On This Day March 31

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

On This Day March 22

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On This Day February 18

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On This Day November 24

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1950 – The musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre. Two years later, it spawns a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. 

1962 – The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, are in the second week of a five-week run as Billboard chart-toppers with “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

1966 – The Beatles gather in a studio for the first time since wrapping up their U.S. summer concert tour and spend the entire day recording John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

1972 – Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” TV show debuts, featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.

1973 – Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” begins a week as the No. 1 single.

1979 – The Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1984 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham!, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS exactly one day after publicly disclosing that he is HIV positive. He was 45 years old.

1997 – Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of TV’s “Judge Judy.” The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.

2007 – Jay-Z climbs to the top of the Billboard album chart with “American Gangster,” his 10th chart-topping album. This ties the rapper to 2nd place with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums. Only The Beatles have had more, with 19. 

On This Day October 17

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On This Day October 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1913 – The moving assembly line is introduced at Ford Motor Company’s  Highland Park factory outside Detroit. Henry Ford’s invention allowed workers to build a Model T from scratch in 84 steps, cutting production time from 12.5 hours to six hours, and a year later to just 93 minutes.

1968 – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) adopts its film rating system. Movies are rated G for general audiences, M (which later becomes PG), R or X (for adults only).

1982 – “Cats” opens, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history. The musical is based the T.S. Eliot’s 1939 collection of poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” and features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

1985 – Four Palestinian terrorists hijack the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea. They kill a disabled American tourist, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, and order his body thrown overboard with his wheelchair.

2001 – President George W. Bush announces that a U.S.-led coalition has begun attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with an intense bombing campaign by American and British forces. The campaign, in retaliation for terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. three weeks earlier (9/11), is known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

2003 – “Terminator” actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor of California, replacing Gray Davis — the first U.S. governor to be recalled by the public since 1921. Affectionately called “The Governator,” he is reelected in 2006.

On This Day September 27

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On this Day July 25

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On this Day June 9

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – The hottest single in the U.S. is “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley. The novelty hit holds the No. 1 spot for six weeks.

1962 – “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” by Ray Charles, is in its second week as a No. 1 single. It retains the top spot for five weeks. Across the pond, the track hits the top of the U.K. singles chart that July and holds there for two weeks.

1972 – Elvis Presley plays his first concert in New York City — the first of four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. The performances are recorded for later release on the “Elvis As Recorded at Madison Square Garden” album.

1972 – One month after auditioning for Columbia Records, Bruce Springsteen is signed by the label and begins assembling his E Street Band. His debut album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” comes out in January 1973.

1979 – The Bee Gees reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the ninth time with “Love You Inside Out.” It becomes the sibling trio’s final chart-topper.

1984 – Cyndi Lauper begins a two-week run on top of the Billboard singles chart with “Time After Time,” off her debut album, “She’s So Unusual.” The track earns a Song of the Year Grammy nomination.

1990 – “Hold On,” by Wilson Phillips, clinches the top spot on the pop chart. The track goes on to win the Billboard Music Award for 1990 Hot 100 Single of the Year and is nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy.

1998 – The Ronettes (“Be My Baby,” “Walking In The Rain”) appear in court for their lawsuit against producer Phil Spector, whom they allege breached their 34-year-old contract by failing to pay royalties since 1963. Although The Ronettes win the case, the New York State Court of Appeals later overturns the decision, saying Spector had unconditional rights to their recordings.

2001 – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink have the No. 1 single with their cover of Labelle’s 1974 smash, “Lady Marmalade.”