November 9, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

OCMS 1881 ~ Johannes Brahms gave the first performance of his Piano Concerto No.2 in Budapest.

.1899 ~ “Mezz” Mezzrow, American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist

.1929 ~ Piero Cappuccili, Italian baritone

.1930 ~ Ivan Moravec, Czech pianist

.1938 ~ 24-year-old Mary Martin made her Broadway stage debut in the musical comedy “Leave It to Me”. She brought down the house as she sang My Heart Belongs to Daddy. And the critics raved about New York’s bright new star. The following year brought Martin a top-ten hit with the same song. Martin suddenly found herself singing duets with Bing Crosby; starring on “Broadway in One Touch of Venus” in 1943; “Lute Song” in 1946; touring in “Annie Get Your Gun”; and then taking on what would become her immortal role, that of Nellie in “South Pacific”. South Pacific was one of Broadway’s biggest hits and the cast album was one of the first of its kind, also a big seller. Then came Mary’s stage and TV performances as Peter Pan. This would become her signature role, a memorable moment as the petite actress flew through the air with Tinkerbell and fought the dangerous Captain Hook. Broadway called to Mary Martin again in 1959 for “The Sound of Music” and once more in 1966 for “I Do, I Do”. Back in 1951, Mary Martin recorded a duet with a young man who was also destined for instant and long-term stardom. The song they sang together was Get Out Those Old Records. The twenty-year-old was her son, Larry Hagman, who later played J.R. Ewing. This is one man that Mary Martin didn’t want to wash out of her hair!

.1955 ~ Harry Belafonte recorded Jamaica Farewell and Come Back Liza for RCA Victor. The two tunes completed the Calypso album which led to Belafonte’s nickname, ‘Calypso King’.

.1967 ~ The first issue of Rolling Stone was published. John Lennon was on the cover. The magazine said it was not simply a music magazine but was also about “…the things and attitudes that music embraces.”

.1969 ~ Simon and Garfunkel recorded what would become their signature tune, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with future member of Bread, Larry Knechtel on piano. Art wanted Paul to sing the song, but Paul insisted that Art’s voice was better suited for it. It was a decision that Paul would later say he regretted. The song won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

.1974 ~ Bachman Turner Overdrive went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’. Randy Bachman stuttered through the lyrics of the demo recording as a private joke about his brother Gary, who had a speech impediment. The record company liked that take better than the non-stammering version and released it.

.2003 ~ Saxophonist Buddy Arnold, who performed with such jazz greats as Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich and Tommy Dorsey and co-founded a program to help musicians suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, died at the age of age 77. Born Arnold Buddy Grishaver, he began playing the saxophone at age 9. And by the time he was 16, he was touring as a professional sideman and performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem with bandleader George Auld. After serving in the Army during World War II, Arnold joined the band of super-drummer Buddy Rich on a West Coast tour. Arnold earned his first recording credits in 1949 on the Mercury Records release of Gene Williams and the Junior Thornhill Band, and he toured with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco’s orchestra in 1951. But he soon descended into a decades-long struggle with drug addiction. Although he landed a recording contract with ABC Paramount in 1956 following an 18-month hospitalization, he was sentenced to prison in 1958 on an attempted burglary conviction. Pardoned two years later, he played with the Dorsey Band and toured with Stan Kenton. He later settled in Los Angeles and recorded four albums for Capitol Records. Arnold took a job in a drug treatment program after his early release from prison and went on to establish the Musician’s Assistance Program with his wife, Carole Fields, in 1992. The organization, dedicated to helping needy musicians obtain treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, has served more than 1,500 individuals during the past decade.

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