On this day in 1983
Average Income: $28,638/yr
Minimum Wage: $3.35/hr
Today's Celebrity Birthdays
Actress (Pretty Little Liars) Sasha Pieterse, 22. Actress (10 Things I Hate About You) Meaghan Martin, 26. Actress (Harry Potter movies) Bonnie Wright, 27. Singer (Shape Of You) Ed Sheeran, 27. Actor (Glee) Chord Overstreet, 29. Actor (Elephant) Alex Frost, 31. Actress (Royal Pains)/ cartoon voicist (6Teen) Brooke D'Orsay, 36. Television producer/ personality (The Simple Life)/actress (The Hottie & the Nottie) Paris Hilton, 37. Actor (Inception) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 37. Actor (Joan of Arcadia)/ cartoon voicist (Gravity Falls) Jason Ritter, 38. Actor (Hacker) Zachary Bennett, 38. Actor (NCIS: Los Angeles) Jackson Hurst, 39. Actor (A History of Violence) Ashton Holmes, 40. Actress (Get Over It) Sadie LeBlanc, 41. Actress (Significant Mother)/writer/producer (Fuller House)/ director Erin Cardillo, 41. Actress (Nip/Tuck) Kelly Carlson, 42. Actor (The Imitation Game) Rory Kinnear, 42. Actor (Stand By Me) Jerry O'Connell, 44. Country music singer (Sittin’ On Go) Bryan White, 44. Green Day lead singer (Boulevard Of Broken Dreams) Billie Joe Armstrong, 46. Foo Fighters drummer (Best Of You) Taylor Hawkins, 46. Actress (Starship Troopers) Denise Richards, 47. Actor (Super Troopers) Michael Weaver, 47. Actor (Prison Break) Dominic Purcell, 48. Actress (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) Tuesday Knight, 49. Singer (Chanté’s Got A Man)/TV personality (R&B Divas: Los Angeles) Chanté Moore, 51. Actor (Jeepers Creepers, Everybody Wants Some!) Jonathan Breck, 53. Comedian/cartoon voicist (Cars) Larry the Cable Guy, 55. Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, 55. Actor (La Bamba, Courage Under Fire) Lou Diamond Phillips, 56. Actress (Sex and the City, The Flamingo Kid) Carole Davis, 60. Actor (Home Improvement, Picture Perfect) Richard Karn, 62. Model/actress (Ransom, Outbreak) Rene Russo, 64. Actress (Men in Black, Spider-Man 3) Becky Ann Baker, 65. Actor (Watchmen, Godzilla) Garry Chalk, 66. Actress (My Left Foot, A Time to Kill) Brenda Fricker, 73. Actress (Peyton Place, Surf Party) Patricia Morrow, 74. Actress (Notes on a Scandal, Shirley Valentine) Julia McKenzie, 77. Actress (Double Trouble, The Last of Sheila) Yvonne Romain, 80. Actress (Dancing in the Dark, The Wars) Martha Henry, 80. Actor (The Running Man, The Dirty Dozen)/Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, 82. Actress (St. Elsewhere, Legends of the Fall) Christina Pickles, 83. Country music singer/songwriter (Whiskey River) Johnny Bush, 83. Comedian (as Dame Edna Everage)/actor (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Immortal Beloved) Barry Humphries, 84. Actress (Keeping Up Appearances, To Sir with Love) Patricia Routledge, 89. R&B singer (Tossin’ And Turnin’) Bobby Lewis, 93. Actor (Into the Wild, Lincoln) Hal Holbrook, 93.
Today's ODJA Birthday Babe
What a Day This Has Been
February 17, 1765…The British House of Commons passed the Stamp Act, a major point of contention between Parliament and American colonists in the lead-up to the Revolutionary War.
February 17, 1801…The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr by naming Jefferson president and Burr as his vice president.
February 17, 1817…In Baltimore, Maryland, the first gaslit streetlights went into service.
February 17, 1878…In San Francisco, the first big city telephone exchange opened with only 18 connected phones.
February 17, 1909…Chiricahua Apache leader (but not a chief) and medicine man Goyathlay, nicknamed "Geronimo," died of complications from pneumonia, one week after being thrown from his horse and spending the night in the cold at age 79.
February 17, 1919…Former Canadian Prime Minister (1896-1911) Sir Wilfred Laurier died following a stroke at age 77. He was the country's 7th prime minister and the first of French ancestry.
February 17, 1933…The first issue of Newsweek magazine was published. Print publication of the weekly news magazine ended with the December 31, 2012 issue, after which it transitioned into an all-digital format.
February 17, 1934…In State College, Pennsylvania, America's first high school automobile driver's education course was introduced.
February 17, 1947…The Voice of America began aiming broadcasts at Soviet citizens in Russia. In 1949, the Soviet Union responded by jamming VOA transmissions.
February 17, 1955…At the urging of R&B singer Lloyd Price, Little Richard sent his first audition tape to Specialty Records. Richard was signed to a Specialty contract that paid him a half cent for every record sold.
February 17, 1958…The comic strip "BC" first appeared in newspapers.
February 17, 1958…At Master Recorders in Hollywood, Ricky Nelson recorded "Believe What You Say" and "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It." They became the "A" and "B" sides of his fifth single to be certified Gold.
February 17, 1958…Former New York Giants football star Frank Gifford signed a seven-year movie contract with Warner Bros. He later turned to sports broadcasting after his appearance in the feature films "Up Periscope" and "Turnpike Cop" failed to make him a movie star as expected.
February 17, 1959…At the Chess Recording Studio in Chicago, Chuck Berry recorded his compositions "Almost Grown" and "Back In The U.S.A," with background vocals by Etta James and the New Moonglows, a group that included Marvin Gay. He later added an "e" to his last name when he became a solo artist.
February 17, 1960…After eight Top 10 records in three years on the Cadence label, the Everly Brothers signed a 10-year, $1 million contract with Warner Bros. Records.
February 17, 1960…The album "Elvis" by Elvis Presley was certified Gold.
February 17, 1961…Ray Peterson sang "Corinna, Corinna" on ABC-TV's "American Bandstand."
February 17, 1961…In Washington, DC, the Coasters, Ike & Tina Turner, Chuck Jackson, and the Capris performed on stage at the Howard Theater.
February 17, 1962…Actor (Dennis the Menace, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Anatomy of a Murder, Our Miss Brooks, Daddy Long Legs, The Gift of Love, The Girl Most Likely)/cartoon voicist (Alice in Wonderland) Joseph Kearns died after a cerebral hemorrhage at age 55.
February 17, 1964…The United States Supreme Court ruled that the country's Congressional districts must be approximately equal in population.
February 17, 1965…"Shindig!" on ABC-TV featured the Moody Blues, Herman's Hermits, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dee Dee Sharp, Sonny & Cher, and Steve Alaimo.
February 17, 1965…Comedian Joan Rivers made her first guest appearance on NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson."
February 17, 1966…In Sheffield, Alabama, Percy Sledge recorded "When A Man Loves A Woman." Before the recording session, the song had no title or lyrics. The session proceeded, the instrumental track was laid down, with the expectation that Sledge would eventually reveal the lyric sheet for the vocal takes. But when it came time to record the vocals, Sledge improvised the lyrics with minimal planning, using the melody as a guide for rhythm and phrasing.
February 17, 1966…Brian Wilson began recording the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." He spent six months working on the tracks, recording in seventeen different sessions in four Los Angeles studios, using 13 additional musicians (besides the Beach Boys themselves), at a cost of more than $50,000.
February 17, 1966…U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler received Gold records for the single "The Ballad of the Green Berets" and the album of the same name.
February 17, 1967…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles began recording a new John Lennon composition "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite." The track was completed on March 31. It was one of three songs from the "Sgt. Pepper" album banned from airplay on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase "Henry the horse" combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin. Lennon denied the connection. The other two banned tracks were "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "A Day In The Life."
February 17, 1968…Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring singer Janis Joplin, played the Anderson Theatre in New York City, their first East Coast concert.
February 17, 1968…The James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, named for the inventor of the game, opened in Springfield, Massachusetts.
February 17, 1970…During her concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Joni Mitchell announced her retirement from live performances. She returned to the stage within a year.
February 17, 1970…Composer/arranger/conductor (musical scores for the movies The King and I, Modern Times, The Grapes of Wrath, South Pacific, How the West Was Won, Wuthering Heights, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Airport, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gunga Din, Camelot, Carousel, Beau Geste, The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, April Love, Flower Drum Song) Alfred Newman died of complications from emphysema at 68.
February 17, 1971…James Taylor made his prime time network television debut singing "Fire And Rain" and "Carolina On My Mind" on ABC's "Johnny Cash Show." Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt and Tony Joe White also performed.
February 17, 1972…Pink Floyd began a four-night stand at the Rainbow Theatre in London, during which they premiered some of the songs that would be included on their "The Dark Side of the Moon" album, months before recording them.
February 17, 1972…After obtaining tapes of unreleased material stolen from producer Marshall Chess' home, KDAY-Radio in Los Angeles played two new Rolling Stones tracks non-stop for 18 hours.
Febryary 17, 1973…Gallery performed "Big City Miss Ruth Ann" on ABC-TV's "American Bandstand."
February 17, 1973…At the Hollywood Sportatorium in Florida, the band Free played their final show before morphing into Bad Company.
February 17, 1974…Disgruntled U.S. Army Pvt. Robert K. Preston buzzed the White House then landed on the south lawn in a stolen helicopter. He was imprisoned, fined and discharged from the Army because of the stunt.
February 17, 1975…AC/DC released the debut album "High Voltage" in their native Australia. An album of the same title was issued internationally the following year with tracks from the band's first two Australia-only albums.
February 17, 1976…The Eagles released the album "Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)."
February 17, 1979…Garrison Keillor's radio variety show "Prairie Home Companion" was first broadcast nationally as part of National Public Radio's "Folk Festival America." Keillor departed in July 2016, replaced as host by Chris Thile. The name of the show changed to "Live from Here" in December 2017.
February 17, 1982…Actor (The Godfather: Part II, …And Justice For All, Going In Style, The Cassandra Crossing, Boardwalk, Gunrunners)/acting teacher Lee Strasberg died following a heart attack at age 80.
February 17, 1982…Jazz pianist/composer ('Round Midnight, Straight No Chaser) Thelonious Monk died after a stroke at 64.
February 17, 1989…David Coverdale, lead singer of the rock band Whitesnake, wed model/actress Tawny Kitaen, who had appeared in several Whitesnake music videos. Their marriage lasted a little more than two years.
February 17, 1989…Former major league pitcher (New York Yankees, Washington Senators)/Baseball Hall of Famer Vernon Louis "Lefty" Gomez died of congestive heart failure at age 80.
February 17, 1990…Aerosmith appeared on NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live," guest-hosted by Tom Hanks. The band performed two songs as well as the "Wayne's World" theme song while appearing in the skit as themselves.
February 17, 1990…Former professional hockey defenseman (Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Americans)/ coach (Toronto Maple Leafs)/referee/Hockey Hall of Famer Clarence Henry "Hap" Day died at the age of 88.
February 17, 1991…Disc jockey (KQV-Pittsburgh, WCFL-Chicago, WLS-Chicago, WDAI-Chicago, CHUM-Toronto)/commercial voiceover announcer Gary Gears died after a heart attack at 46. Your editor enjoyed working with "The Big Shifter" at WCFL in the early 1970s.
February 17, 1996…In Philadelphia, World chess champion Garry Kasparov defeated the IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue."
February 17, 1996…At a New York memorabilia sale, a Platinum American Express card that once belonged to Bruce Springsteen was sold for $4,500. The singer had given the expired card to a waiter in a Los Angeles restaurant by mistake and he let the establishment keep it as a souvenir.
February 17, 1997…In Louisville, Kentucky, Ronnie DeVoe of New Edition was charged with inciting a riot and intoxication after a confrontation with police at a local hotel.
February 17, 1997…All four of the Monkees participated in the ABC-TV documentary "Hey, Hey It's The Monkees," directed by Michael Nesmith.
February 17, 1998…Destiny's Child released their self-titled debut album.
February 17, 1998…Songwriter (People, Honeycomb, Don't Rain On My Parade, My Truly Truly Fair, Make Yourself Comfortable, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Mambo Italiano, How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?, You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry) Bob Merrill committed suicide after becoming gravely ill at age 76.
February 17, 2001…Brad Paisley joined the Grand Ole Opry.
February 17, 2004…Cingular Wireless agreed to pay almost $41 billion in cash for AT&T Wireless Services.
February 17, 2004…Former president of Mexico José López Portillo died of pneumonia at 83.
February 17, 2005…Actor (Twin Peaks, A Man Called Sloane, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, RoboCop, Fail-Safe, The Last Starfighter, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, The Virgin Queen, Imitation of Life, 100 Rifles, MacArthur, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe, The Carey Treatment) Dan O'Herlihy died at the age of 85.
February 17, 2006…Singer (Hair, Indian Lake, We Can Fly, The Rain The Park & Other Things)/songwriter Bill Cowsill, lead vocalist of the Cowsills, died of complications from emphysema and Cushing's syndrome at age 58.
As teenagers in Rhode Island, Bill and your editor were neighbors and friends, a friendship that began in 1964 after he ran away from home and came to my house hoping to borrow $10 so he could go to New York and get into the music business. After more than 24 hours of listening to me tell him why doing it this way was a bad idea, he went back home, made up with his dad (who became the group's manager), formed a band with other family members, and by early 1965 the Cowsills had their first record. I'll never forget how proud Billy looked as he handed me a copy of their debut disc in January 1965 at a Little Compton, Rhode Island record hop I emceed that featured the Cowsills (at that point a trio) as the evening's live music entertainment. Their breakthrough hit, "The Rain, The Park & Other Things" came 18 months later.
The Cowsill family learned of Bill's death shortly after a memorial for his brother Barry, who drowned in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
February 17, 2006…Latin jazz conga player (El Watusi)/percussionist Ray Barretto died of heart failure at 76.
February 17, 2008…Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia.
February 17, 2008…Little Richard received a standing ovation from a crowd of 2,400 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville without playing or singing a note. The 75 year-old rock 'n' roll pioneer was seated at the rear of the auditorium during a Temptations/Four Tops concert when he was introduced by the Temptations' Otis Williams.
February 17, 2010…Singer Susan Jacks, formerly of the Poppy Family, received a kidney transplant from her brother Billy, who had been the inspiration for her biggest hit, "Which Way You Goin' Billy?"
February 17, 2010…Singer/actress (Kiss Me Kate, Show Boat, Thousands Cheer, Anchors Aweigh, So This Is Love, That Midnight Kiss, The Vagabond King, The Desert Song, Lovely to Look at, The Kissing Bandit, Grounds for Marriage, Till the Clouds Roll By, Andy Hardy's Private Secretary) Kathryn Grayson died at the age of 88.
February 17, 2011…Singer Aretha Franklin announced that she had overcome medical ailments and planned to return to performing.
February 17, 2011…An Andy Warhol self-portrait sold for £10.79 million at Christie's auction house in London.
February 17, 2011…Author (Hero)/producer (The Chronicles of Narnia movies)/director/screenwriter (Lake City) Perry Moore died of an apparently accidental overdose of pain medication at the age of 39.
February 17, 2012…Bassist (Kick Out The Jams) Michael Davis of the MC5 died of liver failure at age 68.
February 17, 2013…At John McInnis Auctioneers in Amesbury, Massachusetts, a private collection of John F. Kennedy memorabilia brought in nearly $2 million, including $570,000 for the former president's Air Force One leather bomber jacket. The items, about 2,000 photographs, documents, and gifts, belonged to David Powers, Kennedy's assistant and close personal friend, who died in 1998.
February 17, 2013…Country music singer (Guys Do It All The Time, A Girl's Gotta Do-What A Girl's Gotta Do, Ten Thousand Angels) Mindy McCready committed suicide at age 37.
February 17, 2014…Guitarist (Whip It, Working In The Coal Mine, Theme From Doctor Detroit) Bob Casale, an original member of the band Devo, died of heart failure at 61.
February 17, 2015…Actress (Up in Smoke, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Drive He Said, Head, Pretty Maids All in a Row, The Student Body, Your Three Minutes Are Up) June Fairchild, credited with naming the band Three Dog Night while she was dating their lead singer Danny Hutton, died of liver cancer at age 68.
February 17, 2015…Former Canadian Football League lineman (Hamilton Tiger-Cats)/general manager (Toronto Argonauts)/Canadian Football Hall of Famer John Barrow died at the age of 79.
February 17, 2017…Ordained priest/former singer/songwriter (You're A Lady) Peter Skellern died of brain cancer at 69.
February 17, 2017…Guitarist (Red River Rock, Beatnik Fly, Crossfire, Reveille Rock) Dave Yorko, a founding member of the late 1950s/early 1960s instrumental group Johnny And The Hurricanes, died at age 73.
Enjoy your day! Make it matter.