440 International Those Were the Days
October 4

Events - October 4
1854 - Honest Abe Lincoln made his first great political speech while attending the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

1881 - The player piano was invented by Edward Leveaux of Sussex, England, who received a patent for it this day. There were many player piano inventions going on throughout the world during this time. Leveaux happened to be the lucky chap who received the patent England was handing out.

1931 - “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” Gumshoe "Dick Tracy" debuted in "The Detroit Mirror". A week later, "The New York Daily News" and hundreds of others picked up the Chester Gould comic strip.

1933 - "Esquire" magazine was published for the first time. Considered racy for its time, it pales in comparison to today’s choices of reading material. "Esquire" can now be described as sophisticated.

1939 - A barber from Canonsburg (near Pittsburgh), PA, who had quite a singing voice, recorded "That Old Gang of Mine" with the Ted Weems Orchestra. That singer was the feature of the Weems band for many years before going solo as a radio, TV and stage star. You know him as ‘The Incomparable Mr. C.’, Perry Como. His string of hits for RCA Victor spans four decades. He was an NBC mainstay for years and years.

1943 - "Is You is or is You Ain’t My Baby?" was the musical question by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five on this day -- on Decca Records.

1948 - Gordon MacRae hosted the premiere of a radio classic. "The Railroad Hour" debuted on ABC radio. The theme song was "I’ve Been Working on the Railroad" and the show was sponsored by -- get ready -- America’s Railroads.

1953 - "I Led Three Lives" was first seen in syndication (it was never on a TV network) this day. Richard Carlson starring as Herbert Philbrick.

1954 - Comedienne Spring Byington began the successful network TV series, "December Bride" -- on CBS. The show had started on radio in 1952 before making the switch to black and white TV.

1957 - The first Earth satellite was launched into space this day by the Soviet Union. The craft circled the earth every 95 minutes at almost 2,000 miles per hour. "Sputnik I" fell from the sky on January 4, 1958.

1957 - "Leave It to Beaver" premiered on CBS-TV. “...And starring Jerry Mathers as the Beaver,” Hugh Beaumont (Ward Cleaver), Tony Dow (Wally), and Barbara Billingsley as Mrs. June Cleaver. The Cleavers lived a surreal-American life. June even did the housework in three strands of pearls, fashion plate dresses, makeup and high heels. Life was so grand!

1966 - It was, indeed, a "Sunny" day for singer Bobby Hebb, who received a shiny gold record award for his song.

1970 - Janis Joplin died from a drug overdose. She was 27. Joplin, known for her passionate, bluesy, vocal style, was the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company. She became a superstar with hits like, "Down on Me", "Pearl" (her nickname) and "Every Little Piece of My Heart"; but "Me and Bobby McGee" was her only certified top 40 hit. The Bette Midler movie, "The Rose", was based on Joplin’s life.

1976 - TV audiences watched as Barbara Walters joined Harry Reasoner at the anchor desk of the "ABC Evening News" for the first time. Walters made the switch with a million-dollar paycheck, becoming the first woman to anchor a network evening newscast.

1981 - Olympic star Bruce Jenner added the title of actor to his resume. He joined singer Harry Belafonte in their first dramatic roles on NBC-TV’s "Grambling’s White Tiger". The story line involved Jenner as an object of reverse discrimination upon his enrollment at the famous all-black southern college.

1984 - “There it goes! It could be, it might be, it’s...” A sad day for long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans. Chicago lost to the Padres 7-1 in the National League Championship Series.

1986 - Dan Rather of "The CBS Evening News" was mugged in New York City. Some ten years later, Rather’s attacker was identifed as William Tager, who fatally shot an NBC technician outside of the "Today" show studios in 1994.

1992 - Miami Dolphins’ safety Louis Oliver grabbed three interceptions from the Buffalo Bills and returned one for a 103-yard touchdown. That return tied for the NFL’s all-time longest interception return with a 103-yard return by San Diego’s Vencie Glenn against Denver on November 29, 1987.

1996 - "That Thing You Do!" was released by 20th Century Fox. The movie marked the directorial debut Tom Hanks and starred Hanks, Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Jonathon Schaech, Steve Zahn, Ethan Embry, Rita Wilson, Chris Isaak, Kevin Pollak, Peter Scolari, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Chris Ellis, and Bill Cobbs. The story revolves around a rock & roll band trying to hit it big in the wake of the British Invasion in early 1964. "That Thing You Do!" brought in a decent $25,513,987 in the U.S.

1997 - "4 Seasons of Loneliness", by Boyz II Men, was the #1 single in the U.S. The song, from their "Evolution" album, was number one for one week.

Those Were the Days: Current Issues

Birthdays - October 4
1822 - Rutherford B. Hayes (19th U.S. President [1877-1881]; married to Lucy Webb [seven sons, one daughter]; nickname: Dark-Horse President; died Jan 17, 1893)

1861 - Frederic Remington (artist: captured the American West on his canvases; died Dec 26, 1909)

1862 - Edward L. Stratemeyer (author: used over 60 different names to pen over 800 books: Laura Lee Hope: The Bobbsey Twins; Arthur Winfield: The Rover Boys, Tom Swift; The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew series; died May 10, 1930)

1884 - (Alfred) Damon Runyon (journalist; script writer: The Lemon Drop Kid, Little Miss Marker, Sorrowful Jones, Guys and Dolls, Pocketful of Miracles; died Dec 10, 1946)

1895 - Buster (Joseph Frank) Keaton (VI) (actor: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Hollywood Clowns, Man in the Silk Hat, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, When Comedy was King, Sunset Boulevard, God’s Country, Doughboys, The Saphead; grandfather of actor Michael Keaton; died Feb 1, 1966)

1910 - Frankie (Frank Peter Joseph) Crosetti (‘Crow’: baseball: NY Yankees [World Series: 1932, 1936-1939, 1942, 1943/all-star: 1936, 1939]; died Feb 11, 2002)

1917 - Jan Murray (Murry Janofsky) (TV host: Dollar a Second, Treasure Hunt, Songs for Sale, Sing It Again, Go Lucky, Blind Date; comedian: Jan Murray Time; died July 2, 2006)

1923 - Charlton Heston (John Charlton Carter) (Academy Award-winning actor: Ben-Hur [1959]; In the Mouth of Madness, A Thousand Heroes, Tombstone, El Cid, Earthquake, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, Khartoum, Airport 1975, Midway, Omega Man, Antony & Cleopatra, True Lies; president: National Rifle Association [NRA]; died Apr 5, 2008)

1927 - Rip (Eldon John) Repulski (baseball: SL Cardinals [all-star: 1956], Philadelphia Phillies, LA Dodgers [World Series: 1959], Boston Red Sox; died Feb 10, 1993)

1928 - Alvin Toffler (author: Future Shock, Power Shift, The Third Wave; died Jun 27, 2016)

1929 - Leroy Van Dyke (singer: Walk on By, Auctioneer, If a Woman Answers; film: What am I Bid?)

1932 - Felicia Farr (actress: Charley Varrick, Kotch, Kiss Me Stupid)

1934 - Sam Huff (Pro Football Hall of Famer: New York Giants middle linebacker: All Pro 1958, 1959; Washington Redskins; subject of TV special: The Violent World of Sam Huff)

1935 - Jimmy Orr (football: Baltimore Colts wide receiver: Super Bowl III, V)

1937 - Jackie Collins (author: Hollywood Wives, Hollywood Husbands, Rockstar, Lady Boss, American Star; actress: Barnacle Bill, The Safecracker, Passport to Shame, Jackie's Back!; sister of actress Joan Collins; died Sep 19, 2015)

1941 - Anne Rice (Howard O’Brien Rice) (author: Interview with a Vampire)

1941 - Lori Saunders (Hines) (actress: Petticoat Junction, Dusty’s Trail)

1941 - Jerrel Wilson (football: Kansas City Chiefs punter: Super Bowl I, IV; died Apr 9, 2005)

1945 - Clifton Davis (actor: That’s My Mama, Amen, Love, American Style, The Melba Moore-Clifton Davis Show, Dream Date, Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy ’Satchel’ Paige)

1946 - Susan Sarandon (Tomaling) (Academy Award-winning actress: Dead Man Walking [1995]; Little Women, Atlantic City, Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, Witches of Eastwick, Bull Durham, The Client, Search for Tomorrow)

1947 - Jim Fielder (musician: bass: groups: Buffalo Springfield; Mothers of Invention; Blood, Sweat & Tears: Spinning Wheel, You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, And When I Die)

1947 - Jim McFarland (football: Univ. of Nebraska [All Big 8/All-American: 1968, 1969], SL Cardinals, Miami Dolphins; attorney; Nebraska State Senator)

1948 - Cedrick Hardman (football: Oakland Raiders defensive end: Super Bowl XV)

1949 - Mike Adamle (football: Northwestern Univ. [All-America fullback/Big Ten MVP: 1970], KC Chiefs, NY Jets, Chicago Bears; sports anchor/host: WLS-TV, Chicago, NBC Sports, ABC Sports, ESPN)

1949 - Armand Assante (actor: Mambo Kings, Hoffa, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Blind Justice, Fatal Instinct, Trial by Jury, Private Benjamin, Jack the Ripper, The Lords of Flatbush)

1950 - Ed (Edward Louis) Halicki (baseball: SF Giants, California Angels)

1950 - Alan Rosenberg (actor: The Last Temptation of Christ, The Preppie Murder, L.A. Law, Witch Hunt, Cybill, Chicago Hope, The Guardian)

1959 - Chris Lowe (musician: keyboards: group: Pet Shop Boys: LP: What Have I Done to Deserve This)

1967 - Liev Schreiber (actor: Jakob the Liar, Buffalo Girls, The Sunshine Boys, Ransom, Scream series, Sphere, The Hurricane, Hamlet)

1976 - Alicia Silverstone (actress: Clueless, The Babysitter, Batman & Robin, Blast from the Past)

1980 - Jimmy Workman (actor: The Addams Family, Addams Family Values)

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Chart Toppers - October 4
I’ll Walk Alone - Dinah Shore
Is You is or is You Ain’t - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
It Had to Be You - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
Smoke on the Water - Red Foley

You Belong to Me - Jo Stafford
Wish You Were Here - Eddie Fisher
I Went to Your Wedding - Patti Page
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Hank Williams

My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own - Connie Francis
Chain Gang - Sam Cooke
Mr. Custer - Larry Verne
Alabam - Cowboy Copas

Hey Jude - The Beatles
Hush - Deep Purple
Fire - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Harper Valley P.T.A. - Jeannie C. Riley

Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
I’d Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan & John Ford Coley
A Fifth of Beethoven - Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
Here’s Some Love - Tanya Tucker

Let’s Go Crazy - Prince & The Revolution
Drive - The Cars
I Just Called to Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
Turning Away - Crystal Gayle

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they‘d never end...

Comments/Corrections: TWtDfix@440fun.com

Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams

Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International

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