It was on this day in 1993 that the first episode of The Late Show with David Letterman premiered on CBS. On today's "A Day in the Life" we revisit the rivalry between Leno and Letterman and explore the late night legacy of The Ed Sullivan Theater.
It was on this day in 1977 that Ronnie Lee Adkins informed Memphis police that he had infiltrated a small group of men who were planning to steal the body of Elvis Presley and then ransom it back to the Presley family. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the twisty tale in all of its nonsensical glory.
Today in 1968, Jimi Hendrix opened up Electric Lady Studios in New York City's Greenwich Village. What musicians played in this space before and after it became Hendrix's personal space for creativity? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
It is the birthday of Gene Simmons, born as Chaim Witz on this day in 1949. How did he come to be the long-tongued bassist for KISS? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today we celebrate the birthday of Leon Theremin--born on this day in 1894--by exploring his singular contribution to the sound world of the 20th century: The Theremin. How did this spy influence The Beach Boys? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1912 that triple-threat singer, dancer, and actor Gene Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Born into a working class family, far from the starry spotlight into which he would eventually step. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore Kelly's rise to stardom.
Today in 1929 Walt Disney Productions released the first of 75 short films from its “Silly Symphony” series. Titled, “Skeleton Dance,” this first short black and white animated film begins with two cats fighting on top of a gravestone. Soon skeletons emerge from the graves and start to dance around. On today's "A Day in the Life" we meet the man responsible for the music, Carl Stalling.
Today is the birthday of former President Bill Clinton. When did he first become interested in music and when did he first pick up the saxophone? And how might that saxophone have swayed his 1992 presidential victory? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1997 Patrick Swayze received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the anniversary of Dirty Dancing. Learn about the film's music and Swayze's own contributions to the soundtrack on today's "A Day in the Life."
The first commercial compact disc was made on this day in 1982. Who was featured on this first recording and what was next for this new technology? Find out on this episode of "A Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1974 that the Ramones took the stage for the first time at CBGB in Manhattan's East Village. On today's "A Day in the Life", find out what Paul McCartney had to do with the naming of the band.
It was on this day in 1969 that a music festival opened up on the grounds of Max Yasgur's dairy farm in the town of Bethel, just outside of White Lake, New York. On today's "A Day in the Life" learn how Woodstock came to be and its connection to Bob Dylan and The Band.
English poet William Blake passed away on this day in 1827. What was he working on at the time of his death? And what was his influence on the music of Monty Python and U2? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1973, DJ Kool Herc threw the first ever hip-hop party. The venue was his sister's high-rise apartment in the Bronx. What was the price of admission, what music did he play, and what innovative techniques did he introduce? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life.
Isaac Hayes passed away today in 2008. On today's "A Day in the Life", we look at the wide-reaching impact of his career as a songwriter, performer, producer, and voice-actor. From "Shaft" to "Soul Man" to Public Enemy and South Park, Hayes was one bad mother--shut your mouth!
Today in 1995, founding member of the Grateful Dead--Jerry Garcia--passed away at the age of 53. He stood at the helm of this eclectic American rock band for three decades, serving as lead guitar player and one of the primary vocalists for more than 2300 tour dates. On today's "A Day in the Life", find out what emergent jam band paid tribute to Garcia on the night of his death.
It was on this day in 1986 that She’s Gotta Have it The first film by Spike Lee was released in theaters. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore Lee's ascendancy in pop culture as a result of the film and the character he played, Mars Blackmon.
Today in 1957, American Bandstand had its national broadcast debut. Find out how Dick Clark's dance-oriented program spawned the phrase: "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it" on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1944, the Gestapo discovered the family of Otto Frank in Amsterdam, including his daughter Anne. Find out how The Diary of Anne Frank connects to the band Neutral Milk Hotel and the comedian Stephen Colbert on today's "A Day in the Life."
The great American writer Flannery O'Connor passed away on this day in 1964. Find out how her writings influenced U2, PJ Harvey, and Bruce Springsteen on today's "A Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1929 that Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'" was first performed at the premiere of "Connie's Hot Chocolates" in Harlem. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the ascendance of the tune and the several versions recorded in its debut year.
It was on this day in 1981 at 12:01 AM that MTV played its first music video. The song was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the intersection between music and video.
Billy Joel’s 10th studio album, The Bridge, debuted on this date in 1986, which features guest appearances by Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles, and Steve Winwood. What do these musicians have to do with the title of the album? Find out today on “A Day in the Life.”
On this day in 1941, the American playwright Eugene O’Neill presented his wife with the manuscript of Long Day’s Journey into Night. It would eventually become a successful theatrical production and a film staring Katharine Hepburn. Hear André Previn’s haunting soundtrack and learn how it contributes to the narrative action today on “A Day in the Life.”
Today in 1984 the film Purple Rain was released in US movie theaters. To what extent is it autobiographical about Prince’s rise to fame in Minneapolis? What does the title mean? Find out on today’s “A Day in the Life.”