Today in Entertainment History
On Feb. 2, 1956, Atlantic Records signed The Coasters.
In 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper made what ended up being their last public appearances at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. They died in a plane crash the next day.
In 1968, Jethro Tull performed for the first time under that name, at London’s Marquee Club.
In 1973, the NBC rock show “Midnight Special” made its debut, with Helen Reddy as the host.
In 1974, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer sustained minor cuts when a rigged piano exploded prematurely during a concert in San Francisco.
In 1979, former Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose at age 21. The death was ruled accidental.
In 1993, a judge in New York dropped gun charges against singer Harry Connick Junior. He had been arrested when he tried to bring a pistol on board a flight at Kennedy Airport.
Also in 1993, Willie Nelson and the Internal Revenue Service reached a settlement on his estimated $17 million tax debt.
In 1996, entertainer Gene Kelly died of complications from strokes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 83.
In 2011, The White Stripes announced their breakup.
Today’s birthdays: Comedian Tom Smothers is 83. Singer Graham Nash is 78. Actor Bo Hopkins (film’s “American Graffiti,” TV’s “Dynasty”) is 76. Singer Howard Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers is 74. TV chef Ina (EE’-nah) Garten (“Barefoot Contessa”) is 72. Actor Jack McGee (“The McCarthys”) is 71. Actor Brent Spiner (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) is 71. Bassist Ross Valory of Journey is 71. Model Christie Brinkley is 66. Actor Michael Talbott (“Miami Vice”) is 65. Actress Kim Zimmer (“Guiding Light”) is 65. Actor Michael T. Weiss (“The Pretender”) is 58. Comedian Adam Ferrara (“Rescue Me”) is 54. Bassist Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots is 54. Actress Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”) is 50. Rapper T-Mo (Goodie Mob) is 48. Actress Marissa Jaret Winokur is 47. Actress Lori Beth Denberg (“The Steve Harvey Show”) is 44. Steel guitarist Jesse Siebenberg of Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real is 44. Singer Shakira is 43. Actor Rich Sommer (“Mad Men” Film: “The Devil Wears Prada”) is 42. Actress Zosia Mamet (ZAH’-shah MAM’-et) (“Girls”) is 32.