ON THIS DAY in 1903
singer/saxaphonist Carmen Lombardo was born in London Ontario. He was the younger brother of bandleader Guy Lombardo, and did much of the singing & arranging for the band famed as The Royal Canadians. He penned many of the band’s hit songs, including Coquette, Boo Hoo, Seems Like Old Times, Sweethearts on Parade, & Get Out Those Old Records. He died of cancer April 17 1971 at age 67.
In 1907, actress Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Stevens in Brooklyn. She is best remembered as the matriarch of the Barkley clan in the TV western The Big Valley. Later she starred in The Colbys & was featured in The Thorn Birds. Her TV roles followed a 37 year career on the big screen which began at age 17. She died of congestive heart failure & emphysema Jan. 20 1990 at age 82.
In 1911, actress/dancer Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence Missouri. After a dazzling big screen career, during which she co-starred with Fred Astaire in some ten musicals, she began accepting the odd TV role in the late 50’s, and continued to make occasional appearances for the next 25 years. At one point she was hostess of The Bell Telephone Hour. She died of congestive heart failure Apr 25, 1995 at age 83.
In 1915, actor Barnard Hughes was born in Bedford Hills NY. He had recurring roles on several long-running soap operas, including the Guiding Light and As the World Turns, and as he reached old age he became a familiar “Grandpa” on TV through the 1980s and 90s. Among his television credits are the series “The Cavanaughs” (1986), “Mr. Merlin” (1981) and “Doc” (1975). In 1991, at the age of 76, he played “Grandpa Buzz” on the sitcom Blossom. He died July 11, 2006 just days short of his 91st birthday.
In 1925, Latin jazz musician Cal Tjader was born in St. Louis. Unlike other American jazz musicians who experimented with the music from Cuba, the Caribbean, and Latin America, he never abandoned it, performing it until his death. He primarily played the vibraphone, but was also accomplished on the drums, bongos, congas, timpani, and the piano. He died while on tour in Manila, suffering a fatal heart attack May 5, 1982 at age 56.
In 1934, the NBC Red radio network premiered the musical drama, Dreams Come True. The show concerned the lives of baritone singer Barry McKinley and his novelist sweetheart.
In 1955, the first appearance of Elvis Presley as a national hit maker saw his “Baby, Let’s Play House” listed at #15 on the Cash Box country chart.
In 1959, the Coasters were in New York to record their fourth straight Top Ten hit “Poison Ivy.”
In 1960, Billboard noted another music chart first as the Hot 100 listed three simultaneous hit singles by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters, “Finger Poppin’ Time,” “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go,” and “The Twist.”
In 1962, The Beach Boys were signed to record for the Capitol label. Their first hit burst on the scene in September, ‘Surfin’ Safari.’
In 1966, guitarist Eric Clapton, formerly of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the Yardbirds, joined two ex-members of the Graham Bond Organisation, bass guitaristJack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker, to form Cream. The influential blues-rock trio sold more than 15-million albums in their three years together, before differences between the band members broke up the group. Cream is remembered for songs such as “Strange Brew,” “White Room” and “Sunshine Of Your Love.”
Also in 1966, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Hanky Panky,” by Tommy James & the Shondells.
In 1967, the annual Newport Folk Festival featured Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen, Janis Ian, and Tom Paxton.
In 1969, The Beatles‘ “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” was certified as a Gold Record.
Also in 1969, during recording at Abbey Road Studios in London, The Beatles worked on two new George Harrison songs, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and ‘Something.’
Still in 1969, it was a big night on late-night TV for music fans as Diana Ross & the Supremes guest hosted NBC-TV’s Tonight Show, while Janis Joplin was the sole guest on ABC-TV’s Dick Cavett Show.
In 1971, the CRTC released its cable television policy statement titled “Canadian Broadcasting: A Single System”. The Comission stated that cable should be regulated to make sure operators contribute to the fundamental objectives of the Canadian broadcasing system, and ensure that all regional Canadian stations are included in the basic service.
In 1972, Smokey Robinson performed for the last time with the Miracles in Washington, D-C. They’d been together since 1959. Robinson went on to a successful solo career.
Also in 1972, singer Charlie Chamberlain (right), a member of Don Messer’s Islanders since the group’s 1939 launch in Charlottetown, died at age 61. On the same date in 1977, Marg Osburne (at left), the female vocalist with the Islanders, died at age 49.
In 1973, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Big Bad Leroy Brown,” by Jim Croce.
Also in 1973, Bob Dylan‘s “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” soundtrack L-P was released. It contained the hit single “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”
In 1974, Reprise Records released Neil Young‘s “On the Beach,” the followup to his #1 smash album “Harvest.”
In 1976, two major breakups took place. Loggins & Messina disbanded after 6 years, and the Allman Brothers Band split up.
Also in 1976, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Elvin Bishop, and B.B. King were the performing guests on NBC’s “The Midnight Special,” with Helen Reddy (above) as host.
In 1977, BC radio pioneer Jack Pilling died in Chilliwack at age 69. He began at CHWK in 1929, as an engineer and filling in on-air. He became an equal partner in 1940, and was named President of Fraser Valley Broadcasters in 1955. He retired in 1963, and sold his controlling interest in the company.
Also in 1977, “Da Doo Ron Ron” by Shaun Cassidy topped the charts and stayed there for just the one week. And Barry Manilow went to No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘Barry Manilow Live.’
In 1980, “No Nukes,” a film documentary of several anti-nuclear benefit concerts, premiered in New York. The performers included the Doobie Brothers; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Jackson Browne and James Taylor.
In 1981, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin was killed at age 38, after suffering cardiac arrest while driving on a New York expressway. His car was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer, causing the gas tank to explode. Chapin was best known for “Taxi,” a top-20 hit in 1972, and “Cat’s in the Cradle,” which hit number-one in ’74.
Also in 1981, the Jefferson Starship album “Modern Time” was certified as a Gold Record.
In 1983, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Every Breath You Take,” by The Police. It stayed atop the pop chart for eight weeks. Billboard ranked the million-selling single the top song of the year.
In 1984, singer Billy Williams died aged 74. He had the 1957 No.3 single ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter.’
In 1985, orchestra leader Wayne King, “the waltz king,” died at age 84. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the radio category, and had a TV show in Chicago from 1949-52.
Also in 1985, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game became the first program telecast in stereo by a network. The NBC milestone soon led to sound enhancement of other network shows.
In 1986, Dolly Parton‘s “Dollywood” amusement park opened in Tennessee.
In 1988, British rock singer Sting cancelled his Calgary concert due to a severe throat infection. The Edmonton show the following night was also cancelled; 11,000 fans got refunds.
Also in 1988, it was wedding day for two Canadian celebrities as actor Michael J. Fox married actress Tracy Pollan, while hockey’s Wayne Gretzky married actress Janet Jones.
In 1990, Los Angeles disc jockey Rick Dees debuted his late night TV show “Into The Night with Rick Dees” on ABC-TV. It was cancelled after one season because of low ratings.
In 1991, actor/announcer Dwight Weist, who was radio’s first Mr. District Attorney, and announced on some of the biggest shows of radio’s “Golden Age,” died at age 81.
Also in 1991, Marc Emery, owner of a London, Ontario bookstore, was convicted of selling obscene material — specifically, 2 Live Crew’s album, “As Nasty as They Wanna Be.” Emery received a conditional discharge — meaning he’d have no criminal record — and a year’s probation.
In 1992, Charlton Heston joined the furore over rapper Ice-T’s “Body Count” album by reading the lyrics to “K-K-K Bitch” and “Cop Killer” to a Time-Warner shareholders meeting in Los Angeles. The actor condemned the company for releasing the album. Protests began with police groups, who said “Cop Killer” encouraged the killing of police. Ice-T said two weeks later the song would be dropped from future copies of the album.
In 1993, Michael Mick Jagger celebrated his 50th birthday with a French revolutionary costume party and banquet on the grounds of a suburban London teaching college. The 300 celebrity guests included fellow Rolling Stones Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. Jagger actually hit the half-century mark 10 days later.
Also in 1993, members of Guns ‘N’ Roses were charged in Argentina with cocaine possession and indecent exposure. But the charges were dropped an hour before their concert in Buenos Aires. No drugs were found.
In 1994, tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras performed together before 56-thousand at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on the eve of the World Cup soccer final. The world-wide TV broadcast of the concert drew an estimated 1.3 billion viewers.
Also in 1994, Bruce Springsteen showed up unannounced at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Stone Pony bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Springsteen and his wife, Patty Scialfa, Jon Bon Jovi and former E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg performed several songs with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
Still in 1994, “The Lion King” soundtrack album hit the top of the Billboard chart. It was the second chart-topping album for the Walt Disney Company, following 1965’s “Mary Poppins.”
In 1995, rap singer Queen Latifah was the victim of a car-jacking attempt that went wrong, leaving her bodyguard shot and wounded.
Also in 1995, 43-year-old Wayne Osmond from The Osmonds underwent lengthy surgery to remove a brain tumour, at the Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina.
In 1996, John Panozzo, drummer and founding member of the 1970s rock band Styx, died of cirrhosis of the liver, aged 47.
Also in 1996, Michael Jackson entertained at the Sultan of Brunei’s birthday party for which he was paid a reported 15 to 20 million dollars.
Still in 1996, Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Irish pop group the Cranberries, was awarded more than 15-thousand dollars in libel damages by a London court. The Daily Star tabloid had claimed that a gust of wind had lifted O’Riordan’s skirt during a concert in Germany to reveal she was not wearing underwear. The singer donated her monetary award to charity.
In 1997, the rap duo Insane Clown Posse signed with Island Records, three weeks after Disney-owned Hollywood Records announced it was pulling their album from stores Also because of obscene lyrics. Island re-released the album, “The Great Milenko,” the following month.
Also in 1997, concert promoters were forced to call off a Calgary show by shock rocker Marilyn Manson. A judge refused to order arena operator Larry Ryckman to allow the concert to go ahead. Another judge later ordered Ryckman to compensate the promoters.
In 1999, on the 37th anniversary of their signing by Capitol Records, the Beach Boys appeared on NBC-TV’s Today.
Also in 1999, The Lilith Fair featuring Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow appeared at Coors Amphitheater in San Diego.
In 2000, Matchbox 20 went to No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Bent.’
In 2003, rock ‘n’ roll radio pioneer Winston J. “Buddy” Deane died in Pine Bluff, Arkansas of complications from a stroke. He was 78. His popular television teen-dance show in Baltimore from 1957 to 1964 formed the basis for John Waters’ “Hairspray” and Deane had a bit part in the original 1988 movie.
In 2004, U.S. Domestic TV icon Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement by a federal judge in New York for lying about a stock sale.
In 2007, the rock duo the White Stripes played their ‘shortest live show ever’ at the George Street bar in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Jack White played a single C-sharp note accompanied by a bass drum/crash cymbal hit by his former wife Meg White. Jack announced, “We have now officially played in every province and territory in Canada.” They then left the stage, but returned later that evening to put on a full show.
In 2008, a fine singer from the Big Band era who hit solo in the 1950’s with Jambalaya, Shrimp Boats, Make Love to Me and You Belong to Me, Jo Stafford died of heart failure at age 90.
Also in 2008, Billy Joel headlined the first of two shows at New York’s Shea Stadium – the final concerts at the old ballpark. John Mellencamp, Don Henley and Tony Bennett joined Joel onstage, to pay tribute to the iconic concert events there in the 1960’s.
In 2009, a stage being built at Marsellaise, France for a concert by Madonnacollapsed, killing two workers and injuring six others.
In 2010, actor James Gammon, who played grizzled ‘good ol’ boy’ roles on the big screen, as well as in the TV series Nash Bridges, Homefront and Bagdad Cafe, died of adrenal gland and liver cancer at age 70.
Also in 2010, thanks to their 360° World Tour, U2 was #1 on Forbes’ annual report of top-earning musicians. The list was based on net income from ticket sales, record sales and endorsement deals between June ‘09 and June ‘10.
In 2012, the first female superstar of country music, Kitty Wells died at home of complications from a stroke at age 92.
Also in 2012, British keyboard player & songwriter Jon Lord, who helped to found the band Deep Purple, suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism during treatment for pancreatic cancer at age 71. He co-wrote many Deep Purple classics including “Smoke On The Water,” “Black Night” and “Strange Kind Of Woman.”
2014 – Johnny Winter, American Hall of Fame blues musician, dies at 70
50’s pop vocalist Mindy Carson is 94.
Soul singer William Bell is 82.
Fox TV NFL analyst/former coach Jimmy Johnston is 79.
Actor-singer Ruben Blades (Gideon’s Crossing) is 73.
Drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police is 69.
Actress Faye Grant (The Greatest American Hero, V, State of Grace) is 64.
Dancer Michael Flatley (Lord of the Dance) is 63.
Actress Leila Kenzle (Mad About You) is 61.
Actress Phoebe Cates (Lace, Baby Sister) is 58.
Country singer Craig Morgan is 57.
Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell (Ed, Veronica’s Closet, John Laroquette Show) is 56.
Actor Will Ferrell (Saturday Night Live) is 54.
Actress Rain Pryor (Head of the Class) is 52.
Actor Corey Feldman (Sonic Underground, Surreal Life) is 50.
Singer-guitarist Ed Kowalczyk of Live is 50.
Winnipeg-born actor Jonas Chernick (The Border, Eleventh Hour) is 48.
Actress Robinne Lee (House of Payne) is 47.
Singer Ryan McCombs of Drowning Pool is 47.
Actress Jayma Mays (Glee) is 42.
Calgary-born actress Michelle Morgan (Heartland) is 40.
Actress AnnaLynne McCord (90210, Nip/Tuck) is 34.
Actor-singer James Maslow (Big Time Rush) is 31.
Actor Eddie Hassell (Devious Maids) is 31.
Actor Mark Indelicato (Ugly Betty) is 27.
Chart Toppers – July 16th
Too Young – Nat King Cole
Mister and Mississippi – Patti Page
The Loveliest Night of the Year – Mario Lanza
I Wanna Play House with You – Eddy Arnold
Alley-Oop – Hollywood Argyles
I’m Sorry – Brenda Lee
Mule Skinner Blues – The Fendermen
Please Help Me, I’m Falling – Hank Locklin
In the Year 2525 – Zager & Evans
Good Morning Starshine – Oliver
Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & The Shondells
Statue of a Fool – Jack Greene
Shadow Dancing – Andy Gibb
Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
Take a Chance on Me – Abba
Only One Love in My Life – Ronnie Milsap
Alone – Heart
Shakedown – Bob Seger
Songbird – Kenny G
All My Ex’s Live in Texas – George Strait
How Do U Want It/California Love – 2 Pac (featuring KC & JoJo)
You’re Makin’ Me High/Let It Flow – Toni Braxton
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman
No One Needs to Know – Shania Twain
We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
Don’t Phunk With My Heart – Black Eyed Peas
Fast Cars and Freedom – Rascal Flatts