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Today in Entertainment History

May 20, 2019

On May 31, 1958, Sheb Wooley’s “Purple People Eater” hit the top of the pop charts and stayed there for six weeks.

In 1961, Chuck Berry opened Berry Park, an outdoor amusement park in Wentzville, Missouri.

In 1976, The Who got into the “Guinness Book of World Records” as the loudest rock band ever, when their concert in England measured 120 decibels. That record has since been broken.

In 1977, Emerson, Lake and Palmer began a tour of the U.S. accompanied by a 70-piece orchestra.

In 1978, The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno” album went gold.

In 1989, the first International Rock Awards Ceremony was held in New York City. The Traveling Wilburys’ “Volume One” was named album of the year, Guns N’ Roses won artist of the year, and newcomer of the year went to Living Colour.

In 1990, “Seinfeld” made its debut as “The Seinfeld Chronicles” on NBC.

In 1995, musician Ted Nugent placed his handprint and signature in cement in the Hollywood Rock Walk.

In 1996, singer Elsbeary Hobbs, who sang bass with The Drifters, died of throat and lung cancer in New York. He was 59.

In 1998, singer Geri Halliwell, better known as Ginger Spice, quit the Spice Girls.

In 2000, singer Johnnie Taylor died of an apparent heart attack at a hospital in Dallas. He was 62. He’s probably best known for songs like “Who’s Making Love” and “Disco Lady.” That same day, Latin bandleader Tito Puente (PWEN’-tay) died in New York from complications from open heart surgery. He was 77.

In 2006, Katie Couric appeared for the last time on NBC’s “Today” show after 15 years on the program. She left to anchor the “CBS Evening News.”

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 89. Singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary is 81. Keyboardist Augie Meyers of the Texas Tornadoes and the Sir Douglas Quintet is 79. Actress Sharon Gless (“Cagney and Lacey”) is 76. Actor Tom Berenger is 69. Actor Gregory Harrison is 69. Actor Kyle Secor (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) is 62. Actress Roma Maffia (mah-FEE’-uh) (“Nip/Tuck,” ″Profiler”) is 61. Comedian Chris Elliott is 59. Actress Lea Thompson (“Caroline in the City,” ″Back to the Future”) is 58. Singer Corey Hart is 57. Rapper DMC of Run-DMC is 55. Actress Brooke Shields is 54. Country bassist Ed Adkins of The Derailers is 52. “The Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan (KOH’-gan) is 52. Jazz bassist Christian McBride is 47. Actress Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) is 47. Actress Merle Dandridge (“Greenleaf”) is 44. Actor Colin Farrell is 43. Trumpet player Scott Klopfenstein of Reel Big Fish is 42. Actor Eric Christian Olsen (“NCIS: Los Angeles” is 42. Drummer Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy is 39. Rapper Waka Flocka Flame is 33. Actor Curtis Williams Jr. (“Parent’Hood”) is 32. Singer Normani Hamilton of Fifth Harmony is 23.

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