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Today in History: Sunday, July 2, 2023

The Jenkins Television Corporation (owned by Charles Jenkins) went on air with W3XK in 1928, the first television broadcasting station in the USA…”The Bob & Ray Show,” hosted by Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding, premiered on NBC radio in 1951…“The Lawrence Welk Show, which was initially a summer replacement series, began its 16-season run on ABC in 1955. When the alphabet net canceled the series in 1971 because of the older audience skew, it remained in original production in first-run syndication in 1982…The 70’s version of game show “Match Game” — the series’ most popular — hosted by Gene Rayburn premiered on CBS daytime in 1973…Brian Wilson in 1976 joined the Beach Boys on stage for the first night in 12 years. The next night the show was recorded for an NBC Beach Boys special… NBC aired the 90-minute special “Live from Studio 8H: An Evening with Jerome Robbins” in 1980 featuring members of the New York City Ballet performing the popular dance numbers by the famed Broadway musical choreographer.

Musical drama “King Creole,” starring Elvis Presley, opened in theaters in 1958…”Shaft” starring Richard Roundtree premiered in 1971. Its popular instrumental theme song was composed by Isaac Hayes… Two films premiered in 1980: comedy film “Airplane!” written and directed by David ZuckerJim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and starring Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty; “The Blue Lagoon” starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins…Three movies opened in 1986: John Carpenter‘s “Big Trouble in Little China” starring Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall ; “About Last Night” starring Rob LoweDemi MooreJim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins; “Psycho III” starring Anthony Perkins… Will Smith continued his successful run of box office hits in the late 90’s with the alien invasion blockbuster “Independence Day” (alongside stars Jeff GoldblumBill Pullman, and Vivica A. Fox) in 1996 and the science fiction comedy smash “Men in Black” (also starred Tommy Lee Jones and Linda Fiorentino) in 1997.

Single “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” was released by Conway Twitty in 1973. It was ultimately named Billboard Song of the Year… Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Gonna Fly Now (Theme to ‘Rocky’)” by Bill Conti in 1977; “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson in 1988.

The first Walmart store opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas.

Celebrity Birthdays
Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos is 924; actor Robert Ito (“Quincy”) is 92; NASCAR legend Richard Petty is 86; actress Polly Holliday (“Alice”, “Flo”) is 86; “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David is 76; actress Wendy Schaal (“American Dad,” ″It’s a Living”) is 69; model Jerry Hall is 67; former professional wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart is 66; actor Jimmy McNichol is 62; former baseball slugger Jose Canseco is 59; actress Yancy Butler (“Witchblade”) is 53; actor Owain Yeoman (“The Mentalist”) is 45; singer Michelle Branch is 40; Olympic figure skating broadcaster Johnny Weir is 39; Disney star Ashley Tisdale is 38; actress Lindsay Lohan is 37;  actress Margot Robbie is 33. And a Happy 29th Birthday to my son (and “UpDating” host) Brandon Berman!

Did You Know?
In the early seasons of “The Lawrence Welk Show, the primary sponsor was Dodge. The Dodge name would be part of the set and during some performances, and the original show title was “The Lawrence Welk Dodge Show.”