December 19, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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Christmas Music, Parts 19-22 – Johnny Marks

• 1888 ~ Fritz Reiner, Hungarian-born American conductor who was the musical director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Metropolitan Opera and Chicago Symphony. He died in 1963

• 1915 ~ Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion), French chanteuse and songwriter

• 1925 ~ ‘Little’ Jimmy Dickens, Country Music Hall of Famer

• 1928 ~ Galt MacDermot, Composer

• 1940 ~ Phil Ochs, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist

• 1941 ~ Maurice White, Singer, drummer, founder of the group Earth, Wind & Fire

• 1944 ~ Alvin Lee, Musician with Ten Years After

• 1944 ~ Zal Yanovsky, Guitarist, singer with The Lovin’ Spoonful
More about Zal Yanovsky

• 1952 ~ Jeff Davis, Bass with Amazing Rhythm Aces

• 1952 ~ Janie Fricke, Singer, Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year in 1982 and 1983

• 1957 ~ Meredith Willson’s The Music Man opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. The Broadway show starred Robert Preston and had a run of 1,375 shows. It also had 76 trombones and 101 cornets in the band…

• 1960 ~ Neil Sedaka’s Calendar Girl was released on RCA Victor Records. The song became Sedaka’s fourth record to make the charts. Other hits from the guy who made money off of a love song for Carole King (Oh, Carol) include The Diary, Stairway to Heaven, Bad Girl, Next Door to an Angel, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Laughter in the Rain and Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

• 1960 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded his first session with his very own record company. Frank did Ring-A-Ding-Ding and Let’s Fall in Love for Reprise Records.

• 2000 ~ Milt Hinton, a jazz bassist and photographer called “The Judge” by the jazz greats he worked with and photographed during a 70-year career, died at the age of 90. During his career, Hinton performed with almost every luminary of jazz and popular music, from Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Paul McCartney. Hinton also documented his world with a camera, compiling close to 60,000 negatives depicting hundreds of jazz artists and popular musicians on the road, in the studio, backstage and at parties.

• 2001 ~ Bill Bissell, a former University of Washington marching band director who helped create “The Wave”, died in his sleep. He was 70. Bissell directed the Huskies’ band with flair, innovation and humor from 1970 until he retired in 1994. He and former Washington yell leader Robb Weller introduced “The Wave,” in which fans stand with arms raised and cheer section by section, to college football 20 years ago. Bissell directed halftime shows at 14 bowl games, including six Rose Bowls and an Orange Bowl, and was awarded a Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association in 1981.

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