On This Day October 21
1972 – Curtis Mayfield begins four weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with the soundtrack to the movie “Super Fly.” Sales of the album, which contains the hits “Freddy’s Dead” and “Super Fly,” go on to surpass the movie’s box office performance.
1959 – The distinctive and world-renowned Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City. Designed by acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum houses one of the world’s top collections of contemporary art.
1959 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring renowned rocket engineer Wernher von Braun and his team from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Von Braun, who masterminded America’s space program, developed the lethal V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during World War II.
2014 – South African Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, is sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) in the 2013 death of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp. His sentence is later doubled by a higher court.
Own a Piece of This Day
The Best Of Buddy Holly: The Millennium Collection
Rock and roll legend Buddy Holly had his share of hits and achieved stardom, but his importance transcends any sales figures or even the particulars of any one song he wrote or recorded. Holly was unique, his legendary status and his impact on popular music all the more extraordinary for having been achieved in barely 18 months.
Superfly / Curtis Mayfield
The choice of Curtis Mayfield to score the blaxploitation film “Super Fly” was an inspired one. No other artist in popular music knew so well, and expressed through his music so naturally, the shades of gray inherent in contemporary inner-city life. Hit singles off this classic include “Superfly” and “Freddie’s Dead.”
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: An Architectural Appreciation
Stephen Hoban’s book celebrates architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s crowning achievement with reflections by prominent architects, historians and critics, and supplemented with a half-century of photographs.
Empires of Light - Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
In the final decades of the 19th century, three brilliant and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age — Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse — battled bitterly as each vied to create a vast and powerful electrical empire. Historian Jill Jonnes portrays this extraordinary trio and their riveting and ruthless world of cutting-edge science, invention, intrigue, money, death and hard-eyed Wall Street millionaires.
The Complete RCA Victor Recordings - Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie’s contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was also one of the key founders of Afro-Cuban (or Latin) jazz, who utilized complex poly-rhythms early on. The leader of two of the finest big bands in jazz history, Gillespie differed from many in the bop generation by being a masterful showman who could make his music accessible and fun to audiences.
After four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean with the crazy truth about her life in this memoir. Adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher uses “Wishful Drinking” to reveal what it was like to grow up a product of “Hollywood in-breeding,” come of age on the set of “Star Wars,” and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of 19.