May 17 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1866 ~ Erik Satie, French composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Satie
More information about Satie

• 1890 ~ Pietro Mascagni’s famous opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”, set in Sicily, was first performed in Rome.

• 1901 ~ Werner Egk, German composer and conductor

• 1918 ~ Birgit Nilsson, Swedish soprano. Famed for her singing of Wagner, she took part in the first pioneering commercial recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

• 1921 ~ Bob Merrill, Songwriter

• 1924 ~ Dick Hixson, Trombonist, studio musician

• 1932 ~ Jackie (John) McLean, Jazz musician: alto sax; composer, playwright; educator: University of Hartford, CT

• 1935 ~ French composer Paul Dukas, whose composition “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” featured in the Disney films “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000” died

• 1938 ~ Pervis Jackson, Singer with The Spinners

• 1939 ~ The Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, NY was the scene of a memorable dual- network radio broadcast of Glenn Miller and his orchestra. Both NBC and Mutual carried the event, which was attended by 1,800 people in the casino ballroom.

• 1942 ~ Taj Mahal (Henry St. Claire Fredericks), Entertainer, songwriter, singer

• 1949 ~ Bill Bruford, Drummer

• 1971 ~ Jordan Knight, Singer with New Kids on the Block

• 1971 ~ The musical, Godspell, opened this night at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. Godspell featured the song Day by Day (a top-15 hit in 1972). The rock musical that featured Robin Lamont played for 2,124 performances and was the third longest-running off-Broadway production at the time.

• 1975 ~ NBC-TV paid a whopping $5,000,000 for the rights to show Gone with the Wind just one time. It was the top price paid for a single opportunity to show a film on television.

• 1975 ~ Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album was released and certified a platinum record on the very same day. It was the first album to be certified a million-seller (in this case, a two-million seller) on the first day of release.

• 2002 ~ John de Lancie, an oboist whose talent as a player and teacher helped create a new repertoire for his instrument, died from leukemia. He was 80. De Lancie’s style became a signature of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he joined in 1946 and served as principal from 1954-77. He was then appointed director of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia conservatory whose graduates include Leonard Bernstein. Students of Mr. de Lancie also occupy principal chairs in Boston, Montreal and Minneapolis. As a 24-year-old soldier stationed in Germany during World War II, de Lancie approached Richard Strauss about writing a concerto for oboe. The 81-year-old Strauss said he had not considered such a work, but went on to create a score that joined the standard repertoire. De Lancie entered the Curtis Institute at 14 to study with the legendary French oboist Marcel Tabuteau. De Lancie entered the Army in 1942 and played in the Army Band. While stationed in Paris, he met his wife, Andrea. They had two children; Christina, a playwright, and John de Lancie, an actor who played the character Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

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