September 23, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1870 ~ John Lomax, American folk-song collector and founder of the American Folklore Society at the Library of Congress

• 1923 ~ Jan Savitt and his orchestra recorded 720 in the Books on Decca Records.

• 1926 ~ John (William) Coltrane, American jazz tenor and soprano sax, composer

OCMS 1930 ~ Ray Charles, American soul singer, pianist and songwriter
More information about Charles

• 1935 ~ Les McCann, Singer

• 1940 ~ Paul Williams, Academy Award-winning songwriter

• 1943 ~ Steve Boone, Bass, singer with The Lovin’ Spoonful

• 1943 ~ Julio Iglesias, Singer, Guinness Book of Records for sales of more than 100 million copies of 60 LPs in five languages

• 1945 ~ Ronald Bushy, Drummer with Iron Butterfly

• 1949 ~ Bruce Springsteen ‘The Boss’, American rock singer and songwriter, inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999

• 1959 ~ Lita Ford, Guitarist with The Runaways

• 1967 ~ The Box Tops from Memphis hit #1 with The Letter. Though the song was #1 for four weeks and remained on the charts for 13 weeks. The Box Tops reorganized right after that first hit and never made it to #1 again.

• 1969 ~ The London Daily Mirror became a rumormonger. It printed a story saying that Beatle Paul McCartney was dead. It was the first, but not the last, time that rumor would make the rounds.

• 1971 ~ The Honey Cone scored their second gold record with Stick-Up on the Hot Wax label. It was a follow~up to their #1 smash, Want Ads on June 12, 1971.

• 1987 ~ Bob Fosse passed away. He  was an American dancer, musical theatre choreographer, director, screenwriter, film director and actor.


• 2003 ~ Rex Robbins, a Broadway actor who traveled nationally with “Gypsy,” “Hello Dolly!” and “Into the Woods,” died of a subdural aneurysm while visiting relatives. He was 68. Robbins, who lived in Manhattan, had roles in 18 Broadway shows between 1963 and 2000, including Herbie in the 1974 revival of “Gypsy” with Angela Lansbury and Buckingham in “Richard II” with Al Pacino in 1979. He also appeared in films including the original “Shaft,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “1776,” and was in more than 300 television commercials.

September 22, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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OCMS MrsO’s birthday OCMS

 

• 1918 ~ Henryk Szeryng, Polish-born Mexican violinist

• 1926 ~ William O. Smith, American composer and jazz clarinetist

• 1930 ~ Joni James (Joan Carmello Babbo), Singer

• 1937 ~ Red Norvo and his orchestra recorded the Russian Lullaby on the Brunswick label. Norvo did more famous work at a later date, recording with a singer named Dinah Shore.

• 1941 ~ Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Bulgarian soprano

• 1943 ~ Singer Kate Smith finished her War Bond radio appeal. For 13 continuous hours Smith had stayed on the air, collecting a whopping $39 million dollars in bond pledges.

• 1951 ~ David Coverdale, Singer with Deep Purple

• 1954 ~ Shari Belafonte, Actress, TV cohost, singer Harry Belafonte’s daughter

• 1956 ~ Debby Boone, Grammy Award-winning singer: Best New Artist in 1977, sang with The Boone Family; daughter of singers Pat and Shirley Boone

• 1962 ~ It was a hootenanny of a good time in, of all places, New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. The cast included newcomer Bob Dylan making his first appearance at Carnegie Hall.

• 1964 ~ In the tradition of the Broadway stage, the lights lowered, the curtain rose and Zero Mostel stepped into the spotlight as the fiddler played. “Tra-a–a- dition”, he sang, as he began the first of 3,242 performances of Fiddler on the Roof. The musical opened on Broadway this day. The story of Tevye (brilliantly played by Mostel), a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, takes place in a small Russian village in the late 1890s. He sings and dances his way through the tragedies and comedies of a father fighting for tradition in a changing world. “To life”, he sang, as the music of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick made the stories by Sholem Aleichem come alive. And he brought tears to audiences eyes with the poignant, Sunrise, Sunset, and laughter, too, with the memorable, If I were a Rich Man — which surely made Zero Mostel a wealthy man.

• 1980 ~ John Lennon signed with Geffen Records. The Lennon LP, Double Fantasy, was released on Geffen. (Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980.)

• 1985 ~ The poor of America’s Heartland … the financially troubled farmers of Middle America … got help from their friends in the music biz. Singing stars Willie Nelson,Neil Young and John Cougar Mellencamp held a benefit concert to raise funds. The stars came out and so did the money. The Farm Aid concert raised ten million dollars.

• 1987 ~ Norman Luboff passed away

• 1989 ~ Irving Berlin passed away

• 2001 ~ Isaac Stern, the master violinist who saved Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball, died at the age of 81. Stern, one of the last great violinists of his generation, helped advance the careers of a new generation, including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma. He played well over 175 performances at Carnegie Hall, America’s musical temple renown for its acoustics. The hall opened in 1891. As the city was planning Lincoln Center in the 1950s, a builder proposed an office building to replace Carnegie Hall. Using his prestige and his contacts among fellow artists and benefactors, Stern rallied the opposition, eventually securing legislation that enabled the city to acquire the building in 1960 for $5 million. On Jan. 8, 1943, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in a recital produced by the impresario Sol Hurok. Performing with pianist Alexander Zakin, who became his longtime accompanist, Stern played Mozart, Bach, Szymanowski, Johannes Brahms and Wieniawski. The performance attracted the attention of composer-critic Virgil Thomson. Writing in the New York Herald Tribune, Thomson proclaimed him “one of the world’s master fiddle players.” At his peak, Stern would perform more than 200 concerts a year. Stern boycotted Germany for years because of the Holocaust, but taught a nine-day seminar there in 1999.

September 21, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1737 ~ Francis Hopkinson, American statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, first native-born American composer and writer

OCMS 1874 ~ Gustav (Theodore) Holst, British composer and conductor
Read quotes by and about Holst
More information about Holst

• 1934 ~ Leonard Cohen, Canadian folk singer, songwriter and poet

• 1941 ~ Dickey Lee (Lipscomb), Singer, songwriter

• 1947 ~ Donald Felder, Guitarist, singer with The Eagles

September 20, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1880 ~ Ildebrando Pizzetti, Italian composer and educator

OCMS 1885 ~ “Jelly Roll” Morton, American jazz pianist and composer
Read quotes by and about Morton
More information about Morton

• 1911 ~ Frank DeVol, Bandleader, songwriter

• 1924 ~ Gogi Grant (Audrey Brown), Singer, dubbed vocals for Ann Blythe in The Helen Morgan Story

• 1927 ~ Johnny Dankworth, Alto sax, band leader, composer

• 1945 ~ Laurie Spiegel, American composer

• 1946 ~ WNBT~TV, New York became the first station to promote a motion picture. It showed scenes from The (Al) Jolson Story.

• 1948 ~ One of the most popular singing groups of the 1950s got their professional start on this day. The Four Freshmen did their first gig in Fort Wayne, Indiana and went on to major success with Capitol Records. Hits included It’s a Blue World, Charmaine and Love is Just Around the Corner.

• 1969 ~ Sugar, Sugar, by the the Archies, hit number one in Billboard. The Archies sat at the top of the hit heap for four weeks.

• 1973 ~ The in place for radio and record types to see, and be seen, opened in Los Angeles, to a sold-out crowd. On the opening bill at the Roxy Theatre: Elton John,Carole King and Jackson Browne.

• 1973 ~ Singer Jim Croce, his lead guitarist, Maury Muehleisen, and four others died when their plane crashed into a tree while taking off for a concert in Sherman, Texas.

September 19, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1829 ~ Gustav Schirmer, German music publisher.  He founded G. Schirmer Inc., a classical music publishing company based in New York City, founded in 1861.

• 1818 ~ Blanche Thebom, American mezzo-soprano

• 1921 ~ Billy Ward, Singer, musician: piano with Billy Ward and the Dominoes

• 1931 ~ Brook (Benjamin Franklin) Benton (Peay), Singer

• 1934 ~ Brian Epstein, Talent manager for The Beatles

• 1935 ~ Nick Massi (Macioci), Bass, singer with The Four Seasons

• 1936 ~ The classic, Indian Love Call, was recorded by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, on Victor Records.

• 1940 ~ Bill Medley, Singer with The Righteous Brothers

• 1941 ~ “Mama” Cass Elliott (Ellen Naomi Cohen), American folk-pop singer with The Mamas & The Papas

• 1945 ~ Freda Payne, Singer with Duke Ellington

• 1946 ~ John Coghlan, Drummer with Status Quo

• 1947 ~ Lol Creme, Guitarist, singer with 10cc

• 1952 ~ Nile Rogers, Musician with Honeydrippers

• 1953 ~ Gisele MacKenzie took over as host on NBC-TV’s Your Hit Parade. Her biggest hit during that stint, 1953 to 1957, was Hard to Get in June of 1955. Ironically, the song was first sung by Gisele in an episode of the NBC-TV show, Justice. It became a hit and she performed it again on Your Hit Parade.

• 1955 ~ Eva Marie Saint, Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman starred in the Producer’s Showcase presentation of Our Town on NBC~TV.

• 1974 ~ Eric Clapton received a gold record for I Shot the Sheriff. The song reached #1 on the pop charts on September 14th.

• 1968 ~ Red (Clyde Julian) Foley passed away

• 1981 ~ For their first concert in years, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited for a free concert to benefit New York City parks. The concert attracted a crowd of 500,000 people in Central Park and was broadcast to a TV audience in the millions.

September 18, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1763 ~ An instrument named the spinet was mentioned in The Boston Gazette newspaper on this day. John Harris made the spinet, a small upright piano with a three to four octave range. There is no verifiable evidence to support the rumor that a man named Spinetti made the first spinet.

• 1809 ~ The Theatre Royal at Covent Garden re-opened after being destroyed by fire the year before. The Theatre Royal at Covent Garden began in Bow Street in 1732. It was designed by E.M. Barry in classical style. He also built for the theatre’s management the Floral Hall next door in glass and iron, meant to be a straightforward rival to the Bedford’s flower market. Both of Barry’s buildings are now part of the rebuilt Royal Opera House at Covent Garden complex.

• 1838 ~ Emil Scaria, Austrian bass-baritone

• 1910 ~ Josef Tal, Polish-born Israeli composer and pianist

• 1917 ~ The Honolulu Ad Club registered a patent for the ukulele.

• 1927 ~ The Columbia Broadcasting System was born on this day, although its rival, NBC, had been on the air for some time. The Tiffany Network, as CBS was called, broadcast an opera, The King’s Henchman, as its first program. William S. Paley put the network together, purchasing a chain of 16 failing radio stations. The controlling interest cost between $250,000 and $450,000. The following year, the 27-year-old Paley became President of CBS. It only took one more year for him to profit 2.35 million dollars as the network grew to over 70 stations. In 1978 Paley received the First Annual ATAS (Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) Governor’s Award as Chairman of the Board of CBS.

• 1929 ~ Teddi King, Singer

• 1933 ~ Jimmie Rodgers, Singer

• 1939 ~ Frankie (Frances) Avalon (Avellone), American rock-and-roll singer

• 1947 ~ Country singers Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first country show for the NYC venue.

• 1948 ~ The Original Amateur Hour returned to radio on ABC, two years after the passing of the program’s originator and host, Major Bowes. Bowes brought new star talent into living rooms for 13 years. Ted Mack, the new host, had also started a TV run with The Original Amateur Hour on the DuMont network in January of 1948.

• 1949 ~ Kerry Livgren, Guitar, keyboards with Kansas

• 1952 ~ Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin), Drummer with The Ramones

• 1955 ~ What had been The Toast of the Town on CBS Television (since 1948) became The Ed Sullivan Show. This “rilly big shew” remained a mainstay of Sunday night television until June 6, 1971. Sullivan was a newspaper columnist/critic before and during the early years of this pioneering TV show.

• 1957 ~ The Big Record, hosted by ‘the singing rage’, Miss Patti Page, debuted on CBS-TV. The Big Record was a live musical showcase featuring established artists singing their big songs. The Big Record lasted one big season.

• 1962 ~ Joanne Catherall, Singer with Human League

• 1967 ~ Ricky Bell, Singer with New Edition

• 1969 ~ Tiptoeing through late night TV, Tiny Tim announced his engagement to Miss Vicki Budinger. Johnny Carson, host of The Tonight Show, was so enthralled with the falsetto voiced singer that he invited the couple to get married on the show. They did on December 17, 1969 and TV history was made.

• 1970 ~ Rock radio mourned the loss of rock music legend, Jimi Hendrix. He died at age 27 of an overdose of sleeping pills. His Purple Haze and Foxy Lady became anthems for a generation at war in Vietnam.

• 1997 ~ Jimmy Witherspoon passed away

September 17, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1878 ~ Vincenzo Tommasini, Italian composer

• 1884 ~ Charles Tomlinson Griffes, American composer

• 1923 ~ Hank (Hiram) Williams, Sr., American country-western singer and songwriter. He was the first country musician whose music crossed over into pop and he wrote 125 compositions

• 1926 ~ Bill Black, Bassist with Bill Black Combo, played in Elvis Presley band, backup for Elvis

• 1929 ~ Sil Austin, Tenor saxophone, composer

• 1931 ~ RCA Victor began demonstrating a very early version of the long-playing (LP), 33~1/3 RPM phonograph record. It would be another 17 years before RCA rival Columbia would begin mass production of the LP.

• 1940 ~ LaMont McLemore, Singer with The 5th Dimension

• 1950 ~ Fee Waybill (John Waldo), Singe with The Tubes

• 1952 ~ Frank Sinatra sang at his final session with Mitch Miller and Columbia Records.

• 1955 ~ The Perry Como Show moved to Saturday nights on NBC~TV. Soon, U.S.A. audiences would “Sing along with me … I’m on my way to the stars…” with the incomparable Mr. C. Como’s hourlong variety show replaced his three-times-per-week, 15-minute show, which had been on the air since 1948. The new version of The Perry Como Show soon became Saturday’s highest-rated TV program, beating CBS competitor Jackie Gleason.

• 1955 ~ Capitol Records released Magic Melody, Part Two. The tune consists only of the last two notes of the musical phrase, “Shave and a haircut, two bits,” making it the shortest tune ever to be released.

• 1973 ~ Hugo Winterhalter passed away.  He was an American easy listening arranger and composer.

• 2002 ~ Michael “Dodo” Marmarosa, a jazz pianist who played with luminaries like Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Dorsey and Buddy Rich in the 1940s before a military stint derailed his music career, died of a heart attack. He was 76. Marmarosa died at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Pittsburgh, where he lived the past few years, playing the piano and organ for other residents and guests. Marmarosa joined the Johnny “Scat” Davis Orchestra at age 15 in 1941. He then played with Gene Krupa’s band, Charlie Barnet’s big band, where he recorded “The Moose” and “Strollin”, and played with the great Gillespie. He played in Dorsey’s band in 1944, which included Buddy DeFranco, Sidney Block and Buddy Rich. And later that same year, Marmarosa joined Artie Shaw’s band. In 1947 Marmarosa was selected by Esquire magazine as one of the nation’s top jazz artists. Marmarosa disappeared from public view in the early 1950s after a series of personal tragedies and a stint in the Army.

September 16, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1685 ~ John Gay, English librettist

OCMS 1887 ~ Nadia Boulanger, French composition teacher
More information about Boulanger

• 1920 ~ Enrico Caruso made his last recording for Victor Records in Camden, NJ.

• 1925 ~ Charlie Byrd, Guitarist, played with Stan Getz

• 1925 ~ “B. B.” (Riley B.) King, American blues singer and guitarist, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987

• 1934 ~ George Chakiris, Academy Award-winning actor, dancer in West Side Story (1961)

• 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the swing classic Boogie Woogie for Victor Records.

• 1941 ~ CBS radio debuted The Arkansas Traveler. The program was later renamed The Bob Burns Show. Burns played a very strange musical instrument called the ‘bazooka’. The U.S. Army chose the name to identify its rocket launcher, because it looked so much like Burns’ bazooka.

• 1943 ~ Bernie Calvert, Bass with The Hollies and also The Dolphins

• 1944 ~ Betty Kelly, Singer with Martha and the Vandellas

• 1948 ~ Kenny Jones, Drummer with Small Faces, Faces and also The Who

• 1950 ~ David Bellamy, Singer with a duo called The Bellamy Brothers, songwriter

• 1963 – Richard Marx, Singer, songwriter

• 1963 ~ She Loves You was recorded by The Beatles the Swan label. It was the first record recorded by The Beatles; but the second single by the ‘Fab Four’ to hit #1. I Want to Hold Your Hand, was the group’s first #1 song and million seller (on Capitol). It beat She Loves You to the top spot by just a few weeks. Other Beatles hits were also recorded on Capitol (Capitol had rejected She Loves You) and Swan labels; but the Beatles liked variety, so add these record companies to the Beatles list of recording labels: Vee-Jay, MGM, Tollie, United Artists, Atco, E.M.I., Parlaphone and Apple.

• 1964 ~ Shindig premiered on ABC-TV. The program had go-go girls and the biggest rock bands of the day in a dance party environment. Regulars were Jimmie O’Neill and the Shindig Dancers. The first show featured Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Wellingtons, Bobby Sherman and comic Alan Sues.

• 1965 ~ San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral became the site of the first concert of sacred music presented by Duke Ellington.

• 1965 ~ The Dean Martin Show debuted on NBC~TV. It was a weekly variety show that continued on the network for nine years. Regulars over the years were The Goldiggers, Ken Lane, The Ding-a-Ling Sisters, Tom Bosley, Dom DeLuise, Nipsey Russell, Rodney Dangerfield and Les Brown and His Band. The theme song? Everybody Loves Somebody.

• 2000 ~ Israeli conductor David Shallon died in Tokyo after suffering an asthma attack at the age of 49. Shallon was born in Tel Aviv and studied violin, viola and horn.

• 2000 ~ Valeriu Stelian, a folk singer who inspired anti-communist protesters a decade ago, died of cancer at the age of 47. Shortly after the 1989 anti-communist uprising, Stelian began singing at University Square in downtown Bucharest for students who protesting the presence of former communists in government. Six weeks after the uprising, coal miners descended on Bucharest at the behest of the government and beat up the students. Six people died in the melee and the protest harmed Romania’s image to such a degree that many young Romanians emigrated, believing democracy would never come to the Balkan country. “Oh God, come here to see what has become of people”, went the lyrics of one of Stelian’s songs composed in 1973 and played to film footage of people who had died during the uprising. During his career, Stelian toured the former Soviet Union, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, England and the United States. He also set up some recording studios in Romania.

September 15, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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1876 ~ Bruno Walter, German-born American conductor

• 1903 ~ Roy Acuff, ‘The King of Country Music’, Country Music Hall of Famer, with the Smoky Mountain Boys, publisher with Acuff-Rose Publishing

• 1924 ~ Bobby Short, American pianist, singer of popular music, regular on first Playboy TV series. His autobiography is Black & White Baby

• 1928 ~ Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly, Musician, Alto/Soprano Saxophone

• 1930 ~ Hoagy Carmichael recorded Georgia on My Mind on the Victor label. Georgia on My Mind has been the official state song of Georgia since 1922. The song has been recorded by many artists over the years.

• 1934 ~ NBC radio presented The Gibson Family to American audiences. The program was the first musical comedy to be broadcast. The show originated from the studios of WEAF in New York City.

• 1940 ~ Jimmy Gilmer, Singer with Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

• 1941 ~ Les (William) Braid, Bass, organ with The Swinging Blue Jeans

• 1945 ~ Jessye Norman, American soprano

• 1955 ~ Betty Robbins (Mrs. Sheldon Robbins) became the first woman cantor at services held at Temple Avodah in Oceanside, Long Island, New York.

• 1980 ~ The Elephant Man made its debut on Broadway with rock singer David Bowie in his acting debut.

• 2001 ~ Billy Hilfiger, a musician and younger brother of fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 45. Hilfiger worked as a landscape architect in New York City but was best known as an avid guitarist. He played with former members of the rock band Blue Oyster Cult and with another brother, Andy Hilfiger, among others.

Oliver Sacks on Music

sacks-music

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.

Read more at Oliver Sacks & music: On brainworms, hallucinations and sonic overload – LA Times

The O’Connor Music Studio has a copy of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain if anyone would like to borrow it.