On This Day April 11

Musical Milestones

1960 – Movie music dominates the pop chart as Percy Faith’s “Theme From A Summer Place” remains at No. 1 for an eighth consecutive week. The track holds the top spot for a total of nine weeks and goes on to capture a Grammy for Record of the Year.

1964 – “Can’t Buy Me Love,” by The Beatles, is in the middle of five weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. It is the Fab Four’s last hit before their break-up.

1981 – Rocker Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time”) tie the knot, The marriage lasts until 2007, when their divorce is finalized.

1981 – Darryl Hall & John Oates have the No. 1 single in the U.S. with “Kiss on My List.” The song remains on top of that list for three weeks.

1988 – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley (of The Righteous Brothers) perform “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” at the Academy Awards. The song, from the “Dirty Dancing” movie soundtrack, becomes the third one by Warnes to capture an Oscar.

1992 – “Save the Best for Last,” by Vanessa Williams, is parked at the summit of the Billboard Hot 100. It holds the top spot for five weeks.

1998 – “All My Life,” by R&B duo K-Ci & JoJo, is midway through a three-week domination of the Billboard pop chart.

2006 – June Pointer, the youngest of the four Pointer Sisters, who went from teenage gospel singers to the top of the pop chart with hits like “‘Fire,” “Slow Hand” and “I’m So Excited,” dies of cancer at the age of 52.

2009 – The Billboard Hot 100 deals Lady Gaga a favorable hand as “Poker Face” begins a week at No. 1. The track, which also tops the charts in 19 other countries, wins Best Dance Recording honors at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

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Let It Be

The Beatles

Dirty Dancing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Various Artists

Beyond the Last Path: A Buchenwald Survivor's Story

Eugene Weinstock

The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years

Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot

J. Randy Taraborrelli

The Soul Sessions

Joss Stone

On This Day December 26

History Highlights

1898 – In a landmark moment for chemistry and physics, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie publish a paper announcing their discovery of the element of radium (Ra). The groundbreaking discovery later garners the husband and wife team the Nobel Prize.

1946 – Mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, aiming to establish a stylish and cosmopolitan gambling destination in the Nevada desert. Siegel closes the resort just two weeks later due to lackluster business, and the following June, he is killed in a mob hit. After undergoing multiple ownership changes through the years, the Flamingo is still in operation as the oldest casino on the Vegas Strip.

1966 – Kwanzaa is observed for the first time. The seven-day holiday with strong African roots was designed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, as a celebration of African American family, community and culture.

1972 – Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president, dies in Independence, Missouri at the age of 88.

1973 – “The Exorcist” opens in movie theaters across the U.S., terrifying audiences and establishing a new standard for the horror genre. Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning movie is about a girl, played by Linda Blair, that is possessed by an evil spirit.

1974 – Cancer claims the life of beloved comedian Jack Benny at the age of 80.

1982 – TIME magazine breaks from tradition when the magazine’s editors replace the annual “Man of the Year” cover story with “Machine of the Year” and profile the personal computer.

1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder, Colorado home. Her murder becomes the focus one of most intensive and publicized police investigations in U.S. history and remains unsolved to this day.

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Super Fly

Curtis Mayfield

Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition

Keith A. Mayes

The Exorcist

Starring Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Ellen Burstyn, and directed by William Friedkin

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Mick Brown

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris

On This Day November 28

Musical Milestones

1925 – The Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest-lived and most popular showcases for country music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. At the time, it is known as the WSM Barn Dance.

1960 – Elvis Presley scores his 15th chart-topping single when “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” reaches No. 1 on the pop chart. It holds the top spot for six weeks.

1970 – Ex-Beatle George Harrison makes his solo Billboard chart debut with “My Sweet Lord,” a song he is later found guilty of having “subconsciously plagiarized” from Ronnie Mack’s “He’s So Fine,” which was a smash for The Chiffons.

1974 – John Lennon joins Elton John on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden for what becomes Lennon’s last concert appearance. He performs three songs: “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

1987 – The Bill Medley-Jennifer Warnes duet, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” is No. 1 on the singles chart.

1998 – “Lately,” by one-hit-wonder Divine, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a week.

2001 – Aretha Franklin sues the supermarket tabloid “Star” for $50 million dollars claiming that her reputation was damaged by a December 2000 article that alleged she had alcohol problems.

2007 – Kanye West and stuntman Evel Knievel settle a copyright dispute over West’s use of the name “Evel Kanyevel” in a music video. The 69-year-old daredevil claimed his image was harmed by the video’s “vulgar, sexual nature.” The clip for “Touch The Sky” shows the rap star attempting to cross a canyon on a rocket-powered motorcycle.

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ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Fire in the Grove

John C. Esposito

The Serial Killer Files

Harold Schechter

The Breakfast Club

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

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History

Chris Smith and Jon Stewart

On This Day November 14

History Highlights

1851 – Harper & Brothers publishes Herman Melville’s novel “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale,” a treasured piece of American literature about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, whose commander, Captain Ahab, goes on an obsessive quest for a white whale.

1941 – The Alfred Hitchcock romantic thriller “Suspicion” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. The film is nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but loses to “How Green Was My Valley.” However, Fontaine wins a Best Actress Oscar — the only Oscar performance ever in a Hitchcock movie.

1969 – Apollo 12 clears the launch pad at Cape Kennedy in Florida on its way to America’s second manned moon landing.

1970 – A chartered jet carrying most of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team crashes while preparing to land in Huntington, West Virginia, killing 37 players, the coach, doctors, the university athletic director, flight crew and 25 team boosters. The tragedy remains the worst sports-related air disaster in U.S. history. It inspired the 2006 movie, “We Are Marshall,” starring Matthew McConaughey.

1972 – Wall Street hits record territory when the Dow Jones Industrial Average tops the 1,000 mark for the first time.

1982 – Lech Walesa, leader of communist Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, is released after 11 months of internment near the Soviet border.

2006 – State officials close the last two of Texas’ beloved Pig Stands, the only remaining pieces of the nation’s first drive-in restaurant empire. The owners had filed for bankruptcy and owed the state more than $200,000 in back-taxes.

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The Greatest Hits: Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind

Ray Charles

Dirty Dancing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, The Ronettes, Eric Carmen and various other artists

Moby Dick

Herman Melville

We Are Marshall

Starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, and directed by McG

Copland Conducts Copland (Expanded Edition)

Aaron Copland

Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World

Charles, Prince of Wales

On this Day August 21

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Patsy Cline Showcase

Patsy Cline

An Officer and a Gentleman

Starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr., and directed by Taylor Hackford

Who Stole Mona Lisa?

Ruthie Knapp

Dirty Dancing

Starring Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach, and directed by Emile Ardolino

Number Ones

Kenny Rogers

The Matrix

Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by the Wachowski brothers