. 1899 ~ Robert Casadesus, French pianist and composer
. 1908 ~ Percy Faith, Grammy Award-winning orchestra leader, composer
. 1915 ~ Billie Holiday, American jazz singer, born as Eleanora Fagan. She sang with all the American big band leaders of her day while developing her own intimate style.
. 1919 ~ Ralph Flanagan, Bandleader
. 1920 ~ Ravi Shankar, Indian sitarist and composer
. 1925 ~ David Carr Glover, Piano Educator
. 1949 ~ Opening day of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “South Pacific”. It was a musical classic of love and war, and it unfolded on a lush tropical island swarming with Seabees, nurses, natives and coconut trees on this night in 1949. Actually, it was not a tropical island, but the stage of the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Ezio Pinza starred as the suave French plantation owner with a shady past and Mary Martin portrayed the bubbly, pretty, but naive Navy nurse. Mary Martin washed her hair a zillion times as she sang, I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair in 1,925 performances.
. 1950 Tony Awards went to the show and its producers, performers, director (Joshua Logan) and composers nine statuettes. It also earned a Pulitzer Prize in the same year and in 1958 was made into a movie.
More about Mary Martin
. 1951 ~ Janis Ian, Singer-songwriter
. 1954 ~ Gee, by The Crows, became the first rhythm and blues single to gain attention on pop music charts.
. 1973 ~ Vicki Lawrence got her number one single as The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia made it to the top of the pop charts on this day.
. 1987 ~ Maxine Sullivan (Marietta Williams) passed away