On this Day August 16

Musical Milestones

1962 – Twelve-year-old ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder releases his first single, “I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues),” which features Marvin Gaye on drums.

1969 – The world is introduced to the Jackson 5 by Diana Ross & The Supremes during a performance at the Los Angeles Forum.

1975 – Peter Gabriel announces that he’s leaving Genesis. After auditioning more than 400 singers over the next 18 months, the band selects its longtime drummer, Phil Collins, as new frontman.

1977 – Music legend Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack at the age of 42. The King’s career included 33 movies and 105 Top 40 hits that continue to entertain fans decades after his death. 

1980 – “Magic,” by Olivia Newton-John, is in the middle of a one-month reign of the Billboard Hot 100.

1985 – On her 27th birthday, Madonna weds actor Sean Penn in a Malibu ceremony described as a “media circus.” The marriage lasts four years. 

1986 – “Papa Don’t Preach” becomes Madonna’s fourth No. 1 single. It holds the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. The track is from her “True Blue” album, which begins its own five-week run atop the album chart this same day.

1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You, by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112, tops the Billboard Hot 100. The song samples  The Police’s 1983 hit song “Every Breath You Take.”

2018 – ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The self-taught piano prodigy, vocalist and songwriter notched 77 Hot 100 chart entries and earned 18 Grammys during her career. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Elvis Presley: The Man. The Life. The Legend.

Pamela Clarke Keogh

30 Greatest Hits

Aretha Franklin

1812: The Navy's War

George C. Daughan

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

Leigh Montville

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by Brian Gibson

Ordinary People

Starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch, and directed by Robert Redford

On this Day June 18

History Highlights

1812 – Frustrated by Britain’s maritime practices and support of Native American resistance to western expansion, U.S. President James Madison signs a declaration of war against Britain, authorized by Congress, that sets the War of 1812 into motion. However, U.S. troops suffer great losses on land and at sea against the stronger British army. In August 1814, British troops enter Washington, D.C. and burn the U.S. Capitol and the White House. By December, both the Americans and British end the conflict with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

1923 – The first Checker cab is produced at the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan and becomes part of a fleet rolling across the streets of Chicago. The iconic cab eventually serves big cities across the U.S. with a reputation for comfort and reliability. Checker production continues for 59 years until the last model rolls off the assembly line in July 1982. 

1961 – The Western series “Gunsmoke” is broadcast for the last time on CBS Radio.

1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-II agreement establishing limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty, which never formally takes effect, proves to be one of the most controversial U.S.-Soviet agreements of the Cold War.

1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space as she sets out on a six-day mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger. During her NASA career, Ride flew on two shuttle missions and later became a champion for science education and a role model for generations. 

1984 – Members of a white nationalist group called The Order shoot and kill controversial radio talk show host Alan Berg in the driveway of his Denver home.

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Rumours

Fleetwood Mac

Flashdance (Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture)

Irene Cara, Donna Summer, Michael Sembello and other artists

1812: The War That Forged a Nation

Walter R. Borneman

Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space

Lynn Sherr

Life Itself: A Memoir

Roger Ebert

Cousins

Starring Ted Danson and Isabella Rossellini, and directed by Joel Schumacher