September 30, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1852 ~ Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish composer and organist

• 1908 ~ David Oistrakh, Russian violinist

 

 

• 1922 ~ Oscar Pettiford, Bass, cello. He played with Charlie Barnet, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Stan Getz

• 1933 ~ The theme song was Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here and it opened the National Barn Dance. The half-hour country music and comedy show, originally heard on WLS, Chicago since 1924, moved to the NBC Blue network this night. National Barn Dance was broadcast from the Eighth Street Theater in Chicago, where the stage was transformed into a hayloft every Saturday night. The host was Joe Kelly. Uncle Ezra was played by Pat Barrett who was known to say, “Give me a toot on the tooter, Tommy,” as he started dancing. A few of the other Barn Dance characters were Arkie, the Arkansas Woodchopper; Pokey Martin; the Hoosier Hotshots; the Prairie Ramblers; cowgirl, Patsy Montana; Pat Buttram; Lulu Belle and the Cumberland Road Runners. Gene Autry and Red Foley were heard early in their careers on National Barn Dance. Although there were plenty of sponsors (Alka Seltzer, One-A-Day vitamins, Phillips Milk of Magnesia), the National Barn Dance was one of the few radio shows to charge admission!

• 1935 ~ Jill Corey (Norma Jean Speranza), Singer

• 1935 ~ Johnny Mathis, American singer of popular music

• 1935 ~ “Summertime … and the livin’ is easy.” Porgy and Bess was presented for the first time, at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. It was a flop! It was revived in 1942. It wasn’t a flop that time. It ran longer than any revival in the history of U.S. musical theater.

• 1941 ~ The Larry Clinton Orchestra recorded their version of That Solid Old Man, on Bluebird Records.

• 1942 ~ Frankie Lymon, Singer: recorded at age 14

• 1942 ~ Dewey Martin, Drummer, singer with Buffalo Springfield

• 1943 ~ Marilyn McCoo (Davis), Singer with The Fifth Dimension, TV hostess of Solid Gold from 1981 to 1984 and 1986 to 1988, TV music reporter

• 1946 ~ Sylvia Peterson, Singer with The Chiffons

• 1953 ~ Deborah Allen (Thurmond), Singer

• 1954 ~ Julie Andrews, who would later become a household name in movies, TV and on records, opened on Broadway for the first time. The future star of The Sound of Music appeared in The Boy Friend this night.

• 1976 ~ Mary Ford passed away

• 1977 ~ President Jimmy Carter designated October as the official country music month.

• 2003 ~ Ronnie Dawson, the rock singer known as the “Blonde Bomber,” died. He was 64. Dawson was diagnosed in 2002 with throat cancer but continued to perform. One of his last gigs was an emotional performance at the Rockabilly Rave festival in England in February. He enthralled fans at the Big D Jamboree in the 1950s and at Carnegie Hall in the 1990s. Among Dawson’s songs as a teenager in the 1950s wereAction Packed and I Make the Love. He was famous for live performances where he would jump from the stage, run through the audience and play his guitar while standing on a table. In the late 1950s, Dawson recast himself as an R&B artist named Snake Monroe, signed briefly with Columbia Records, and then joined the local Western swing pioneers the Light Crust Doughboys. In the 1960s, he packed the Levee Club with the Levee Singers, a folk act that appeared nationally on “The Danny Kaye Show” and “The Jimmy Dean Show.” After the Levee Singers broke up, he formed a country band, Steel Rail, and later sang television and radio jingles.

• 2003 ~ Robert LaMarchina, conductor of the Honolulu Symphony from 1967 to 1978, died. He was 75. Born in New York City, Robert LaMarchina began studying the cello at the age of 7. At 8, he made his first appearance as a solo cellist with the St. Louis Symphony. LaMarchina was 15 when famed conductor Arturo Toscanini hired him to perform with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. LaMarchina made is first appearance as a conductor in 1951 in Japan in the Fujiwara Opera’s production of “Madame Butterfly”. He later taught music at Indiana University, traveled with the Ambassadors of Opera and conducted operas on the West Coast.

September 29, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1907 ~ (Orvon) Gene Autry, ‘The Singing Cowboy’, actor in over 100 cowboy westerns, singer, CMA Hall of Fame and the only person to have 5 Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. They were for film, radio, TV, stage and records.

• 1930 ~ Richard Bonynge, Australian conductor

• 1930 ~ “Ba, ba, ba, boo. I will, ba ba ba boo … marry you!” ‘Der Bingle’, better known as Bing Crosby, America’s premier crooner for decades, married Dixie Lee.

OCMS 1935 ~ Jerry Lee Lewis, American rock-and-roll singer and pianist
More information about Lewis

• 1942 ~ Jean-Luc Ponty, French jazz pianist

• 1947 ~ Dizzy Gillespie presented his first Carnegie Hall concert in New York, adding a sophisticated jazz touch to the famous concert emporium. Diz would become one of the jazz greats of all time. His trademark: Two cheeks pushed out until it looked like his face would explode. But, as the hepcats said, “Man, that guy can blow!”

 

• 1948 ~ Mark Farner, Guitar: singer with Grand Funk Railroad

• 1953 ~ Danny Thomas, who many now remember as Marlo’s dad and Phil Donahue’s father-in-law, is also remembered for many things that influenced television. At the suggestion of his friend, Desi Arnaz, Thomas negotiated a deal that would allow him to retain ownership rights to his programs, like Make Room for Daddy, which debuted this day on ABC-TV. Later, in 1957, the show would move to CBS under the Desilu/Danny Thomas Productions banner. The rest is, literally, TV history. His success allowed him to give something back to the world, in the form of his philanthropic efforts to build St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. “All I prayed for was a break,” he once told an interviewer, “and I said I would do anything, anything, to pay back the prayer if it could be answered. All I needed was a sign of what to do and I would do it.” And so it was.

• 1962 ~ My Fair Lady closed on this day after a run of 6½ years. At the time, the show held the Broadway record for longest-running musical of all time. 3,750,000 people watched the wonderful show and heard tunes like Wouldn’t it Be Loverly, Show Me, Get Me to the Church on Time, I’m an Ordinary Man, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face and the Vic Damone/Robert Goulet standard, On the Street Where You Live. The team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe turned George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, into a colorful, musical production. They gave a new life to the rough- around-the-edges, cockney, flower girl; the subject of a bet between Professor Higgins (Just You Wait, ’Enry ’Iggins) and a colleague. The Professor bet that he could turn Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady (The Rain in Spain). With a Little Bit of Luck he did it. Eliza, looking and acting very much like a princess, sang I Could Have Danced All Night. After its Broadway success, My Fair Lady was made into a motion picture (1964) and won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.

• 1983 ~ On the Great White Way, A Chorus Line became the longest-running show on Broadway, with performance number 3,389. Grease, the rock ’n’ roll production, had been the previous box-office champ since 1980.

• 2001 ~ Dan Cushman, a prolific fiction writer whose 1953 novel “Stay Away, Joe” was made into a movie starring Elvis Presley, died of heart failure. He was 92. The former New York Times book critic wrote dozens of books and was best known for “Stay Away, Joe.” The book’s portrayal of American Indians stirred controversy in Montana, and Indian novelist James Welch vetoed an excerpt for inclusion in “The Last Best Place,” a Montana anthology. In 1998 Cushman received the H.G. Merriam Award for Distinguished Contributions to Montana Literature, joining such notables as Richard Hugo, A.B. Guthrie Jr. and Norman Maclean. Cushman was first paid for his writing when he received $5 a week for reporting news for a newspaper in Big Sandy, Mont. “It was in Big Sandy where I learned all the trouble you can cause by printing all the news of a small town,” Cushman said. He wrote books set in the South Pacific, the Congo and the Yukon, and drew on his colorful life for much of his fiction. Cushman worked as a cowboy, printer, prospector, geologist’s assistant, advertising writer and radio announcer.

• 2015 ~ Frankie Ford, rock and roll and rhythm and blues singer whose 1959 hit Sea Cruise brought him international fame, died at the age of 76.

Bach Celebrates International Coffee Day

bach-coffee

 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was also apparently a coffee enthusiast. So much so that he wrote a composition about the beverage. Although known mostly for his liturgical music, his Coffee Cantata (AKA Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, BWV 211) is a rare example of a secular work by the composer. The short comic opera was written (circa 1735) for a musical ensemble called The Collegium Musicum based in a storied Zimmerman’s coffee house in Leipzig, Germany. The whole cantata seems very much to have been written with the local audience in mind.

Coffee Cantata is about a young vivacious woman named Aria who loves coffee. Her killjoy father is, of course, dead set against his daughter having any kind of caffeinated fun. So he tries to ban her from the drink. Aria bitterly complains:

Father sir, but do not be so harsh!
If I couldn’t, three times a day,
be allowed to drink my little cup of coffee,
in my anguish I will turn into
a shriveled-up roast goat.

Ah! How sweet coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
milder than muscatel wine.
Coffee, I have to have coffee,
and, if someone wants to pamper me,
ah, then bring me coffee as a gift!

The copywriters at Starbucks marketing department couldn’t have written it any better. Eventually, daughter and father reconcile when he agrees to have a guaranteed three cups of coffee a day written into her marriage contract.

 

Reading the Notes on the Bass Clef

bass-clef-notes

 

An educational parody of Meghan Trainor’s music “All About That Bass” that teaches the notes of the bass clef.

 


Learn the notes of “The Cool Bass Clef” by watching this cool animated video. Music by Karl Hitzemann. Animation by Bill Belongia. The song originally appeared in Music K-8 magazine, Vol. 22, No. 3.

 

September 28, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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1598 ~ The first patent to print songbooks was issued on this day to Thomas Morley, a composer of madrigal songs.

OCMS 1902 ~ Donald Jay Grout, American musicologist
A History of Western Music.  An older version of this book is available for loan in the O’Connor Music Studio
More information about Grout

• 1927 ~ Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, Mexican composer

• 1928 ~ Glen Gray’s orchestra recorded Under a Blanket of Blue, with Kenny Sargeant on vocals.

• 1930 ~ Tommy Collins (Leonard Sipes), Singer, songwriter

• 1938 ~ Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson), Singer, songwriter

• 1946 ~ Helen Shapiro, Singer, actress

• 1968 ~ The Beatles rode the nearly seven-minute-long Hey Jude to the top of the charts for a nine week-run starting this day. Talk about your microgroove recording! Copies of this Apple release were shipped by the dozen to radio stations because the platters wore out after just a few plays.

• 1984 ~ Saluting his 34 years in television, Bob “If There’s an Honor I’ll Be There” Hope showed outtakes of his years in television on (where else?) NBC. When he began in television’s infancy, back in 1950, Hope said he got into the new medium “…because the contract was so delicious, I couldn’t turn it down.”

• 1991 ~ Miles Davis III passed away

September 27, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1898 ~ Vincent Youmans, Songwriters’ Hall of Famer, musician, composer, worked with Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II

• 1924 ~ Bud Powell, American jazz pianist and composer

• 1930 ~ Igor Kipnis, American harpsichordist 1933 ~ NBC radio debuted Waltz Time, featuring the orchestra of Abe Lymon. The program continued on the network until 1948.

• 1938 ~ Clarinet virtuoso Artie Shaw recorded the song that would become his theme song. Nightmare was waxed on the Bluebird Jazz label. 1938 ~ Thanks for the Memory was heard for the first time on The Bob Hope Show on the NBC Red radio network. Who was the bandleader? If you said Les Brown, you’d be … wrong. It was Skinnay Ennis accompanying Hope at the time.

• 1941 ~ Don Nix, Baritone sax with The Mar-Keys, Booker T and the M.G.’s, composer

• 1942 ~ Just after leaving CBS radio, Glenn Miller led his civilian band for the last time at the Central Theatre in beautiful Passaic, NJ. Miller had volunteered for wartime duty.

• 1943 ~ Randy Bachman, Guitarist, singer with Bachman-Turner Overdrive

• 1945 ~ Misha Dichter, American pianist, married to Cipa Dichter

• 1951 ~ Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), Singer, actor

• 1953 ~ Greg Ham, Saxophone, flute, keyboards with Men at Work

• 1954 ~ The Tonight show debuted on NBC-TV. Steve Allen hosted the late-night program which began as a local New York show on WNBT-TV in June 1953. Tonight became a launching pad for Steve and hundreds of guests, including Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Skitch Henderson and orchestra provided the music. Ernie Kovacs was the host from 1956 until 1957.

• 1958 ~ Shaun Cassidy, Singer, son of Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones, half-brother of David Cassidy

• 1962 ~ Detroit secretary Martha Reeves cut a side with a group called The Vandellas and the result was I’ll Have to Let Him Go. Soon thereafter, the hits of Martha and The Vandellas just kept on comin’.

• 1962 ~ After a concert that featured folk music at Carnegie Hall, The New York Times gave a glowing review in a story about “Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Folk Song Stylist.”

• 1970 ~ “Round and round and round it goes and where it stops, nobody knows.” Ted Mack said, “Good night from Geritol” for the last time. After 22 years on television, the curtain closed on The Original Amateur Hour on CBS. The show had been on ABC, NBC, CBS and originated on the Dumont Television Network.

• 1979 ~ Gracie Fields died