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.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

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 April 12

Musical Milestones

1954 – Bill Haley and his Comets record “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” at Pythian Temple studios in New York City. The song, widely credited with bringing rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream, becomes a worldwide No. 1 and the biggest-selling pop single, with sales exceeding 25 million. 

1963 – Bob Dylan performs his first major solo concert at Town Hall in Manhattan. Dylan’s 24-song set includes “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Highway 51” and “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie.”

1969 – The 5th Dimension soar to the top of the singles chart with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” which holds at No. 1 for six weeks.

1973 – Stevie Wonder is just 23 years old when he makes a guest appearance on the children’s television show Sesame Street. Wonder interacts with several beloved characters in segments throughout the program, including Grover, whom he teaches how to sing. He also performs his smash hit, “Superstition.”

1975 – Elton John claims the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks with “Philadelphia Freedom,” a song he wrote for his good friend, international tennis legend Billie Jean King.  “Philadelphia Freedom” is the name of the tennis team that King coached at the time.

1986 – Falco wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard singles chart with “Rock Me Amadeus.”

1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” by Puff Daddy featuring Mase, is in the midst of a six-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – 50 Cent rules the singles chart with “In da Club,” which remains at No. 1 for nine weeks. 

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Best of Bill Haley & His Comets: The Millennium Collection

Bill Haley & His Comets

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

Geoffrey C. Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Could It Be Forever? My Story

David Cassidy

When a Man Loves a Woman

Starring Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan and Lauren Tom, and directed by Luis Mandoki

On This Day December 10

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy

Robert K. Oermann

The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer

The Beach Boys

Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World

Jay Nordlinger

The Cider House Rules

Starring Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Paul Rudd, and directed by Lasse Hallström

The Partridge Family (Season One)

Starring David Cassidy, Shirley Jones, Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

On This Day November 21

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Come On, Get Happy! The Very Best of The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

A Night at the Opera

Queen

The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Gay Talese

Dallas (Classic Series), Seasons 1 & 2

Starring Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Barbara Bel Geddes, Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal

It Ain't Over . . . Till It's Over

Marlo Thomas

Caddyshack

Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight, and directed by Harold Ramis

On This Day September 25

History Highlights

1959 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev kicks off two days of meetings with President Dwight Eisenhower at Camp David. The two men reach general agreement on several issues, but a spy plane incident in May 1960 crushes any hopes for further improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Eisenhower years.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy gives his “Sword of Damocles” speech before the United Nations General Assembly. He outlines the threat nuclear weapons had on the world, and challenges the Soviet Union to a “peace race…until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.” 

1963 – The first in a series of 1960s teen beach movies is launched when “Beach Party,” starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, opens in U.S. theaters. 

1978 – Tragedy erupts in the skies over San Diego as a small Cessna aircraft being used for flying lessons collides with a Pacific Southwest Airlines 727 (PSA Flight 182). The accident kills 153 people, including seven on the ground, and 22 homes where the burning jet fell are damaged or destroyed. 

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in as the first female associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1997 – NBC’s prime time medical drama “ER,” which supercharged George Clooney’s acting career, opens its fourth season with live performances — first for East coast viewers and a second time for its West coast audience. The episode, entitled “Ambush,” draws a record 42.7 million viewers, becoming the series’ highest rating ever. “ER” aired for a total of 15 seasons, making it the longest-running primetime medical drama.

Celebrity Birthdays

1897 – Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner (“‘The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying”) (d. 1962)

1929 – Retired Emmy-winning TV journalist-host Barbara Walters, the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news broadcast

1944 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor Michael Douglas (“The Streets of San Francisco,” “The China Syndrome,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Wall Street,” “The War of the Roses,” “Falling Down,” “The American President,” “Wonder Boys,” “Last Vegas”)

1947 – Supermodel-actress Cheryl Tiegs, remembered for adorning covers of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” and for her 1978 “Pink Bikini” poster, which became an iconic image of 1970s pop culture

1951 – Actor Mark Hamill, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” movies

1952 – Actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in a 1995 horse-riding accident (“Superman,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Deathtrap,” “The Remains of the Day”) (d. 2004)

1961 – Actress Heather Locklear (“TJ Hooker,” “Melrose Place,” “Spin City”)

1968 – Grammy-winning actor-rapper Will Smith (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” “Ali,” “I, Robot,” “I Am Legend,” “Hancock,” “After Earth,” “Suicide Squad”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (“The Mask of Zorro,” “Entrapment,” “Traffic,” “Chicago,” “Oceans Twelve,” “The Terminal”)

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Partridge Family (Season 1)

Starring Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Jeremy Gelbwaks and Dave Madden

Abracadabra

The Steve Miller Band

Khrushchev's Cold War

Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali

Beach Party / Bikini Beach

Starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello

The American President

Starring Michael DouglasAnnette Bening and Martin Sheen, and directed by Rob Reiner

Enemy of the State

Starring Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight, and directed by Tony Scott