. 1826 ~ Johann Hermann Berens, composer
. 1858 ~ Anton Diabelli, Austria publisher and composer, died at the age of 76. Diabelli was most familiar today as the composer of the waltz on which Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his set of thirty-three Diabelli Variations.
. 1899 ~ Robert Casadesus, French pianist and composer
. 1908 ~ Percy Faith, Grammy Award-winning orchestra leader, composer
. 1915 ~ Billie Holiday, American jazz singer, born as Eleanora Fagan. She sang with all the American big band leaders of her day while developing her own intimate style.
. 1919 ~ Ralph Flanagan, Bandleader
. 1920 ~ Ravi Shankar, Indian sitarist and composer
. 1925 ~ David Carr Glover, Piano Educator
. 1934 ~ Victor Feldman, British jazz pianist and drummer
. 1949 ~ Opening day of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “South Pacific”. It was a musical classic of love and war, and it unfolded on a lush tropical island swarming with Seabees, nurses, natives and coconut trees on this night in 1949. Actually, it was not a tropical island, but the stage of the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Ezio Pinza starred as the suave French plantation owner with a shady past and Mary Martin portrayed the bubbly, pretty, but naive Navy nurse. Mary Martin washed her hair a zillion times as she sang, I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair in 1,925 performances.
. 1950 Tony Awards went to the show and its producers, performers, director (Joshua Logan) and composers nine statuettes. It also earned a Pulitzer Prize in the same year and in 1958 was made into a movie.
More about Mary Martin
. 1951 ~ Janis Ian, Singer-songwriter
. 1954 ~ Gee, by The Crows, became the first rhythm and blues single to gain attention on pop music charts.
. 1970 ~ Leif Ove Andsnes, Norwegian pianist
. 1973 ~ Vicki Lawrence got her number one single as The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia made it to the top of the pop charts on this day.
. 1987 ~ Maxine Sullivan (Marietta Williams) passed away