August 17, 1968: Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel is released

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Bookends (1968) by Simon & Garfunkel (5 weeks, total 7 weeks)

Bookends is the fourth studio album by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel. The duo had risen to fame two years prior with the albums Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and the soundtrack album for the 1967 film The Graduate.

Bookends is a concept album that explores a life journey from childhood to old age. Side one of the album marks successive stages in life, the theme serving as bookends to the life cycle. Side two largely consists of unused material for The Graduate soundtrack. Simon’s lyrics concern youth, disillusionment, relationships, old age, and mortality.

The album produced the number-one single “Mrs. Robinson”. Bookends was considered a breakthrough for the duo, placing them on the same level as artists such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones at the forefront of the cultural movement in the 1960s. The album has continued to receive critical acclaim.

Find out more at Wikipedia.

August 17, 1958: American singer Belinda Carlisle born

1958-Belinda_Carlisle_(14357874569)-WikipediaBelinda Carlisle is an American singer. She gained worldwide fame as the lead singer of The Go-Gos, one of the most successful all-female bands of all time, and went on to have a prolific career as a solo act.

Carlisle began her music career in 1977 as a member of the Los Angeles punk band the Germs, and went on to join The Go-Gos as the lead singer after the band’s formation in 1978. With their chart-topping debut release Beauty and the Beat in 1981, the group helped popularise new wave music in the United States, and were the first all-female band in history who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to achieve a No. 1 album. The Go-Go’s have sold over 7 million records worldwide.

After dissolution of The Go-Go’s in 1985, Carlisle went on to have a successful solo career with radio hits such as “Mad About You”, “I Get Weak”, “Circle in the Sand”, “Leave a Light On” and “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”, among others, which were major successes internationally.

Find out more at Wikipedia.

20th Century Hitz

August 16, 1958: American singer & actress Madonna born

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Madonna (1958-)

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the “Queen of Pop” since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music, as well as visual imagery in music videos and on stage. She has also frequently reinvented both her music and image while maintaining autonomy within the recording industry. Besides sparking controversy, her works have been praised by music critics. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.

Madonna moved to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing as a drummer, guitarist and vocalist in the rock bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, Madonna signed with Sire Records in 1982 and released her eponymous debut album the next year. She followed it with a series of successful albums, including the global bestsellers, Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986), as well as Grammy Award winner, Ray of Light (1998). Throughout her career, Madonna has written and produced most of her songs, with many of them reaching number one on the record charts, including “Like a Virgin”, “La Isla Bonita”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Take a Bow”, and “Frozen”.

Madonna’s popularity was further enhanced by her roles in films such as Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Dick Tracy (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), and Evita (1996). While the latter earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, many of her other films received poor reviews. As a businesswoman, Madonna founded her own entertainment company Maverick, including the label Maverick Records, in 1992. Her other ventures include fashion design, writing children’s books, opening of health clubs, and film-making.

Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is recognised as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) listed her as the second highest-certified female artist in the U.S., with 64.5 million album units. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo act on its Hot 100 song chart and second overall behind the Beatles. She is also the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, earning U.S. $1.4 billion from her concert tickets. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility, Madonna topped VH1’s countdown of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Additionally, Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

20th Century Hitz

20th Century Flix

August 16, 1988: The Presidio opens in UK cinemas

1988-The_PresidioThe Presidio is an American crime drama film starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon.

THE PRESIDIO ARMY BASE, SAN FRANCISCO.

When a landmark of historic tradition becomes the scene of a shocking murder, a military commander and a street-tough cop are forced into action…

against the killer, the mysterious past, and each other.

Jay Austin is now a civilian police detective. Colonel Caldwell was his commanding officer years before when he left the military police over a disagreement over the handling of a drunk driver. Now a series of murders that cross jurisdictions force them to work together again. That Austin is now dating Caldwell’s daughter is not helping the relationship at all. [IMDb.com]

 NOTABLE CAST & CREW

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Sean Connery (1930-), “Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell”

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Mark Harmon (1951-), “SFPD inspector Jay Austin”

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Meg Ryan (1961-), “Donna Caldwell”

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Jack Warden (1909-2006), “Max Corkle”

August 16, 1958: American actress Angela Bassett born

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Angela Bassett (1958-)

Angela Bassett is an American actress and activist. She is known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won a corresponding Golden Globe Award. Bassett has additionally portrayed Betty Shabazz in both Malcolm X (1992) and Panther (1995), and Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992).

Bassett began her film career in the mid-1980s, after earning a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree from drama school. In the 1990s, she appeared in films nearly every year. Bassett won awards for her performances in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Music of the Heart (1999), among others.

20th Century Highlights
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The Jacksons – An American Dream (1992 TV miniseries), Katherine Jackson
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Malcolm X (1992), Betty Shabazz

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What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993), Tina Turner

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Strange Days (1995), “Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason”

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Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), “Detective Rita Veder”

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Waiting to Exhale (1995), “Bernadine ‘Bernie’ Harris”

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How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), “Stella Payne”

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Music of the Heart (1999), “Janet Williams”