Alfred Brendel was born in 1931 in Wiesenberg, Czech Republic.
After World War II, Brendel composed music, as well as continuing to play the piano, to write and to paint. However, he never had more formal piano lessons and, although he attended master classes with Edwin Fischer and Eduard Steuermann, he was largely self-taught after the age of six.
He made his debut in Graz (1948), and has since performed widely throughout Austria, where he lives.
. 1941 ~ Decca record #23210 was recorded. The title was Chica Chica Boom Chic by the lovely Carmen Miranda. She sang the song in the film, “That Night in Rio”.
. 1942 ~ Maurizio Pollini, Italian pianist
. 1949 ~ George ‘Funky’ Brown, Drummer with Kool and The Gang
. 1950 ~ Chris Stein, Guitarist with Blondie
. 1955 ~ A tune used in a “Studio One” production became the #1 song on the pop music charts this day. Joan Weber’s song, Let Me Go, Lover, rode the hit parade as the most popular record in the U.S. for four weeks straight. Before being aired on television, the song had only been heard on a limited basis. In fact, the title was even different. It used to be known as Let MeGo, Devil.
. 1972 ~ John Denver received a gold record for the album, “Aerie”, this day.
. 1979 ~ Charles Mingus passed away. He was an American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader.
. 1979 ~ John Travolta probably remembers that the soundtrack LP of “Saturday Night Fever” reached $25 million in sales.
. 1984 ~ The group, The Police, planned a farewell concert for March 2 in Australia. After nine years together, band members decided to go their separate ways.
. 1997 ~ Burton Lane passed away. He was an American composer and lyricist. His most popular and successful works include Finian’s Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
. 2000 ~ Mejla Hlavsa, a Czech rock performer and friend of President Vaclav Havel, died of cancer at the age of 49. He was a bass player and singer with the band Plastic People of the Universe. Hlavsa, whose group was banned in the 1970s, was imprisoned in 1976 for unauthorized performances, deemed political protests under the former communist regime. At the time, the band had been performing at private gatherings, including parties at Havel’s summer house in Hradecek, northern Bohemia. Now the country’s president, Havel was Czechoslovakia’s best known anti-communist dissident at the time. After the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the band resumed public performances. Hlavsa also performed at the White House in September 1998, at a dinner organized by President Clinton during an official visit by the Czech president. One of Hlavsa’s influences, Lou Reed, also performed during Havel’s visit. Reed was a founding member of the rock group Velvet Underground, which helped inspire Havel’s leadership of the “Velvet Revolution” that brought democracy to the Czech Republic. Havel had called the musicians “two legends from our two nations who both, in one way or another, are bound with the ideal of freedom.”
. 2016 ~ Pierre Boulez, classical music’s maverick, died aged 90. As well as composing, Boulez was a prolific writer and pianist and an inspiration for generations of young musicians.