. 1915 ~ Lee Castle (Castaldo), Trumpet, bandleader, led Jimmy Dorsey’s band during time of smash hit, So Rare
. 1926 ~ Seymour Shifrin, American composer
. 1930 ~ Ted Lewis and his orchestra recorded On the Sunny Side of the Street for Columbia Records on this day. Mr. Lewis was heard as the featured vocalist as well, on the tune that has been recorded hundreds of times and is an American music standard.
. 1939 ~ Tommy Tune, Tony Award-winning dancer, actor, director of musical theater
. 1959 ~ Cash Box magazine, a trade publication for the music/radio industry, began using a red ‘bullet’ on its record charts to indicate those records that have the strongest upward movement each week. The phrase, “Number one with a bullet” designates those hits that have reached the pinnacle of statistical chartdom. To be so means to be at the top of the list and still climbing higher.
. 1960 ~ Dmitri Capyrin, Russian composer of contemporary classical music.
. 1966 ~ The famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England closed because of financial difficulties. During its peak of success, the club was best known as the home of The Beatles.
. 1968 ~ Frankie Lymon passed away. He was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter.
. 1984 ~ It was Michael Jackson Night at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. He set a record for most wins by taking home eight of the gramophone statuette honors. He broke the previous record of six awards set by Roger Miller in 1965. The reason: the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller, which sold more than 35-million copies around the world soon after its release in 1983.
. 1993 ~ Ruby Keeler passed away. She was a Canadian-born American actress, dancer and singer most famous for her on-screen coupling with Dick Powell in a string of successful early musicals at Warner Brothers, particularly 42nd Street.
. 1848 ~ Hubert Parry, English composer, teacher and historian of music.
. 1873 ~ Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, sang nearly 70 roles; appeared in nearly every country of Europe and North and South America
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. 1883 ~ Oscar Hammerstein of New York City patented the first practical cigar- rolling machine. If Oscar’s name sounds familiar, it should. Hammerstein’s grandson later made his mark by writing some of the best- known music in the world, teaming up frequently with Richard Rodgers.
. 1936 ~ Chuck Glaser, Singer with Glaser Brothers
. 1948 ~ Eddie Gray, Guitarist with Tommy James & The Shondells
. 1951 ~ Steve Harley (Nice), Singer with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
. 1954 ~ Neal Schon, Guitarist with Santana; Journey
. 1955 ~ Garry Christian, Singer with The Christians
. 1970 ~ Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
. 2003 ~ Tom Glazer, 88, the balladeer, guitarist and songwriter who, along with Burl Ives, Josh White, Pete Seeger and others, helped spark national interest in folk music in the 1940s, died. Mr. Glazer wrote songs for children, including a hit 1963 parody, On Top of Spaghetti, that won him National Critics’ and Parent Magazine awards. He also acted, sang and wrote for movies and TV. He was singer-narrator for the film, Sweet Land of Liberty, and composed the score for the Andy Griffith film A Face in the Crowd. Mr. Glazer was a native of Philadelphia who attended the City College of New York. As a young man, he played tuba and bass in military and jazz bands and worked at the Library of Congress. He began singing with a group while living in Washington, and was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to perform at the White House. Mr. Glazer became a full-time musician in 1943 and, over the years, hosted three radio series. He also wrote books about music, including a number of songbooks. His song Because All Men Are Brothers, based on the Passion Chorale by J. S. Bach, was recorded by the Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary. Other hits included, Old Soldiers Never Die for Vaughn Monroe, More for Perry Como, Til We Two Are Onefor Georgie Shaw, and A Worried Man, recorded by the Kingston Trio. His song, The Musicians was used on the “Barney” television show for children; Bob Dylan recorded his Talking Inflation Blues.
. 2003 ~ Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for more than 30 years, died. He was 74. From 1968 to 2000, Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced the show at Pittsburgh public television station WQED. The final new episode, which was taped in December 2000, aired in August 2001, though PBS affiliates continued to air back episodes. Rogers composed his own songs for the show and began each episode in a set made to look like a comfortable living room, singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”, as he donned sneakers and a zip-up cardigan. His message remained simple: telling his viewers to love themselves and others. On each show, he would take his audience on a magical trolley ride into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where his puppet creations would interact with each other and adults. Rogers did much of the puppet work and voices himself. He also studied early childhood development at the University of Pittsburgh and consulted with an expert there over the years. Rogers’ show won four Emmy Awards, plus one for lifetime achievement. He was given a George Foster Peabody Award in 1993, “in recognition of 25 years of beautiful days in the neighborhood.” One of Rogers’ red sweaters hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
. 2003 ~ Jean Sullivan, a musician, dancer and actress who starred opposite Errol Flynn in the 1944 film “Uncertain Glory,” died of cardiac arrest. She was 79. Sullivan was the leading lady Marianne in “Uncertain Glory” and also has a starring role in the 1945 movie “Escape in the Desert.” The young actress also played the daughter of Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson in the motion picture comedy “Roughly Speaking.” Despite a budding acting career, Sullivan relocated to New York and began studying ballet and dancing professionally. While practicing flamenco steps during a Carnegie Hall rehearsal, Sullivan was discovered by choreographer Anthony Tudor and was a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She enhanced her flamenco by playing Spanish guitar and became a popular entertainer at Latin nightclubs throughout New York City. Sullivan also played cello and piano. Despite her career change, Sullivan performed flamenco on TV variety shows, including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Jackie Gleason Show.” She also was a meteorologist on local New York television stations.
. 2013 ~ Van Cliburn died. He was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of 23, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.
. 1879 ~ Frank Bridge, English composer, violist and conductor
. 1922 ~ Dancing to jazz music and tango bands was criticized in Paris. It seems that dancing was detracting the French from their postwar reconstruction, according to “La Revue Mondiale”.
. 1928 ~ “Fats” (Antoine) Domino, American rock-and-roll pianist and singer. His works include: Ain’t That a Shame, Goin’ Home, I’m in Love Again, Blue Monday, I’m Walkin’ and Blueberry Hill
. 1930 ~ Lazar Berman, Soviet pianist
. 1945 ~ Mitch Ryder (William Levise), Singer with Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
. 1947 ~ Sandie Shaw (Goodrich), Singer
. 1950 ~ Jonathan Cain, Keyboard with Babys
. 1954 ~ Michael Bolton, Grammy Award-winning singer. Some of his songs are: When a Man Loves a Woman and How Am I Supposed to Live Without You
. 1961 ~ John-Jon (John Andrew Foster), Musician with Bronski Beat
. 1965 ~ Juan Trigos, Mexican composer and conductor
. 1972 ~ Harry Nilsson started his second week at number one with that toe- tapping ditty, Without You. The whiny love song stayed at the top for a total of four weeks.
. 1977 ~ The Eagles’ New Kid in Town landed in the top spot on the pop music charts for one week beginning this day.
. 1981 ~ Howard Hanson died. He was an American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist, and champion of American classical music.
. 1983 ~ Charley Pride’s Why Baby Why topped the country charts. The song was written by George Jones (who found national fame with his own version in 1955) and Darrell Edwards. Legend has it that inspiration for the song came when Edwards overheard a couple squabbling in their car in Orange, TX.
. 2003 ~ Otha Turner, 94, who created his own niche in blues music with an ethereal mix of early American colonial drums and West African flute, died in Como, Miss. His recording Everybody Hollerin’ Goat was rated among the Top 10 blues releases in 1997 by Rolling Stone magazine. Members of a Senegalese drum troupe performed with Mr. Turner on the album. Mr. Turner was presented with a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award, the Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award and the Charlie Patton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival.
. 1952 ~ The complete choreographic score of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” became the first musical choreography score given a copyright. The work was the effort of Hanya Holm.
. 1953 ~ The musical, “Wonderful Town”, opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. The show was based on the book, “My Sister Eileen”, and the ran for 559 performances.
. 1957 ~ Buddy Holly and The Crickets traveled to Clovis, NM, to record That’ll Be the Day (one of the classics of rock ‘n’ roll) and I’m Looking for Someone to Love. Both songs were released on Brunswick Records in May of that year.
. 1963 ~ Please Please Me was the second record released in the U.S. by The Beatles. Some labels carried a famous misprint, making it an instant, and valuable, collector’s item. The label listed the group as The Beattles.
. 1986 ~ We are the World captured four Grammy Awards. The song, featuring more than 40 superstar artists gathered at one time, was awarded the Top Song, Record of the Year, Best Pop Performance and Best Short Video Awards.
. 2003 ~ Walter Scharf, 92, a composer who earned 10 Academy Award nominations and worked on more than 200 movies and television programs, including “Funny Girl,” “Mission: Impossible” and “White Christmas,” died in Los Angeles. He received Oscar nominations for the scores for such films as “Mercy Island” (1941), “Hans Christian Andersen” (1952), “Funny Girl” (1968), “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971) and “Ben” (1972). He won an Emmy for his work on a National Geographic television special and a Golden Globe for “Ben,” whose theme song helped launch singer Michael Jackson’s solo career.
. 1766 ~ Samuel Wesley, English organist and composer in the late Georgian period. Wesley was a contemporary of Mozart (1756–1791) and was called by some “the English Mozart.”
. 1771 ~ Johann Baptist Cramer, English musician of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and musical conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.
. 1832 ~ Frederic Chopin’s first Paris concert. The musicologist Arthur Hedley has observed that “As a pianist Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances—few more than thirty in the course of his lifetime.”
. 1842 ~ Arrigo Boito, Italian composer, librettist and poet
. 1858 ~ Arnold Dolmetsch, British music antiquarian and musician
. 1932 ~ Michel Legrand, Academy Award-Winning composer for Best Original Score: Yentl in 1983, Brian’s Song, Ice Station Zebra
. 1934 ~ Renata Scotto, Italian soprano. She made her operatic debut at age 18 and is best known for performances as Violetta in La Traviata, Cio-Cio- San in Madama Butterfly, Mimi (and the occasional Musetta) in La Bohème, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Francesca in Francesca da Rimini. She is also an opera director.
. 1940 ~ Frances Langford recorded one of the classic songs of all time — and one that would become a Walt Disney trademark. When You Wish Upon a Star was recorded on Decca Records during a session in Los Angeles. Many artists have recorded the song, including pop diva Linda Ronstadt (with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in the early 1980s). One can hear the song not only on record, but as the theme in the opening credits of any Disney movie, video and TV program and those “I’m going to Disneyland/World!” commercials, too.
. 1942 ~ Paul Jones, Harmonica, singer with Manfred Mann
. 1943 ~ Stephen Douglas Burton, American composer and teacher
. 1685 ~ George Frederic Handel, German-born English composer
Listen to Handel’s music
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. 1931 ~ Dame Nellie Melba died. She was an Australian operatic soprano who became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century.
More information about Melba
. 1937 ~ Bing Crosby sang with Lani McIntyre and his band, as Sweet Leilani was recorded on Decca Records. The Academy Award-winning song was featured in the movie Waikiki Wedding.
. 1944 ~ Mike Maxfield, Guitarist with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas
. 1944 ~ Johnny Winter (John Dawson III), Musician
. 1946 ~ Rusty Young, Steel Guitar with Poco
. 1950 ~ Steve Priest, Bass with The Sweet
. 1952 ~ Brad Whitford, Guitarist with Aerosmith
. 1955 ~ Howard Jones, Singer
. 1958 ~ David Sylvian (Batt), Guitarist, singer with Japan
. 1963 ~ The Chiffons recording of He’s So Fine was released. It later rose to the #1 position on March 30th for a four-week stay. The song later became the center of one of the most publicized lawsuits in music history. The estate of songwriter Ronnie Marks won the suit against former BeatleGeorge Harrison, saying that the song My Sweet Lord, was a note-for-note copy of He’s So Fine. The Chiffons also scored big with One Fine Day, Sweet Talkin’ Guy and others.
. 1983 ~ The rock group, Toto, won Grammy Awards for the hit single, Rosanna, and the album, Toto IV, at the 25th annual ceremonies in Los Angeles. The group received four other awards to tie the 1965 record of six Grammies (Roger Miller).
. 2001 ~ Guy Wood, a songwriter whose works include Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy, died Friday. He was 89. Wood wrote music for Radio City Music Hall and the children’s television show Captain Kangaroo. His songs include Music of Love (aka The Bell Waltz), After All,Rock-a-Bye Baby,Till Then and My One and Only Love. Wood was born in Manchester, England, where he played saxophone in dance bands before moving to the United States in the early 1930s. He spent five years with the foreign-production divisions of Paramount and Columbia Pictures studios before leading his own band at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York from 1939 to 1942.
. 2003 ~ Rock musician Howie Epstein, bassist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for 20 years until ousted from the band last May, died. Epstein, who was 47, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the veteran rock band in 2001. He had battled legal and drug problems in recent years. Epstein, a Milwaukee native who previously played with John Hiatt and Del Shannon, joined the Heartbreakers in 1982. In addition to playing bass, he sang harmony.
. 2003 ~ James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma performed on the 45th Annual GRAMMY(R) Awards telecast, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Four-time GRAMMY winner and consummate singer/songwriter James Taylor earned a nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Taylor will be accompanied by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who has won 14 GRAMMY Awards throughout his career. Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. An organization of 18,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals, the Recording Academy is internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards, and is responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach, professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human services programs.
. 2014 ~ Maria von Trapp, the last of the singing children immortalized in the musical The Sound of Music, died at the age of 99.
. 1857 ~ Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts
. 1923 ~ Frederick A. Julliard set up a million-dollar fund to establish a music school. Today, Juilliard is one of the world’s leading music and dance schools.
. 1927 ~ David Ahlstrom, American composer
. 1931 ~ Maurice Chevalier recorded Walkin’ My Baby Back Home for Victor Records in New York City. The same tune was recorded 21 years later by Nat ‘King’ Cole and Johnny Ray. It became a major hit for both artists.
. 1945 ~ Oliver (Swofford), Singer
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley entered the music charts for the first time. Heartbreak Hotel began its climb to the number one spot on the pop listing, reaching the top on April 11, 1956. It stayed at the top for eight weeks.
. 1958 ~ Roy Hamilton’s record, Don’t Let Go, became #13 in its first week on the record charts. The song was the first stereo record to make the pop music charts. 1958 was the year for several stereo recordings, including Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes by Chuck Willis, Yakety Yak by the Coasters, Born Too Late by The Poni-Tails, It’s All in the Game by Tommy Edwards and What Am I Living For by Chuck Willis.
. 1965 ~ Filming began for The Beatles’ second movie, “HELP!”, in the Bahamas.
. 1976 ~ Florence Ballard passed away. She was an American vocalist, one of the founding members of the popular Motown vocal group the Supremes. Ballard sang on sixteen top forty singles with the group, including ten number-one hits.
. 2001 ~ Ray Hendricks, a singer of the Big Band era who performed with Benny Goodman and Betty Grable, died at the age of 88. His career took him to Hollywood and across the country with stars including Goodman, Grable, Hoagy Carmichael, Ben Bernie, Ray Noble and Sid Lippman. His earliest performances were on Spokane radio station KFPY. He soon set out for California with Bob Crosby, brother of Bing Crosby. After serving as a flying instructor in the Air Force during World War II, he returned to Spokane and formed his own orchestra. He continued playing local venues for several decades, but said he regretted not pushing his career after the war.
. 1791 ~ Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works. His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
More information on Czerny
Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!
. 1836 ~ Léo Delibes, French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage.
More information on Delibes
. 1893 ~ Andrés Segovia, Spanish guitarist
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. 1943 ~ David Geffen, Tony Award-winning producer of Cats in 1983, M Butterfly in 1988, “Miss Saigon”, Beetlejuice and Risky Business. Also a record executive: Geffen Records and a partner in Dreamworks film production company with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.
. 1991 ~ Dame Margot Fonteyn died. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time.
. 2015 ~ Clark Terry died. He was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, educator, and NEA Jazz Masters inductee. He played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–1951), Duke Ellington (1951–1959) and Quincy Jones (1960).
Terry’s career in jazz spanned more than seventy years and he is among the most recorded of jazz musicians.
“The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”
– Gerald Ford
“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.”
“The Arts and Sciences, essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament of human life, have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.”
“I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.”
–John Q. Adams
“Aeschylus and Plato are remembered today long after the triumphs of Imperial Athens are gone. Dante outlived the ambitions of thirteenth century Florence. Goethe stands serenely above the politics of Germany, and I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over cities, we too will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”
–John F. Kennedy
“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”
– Gerald Ford
“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.”
– Bill Clinton
“Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.”
– Ronald Reagan
Music “brings us together, helping us reﬂect upon who we are, where we have come from, and what lies ahead.” The Arts and Music transcend “languages, cultures, and borders.” … “exchange ideas and styles and share in the artistic vibrancy born from diverse experiences and traditions.
– President Obama in a 2010 message to the World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China
Millions of Americans earn a living in the arts and humanities, and the non-proﬁt and for-proﬁt arts industries are important parts of both our cultural heritage and our economy…. We must recognize the contributions of the arts and humanities not only by supporting the artists of today, but also by giving opportunities to the creative thinkers of tomorrow. Educators across our country are opening young -minds, fostering innovation, and developing imaginations through arts education.
– White House Proclamation, National Arts and Humanities Month 2014
“In a lot of the poorest countries we’re trying to help, the level of violence is a continuous undercurrent…There’s an enormous amount of evidence that giving people an opportunity for creative expression improves their ability to learn in school and increases their ability and desire to navigate life in a positive rather than a negative way.” Music “taught me discipline and teamwork on the one hand and the importance of creativity.”
The THEA Foundation in Arkansas has proved the merits of including art instruction in the schools.
“Every place they’ve done this program, you see a reduction in the dropout rate and an increase in the academic performance of the young people. Having strong arts instruction supports learning in a very substantial way.”
-Bill Clinton in an interview with Patrick Cole at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative
Presidents’ Day (celebrated on the third Monday in February), was originally established in 1885 in recognition of George Washington. The holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.
Wondering how many U.S. Presidents played musical instruments?
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) Third president of the United States, drafted the Declaration of Independence, and played the violin and cello.
John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848) The sixth president of the United States formulated the Monroe Doctrine, and played the flute.
John Tyler (1790-1862) The tenth president of the United States was the first Vice President to become President by the death of his predecessor. He played the violin.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) The sixteenth president of the United States issued the Emancipation Proclamation and played the violin.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822- 1884) The eighteenth president of the United States certainly scrapes the bottom of the list. He was tone deaf and famously commented, “I only know two tunes. One of them is Yankee Doodle and the other isn’t.”
Chester Alan Arthur (1829 – 1886) Became the 21st president of the United States following the assassination of President James A. Garfield. He played the banjo.
Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) The 32nd President of the United States and the fifth cousin to President Theodore Roosevelt, played the piano and sang soprano in his school choir.
Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) The 28th president of the United States and creator of the League of Nations, played the violin and sang tenor in his college glee club.
Warren Harding (1865-1923) The 29th president of the United States organized the Citizen’s Cornet Band, available for both Republican and Democratic rallies. He once remarked that, “I played every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat cornet.”
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) The 30th president of the United States was determined to preserve old moral and economic precepts amid American prosperity. He played the harmonica.
Harry Truman (1884 – 1972) The 33rd president of the United States who served during the conclusion of World War II, played the piano.
Richard Nixon (1913 – 1994) The 37th president of the United States, who ended American fighting in Vietnam and later resigned from office in the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal, was a classically-trained pianist and also played the accordion. He composed and played this piece, set to concerto form with “15 Democratic violinists.” Nixon takes a dig at Harry Truman just before playing.:
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) The 40th president of the United States implemented the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He played the harmonica.
Bill Clinton (born 1946) The 42nd president of the United States and the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term, plays the saxophone.
Barack Obama (born 1961) The 44th president of the United States and first African American president has broken into song on several recent occasions. President Obama sang Amazing Grace at the funeral for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney: