1976: “Donny and Marie” premiered on ABC. It was the first variety show hosted by a brother and sister team, Donny and Marie Osmond.
1977: The TV miniseries “Roots,” based on the Alex Haley novel, began on ABC.
1986: The first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were honored. They included Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley.
2002: Virgin Records and Mariah Carey terminated their record deal after barely nine months. Virgin paid Carey $28 million to break the contract, on top of the $21 million Carey got for signing with Virgin.
2005: Johnny Carson died from complications from emphysema in Los Angeles. He was 79.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Chita Rivera is 82. Actor Gil Gerard is 72. Singer Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters is 67. Bassist-keyboardist Bill Cunningham of The Box Tops is 65. Actor Richard Dean Anderson (“MacGyver”) is 65. Singer-guitarist Robin Zander of Cheap Trick is 62. Singer Anita Baker is 57. Bassist Earl Falconer of UB40 is 56. Actress Gail O’Grady (“American Dreams,” ”NYPD Blue”) is 52. Actress Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) is 51. Singer Marc Nelson (Az Yet) is 44. Actress Tiffani Thiessen (“Beverly Hills, 90210″) is 41. Bassist Nick Harmer of Death Cab For Cutie is 40.