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RW Professional LeasingTrial Continues
by Christopher Menkin
“Hello: We had our
first court appearance cancelled when the lawyers for First Sierra/American Express Business Finance received our Affidavits
and realized that we would use
the same list of witnesses they listed as their witnesses! Is there any way do you think, that American Express knew
about Barry Drayer's modeus operandi and were aware at the start of doing
"business" with him that his prior
actions with Old Kent might happen again and that even an agreement to see that they were able to get the
short change and the smaller community
banks would get the bigger screw job was
“I mean do you think
that Barry Drayer had an agreement with
Name With Held
Readers familiar with this story know our last up-date was for a jury to be selected for trial on April 12,2004.
From the List:
(6/2002) 40 FBI agents raided the offices and arrested Barry and Rochelle, Roger and Jennifer Drayer. The investigation found $6.5 Million of fraud. Prosecutors said that the company, the RW Professional Leasing Corporation, concocted elaborate schemes using up to 100 rented mailboxes as far away as California to send phony checks, sham invoices, bogus leases and other false documents to banks in various states. Based on those documents, the banks lent RW millions of dollars to buy equipment and lease it out, prosecutors said. The schemes included multiple loans from different banks for the same medical equipment and loans for equipment that was never bought or leased, prosecutors said.
For readers who need more of the details, here is the information
from our web site: “Bad Boys.”
Here is a three part series on the full story:
Take the Money and Run:
Other Articles on RW Professional Leasing:
First, to answer the reader’s question: No, I don’t think American Express has made any deals with Barry or Rochelle Drayer Bresser, his sister ( she was president, not he, for many legal reasons.)
Whether Drayer will put an “Old Kent,” trading money and information,
don’t think that is going to happen this time. Is he going to pull a
“Terrell Owens,” don’t think so. Age is catching up with him, whether
he admits it or not.
His “fans” write Leasing News:
“Trust me--not a day in jail and you can take that to the bank. Barry Drayer is one of the smartest and most savvy guys I have ever met. Why do you think he asked for a jury trial??? Barry did not do anything illegal, he just told AT&T that their reports sucked and he would not honor his recourse agreement and in hindsight--he was right.”
“Barry Drayer, at best will serve "time confined". He will NEVER serve a day in an actual jail since he is too smart. Think about it----Barry in front of 12 jurors who know nothing about the finance business explaining how he could never defraud a company like First Sierra or American Express as a small broker selling paper to the giant funding source. Worse---American Express has to stand in front of the jury and admit how dumb they were in buying First Sierra with all its problems. They will never do this. Last, but not least, who is left to testify against him from the old recourse group at First Sierra or for that matter--Old Kent or the community banks. Hell---if I were Barry, I would be suing American Express for damages and unlawful confinement. Never a day--trust me. He may be back in business in six months.”
First, Fitch yesterday gave the Sierra Cities portfolio high marks:
Second, in the stories about RW Professional Leasing written along
with Charlie Lester, there are three witnesses still alive who can
be brought forward to testify about the Old Kent deal. And they
tell Leasing News, they want to testify.
More importantly, American Express is not playing games. August 19,2002, they filed a $20 million suit in the Southern District of Texas against RW Professional Leasing Corp and both Barry M. Drayer and Rochelle (Drayer) Bresser. October 17,2002 the “...defts’ motion for a protective order staying all discovery in the case is GRANTED; that the stay is in effect only until the resolution of the criminal proceedings against the defts. That the pltff may move to vacate the stay if changes in circumstances so warrant. This was recently reviewed,
specifically on 3/11/2004 by Arthur D. Spatt, presiding judge in the
In addition, there is the case of $1,100,000 and the charge of “Racketeering (RICO) act brought by the Crawford & Sons, Profit Sharing Plan along with over 15 banks as plaintiff, plus several
other independent bank cases for the similar offense.
Leasing News will bring you the latest filings on this matter in
this article, but for those For those who can gain access to court records, which are public knowledge, try:
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip)
Criminal Docket for Case#: 2:02-cr-00767-ADS-ALL
Case title: USA v RW Professional, et al
Here are highlights of the “Pending Counts:”
“...the defendants did knowingly and intentionally conspire to execute,
attempt to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud financial institutions...the defendants did knowingly and intentionally execute, attempt to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud Alliance Bank...Northwest Bank...money laundering-Interstate Commerce...loan and credit applications generally and forfeiture allegation....(There are 14 pages followed with bail at $750,000 secured by “...properties owned by deft’s son and son’s wife, and $50,000 cash...also, electronic monitoring...home detention ...Rochelle Besser...$750,000 secured by 3 properties. Two belonging to the dft and her husband and brother in Minnesota...subject to home detention with electronic monitoring with the following condition: work, religious, medical, and visit her son Bradley Simon...”)
In the latest round, it appears the Orange County brokers who allegedly handled the over 100 mail boxes and helped in the
“Ponzi” payment scheme are about to be served, called, and perhaps
some of the other people named in the suit have made plea bargains.
“Letter from Geoffry Kaiser dtd 12/17/03 to All counsel. Re: to disclose fraudulent loans that the govt. intends to prove at trial(see letter from
“MINUTE ENTRY as to Payaddi Shivashankar(7) Case before Jude Wall on 2/24/04 @ 11:13 a.m. for Criminal Cause for Pleading. Dft Shivashankar present in custody with CIA counsel Edward Jenks. Govt Geoffrey Kaiser CD 4-3. Dft enters plea of GUILTY to Count One (of a seven Count) Superseding Indictment. Sentencing set for 6/25/04 @ 9:30 a.m. before Judge Spatt. Dft remains in custody. Magistrate Judge wall recommends that the District Court accept the guilty plea.(Coleman/Laurie)”
“ARREST Warrant Issued by Michael L. Orenstein as to Stephen Barker(Signed by Judge Michael L. Orenstein, on 3/04/04). (Coleman,Laurie)”
“ARREST Warrant Issued by Michael L. Orenstein as to Myrna Katz (Signed by Michael L. Orenstein on 3/04/04) (Coleman,Laurie)”
“INDICTMENT as to RW Professional Leasing Services Corp.(1)count(s) 1ss,2ss-3ss,4ss-6ss, Rochelle Besser(2) count(s) 1ss,2ss-3ss, 4ss-56ss,7ss, 9ss, Barry Drayer (3) count(s) 1ss, 2ss-3ss, 4ss-6ss,7ss, Roger Drayer (4) counts) 1s, Adam Drayer(5) count(s) 1s. Susan Cottrell(6) count(s) 1s, Myrna Katz(8)count(s), 1,8,9, Stephen Barker(9)counts(s), 1,8 (Montereo, Edher.)
Credit and Documentation Administrator
"What Lessors Are Saying About… The Manufacturing/Industrial Equipment Leasing Industry"
As the economy and the equipment leasing
industry continue to see improvement, special attention remains focused on
the manufacturing and industrial sectors to see if the recover is “real”,
and what kind of indications can be drawn about the U.S. industrial base.
ELA asked lessors what they are seeing regarding strengths, weaknesses, and
activity in equipment leasing for this critical industry segment.
Ronald Romain, United Companies, responded, “The strength that our industry
brings is flexibility with deal structure, residual value positions and
service. Few financial service companies are able to offer the scope of
services typically offered by our industry.” With regard to obstacles this
sector has to overcome, he noted, “Challenges that we must meet today are
market pricing and perceived size capabilities of some larger competitors.”
Romain believes that in order to meet these challenges that the best tool
available is to communicate loud and clear to United’s customers and
prospects on a frequent basis. He further maintains that strong technology
capabilities “are a must in today’s market.”
Lawrence Greer, Vision Financial Group, Inc., responded, “We have begun to
see a marginal up-tick in the amount of leases being proposed and funded to
this sector.” Greer believes Vision Financial’s activity in this sector
mirrors the latest surveys, which project further expansion. He added,
“Prior to this point in time, this sector was on hold to some extent so the
positive move upward is encouraging.”
Greer ties what he called the slow return of this sector to prior neglect
on the part of U.S. congressional leaders to provide sufficient tax
incentives to encourage capital investment for this sector. He said, “While
it is not just the refusal to bring back ITC, the fact that tax incentives
did, in fact, encourage some investor to help fund a sale-leaseback on
transit facilities in Germany, the failure was that Congress missed the
boat so that investors would be properly incanted and motivated to use the
available tax incentives on projects that benefited those domestic industries most hurt
by economic slowdown.”
To meet the challenges facing the industry, Greer noted, “I think that we
as an industry should strengthen our political partnerships with the groups
who lobby on behalf of the manufacturing and industrial companies, and
change the focus of this nationwide debate from eliminating tax shelters to
rather enabling new legislation that uses the tax laws in a positive
manner; to reward those companies which provide the necessary capital to
fund growth and investment in equipment that will retool companies in these
sectors.” He added that industry resources should be pooled to find ways to
get government representatives, law firms, investment bankers and leasing
professionals to focus more on how to “pump up the U.S. domestic
manufacturing and industrial equipment sector by ‘redirecting’ our current
Pedro Wasmer, Somerset Capital Group, Ltd., responded that his company
has traditionally generated 65 to 70 percent of its business from
information technology equipment. Last year, however, about 58 percent of
its business was generated from the industrial, manufacturing,
construction, and materials moving equipment. This year, the vast majority
of Somerset Capital’s opportunities are also in this space. Wasmer said,
“Since Somerset Capital is a modest-size lessor, we may be perceiving the
impact of these types of assets in our portfolio more dramatically than one
of our more substantial industry brethren. However, from our perspective,
the aspects of our economy that are dependent on these types of assets,
seem not only active, but probably thriving.” He added, “The results of our
investments in this equipment, with the occasional exception of material
moving assets, has been very satisfactory. However, since leases for this
equipment are generally of a longer term, the lack of IT assets balancing
our portfolio to its traditional levels affects some of our residual
Marc Keepman, KLC Financial, Inc., said his boutique shop is very busy
now, but regarding leasing deals in manufacturing and industrial equipment
he said, “It’s been okay, but I’m glad it’s not the only thing we depend
on.” He finds that sale-leaseback on installed equipment is a good tool for
this industry segment. Though Keepman said prospective lessees are finding
rates higher than they think they should be, and are often checking out
bank loan financing, they come back to KLC for the sale-leaseback. He said,
“We’re writing sale-leasebacks of installed equipment extending better
terms or longer terms with better options.”
Bradley Brolsma, Merchants Capital Resources, Inc., sees a number of
strengths in this market segment, including pent-up demand for new
equipment as a result of reluctance by manufacturers to commit to new
capital expenditures during the past three years. He said, “In the global
economy where we now find ourselves, manufacturers should be quite eager to
make new investments in equipment that will improve productivity and
ultimately, their global competitiveness.” He also cited the 50 percent
bonus depreciation available on capital expenditures and low lease product
pricing due to historically low interest rates and additional depreciation
benefits as additional strengths.
Brolsma thought that one of the biggest challenges in industrial and
manufacturing equipment leasing is being able to overcome buyer anxiety
over committing to new capital expenditures in an unproven economy. He
said, “It seems that most everyone continues to question whether the recent
economic growth pronouncements are truly indicative of a stable and
demand-driven economic situation that's going to be around for a while.” He
also sees competitive pricing pressures brought about by “a whole lot of
money chasing too few deals.”
To respond to market challenges, Brolsma called for lessors to exhibit a
real commitment to discipline in approaching product pricing, in measuring
creditworthiness, and most important, staying true to the organization's
values in conducting business.
One in Four IT Jobs Will Go Overseas by 2010
Bank Technology News
According to a new report from Gartner, one in four information technology jobs will shift from developed countries to offshore centers by 2010. Gartner expects to see a near-term slowdown due to negative publicity and the high rate of failure among trendsetters, but it predicts that by 2005, 30 percent of European firms will include off-shoring as part of their strategic planning. The report states that India will be the biggest beneficiary of the trend, with Russia, China and Eastern Europe also receiving significant rewards. A Gartner representative says the potential cost advantages of foreign outsourcing are so persuasive that companies that don’t consider it “risk doing their shareholders a disservice.”
#### Press Release #############################
Attleboro Man Sentenced For $570,000 Computer Theft Scheme, Reports U.S. Attorney
BOSTON, -- An Attleboro man was sentenced yesterday in federal court for wire and mail fraud in connection with the leasing of approximately $570,000 worth of computer equipment, defaulting on the leases, and selling the leased computers to unsuspecting individual buyers.
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Kenneth R. Jones, Postal Inspector In Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in New England, announced today that ABEL A. DADA, age 49, of 145 North Main Street, Attleboro, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to 5 years in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. The Court also ordered DADA to make restitution in the total amount of $438,695 to the computer manufacturers and leasing companies he defrauded. DADA was convicted on October 8, 2003, by a trial jury on seven counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
Evidence presented during the seven-day trial proved that DADA used a variety of business names to enable himself to lease approximately $570,000 worth of computer equipment. Some of the names used were of companies that DADA had formed, such as E-Commerce Solutions and E- Computer Shoppers, and some of the names were of existing companies, whose identities DADA fraudulently assumed. DADA also used a variety of aliases, including identities he stole, during the course of the scheme. After leasing the computers and receiving them from manufacturers including Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Dell, and IBM, DADA defaulted on the leases, and then sold the equipment to individual buyers, primarily at computer shows in New Hampshire, New York, and Southern Massachusetts.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Massachusetts State Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam J. Bookbinder and Jonathan F. Mitchell in Sullivan's Economic Crimes Unit.
SOURCE U.S. Attorney
### Press Release ################################
eCredit and The Credit Exchange Announce Strategic Alliance
- Partnership Pairs Leading Players in Business Credit to Deliver Improved
Service to Customer Base -
DEDHAM, Mass., -- eCredit, the leading provider of Web-based credit and collections automation applications, today announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based The Credit Exchange (TCE), the premier supplier of industry specific credit information for the trucking, air cargo, rail, fuel, waste haulers and equipment manufacturing industries. The partnership is designed to deliver improved credit and collections decision-making power to the companies' combined customer base.
As a result of the alliance, companies who purchase eCredit nFusion, the most comprehensive suite of credit and collections automation software available today, and members of The Credit Exchange will be able to take advantage of the eCredit Quick Start for TCE program. Under this arrangement, companies will be able to quickly and inexpensively implement automated credit decision processes based on TCE scores and data requested electronically from other bureaus. Once downloaded, this information and all other customer data used in the decision process will be stored within nFusion in an electronic file improving an analyst's ability to make future credit line enhancements or conduct further investigation for that customer.
"We are extremely excited by this new partnership with eCredit," said John Weiss, President of The Credit Exchange. "More so than any other player in the credit automation field, eCredit's products will enhance the value of the services The Credit Exchange offers, and we will now be able to better provide our customers unparalleled opportunity to make rapid and informed credit decisions."
"As a joint customer of eCredit and The Credit Exchange, the value of this partnership to us is significant," said John Pomilio, Vice President of Customer Financial Services at XTRA Lease. "The ability to process The Credit Exchange's industry-leading and high-value data set using eCredit software allows us to turn around customer credit decisions swiftly and effectively, and improve the performance of our business on every level."
XTRA Lease, one of the largest over-the-road trailer rental and leasing companies in North America, has already taken advantage of the synergies created by eCredit and The Credit Exchange by automating the electronic download of data from The Credit Exchange's database directly into the Credit Module of nFusion. Once the data is resident in nFusion, it is then processed using the credit decision criteria XTRA Lease has automated within the system, rendering quality credit decisions in a matter of seconds.
"This alliance with The Credit Exchange represents an important step in our efforts to grow revenue through channels and re-affirms our commitment to our partner network," said Jeff Dickerson, President of eCredit. "In addition, by allying ourselves with a vendor with such deep expertise, we also improve our product capabilities and extend our reach to deliver the most comprehensive and robust solution to companies across a variety of vertical markets."
Since 1993, eCredit.com has delivered credit risk management and collections software and services to Fortune 1000 companies and financial institutions. The Company improves credit and collections decision-making practices to deliver process efficiencies, optimized risk management, reduced operating costs, and increased revenues. Included among the Company's customers are ChevronTexaco, Cisco, CIT Group, Sun Microsystems, and Ryder System, Inc. Headquartered in Dedham, Massachusetts, eCredit is an Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq:ICGE) partner company with additional venture backing from Apex Venture Partners and Sterling Venture Partners. For additional information, visit eCredit on the Web at http://www.ecredit.com.
About The Credit Exchange
TCE, formerly the Transportation Credit Exchange, was created in 1991 by credit industry veteran John Weiss. TCE boasts a family of credit information services across a number of vertical industries including Transportation, Leasing/Fuel, Waste Haulers, Manufacturers of Waste Equipment, Aerospace, and most recent, Factoring. TCE is recognized as a leader within the credit information industry, offering a vast global database and boasting an industry-renowned record of up to date information reporting.
About XTRA Lease
XTRA Lease is one of the largest over-the-road trailer rental and leasing companies in North America. Founded in 1992 when two regional companies, AJF Leasing and Strick Lease, merged into one national company, XTRA Lease reports, as a division, to the XTRA Corporation family of transportation equipment lessors. The Company has grown to over 90 locations across North America with division headquarters located in St. Louis, Missouri and employs approximately 600 people. Today, XTRA Lease manages a fleet of 90,000 dry vans, chassis, flatbeds, storage vans and temperature-controlled vans. XTRA Lease became part of the Berkshire Hathaway team on September 20, 2001. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is a holding company headed by investor Warren E. Buffett.
### Press Release ##################################
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GM finance unit to open bank to diversify funding
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This Day in American History
1775- Anniversary of Patrick Henry’s speech for arming the Virginia militia at St. Johns Church, Richmond, Virginia. He was addressing the second Virginia convention, and delivered his immortal speech against arbitrary British rule, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Ironically, history has made this the best known, but from a contemporary
journal, his most famous remark at the time, the one most repeated, occurred when he uttered:
“ Caeasar had his Brutus; Charles the first his Cromwell; and George the Third may profit by their example.” He was then interrupted and accused of treason, where he responded, “ If this is treason, make the most of it.” The speech caused a sensation, being bolder than any speech given that year.
1839-“O.K.” First Appearance in Print. “The Boston Morning Post” printed the first known “ok.k”. It derived from a misspelling of “all correct”—“all korrect.” Etymologist Allen Read doggedly tracked down the word’s origin in the 1960’s. “O.K” is now used in most languages.
1857-Fannie Farmer Cookbook standardizes measurements in cooking.
1858- Eleazer A. Gardner of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania obtained a patent on an “improvement in tracks for city railways.” The cable was housed in an underground tunnel with a series of pulleys inside. It was not until 1873 that the cable car began operation on the Clay Street Hill in San Francisco. It was the first cable car put into service anywhere in the world, on an improvement
and new patent by Andrew Smith Hallidie for an “endless-wire rope way.”
1862-As General George McClellan began the Peninsular campaign to move on the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson engaged a larger force of Union troops at Kernstown in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Although he ultimately was forced to retreat, the Battle of Kernstown provided a diversion central to the South’s military strategy. Fearing an attack on Washington, DC, northern troops were kept around Washington as part of its defense, leaving fewer troops available for the Peninsular campaign.
1864- George J. Dyke, the co-founder of Vancouver's first music school, was born in St. Blazey, England. In the 1890's, Dyke helped found a violin academy, which was a forerunner of the Vancouver Conservatory. Dyke died in Victoria in 1940.
1867-The second Reconstruction Act was passed over President Johnson’s veto. It provided for the registration of all qualified votes, who were subsequently to decide on readmittance to the Union.
1868- University of California founded (Oakland CA)
1877- Mormon zealot John Doyle Lee was executed by a firing squad for masterminding the Mountain Meadows Massacre. In 1857, a wagon train of 127 Arkansas Methodist emigrants, bound for California, were killed by a party of Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians at Mountain Meadows (near Cedar ity), Utah.
1889-President Harrison opens Oklahoma for colonization, creating
the great Oklahoma land rush, which was fully out of control as
there was no local authority or representative of the federal government in charge.
The date set was for April 22 and for white settlers only.
1911-National Urban League founded.
1912-residents of Kansas City, Missouri began to dig out from a storm that dumped 25 inches for snow in 24 hours. This snowfall total was nearly twice that of any other storm of modern record in Kansas City before or since that time. A record 40 inches of snow fell during the month of March that year and the total of 67 inches for the winter season was also a record. Olathe, Kansas received 37 inches of snow in the storm establishing a single storm record for the state.
1913 - A vicious tornado hit the city of Omaha, NE. The tornado struck during the late afternoon on Easter Sunday, and in just twelve minutes cut a swath of total destruction five miles long and two blocks wide across the city killing 94 persons and causing 3.5 million dollars property damage.
1917--Pianist Johnny Guarnieri Birthday
1925-The trial of a teacher for violating a state ban on teaching the theory of evolution took place in July, 1925. John Thomas Scopes, a high school science teach in Dayton, TN, was convicted of breaking a law passed by the Tennessee legislature and signed this day in 1925 by Governor Austin Peay. It provided that “ it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the universities, normal, and all other public schools of the state which are supported in whole or in party by the public school funds, of the state to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” Scopes was prosecuted by William Jennings Bryan and defended by Clarence Darrow. He was fined $100. The conviction was later overturned on technical grounds.
1932-Birthday of guitarist/harmonica player Louisiana Red (Iverson Minter,)
born Vicksburg, MS
1938-Birthday of vibes player Dave Pike Detroit MI
1944-Woody Herman waxes homogenized protest “Milkman Keep Those Bottles Quiet.”
This day in 1987 he makes his last appearance with the Herd, Grand Meadow, Minnesota.
Oh, What It Seemed to Be - The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Marjorie Hughes)
Personality - Johnny Mercer
Day by Day - Frank Sinatra
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter
1950- “Beat the Clock” premiered on television. On this game show from the team of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, couples performed stunts within a specified time period (usually under 60 seconds) with the winners being given a chance to try a special stunt to win a great prize. Special stunts were very difficult, and the same one was attempted every week until a couple got it right. In 1952, James Dean got his first TV job testing stunts and warming up the audience. Bud Collyer was the host, assisted by Roxanne (real name Dolores Rosedale). A 1969 syndicated version hosted by Jack Narz and then by Gene Wood had celebrities to help the contestants. A 1979 revival was hosted by Monty Hall.
1952-Bill Mosienko of the Chicago Blackhawks set an NHL record by scoring three goals in 21 seconds in a game against the New York Rangers. Mosienko scored at 6:09, 6:30 and 6:30 of the third period against goalie Lorne Anderson. Chicago Won 7-6.
Make Love to Me! - Jo Stafford
Cross Over the Bridge - Patti Page
Wanted - Perry Como
Slowly - Webb Pierce
Hey! Baby - Bruce Channel
Midnight in Moscow - Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You - Connie Francis
That’s My Pa - Sheb Wooley
1963- the Beatles' first LP, "Please, Please Me," was released in Britain.
The album included the title song, which had topped the British chart a month earlier. The LP, with the exception of the title song, was recorded in one 13-hour session on February 11th. Other hits included in the Beatles' first album included "Love Me Do," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Do You Want To Know a Secret?" and "Twist and Shout."
1963- The Beach Boys release "Surfin U.S.A."
1965 - Astronaut John Young became the first person to eat a corned beef sandwich in space. Young snuck the sandwich on board to supplement his meals of dehydrated foods, including powdered fruit juice.
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
The Rapper - The Jaggerz
Give Me Just a Little More Time - Chairmen of the Board
The Fightin’ Side of Me - Merle Haggard
1973 - "Concentration", the longest-running game show in television, starring Hugh Downs, came to an end after 15 years on NBC. A syndicated version without Downs aired, but did not last long.
1973-Jason Kidd, basketball player, born San Francisco, CA.
1974 - Cher hit the top of the music charts when "Dark Lady" reached the #1 for a one-week stay. Other artists sharing the spotlight during that time included: Terry Jacks, John Denver, Blue Swede, Elton John and MFSB.
1975- San Francisco's Kezar Stadium is the site for a Bill Graham-run benefit show called SNACK (Students Need Athletics, Culture and Kicks). The Show features the Tower of Power, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Joan Baez, Graham Central Station, Neil Young and special guest Bob Dylan. It's to raise money for the San Francisco school system which recently canceled most sports and after-hour activities because of a $3-million budget deficit. Almost $200,00 is raised, but it's really not needed because the day before the event, an announcement is made that through a financial adjustment $2.1 million has been "found."
Night Fever - Bee Gees
Stayin’ Alive - Bee Gees
Lay Down Sally - Eric Clapton
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys - Waylon & Willie
1983- Barney Clark died after living almost 112 days with an artificial heart. The heart, made of polyurethane plastic and aluminum, was implanted in Clark at the University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Dec 2, 1982. Clark was the first person ever to receive a permanent artificial heart. Born at Provo, UT, Jan 21, 1921, Clark was 62 when he died.
1985 - Musician, Billy Joel married model, Christie Brinkley in a private ceremony held in New York City. They announced in April 1994 that they had separated.
These Dreams - Heart
Secret Lovers - Atlantic Starr
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
What’s a Memory like You (Doing in a Love like This) - John Schneider
1987- A 3 day snowstorm commenced over the central Plains. It left amounts exceeding one foot in a south to north band from the Texas Panhandle to South Dakota. Blizzard conditions prevailed with winds gusting to 78 mph at Dodge City, Kansas and Altus, Oklahoma. Pampa, Texas was buried under 20 inches of snow, the worst in the area in at least 70 years. 24 inches of snow was recorded at Neligh, Nebraska.
1987-“The Bold and the Beautiful” premiered on TV. A continuing daytime serial created by William Bell and Lee Phillip Bell to be "young and hip." It is set in the fashion industry of Los Angeles with two central families, the Logans and the Forresters. The cast has included, as the Forresters: John McCook, Susan Flannery, Clayton Norcross, Jeff Trachta, Ronn Moss, Teri Ann Linn, Colleen Dion and as the Logans: Robert Pine, Judith Baldwin, Nancy Burnett, Nancy Sloan, Carrie Mitchum (granddaughter of Robert), Ethan Wayne (son of John), Brian Patrick Clarke, Katherine Kelly Lang and Lesley Woods. Other cast members include Jeff Conaway, Tippi Hedren and Hunter Tylo.
1991- WLAF Makes its Debut: The World League of American Football, part of a marketing attempt by the National Football League to extend the game’s popularity in Europe, made its début as the London Monarchs defeated the Frankfurt Galaxy 24-11.
1993- during a surprise concert in Red Bank, New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen ripped off his shirt and offered a version of Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky Heart." Springsteen told his audience that it was a "damn good" tune. The surprise show, which benefited a local theatre and a food bank, was a warm-up for a European tour.
1998 - The movie, "Titanic", won a record-tying 11 Oscars at the 70th Annual Academy Awards (tying the number of awards won by "Ben-Hur" in 1959). Comedian/actor Billy Crystal kept the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, and the millions watching on TV, in stitches as "Titanic" (James Cameron, Jon Landau, producers) won Best Picture; Best Director (James Cameron); Best Cinematography (Russell Carpenter); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Peter Lamont [art director], Michael Ford [set decorator]); Best Costume Design (Deborah Lynn Scott); Best Sound (Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Gary Summers, Mark Ulano); Best Film Editing (Conrad Buff IV, James Cameron, Richard A. Harris); Best Effects/Sound Effects Editing (Tom Bellfort, Christopher Boyes); Best Effects/Visual Effects (Robert Legato, Mark A. Lasoff, Thomas L. Fisher, Michael Kanfer); Best Music/Original Dramatic Score (James Horner); and Best Music/Song (James Horner [music] and Will Jennings [lyrics] for "My Heart Will Go On", performed by Céline Dion). Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt took top acting honors as the misanthropic writer and the waitress who softens his heart in "As Good as it Gets". The Best Supporting Actor Oscar went to Robin Williams for "Good Will Hunting" and Best Supporting Actress was Kim Basinger for her "L.A. Confidential" part (Lynn Bracken: “Merry Christmas to you, officer.”)
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1998-The National Football League awarded an expansion franchise to the City of Cleveland. The team, to be called the Browns, as was Cleveland’s former team, now the Baltimore Ravens.
NCAA Basketball Champions This Date
1957 North Carolina
1963 Loyola (L.)