Today in Entertainment History

On Sept. 4, 1959, a New York radio station banned the song “Mack The Knife” in response to a wave of stabbings.

In 1964, The Animals made their American debut in Brooklyn, New York.

Also in 1964, “Gilligan’s Island” premiered on CBS.

In 1965, The Who had their equipment van stolen in England while they were inside an animal shelter buying a guard dog.

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In 1968, radio stations in several U.S. cities banned the Rolling Stones song “Street Fighting Man” because of fears it might incite violence.

In 1977, the rock musical “Godspell” closed on Broadway.

In 1986, musician Gregg Allman was arrested for drunken driving in Florida. He had just gotten his driver’s license back after a five-year suspension.

In 1991, singer Dottie West died during surgery in Nashville. She had been injured in a car accident a few days earlier. West was 58.

In 1993, actor Herve Villechaize died at the age of 50. He’s probably best known for playing Tattoo on “Fantasy Island.”

In 1996, Yusaf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, emerged from retirement in London to sign copies of his first album in 18 years. Music fans were disappointed, because the album “Life of the Last Prophet” was 80 percent talk.

In 2002, Kelly Clarkson was named the winner on the first edition of “American Idol,” beating out Justin Guarini and winning a recording contract. Nearly 22.5 million people tuned in to watch.

In 2006, Steve Irwin of the TV show “Crocodile Hunter” was killed when a stingray’s barb hit him in the heart while Irwin was filming an underwater documentary. Irwin was 44.

In 2014, comedian Joan Rivers died of complications from a minor throat procedure in New York. She was 81.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Mitzi Gaynor is 89. Singer Sonny Charles of the Checkmates, Ltd. Is 80. Actor Kenneth Kimmins (“Coach”) is 79. Singer Merald “Bubba” Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips is 78. TV personality Dr. Jan (YAHN) Pol (“The Incredible Dr. Pol”) is 78. Actor Jennifer Salt (“Soap”) is 76. Bassist Ronald LaPread (The Commodores) is 70. Actor Judith Ivey is 69. Drummer Martin Chambers of The Pretenders is 69. Actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (“Welcome Back, Kotter”) is 67. Actor Khandi Alexander (“ER,” ″NewsRadio”) is 63. Actor-comedian Damon Wayans is 60. Guitarist Kim Thayil of Soundgarden is 60. Actor Richard Speight (SPAYT) Junior (“The Agency”) is 51. Actor Noah Taylor (2005′s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” ″Game of Thrones”) is 51. Actor Ione (eye-OH’-nee) Skye is 50. DJ-music producer Mark Ronson is 45. Singer Richard Wingo of Jagged Edge is 45. Bassist Ian Grushka of New Found Glory is 43. Actor Wes Bentley (“American Beauty”) is 42. Actor Max Greenfield (“New Girl”) is 41. Country singer Granger Smith is 41. Singer Dan Miller of O-Town is 40. Singer Beyonce’ (bee-YON’-say) Knowles (Destiny’s Child) is 39. Singer-guitarist Tom Gossin of Gloriana is 39. Actor Whitney Cummings (“Whitney”) is 38. Comedian Kyle Mooney (“Saturday Night Live”) is 36. Multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek (NEE’-lah peh-KAYR’-ehk) (The Lumineers) is 34. Singer James Bay is 30. Actor Trevor Gagnon (GAG’-nun) (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is 25.

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