Today in Entertainment History

On Sept. 17, 1931, RCA Victor demonstrated the first 33-and-a-third RPM long-playing record in New York.

In 1963, “The Fugitive” began its run on ABC, starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble.

In 1964, “Bewitched,” starring Elizabeth Montgomery, made its debut on ABC.

In 1967, The Doors performed “Light My Fire” on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Jim Morrison had been asked to change the line “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” but Morrison sang it anyway.

Also in 1967, The Who appeared on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Drummer Keith Moon had set a flash powder explosion in his drum kit, not knowing technicians had already done so. The resulting explosion sent a cymbal into Moon’s leg and singed Pete Townshend’s hair.

In 1972, “MASH” premiered on CBS. It stayed on the air for eleven years.

In 1978, ABC’s expensive sci-fi show “Battlestar Galactica” made its debut.

In 1980, Bette Midler’s concert film, “Divine Madness,” premiered.

In 1983, Vanessa Williams of New York became the first black contestant to be crowned Miss America. The following July, she also became the first Miss America to resign in the wake of her Penthouse magazine scandal.

In 1991, Geffen Records released “Use Your Illusion One” and “Use Your Illusion Two” by Guns N” Roses. The two albums went on sale at many stores nationwide just after midnight.

Also in 1991, Hank Williams Jr. unveiled a statue of his father in Montgomery, Alabama, where his funeral was held in 1953.

In 1996, The Cranberries canceled the last nine shows of their U.S. tour because singer Dolores O’Riordan was suffering from a combination of exhaustion and the flu.

Also in 1996, London police intercepted and destroyed a booby-trapped book that an obsessed fan sent to singer Bjork (BYORK). The fan shot himself to death hours after mailing the package. The package never reached Bjork’s home.

In 1997, comedian Red Skelton died at a hospital near his home in Palm Springs, California, after a long illness. He was 84.

In 2001, David Letterman hosted the first late-night talk show since the terrorist attacks on September eleventh. Letterman opened the show with no jokes, just his thoughts on the matter. Dan Rather was his first guest and broke into tears.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer LaMonte McLemore of the Fifth Dimension is 83. Singer Fee Waybill of The Tubes is 70. Actress Elvira is 67. Comedian Rita Rudner is 65. Puppeteer Kevin Clash (Elmo on “Sesame Street”) is 58. Actor/director Paul Feig is 56. Director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) is 56. Singer BeBe Winans is 56. Actor Kyle Chandler (“Early Edition”) is 53. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 52. Actor Malik Yoba (“New York Undercover”) is 51. Singer Anastacia is 50. Vocalist Keith Flint of Prodigy is 49. Actor Matthew Settle (“Gossip Girl”) is 49. Rapper Vinnie of Naughty By Nature is 48. Actor Bobby Lee (“MADtv,” ”Harold and Kumar” films) is 47. Singer Marcus Sanders of Hi-Five is 45. Singer-actress Nona Gaye (“The Matrix” films) is 44. Drummer Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan is 39. Actor Billy Miller (“General Hospital,” ”The Young and the Restless”) is 39. Actress Danielle Brooks (“Orange Is The New Black”) is 29. Actress Denyse Tontz (“All My Children,” ”Big Time Rush”) is 24.

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