On This Day April 21

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1956 – Elvis Presley scores his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel.” The song remains on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for eight weeks.

1962 – Elvis returns to the top of the singles chart with “Good Luck Charm.”

1973 – Tony Orlando and Dawn begin a four-week run on top of the singles chart with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree,” which becomes the hottest-selling single of the year.  

1984 – Phil Collins has the most popular single on the radio with the title track from the movie “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).” The song spends three weeks at No. 1. 

1990 – Paul McCartney sets a new world record for the largest concert audience for a solo artist. A total of 184,000 people attend the final show of his tour at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1990 – “Nothing Compares 2 U” lands Sinéad O’Connor on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. The song was written by Prince.

2008 – Soul singer-songwriter Al Wilson (“The Snake,” “Show and Tell”) dies of kidney failure at the age of 68. 

2016 – Pop megastar Prince dies of an accidental opioid overdose at his Paisley Park compound in suburban Minneapolis. He is just 57 years old, and news of his death sends shockwaves among millions of fans around the world. More than 150 million of the Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner’s records have sold internationally,  ranking Prince among the best-selling musicians of all time.

On This Day March 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights
Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – “Walk Like a Man,” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. It is the band’s third chart-topping hit.

1967 – The Beatles win three Grammys for records issued the previous year: Best Song for “Michelle,” Best Vocal Performance for “Eleanor Rigby” and Best Cover Artwork for the album design of “Revolver” by Klaus Voormann.

1974 – “Seasons in the Sun,” by one-hit wonder Terry Jacks, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and stays there for three weeks.

1974 – At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder captures five honors: Album of the Year and Best Engineered Recording for “Innervisions,” Best R&B Song and Best Vocal for “Superstition,” and Pop Vocal Performance for “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

1974 – Roberta Flack wins Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammys for “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The track also garners a Song of the Year Grammy for its writers, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox.

1985 – “Careless Whisper,” by Wham! featuring George Michael, begins its third and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart.

1985 – Sheena Easton becomes the first musical artist ever to land Top 10 hits on the pop, R&B, country, dance and adult contemporary charts when “Sugar Walls,” written by Prince, reaches No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. That is the song that sparked the Parental Advisory music labeling system (listen carefully to the lyrics and you’ll know why).

1999 – Acclaimed British pop vocalist Dusty Springield (“I Only Want To Be With You,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”) dies at the age of 59 following a five-year battle with breast cancer.

2002 – “Always on Time,” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, enters its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

On This Day September 5

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – Sam Houston is elected president of the Republic of Texas, which earned its independence from Mexico in a successful military rebellion.

1958 – Boris Pasternak’s romantic novel, “Doctor Zhivago,” is published in the United States. The book was banned in the Soviet Union, but goes on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 and is the basis of the Oscar-winning 1965 movie starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.

1966 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Telethon debuts. The live fundraiser was hosted every Labor Day weekend through 2011 by comedian Jerry Lewis. 

1972 – The world watches in horror as news unfolds about a massacre at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, where Palestinian terrorists murder 11 Israeli athletes. Many cite this tragedy as ushering in the modern age of terrorism.

1975 – An assassination attempt against President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California is thwarted by a Secret Service agent who wrests a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol from Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson. Fromme is paroled in 2009 after 34 years in prison.

1986 – A Pan Am flight from Bombay, India to New York (Pan Am Flight 73) is hijacked by four armed Palestinian men during a scheduled stop in Karachi, Pakistan. Twenty people are killed aboard the 747 jumbo jet — among them, flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who is posthumously honored with India’s highest peacetime award for bravery for protecting many of the 360 survivors.

2006 – Katie Couric debuts as the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast, the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” and draws an audience of 13.6 million viewers. Couric, who served as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show from 1991 to 2006, succeeded longtime anchor Dan Rather.