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The John Lennon Letters

This groundbreaking collection of almost 300 of John Lennon’s letters and postcards has been edited and annotated by Hunter Davies, whose authorized 1968 biography, “The Beatles,” was published to great acclaim.

The Best of Donnie Osmond / The Millennium Collection

This album brings together a dozen of the best singles and album tracks Donny Osmond recorded during his teenage solo career. They are arranged in chronological order, so one can hear the sweet, preteen voice on early hits such as “Sweet and Innocent” and “Go Away, Little Girl” deepen and threaten to crack on later singles like “Are You Lonesome Tonight” and “Young Love.”

Get Smart

Don Adams stars as Maxwell Smart, a hilariously inept and maladroit operative working for CONTROL, a top secret counterintelligence agency, in this classic, Emmy-winning spy spoof series created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.

9/11 - The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition

Originally broadcast on CBS in March 2002, “9/11” is an extraordinary record of that fateful day in New York City. This one-of-a-kind documentary was originally conceived as a portrait of 21-year-old Tony Benetatos, a firefighter trainee at Manhattan’s Duane Street firehouse, located seven blocks from the World Trade Center. By the time filming was finished, the Naudet brothers  had captured history in the making.

Sideways

A struggling writer and his has-been actor best friend get into all kinds of trouble when they embark on a wine tasting tour prior to the best friend’s wedding. Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen.

Your Songs / Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry Connick, Jr. arranged these selections himself, so even classic gems like the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” as well as the Elvis Presley hit “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” sound like the kinds of cocktail jazz numbers covered by various members of the Rat Pack during the early ‘60s.

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The Very Best Of Neil Sedaka

Singer-songwriter and pianist Neil Sedaka enjoyed two distinct periods of commercial success in two slightly different styles of pop music: first, as a teen pop star in the late ’50s and early ’60s, then as a singer of more mature pop/rock in the ’70s. This collection brings you all of Neil’s RCA hits from 1959-63

HELP! / The Beatles

Released in 1965, “HELP!” was the second feature film from The Beatles, who reunited with “A Hard Day’s Night” director Richard Lester for the globetrotting comedy. It packs no less than seven classic tracks, including “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “Another Girl” and “I Need You.”

History of Alcatraz Island, 1853-2008

Through a rich series of images, author Gregory L. Wellman reveals the role of one of America’s most renowned and memorable landmarks since 1853. Alzatraz’s startling transformation comes alive through photo collections of the Alcatraz Alumni Association, the Golden Gate National Archives and other private collections from around the country.

American Graffiti

From director George Lucas and producer Francis Ford Coppola, this classic coming-of-age story is set against the 1960s backdrop of hot rods, drive-ins and rock n’ roll. It’s a nostalgic look back that follows a group of teenagers as they cruise the streets on their last summer night before college. Starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

First published in 1976, Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book electrified the nation and was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller for 22 weeks. The celebrated miniseries that followed had more than 130 million Americans tuning in. Decades later, the story of the young African slave Kunta Kinte and his descendants has lost none of its power to enthrall and provoke.

Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson

From being at the crest of the New Wave to anticipating the swing revival by over a decade, Joe Jackson’s always been a “step” ahead of the pop music world, and this 38-track collection includes all his hits: “Is She Really Going Out With Him,” “Steppin’ Out,” “Breaking Us In Two” and many more.

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Legendary disc jockey Alan Freed (a.k.a. “Moondog”) starts his new job spinning records for a rhythm and blues show on radio station WJW in Cleveland. With his unprecedented on-air mix of blues, country and rhythm and blues songs, Freed is credited with coining the term “rock ‘n roll.” 

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The No. 1 single in the U.S. is “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” by Three Dog Night.  The song, written by Randy Newman, holds the top spot for two weeks.

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George Herman “Babe” Ruth makes his major league debut, pitching seven strong innings to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians, 4-3. 

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Coca-Cola announces the return of original Coke after consumers rejected its replacement by New Coke. The original formula is renamed Coca-Cola Classic.

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Tony and Oscar-winning actor Yul Brynner (“The King and I,” “Anastasia,” “The Ten Commandments,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Westworld”)

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Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega (“Tom’s Diner,” “Luka”)

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The Rolling Stones top the Billboard singles chart with “Paint it Black,” which holds at No. 1 for two weeks.

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Just days before the first Apollo moon landing, David Bowie pilots his own musical mission to the stars with the release of “Space Oddity,” which soars to No. 15 on the Hot 100 chart. Today, that song is ranked among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”

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Steven Spielberg’s “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial” is a box office smash after opening on this day.

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Cancer claims the life of screen legend John Wayne at the age of 72.

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Actor-comedian and author Gene Wilder, born Jerome Silberman (“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein”)

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Golden Globe-winning actor-comedian and musician Hugh Laurie, best known for his starring role in the TV series “House”

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The three-disk soundtrack to the Woodstock Festival is released and goes gold within two weeks.

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Jamaican singer-songwriter and guitarist Bob Marley, who introduced international audiences to reggae music, dies of cancer at the age of 36. Marley is

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Israel becomes a member of the United Nations.

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“Marcus Welby, M.D.,” makes his final house call as the popular ABC medical drama starring Robert Young airs for the last time. The series premiered in 1969.

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Actor Tim Blake Nelson (“Donnie Brasco,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” “Minority Report”)

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Surrealist artist Salvador Dali