ON THIS DAY in 1912
broadcaster Arthur Gordon “Art” Linkletter was born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.
He migrated to California where he became internationally known as host of two long-running broadcast series: House Party, on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and the game show People Are Funny, which ran on NBC radio & TV for 19 years. Linkletter was famous for interviewing children on House Party and Kids Say the Darndest Things, which led to a successful series of books quoting children. He died May 26, 2010 at age 97.
In 1939, Charlie Barnet and his orchestra recorded their theme song ‘Cherokee’ for Bluebird Records. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the horn of Billy May on the track.
In 1946, 13-year old Petula Clark made her first appearance on British TV on a BBC variety show called Cabaret Cartoons, which would lead to her being signed to host her own afternoon series titled simply Petula Clark. She began her career with guest spots on BBC radio (below) when she was only 9.
In 1951, Tony Bennett recorded his fourth straight Top 20 hit ‘Blue Velvet’ for producer Mitch Miller and Columbia Records.
In 1954, the first Newport Jazz Festival was held on the grass tennis courts of the Newport Casino in Newport RI. Eddie Condon and his band played Muskrat Ramble as the opening number of the world’s first jazz fest.
In 1955, Disneyland opened the gates to “The Happiest Place on Earth” in Anaheim, California. In the famous theme park’s first year of operation, some four million people visited Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland. On this, its opening day, Disneyland held a gala TV broadcast featuring Walt Disney, Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter and Ronald Reagan .
In 1958, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Hard Headed Woman,” by Elvis Presley. The song was taken from the Presley film “King Creole.”
In 1959, jazz great Billie Holiday died in a New York hospital while under arrest for narcotics possession. She was aged just 44. Holiday had a longtime addiction to drugs and alcohol, but evidence suggests she died from a kidney infection. It was not until 1986 — 27 years after her death — that she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1960, the number-one song on the Billboard pop chart was “Alley-Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles, a studio band organized by Gary Paxton. “Alley-Oop,” a novelty song about a hip caveman, was the work of Dallas Frazier, better known for writing country-and-western tunes.
In 1961, John Chancellor began his 14-month tour as host of the Today show on NBC-TV. He replaced Dave Garroway, who had resigned after 10 years of early morning duty on the popular program. Chancellor admitted he hated the job and wanted out after the first day.
Also in 1961, rocker Bobby Lewis was starting week #2 of a seven-week stay at number one (one, one, one) on the pop-music charts with his smash, Tossin’ and Turnin’. Lewis, who grew up in an orphanage, learned to play the piano at age 5. He became popular in the Detroit area before moving on to fame and fortune with Beltone Records.
Still in 1961, the first recording by The Supremes, “Buttered Popcorn” was released on Tamla Records, featuring Florence Ballard as lead vocalist.
Again in 1961, Brook Benton had the #1 Easy Listening song with “The Boll Weevil Song”.
In 1962, RCA Victor released Elvis Presley‘s “She’s Not You.” It got to #1 in the UK, #5 in North America.
In 1964, in an attempt to duplicate the success of his pal Dean Martin’s success with ‘Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime’ (#1), Frank Sinatra recorded ‘Softly As I Leave You’ using a driving beat, heavy strings and choral tracks.
In 1965, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” by James Brown was released. It sold over two-million copies and won the Grammy Award for best rhythm-and-blues recording.
In 1967, jazz saxophonist John Coltrane [below] lost his battle with liver cancer at age 41. His albums “Giant Steps,” “Live at the Village Vanguard” and “A Love Supreme” had an enormous influence on the development of modern jazz.
Also in 1967, The Beatles single ‘All You Need Is Love’ / ‘Baby You’re A Rich Man’ (originally called ‘One Of The Beautiful People’) was released in North America. It became The Beatles 14th No.1.
Still in 1967, the Monkees played Forest Hills Stadium in New York. The opening act was none other than the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Annoyed by the audience calls for Davy Jones (of the Monkees) Hendrix flipped off the crowd and left the tour.
In 1971, Cliff Edwards, the voice of Disney’s Jiminy Cricket, who had his own national radio show as early as 1932, and his own thrice-weekly TV show starting in 1949, suffered cardiac arrest and died at age 76. He also was known as Ukulele Ike.
Also in 1971, two solo artists debuted their first singles, Rod Stewart with “Maggie Mae,” and Bill Withers‘ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Both became major hits.
In 1972, a bomb placed under a ramp at the Montreal Forum destroyed 30 speakers on a truck containing equipment belonging to The Rolling Stones. Montreal radio stations received more than 50 calls claiming responsibility, but the bomber was never found. Angry fans rioted throwing bottles and rocks after 3,000 tickets for the show turned out to be fake.
In 1974, the Moody Blues opened a 32-track recording studio in London. The studio was the first in Britain to be equipped for quadraphonic recording, a now almost-forgotten form of stereo which required a playback system with four speakers.
Also in 1974, Anne Murray had a #1 Billboard hit with her song ‘He Thinks I Still Care.’
In 1975, Beatle drummer Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox were divorced.
Also in 1975, Bob Marley and the Wailers played the first of two nights at the Lyceum Theatre in London, performing their breakthrough hit “No Woman, No Cry.”
In 1977, Johnny Rotten of the notorious Sex Pistols was interviewed on a London radio station. He said he admired Neil Young, Tim Buckley and Captain Beefheart. At the time, the Sex Pistols’ recording of “God Save the Queen” topped the British charts, despite being banned from radio play.
In 1980, actor Donald Barry, who had recurring roles in TV’s Mr Novak, Police Woman, & Little House on the Prairie, committed suicide at age 68.
In 1982, arranger Bill Justis, whose 1957 recording of ”Raunchy” sold one million copies, died in Nashville at age 55. ”Raunchy,” an alto-sax dominated instrumental, made both the pop and country top 10.
Also in 1982, “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa and his 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit entered the U-S pop chart.
In 1986, 50 people were hurt in gang violence outside a Run- D-M-C rap show in Long Beach, California. There would be other violent incidents connected with the group’s concerts in the following months.
In 1987, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones signed a solo deal to record three albums for Virgin Records.
In 1988, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses began a joint tour in Hoffman Estates, IL. What’s particularly telling is the Aerosmith requirement that Guns N’ Roses confine their drug and alcohol use (abuse) to their dressing room. The recovering Aerosmith didn’t want temptation within sight.
In 1989, Paul McCartney released “This One.”
In 1991, the revamped Lynyrd Skynyrd opened its world tour in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Fourteen years earlier, the band was on its way to a Baton Rouge concert when a plane crash killed three members of the group, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. The new Lynyrd Skynyrd was fronted by Van Zant’s brother, Johnny, and included several original members, including guitarist Gary Rossington.
Also in 1991, James Brown was honoured by his native state of Georgia for his comeback after a two-year prison sentence. The proclamation cited the Godfather of Soul for his “unique brand of funk.”
In 1992, the first night of a North American stadium tour by Guns N’ Roses and Metallica took place at RFK Stadium in Washington DC.
In 1993, Barbra Streisand entered the Billboard album chart at No.1 with ‘Back To Broadway’.
In 1995, Sinead O’Connor announced she was withdrawing from the Lollapalooza tour because she was pregnant. She said “it’s hard to sing when you want to throw up all the time.” The unmarried Irish singer did not name the father.
Also in 1995, the chart-topping female rap trio T-L-C filed for bankruptcy protection in Los Angeles. They were reported to have liabilities of more than 3.5 million dollars. The biggest individual creditor was Lloyd’s of London, which claimed 1.3-million from Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes (left, above). She had pleaded guilty to torching the Atlanta home of her former boyfriend, pro football player Andre Rison.
In 1996, Chas Chandler, bass player with the Animals, suffered a fatal heart attack in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. He was 57. Chandler was playing in the Alan Price Trio in 1962 when vocalist Eric Burdon joined the band. They renamed the group the Animals, whose first — and biggest — hit was 1964′s “The House of the Rising Sun.” After the group split up two years later, Chandler turned to managing other artists, most notably Jimi Hendrix.
Also in 1996, Smashing Pumpkins fired drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, less than a week after Chamberlin was arrested on a drug charge and backup keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin was found dead of a heroin overdose.
In 1998, Marc Hunter, lead singer with Dragon, died after a nine-month battle with throat cancer. He was 44. New Zealand-born Hunter was one of Australia’s most flamboyant performers, known as much for his off-stage antics as for his Dragon chart-toppers, such as “April Sun In Cuba,” “Get That Jive,” and “Rain.”
Also in 1998, actor Hugh Reilly, who played the father Paul Martin for 6 years on TV’s Lassie, died of emphysema at age 82.
Still in 1998, 17-year-old murderer Pamela Keary walked away from a minimum security prison at Shakopee, Minnesota to catch a free Smashing Pumpkins concert in Minneapolis. Keary managed to enjoy the entire show. She was arrested shortly after midnight by officers who spotted her in the crowd.
In 1999, “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child topped the charts and stayed there for just a week.
In 2003, several of Hong Kong‘s biggest music stars and industry figures were arrested as part of an investigation into corruption in the music industry after allegations that chart positions and music awards had been rigged.
In 2004, half of the 4,500 people in the audience walked out of Linda Ronstadt‘s show at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, after the singer dedicated an encore of ‘Desperado’ to filmmaker Michael Moore and urged the crowd to see his film Fahrenheit 9/11.
In 2005, actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, who followed an illustrious bigscreen career with numerous TV guest appearances over a 40 year period, died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 91. She was prominent in early TV drama, with 4 appearances on CBS-TV’s Studio One, and 7 roles on NBC’s Robert Montgomery Presents.
Also in 2005, R. Kelly started a four week run at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘TP.3 Reloaded.’
In 2006, the King of the Pulp Novelists, Mickey Spillane succumbed to pancreatic cancer in South Carolina. He was 88 years old. Spillane wrote his Mike Hammer novels over a 50 year span, and was the creative force behind the Hammer series and TV movies of the 80′s & 90′s starring Stacy Keach.
Also in 2006, pianist Bill Miller, who for more than 50 years accompanied Frank Sinatra, died of complications from a heart attack at age 91.
In 2008, veteran radio/TV actor Larry Haines died, three weeks short of his 90th birthday.
He was a super-busy member of radio’s New York acting pool, starring in Treasury Agent & That Hammer Guy, and recuring roles on the likes of Gang Busters, Big Town, X Minus One, Young Dr. Malone, and Inner Sanctum Mysteries. For 35 years he was Stu Bergman in the TV soap Search for Tomorrow.
Also in 2008, ageing rock stars and session musicians would keep receiving royalties for their old recordings for the rest of their lives under a European Union plan. Performers currently lost the rights to their recordings after 50 years. Veteran UK artists like Sir Cliff Richard and Roger Daltrey were among those who campaigned for it to be extended.
Still in 2008, the first of a two-part ‘Soundstage’ featuring Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks aired on PBS. The second half was broadcast a week later.
In 2009, iconic TV newsman Walter Cronkite, the anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to ’81, died at age 92. Walter first reported the death of President John F. Kennedy to most Americans, and was cheerleader for the US space program in its heyday through many launches & recoveries.
Also in 2009, half of the 60′s singing duo Peter & Gordon, Gordon Waller, who hit it big with Lady Godiva, Woman, True Love Ways and A World Without Love, died of cardiac arrest at age 64.
Still in 2009, Paul McCartney headlined the first concert held at Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets. As a member of The Beatles, McCartney performed at the Mets’ old ballpark, Shea Stadium, in ‘65. He also took part in the final Shea show in ‘08.
In 2011, jazz saxophonist Gil Bernal, who during his long career played with the likes of Spike Jones, Lionel Hampton and Ry Cooder, died of congestive heart failure at age 80.
In 2012, TV comedy writer/director Nelson Lyon, who was a participant in the drug binge that killed John Belushi in 1982, succumbed to liver cancer at age 73.
In 2013, British-born jazz vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, who spent most of his life living and performing in the city of Toronto and on CBC-TV, died of natural causes at age 85. In the early 1970s he drew wide acclaim for his performances with Benny Goodman’s jazz sextet with which he toured internationally. In 1992, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Also in 2013, U2 frontman Bono received the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, France’s highest cultural honor, for his contribution to music and commitment to humanitarian causes.
In 2014, Elaine Stritch, the brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer who became a living emblem of show business durability, died at her Michigan home at age 89. During a career that spanned 7 decades Ms. Stritch had recurring roles in the TV sitcoms 30 Rock, The Ellen Burstyn Show, Two’s Company, My Sister Eileen, and back in 1949, The Growing Paynes.
In 2015, Van Miller, the longtime (37 seasons) voice of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, a TV sports anchor and arguably the most versatile play-by-play man in Western New York sports history, died at age 87. Known for his sense of humor, playfulness and his ability to “deliver the moment” during big games, Miller is a member of six Halls of Fame and has his name on the Bills’ Wall of Fame.
In 2016, Gary S. Paxton, a musical maverick who wrote more than 2,000 songs and produced the pop hits “Alley-Oop” and “Monster Mash,” who later overcame addiction and transitioned to a career as a gospel musician, died of a combination of heart surgery and liver disease at age 77.
Vancouver-born comedienne/actress Mimi Hines (of Ford & Hines) is 84.
New Brunswick-born actor Donald Sutherland (Crossing Lines, Dirty Sexy Money, Commander in Chief) is 82.
Actress/singer Diahann Carroll (Julia, Dynasty, The Colby’s) is 82.
Guitarist Spencer Davis of the Spencer Davis Group is 75.
Canadian singer/actress Gale Garnett (We’ll Sing in the Sunshine) is 75.
Bassist Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath is 68.
Actress P. J. Soles (Romance Theatre, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Calling Doctor Storm, M.D.), Zuma Beach is 67.
Actress Lucie Arnaz (Sons & Daughters, The Lucy Show) is 66.
Actor David Hasselhoff (Baywatch, Knight Rider) is 65.
Singer Phoebe Snow is 65.
Model/actress P. J. Soles (Shake Rattle & Rock, Zuma Beach) is 62.
Actor Robert Romanus (Glee, Fawlty Tower Oxnard) is 61.
Actress Margot Rose (He’s the Mayor, Night Court, Report to Murphy) is 61.
Television producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) is 57.
Actress/commercial announcer Nancy Giles (China Beach, Hey Joel) is 57.
Actress Jodie Fisher (Life With Roger) is 57.
Actor John Ventimiglia (The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods) is 54.
Singer Regina Belle is 54.
Actress Heather Langencamp (Just The Ten of Us) is 53.
Country singer Craig Morgan is 53.
Writer/producer/actor Alex Winter (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) is 52.
Bassist Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion) is 51.
Singer Guru of Gang Starr is 51.
Christian singer Susan Ashton is 50.
R&B singer Stokley of Mint Condition is 50.
Actor Andre Royo (The Wire) is 49.
Actress Beth Littleford (Dog with a Blog, The Hard Times of RJ Berger) is 49.
Actress Bitty Schram (Monk) is 49.
Actor Jason Clarke (The Chicago Code, Brotherhood, Home & Away) is 48.
R&B singer JC of PM Dawn is 46.
Rapper Sole’ is 44.
Actress Cecile De France (The Young Pope) is 42.
Actress Dagmara Dominczyk (Hitched, The Five People You Meet in Heaven) is 41.
Actor Eric Winter (Witches of East End, Days of Our Lives) is 41.
Country singer Luke Bryan is 41.
Actress Katherine Towne (Tell Me You Love Me) is 39.
Actor Mike Vogel (Under the Dome, Pan Am, Grounded for Life) is 38.
Actress Sarah Jones (Vegas, Alcatraz, Sons of Anarchy, Big Love) is 34.
Actor Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) is 32.
Actor Brando Eaton (Dexter, Secret Life of the American Teenager) is 31.
Singer Jeremiah is 30.
Actress Summer Bishil (The Magicians, Lucky 7) is 29.
Actress Lexi Giovagnoli (Passport to Ignore) is 26.
Actress Billie Lourd (Scream Queens) is 25.
Vancouver-born actress Jessica Amlee (Heartland) is 23.
Chart Toppers – July 17th
I’m Yours – Eddie Fisher
Kiss of Fire – Georgia Gibbs
Walkin’ My Baby Back Home – Johnnie Ray
That Heart Belongs to Me – Webb Pierce
Tossin’ and Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis
The Boll Weevil Song – Brook Benton
Quarter to Three – U.S. Bonds
Heartbreak U.S.A. – Kitty Wells
Mama Told Me (Not to Come) – Three Dog Night
Ride Captain Ride – Blues Image
Band of Gold – Freda Payne
He Loves Me All the Way – Tammy Wynette
Bad Girls – Donna Summer
Boogie Wonderland – Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions
Makin’ It – David Naughton
Amanda – Waylon Jennings
The Flame – Cheap Trick
Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
New Sensation – INXS
If You Change Your Mind – Rosanne Cash
I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy & Faith Evans
Bitch – Meredith Brooks
I Belong to You (Every Time I See Your Face) – Rome
It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
Unfaithful – Rihanna
Me & U – Cassie
Summertime – Kenny Chesney