On September 15 ~ in Music History

today

1876 ~ Bruno Walter, German-born American conductor

• 1903 ~ Roy Acuff, ‘The King of Country Music’, Country Music Hall of Famer, with the Smoky Mountain Boys, publisher with Acuff-Rose Publishing

• 1924 ~ Bobby Short, American pianist, singer of popular music, regular on first Playboy TV series. His autobiography is Black & White Baby

• 1928 ~ Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly, Musician, Alto/Soprano Saxophone

• 1930 ~ Hoagy Carmichael recorded Georgia on My Mind on the Victor label. Georgia on My Mind has been the official state song of Georgia since 1922. The song has been recorded by many artists over the years.

• 1934 ~ NBC radio presented The Gibson Family to American audiences. The program was the first musical comedy to be broadcast. The show originated from the studios of WEAF in New York City.

• 1940 ~ Jimmy Gilmer, Singer with Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

• 1941 ~ Les (William) Braid, Bass, organ with The Swinging Blue Jeans

• 1945 ~ Jessye Norman, American soprano

• 1955 ~ Betty Robbins (Mrs. Sheldon Robbins) became the first woman cantor at services held at Temple Avodah in Oceanside, Long Island, New York.

• 1980 ~ The Elephant Man made its debut on Broadway with rock singer David Bowie in his acting debut.

• 2001 ~ Billy Hilfiger, a musician and younger brother of fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 45. Hilfiger worked as a landscape architect in New York City but was best known as an avid guitarist. He played with former members of the rock band Blue Oyster Cult and with another brother, Andy Hilfiger, among others.

How are Steinway Pianos Made?

 

Steinway Place, Queens, New York, 11105. steinway.com or 718-721-2600.

It all begins with bare wood, rough and fragrant.

Skilled craftsmen then use muscle, fine motor skills and magic to transform simple planks into magnificent instruments. In the bridge-notching process, the “bellymen” use tools they’ve constructed themselves, the better to execute this highly skilled operation.

Alaskan Sitka Spruce becomes a soundboard, with ribs of Sugar Pine.

Eighty-eight keys, 88 hammers, more than 230 strings — all are carefully created, installed and tested in every piano.

All in all, it takes about 11 months to make a Steinway grand piano.

Steinway & Sons has been located in the same spot in the Astoria section of Queens since the early 1870s. Founded in 1853 in a loft on Varick Street in Manhattan, the company’s reputation grew quickly, and the company needed space to expand their operations.

Factory tours are offered from September through the end of June. (Factory tours are not available in July and August.) Tours are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, for a maximum of 15 people.

Needless to say, tours fill up quickly and must be booked in advance. Steinway currently has no openings for the rest of 2017 and is not yet taking reservations for 2018. Plan way ahead, and check for updates by emailing tours@steinway.com or by calling 718-721-2600.

Adapted from http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/events/2017/08/18/factory-tours-made-usa/530543001/

Mary and Michael playing in the original Steinway Hall