February 21 in Music History

today

. 1791 ~ Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works. His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
More information on Czerny

Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!

Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!

 

. 1836 ~ Léo Delibes, French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage.
More information on Delibes

. 1893 ~ Andrés Segovia, Spanish guitarist
More information on Segovia

. 1933 ~ Nina Simone, American jazz and soul singer

. 1943 ~ David Geffen, Tony Award-winning producer of Cats in 1983, M Butterfly in 1988, “Miss Saigon”, Beetlejuice and Risky Business. Also a record executive: Geffen Records and a partner in Dreamworks film production company with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.

. 1944 ~ New York City Opera, first performance

. 1958 ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter, Grammy Award-winning singer

. 1982 ~”Ain’t Misbehavin'” closed at Longacre Theater in New York City after 1604 performances

. 1990 ~ “The Batman Theme” by Danny Elfman won Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition at 32nd Annual Grammy Awards

. 1991 ~ Dame Margot Fonteyn died. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time.

. 2015 ~ Clark Terry died.   He was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, educator, and NEA Jazz Masters inductee. He played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–1951), Duke Ellington (1951–1959) and Quincy Jones (1960).

Terry’s career in jazz spanned more than seventy years and he is among the most recorded of jazz musicians.

. 2017 ~ Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Polish-born classical conductor and composer, died at the age of 93

. 2018 ~ Peter Tork, a musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of The Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold The Beatles, has died at the age of 77.

It’s Carl Czerny’s Birthday (again)

czerny599

1791 ~ Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works.

His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
More information on Czerny

Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!

Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!

 

 

At the age of fifteen, Czerny began a very successful teaching career. Basing his method on the teaching of Beethoven and Muzio Clementi, Czerny taught up to twelve lessons a day in the homes of Viennese nobility.

His ‘star’ pupils included Theodor Döhler, Stephen Heller, Sigismond Thalberg, Leopoldine Blahetka and Ninette de Belleville.In 1819, the father of Franz Liszt brought his son to Czerny.

Liszt became Czerny’s most famous pupil. He trained the child with the works of Beethoven, Clementi, Ignaz Moscheles and Johann Sebastian Bach. The Liszt family lived in the same street in Vienna as Czerny, who was so impressed by the boy that he taught him free of charge. Liszt was later to repay this confidence by introducing the music of Czerny at many of his Paris recitals.

Shortly before Liszt’s Vienna concert of 13 April 1823 (his final concert of that season), Czerny arranged, with some difficulty (as Beethoven increasingly disliked child prodigies) the introduction of Liszt to Beethoven. Beethoven was sufficiently impressed with the young Liszt to give him a kiss on the forehead. Liszt remained close to Czerny, and in 1852 his Études d’exécution transcendente (Transcendental Études) were published with a dedication to Czerny.

 

On February 20 in Music History

 

 

. 1626 ~ John Dowland, composer, died

. 1803 ~ Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich, Swiss Composer

. 1903 ~ Karel Janeček, Czech composer

. 1937 ~ Nancy Wilson, American jazz singer

. 1941 ~ Buffy (Beverly) Sainte-Marie, Singer, songwriter, married to Jack Nitzsche

. 1940 ~ Christoph Eschenbach, German pianist and conductor

. 1940 ~ Larry Clinton and his orchestra recorded Limehouse Blues on Victor Records.

. 1946 ~ Sandy Duncan, Dancer, actress

. 1946 ~ J. (Jerome) Geils, Guitarist with The J. Geils Band

. 1950 ~ Walter Becker, Bass, guitarist with Steely Dan

. 1951 ~ Randy California (Wolfe), Singer, guitarist with Spirit

. 1961 ~ Percy Aldridge Grainger, Australian/US composer/pianist, died at the age of 78

. 1963 ~ Ian Brown, Singer with Stone Roses

. 1974 ~ After a decade of marriage, Cher filed for separation from husband Sonny Bono. Not long afterwards, she filed for divorce and the accompanying alimony. This time she sang, I Got You Babe, for real … before becoming a successful solo singer and movie actress in films such as “Moonstruck” (Best Actress Oscar in 1987).

. 1975 ~ Brian (Thomas) Littrell, Singer with Backstreet Boys

. 1977 ~”My Fair Lady” closed at St James Theater in New York City after 384 performances

. 1982 ~ Singer Pat Benatar married musician-producer Neil Geraldo in Hawaii.

. 2005 ~ John Raitt, American actor and singer (Chevy Show, Pajama Game), died from complications of pneumonia at the age of 88

 

 

On February 19 in Music History

today

. Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer
More information on Boccherini

boccherini-minuet

. 1878 ~ Thomas Alva Edison, famed inventor, patented a music player at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ. This music device is the one we know as the phonograph. Edison paid his assistant $18 to make the device from a sketch Edison had drawn. Originally, Edison had set out to invent a telegraph repeater, but came up with the phonograph or, as he called it, the speaking machine.

. 1902 ~ John Bubbles (John William Sublett), An actor: Porgy and Bess (1935 Broadway version), films: Cabin in the Sky, Variety Show, A Song Is Born, No Maps on My Taps; dancer: credited with creating ‘rhythm tap’.

. 1912 ~ Stan Kenton, American jazz pianist, composer and Grammy Award-winning bandleader

. 1927 ~ Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer and music teacher. As Professor of music theory at the Vienna Conservatory, Fuchs taught many notable composers, while he was himself a highly regarded composer in his lifetime.

. 1940 ~ “Smokey” Robinson, American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter

. 1942 ~ If there was ever such a thing as a jam session, surely, this one was it: Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded I’ll Take Tallulah (Victor Records). Some other musical heavyweights were in the studio too, including Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers, Ziggy Elman and drummer extraordinaire, Buddy Rich.

. 1971 ~ Gil Shaham, Israeli-American violinist

. 1975 ~ Luigi Dallapiccola, composer, died at the age of 71
More about Dallapiccola

. 1981 ~ George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for “subconscious plagiarism” between his song, My Sweet Lord and the Chiffons early 1960s hit, He’s So Fine.

Presidents’ Day: Musical Quotes by Presidents

presidents-day

 

“The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”

– Gerald Ford

 

“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.”

Barack Obama

 

“The Arts and Sciences, essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament of human life, have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.”

George Washington

 

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.”

John Q. Adams

 

“Aeschylus and Plato are remembered today long after the triumphs of Imperial Athens are gone. Dante outlived the ambitions of thirteenth century Florence. Goethe stands serenely above the politics of Germany, and I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over cities, we too will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”

John F. Kennedy

 

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”

– Gerald Ford

 

“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.”

– Bill Clinton

 

“Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.”

Ronald Reagan

 

Music “brings us together, helping us reflect upon who we are, where we have come from, and what lies ahead.” The Arts and Music transcend “languages, cultures, and borders.” … “exchange ideas and styles and share in the artistic vibrancy born from diverse experiences and traditions.

– President Obama in a 2010 message to the World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China

 

Millions of Americans earn a living in the arts and humanities, and the non-profit and for-profit arts industries are important parts of both our cultural heritage and our economy…. We must recognize the contributions of the arts and humanities not only by supporting the artists of today, but also by giving opportunities to the creative thinkers of tomorrow. Educators across our country are opening young -minds, fostering innovation, and developing imaginations through arts education.

– White House Proclamation, National Arts and Humanities Month 2014

 

“In a lot of the poorest countries we’re trying to help, the level of violence is a continuous undercurrent…There’s an enormous amount of evidence that giving people an opportunity for creative expression improves their ability to learn in school and increases their ability and desire to navigate life in a positive rather than a negative way.” Music “taught me discipline and teamwork on the one hand and the importance of creativity.”

The THEA Foundation in Arkansas has proved the merits of including art instruction in the schools.

Clinton said:

“Every place they’ve done this program, you see a reduction in the dropout rate and an increase in the academic performance of the young people. Having strong arts instruction supports learning in a very substantial way.”

-Bill Clinton in an interview with Patrick Cole at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative

Adapted from http://www.nafme.org/the-most-musical-united-states-presidents/

President’s Day: Musical Presidents

presidents-day

 

Presidents’ Day (celebrated on the third Monday in February), was originally established in 1885 in recognition of George Washington. The holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.

Wondering how many U.S. Presidents played musical instruments?

Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) Third president of the United States, drafted the Declaration of Independence, and played the violin and cello.

John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848) The sixth president of the United States formulated the Monroe Doctrine, and played the flute.

John Tyler (1790-1862) The tenth president of the United States was the first Vice President to become President by the death of his predecessor.  He played the violin.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) The sixteenth president of the United States issued the Emancipation Proclamation and played the violin.

Ulysses S. Grant (1822- 1884) The eighteenth president of the United States certainly scrapes the bottom of the list. He was tone deaf and famously commented, “I only know two tunes. One of them is Yankee Doodle and the other isn’t.”

Chester Alan Arthur (1829 – 1886) Became the 21st president of the United States following the assassination of President James A. Garfield. He played the banjo.

Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) The 32nd President of the United States and the fifth cousin to President Theodore Roosevelt, played the piano and sang soprano in his school choir.

Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) The 28th president of the United States and creator of the League of Nations, played the violin and sang tenor in his college glee club.

Warren Harding (1865-1923) The 29th president of the United States organized the Citizen’s Cornet Band, available for both Republican and Democratic rallies. He once remarked that, “I played every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat cornet.”

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) The 30th president of the United States was determined to preserve old moral and economic precepts amid American prosperity. He played the harmonica.

Harry Truman (1884 – 1972) The 33rd president of the United States who served during the conclusion of World War II, played the piano.

Richard Nixon (1913 – 1994) The 37th president of the United States, who ended American fighting in Vietnam and later resigned from office in the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal, was a classically-trained pianist and also played the accordion. He composed and played this piece, set to concerto form with “15 Democratic violinists.”  Nixon takes a dig at Harry Truman just before playing.:

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) The 40th president of the United States implemented the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He played the harmonica.

Bill Clinton (born 1946) The 42nd president of the United States and the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term, plays the saxophone.

Barack Obama (born 1961) The 44th president of the United States and first African American president has broken into song on several recent occasions. President Obama sang Amazing Grace at the funeral for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney:

On February 18 in Music History

presidents-day

. 1655 ~ Pietro Giovanni Guarneri, Italian violin maker
More information on Guarneri

. 1735 ~ The first opera performed in America, known as either “Flora” or “Hob in the Well”, was presented in Charleston, SC.

. 1850 ~ Sir George Henschel, German-born British conductor, composer and baritone

. 1927 ~ Singer Jessica Dragonette starred on radio’s “Cities Service Concerts” (sponsored by the oil company of the same name) and literally, “sang her way into radio immortality.” She also sang on the “Palmolive Beauty Box Theatre” in the 1930s. In 1940 she starred on Pet Milk’s “Saturday Nite Serenade”. Her many fans referred to her as the “first great voice of the air.”

. 1933 ~ Yoko Ono, Japanese-born American rock singer, songwriter and artist Widow of John Lennon
More information on Ono

. 1938 ~ One of the most famous and popular motion pictures of all time lit up the silver screen, as The Big Broadcast of 1938 was released to movie houses. The film featured Bob Hope and his version of what would be his theme song, Thanks for the Memory. The song received an Oscar for Best Song. Dorothy Lamour and W.C. Fields also had starring roles in the film.

. 1941 ~ Herman Santiago, Singer with Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

. 1942 ~ The Mills Brothers waxed one of their three greatest hits. Paper Doll became Decca record #18318. In addition to Paper Doll, the other two classics by the Mills Brothers are: You Always Hurt The One You Love in 1944 and Glow Worm in 1952.

. 1964 ~ “Any Wednesday” opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York City. The play established Gene Hackman as an actor. Don Porter and Sandy Dennis also starred in the show.

. 1956 ~ Gustave Charpentier, French opera composer (Louise), died at the age of 95

. 1987 ~ Dmitry Borisovich Kabalevsky, composer, died at the age of 82
More about Kabalevsky

. 2001 ~ Legendary singer and songwriter Charles Trenet, whose fanciful ballads and poetic love songs captured the hearts of the French for more than six decades, died of a stroke at the age of 87. Trenet, who wrote nearly 1,000 songs and gained world renown with the romantic ballad La Mer (The Sea), was decorated in 1998 by President Jacques Chirac as a Commander of the Legion of Honor – France’s highest civilian honor. La Mer was recorded in 1946 and remade by American Bobby Darin as Beyond the Sea in 1960. Known as Le Fou Chantant (The Singing Fool), Trenet was known for his flashing smile, tilted-back hat and buttonhole carnation. Trenet spent several years in the United States after World War II, appearing in Broadway cabarets. He returned to France in 1951 and resumed a career that included five novels and lead roles in a dozen films.

. 2003 ~ Jonathan Eberhart, 60, an award-winning aerospace writer who also was a folk singer and a founder in 1964 of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, died. By day, Mr. Eberhart was space sciences editor of the weekly newsmagazine Science News, covering space sciences and the development of the U.S. aerospace program. He worked there for more than 30 years before he retired in 1991. For three decades, he also was a fixture of the Washington folk music scene, performing and recording on his own and with the group Boarding Party. He helped folk singer Pete Seeger sail the sloop Clearwater on its maiden voyage and sang at performances along the route and on the record of sea chanteys made by the crew. He wrote songs — including “Lament for a Red Planet,” inspired by his coverage of NASA’s Mars explorer mission for Science News — and collected rare folk music and instruments from around the world. Among Mr. Eberhart’s own records were “Life’s Trolley Ride” on the Folk-Legacy label. He helped stage the Folklore Society’s popular free summer festivals, which drew thousands of music lovers to Glen Echo Park and other venues. The gatherings started out as concerts at the Washington Ethical Society. They quickly grew into two-day, five-stage celebrations co-sponsored by the National Park Service. Hundreds of singers, dancers, musicians, storytellers and craftspeople came, along with thousands of visitors over a weekend. Mr. Eberhart was born in Evanston, Ill., and raised in Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y. He attended Harvard University, working during the summer at Science News, and then joining the staff as a writer in 1964. Mr. Eberhart’s contributions to the local music scene included a radio program on international folk music for WGTB. His search for international talent reached to more than 30 countries as well as Washington’s own international communities. “It’s easy to find a good banjo player,” he said in an interview in The Washington Post, “but how do you find an Eritrean krar lyre player?” One of his investigative techniques was to ask cabdrivers speaking accented English where they were born and whether they knew someone who could play native instruments. The result would be festival or folklore society acts from Afghanistan or Iceland or Vietnam. Mr. Eberhart also wrote articles about music for publications that included Sing Out and liner notes for numerous recordings, notably the Nonesuch Explorer international series world music.

. 2003 ~ Faith Marian Forrest, 83, a pianist who performed in recitals in Washington and elsewhere in the country and taught at her Kensington home, died of cancer. Mrs. Forrest was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a graduate of Brooklyn College. She did graduate work in music at Columbia University. After moving to Washington in 1941, she was a secretary for the War Department. From 1942 to 1946, she worked for the music department of the Library of Congress. Until the mid-1960s, she gave recitals, sometimes with her husband, clarinetist Sidney Forrest, at concert locations that included the Phillips Gallery as well as in Baltimore, New York and the Midwest. She taught piano during the summer for several decades at the Interlochen Arts Camps in Michigan and taught privately at home until last year.

. 2003 ~ Johnny Paycheck, the carousing country music singer best remembered for his blue-collar anthem Take This Job and Shove It died. His 1977 hit about a factory worker bent on revenge against his boss still resonates with listeners and continues to get radio play, especially on Friday afternoons. Paycheck had nearly three-dozen hits, beginning with the hard-driving 1965 song A-11. He earned two Grammy nominations during his career, the first in 1971 for the single She’s All I Got and the second in 1978 for Take This Job and Shove It. He had a powerful, expressive voice, distinctive inflection and a knack for delivering solid country emotion. Born Donald Eugene Lytle in Greenfield, Ohio, he picked up a guitar at age 6, and was performing and traveling on his own by age 15. He launched his career as a sideman to such stars as George Jones and Faron Young. He adopted the name Paycheck from a boxer.

. 2014 ~ Maria Franziska von Trapp, Austrian-born American singer, died at the age of 99