1867 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish composer and conductor
More information about Granados
• 1877 ~ Ernö Dohnányi, Hungarian pianist, composer and conductor. He wrote the popular “Variations on a Nursery Song” and became an eminent concert pianist. One of the leading lights of 20th-century Hungarian music, he championed the music of Bartok and Kodaly.
• 1918 ~ Leonard Rose, American cellist
• 1927 ~ Bob Morse, Singer with The Hi-Lo’s
• 1933 ~ Nick Reynolds, Folk singer with The Kingston Trio
• 1942 ~ Peggy Lee recorded her first hit record, in New York City. With the backing of the Benny Goodman band, Miss Lee sang Why Don’t You Do Right.
• 1943 ~ Al Ramsey, Musician: guitar with Gary Lewis & The Playboys
• 1944 ~ Bobbie Gentry, Pop Singer. She won a Grammy Award in 1967
• 1949 ~ Maureen McGovern, Singer
• 1950 ~ Michael Vaughn, Guitarist with Paperlace
• 1959 ~ Brothers, Santo and Johnny (Farina) of Brooklyn, NY saw their one and only hit record, the instrumental Sleepwalk released. Sleepwalk was number one for two weeks. Their next song, Tear Drop, only made it to number 23 on the pop charts. Such is life in the pop music biz.
• 1963 ~ Karl Mueller, Rock Musician
• 1974 ~ NBC~TV removed Dinah’s Place from its daytime programming roster. The move brought Dinah Shore’s 23~year association with the Peacock Network to a close.
• 1974 ~ John Denver’s biggest hit song reached the top of the Billboard singles chart. Annie’s Song, written for his wife, became the most popular song in the U.S. Denver had three other #1 songs: Sunshine on My Shoulders, Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry.
• 1976 ~ John Lennon finally had his request for permanent residency in the United States approved. Lennon’s immigration card number was A-17-597-321. The decision to allow Lennon to stay in the country ended a long struggle between the former Beatle and the U.S. Government.
• 2000 ~ Alex “Sleepy” Stein, the founder of the first all-jazz radio station, died of cancer at the age of 81. Stein started working for CBS radio in the 1940s and later moved to Chicago, where he earned the nickname “Sleepy” after replacing an all-night deejay named Wide-Awake Widoe. He moved to Southern California, where he started broadcasting from an AM station in Long Beach. In 1957, Stein bought KNOB and began all-jazz programming from the Signal Hill station. On-air personalities at the groundbreaking station included famous jazz announcers Chuck Niles, Jim Gosa and Alan Schultz. Stan Kenton helped him finance the station by contributing the profits from his band’s performances.
• 2001 ~ Harold Land, a jazz saxophonist who over five decades performed with such greats as Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett, died at 72.
Land was born on Dec. 18, 1928, in Houston and grew up in San Diego. His parents bought him a saxophone when he was 16 and he made his first record at 21. In 1954 he moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the group run by trumpeter Clifford Brown and drummer Max Roach, touring the country for two years. He went on to join bands featuring jazz notables Curtis Counce and Blue Mitchell. He co-led a band with vibraphone player Bobby Hutcherson in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and had a 30-year association with Gerald Wilson’s orchestras. Land earned a reputation as a hard-bop musician capable of incandescent improvisation. In the late 1970s and the 1980s, Land joined the Timeless All-Stars, which included Hutcherson, drummer Billy Higgins, pianist Cedar Walton and trombonist Curtis Fuller. He also was a featured soloist for Tony Bennett. He appeared on the soundtracks for the movies Carmen Jones in 1954 and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in 1969. He continued to be an active musician late in life. The album Promised Land, featuring Land and his quartet, was released this year.
• 2012 ~ Tony Martin, American singer, died from natural causes at the age of 98. His career spanned over seven decades, and he scored dozens of hits between the late-1930s and mid-1950. He was married to actress and dancer Cyd Charisse for 60 years until her death in 2008.