JANUARY 4: The Daily Flashback

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Lena Spencer (photo: Joe Alper)
Today is the anniversary of the birth of Lena Spencer.
Photograph by Joe Alper

1850: The first American ice-skating club was organized in Philadelphia.
1936: Billboard magazine published their first Hit Parade chart ranking songs based on sales and airplay. The first No. 1 was “Stop! Look! Listen!” by Joe Venuti & His Orchestra.
1950: RCA Victor announced that it would manufacture long-playing records.
1954: The young truck driver Elvis Presley returned to the Memphis Recording Service for his second visit and paid to record two songs. This time MRS head Sam Phillips gets his number and later calls him to record for his Sun label.
1957: After a run of 69 years, Collier’s magazine published its final issue:
1958: The Soviet satellite Sputknik I fell to the earth from its orbit, after having been launched on October 4, 1957.
1960: Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” hit No. 1 in the US despite a whopping 4:40 running time.
1965: Leo Fender sold the Fender Guitar Company to CBS for $13 million.
1967: The Doors released their self-titled debut album.
1970: The Who’s Keith Moon accidentally ran over his chauffeur, Neil Boland, killing him.

1972: Yes’ “Roundabout” was released.
1973: The Allman Brothers Band named bassist Lamar Williams as the replacement for the late Berry Oakley.
1974: President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
1975: Elton John’s cover of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” hit No. 1 in the US.
1981: The Broadway show Frankenstein lost an estimated $2 million, when it opened and closed on the same night.
1982: Bryant Gumbel moved from NBC Sports to the anchor desk where he joined Jane Pauley as co-host of the “Today” show on NBC-TV.
1991: Nirvana signed with Geffen Records.
1999: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as Minnesota’s 37th governor.
2007: Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to hold the position of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. 2012; 66-year-old Bryan Ferry married 29-year Amanda Sheppard, who had previously dated Ferry’s son, Isaac.
2013: Rob Caggiano, longtime lead guitarist for the band Anthrax, announced he was quitting the band.

BIRTHDAYS
1643: Sir Isaac Newton
1809: Louis Braille
1838: Charles Stratton (aka Tom Thumb)
1924: Lena Spencer
1935: Floyd Patterson
1942: John McLaughlin
1946: Arthur Conley
1956: Ann Magnuson
1957: Patty Loveless
1958: Matt Frewer
1960: Michael Stipe
1962: Robin Guthrie
1966: Deana Carter

DEATHS
1986: Phil Lynott
2011: Gerry Rafferty

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