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 April 9

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Nashville Skyline

Bob Dylan

GOLD: Greatest Hits

ABBA

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Gene Kranz

West Side Story

Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn, and directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise

Paul Robeson: A Biography

Martin Duberman

Panic Room

Starring Jodie Foster, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Kristen Stewart, and directed by David Fincher

On This Day March 31

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.

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Oklahoma!

Starring Gordon Macrae, Gloria Grahame and Shirley Jones, and directed by Fred Zinnemann

To Selena, With Love

Chris Perez

Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It

Jill Jonnes

Raging Bull

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Partridge Family: The Complete Series

Starring Shirley Jones and David Cassidy

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day March 20

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Pearl

Janis Joplin

I Love Rock N' Roll

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Cold War Roadshow

Directed by Robert Stone and Tim B. Toidze

Selma 1965: The March That Changed The South

Charles Fager

Into the Wild

Starring Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt, and directed by Sean Penn

Do the Right Thing

Starring Ossie Davis, Danny Aiello and Giancarlo Esposito, and directed by Spike Lee

On This Day March 15

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The Beatles

The Very Best of The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers

Caesar: Life of a Colossus

Adrian Goldsworthy

Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy

Gary May

Independence Day

Starring Bill Pullman, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, and directed by Roland Emmerich

Elephunk

The Black Eyed Peas

On This Day January 22

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On Broadway

The Drifters

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Nancy Sinatra

Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade

Clarke D. Forsythe

The Unabomber Manifesto: Industrial Society and Its Future

Theodore Kaczynski

Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke

Peter Guralnick

The Exorcist

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by William Friedkin

On This Day January 8

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Rubber Soul

The Beatles

H2O

Hall & Oates

Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered

Dianne Hales

Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History

Michael L. Gillette

Elvis: The Beginning

Elvis Presley

A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking

On This Day January 4

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Elvis 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

The Best of Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton

Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

John Andrew

The Nixon Tapes

Richard M. Nixon

In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003

R.E.M.

Sabrina

Starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear, and directed by Sydney Pollack

On This Day November 30

History Highlights

1965 – Consumer advocate Ralph Nader publishes “Unsafe at Any Speed,” a book that singles out the Chevy Corvair while criticizing U.S. auto safety standards. It immediately becomes a bestseller and prompts passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, seat belt laws in 49 states (all but New Hampshire) and other highway safety initiatives.

1967 – Senator Eugene McCarthy, who advocated for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War, declares that he will challenge President Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic Party nomination. However, four months later, Johnson announces that he is not seeking re-election.

1971 – The made-for-television movie “Brian’s Song” premieres on ABC, starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears running back who is stricken with terminal cancer, and Billy Dee Williams as his teammate, Gale Sayers. It leaves audiences sobbing with its compelling portrayal of the strong friendship the two athletes form. The movie captures five Emmy Awards.

1977 – After nearly four decades with CBS News, anchor Eric Sevareid retires. Sevareid was among a group of elite war correspondents hired by legendary CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, and nicknamed “Murrow’s Boys.” He was the first to report the Fall of Paris when the city was captured by the Germans in World War II.

1993 – President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Bill into law, requiring a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.

Celebrity Birthdays

1835 – Author Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, best known for his classic American novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” (d. 1910)

1874 – Winston Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is born in Oxfordshire, England. (d. 1965) 

1918 – Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (“77 Sunset Strip,” “The F.B.I.”) (d. 2014)

1927 – Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his role as the butler in the ABC sitcom “Benson”

1929 – Legendary TV host and producer Dick Clark, born Richard Wagstaff Clark, who is credited with such popular shows as “American Bandstand,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” among others. (d. 2012)

1937 – Emmy-winning director-producer Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down,” “American Gangster,” “The Martian”)

1947 – Tony-winning playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet (“The Verdict,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Wag the Dog,” “Ronin”)

1952 – Emmy and Tony-winning actor Mandy Patinkin (“Yentl,” “The Princess Bride,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland,” “Chicago Hope,” “Criminal Minds”)

1955 – Rock singer-guitarist Billy Idol, born William Albert Michael Broad (“Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “Rock the Cradle of Love”)

1965 – Emmy-winning actor, director and comedian Ben Stiller (“Reality Bites,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Zoolander,” the “Meet the Parents” trilogy, “DodgeBall,” “Tropic Thunder,” the “Madagascar” series, the “Night at the Museum” trilogy, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)

1978 – Singer and “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken, born Clayton Holmes Grissom

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The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Unsafe At Any Speed

Ralph Nader

Brian's Song

Starring James Caan, Billy Dee Williams and Jack Warden, and directed by Buzz Kulik

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Chris Sarandon, and directed by Rob Reiner

Night at the Museum

Starring Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino and Dick Van Dyke, and directed by Shawn Levy

On This Day November 3

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Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best Of The Crystals

The Crystals

No More Drama

Mary J. Blige

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

Matthew Brzezinski

The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)

Robert A. Caro

One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building

Judith Dupré

The Great Escape

Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, and directed by John Sturges

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Starring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw, and directed by Steven Spielberg

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