1979: The Day the [Disco] Music Died
On the day in 1979, disco music had a death blow as DJ’s Steve Dahl and Garry Meier from Chicago’s WLUP FM created the “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey Park for the purpose of “the eradication and elimination of the dreaded musical disease.” During the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers double header, the organizers offered 98-cent discount tickets to any fan who arrived with disco album. The plan was to place all of the records in an explosive-rigged dumpster in center field. Over 40,000 people stormed the park with as many outside the stadium. Many of the records were not collected, thousands of fans stormed the field lighting vinyl bonfires and throwing the discs while the scoreboard begged the crowd to go back to their seats. In the end, 39 people were arrested, at least nine were injured and the second game was cancelled. The Detroit Tigers were awarded a win by forfeit. (Image: Wikimedia)
1976: Families Start Feuding
From 1965 to 1970, Richard Dawson played Newkirk on the CBS sitcom, Hogan’s Heroes. After that he appeared as a panelist regular on the network’s game show, Match Game. During this time, he had an unofficial agreement with one of the show’s creators, Mark Goodson, that when the next Goodson-Todman game was created, Dawson would receive an invitation to audition to host the show. A little while later Dawson read in a trade publication that a new game show called Family Feud was in the works and it would be hosted by William Shatner. Angered by this, Dawson sent his agent to Goodson’s office to ask him to reconsider or Dawson would not be the same likeable and funny guy fans appreciated when appearing on Match Game. Goodson gave in, Dawson auditioned and got the job. The first episode of the guessing game show that pitted one family against another, appeared on ABC on this day in 1976. Dawson hosted the show through 1985 when ABC cancelled it. Ray Combs jumped in the saddle when the show was revived for CBS from 1988-1994.
Dawson did a repeat performance for the syndicated show from 1994-1995. Family Feud was off the air for four years before another syndicated version of the show appeared with Louie Anderson as host from 1999-2002 followed by Richard Karn from 2002-2006 and John O’Hurley from 2006-2010. Hurley has stated that he left the show when the producers insisted on adding rude humor to the show’s questions. Steve Harvey has done the honors for both the syndicated show and the the “celebrity” edition that airs on ABC, since 2010.
- 100 BC: Julius Caesar (Roman politician)
- 1817: Henry David Thoreau (poet)
- 1895: Oscar Hammerstein (film director)
- 1908: Milton Berle (comedian)
- 1937: Bill Cosby (comedian)
- 1948: Richard Simmons (celebrity fitness trainer)
- 1951: Cheryl Ladd (actress)
- 1951: Brian Grazer (screenwriter)
- 1956: Mel Harris (actress)
- 1956: Sandi Patty (singer)
- 1971: Loni Love (comedian)
- 1971: Kristi Yamaguchi (Olympic figure skater)
- 1975: Phil Lord (filmmaker)
- 1978: Topher Grace (actor)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.