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January 16

Events - January 16
1866 - Mr. Everett Barney patented the all-metal screw clamp skate. Remember those? They would clamp on to the edges of the soles of shoes and you tightened them with a key. With the advent of athletic shoes, there was no place to clamp the skates so the clamp skate disappeared. In its place? Roller blades!

1883 - The United States Civil Service Commission was established as the Pendleton Act went into effect. Today’s the day to hug a postal worker, for one.

1921 - The motion picture, "The Kid", opened in movie houses. The classic starred Charlie Chaplin and featured a little tyke, soon to be a Hollywood favorite. Jackie Coogan continued to make movies until his death in 1984.

1938 - Benny Goodman and his band, plus a quartet, brought the sound of jazz to Carnegie Hall in New York City. When asked how long an intermission he wanted, he quipped, “I don’t know. How much does Toscanini get?”

1939 - The shrill siren call of radio’s "I Love a Mystery" was heard for the first time as the show debuted on NBC’s West-Coast outlets.

1942 - Kay Kyser and the band recorded "A Zoot Suit (For My Sunday Gal)" for Columbia Records. The tune is about the problems associated with wearing the garish, exaggerated ‘hep’ fashion.

1957 - The Cavern Club opened for business in Liverpool, England. The rock club was just a hangout for commoners. Then, things changed -- big time. It all started in the early 1960s when four kids from the neighborhood popped in to jam. They, of course, turned out to be The Beatles.

1961 - Mickey Mantle signed a contract which made him the highest paid baseball player in the American League. ‘The Commerce Comet’ stepped up to the plate for $75,000 for the 1961 season. Over in the National League, Willie ‘Say Hey’ Mays, was making more money than any baseball player. He had a contract for $85,000.

1964 - "Hello Dolly!" opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Carol Channing starred in the role of Mrs. Dolly Levi. The musical was an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s play, "The Matchmaker". The show, with an unforgettable title song, was hailed by critics as the “...possible hit of the season.” It was possible, all right. "Hello Dolly!" played for 2,844 performances. And, it returned to Broadway in the 1990s, again starring Carol Channing.

1965 - More Willie Mays news: The San Francisco Giants continued to pay Mays a reported $105,000 a year. He gave them a .317 batting average (the last season in which he batted over .300), a slugging percentage of .645 and 52 home runs in return. And, Willie took home the 1965 MVP award for himself. Say Hey!

1972 - David Seville died on this day in Beverly Hills, CA. Born Ross Bagdasarian, the musician was the force, and artist, behind the Alvin and the Chipmunks novelty songs of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Some may remember that Seville appeared in the films, "Viva Zapata", "Stalag 17" and "Rear Window". Seville first claimed fame, not through the novelty impact of the hit, "The Chipmunk Song" (it sold 3.5 million copies in five weeks); but by writing Rosemary Clooney’s biggest hit, "Come on-a My House", in the early 1950s and the number one hit, "Witch Doctor", in 1958.

1972 - Super Bowl VI (at New Orleans): Dallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3. No Superdome yet. Super Bowl VI was played in Tulane University Stadium, in 39-degree weather, and Roger Staubach’s Cowboys were all over the Dolphins. MVP: Cowboys’ QB Staubach. Tickets: $15.00.

1976 - The album, "Frampton Comes Alive", was released by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records. The double LP soon reached the top spot of the album charts and stayed perched there for 17 weeks. It sold 19 million copies in its first year in the record racks.

1984 - Michael Jackson didn’t get to sit down much at the 11th annual American Music Awards this night. The ‘Gloved One’ got up and down to receive eight awards, including favorite pop and soul male vocalist, pop and soul album winner for "Thriller", pop and soul video winner for "Beat It" and best pop song for "Billie Jean".

1985 - Leonard Nimoy, who roamed among the stars in the "Star Trek" TV series and movies, got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock.

1986 - “Old newsmen never die, they just fade to black.” Walter Cronkite, five years after his retirement from the "CBS Evening News" remained, polls showed, the most trusted man in America. “And that’s the way it is.” Dan...

1988 - George Michael’s "Faith" started a sixteen-week run as the number-one album in the U.S. The tracks: "Faith", "Father Figure", "I Want Your Sex", "One More Try", "Hard Day", "Hand To Mouth", "Look at Your Hands", "Monkey" and "Kissing a Fool".

1994 - Canadian rocker Bryan Adams played before 2,500 people in Ho Chi Minh City. He was the first Western entertainer to perform in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

1996 - Jimmy Buffett’s sea plane "Hemisphere Dancer" was shot at by Jamaican police who mistook him for a drug smuggler. U2’s Bono was in the plane with Buffett at the time. Jimmy wrote a song about the incident, "Jamaica Mistaica", that appears on the album "Banana Wind".

1998 - These films debuted in U.S. theatres: "Fallen" (an evil presence move from person to person by touch), starring Denzel Washington, John Goodman and Donald Sutherland; "Half Baked" (“Caution: This Film Causes Extreme Laughter.”), with David Chappelle, Guillermo Diaz, Jim Breuer and Harland Williams; "Hard Rain" (a lazy dam operator accidentally floods town while a bank heist is going sour), starring Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver, Ed Asner, Richard Dysart, Betty White, Wayne Duvall and Mark Rolston; and "Kundun" (“The amazing story of the fourteenth Dalai Lama.”), starring Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong and directed by Martin Scorsese.

1999 - Brandy’s single, "Have You Ever", was #1 (for the first of two weeks) on the "Billboard" "Hot 100".

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Birthdays - January 16
1908 - Ethel Merman (Zimmerman) (singer, Tony Award-winning actress (musical): Call Me Madam [1951]; It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, There’s No Business Like Show Business, Alexander’s Ragtime Band; Musical Theater Hall of Famer; died Feb 15, 1984)

1910 - Dizzy (Jay Hanna) Dean (Baseball Hall of Famer: SL Cardinals [World Series: 1934/all-star: 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937], Chicago Cubs [World Series: 1938], SL Browns; broadcaster: SL Browns, Mutual Radio net, ABC/CBS Game of the Week; died July 17, 1974)

1920 - Elliott (Edgeworth) Reid (actor: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, A Woman’s World, Follow Me Boys; radio performer: Suspense; died Jun 21, 2013)

1924 - Katy Jurado (Maria Christina Jurado Garcia) (actress: High Noon, One-Eyed Jacks, Trapeze; died July 5, 2002)

1929 - G.T. (Granville) Hogan (jazz drummer: played with Elmo Hope, Earl Bostic; died Aug 8, 2004)

1930 - Norman Podhoretz (author: Making It, Breaking Ranks; editor/editor-at-large: Commentary magazine)

1934 - Bob Bogle (Robert Lenard Bogle) (musician: guitar, bass: group: The Ventures: Walk, Don’t Run, Perfidia, theme from Hawaii Five-O; died Jun 14, 2009)

1934 - Marilyn Horne (opera singer: Carmen Jones [v/o for Dorothy Dandridge])

1935 - A.J. (Anthony Joseph) Foyt (racing car driver: Indianapolis 500 Winner [1961, 1964, 1967, 1977]; Daytona 500 Winner: [1972])

1938 - Lou Angotti (hockey: NHL: NY Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, SL Blues; coach: St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins)

1942 - Bill Francis (musician: keyboard, singer: group: Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman, Sharing the Night Together, Sexy Eyes, Better Love Next Time, The Cover of Rolling Stone; died May 23, 2010)

1943 - Ronnie Milsap (Grammy Award-winning singer: Stand By My Woman Man [1976]; CMA Male Vocalist of the Year [1974, 1976, 1977]; CMA Entertainer of the Year [1977]; My Heart, Only One Love in My Life, It Was Almost like a song, Lost in the Fifties Tonight, A Woman in Love, [There’s] No Gettin’ Over Me; blind since birth, learned to play several instruments by age 12)

1944 - Jim Stafford (singer: Spiders and Snakes, Wildwood Weed, [w/John Hadley]: You Can’t Get the Hell out of Texas)

1948 - John Carpenter (writer, director: Escape from L.A., Village of the Damned, Body Bags, Prince of Darkness, Starman, The Thing, Escape from New York, Elvis: The Movie, Halloween)

1950 - Debbie Allen (dancer, actress: Fame, Roots: The Next Generation, Ragtime, The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh; choreographer; sister of actress Phylicia Rashad)

1951 - Chuck Crist (football: Penn State Univ., New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers DB)

1953 - Bo Harris (football: Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, Super Bowl XVI)

1953 - Dave Brown (football: Pittsburgh Steelers safety, Super Bowl X)

1959 - Sade (Helen Folasade Adu) (singer: group: Sade: LPs: Diamond Life, Promise, Stronger than Pride)

1962 - Paul Webb (musician: bass: group: Talk Talk)

1974 - Kate Moss (supermodel)

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Chart Toppers - January 16
1944
My Heart Tells Me - The Glen Gray Orchestra (vocal: Eugenie Baird)
Shoo, Shoo, Baby - The Andrews Sisters
Paper Doll - The Mills Brothers
Pistol Packin’ Mama - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

1952
Slowpoke - Pee Wee King
Sin (It’s No) - Eddy Howard
Undecided - The Ames Brothers
Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way - Carl Smith

1960
Why - Frankie Avalon
Running Bear - Johnny Preston
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Freddie Cannon
El Paso - Marty Robbins

1968
Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
Woman, Woman - The Union Gap
For Loving You - Bill Anderson & Jan Howard

1976
I Write the Songs - Barry Manilow
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) - Diana Ross
Fox on the Run - Sweet
Convoy - C.W. McCall

1984
Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Slow Burn - T.G. Sheppard

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...


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Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams


Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
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