Clara Schumann (1819-96) was much more than the wife of composer Robert Schumann. She was, quite simply, one of the greatest pianists of all time. A child prodigy, her technique and musicianship as a mature artist led to her being regarded as the equal of giants of the keyboard such a Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg and Anton Rubinstein.
And from her girlhood until the end of her marriage she composed wonderful music, mostly solo piano music, but other works as well, including a concerto, a large number of songs and a sublime piano trio.
In her later years she was an internationally famous teacher, and her performing career lasted more than six decades. She was, quite simply, a phenomenon.
• 1931 ~ Vaudeville star Eddie Cantor was heard for the first time – on NBC radio.
The Chase and Sanborn Hour became one of the most popular radio shows of the 1930s.
• 1941 ~ David Clayton-Thomas, Singer with Blood Sweat and Tears
• 1944 ~ Peter Cetera, Bass guitar, singer with Chicago
• 1952 ~ Randy Jones, Singer with The Village People
• 1954 ~ The cover of LIFE magazine was adorned with Judy Garland’s picture, with the caption, “Judy Garland takes off after an Oscar.” Garland had been nominated for her role in A Star is Born.
• 1956 ~ Joni Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge
• 1968 ~ Clarence Carter received a gold record for his million-selling hit Slip Away. Carter earned two other gold records for Too Weak to Fight and Patches. The singer from Montgomery, Alabama had been blind since age one and taught himself to play guitar by age 11.
• 1969 ~ John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, presented the Plastic Ono Band in concert for the first time. The appearance at the Toronto Peace Festival was Lennon’s first in four years. The first hit by the new group, Give Peace a Chance, made it to number 14 on the charts.
• 1986 ~ Captain EO, a 17-minute, three-dimensional, musical, science-fiction flick starring Michael Jackson, made its gala premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, FL this day. The innovative movie cost approximately $1,000,000 a minute to produce.
• 2001 ~ Barbara Matera, who made costumes for Broadway shows, the New York City ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 72. With her husband, Matera founded Barbara Matera Ltd. in 1968, which produced costumes seen in the current Broadway productions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Kiss Me, Kate and 42nd Street. As the costumer for the American Ballet Theater, Matera outfitted performers in productions including Swan Lake and Othello. Her film credits include The Great Gatsby, The Addams Family, Moonstruck, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Age of Innocence and Death on the Nile. Matera also created the purple crystal-encrusted gown that Hillary Rodham Clinton wore at her husband’s first presidential inauguration.