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Today in Entertainment History

On Jan. 22, 1938, Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" was performed publicly for the first time, in Princeton, New Jersey.

  • In 1953, "The Crucible," Arthur Miller's drama about the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, opened on Broadway.
  • In 1959, Buddy Holly made his last recordings in New York. He died in a plane crash the next month.
  • In 1960, singer Sam Cooke signed with RCA Records.
  • In 1963, Gerry and the Pacemakers held their first recording sessions. One of the songs recorded that day was "How Do You Do It?"
  • In 1967, the Rolling Stones refused to go on the revolving stage during the finale of the British TV show "Sunday Night At The London Palladium." The press saw it as a snub against tradition.
  • In 1968, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, premiered on NBC.
  • In 1971, the Joe Cocker film "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" premiered in London. The movie was a documentary of Cocker's tour of the same name. It featured performances by Cocker, Leon Russell and Rita Coolidge.
  • In 1990, Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash used a profanity while accepting American Music Awards for his band. Viewers complained to ABC, which had broadcast the show live. The network apologized.
  • In 1994, actor Telly Savalas died of cancer in Los Angeles, a day after his 70th birthday.
  • In 1998, singer Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities of more than $1 million.
  • In 2004, Jennifer Lopez called off her engagement to Ben Affleck.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Piper Laurie is 90. Singer Steve Perry (Journey) is 73. Bassist Teddy Gentry of Alabama is 70. Actor John Wesley Shipp ("The Flash," "Dawson's Creek") is 67. Actor Linda Blair is 63. Actor Diane Lane is 57. Country singer Regina Nicks of Regina Regina is 57. Rapper-actor DJ Jazzy Jeff is 57. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 54. Actor Olivia D'Abo ("Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "The Wonder Years") is 53. Actor Katie Finneran ("The Michael J. Fox Show") is 51. Actor Gabriel Macht (MAHKT) ("Suits") is 50. Actor Balthazar Getty is 47. Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson ("Malcolm in the Middle") is 42. Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 42. Singer Willa Ford is 41. Actor Beverley Mitchell ("Seventh Heaven") is 41. Guitarist Ben Moody of The Fallen (and formerly of Evanescence) is 41. Actor-singer Phoebe Strole ("Glee") is 39. Rapper Logic is 32. Actor Sami Gayle ("Blue Bloods") is 26.