On This Day February 15

Musical Milestones

1964 – “Meet The Beatles!” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, becoming The Beatles’ first chart-topping album in the U.S. It holds the top spot for eleven weeks and sells more than four million copies by the end of that year.

1965 – The Beatles record “Another Girl” and “Ticket to Ride” for the “Help!” album. Earlier that day, John Lennon earns a personal ticket to ride by passing his driving test. 

1965 – Entertainer Nat King Cole (“Unforgettable,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “The Christmas Song,” “Mona Lisa”), who earned early acclaim as a jazz pianist and became the first African American performer to host a network TV variety show, dies of lung cancer at the age of 45.

1969 – Sly & the Family Stone rule the Billboard singles chart with “Everyday People,” which remains at No. 1 for four weeks.

1975 – “You’re No Good,” by Linda Ronstadt, is the No. 1 single.

1984 – Beloved actress-singer Ethel Merman, best known for her rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” dies at the age of 75.

1986 – “How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston, becomes the most popular single in the U.S. for two weeks.

1992 – One-hit-wonder Right Said Fred is in the middle of three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Too Sexy.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

History Highlights

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana (Cuba) Harbor, killing more than 260 crewmen. The incident prompts the U.S. to declare war on Spain. 

1903 – The first teddy bear, named for U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, goes on sale. Toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window after personally getting Roosevelt’s permission to name them after him.

1933 – Two weeks before his inauguration, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt is fired upon by a would-be assassin after giving a speech in Miami. FDR is unharmed, but a bullet strikes Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who dies three weeks later.

1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. 

1978 – Leon Spinks takes the heavyweight boxing champion title away from defending champ Muhammad Ali in a split decision in Las Vegas. 

1985 – “The Breakfast Club” opens in U.S. theaters. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy — members of the so-called “Brat Pack” — it becomes an ’80s movie classic. In 2016, the film is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1998 – Racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.”

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Help!

The Beatles

Love Songs

Nat King Cole

One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, And The Myth Of The Heavyweight Title

John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Crack Ups

Carol Burnett

The Simpsons: Season 1

Starring Albert Brooks and Maggie Roswell, and directed by Brad Bird and David Silverman

On this Day August 18

Musical Milestones

1962 – “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” by Neil Sedaka, is Billboard’s top-ranked single. 

1962 – Two days after firing Pete Best, The Beatles introduce new drummer Ringo Starr in time for a performance in Birkenhead, England. Starr was no stranger to the band, having stood in on several occasions in Hamburg and Liverpool, where he primarily played for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

1969 – Jimi Hendrix brings the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to a memorable close with one of the most powerful, searing renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” ever recorded. While some believe that Hendrix improvised the electrified anthem on the spot, he had actually been experimenting with it for more than a year and would continue to play it until his untimely death in September 1970.

1973 – With “Touch Me in the Morning,” Diana Ross scores her second No. 1 single since leaving The Supremes.

1979 – “Good Times,” by Chic, tops the Billboard Hot 100. The disco standard is one of the most sampled tracks in music history, especially in hip hop. It is the band’s second No. 1 hit.

1984 – Ray Parker, Jr. continues to haunt the top spot on the pop chart with his theme from the movie “Ghostbusters.” The single spends three weeks at No. 1.

1990 – Mariah Carey is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Vision of Love.”

2001 – Alicia Keys kicks off three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Fallin,” which goes on to capture three Grammy Awards.

Celebrity Birthdays

1927 – Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

1933 – Director Roman Polanski, born Raimund Polanski, whose first American movie was 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby”

1936 – Oscar-winning actor, director, producer and Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford (“Barefoot in the Park,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Candidate,” “The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” “All the President’s Men,” “Ordinary People,” “Out of Africa,” “Legal Eagles,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”)

1943 – Actor-comedian Martin Mull (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Fernwood 2 Night,” ” Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Two and a Half Men”)

1952 – Actor Patrick Swayze (“Red Dawn,” “Uncommon Valor,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” “Donnie Darko”) (d. 2009)

1957 – Actor-comedian Denis Leary (“True Crime,” the “Ice Age” movie series, “Rescue Me,” “Recount,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Draft Day,” “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”)

1969 – Golden Globe-winning actor Christian Slater (“The Legend of Billie Jean,” “Heathers,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “True Romance,” “Murder in the First,” “Mr. Robot”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actor-director Edward Norton (“Primal Fear,” “American History X,” “Fight Club,” “The Italian Job,” “The Illusionist,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

1970 – Actor-director Malcolm-Jamal Warner, best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show”

1978 – Golden Globe-winning comedian, actor, musician and “SNL” alum Andy Samberg (“Hot Rod,” “I Love You, Man,” “That’s My Boy,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” the “Hotel Transylvania” movies, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”)

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Neil Sedaka: The Definitive Collection

Neil Sedaka

All The Great Hits / Diana Ross

Diana Ross

The Woman's Hour

Elaine Weiss

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov

Barefoot in the Park

Starring Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and Charles Boyer, and directed by Gene Saks

Fight Club

Starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by  David Fincher