On August 31 ~ in Music History

today

• 1834 ~ Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian composer
More information about Ponchielli

• 1903 ~ Arthur (Morton) Godfrey, Ukulele playing, TV/radio entertainer

OCMS 1918 ~ Alan Jay Lerner, American lyricist for the musical theater
Read quotes by and about Lerner
More information about Lerner

• 1930 ~ Dudley “Big Tiny” Little Jr, American pianist on the Lawrence Welk Show

• 1939 ~ Jerry Allison, Drummer with The Crickets

• 1939 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded All or Nothing at All with the Harry James Band. The tune failed to become a hit until four years later – after Ol’ Blue Eyes had joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

• 1945 ~ Itzhak Perlman, Israeli-born American violinist, recorded with André Previn and Scott Joplin

• 1945 ~ Van Morrison, Songwriter, singer with Them

• 1955 ~ Anthony Thistlethwaite, Saxophone with The Waterboys

• 1957 ~ Glenn Tilbrook, Guitar, singer, songwriter with Squeeze

• 1959 ~ Tony DeFranco, Singer with The DeFranco Family

• 1970 ~ Debbie Gibson, Singer

• 1976 ~ A judge ruled that George Harrison was guilty of copying from the songHe’s So Fine (a 1963 Chiffons hit). The judge said that the chorus to Harrison’s My Sweet Lord was identical to He’s So Fine and it eventually (appeals went on for about five years) cost the former Beatle over half a million dollars.

• 1987 ~ This day saw the largest preorder of albums in the history of CBS Records. 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson’s Bad album were shipped to record stores. The LP followed in the tracks of the Jackson album, Thriller, the biggest Jackson-seller of all time (35 million copies sold). The Bad album was successful but sold only 13 million copies.

• 2002 ~ Lionel Hampton, American Jazz vibraphone player and actor, died at the age of 94

• 2016 ~ Jacques Leduc, Belgian composer, died at the age of 84

Did You Know? Radio Show Piano Puzzlers!

puzzlers

 

The Piano Puzzlers book is available in the O’Connor Music Studio library if you’d like to give any a try.  Piano Puzzlers as heard on American Public Media’s “Performance Today.” Includes 32 tunes with songs by Gershwin, Berlin, Arlen, Porter, Rodgers, Fats Waller, Lennon & McCartney, and others disguised in the styles of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Janacek, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Copland.

Includes an introduction by Fred Child, host of “Performance Today” as well as background info by Bruce Adolphe. “Bruce Adolphe has taken a common musician’s party game and elevated it to high art and truly funny musical slapsticks. The Piano Puzzlers are a unique combination of extraordinary insight into the styles of many composers subtle, expert workmanship and great, great fun!”

From http://jasonmorris.blogsome.com/2008/08/08/piano-puzzlers/

If you’re a music geek (like me), I have a program for you. Now, let me be clear, to fully qualify as a music geek…you must have a fond appreciation for classical music (no, Poison, Quiet Riot, and Zepplin do not count as classical music). So, if you’re a “music geek” without an appreciation for classical music…well, I hate to burst your bubble…but, you’re not truly a music geek. Instead, you’re a music appreciator, but not a geek. So, if you just listen to indie music and scowl at anything on a label larger than Matador…don’t bother following the link I’ll provide…the fun will be lost on you…And, you probably won’t have a chance.

Every Wednesday night, on my way home from WNL, I turn on my local NPR station to listen to Piano Puzzlers on Performance Today. It’s absolutely incredible. A pianist/composer (Bruce Adolphe) takes a familiar folk or pop tune and sets it inside a classical masterpiece (or in the style of a particular composer). Sometimes it’s easy…sometimes it’s ridiculously difficult. There are days when I say, “got it” on the first pass. Then there are days when I say, “what the heck?” And, more often than not, I’m able to get either the popular/folk tune or the composer.

This is sad to admit, but there are nights when I’ll slow down on the drive home or sit in the car in the driveway to finish an episode. In fact, I get a little worked up if someone stops me after WNL…as I might miss the beginning of Piano Puzzlers (it usually hits around 8:20pm on our local station).

Take a listen to some of the archives and see if you can figure it out! It’s really cool…but probably only appreciated by music geeks (the kind of people that listen to NPR for their musical programs and not just the snipets of cool indie rock between segments on All Things Considered…which is a great show too).

Play Piano Puzzlers HERE!