On This Day April 27

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – High school freshman Little Peggy March (born Margaret Annemarie Battavio) marches to the top of the Billboard singles chart with “I Will Follow Him.” The song remains at No. 1 for three weeks and makes March, at age 15, the youngest female singer to ever have a chart-topping hit.

1967 – Motown Records releases the Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell duet, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” which becomes a Top 20 hit. Diana Ross’ 1970 version rockets to the top of the pop chart, becoming her first No. 1 since leaving The Supremes. 

1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB and The Three Degrees, is the No. 1 single. 

1981 – Singer-songwriter and legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr weds actress Barbara Bach, best known for her roles in the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Force 10 from Navarone.”

1985 – “We Are The World,” the musical collaboration produced under the baton of Quincy Jones as a fundraiser for African famine relief, is in the middle of a four-week reign over the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby begins two weeks as the most popular single in the U.S.

1999 – British rockers The Verve, best known for their Grammy-nominated hit “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and the chart-topping singles “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Lucky Man,” announce their second breakup. The band re-forms in 2007, but by 2009, the musicians truly go their separate ways.

2002 – “Foolish,” off Ashanti’s self-titled debut album, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains at No. 1 for 10 weeks. The accompanying music video features actor Terrence Howard.

On This Day February 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1919 – The U.S. Congress passes an act establishing the Grand Canyon as a National Park in Arizona. 

1929 – The U.S. Congress establishes Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

1934 – President Franklin Roosevelt orders the creation of a Communications Commission, which would become the FCC later that year by an act of Congress.

1972 – A mining dam collapses, sending millions of gallons of black coal wastewater across a wide area of Logan County, West Virginia. The Buffalo Creek Disaster claims 125 lives and leaves 4,000 people homeless.

1993 – Six people are killed and more than 1,000 others are injured when a bomb, planted inside a parked van, explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The blast leaves a crater 150 feet wide and causes the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors. Six terrorists are eventually captured, tried and convicted for the attack.

1998 – A jury finds Oprah Winfrey not guilty in a $10 million defamation lawsuit brought by Texas cattle ranchers. The plaintiffs had accused the talk show host of harming the U.S. beef industry with a 1996 broadcast about mad cow disease. Exiting the courtroom, Winfrey exclaims, “Free speech not only lives, it rocks!”

2012 – Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen, is fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman while walking home from a Sanford, Florida convenience store. The killing sparks a national outcry over race relations and self-defense gun laws, as Martin was unarmed when he was shot.

On This Day February 8

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1828 – Author Jules Verne (“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth) (d. 1905)

1921 – Actress-sex symbol Lana Turner (“Peyton Place,” “Imitation of Life”) (d. 1995)

1922 – Actress Audrey Meadows (“The Honeymooners”) (d. 1996)

1925 – Actor Jack Lemmon (“Days of Wine and Roses.” “The Odd Couple.” “Grumpy Old Men”) (d. 2001)

1931 – Actor and pop culture icon James Dean (“East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant”) (d. 1955)

1932 – Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning movie soundtrack composer-conductor John Williams (“Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) 

1940 – Journalist and former ABC “Nightline” host Ted Koppel

1941 – Golden Globe-winning actor Nick Nolte (“48 Hours,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “The Prince of Tides,” “Cape Fear,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Graves”)

1942 – Standup comedian, singer and actor Robert Klein

1953 – Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen (“Melvin and Howard,” “Parenthood,” “Philadelphia,” “Back to the Future Part III,” “The Proposal,” “The Help”)

1955 – Attorney and bestselling novelist John Grisham (“The Firm,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Runaway Jury,” “A Time to Kill”) 

1968 – Child star Gary Coleman (“Diff’rent Strokes”) (d. 2010)

1974 – Actor-producer Seth Green (“Austin Powers” series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Family Guy,” “Robot Chicken”) 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – “Teen Angel,” by Mark Dinning, is the No. 1 single in the U.S.

1964 – On their first full day in the U.S., The Beatles tour New York City and pose for photos in Central Park.

1964 – The Beatles are in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1967 – Peter & Gordon (Peter Asher & Gordon Waller), the talent behind the 60s hits “A World Without Love,” “Lady Godiva” and “I Go To Pieces,” announce their breakup. Waller goes on to do solo recording and occasional acting until his death in 2009. Asher still performs today following a celebrated career as a manager/producer for artists including Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Randy Newman and 10,000 Maniacs.

1975 – The Ohio Players have a scorcher of a hit as “Fire” blazes its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. While it only spends a week at No. 1 on the singles chart, it smolders for five weeks on top of the soul chart.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For,” featuring Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, wraps up four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1990 – Suffering from depression, American singer-songwriter Del Shannon, best known for his 1961 smash “Runaway,” dies of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. 

1997 – Toni Braxton dominates the pop chart with”Un-Break My Heart.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, kicks off four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It’s Lopez’s fourth No. 1 and LL Cool J’s first.

On this Day July 4

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1953 – Eddie Fisher begins a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “I’m Walking Behind You.”

1964 – “I Get Around,” by the Beach Boys, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It holds the top spot for two weeks.

1969 – Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chuck Berry and other popular acts perform at the Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia.

1970 – A radio institution is born on this day. It’s “American Top 40” (“AT40”) with host Casey Kasem, a nationally syndicated program that counts down the 40 hottest singles in the U.S. according to Billboard magazine. The first countdown ends with the Jackson 5’s “The Love You Save,” then in its second and final week at No. 1. 

1981 – Kim Carnes tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week with “Bette Davis Eyes.”

1987 – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” by Whitney Houston, begins its second and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.

1992 – “Baby Got Back” puts Sir Mix-a-Lot on top of the pop chart for five weeks. The track becomes the second best-selling song of 1992, behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

2003 – Grammy-winning soul singer-songwriter Barry White (“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything”) — whose smooth, deep vocals dominated the pop chart throughout the 70s —  dies of kidney failure at the age of 58.