Well-maintained pianos can make music for 50 to 70 years, said Peter Stumpf, a piano technician for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Mellon University, also in Pittsburgh.
Stumpf acknowledged new piano retailers are challenged by technicians like him who restore well-made used pianos and sell them at a fraction of the cost.
The piano’s design, durability and new flexibility brought by technology helps keep the instrument created by Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori more than 300 years ago relevant today, said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of the National Association of Music Merchants, a music products industry trade association.”Having all the notes laid out in front of you spatially is really an important way to learn music,” he said. “It’s why it’s one of the most important instruments for people to begin on. That’s not going to change.”
1905 ~ Sir Michael Tippett, British Composer and librettist
More information about Tippett
• 1917 ~ Vera Zorina (Eva Hartwig), Dancer, actress
1922 ~ Renata (Ersilia Clotilde) Tebaldi, Opera diva, lyric soprano. She debuted as Elena in Boito’s Mefistofele in 1944 and at the MetropolitanOpera in Verdi’sOtello in 1955
More information about Tebaldi
Anniversary of Tebaldi’s death
• 1930 ~ Julius LaRosa, Singer
• 1932 ~ Freddy Martin formed a new band and was hired to play the Roosevelt Grill in New York City. Martin became one of the big names in the music business. Merv Griffin later became Martin’s lead vocalist.
• 1936 ~ Roger Miller. American country-music singer, guitarist and songwriter, 11 Grammys in 1964-65
• 1941 ~ The Andrews Sisters recorded BoogieWoogie Bugle Boy on Decca Records. LaVerne, Maxine and Patti Andrews recorded in Los Angeles and the song was heard in the movie, “Buck Privates”, starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
• 1949 ~ Chick Churchill, Keyboards with Ten Years After
• 1974 ~ Singing cowboy Tex Ritter died of a heart attack at the age of 67. His son, John, became a significant television star in “Three’s Company”, and in movies, including “Problem Child”.
• 1980 ~ Officials of the Miss America Pageant announced that Bert Parks would not return as host of the annual beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Parks sang There she is, Miss America for 25 years. He was replaced by Gary Collins.
• 1983 ~ The smash musical, “Annie”, closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after
• 2,377 performances: the sixth longest-running show on the Great White Way. The five longest-running shows at the time were: “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Life With Father”, “Tobacco Road”, “Hello Dolly”and “Music Man”.
• 2003 ~ Bluegrass music veteran James McReynolds, who with his mandolin-playing brother Jesse formed the legendary “Jim & Jesse” duo honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died. Backed by their band, “The Virginia Boys,” their first single The Flame of Love, backed byGosh I Miss You All the Time, spent weeks on the national charts. Other songs regarded as Jim & Jesse classics are Cotton Mill Man,Diesel on My Tail,Are You Missing Me and Paradise. Jim’s enhanced high tenor and guitar playing combined with Jesse’s deep-voiced singing and unique mandolin style to produce their distinctive sound. Jesse developed a cross-picking technique and “split-string” style few could duplicate. The brothers’ performing career was interrupted by service in both World War II and the Korean War. They joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1964, and their numerous honors included induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Walkway of Stars” and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Honor.
• 2004 ~ Pioneering black actress and singer Etta Moten Barnett, who sang at the White House and appeared with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in FlyingDown to Rio, died. She was 102. Barnett was unique because of the romantic, sexy figures she portrayed – as opposed to the motherly nannies and maids that most black actresses were cast as in early Hollywood films. Barnett moved to New York City in her 30s and quickly landed a spot singing with the Eva Jessye Choir. The lead in the Broadway show Zombie followed. She later dubbed songs for actresses and was cast in the Busby Berkeley film Gold Diggers of 1933. In the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio, Barnett was cast as a Brazilian entertainer who sang The Carioca while Astaire and Rogers danced. The song was nominated for an Academy Award as best song. Her voice caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who invited her to sing at his White House birthday party. In 1942, she appeared as Bess in Porgy and Bess on Broadway and then toured with the show until 1945. Suffering from a strained voice, she gave her last formal concert in 1952