1892 ~ Darius Milhaud, French composer
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• 1905 ~ Meade “Lux” Lewis, American jazz pianist
• 1930 ~ Mitzi Gaynor (Franchesca Mitzi Marlene de Charney von Gerber), Singer, dancer, actress
• 1942 ~ Merald ‘Bubba’ Knight, Singer with Gladys Night and the Pips
• 1944 ~ Gene Parsons, Drummer with The Byrds
• 1946 ~ Gary Duncan (Grubb), Musician, guitar with Quicksilver Messenger Service
• 1946 ~ Greg Elmore, Musician, drums with Quicksilver Messenger Service
• 1950 ~ Ronald LaPread, Bass with Commodores
• 1951 ~ Martin Chambers, Drummer with The Pretenders
• 1959 ~ Mack the Knife was banned from radio – at least from WCBS Radio in New York
City. Teenage stabbings in the city had people pretty uptight; therefore, the ban.
• 1971 ~ The Lawrence Welk Show was seen for the last time on ABC~TV. ABC felt the show attracted “too old an audience … not good for attracting advertisers.” Syndication allowed the champagne music to continue until 1982 as a weekly favorite for millions of people. Welk charted a half-dozen tunes on the pop music charts between 1956 and 1961, including the number one song, Calcutta, in 1960.
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• 1982 ~ After six weeks, Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor, dropped out of the top spot on the music charts. The song, from the movie, Rocky III, dropped all the way to number 2 (for two weeks), then to number 3 for one week and to number 4 for two weeks before starting to fade. That’s what we call a hit, folks! It was the group’s biggest, earning them a platinum record.
• 2001 ~ Robert Pagent, a dancer and choreographer who appeared in the original productions of Oklahoma! and Carousel died at the age of 87. Born Robert Weisser in Pittsburgh, Pagent began his career in European classical ballet troupes in the 1930s. In 1942 he adopted the stage name Robert Pagent and was square-dance caller in the premier of Agnes de Mille’s cowboy-themed ballet, Rodeo. It was the start of a long friendship and collaboration with DeMille and choreographer Jerome Robbins. The following year he replaced an injured dancer in the original cast of Oklahoma! a night after its opening. Two years later he appeared in the premiere of Carousel. Pagent was a choreographer for television in the 1950s and 60s, including the Miss America Pageant. He staged Rudolph Nureyev’s first U.S. television appearance.
• 2003 ~ Susan Chilcott, one of Britain’s leading opera singers, died. She was 40. Chilcott, a soprano, had performed across Europe and with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Chilcott made her Royal Opera House debut in Covent Garden June 2003 to glowing reviews, playing Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s “Queen Of Spades” oppositePlacido Domingo.
• 2003 ~ Tibor Varga, a conductor and violinist known for his teaching and for his performances of Béla Bartók and other modern masters, died. He was 82. Varga was born in Hungary and made his public debut with Mendelssohn’s E minor concerto when he was 10. He began touring in Europe while a teenager and studied in Budapest and in Berlin. After World War II he performed widely as a violin virtuoso. In 1947 he moved to England, where he obtained British citizenship. He founded the Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra in Detmold, Germany, in 1954, then moved to Switzerland, where he was based the rest of his life. He continued to conduct the Detmold-based orchestra until 1988. His repertoire covered baroque, classical and romantic works, but he was best known for his performances of modern composers including Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Berg.