! ENTERTAINMENT HISTORY !
On December eighth, 1956, eleven-year-old Brenda Lee released her first single, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus."
In 1961, the Beach Boys' first single, "Surfin'," was released.
In 1969, a supreme court in Toronto found guitarist Jimi Hendrix not guilty of possession of heroin and hashish. Hendrix had testified he had previously used drugs but had given them up.
In 1976, The Eagles released their "Hotel California" album.
In 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan. He and wife Yoko Ono were returning home from a recording session. He was 40.
In 1982, country singer Marty Robbins died of heart disease in Nashville at the age of 57.
In 1983, character actor Slim Pickins died in Modesto, California, at age 64.
In 1984, Motley Crue singer Vince Neil crashed a sports car on a California highway, killing his passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle Dingley.
In 1991, actor Gregory Peck and country legend Roy Acuff were honored at the Kennedy Center Honors. Acuff was the first country artist to receive the award.
In 1992, Paul McCartney signed a long-term recording contract with Capitol and EMI Records. The terms were not disclosed.
In 1995, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead announced they were breaking up, after Jerry Garcia's death the previous August.
In 2003, Ozzy Osbourne was seriously injured while riding a quad bike around his English estate. He hit an object and the bike landed on top of him.
In 2004, guitarist Dimebag Darrell, formerly of Pantera, was shot and killed during a show with his new band, DamagePlan, in Columbus, Ohio. Three others also were killed before a police officer shot and killed the gunman, Nathan Gale.
Today's birthdays: Actor-producer-director Maximilian Schell is 82. Singer Jerry Butler is 73. Drummer Bobby Elliott of The Hollies is 71. Actor John Rubinstein ("Family," ''Crazy Like a Fox") is 66. Singer-keyboardist Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers is 65. Actress Kim Basinger is 59. Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (Duran Duran, Missing Persons) is 56. Guitarist Phil Collen of Def Leppard is 55. Country singer Marty Raybon (The Raybon Brothers, Shenandoah) is 53. Guitarist Marty Friedman (Megadeth) is 50. Actress Teri Hatcher is 48. Actor David Harewood ("Homeland") is 47. Rapper Bushwick Bill of Geto Boys is 46. Singer Sinead (shuh-NAYD') O'Connor is 46. Actor Matthew Laborteaux ("Little House on the Prairie") is 46. Guitarist Ryan Newell of Sister Hazel is 40. Actor Dominic Monaghan ("Lost," ''Lord of the Rings") is 36. Actor Ian Somerhalder ("The Vampire Diaries," ''Lost,") is 34. Singer Ingrid Michaelson is 33. Singer Chrisette Michele is 30. Singer Kate Voegele (VOH'-gehl) ("One Tree Hill") is 26.
(Above for release Saturday, December 8th)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.