cast member of The Dean Martin Show. He also appeared frequently on The Hollywood Squares over a span of 35 years, and provided voices to numerous animated series.
In 2010, beloved Detroit baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who did Tigers’ play-by-play on radio or TV for 42 years, succumbed to cancer at age 92. He had continued to broadcast baseball into his 85th year.
In 2011, Tony-winning actress Sada Thompson, memorable as the mother on ABC-TV’s Family in the late 1970’s, succumbed to lung disease at age 83.
In 2012, orchestra leader Mort Lindsey, who led the band for the Merv Griffin, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand TV shows, died at age 89, as a result of complications from a broken hip.
Also in 2012, TV game show producer Bob Stewart, who helped develop The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth, The $10,000 Pyramid, and Password, among many others, and who came to Canada to produce several 1980’s game shows in Toronto and Montreal, died of natural causes at age 91.
In 2013, Emmy-winning Los Angeles TV news anchor Mario Machado — who played a newsman in television and movies for more than 30 years — died of complications from pneumonia at age 78. He had also been a soccer playbyplay announcer into the early ’70’s.
In 2014, Elton John topped the UK Sunday Times Giving List. As Britain’s most generous donor he gave $36 million in 2013, with a large portion of it going to his Aids foundation. U2’s Bono also made the list with $12 million in donations.
In 2015, Dianne White Clatto, a weathercaster who broke the color barrier twelve years before Al Roker started as a weather anchor in Syracuse, died at a St. Louis retirement center at age 76. She was hosting a radio show in 1962 when she was referred to an executive at KSD-TV in St. Louis, and was hired as the US’s first black TV weather person, earning $75 a week.
Comedian Pete Barbutti (John Davidson Show, Pete’s Place) is 83.
Jazz musician Ron Carter is 80.
Surf guitarist Dick Dale is 80.
TV commentator/columnist George Will is 76.
Singer Peggy Santiglia of The Angels is 73.
Actor Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under, Olive Kitteridge, Berlin Station) is 70.
Country singer Stella Parton is 68.
Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks (Roots, Hill St. Blues) is 67.
Singer Jackie Jackson of The Jacksons & Jackson 5 is 66.
Singer Oleta Adams is 64.
Actress Pia Zadora (Favorite Deadly Sins, Pajama Tops) is 63.
Singer Marilyn Martin is 63.
Actor Jeff Lester (Walking Tall) is 62.
Country singer Randy Travis is 58.
Actress Mary Beth McDonough (New Adventures of Old Christine, The Waltons, General Hospital) is 56.
Comedienne Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth, Suburgatory, Saturday Night Live) is 50.
Actor Stevie Ray Dallimore (Banshee) is 50.
Toronto-born actor/voicist Will Arnett (Flaked, BoJack Horseman, The Millers, Arrested Development, 30 Rock) is 47.
Bassist/singer Mike Dirnt of Green Day is 45.
Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 45.
Actress/model/producer Kimora Lee Simmons (Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, America’s Next Top Model) is 42.
Vancouver-born actress Emily Perkins (When Calls the Heart, Hiccups, DaVinci’s Inquest, Mom PI) is 40.
Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 40.
Television personality Erin Andrews (Fox Sports, Dancing with the Stars) is 39.
Singer/actor Lance Bass of ‘N Sync (Handy Manny) is 38.
TV host Charissa Thompson (Extra, Fox Sports 1) is 35.
Vancouver-born actor/voicist Jesse Moss (Cedar Cove, Whistler, ReBoot) is 34.
Actress Lucy-Jo Hudson (Coronation Street) is 34.
Actor Brad Bufanda (C0-Ed Confidential, Veronica Mars) is 34.
Actor Leon Charles Farmer (2 Fur 1) is 33.
Actor Ben VanderMey (Skin Deep the Series) is 28.
Actress Grace Phipps (The Vampire Diaries, The Nine Lives of Chloe King) is 25.
Actress Ashley Rickards (Awkward, One Tree Hill) is 25.
Actor Alexander Gould (Weeds) is 23.
Chart Toppers – May 4
If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake – Eileen Barton
My Foolish Heart – The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra (vocal: Eileen Wilson)
The Third Man Theme – Anton Karas
Long Gone Lonesome Blues – Hank Williams
Come Softly to Me – The Fleetwoods
The Happy Organ – Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez
Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home) – The Impalas
White Lightning – George Jones
Honey – Bobby Goldsboro
Cry like a Baby – The Box Tops
Young Girl – The Union Gap
The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde – Merle Haggard
Southern Nights – Glen Campbell
Hotel California – Eagles
When I Need You – Leo Sayer
She’s Pulling Me Back Again – Mickey Gilley
Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer
West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
Why Can’t This Be Love – Van Halen
Once in a Blue Moon – Earl Thomas Conley
This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
Freak like Me – Adina Howard
I Know – Dionne Farris
Little Miss Honky Tonk – Brooks & Dunn
This Love – Maroon 5
Yeah – Usher featuring Ludacris and Lil’ Jon
My Band – D12 featuring Eminem
When the Sun Goes Down – Kenny Chesney with – Uncle Kracker