February 23 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1648 ~ John Blow, Composer

. 1685 ~ George Frederic Handel, German-born English composer
Listen to Handel’s music
Read quotes by and about Handel
More information about Handel

. 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 Beatle George 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.

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