Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm going to play a song for you

September 9, 1972 -
The animated-series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, hosted by Bill Cosby, debuted on CBS TV on this date.

In 1969, Cosby and veteran animator Ken Mundie brought Fat Albert to animation in a one-shot prime-time special entitled Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert. The producers wanted NBC to bring Fat Albert to Saturday mornings, but they refused because the series was too educational. Bill Cosby and a new production company, Filmation Associates, took the property to CBS, where it remained on the air for 12 years.

September 9, 1975 -
The sitcom Welcome Back Kotter, starring Gabe Kaplan, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

The original title of the series was to be simply Kotter, but that was before composer John Sebastian had difficulty writing the theme song lyrics. He couldn't find enough rhyming words for the title. Giving up on that tack, he decided to compose lyrics that illustrated the premise of the show in a song called, "Welcome Back." The producers were so impressed with the song that they decided to change the series title to Welcome Back, Kotter. The song was also released on a single which went to #1 on the charts.

September 9, 1978 -
The Rolling Stones released their hit, Beast of Burden on this date.

Today in History -
September 9, 1087 -
William the Conqueror died of internal injuries, sustained six weeks prior in a horse riding accident at Mantes-la-Jolie.

The king's funeral did not go well - according to some sources, a fire broke out during the funeral; the original owner of the land on which the church was built claimed he had not been paid yet, demanding 60 shillings, which William's son Henry had to pay on the spot. When the corpulent king was later laid to rest in the foundations of a church, his corpse would not fit in the stone sarcophagus. William's "swollen bowels burst, and an intolerable stench assailed the nostrils of the by-standers and the whole crowd."

Don't you just wish they had television back then.

September 9, 1890 -
121 years ago today a little boy named Harland was born in Kentucky.

When Harland was six, his father died and his mother was forced to go to work. Little Harland did most of the cooking for his younger siblings. By the age of seven he was a master of the local cuisine.

There was no stopping the ambitious Harland, who had his own highway service station in Corbin, Kentucky, by the time he was forty.

He began cooking for hungry travelers who stopped at his service station. He didn't own a restaurant, so he served them at his own dining table. Word of his excellent cooking spread (secret combination of eleven herbs and spices) , and soon he moved across the street to a restaurant that seated 142 people.

His cooking soon became so well known that his state's governor, Ruby Laffoon, made him a colonel.

In an independent 1976 survey, Colonel Harland Sanders was ranked as the world's second most recognizable figure.

September 9, 1956 -
Elvis Presley makes his first-ever appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing four songs for guest host Charles Laughton.

Ed himself had vowed never to have Presley on his show, but Sullivan is at home, recuperating from a severe head injury, from a drunken fall.

September 9, 1971 -
1,300 inmates riot inside the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York state, commandeering the prison and taking 40 guards hostage.

The national guard stages an assault five days later, killing 42 people in the process (10 of them being captives).

September 9, 1976 -
Mao Tse-tung, Chinese Communist party chairman (1949-76) died in Beijing. "Who controls a man’s ideas controls the man."

In 1965, he launched the controversial Cultural Revolution, an often-brutal campaign to reform Chinese society. He was later held responsible for over 70 million deaths. Mao Zedong’s death triggered a 2-year power struggle. The Cultural Revolution's chief architects, Mao’s widow (Jiang Qing) and 3 others, the so-called Gang of Four, were jailed. Deng Xiaoping returned from disgrace and eventually seized power.

September 9, 2003 -
Edward Teller, the "Father of the Hydrogen Bomb" and purported model for Dr. Strangelove (or Kissinger was, take your pick), dies at the age of 95 at his home on the Stanford University campus.

His role in the destruction of colleague J. Robert Oppenheimer's career during the McCarthy era resulted in his own ostracism by many of his peers.

And no, he didn't utter, Mein Fuhrer, I can walk just before his death.

And so it goes

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