On This Day November 23

Musical Milestones

1936 – Blues legend Robert Johnson lays down his first-ever musical recordings — eight songs in a single session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The tracks include “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and his biggest hit, “Terraplane Blues.” 

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You,” by Dale & Grace, is the hottest song on the radio.

1974 – Billy Swan is on top of the singles chart for two weeks with the only hit of his singing career: “I Can Help.”

1974 – The Rolling Stones score their fifth No. 1 album with “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” — the last Stones album for guitarist Mick Taylor, who was replaced by Ronnie Wood. 

1976 – Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested for the second time in as many days. First it was drunk driving, but on this day he’s busted for brandishing a pistol outside Graceland while demanding to see Elvis.

1985 – Starship begin their second and final week orbiting around the top spot on the pop chart with “We Built This City.”

1991 – Michael Bolton’s cover of Percy Sledge’s 1966 classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later goes on to capture a Grammy Award.

1995 – Soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker, best known for the hits “How Sweet It Is” and “What Does It Take, To Win Your Love, dies of cancer at the age of 64. Walker also played sax on Foreigner’s 1981 hit “Urgent.”

2002 – Eminem rules the Billboard singles chart with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” movie soundtrack. The song holds at No. 1 for 12 weeks.

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It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

The Rolling Stones

The Essential Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton

LIFE 75 Years: The Very Best of LIFE

Editors of LIFE

I Dream of Jeannie (Season 1)

Starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Frankenstein

Starring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive, and directed by James Whale

Harpo Speaks!

Harpo Marx with Rowland Barber

On This Day November 16

History Highlights

1907 – Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory collectively enter the United States as Oklahoma, the 46th state.

1915 – The patent for the iconic curved glass Coca-Cola bottle is awarded to the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. Coca-Cola and Root Glass enter into an agreement to have six glass companies across the U.S. use the bottle shape. The contract called for the bottles to be colored with “German Green” which was later renamed “Georgia Green” in honor of Coke’s home state.

1945 – The United States implements “Operation Paperclip,” a top secret program that brings 88 German scientists to America to help develop rocket technology. The moves stirs controversy because many of the scientists, including Apollo program pioneer Wernher von Braun, had served under the Nazi regime.

1973 – President Richard Nixon authorizes construction of the Alaska Pipeline to meet America’s growing energy demands while reducing the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

1977 – After terrifying audiences with “Jaws” two years earlier, director Steven Spielberg dazzles moviegoers with visitors from other worlds as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” opens in movie theaters.

1981 – Sixteen million TV viewers tune in to “General Hospital” on ABC for the much-anticipated Luke and Laura wedding.

2001 – “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” opens in U.S. movie theaters kicking off one of the most successful movie franchises of all time based on novels written by J. K. Rowling.

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The Sound of Music

Original Broadway Cast Recording

8 Mile

Starring EminemKim BasingerMekhi Phifer, and directed by Curtis Hanson

The Man Behind The Bottle

Norman L. Dean

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut and Teri Garr, and directed by Steven Spielberg

Rocky

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young and Burgess Meredith, and directed by John G. Avildsen

Crazy Heart

Starring  Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and directed by Scott Cooper and Eric Brenner