Writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who died on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at age 82, spent his life wondering on the myriad connections among biology, thought, emotion and perception.
For those of us who obsess over the how and why of music, Sacks’ work on sound and its effects on the brain – and vice versa – was particularly illuminating. His book on the subject, “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” remains essential reading for those who want to understand the mechanics of music.
Through bountiful research and mesmerizing case studies, Sacks addressed topics including music and amnesia, music therapy, musical prodigies and those who suffer from debilitating aural hallucinations.
1887 ~ Nadia Boulanger, French composition teacher
More information about Boulanger
• 1915 ~ Cy Walter, pianist (3’s Company)
• 1920 ~ Enrico Caruso made his last recording for Victor Records in Camden, NJ.
• 1925 ~ Charlie Byrd, Guitarist, played with Stan Getz
• 1925 ~ “B. B.” (Riley B.) King, American blues singer and guitarist, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987
• 1934 ~ George Chakiris, Academy Award-winning actor, dancer in West Side Story (1961)
• 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the swing classic Boogie Woogie for Victor Records.
• 1941 ~ CBS radio debuted The Arkansas Traveler. The program was later renamed The Bob Burns Show. Burns played a very strange musical instrument called the ‘bazooka’. The U.S. Army chose the name to identify its rocket launcher because it looked so much like Burns’ bazooka.
• 1943 ~ Bernie Calvert, Bass with The Hollies and also The Dolphins
• 1944 ~ Betty Kelly, Singer with Martha and the Vandellas
• 1948 ~ Kenny Jones, Drummer with Small Faces, Faces and also The Who
• 1950 ~ David Bellamy, Singer with a duo called The Bellamy Brothers, songwriter
• 1963 – Richard Marx, Singer, songwriter
• 1963 ~ She Loves You was recorded by The Beatles the Swan label. It was the first record recorded by The Beatles; but the second single by the ‘Fab Four’ to hit #1. I Want to Hold Your Hand, was the group’s first #1 song and million seller (on Capitol). It beat She Loves You to the top spot by just a few weeks. Other Beatles hits were also recorded on Capitol (Capitol had rejected She Loves You) and Swan labels; but the Beatles liked variety, so add these record companies to the Beatles list of recording labels: Vee-Jay, MGM, Tollie, United Artists, Atco, E.M.I., Parlaphone and Apple.
• 1964 ~ Shindig premiered on ABC-TV. The program had go-go girls and the biggest rock bands of the day in a dance party environment. Regulars were Jimmie O’Neill and the Shindig Dancers. The first show featured Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Wellingtons, Bobby Sherman and comic Alan Sues.
• 1965 ~ San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral became the site of the first concert of sacred music presented by Duke Ellington.
• 1965 ~ The Dean Martin Show debuted on NBC~TV. It was a weekly variety show that continued on the network for nine years. Regulars over the years were The Goldiggers, Ken Lane, The Ding-a-Ling Sisters, Tom Bosley, Dom DeLuise, Nipsey Russell, Rodney Dangerfield and Les Brown and His Band. The theme song? Everybody Loves Somebody.
• 1994 ~ Bernie Lazaroff Leighton, pianist, died at the age of 73
• 2000 ~ Israeli conductor David Shallon died in Tokyo after suffering an asthma attack at the age of 49. Shallon was born in Tel Aviv and studied violin, viola and horn.
• 2000 ~ Valeriu Stelian, a folk singer who inspired anti-communist protesters a decade ago, died of cancer at the age of 47. Shortly after the 1989 anti-communist uprising, Stelian began singing at University Square in downtown Bucharest for students who protesting the presence of former communists in government. Six weeks after the uprising, coal miners descended on Bucharest at the behest of the government and beat up the students. Six people died in the melee and the protest harmed Romania’s image to such a degree that many young Romanians emigrated, believing democracy would never come to the Balkan country. “Oh God, come here to see what has become of people”, went the lyrics of one of Stelian’s songs composed in 1973 and played to film footage of people who had died during the uprising. During his career, Stelian toured the former Soviet Union, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, England and the United States. He also set up some recording studios in Romania.