2015 A live adaptation of The Wiz airs on NBC. Based on the book (but not the film) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz began as a stage production in 1975, and was made into a movie (with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross) in 1978.More
1990 Madonna appears on the news program Nightline, where she debuts her video for "Justify My Love," which MTV has refused to play. As the lascivious clip plays, Madonna provides commentary, answering questions from host Forrest Sawyer.More
1979 Before The Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, 11 people are trampled to death and dozens are injured in a rush to enter the arena. Like many concerts of the day, there are no reserved seats, a practice known as "festival seating." The resulting controversy (and lawsuits) force promoters to rethink the practice.More
1968 A TV special simply called Elvis airs on NBC, drawing a huge audience and revitalizing the career of Elvis Presley. Footage from two June concerts makes up most of the special, which pays tribute to Bobby Kennedy with the closing number, "If I Can Dream."
1964 The animated TV special Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer debuts on CBS, with Burl Ives as the voice of Sam the Snowman. The special is based on the 1949 song, which has become a perennial favorite.More
1947 Patti Page records her first hit single, "Confess." Unable to find background singers due to a strike, Mercury Records sound engineer Bill Putnam overdubs Page's own vocals. It's the first-ever recording with overdubbed vocals.
2015 Crosby, Stills & Nash, which formed in 1968, finally implode at the White House National Christmas Tree Lighting concert when Stephen Stills throws a pick at David Crosby for talking over him. They get though a performance of "Silent Night," but never play together again.
2014 Graeme Goodall, an Australian recording engineer and co-founder of Island Records, dies at age 82.
2014 Sonny Bivins, leader of The Manhattans, dies at age 78.
2014 A fake MSNBC report claims that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has been found dead in his West Hollywood home. The band's official Facebook page posts photos of the singer with the caption "Ha! They say I'm dead -- again… Wait, what? WTF? It's a hoax. Guys. Get a life at ParadiseCity.com." The link references the band's online fan community.
2000 Kevin Mills, Newsboys' former bassist, is killed in a motorbike accident. He was 32.
1992 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards confirm the rumors that Bill Wyman, their bass player since 1962, will be leaving The Rolling Stones.
1988 Carole King and Gerry Goffin receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the US National Academy of Songwriters.
1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?," the first charity single on a grand scale, is released in the UK with proceeds going to help famine victims in Ethiopia. It becomes the biggest-selling single in UK history, a record that stands until 1997 when it's overtaken by Elton John's updated version of "Candle In The Wind." The single is released in America a week later.
1983 Songwriter Irving Taylor dies in Los Angeles. He co-wrote "Everybody Loves Somebody," which later became a hit for Dean Martin.
1981 At a show in Hartford, Connecticut, AC/DC is prohibited from firing their cannons during "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)," as police enforce an ordinance banning stage weaponry.
1978 The Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst accidentally pees on Billy Idol backstage after a show in Bristol, England, where The Cure are opening for Idol's band Generation X. Idol is entertaining a young lady in a men's room stall when Tolhurst unloads his lager, missing the urinal and hitting Idol's leg. The Cure are kicked off the tour the next day.
1976 It's a Spinal Tap moment for Pink Floyd when during the shoot for their Animals album cover, a 40-foot inflatable pig being photographed at Battersea Power Station on the River Thames in London breaks free. Pilots in the area are warned of a pig loose in the skies, which reaches a height of 18,000 feet before coming down in Kent.More
Adam Sandler performs "The Chanukah Song" on the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live, enlightening us to the fact that Harrison Ford, Paul Newman and David Lee Roth (among many others) are, in fact, Jewish. Released as a single the following year, the song reaches #10 US and become a seasonal favorite.
It doesn't take much thought to rattle off a few Christmas songs: "White Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Santa Baby." But what about some Chanukah tunes? Er...um..."The Chanukah Song"? Adam Sandler wrote the novelty tune, with the help of Saturday Night Live writers Lewis Morton and Ian Maxtone-Graham, for fellow Jews who feel like fish out of water during the Christmas season. Christmas can be a lonely time for Jewish kids whose Gentile friends are decorating trees and writing lists for Santa, not to mention the radio and television being taken over by holiday cheer, but take heart: There are plenty of Jews who understand! Sandler lists a string of famous Jews and half-Jews (and a few non-Jews for good measure): David Lee Roth, James Caan, Kirk Douglas, Dinah Shore, The Carnegie Deli, Bowzer (Jon Bauman) from Sha Na Na, Arthur Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), Paul Newman, Goldie Hawn, Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), the owner of the Seattle SuperSonics (presumably Sam Schulman), O.J. Simpson (not a Jew), Rod Carew, Ann Landers, "Dear Abby" (Pauline Phillips), Harrison Ford, Ebenezer Scrooge (not a Jew), The Three Stooges, and Tom Cruise. Sandler includes the track on his 1995 album What The Hell Happened To Me? and the single lands at #10 on the Hot 100. It's welcomed on the chart as a seasonal favorite for the next three years, peaking at #46 in 1996, #25 in 1997, and #80 in 1998. He'll also add three more parts to the song. Part II - which includes Winona Ryder, Bob Dylan, and non-Jew Bruce Springsteen (but Sandler's mother thinks he is) - is recorded for the album Stan & Judy's Kid. Part III, from the Eight Crazy Nights soundtrack, adds Ross (David Schwimmer) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) from Friends, plus Osama Bin Laden (who is not a fan of the Jews). Part IV debuts at the Judd Apatow & Friends event at the New York Comedy Festival in 2015, where Sandler adds Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and the guys who founded Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) to the roster.
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