Today in Entertainment History

On May 31, 1958, Sheb Wooley’s “Purple People Eater” hit the top of the pop charts and stayed there for six weeks.

In 1961, Chuck Berry opened Berry Park, an outdoor amusement park in Wentzville, Missouri.

In 1976, The Who got into the “Guinness Book of World Records” as the loudest rock band ever, when their concert in England measured 120 decibels. That record has since been broken.

In 1977, Emerson, Lake and Palmer began a tour of the U.S. accompanied by a 70-piece orchestra.

In 1978, The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno” album went gold.

In 1989, the first International Rock Awards Ceremony was held in New York City. The Traveling Wilburys’ “Volume One” was named album of the year, Guns N’ Roses won artist of the year, and newcomer of the year went to Living Colour.

In 1990, “Seinfeld” made its debut as “The Seinfeld Chronicles” on NBC.

In 1995, musician Ted Nugent placed his handprint and signature in cement in the Hollywood Rock Walk.

In 1996, singer Elsbeary Hobbs, who sang bass with The Drifters, died of throat and lung cancer in New York. He was 59.

In 1998, singer Geri Halliwell, better known as Ginger Spice, quit the Spice Girls.

In 2000, singer Johnnie Taylor died of an apparent heart attack at a hospital in Dallas. He was 62. He’s probably best known for songs like “Who’s Making Love” and “Disco Lady.” That same day, Latin bandleader Tito Puente (PWEN’-tay) died in New York from complications from open heart surgery. He was 77.

In 2006, Katie Couric appeared for the last time on NBC’s “Today” show after 15 years on the program. She left to anchor the “CBS Evening News.”

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 90. Singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary is 82. Keyboardist Augie Meyers of the Texas Tornadoes and the Sir Douglas Quintet is 80. Actress Sharon Gless (“Cagney and Lacey”) is 77. Actor Tom Berenger is 70. Actor Gregory Harrison is 70. Actor Kyle Secor (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) is 63. Actress Roma Maffia (mah-FEE’-uh) (“Nip/Tuck,” ”Profiler”) is 62. Comedian Chris Elliott is 60. Actress Lea Thompson (“Caroline in the City,” ”Back to the Future”) is 59. Singer Corey Hart is 58. Rapper DMC of Run-DMC is 56. Actress Brooke Shields is 55. Country bassist Ed Adkins of The Derailers is 53. “The Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan (KOH’-gan) is 53. Jazz bassist Christian McBride is 48. Actress Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) is 48. Actress Merle Dandridge (“Greenleaf”) is 45. Actor Colin Farrell is 44. Trumpet player Scott Klopfenstein of Reel Big Fish is 43. Actor Eric Christian Olsen (“NCIS: Los Angeles” is 43. Drummer Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy is 40. Rapper Waka Flocka Flame is 34. Actor Curtis Williams Jr. (“Parent’Hood”) is 33. Singer Normani Hamilton of Fifth Harmony is 24.

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