.1770 ~ Peter Hansel, composer
1797 ~ Gaetano Donizetti, Italian composer
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. 1825 ~ Rossini’s Barber of Seville was presented in New York City. It was the first Italian opera to be presented in the United States.
. 1877 ~ Thomas Alva Edison demonstrated a hand-cranked sound recording phonograph machine that was capable of recording human voice and other sounds.
. 1895 ~ Busby Berkeley (William Berkeley Enos), Director of Forty Second Street, Gold Diggers of 1935, Footlight Parade, Hollywood Hotel, Stage Struck, Gold Diggers in Paris, Babes in Arms, Strike Up the Band, Girl Crazy, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Babes on Broadway, For Me and My Gal
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. 1915 ~ Billy Strayhorn, American jazz composer, lyricist and pianist
. 1917 ~ Merle Travis, Songwriter, singer
. 1932 ~ John Gary (Strader), Singer, songwriter, diver, inventor. He holds two patents on underwater propulsion devices – diving buddy and aqua-peller
. 1932 ~ Ed Bickert, Jazz guitarist with Paul Desmond Quartet
. 1932 ~ The Gay Divorcee opened in New York City. The Cole Porter musical featured the classic, Night and Day.
. 1933 ~ John Mayall, Songwriter, bandleader
. 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded Hawaiian War Chant for Victor Records.
. 1939 ~ Meco (Monardo), Musician, music producer
. 1940 ~ Chuck Mangione, American jazz musician (flugelhorn) and Grammy Award-winning composer
. 1941 ~ Denny Doherty, Singer with Mamas and Papas, TV host
. 1944 ~ Felix Cavaliere, Singer with The (Young) Rascals
. 1947 ~ Louis Armstrong and his sextet lit up Carnegie Hall in New York City with a night of jazz and more.
. 1948 ~ The first opera to be televised was broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Othello, by Verdi, was presented over WJZ-TV.
. 1950 ~ I Fly Anything, starring singer Dick Haymes in the role of cargo pilot Dockery Crane, premiered on ABC Radio. The show only lasted one season and Haymes went back to singing.
. 1951 ~ Barry Goudreau, Guitarist with Orion the Hunter; Boston
. 1968 – Jonathan Rashleigh Knight, Singer, dancer with New Kids on the Block
. 1975 ~ Silver Convention had the #1 pop tune this day, called Fly, Robin, Fly.
. 1986 ~ The blockbuster five-record set, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live/1975-85, debuted at #1 on the album charts this day. No five-record set had made the top 25 until then. No five-record set had ever gone platinum until then. The price tag? $25.
. 2001 ~ George Harrison, the “quiet Beatle” who added both rock ‘n’ roll flash and a touch of the mystic to the band’s timeless magic, died. He was 58. Harrison died at 1:30 p.m. at a friend’s Los Angeles home following a battle with cancer, longtime friend Gavin De Becker told The Associated Press late Thursday. Harrison’s wife, Olivia Harrison, and son, Dhani, 24, were with him. “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,” the Harrison family said in a statement. “He often said, ‘Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”‘ With the death of Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist, there remain two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. John Lennon was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980. “I am devastated and very, very sad,” McCartney told reporters outside his London home Friday. “He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother.” In a statement, Starr said: “George was a best friend of mine. I loved him very much and I will miss him greatly. Both (wife) Barbara and I send our love and light to Olivia and Dhani. We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter.”
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