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Today in entertainment history: Jan. 1

Today in entertainment history: Jan. 1

THIS DAY IN 1953: Country star Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by alcohol. The year before, he had been fired from the Grand Ole Opry because of his drinking. Williams was 29. Photo: Associated Press

1953: Country star Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by alcohol. The year before, he had been fired from the Grand Ole Opry because of his drinking. Williams was 29.

1960: Johnny Cash played his first concert for inmates, at a show at San Quentin Prison in California. Future country star Merle Haggard was in the audience, serving time for burglary.

1985: VH1 went on the air. Its first video was Marvin Gaye’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

1993: “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” made its premiere on CBS.

2002: Eric Clapton married Melia McEnery at a church in London. He was 56, she was 25. At the same ceremony, their six-month-old daughter was baptized, along with Clapton’s 16-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer-guitarist Country Joe McDonald of Country Joe and the Fish is 73. Comedian Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci) is 72. Actor Rick Hurst (“The Dukes of Hazzard”) is 69. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 57. Actress Ren Woods is 57. Actor Morris Chestnut (“The Brothers,” ”The Best Man”) is 46. Actor Verne Troyer (“Austin Powers”) is 46. Actress Eden Riegel is 34.

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