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

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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 May 12

Celebrity Birthdays

1820 – Nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale (d. 1910)

1907 – Oscar-winning actress Katharine Hepburn (“The African Queen,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “On Golden Pond”) (d. 2003)

1925 – Baseball Hall of Fame player-coach-manager Yogi Berra (d. 2015)

1928 – Grammy and Oscar-winning composer-pianist Burt Bacharach (“The Look of Love,” “This Guy’s in Love with You,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “On My Own”)

1936 – Late-night TV talk show host Tom Snyder (“The Tomorrow Show,” “The Late Late Show”) (d. 2007)

1937 – Stand-up comedian and actor George Carlin (d. 2008)

1950 – Actor Gabriel Byrne (“Miller’s Crossing,” “The Usual Suspects,” “End of Days,” “In Treatment”)

1959 – Golden Globe-winning actor Ving Rhames (“Dave,” “Mission: Impossible” film series, “Pulp Fiction,” “Con Air,” “Don King: Only in America”)

1962 – ‘Brat Pack’ actor Emilio Estevez (“Repo Man,” “The Breakfast Club,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Stakeout,” “Young Guns,” “The Mighty Ducks”)

1978 – Actor Jason Biggs (“As The World Turns,” the “American Pie” movie series, “Orange is the New Black,” “Amateur Night”)

1981 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor and producer Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Mr. Robot,” “Night at the Museum”)

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The Very Best of The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers

The Barbra Streisand Album

Barbra Streisand

Images of America: New Jersey's Lindbergh Kidnapping and Trial

Mark W. Falzini and James Davidson

A.J.

A.J. Foyt and William Neely

The Philadelphia Story

Starring James Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by George Cukor

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy, and directed by John Hughes