Today in Entertainment History

On May 8, 1961, Ricky Nelson marked his 21st birthday by officially changing his stage name to Rick.

In 1965, Bob Dylan made one of the earliest music videos when he filmed a promotional clip for his single, “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” It shows him flipping through cards with words and short phrases while standing in an alley in London.

In 1968, George D. Hay died. He was the originator of the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts over station WSM in Nashville. The program, originally called the “Barn Dance,” was first broadcast on November 28th, 1925.

In 1972, Billy Preston became the first rock performer to headline at Radio City Music Hall in New York.


In 1981, the debut album by Loverboy was certified gold in the U.S.

In 1990, a Los Angeles judge ordered Frito-Lay and an advertising agency to pay singer Tom Waits almost $2.5 million. The agency had hired a Waits imitator to sing a jingle for Frito-Lay’s corn chips.

In 1991, Epic Records released Pearl Jam’s first U.S. promo single, with the songs “Alive” and “Wash” and a cover of The Beatles’ “I’ve Got A Feeling.”

In 1992, Genesis opened its “We Can’t Dance” tour in Irving, Texas.

In 1996, actress Julie Andrews turned down her Tony nomination for “Victor/Victoria” to protest her “overlooked colleagues,” including her husband, director Blake Edwards.

In 1999, actress Dana Plato of “Diff’rent Strokes” died of an apparent accidental drug overdose in Moore, Oklahoma. She was 34.

In 2010, Betty White hosted “Saturday Night Live” after fans campaigned for it on Facebook.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Toni Tennille is 79. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 77. Singer Gary Glitter is 75. Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is 74. Actor Mark Blankfield (“Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” ”The Incredible Shrinking Woman”) is 71. Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and of Tom Tom Club is 68. Singer Philip Bailey (solo and with Earth, Wind and Fire) is 68. Country musician Billy Burnette is 66. Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 66. Actor David Keith is 65. Actor Raoul Max Trujillo (troo-HEE’-yoh) (“Mayans M.C.”) is 64. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 55. Drummer Dave Rowntree of Blur is 55. Drummer Del Gray of Little Texas is 51. Singer Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) is 47. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 44. Singer Joe Bonamassa is 42. Actor Matt Davis (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 41. Actor Domhnall (DOH’-nal) Gleason (“Peter Rabbit,” ”Unbroken”) is 36. Drummer Patrick Meese of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats is 36. Actress Julia Whelan (WAY’-lan) (“Once and Again”) is 35.

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