. 1735 ~ Johann Christoph Kuhnau, composer
. 1878 ~ Peter Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony in F premiered
. 1881 ~ Jacques Offenbach’s opera “Les Contes d’Hoffman” premiered in Paris
. 1914 ~ Larry Adler, Composer of movie scores such as A Cry from the Streets, Genevieve, Great Chase
. 1927 ~ Leontyne Price, American soprano, Metropolitan Opera
More information about Price
. 1929 ~ Jerry Goldsmith, pianist and composer (Twilight Zone)
. 1933 ~ The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.
. 1942 ~ Glenn Miller was awarded the first-ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of “Chattanooga Choo Choo”
. 1940 ~ Roberta Flack, American pop-soul singer
. 1944 ~ Peter Allen, Australian pop singer, songwriter and pianist
. 1942 ~ Ted Fio Rito’s orchestra recorded Rio Rita for Decca Records in Los Angeles. Bob Carroll sang on the disc that became the group’s theme song.
. 1946 ~ Donovan (Leitch), Singer
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley wiggled his way through Heartbreak Hotel this day for RCA Records in Nashville, TN. The record received two gold records, one for each side. The hit on the other side was I Was the One.
. 1960 ~ “Unsinkable Molly Brown” closed at the Winter Garden in New York City after 532 performances. Molly Brown was based on the true story of a Titanic survivor.
. 1964 ~ The Beatles, British super rock group, made their first American appearance on the Ed Sullivan TV show
. 1966 ~ Billy Rose passed away. Rose was an American impresario, theatrical showman and lyricist.
. 2002 ~ Dave Van Ronk, a New York-born guitarist and singer who was at the forefront of the Greenwich Village folk boom, died at the age of 65. A prolific musician who was nominated for a Grammy, Van Ronk offered his home as a hangout for fellow musicians in the 1960s. Among them was a young Bob Dylan. “People were always stopping by,” said Mitch Greenhill, his longtime manager. “He (Van Ronk) was one of the few guys who was working at a pretty high level who went out of his way to be friendly.” Born in Brooklyn, Van Ronk started living in Greenwich Village by the time he was a teenager. His first album, “Ballads, Blues and a Spiritual” was released in 1957. He opened his home to Dylan when the artist arrived in New York in the 1960s. Inspired by a haunting version of House of the Rising Sun, released by Van Ronk, Dylan performed it on his debut album. They also appeared together in 1974 with other singers at a benefit for Chilean political prisoners. Asked over the years about his relationship with Dylan, Van Ronk always played down his influence on Dylan by saying, “He was as big an influence on me as I was on him,” said Greenhill, who knew Van Ronk for more than 40 years. Van Ronk spent 40 years on tour, and made at least 26 albums. His most recent was last year’s “Sweet and Lowdown,” a return to his jazz roots. He received a Grammy nomination in 1996 for his record “From … Another Time and Place.” He was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
. 2006 ~ At the XX Winter Olympic Games open in Turin, Italy, Luciano Pavarotti sang “Nessun Dorma” in his last ever performance.