Those Were the Days
Wednesday, November 27, 1996
When asked which one of his songs was his favorite, Eddie Rabbitt waxed philosophical, "That's like asking me to choose which one of my kids is my favorite. I love I Love A Rainy Night and Travelin' My Life Away, but maybe I'd pick Suspicions. I'm really proud of that song, there's so much drama. A man in love with a woman so beautiful that he fears some other man will come and take her away, or she'll be drawn away by her own desires."

Rabbitt (an old Irish/Gaelic name) was born on this day in 1944, in Brooklyn, New York. The son of Irish immigrants, he grew up in East Orange, New Jersey. His father played fiddle and accordion and made sure Eddie learned to play the guitar. In 1968, with $1,000 in his pocket and no music business contacts, Rabbit took a Greyhound to Nashville and began writing songs.

In 1970 he struck gold when Elvis Presley recorded his Kentucky Rain. The song went on to win Rabbitt a BMI award for both country and pop airplay. Eddie Rabbitt began to sing his own songs and landed his first recording contract in 1974. He scored hits with his second album, Rocky Mountain Music and crossed over to the pop charts in 1979 with the theme from the Clint Eastwood movie, Every Which Way But Loose. The haunting single, Suspicions followed in 1980, winning the prestigious Robert J. Burton Award from BMI as the most performed song of the year.

Rabbitt's records have sold millions, his songs have won more than 20 BMI songwriter awards in country music and more than a dozen in pop. Ten of his songs have achieved "million air" status (more than one million radio plays each). His 17 albums have garnered 26 #1 country hits and eight top 40 pop hits. Eddie Rabbitt has also starred in several of his own TV variety specials, was a guest on countless TV programs and been featured in several national television commercials.

The father of two, Rabbitt has been a leader in humanitarian causes and, when it comes to children, he is the first to offer his assistance and "name" value ... as a celebrity spokesperson for such charitable causes as Special Olympics, Safe Kids, Easter Seals, The Muscular Dystrophy Association, and United Cerebral Palsy.

Now the next time it rains, you'll know a little more about the man who wrote the song that won't stop running around in your head.

1779 - On this day, the College of Pennsylvania became the University of Pennsylvania and the first legally recognized university in America.

1889 - Curtis P. Brady was issued the first permit to drive an automobile through Central Park in New York City on this day. Mr. Brady had to pledge to New York's finest that he would not frighten the horses in the park.

1910 - Pennsylvania Station or, Penn Station, was opened to traffic this day. In those days of the early 1900s, the 28-acre train and transportation facility was the largest railway station in the world. Penn Station is still the busiest Amtrak rail station in the U.S.

1924 - The largest crowd to see a high school football game went through the turnstiles in Los Angeles this day. Los Angeles High and Polytechnic High fought to a 7-7 tie. The attendance? 57,000 people!

1926 - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong recorded You Made Me Love You on Okeh Records this day.

1930 - Broadcasting from "...a little theatre off Times Square," according to the show's introduction, The First Nighter was first heard on radio this night. The program, which actually originated from Chicago, then from Hollywood, aired for 23 years and featured dramas and comedies.

1935 - Eeny Meeny Miney Mo was recorded by Ginger Rogers and Johnny Mercer this day. The tune was recorded at Decca Records in Los Angeles.

1937 - The stage play, Pins and Needles opened in New York City this day. The cast consisted of members of the ILGWU (the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union). The show ran two years. We bet it was a stitch.

1951 - The first, black, horse racing jockey was licensed this day in Florida. He was Hosea Richardson and was sixteen years old at the time.

1967 - The Association, a California group, earned a gold record for the hit, Never My Love on Warner Bros. Records. The group also earned worldwide fame for other hits including Windy, Cherish and Along Comes Mary.

1977 - It was a big day for sweat hog, Vinnie Barbarino, formerly of TV's Welcome Back Kotter. His new character, Tony Manero, set box office records this day as Saturday Night Fever made a superstar of John Travolta. The soundtrack album by the Bee Gees and others sold more than 11 million copies.

1982 - The #1 song in the U.S. this day was former Commodore, Lionel Richie's, Truly. The love song stayed at the top of the charts for two weeks. The song was his first solo hit and followed Endless Love, a duet with Diana Ross (1981).

1986 - Lou Holtz signed a five-year pact to lead the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame this day. Holtz left the head coaching job with the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota to take the new position.

November 27
1809 - Levi Strauss
manufacturer, retailer: founder of Levis jeans

1843 - Cornelius Vanderbilt
capitalist: started the Staten Island Ferry

1853 - Bat Masterson
gambler, saloon keeper, lawman, journalist; subject of TV series in the 1960s

1870 - Joe Mack
inventor: passenger bus; founder with brothers of Mack Truck Company

1874 - Chaim Weizmann
Israeli statesman: instrumental in establishing Israel as a national home for Jews

1903 - Mona Washbourne
actress: Mrs. Pearce, My Fair Lady, Night Must Fall, Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter, Brideshead Revisited

1912 - David Merrick (Margulois)
Broadway producer: Hello, Dolly!, Beckett, Oliver, 42nd Street

1917 - Buffalo Bob (Smith)
TV host: Howdy Doody Show, The Gulf Road Show Starring Bob Smith

1925 - Marshall Thompson
actor: The Turning Point, George!, East of Kilimanjaro, To Hell and Back, The Caddy, The Purple Heart, Daktari, Angel

1935 - Al Jackson
drummer: groups: Booker T and the MGs, Roy Milton Band

1935 - Willie (Wilfred) Pastrano
boxer: Light Heavyweight Champion [1963-65]

1937 - Gail Henion Sheehy
author, journalist: Passages, The Silent Passage: Menopause, Pathfinders

1939 - Dave Giusti

1940 - Bruce Lee (Liu Yuen Kam)
actor: martial arts cult star; The Green Hornet, Game of Death, Return of the Dragon, Fists of Fury, Enter the Dragon, Chinese Connection, Marlowe; subject of the movie, Dragon

1942 - Jimi Hendrix
musician, singer: Foxy Lady, Purple Haze, All Along the Watch Tower, The Wind Cries Mary, Manic Depression, Spanish Castle Magic

1944 - Eddie Rabbitt
see "Rabbitt" Day [above]

1947 - Don Adams

1948 - Jimmy Gunn

1949 - Jim Price

1950 - Hans Fassnacht

1952 - Ike Harris

1953 - Boris Grebenshikov
Russian rock musician

1957 - Caroline Kennedy
former First Daughter: daughter of 35th President of U.S. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy

1964 - Robin Givens
actress: Boomerang, Head of the Class, Angel Street, A Rage in Harlem, Foreign Student, Blankman, The Penthouse, The Women of Brewster Place, Beverly Hills Madam

1976 - Jaleel White
actor: Family Matters

Chart Toppers
November 27
1957Jailhouse Rock
You Send Me - Sam Cooke
Melodie D'amour - The Ames Brothers
Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers

1965I Hear a Symphony - The Supremes
Turn! Turn! Turn! - The Byrds
Let's Hang On! - The 4 Seasons
May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose - 'Little' Jimmy Dickens

1973Photograph - Ringo Starr
Top of the World - Carpenters
Space Race - Billy Preston
The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich

1981Physical - Olivia Newton-John
Waiting for a Girl like You - Foreigner
Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You) - Air Supply
All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) - Hank Williams, Jr.

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end...

Those Were

the Days
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Written by Joe Benson (e-mail: jbenson@tcsn.net),
Carol Williams (e-mail: Carol@440int.com) and
John Williams (e-mail: BossJock@440int.com)
Edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams

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