Today in Entertainment History

On April 5, 1958, the “Greatest Show of Stars” tour opened in Norfolk, Virginia. Sam Cooke was the headliner. Other acts included The Silhouettes and The Royal Teens.

In 1961, Bob Dylan played his first paid gig in New York, at the Loeb Music Center.

In 1964, The Searchers appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” becoming the SECOND British Invasion group to appear on the show, after The Beatles.

In 1965, “My Fair Lady” won the best picture Academy Award and the best actor award for Rex Harrison.

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In 1980, R.E.M. played their first paid gig at a party given by a friend of the band.

In 1981, Canned Heat vocalist Bob “Bear” Hite died of a heart attack in Venice, California. He was 36.

In 1985, “We Are The World” by USA for Africa was played simultaneously in a special Good Friday broadcast on more than 5,000 radio stations in the US.

In 1991, Katie Couric started her first day on the job as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show.

In 1994, Nirvana singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain fatally shot himself above his garage in Seattle. His body was not found for three days.

In 1996, Elizabeth Taylor split up with husband Larry Fortensky after four years of marriage.

In 2002, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was acquitted in his air-rage trial. Buck was accused of going on a drunken rampage aboard a British Airways flight from Seattle to London.

In 2005, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings announced he had lung cancer. He died four months later.

Today’s Birthdays: Horror filmmaker Roger Corman is 94. Country singer Tommy Cash is 80. Actor Michael Moriarty (“Law and Order”) is 79. Singer Allan Clarke of The Hollies is 78. Actor Max Gail (“Sons and Daughters,” ”Barney Miller”) is 77. Actress Jane Asher is 74. Singer Agnetha (ag-NEE’-tah) Faltskog of Abba is 70. Actor Mitch Pileggi (“The X Files”) is 68. Singer Peter Case of The Plimsouls is 66. Rapper-actor Christopher “Kid” Reid of Kid ‘n Play (“House Party”) is 56. Guitarist Mike McCready of Pearl Jam is 54. Singer Paula Cole is 52. Actress Krista Allen (“Baywatch,” ”What About Brian”) is 49. Actress Victoria Hamilton (“The Crown”) is 49. Country singer Pat Green is 48. Rapper-producer Pharrell (fah-REL’) Williams is 47. Rapper Juicy J (Three 6 Mafia) is 45. Actor Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) is 44. Singer-guitarist Mike Eli of The Eli Young Band is 39. Actress Hayley Atwell (“Marvel’s Agent Carter”) is 38. Actress Lily James (“Downton Abbey”) is 31.

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