Today in Entertainment History

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California.

In 1959, jazz singer Billie Holiday died in a New York hospital while under arrest for narcotics possession. She was 44.

In 1961, The Supremes released their first record, “Buttered Popcorn.”

Also in 1961, John Chancellor replaced Dave Garroway on the “Today” show. Chancellor acknowledged he hated the job and wanted out after the first day.


In 1965, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” by James Brown was released. It sold more than 2 million copies.

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix performed as the opening act for The Monkees in New York.

In 1968, the animated Beatles film “Yellow Submarine” premiered at the London Pavilion.

In 1982, “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa and his 14-year-old daughter, Moon Unit, entered the pop chart.

In 1986, 50 people were hurt in gang violence outside a Run-DMC show in Long Beach, California.

In 1991, the revamped Lynyrd Skynyrd opened its world tour in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Also in 1991, James Brown was honored by his native state of Georgia for his comeback following a two-year prison term.

In 1996, bassist Chas Chandler of The Animals died in a British hospital at age 57. He had been undergoing tests related to an aortic aneurysm.

Also in 1996, Smashing Pumpkins fired drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. The announcement came less than a week after Chamberlin was arrested on a drug charge and backup keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin (MEL’-voyn) was found dead of a heroin overdose.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Donald Sutherland is 84. Actress-singer Diahann Carroll is 84. Guitarist Spencer Davis of the Spencer Davis Group is 80. Bassist Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath is 70. Actress Lucie Arnaz is 68. Actor David Hasselhoff is 67. Bassist Fran Smith Junior of The Hooters is 67. Actress Nancy Giles (“China Beach”) is 59. Singer Regina Belle is 56. Country singer Craig Morgan is 55. Bassist Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion) is 53. Contemporary Christian singer Susan Ashton is 52. Actor Andre Royo (“The Wire”) is 51. Actress Bitty Schram (“Monk”) is 51. Actor Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty,” ”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) is 50. Director F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton,” ”Furious 8″) is 50. Singer JC of PM Dawn is 48. Rapper Sole’ (soh-LAY’) is 46. Country singer Luke Bryan is 43. Actor Eric Winter (“Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”) is 43. Actor Mike Vogel (“Under the Dome,” ”The Help”) is 40. Actor Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey”) is 34. Actor Brando Eaton (“Dexter”) is 33. Singer Jeremih (jehr-uh-MY’) is 32. Actress Billie Lourd (“Scream Queens”) is 27.

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