On This Day April 7

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The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon

Make It Big

Wham!

John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail

Tim McGrath

True Grit

Starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, and directed by Henry Hathaway

The Essential Billie Holiday: The Columbia Years

Billie Holiday

A Beautiful Mind

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, and directed by Ron Howard

On This Day March 26

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At the Speed of Sound

Wings, featuring Paul McCartney

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Jonas Salk: A Life

Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs

Creating the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: The Inside Story

 Robert W. Doubek

I Am Spock

Leonard Nimoy

The Imitation Game

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode, and directed by Morten Tyldum

On This Day March 4

Musical Milestones

1963 – The Beach Boys release “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which climbs as high as No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart. The The song features Brian Wilson’s lyrics set to the music of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

1966 – During an interview with the British newspaper London Evening Standard, John Lennon says of The Beatles: “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” The remark sets off an international furor when reprinted a few months later in an American teen magazine, with some radio stations refusing to play Beatles records and others burning them.

1967 – “Beggin’,” the 33rd hit single for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, lands on the Billboard pop chart, eventually climbing to No. 16.

1967 – “Ruby Tuesday,” by The Rolling Stones, begins a week as the No. 1 single. Brian Jones plays recorder on the track while the double bass is played jointly by bassist Bill Wyman pressing the strings against the fingerboard and Keith Richards bowing the strings.

1978 – Andy Gibb sails to the top of the singles chart with “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.” The song remains at No. 1 for two weeks.

1989 – Debbie Gibson starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Lost in Your Eyes.”

1995 – Madonna is in the midst of a seven-week ride at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Take a Bow,” off her “Bedtime Stories” album.

2000 – Nashville-based country music band Lonestar claims the top spot on the pop chart with “Amazed.” The single holds at No. 1 for two weeks.

2006 – “Check on It,” by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug, begins its fifth and final week as a No. 1 single. 

History Highlights

1925 – The second inauguration of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge is the first to be nationally broadcast. More than 20 radio stations carry the event to an estimated 23 million listeners, including many children whose school auditoriums were specially equipped with speakers. 

1933 – During the height of the Great Depression, an estimated 150,000 spectators gather on the east grounds of the U.S. Capitol as Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd U.S. president. FDR tells Americans, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1933 – Newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Frances Perkins Secretary of Labor, making her the first female member of the U.S. cabinet.

1960 – Actress Lucille Ball divorces her husband and collaborator, Desi Arnaz, after 20 tumultuous years of marriage. The breakup of the couple, stars of the hit sitcom “I Love Lucy” and owners of Desilu Studios, becomes one of the highest-profile divorces in American history at that time.

1974 – People magazine makes its debut on American newsstands, featuring actress Mia Farrow on the cover.

1989 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announce plans to merge into the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate. 

1994 – Comedic actor John Candy (“Splash,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Uncle Buck,” “Home Alone”) dies of a heart attack at 43 while filming a movie in Mexico.

2005 – Billionaire mogul Martha Stewart is released from a federal prison in West Virginia after serving five months and paying a $30,000 fine for lying and obstructing justice in a 2001 stock sale. Stewart serves five months of home confinement at her Bedford, New York estate and then faces two years probation.

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Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The Rolling Stones

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Uncle Buck

Starring John Candy and directed by John Hughes

The Martha Rules

Martha Stewart

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Violin Concertos)

Itzhak Perlman with the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras

Beetlejuice

Starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Catherine O’Hara, and directed by Tim Burton

On This Day January 18

Musical Milestones

1944 – The first jazz concert — known as the Esquire All-American Jazz Concert — is held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden and Billie Holiday.

1960 – Johnny Preston starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Running Bear,” a song written by J. P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper”). The song was released shortly after Richardson’s death in the February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

1964 – The Beatles make their U.S. singles chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters at No. 45. It goes on to spend seven weeks at No. 1. 

1975 – Barry Manilow scores his first chart-topping single when “Mandy” reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, is the No. 1 single. The track, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year Grammys.

1989 – At 38 years of age, Stevie Wonder becomes the youngest living person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has excellent company, as other inductees in his class include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations and Dion (DiMucci).

1992 – Michael Jackson wraps up seven weeks as a chart-topper with “Black or White,” off his “Dangerous” album.

2003 – Eminem finds himself on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for another week with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” soundtrack.

History Highlights

1778 – British explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he lands at Waimea on the island of Kauai and names the island cluster the Sandwich Islands, after the voyage’s sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich.

1919 – Leaders of the Allied powers — the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy — convene in Versailles, France to begin the long and complex negotiations that would pave the way for the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Conference, as it is known, leads to creation of the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping organization.

1975 – The sitcom “The Jeffersons,” one of several spin-offs from TV’s groundbreaking “All in the Family,” premieres on CBS and becomes a ratings bonanza of its own during an 11-season run. Another Norman Lear creation, it stars Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as a successful African-American couple adjusting to life on Manhattan’s ritzy East Side after leaving their modest Queens neighborhood.

1977 – Scientists identify the cause of a mysterious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 34 people at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. 

1990 – An FBI sting leads to the arrest of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for possession of crack cocaine. After serving six months in federal prison, the so-called “mayor for life” makes one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics in 1994 when D.C. residents elect him to a fourth term as mayor.

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Esquire All-American Jazz Concert

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends

Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Margaret MacMillan

Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

To Catch A Thief

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Jessie Royce Landis, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Dances with Wolves

Starring Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell, and directed by Kevin Costner

On This Day November 23

Musical Milestones

1936 – Blues legend Robert Johnson lays down his first-ever musical recordings — eight songs in a single session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The tracks include “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and his biggest hit, “Terraplane Blues.” 

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You,” by Dale & Grace, is the hottest song on the radio.

1974 – Billy Swan is on top of the singles chart for two weeks with the only hit of his singing career: “I Can Help.”

1974 – The Rolling Stones score their fifth No. 1 album with “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” — the last Stones album for guitarist Mick Taylor, who was replaced by Ronnie Wood. 

1976 – Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested for the second time in as many days. First it was drunk driving, but on this day he’s busted for brandishing a pistol outside Graceland while demanding to see Elvis.

1985 – Starship begin their second and final week orbiting around the top spot on the pop chart with “We Built This City.”

1991 – Michael Bolton’s cover of Percy Sledge’s 1966 classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later goes on to capture a Grammy Award.

1995 – Soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker, best known for the hits “How Sweet It Is” and “What Does It Take, To Win Your Love, dies of cancer at the age of 64. Walker also played sax on Foreigner’s 1981 hit “Urgent.”

2002 – Eminem rules the Billboard singles chart with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” movie soundtrack. The song holds at No. 1 for 12 weeks.

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It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

The Rolling Stones

The Essential Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton

LIFE 75 Years: The Very Best of LIFE

Editors of LIFE

I Dream of Jeannie (Season 1)

Starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Frankenstein

Starring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive, and directed by James Whale

Harpo Speaks!

Harpo Marx with Rowland Barber

On This Day November 13

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A Night on the Town

Rod Stewart

Business As Usual

Men At Work

The Killing of Karen Silkwood

Richard Rashke

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

Bernard Edelman

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson

Pretty Woman

Starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and directed by Garry Marshall

On This Day November 6

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Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The Rolling Stones

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves

Cher

The Life of Abraham Lincoln

Henry Ketcham

Universal Studios Hollywood

Kelly Monaghan

The Graduate

Starring Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross, and directed by Mike Nichols

Smokey and the Bandit

Starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, and directed by Hal Needham

On This Day October 25

History Highlights

1962 – Tensions escalate between the United States and Soviet Union over the Cuban Missile Crisis. During a U.N. Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson demands that his Soviet counterpart confirm whether his country is installing missiles in Cuba, saying, “I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over.”

1971 –  Sixteen years after Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California, the official dedication of Walt Disney World takes place in Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney’s brother, Roy O. Disney, and Mickey Mouse preside, followed by a grand opening parade through the Magic Kingdom. The celebration is taped for a special that airs on NBC four days later.

1982 – The sitcom “Newhart” premieres on CBS, starring Bob Newhart as an author and Vermont innkeeper.

1983 – The U.S. and its Caribbean allies invade Grenada just days after the island nation’s leader is killed in a coup.

1994 – In a case that garnered international attention, Susan Smith notifies South Carolina authorities that she was carjacked by a man who sped off with her two young boys still buckled in the back seat of her car. Nine days later, she confesses that she made up the story after driving her own car into a lake to drown the kids because she was having an affair with a man who did not want children. Smith is convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

2002 – Golden Globe and Grammy-winning actor and singer Richard Harris, whose career spanned six decades and included starring roles in movies like “Camelot” and the “Harry Potter” series, dies of cancer at age 72. Harris had a 1968 hit single, “MacArthur Park,” which Donna Summer later covered.

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Guilty

Barbra Streisand

True Colors

Cyndi Lauper

Adlai Stevenson: His Life and Legacy

Porter McKeever

The Disney Story: Chronicling the Man, the Mouse and the Parks

Aaron H. Goldberg

Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits (And More)

Helen Reddy

Dazed and Confused

Starring Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Adam Goldberg, and directed by Richard Linklater

On This Day October 21

Musical Milestones

1958 – Rock and roll legend Buddy Holly’s last recording session takes place in a New York City studio. Among the songs he records is “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” which was written by Paul Anka and becomes a No. 13 hit following Holly’s death in a February 1959 plane crash.

1967 – Lulu begins a five-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with the theme from the movie “To Sir With Love,” starring Sidney Poitier.

1972 – Curtis Mayfield begins four weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with the soundtrack to the movie “Super Fly.” Sales of the album, which contains the hits “Freddy’s Dead” and “Super Fly,” go on to surpass the movie’s box office performance.

1973 – “Angie” begins a week as a No. 1 single for The Rolling Stones. The track is from the band’s “Goats Head Soup” album and becomes their seventh U.S. chart-topper.

1989 – Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” is mid-way through a four-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

1995 – Mariah Carey holds on to the top spot on the pop chart for a fourth week with “Fantasy.” The track remains there for another four weeks.

2000 – “Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” becomes the third No. 1 single of Christina Aguilera’s music career. This track stays on top for four weeks.

2000 – Radiohead’s fourth album, “Kid A,” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

2006 – Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” marks its seventh and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart. The track captures a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2007.

History Highlights

1879 – Thomas Edison throws the switch on his newly invented incandescent lamp, which burns for nearly 14 hours.

1921 – President Warren Harding delivers a speech in Alabama condemning lynchings that were being committed primarily by white supremacists against African Americans in the Deep South. Harding is the first U.S. president to address the controversial subject.

1941 – Nazi troops massacre thousands of men, women and children across Yugoslavia in retaliation for that country’s rejection of an alliance with Germany.

1959 – The distinctive and world-renowned Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City. Designed by acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum houses one of the world’s top collections of contemporary art.

1959 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring renowned rocket engineer Wernher von Braun and his team from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Von Braun, who masterminded America’s space program, developed the lethal V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during World War II. 

1967 – In Washington, D.C., thousands of Vietnam War protesters stage a peaceful rally at the Lincoln Memorial before attempting to storm the Pentagon. Police arrest 250 of the demonstrators.

2014 – South African Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, is sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) in the 2013 death of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp. His sentence is later doubled by a higher court.

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The Best Of Buddy Holly: The Millennium Collection

Buddy Holly

Superfly

Curtis Mayfield

Empires of Light - Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World

Jill Jonnes

Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America

Annie Jacobsen

Dizzy Gillespie: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings

Dizzy Gillespie

Wishful Drinking

Carrie Fisher

On This Day October 20

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Monster Mash

Bobby “Boris” Pickett

All Time Greatest Hits

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies

M. Stanton Evans

Birdman of Alcatraz

Starring Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter and Telly Savalas and directed by John Frankenheimer

Dirty Dancing

Starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and Jerry Orbach, and directed by Emile Ardolino

Full Moon Fever

Tom Petty

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