• 1791 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, died in Vienna, Austria at the age of 35. Mozart, the precocious child prodigy, composed several pieces that are deemed central to the classical era. Though he ranked as one of the greatest musical genius, he did not live a life of affluence as none of his compositions earned him a decent commission.
• 1901 ~ Walt Disney, Man behind many much-loved animated musicals
• 1922 ~ Don Robertson, Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Famer, whistler
• 1930 ~ Larry Kert, Actor, singer, dancer in the West Side Story original cast, 1957
• 1932 ~ Little Richard (Pennimann), US rock ‘n roll artist, preacher
• 1936 ~ Chad Mitchell, Singer with Chad Mitchell trio
• 1936 ~ Bing Crosby took over as host of The Kraft Music Hall. Jimmy Dorsey (who would later be host, himself) led the Kraft Orchestra.
• 1945 ~ José Carreras, Spanish tenor with the New York Metropolitan Opera
• 1947 ~ Jim Messina, American rock guitarist and singer, duo of Loggins and Messina and groups: Buffalo Springfield and Poco
• 1960 ~ Les Nemes, Bass with Haircut 100
• 1960 ~ Jack Russell, Singer with Great White
• 1973 ~ Paul McCartney released Band On The Run, his fifth album since his departure from The Beatles. Two hit singles from the album – ‘Jet’ and ‘Band on the Run’ made it McCartney’s most successful album.
• 2003 ~ Avie Parton, mother of country music singer, songwriter and actress Dolly Parton, died after a long illness. She was 80. Parton was responsible for stitching the patchwork rag coat for young Dolly that the singer later recounted in the song, Coat of Many Colors. The song helped propel Dolly Parton to stardom and came to symbolize her climb from rags to riches. She also was the witness at Dolly’s secret marriage to Carl Dean in 1966 in Ringgold, Ga.
2012 ~ Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer
More information about Brubeck
Carol of the Bells was composed by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (1877-1921) in 1916. Originally titled Shchedryk, this Ukrainian folk song is sometimes called Ukrainian Bell Carol. “Shchedryk” which was associated with the coming New Year, originally celebrated in April.
Leontovych used this tune in 1904 along with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky to create the version that everyone knows today. It gained popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, and was introduced to an even wider audience when it was used in the movie “Home Alone”.
It was first performed in the Ukraine on the night of January 13, 1916, on the Julian calendar this is considered New Year’s Eve. In the United States the song was first performed on October 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall.
This video is from the Christmas special of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, presented at the BYU channel. Very beautiful sound of bells, the orchestra and choir, enjoy the video!
Not the standard version –
The O’Connor Music Studio has several versions of this Christmas Carol available for loan, including this version from the Mannheim Steamroller: