Today in Entertainment History

On Jan. 22, 1938, Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” was performed publicly for the first time, in Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1953, “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller’s drama about the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, opened on Broadway.

In 1959, Buddy Holly made his last recordings in New York. He died in a plane crash the next month.

In 1960, singer Sam Cooke signed with RCA Records.


In 1963, Gerry and the Pacemakers held their first recording sessions.

In 1967, the Rolling Stones refused to go on the revolving stage during the finale of the British TV show “Sunday Night At The London Palladium.” The press saw it as a snub against tradition.

In 1968, “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, premiered on NBC.

In 1971, the Joe Cocker film “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” premiered in London. The movie was a documentary of Cocker’s tour of the same name. It featured performances by Cocker, Leon Russell and Rita Coolidge.

In 1990, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash used a profanity while accepting American Music Awards for his band. Viewers complained to ABC, which had broadcast the show live. The network apologized.

In 1994, actor Telly Savalas died, a day after his 70th birthday.

In 1998, singer Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities of more than $1 million.

In 2004, Jennifer Lopez called off her engagement to Ben Affleck.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Piper Laurie is 88. Singer Steve Perry (Journey) is 71. Bassist Teddy Gentry of Alabama is 68. Actor John Wesley Shipp (“The Flash,” ”Dawson’s Creek”) is 65. Actress Linda Blair is 61. Actress Diane Lane is 55. Country singer Regina Nicks of Regina Regina is 55. Rapper-actor DJ Jazzy Jeff is 55. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 52. Actress Olivia D’Abo (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” ”The Wonder Years”) is 51. Actress Katie Finneran (“The Michael J. Fox Show”) is 49. Actor Balthazar Getty is 45. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 40. Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 40. Singer Willa Ford is 39. Actress Beverley Mitchell (“Seventh Heaven”) is 39. Guitarist Ben Moody of The Fallen (and formerly of Evanescence) is 39. Actress-singer Phoebe Strole (“Glee”) is 37. Rapper Logic is 30. Actress Sami Gayle (“Blue Bloods”) is 24.

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