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 September 29

History Highlights

1941 – The Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children begins on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The two-day bloodbath becomes a symbol of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust.

1966 – General Motors rolls out the sporty Chevy Camaro in an effort to go head-to-head with the popular Ford Mustang, which debuted two years earlier.

1988 – NASA launches the so-called “Return to Flight Mission” — the first space shuttle launch since the devastating Challenger explosion that claimed the lives of all seven crew members in January 1986. STS-26 marks the seventh flight for shuttle Discovery.

1988 – Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.

1995 – President Bill Clinton posthumously awards voting rights advocate Willie Velasquez the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Velasquez and the organizations he founded are credited with dramatically increasing political awareness and participation among the Hispanic communities of the Southwestern U.S.

2005 – New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from a federal detention center after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

2008 – Congress fails to pass a $700 billion bank bailout plan, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting nearly 780 points — at the time, the largest single-day point loss in history. The free fall follows the bankruptcies of Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers, Savings and Loan bank Washington Mutual and the Fed’s pledge to extend an $85 billion bailout for insurance provider AIG.

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Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

Rick Bragg

Purple Rain

Prince

In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures behind the Holocaust by Bullets

Father Patrick Desbois

Beyond the Limits: A Woman's Triumph on Everest

Stacy Allison

The Essential Gene Autry

Gene Autry

Blazing Saddles

Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens and Madeline Kahn, and directed by Mel Brooks

On this Day July 8

Musical Milestones

1957 – “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley begins a seven-week run on top of the singles chart. Two months earlier, Elvis was king of the pop chart with “All Shook Up,” which spent eight weeks at No. 1.

1958 – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards the first official Gold album (for achieving sales of $1 million). It goes to the cast album for the stage production of “Oklahoma!” featuring Gordon MacRae. 

1967 – The Monkees begin a 29-date concert tour with The Jimi Hendrix Experience as the opening act. However, Hendrix is dropped after eight performances because the producers felt his act was not suitable for their “teeny-bopper” audiences.

1970 – “The Everly Brothers Show” starts an 11-week prime-time run on ABC- TV. 

1972 – Bill Withers scores the first and only No. 1 hit of his career when “Lean On Me” reaches the top of the pop chart. It holds that position for three weeks. 

1978 – Gerry Rafferty’s “City To City” reaches the top of the Billboard album chart, dethroning the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack which occupied that spot for nearly six months.

1989 – “Good Thing,” by Fine Young Cannibals, begins a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is the second chart-topper from the band’s “The Raw & The Cooked” album. Three months earlier, “She Drives Me Crazy” claimed the top spot.

1995 – TLC flows to the top of the Billboard pop chart with “Waterfalls.” The song remains at No. 1 for seven weeks.

2000 – Enrique Iglesias begins his third and final week on top of the singles chart with “Be With You.”

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The Raw & The Cooked

Fine Young Cannibals

CrazySexyCool

TLC

Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the Government's Biggest Cover-Up

Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt

Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident

Francis Gary Powers

Footloose

Starring Kevin BaconLori Singer and John Lithgow, and directed by Herbert Ross

The Karate Kid

Starring Jaden SmithJackie Chan, and directed by Harald Zwart