Today in Entertainment History

On Dec. 8, 1956, 11-year-old Brenda Lee released her first single, “I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus.”

In 1961, the Beach Boys’ first single, “Surfin’,” was released.

In 1969, a supreme court in Toronto found guitarist Jimi Hendrix not guilty of possession of heroin and hashish. Hendrix had testified he had previously used drugs but had given them up.

In 1976, The Eagles released their “Hotel California” album.

In 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan. He and wife Yoko Ono were returning home from a recording session. Lennon was 40.

In 1982, country singer Marty Robbins died of heart disease in Nashville at the age of 57.

In 1983, character actor Slim Pickins died in Modesto, California, at age 64.

In 1984, Motley Crue singer Vince Neil crashed a sports car on a California highway, killing his passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle Dingley.

In 1991, actor Gregory Peck and country legend Roy Acuff were honored at the Kennedy Center Honors. Acuff was the first country artist to receive the award.

In 1995, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead announced they were breaking up, after Jerry Garcia’s death the previous August.

In 2003, Ozzy Osbourne was seriously injured while riding a quad bike around his English estate. He hit an object and the bike landed on top of him.

In 2004, guitarist Dimebag Darrell, formerly of Pantera, was shot and killed during a show with his new band, DamagePlan, in Columbus, Ohio. Three others also were killed before a police officer shot and killed the gunman. Darrell was 38.

Today’s birthdays: Singer Jerry Butler is 80. Drummer Bobby Elliott of The Hollies is 78. Actress Mary Woronov (“Eating Raoul,” “The Munsters” films) is 76. Actor John Rubinstein (“Family,” ”Crazy Like a Fox”) is 73. Singer Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals is 71. Actress Kim Basinger is 66. Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (Duran Duran, Missing Persons) is 63. Guitarist Phil Collen of Def Leppard is 62. Country singer Marty Raybon (The Raybon Brothers, Shenandoah) is 60. Guitarist Marty Friedman (Megadeth) is 57. Actress Teri Hatcher is 55. Actor David Harewood (“Supergirl,” ”Homeland”) is 54. Singer Sinead (shuh-NAYD’) O’Connor is 53. Actor Matthew Laborteaux (LAH’-bor-toh) (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 53. Guitarist Ryan Newell of Sister Hazel is 47. Actor Dominic Monaghan (“Lost,” ”Lord of the Rings”) is 43. Actor Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries,” ”Lost,”) is 41. Singer Ingrid Michaelson is 40. Singer Chrisette Michele is 37. Country singer Sam Hunt is 35. Singer Kate Voegele (VOH’-gehl) (“One Tree Hill”) is 33. Drummer Jen Ledger of Skillet is 30. Actress Wallis Currie-Wood (“Madam Secretary”) is 28.

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