Writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who died on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at age 82, spent his life wondering on the myriad connections among biology, thought, emotion and perception.
For those of us who obsess over the how and why of music, Sacks’ work on sound and its effects on the brain – and vice versa – was particularly illuminating. His book on the subject, “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” remains essential reading for those who want to understand the mechanics of music.
Through bountiful research and mesmerizing case studies, Sacks addressed topics including music and amnesia, music therapy, musical prodigies and those who suffer from debilitating aural hallucinations.
1786 ~ Friedrich Kuhlau, German-born Danish composer and pianist
More information about Kuhlau
• 1847 ~ This night an audience at the Eagle Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania enjoyed Foster’s rendition of his minstrel song, Oh! Susanna. Stephen got a bottle of whiskey for his performance.
• 1850 ~ Jenny Lind sang at the Castle Garden Theatre in New York City. It was her first performance in America. Lind’s voice was so sweet that she was nicknamed ‘The Swedish Nightingale’.
• 1911 ~ Alice Tully, American mezzo-soprano and music patron
1956 ~ Arvo Pärt (1935) Estonian composer
More information about Pärt
• 1942 ~ Lola Falana, Singer, actress
• 1944 ~ Mickey Hart, Drummer, songwriter with Grateful Dead
• 1944 ~ Phil May, Singer with The Pretty Things; Fallen Angels
• 1945 ~ Ernest Tubb recorded It Just Doesn’t Matter Now and Love Turns to Hate on the Decca label. Tubb became the second recording artist to have made a commercial record in Nashville, TN.
• 1946 ~ Dennis Tufano, Guitarist, singer with The Buckinghams
• 1952 ~ Tommy Shaw, Guitarist with Styx
• 1959 ~ On this day in 1959 a statue to honor songwriter George M. Cohan was unveiled in New york City’s Duffy Square. Ten thousand people watched and sang his “Give My Regards to Broadway.” Today crowds gather near the statue daily to buy half-priced theater tickets.
• 1962 ~ Ringo Starr joined John, Paul and George for his first recording session as a Beatle, replacing bounced drummer Pete Best. Love Me Do was the result and it took 17 takes to complete … to everyone’s satisfaction.
• 1984 ~ Bruce Springsteen broke the attendance record at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The Boss entertained 16,800 fans for the first of six sold-out shows. Springsteen broke his own record; one he set during a visit to Philly in 1981.
• 2001 ~ Larry Kegan, a singer-songwriter who performed in concert with Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and others, died of cardiac arrest. He was 59. Kegan sang at Gov. Jesse Ventura’s inaugural celebration in 1999, at American Indian functions and at Stillwater prison. A paraplegic since a diving accident when he was 15, and a quadriplegic after a car accident a decade later, Kegan was nonetheless very active. Kegan ran a resort for disabled veterans in Mexico and managed orange groves in Florida before returning to Minnesota in the mid-1970s. He met Dylan when they were teen-agers at a summer camp. Decades later, in 1978, Dylan dedicated his album Street Legal to Kegan.