Today in Entertainment History

On July 7, 1949, the police drama “Dragnet,” starring Jack Webb and Barton Yarborough, premiered on NBC radio.

In 1954, Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips of WHBQ became the first DJ to play an Elvis Presley record. He premiered “That’s All Right,” and he also interviewed Elvis.

Also in 1954, two versions of “Sh-Boom” were in the top ten: the original by The Chords was at number nine, and the cover version by The Crew-Cuts was at number five.

In 1968, The Yardbirds broke up. Guitarist Jimmy Page formed the New Yardbirds, which became Led Zeppelin.

In 1971, Bjorn Ulvaeus (ul-VAY’-us) and Agnetha (ag-NET’-uh) Faltskog of ABBA married in Verum, Sweden. They divorced in 1980.

In 1975, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was charged with possession of an offensive weapon and reckless driving in Arkansas. Hundreds of teenage girls stormed the jail where he was being held.

In 1978, Morris the Cat of the “Nine Lives” cat food commercials was rescued by trainer Bob Martwick from the pound just a few minutes before he was to be put to sleep.

In 1979, the Montreaux Pop Festival in Switzerland presented its first country show. Barbara Mandrell and the Oak Ridge Boys were booed offstage, while the more traditional Roy Clark and Doc Watson were more warmly welcomed.

In 1980, the original lineup of Led Zeppelin gave its final show, in Berlin.

In 1995, Rod Stewart’s jet made a forced landing after a mid-air collision with a bird. Aviation authorities called the incident “undramatic,” but Stewart was visible shaken and said, “I nearly crashed.”

In 2002, Michael Jackson made a bizarre appearance at a rally in New York to denounce the recording industry as racist and Sony chairman Tommy Mottola as devilish.

In 2007, the Live Earth concerts were held to draw attention to environmental issues. Concerts were held in Johannesburg, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro and New York.

Also in 2007, actor Eva Longoria married San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker in Paris. They have since divorced.

In 2009, a star-studded memorial service was held for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles, 12 days after his death. Among those who paid tribute to Jackson included Usher, Stevie Wonder, Brooke Shields, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah.

Today’s Birthdays: Bandleader Doc Severinsen is 94. Drummer Ringo Starr is 81. Singer-guitarist Warren Entner of the Grass Roots is 78. Actor Joe Spano is 75. Singer David Hodo (the construction worker) of The Village People is 74. Country singer Linda Williams is 74. Actor Shelley Duvall is 72. Actor Roz Ryan (“Amen”) is 70. Actor Billy Campbell (“Once and Again”) is 62. Bassist Mark White of the Spin Doctors is 59. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard (“Ally McBeal”) is 58. Comedian Jim Gaffigan is 55. Bassist Ricky Kinchen of Mint Condition is 55. Actor Amy Carlson (“Blue Bloods”) is 53. Actor Jorja Fox (“CSI”) is 53. Actor Cree Summer (“A Different World”) is 52. Actor Kirsten Vangsness (“Criminal Minds”) is 49. Actor Troy Garity (“Barbershop”) is 48. Actor Berenice Bejo (BEH’-ruh-nees BAY’-hoh) (“The Artist”) is 45. Actor Hamish Linklater (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is 45. Rapper Cassidy is 39. Actor Ross Malinger (“Sleepless in Seattle”) is 37. Comedian Luke Null (“Saturday Night Live”) is 31. Singer Ally Hernandez of Fifth Harmony (“The X Factor”) is 28. Drummer Ashton Irwin of 5 Seconds Of Summer is 27. Country singer Maddie Marlow of Maddie and Tae is 26.

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