On this Day August 17
1974 – “The Night Chicago Died,” by Paper Lace, is the No. 1 single. That band, from Nottingham, England, recorded the original version of “Billy. Don’t Be a Hero,” which only became a chart-topping smash when it was covered by Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods.
1969 – Camille, the third deadliest hurricane of all time, batters the Mississippi Delta as it comes ashore near Bay Saint Louis. The storm kills 259 people and causes more than a billion dollars in damage.
1943 – Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro (“The Godfather: Part II,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Raging Bull,” “The King of Comedy,” “Goodfellas,” “Backdraft,” “Cape Fear,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Casino,” “Meet The Parents,” “Shark Tale,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Intern”)
1960 – Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Dead Man Walking,” “The Thin Red Line,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “I Am Sam,” “Mystic River,” “21 Grams,” “Into The Wild,” “Milk,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)
Own a Piece of This Day
Kind of Blue / Miles Davis
“Kind of Blue” isn’t merely an artistic highlight for legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It’s an album that towers above its peers — a record generally considered the definitive jazz album.
Songs From the Big Chair / Tears For Fears
This is Tears for Fears’ phenomenal 10-million-selling second album that marked a transition in the band’s sound and catapulted them into international prominence. It includes the hits “Everybody Wants To Rule the World,” “Mother’s Talk,” “Shout” and “Head Over Heels.”
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
Anna Funder delivers a prize-winning and powerfully rendered account of the resistance against East Germany’s communist dictatorship in these harrowing, personal tales of life behind the Iron Curtain — and, especially, of life under the iron fist of the Stasi, East Germany’s brutal state security force.
Meet the Mertzes
An expansive dual biography that chronicles the lives of two of America’s most popular situation-comedy actors, William Frawley and Vivian Vance, who portrayed Fred and Ethel Mertz on TV’s “I Love Lucy.” It contains interviews with the actors’ colleagues, friends and relatives, and explores their personal and professional lives before, during, and after “I Love Lucy.”
Paul Schrader’s gritty screenplay depicts the ever-deepening alienation of Vietnam Veteran Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro in a tour de force performance), a psychotic cab driver who obsessively cruises the mean streets of Manhattan. Co-starring Cybill Shepherd and Harvey Keitel. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Oscar-winner Sean Penn leads an all-star cast (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Ray Walston) in this hilarious portrayal of a group of southern California high school students and their most important subjects: sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Directed by Amy Heckerling.