October 23, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1878 ~ The opera Carmen, by Bizet, had its first American performance but it was sung in Italian. It took another fifteen years before audiences could hear it in French, the language in which it was written.

• 1891 ~ Albert Lortzing, German composer

• 1906 ~ Miriam Gideon, American composer

OCMS 1923 ~ Ned Rorem, American composer and writer
Read quotes by and about Ned Rorem
More information about Rorem

• 1927 ~ Sonny (William) Criss, Saxophonist

• 1939 ~ Charlie Foxx, Singer with sister, Inez

• 1940 ~ (Eleanor) Ellie Greenwich (Ellie Gay, Ellie Gee), Songwriter

• 1941 ~ Clarinet a la King was recorded by Benny Goodman and his orchestra on Okeh Records.

• 1947 ~ Greg Ridley, Bass with Spooky Tooth

• 1950 ~ Al Jolson passed away

• 1956 ~ Dwight Yoakam, Songwriter, singer

• 1959 ~ ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic, Singer, comedian, parodies

• 1970 ~ ‘Lady Soul’, Aretha Franklin, won a gold record for Don’t Play that Song.

• 1975 ~ Elton John’s Los Angeles concert was sold out at Dodger Stadium. It was the finale to his concert tour of the western U.S.

• 1978 ~ Mother Maybelle Carter (Addington) passed away

• 1978 ~ CBS Records hiked prices of many vinyl albums by one dollar to $8.98. Other labels soon joined in.

• 2001 ~ Russell “Rusty” Kershaw, a guitarist and recording artist, died of a heart attack at the age of 63. Over the course of a long career, Kershaw, the younger brother of Cajun recording star Doug Kershaw, performed with Neil Young, Chet Atkins, J.J. Cale and Charlie Daniels. Kershaw’s musical career began with a small family band, Pee Wee Kershaw and the Continental Playboys. The band joined the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport in 1955 and moved on the following year to the Wheeling Jamboree on a West Virginia radio station. Doug and Rusty Kershaw went on to perform as a duo and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957. In 1964, Rusty Kershaw started performing on his own, and worked on numerous albums with other artists. Kershaw had lived in New Orleans since 1980 when then-Gov. Edwin Edwards asked him to join the Louisiana Music Commission.

• 2003 ~ Nico Snel, conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony for 18 years, died after a battle with cancer. He was 69. Port Angeles, with a population of about 19,000, is one of the smallest cities in the nation to support a full orchestra. A search committee will spend the next two seasons looking for a new permanent conductor to succeed him. Born in Alkmaar, Holland, Snel began studying music with his father, an accomplished musician and conductor. He started with piano and then moved on to violin, and began performing when he was about 8. The family immigrated to the United States after World War II, when Snel was 15. An accomplished violinist, he went to Germany as a young man and served with the Seventh Army Symphony, becoming the organization’s conductor in 1958. In the 1960s and early ’70s, he worked as a conductor for the Oakland, Calif., Light Opera and the Diablo Light Opera and as director of the Oakland Temple Pageant chorus and orchestra. He moved to the Northwest in the late 1970s and conducted the Everett Youth Symphony for three years. He was named conductor of the Seattle Philharmonic in 1980, a position he held until 1995. He became conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony in 1985, for a time serving both orchestras.

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