On This Day January 18

Musical Milestones

1944 – The first jazz concert — known as the Esquire All-American Jazz Concert — is held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden and Billie Holiday.

1960 – Johnny Preston starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Running Bear,” a song written by J. P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper”). The song was released shortly after Richardson’s death in the February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

1964 – The Beatles make their U.S. singles chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters at No. 45. It goes on to spend seven weeks at No. 1. 

1969 – Marvin Gaye is midway through a seven-week ride atop the Billboard singles chart with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” The track becomes Motown’s biggest-selling hit at that time.

1975 – Barry Manilow scores his first chart-topping single when “Mandy” reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, is the No. 1 single. The track, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year Grammys.

1989 – At 38 years of age, Stevie Wonder becomes the youngest living person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has excellent company, as other inductees in his class include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations and Dion (DiMucci).

1992 – Michael Jackson wraps up seven weeks as a chart-topper with “Black or White,” off his “Dangerous” album.

2003 – Eminem finds himself on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for another week with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” soundtrack.

History Highlights

1778 – British explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he lands at Waimea on the island of Kauai and names the island cluster the Sandwich Islands, after the voyage’s sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich.

1919 – Leaders of the Allied powers — the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy — convene in Paris, France to begin the long and complex negotiations that would pave the way for the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Conference, as it is known, leads to creation of the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping organization.

1975 – The sitcom “The Jeffersons,” one of several spin-offs from TV’s groundbreaking “All in the Family,” premieres on CBS and becomes a ratings bonanza of its own during an 11-season run. Another Norman Lear creation, it stars Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as a successful African-American couple adjusting to life on Manhattan’s ritzy East Side after leaving their modest Queens neighborhood.

1977 – Scientists identify the cause of a mysterious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 34 people at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. 

1990 – An FBI sting leads to the arrest of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for possession of crack cocaine. After serving six months in federal prison, the so-called “mayor for life” makes one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics in 1994 when D.C. residents elect him to a fourth term as mayor.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Esquire All-American Jazz Concert

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends

Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Margaret MacMillan

Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

To Catch A Thief

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Jessie Royce Landis, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Dances with Wolves

Starring Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell, and directed by Kevin Costner

On This Day January 17

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Led Zeppelin (Remastered)

Led Zeppelin

Ultimate Manilow

Barry Manilow

Corvette: Seven Generations of American High Performance

Randy Leffingwell

The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963

Michael Swanson

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)

Betty White

Bruce Almighty

Starring Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell, and directed by Tom Shadyac

On this Day July 23

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Ultimate Manilow

Barry Manilow

Synchronicity

The Police

The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America During the 1960s

Peter B. Levy

You Have No Idea

Vanessa Williams

White Men Can't Jump

Starring Woody HarrelsonWesley Snipes andRosie Perez, and directed by Ron Shelton

Capote

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Chris Cooper and Bruce Greenwood, and directed by Bennett Miller

On this Day June 17

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Groovin'

The Young Rascals

Exile On Main St. (Remastered)

The Rolling Stones

The Statue of Liberty: The History and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Statue

Charles River Editors

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

Candace Fleming

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy and Denholm Elliott, and directed by John Landis

As Good As It Gets

Starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear and directed by James L. Brooks