- 100 years ago: American blind R&B singer Al Hibbler was born. Remembered for his work with the Duke Ellington Band, he also had many solo hits. Known as “Hib” and famous for his version of Unchained Melody, believed by many to be the best version of the song ever recorded (you decide by clicking on the video above). He died in 2001 at the grand age of 85.
|Desgrange in 1892|
- 75 years ago: This day saw the death of Henri Desgrange, the man who is credited with founding the Tour de France. He was a French bicycle racer and journalist who set 12 world track cycling records during a distinguished career. Desgrange died aged 75, at his home on the Mediterranean coast, on 16 August 1940.
- 30 years ago: On this day, US singing star Madonna married pugnacious movie star Sean Penn. The groom wanted an open air wedding and chose the Malibu home of friend Kurt Unger as the venue. Penn was insistent on privacy and became enraged at the media helicopters circling above during the short service. So much so, that after the vows had been taken, he went back inside to get a gun and started firing at the overhead paparazzi contingent. Meanwhile, during Penn’s moments of madness, Madonna was screaming at him to stop, insisting he left them alone. The marriage ended in divorce after 4 years.