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This Day in History: Monday, January 17, 2022

Television and Radio
The original version of sitcom “The Goldbergs, based on the then popular radio series, opened on CBS in 1949. It starred Gertrude Berg and Philip Loeb…Crime drama “Baretta,” starring Robert Blake, debuted on ABC in 1975. Originally conceived as a continuation of “Toma, which was in search of a new lead actor after Tony Musante exited, “Toma” morphed into “Baretta” and the location shifted from New Jersey to California.

Asylum Records released “Court and Spark”, Joni Mitchell’s sixth studio album; featuring the songs “Help Me” and “Free Man In Paris” in 1974…Barry Manilow single “I Write the Songs” rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Music charts in 1976.

The cartoon character Popeye, a sailor known for his love of spinach, made his debut, appearing in the newspaper comic strip “Thimble Theatre” in 1929. “Thimble Theatre” strip was in its 10th year when Popeye made his debut, but the one-eyed sailor quickly became the main focus of the strip, and “Thimble Theatre” became one of King Features’ most popular properties during the 1930s.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Actor James Earl Jones is 91; talk show host Maury Povich is 83; singer Chris Montez is 80; singer William Hart of The Delfonics is 77; actor Joanna David (“Downton Abbey”) is 75; actor Jane Elliott (“General Hospital”) is also 75; former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor is 74; singer Sheila Hutchinson of The Emotions is 69; singer Steve Earle is 67; singer Paul Young is 66; Steve Harvey is 65; singer Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles is 63; Jim Carrey is 60; writer-Director Brian Helgeland (“42,” ″Mystic River,” ″L.A. Confidential”) is 61; actor Denis O’Hare (“The Good Wife,” ″True Blood”) is 60; actor Joshua Malina (“The West Wing,” ″Sports Night”) is 56;  singer Shabba Ranks is 56; actor Naveen Andrews (“Instinct,” “Lost”) is 53; musician Kid Rock is 51; actor Freddy Rodriguez (“The Night Shift,” ″Six Feet Under”) is 47; actor-singer Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”) is 42; singer Ray J is 41; DJ Calvin Harris is 38.

Did You Know?
In 1950, Philip Loeb was blacklisted and pressure was placed on Gertrude Berg (who owned the television version of “The Goldbergs”) to fire him. When she refused, General Foods canceled their sponsorship and CBS dropped it from their schedule in June 1951. When NBC picked the series for the 1952 to 53 season (in a twice weekly 15-minute format), it insisted on not including Philip Loeb. Harold J. Stone and then Robert H. Harris ultimately replaced Loeb. In 1954, “The Goldbergs” reverted to a weekly half-hour and moved to the DuMont network, and a final version aired in first-run syndication from 1955 to 1956.