On This Day March 4

Musical Milestones

1963 – The Beach Boys release “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which climbs as high as No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart. The The song features Brian Wilson’s lyrics set to the music of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

1966 – During an interview with the British newspaper London Evening Standard, John Lennon says of The Beatles: “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” The remark sets off an international furor when reprinted a few months later in an American teen magazine, with some radio stations refusing to play Beatles records and others burning them.

1967 – “Beggin’,” the 33rd hit single for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, lands on the Billboard pop chart, eventually climbing to No. 16.

1967 – “Ruby Tuesday,” by The Rolling Stones, begins a week as the No. 1 single. Brian Jones plays recorder on the track while the double bass is played jointly by bassist Bill Wyman pressing the strings against the fingerboard and Keith Richards bowing the strings.

1978 – Andy Gibb sails to the top of the singles chart with “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.” The song remains at No. 1 for two weeks.

1989 – Debbie Gibson starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Lost in Your Eyes.”

1995 – Madonna is in the midst of a seven-week ride at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Take a Bow,” off her “Bedtime Stories” album.

2000 – Nashville-based country music band Lonestar claims the top spot on the pop chart with “Amazed.” The single holds at No. 1 for two weeks.

2006 – “Check on It,” by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug, begins its fifth and final week as a No. 1 single. 

History Highlights

1925 – The second inauguration of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge is the first to be nationally broadcast. More than 20 radio stations carry the event to an estimated 23 million listeners, including many children whose school auditoriums were specially equipped with speakers. 

1933 – During the height of the Great Depression, an estimated 150,000 spectators gather on the east grounds of the U.S. Capitol as Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd U.S. president. FDR tells Americans, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1933 – Newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Frances Perkins Secretary of Labor, making her the first female member of the U.S. cabinet.

1960 – Actress Lucille Ball divorces her husband and collaborator, Desi Arnaz, after 20 tumultuous years of marriage. The breakup of the couple, stars of the hit sitcom “I Love Lucy” and owners of Desilu Studios, becomes one of the highest-profile divorces in American history at that time.

1974 – People magazine makes its debut on American newsstands, featuring actress Mia Farrow on the cover.

1989 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announce plans to merge into the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate. 

1994 – Comedic actor John Candy (“Splash,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Uncle Buck,” “Home Alone”) dies of a heart attack at 43 while filming a movie in Mexico.

2005 – Billionaire mogul Martha Stewart is released from a federal prison in West Virginia after serving five months and paying a $30,000 fine for lying and obstructing justice in a 2001 stock sale. Stewart serves five months of home confinement at her Bedford, New York estate and then faces two years probation.

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Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The Rolling Stones

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Uncle Buck

Starring John Candy and directed by John Hughes

The Martha Rules

Martha Stewart

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Violin Concertos)

Itzhak Perlman with the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras

Beetlejuice

Starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Catherine O’Hara, and directed by Tim Burton

On This Day December 24

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Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Soundtrack)

Bee Gees, The Trammps, KC and the Sunshine Band and others

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon

Jeffrey Kluger

Bob Hope on TV: Thanks for the Video Memories

Wesley Hyatt

Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

Peter Evans and Ava Gardner

Where Are the Children?

Mary Higgins Clark

On This Day December 6

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Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon

The Essential Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

Who Freed the Slaves?: The Fight over the Thirteenth Amendment

Leonard L. Richards

Washington's Monument and the Fascinating History of the Obelisk

John Steele Gordon

Bewitched - Season 1 & 2

Starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York

Poltergeist

Starring Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams and Beatrice Straight, and directed by Tobe Hooper

On this Day August 3

Musical Milestones

1963 – Allan Sherman releases his classic summer camp parody “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp).” Inspired by actual complaint letters that Sherman received from his son, Robert, while away at summer camp, the song climbs as high as No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

1968 – The Doors have the hottest single with “Hello, I Love You (Won’t You Tell Me Your Name).” It’s the band’s second chart-topper.

1971 – Paul McCartney announces the formation of his new band, Wings, featuring wife Linda and ex-Moody Blues member Denny Laine. 

1973 – Stevie Wonder releases “Innervisions,” playing virtually all the instruments on six of the album’s nine tracks.

1974 – “Annie’s Song,” by John Denver, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – “Shout,” by Tears for Fears, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the British duo’s second U.S. No. 1. 

1987 – Def Leppard releases “Hysteria,” which sells more than 25 million copies worldwide and becomes the band’s best-selling album to date. It spawns no less than seven hit singles, six of which make it to the Top 20.

1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” from the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” keeps Bryan Adams on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a second week. The track remains there for a total of seven weeks.

1996 – “Macarena,” by Los Del Rio, shimmies its way to the top of the Billboard pop chart and holds there for 14 weeks. Decades later, the song remains a favorite at wedding receptions, parties and sporting events.

2002 – Nelly burns up the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hot in Herre.” The track maintains a hold on the top spot for seven weeks.

History Highlights

1492 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus leads three sailing ships from Spain on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India and  the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, hours after the death of President Warren G. Harding.  A man of few words (he was nicknamed “Silent Cal”), Coolidge gains popularity as president, winning more than 54 percent of the popular vote when reelected in 1924.

1949 – The Basketball Association of America (BAA) merges with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). Six NBL teams join the 10 BAA teams, plus an expansion team in Indianapolis, with the new league divided into Eastern, Central and Western Divisions.

1958 – America’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. 

1977 – Roger Moore returns to the big screen as secret agent James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  The movie features a sleek, powerful Lotus Esprit sports car that doubles as a submarine. 

1981 – Some 13,000 unionized air traffic controllers (members of PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) walk off the job and days later are fired by President Ronald Reagan. 

2008 – The first published photos of former celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn twins go up on People magazine’s website, and two weeks later, are published in a 19-page photo spread. People won the rights to the photos after a bidding war that, according to some reports, reached as high as $14 million — the most ever paid for celebrity baby pictures. 

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Hysteria

Def Leppard

The Very Best of The Doors

The Doors

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Laurence Bergreen

The National Basketball League: A History, 1935-1949

Murry R. Nelson

The Classics

Tony Bennett

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche, and directed by John Landis

On this Day July 4

Musical Milestones

1953 – Eddie Fisher begins a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “I’m Walking Behind You.”

1964 – “I Get Around,” by the Beach Boys, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It holds the top spot for two weeks.

1969 – Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chuck Berry and other popular acts perform at the Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia.

1970 – A radio institution is born on this day. It’s “American Top 40” (“AT40”) with host Casey Kasem, a nationally syndicated program that counts down the 40 hottest singles in the U.S. according to Billboard magazine. The first countdown ends with the Jackson 5’s “The Love You Save,” then in its second and final week at No. 1. 

1981 – Kim Carnes tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week with “Bette Davis Eyes.”

1987 – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” by Whitney Houston, begins its second and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.

1992 – “Baby Got Back” puts Sir Mix-a-Lot on top of the pop chart for five weeks. The track becomes the second best-selling song of 1992, behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

2003 – Grammy-winning soul singer-songwriter Barry White (“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything”) — whose smooth, deep vocals dominated the pop chart throughout the 70s —  dies of kidney failure at the age of 58.

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All Summer Long

The Beach Boys

All-Time Greatest Hits

Barry White

The Declaration of Independence

U.S. Continental Congress

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

Jonathan Eig

North By Northwest

Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

The Odd Couple

Starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and directed by Gene Saks

On this Day June 2

Musical Milestones

History Highlights

1865 – Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. Smith’s surrender effectively dissolves the last Confederate army, formally ending the Civil War — the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizen Act, granting automatic American citizenship to Native Americans born in the United States. 

1935 – Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs.

1941 – Another baseball legend, Lou Gehrig, dies of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a rare type of paralysis commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

1953 – Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned in Westminster Abbey during the first televised coronation ceremony.

1979 – Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit a communist country when he tours his native Poland.

1989 – Moviegoers discover a serious side of comedian-actor Robin Williams when “Dead Poets Society” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Williams as a prep school English teacher. The performance garners Williams a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

1997 – Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He is later sentenced to death.

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Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vols 1 & 2

Ray Charles

Bad Girls

Donna Summer

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

Jonathan Eig

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Sally Bedell Smith

Tarzan The Ape Man

Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton and Maureen O’Sullivan, and directed by W.S. Van Dyke

Star Trek (2009)

Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg, and directed by J.J. Abrams

On this Day May 9

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The Definitive Collection

Louis Armstrong

The Best of The Guess Who

The Guess Who

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure

Admiral Richard E. Byrd

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution

Jonathan Eig

Terms of Endearment

Starring Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson and directed by James L. Brooks

The Essential Billy Joel

Billy Joel