. 1934 ~ Doug Watkins, Jazz musician, bass with these groups: Pepper-Knepper Quintet, Hank Mobley Quartet, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers
. 1938 ~ Ben Harney, American composer and pianist died (b. 1871)
. 1942 ~ Lou Reed (Lewis Alan Reed), Singer, songwriter, guitarist with Velvet Underground
. 1949 ~ Eddie Money (Mahoney), Singer
. 1950 ~ Karen Carpenter, Drummer, singer with Grammy Award-winning group, The Carpenters
. 1955 ~ Jay Osmond, Singer with The Osmond Brothers
. 1956 ~ John Cowsill, Singer with The Cowsills
. 1956 ~ Mark Evans, Bass with AC/DC
. 1962 ~ Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi), American rock singer, songwriter
. 1963 ~ Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and singer, Patsy Cline, killed in a plane crash
. 1974 ~ Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, Innervisions and his hit songs, You Are The Sunshine of My Life and Superstition.
. 1985 ~ Country singer Gary Morris hit #1 on the country charts for the first time with Baby Bye Bye, from his album, Faded Blue.
. 2003 ~ Hank Ballard, 75, the singer and songwriter whose hit The Twist ushered in a nationwide dance craze in the 1960s, died. He wrote and recorded The Twist in 1958, but it was released only on the B-side of a record. In 1959, Chubby Checker debuted his own version of the song on Dick Clark’s Philadelphia television show. It soon topped the charts and launched a dance craze that prompted the creation of other Twist songs, including Twist and Shout by the Isley Brothers and Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke. Mr. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Mr. Ballard was discovered in the early 1950s by writer-producer Johnny Otis. He was lead singer for the Royals, which changed its name to the Midnighters. Mr. Ballard, who was born John H. Kendricks in Detroit, grew up singing in church in Bessemer, Ala. At 15, he returned to Detroit and set out to form a doo-wop group while working on a Ford Motor Co. assembly line.
. 2018 ~ Van McLain [McElvain], American rock guitarist (Shooting Star), died at the age of 62 from West Nile virus
A few years ago TCM was doing 31 Days of Oscars. I first sort of noticed this when I looked ahead in the scheduling and noticed that all TCM shows were alphabetized. At first, I thought maybe that this scheme was some sort of placeholder before I realized what they were doing. Personally, I preferred when 31 Days grouped films by nomination category, by studio or by actor. Alphabetical is easy for them but hard on me, looking through every entry to see what to record.
Saturday, we were up to the M’s and Tivo faithfully recorded (The) Music Man. When I watched it on Sunday, I was most pleased to realize that I remembered all the words.
Remembering all the words is no small feat.
I first started collecting records (yes, records!) of musicals when I was in high school in Springfield, MA. Our library had an outstanding record collection, but I could only check out one (or 2?) at a time.
I would bring my record(s) home, and listen to them like crazy. Then I’d save my allowance and any work money I had and go to the local department store to buy my favorites. I always bought musicals and they were nearly Original Broadway Cast. Years later, I still have all these records, even though I usually listen on Spotify or on one of my carefully curated playlists. (I also can’t listen to any of the music out of order.)
As the years roll by, many of these musicals, like The Music Man, have gone on to become films. I am not usually a happy camper when the music is changed from what I remember of the OBCs and the film, but The Music Man film made the cut for me 🙂
. 1904 ~ Glenn Miller, American trombonist and bandleader
More information about Miller
. 1907 ~ Albert Clifton Ammons was born in Chicago, Illinois. He developed an interest in boogie-woogie and his 1936 recording of “Boogie Woogie Stomp” has been described as “the first 12-bar piano-based boogie-woogie.”
. 1922 ~ Michael Flanders, Songwriter, comedian with the duo: Flanders and [Donald] Swann, made humorous mockery of English and American failings, died in 1975
. 1927 ~ Harry Belafonte, American calypso and folk singer, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, father of Shari Belafonte
. 1928 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded Ol´ Man River for Victor Records. The featured vocalist on the track was 29-year-old Paul Robeson. The song became an American classic.
. 1930 ~ Benny Powell, Jazz musician, trombone with the Ernie Fields band, Lionel Hampton, a Count Basie veteran
. 1941 ~ FM Radio began in the U.S. when station W47NV in Nashville, TN started operations on this day. W47NV was the first commercial FM radio station to receive a license, some 20 years after its AM radio counterpart, KDKA in Pittsburgh. FM stands for ‘frequency modulation´ as opposed to ‘amplitude modulation´.
. 1941 ~ Downbeat magazine scooped the entertainment world with news that Glenn Miller’s renewed contract with Chesterfield Cigarettes was worth $4,850 a week (for three 15-minute programs).
. 1944 ~ Roger Daltrey, Singer with The Who
. 1968 ~ Country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter got married on this day. Johnny walked down the aisle knowing that his 1956 hit, Folsom Prison Blues, was about to be redone for a June release. Cash has a daughter, Rosanne, (previous marriage) who became a country star in her own right in the 1980s.
. 1968 ~ Elton John’s first record, I’ve BeenLoving You, was released by Philips Records in England. Philips, not realizing the potential of the soon-to-be superstar, released him in 1969, just prior to his teaming with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Elton then signed a contract with Uni Records and began to turn out what would become a string of more than 50 hits over the next 25 years.
. 1973 ~ The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opened with a unique presentation in New York City. The show featured music of the Beach Boys in “Deuce Coupe Ballet”. A clever show, even if it didn’t do much to bring the masses to ballet.
. 1985 ~ A Beatles song was used for the first time in a U.S. TV commercial. The rights for Lincoln-Mercury to use the song, HELP!, cost $100,000, helping boost the fortunes of the Ford Motor Company.
. 1985 ~ Eugene List, American concert pianist and teacher (Eastman School of Music), died at the age of 66. List performed internationally during the mid-to-late 1900s. He championed the works of the American pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869). Gottschalk played this piece, with all its fanfares and flourishes reminiscent of an imaginary band concert, at all his concerts.
. 2003 ~ Nadine Conner, a soprano who performed for nearly two decades at the Metropolitan Opera after singing on national radio, died. She was 96. Conner debuted at the Met in 1941 as Pamina in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” conducted by Bruno Walter. She performed there 249 times over 18 seasons. She won acclaim not only for her Mozart roles, including Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” and Susanna in “The Marriage of Figaro,” but also for her portrayals of Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Gilda in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” and Rosina in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” Conner began her career singing on national radio from Los Angeles, and appeared with such stars as Bing Crosby and Gordon MacRae and toured with film star Nelson Eddy. She joined a fledgling opera troupe in Los Angeles, making her debut as Marguerite in Gounod’s “Faust.” Her Met farewell, in 1960, also was in “Faust.”
. 1932 ~ Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers teamed up to record Shine for Brunswick Records.
. 1936 ~ Fanny Brice brought her little girl character “Baby Snooks” to radio on “The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air” on CBS Radio. Miss Brice presented the character and later sang My Man on the program. She was 44 at the time, and was known as America’s “Funny Girl” long before Barbra Streisand brought her even greater fame and notoriety nearly 30 years later.
. 1964 ~ The United States was in the grip of Beatlemania! I Want to HoldYour Hand, by the lads from Liverpool, was in its 5th week at #1 on the pop charts. It stayed there until March 21, when it was replaced by She Loves You, which was replaced byCan’t Buy Me Love, which was finally replaced by Hello Dolly, by Louis Armstrong, on May 9, 1964. 14 straight weeks of #1 music by The Beatles!
. 1903 ~ Vincente Minnelli (Lester Anthony Minnelli), Director, Judy Garland’s husband and Liza Minnelli’s father
. 1915 ~ Lee Castle (Castaldo), Trumpet, bandleader, led Jimmy Dorsey’s band during time of smash hit, So Rare
. 1926 ~ Seymour Shifrin, American composer
. 1930 ~ Ted Lewis and his orchestra recorded On the Sunny Side of the Street for Columbia Records on this day. Mr. Lewis was heard as the featured vocalist as well, on the tune that has been recorded hundreds of times and is an American music standard.
. 1939 ~ Tommy Tune, Tony Award-winning dancer, actor, director of musical theater
. 1942 ~ Brian Jones (Lewis Hopkin-Jones), Singer, rhythm guitar with The Rolling Stones
. 1948 ~ Bernadette Peters, Singer and actress
. 1959 ~ Cash Box magazine, a trade publication for the music/radio industry, began using a red ‘bullet’ on its record charts to indicate those records that have the strongest upward movement each week. The phrase, “Number one with a bullet” designates those hits that have reached the pinnacle of statistical chartdom. To be so means to be at the top of the list and still climbing higher.
. 1960 ~ Dmitri Capyrin, Russian composer of contemporary classical music.
. 1966 ~ The famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England closed because of financial difficulties. During its peak of success, the club was best known as the home of The Beatles.
. 1968 ~ Frankie Lymon passed away. He was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter.
. 1984 ~ It was Michael Jackson Night at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. He set a record for most wins by taking home eight of the gramophone statuette honors. He broke the previous record of six awards set by Roger Miller in 1965. The reason: the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller, which sold more than 35-million copies around the world soon after its release in 1983.
. 1993 ~ Ruby Keeler passed away. She was a Canadian-born American actress, dancer and singer most famous for her on-screen coupling with Dick Powell in a string of successful early musicals at Warner Brothers, particularly 42nd Street.
. 2019 ~ André Previn, German-American pianist, conductor, and composer died at the age of 89. Previn won four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings (and one more for his Lifetime Achievement).
It will be fun watching your child improve their piano skills all while having fun using Piano Maestro in lessons each week!
As your child’s teacher (or YOUR teacher!), I’m looking forward to seeing the progress they will make when they start using it at home each day. This guide will help you understand how this app will benefit your child and how to get it set up on your own iPad.
Overview What is Piano Maestro?
Piano Maestro is the ultimate piano practice tool that will have students quickly playing their favorite classical, pop, rock, TV and video game songs and themes. It is available in the App Store and works on the iPad.
What skills does it improve?
• Note reading
• Sight reading
• Inner pulse
What makes it so fun?
• Upbeat background tracks
• Stunning graphics
• Instant rewards and feedback
• Satisfaction of playing REAL music
It works with an acoustic piano?
Yes! Your child practices on your real acoustic or digital piano. Piano Maestro listens from the iPad’s built-in microphone. No wires needed.
I’m already paying for lessons. What value does this add?
Sometimes I wish I could be there with your child to encourage them to keep practicing daily. I’m sure it’s not always easy, as unforeseen challenges will arise.
Since our time each week is just too short, this app will give me eyes on the ground and it will keep them practicing longer and improving more quickly.
How will it be used in lessons?
I will spend a few minutes of each lesson helping your child master a couple of new songs all while having fun! I will also teach them how to use the practice options at home.
At the end of the lesson, we will choose Home Challenge assignments within the app that will show up in your account at home. I’ll get updates when progress is made.
Wow, this sounds awesome. Now, how do I get started?
1) Download Piano Maestro on your iPad from the AppStore
2) Create a JoyTunes account with a parent’s email, under which, you can have multiple profiles for each member of the family.
3) Create a profile for each family member (that means you too Mom and Dad!) inside the Parent/Teacher zone (top right-hand corner of the main screen)
4) Connect to your teacher, me! After creating a profile in the “profiles” tab of the parent/teacher zone, select the student’s profile and click “connect to teacher.” Once I approve the connection to your child, they will receive full access to all content for FREE! I will then also begin receiving weekly progress reports.
5) Start Playing – I will now start assigning you homework, meanwhile, get started on Journey Mode.
When you connect to the O’Connor Music Studio, Piano Maestro is free for as long as you study here.
. 1848 ~ Hubert Parry, English composer, teacher and historian of music.
. 1873 ~ Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, sang nearly 70 roles; appeared in nearly every country of Europe and North and South America
Read quotes by and about Caruso
More information about Caruso
. 1883 ~ Oscar Hammerstein of New York City patented the first practical cigar-rolling machine. If Oscar’s name sounds familiar, it should. Hammerstein’s grandson later made his mark by writing some of the best- known music in the world, teaming up frequently with Richard Rodgers.
. 1887 ~ Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, died at the age of 53
Read more about Borodin
. 1887 ~ Lotte Lehman, Singer
. 1897 ~ Marian Anderson, Opera diva
. 1923 ~ Dexter Gordon, American jazz tenor saxophonist
. 1927 ~ Guy Mitchell (Al Cernick), Singer, actor
. 1935 ~ Mirella Freni, Italian soprano
. 1936 ~ Chuck Glaser, Singer with Glaser Brothers
. 1948 ~ Eddie Gray, Guitarist with Tommy James & The Shondells
. 1951 ~ Steve Harley (Nice), Singer with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
. 1954 ~ Neal Schon, Guitarist with Santana; Journey
. 1955 ~ Garry Christian, Singer with The Christians
. 1970 ~ Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
. 2003 ~ Tom Glazer, 88, the balladeer, guitarist and songwriter who, along with Burl Ives, Josh White, Pete Seeger and others, helped spark national interest in folk music in the 1940s, died. Mr. Glazer wrote songs for children, including a hit 1963 parody, On Top of Spaghetti, that won him National Critics’ and Parent Magazine awards. He also acted, sang and wrote for movies and TV. He was singer-narrator for the film, Sweet Land of Liberty, and composed the score for the Andy Griffith film A Face in the Crowd. Mr. Glazer was a native of Philadelphia who attended the City College of New York. As a young man, he played tuba and bass in military and jazz bands and worked at the Library of Congress. He began singing with a group while living in Washington, and was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to perform at the White House. Mr. Glazer became a full-time musician in 1943 and, over the years, hosted three radio series. He also wrote books about music, including a number of songbooks. His song Because All Men Are Brothers, based on the Passion Chorale by J. S. Bach, was recorded by the Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary. Other hits included, Old Soldiers Never Die for Vaughn Monroe, More for Perry Como, Til We Two Are One for Georgie Shaw, and A Worried Man, recorded by the Kingston Trio. His song, The Musicians was used on the “Barney” television show for children; Bob Dylan recorded his Talking Inflation Blues.
. 2003 ~ Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for more than 30 years, died. He was 74. From 1968 to 2000, Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced the show at Pittsburgh public television station WQED. The final new episode, which was taped in December 2000, aired in August 2001, though PBS affiliates continued to air back episodes. Rogers composed his own songs for the show and began each episode in a set made to look like a comfortable living room, singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”, as he donned sneakers and a zip-up cardigan. His message remained simple: telling his viewers to love themselves and others. On each show, he would take his audience on a magical trolley ride into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where his puppet creations would interact with each other and adults. Rogers did much of the puppet work and voices himself. He also studied early childhood development at the University of Pittsburgh and consulted with an expert there over the years. Rogers’ show won four Emmy Awards, plus one for lifetime achievement. He was given a George Foster Peabody Award in 1993, “in recognition of 25 years of beautiful days in the neighborhood.” One of Rogers’ red sweaters hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
. 2003 ~ Jean Sullivan, a musician, dancer and actress who starred opposite Errol Flynn in the 1944 film “Uncertain Glory,” died of cardiac arrest. She was 79. Sullivan was the leading lady Marianne in “Uncertain Glory” and also has a starring role in the 1945 movie “Escape in the Desert.” The young actress also played the daughter of Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson in the motion picture comedy “Roughly Speaking.” Despite a budding acting career, Sullivan relocated to New York and began studying ballet and dancing professionally. While practicing flamenco steps during a Carnegie Hall rehearsal, Sullivan was discovered by choreographer Anthony Tudor and was a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She enhanced her flamenco by playing Spanish guitar and became a popular entertainer at Latin nightclubs throughout New York City. Sullivan also played cello and piano. Despite her career change, Sullivan performed flamenco on TV variety shows, including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Jackie Gleason Show.” She also was a meteorologist on local New York television stations.
. 2013 ~ Van Cliburn died. He was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of 23, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.
Van Cliburn was just a pianist much the way Neil Armstrong was merely an astronaut. Simply put, the tall Texan’s musical talent and successes were out of this world.
Cliburn, who died Wednesday February 27, 2013 at age 78 at his Fort Worth home due to complications from bone cancer, was 23 when he strode into Moscow for the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition, created to showcase Soviet cultural superiority.
Playing with unerring precision and sublime emotion, he took the top prize and was given a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan, the first and last time a pianist won such an honor.
“Imagine galvanizing the attention of the entire world in the pre-Internet, pre-global TV year of 1958,” says Howard Reich, who got to know the Texas-based pianist while researching his 1993 biography, Van Cliburn. “As a Texan, he was so emblematic of the United States. But the Russians fell in love with his romanticism.”
In many ways, however, that seminal performance both made his name and sealed his fate.
The pieces that won him the competition — Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 — sold countless records (his Tchaikovsky No. 1 was the first classical record to sell more than a million copies) and became required concert staples.
“Playing on that treadmill for the next 20 years led him to burn out, and by 1978 he looked terrible and bowed out of public life,” says Reich. “He was a gentle soul, and that harsh public spotlight had a negative effect on him.”
It would be nine years before Cliburn performed again, at the White House for Ronald Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Although he made occasional appearances in the following decades, he spent most of his time overseeing his foundation and a quadrennial competition that bears his name.
“I can’t think of anyone who has done more to help promote the instrument and young performers than Van,” says Cliburn’s friend Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the piano department at New York’s Juilliard School of Music, which Cliburn attended. “He was an icon in Fort Worth, and a person of great humility.”
Born Harvey Lavan Cliburn Jr. in Shreveport, La., Cliburn started piano lessons at age 3 and immediately showed prowess under the watchful eye of his mother, who had trained on the instrument under a teacher who had studied with Franz Liszt.
After moving to Texas, Cliburn played with Houston’s symphony at age 12, and at 17 entered Juilliard. At 20, he performed with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, setting the stage for his triumphant coup in Russia.
No one can imagine a ticker-tape parade for a pianist in this era, but in Cliburn’s heyday he was as much an inevitable cultural icon as he was a reluctant political figure. In the late ’50s, the Cold War was raging, the Beatles were still practicing and classical music still held sway.
But what truly made Cliburn unique was the humble ease with which he went about seducing the alleged enemy.
“Van marched in full of the musical values of the Old World, full of tremendous sincerity and with a remarkable ability to connect with audiences,” says Kaplinsky. “He may have transcended the boundaries of the art world and breached into the political world, but foremost Van was a consummate artist.”
That artistry is on display in various YouTube clips of Cliburn reprising his competition-winning form in Moscow in 1962. The pianist’s eyes are often closed as massive hands fly across the length of the keyboard. Utterly lost in the music, Cliburn seems almost oblivious to his audience.
“He had more of everything,” says Reich. “More height, more smiles, more sweep on the piano.”
In his later years, Cliburn collected the usual array of awards accorded cultural heroes. A Kennedy Center Honors tribute in 2001, a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, and in 2004 Russia’s equivalent, the Russian Order of Friendship. In 2004, there was a predictable Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1994 a less-expected guest appearance as himself in the TV cartoon Iron Man.
On the personal front, Cliburn was a devout Baptist but also quietly gay; in the late ’90s, his longtime partner, Thomas Zaremba, unsuccessfully sued the pianist over compensation claims.
Ultimately, Cliburn will be remembered not just as a performer of startling skill, but also as a global cultural sensation in the age of shortwave radio.
“He did something that no one could have ever imagined back then,” says Reich. “He was ubiquitous.”
. 1879 ~ Frank Bridge, English composer, violist and conductor
. 1922 ~ Dancing to jazz music and tango bands was criticized in Paris. It seems that dancing was detracting the French from their postwar reconstruction, according to “La Revue Mondiale”.
. 1928 ~ “Fats” (Antoine) Domino, American rock-and-roll pianist and singer. His works include: Ain’t That a Shame, Goin’ Home, I’m in Love Again, Blue Monday, I’m Walkin’ and Blueberry Hill
. 1930 ~ Lazar Berman, Soviet pianist
. 1945 ~ Mitch Ryder (William Levise), Singer with Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
. 1947 ~ Sandie Shaw (Goodrich), Singer
. 1950 ~ Jonathan Cain, Keyboard with Babys
. 1954 ~ Michael Bolton, Grammy Award-winning singer. Some of his songs are: When a Man Loves a Woman and How Am I Supposed to Live Without You
. 1961 ~ John-Jon (John Andrew Foster), Musician with Bronski Beat
. 1965 ~ Juan Trigos, Mexican composer and conductor
. 1972 ~ Harry Nilsson started his second week at number one with that toe-tapping ditty, Without You. The whiny love song stayed at the top for a total of four weeks.
. 1977 ~ The Eagles’ New Kid in Town landed in the top spot on the pop music charts for one week beginning this day.
. 1981 ~ Howard Hanson died. He was an American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist, and champion of American classical music.
. 1983 ~ Charley Pride’s Why Baby Why topped the country charts. The song was written by George Jones (who found national fame with his own version in 1955) and Darrell Edwards. Legend has it that inspiration for the song came when Edwards overheard a couple squabbling in their car in Orange, TX.
. 2003 ~ Otha Turner, 94, who created his own niche in blues music with an ethereal mix of early American colonial drums and West African flute, died in Como, Miss. His recording Everybody Hollerin’ Goat was rated among the Top 10 blues releases in 1997 by Rolling Stone magazine. Members of a Senegalese drum troupe performed with Mr. Turner on the album. Mr. Turner was presented with a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award, the Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award and the Charlie Patton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival.
. 2011 ~ Eugene Fodor, American classical violinist (1974 Tchaikovsky Award), died at the age of 60