March 2: Today’s Music History

1824 ~ Bedrich Smetana, Bohemian composer
More information about Smetana

. 1900 ~ Kurt Weill, German-born American composer of operas and other music
More information about Weill

. 1905 ~ Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) born

. 1905 ~ Marc Blitzstein, American composer

. 1917 ~ Desi Arnaz (Desiderio Alberto Arnez y De Acha III), Bandleader, singer, actor, married to Lucille Ball, co-owner of Desilu Productions, introduced 3-camera sitcom technique

. 1921 ~ Robert Simpson, English composer and long-serving BBC producer and broadcaster

. 1923 ~ (Arthel Lane) Doc Watson, Grammy Award-winning singer, flat-picking guitarist

. 1934 ~ Doug Watkins, Jazz musician, bass with these groups: Pepper-Knepper Quintet, Hank Mobley Quartet, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers

. 1938 ~ Ben Harney, American composer and pianist died (b. 1871)

. 1942 ~ Lou Reed (Lewis Alan Reed), Singer, songwriter, guitarist with Velvet Underground

. 1949 ~ Eddie Money (Mahoney), Singer

. 1950 ~ Karen Carpenter, Drummer, singer with Grammy Award-winning group, The Carpenters

. 1955 ~ Jay Osmond, Singer with The Osmond Brothers

. 1956 ~ John Cowsill, Singer with The Cowsills

. 1956 ~ Mark Evans, Bass with AC/DC

. 1962 ~ Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi), American rock singer, songwriter

. 1963 ~ Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and singer, Patsy Cline, killed in a plane crash

. 1974 ~ Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, Innervisions and his hit songs, You Are The Sunshine of My Life and Superstition.

. 1985 ~ Country singer Gary Morris hit #1 on the country charts for the first time with Baby Bye Bye, from his album, Faded Blue.

. 2003 ~ Hank Ballard, 75, the singer and songwriter whose hit The Twist ushered in a nationwide dance craze in the 1960s, died. He wrote and recorded The Twist in 1958, but it was released only on the B-side of a record. In 1959, Chubby Checker debuted his own version of the song on Dick Clark’s Philadelphia television show. It soon topped the charts and launched a dance craze that prompted the creation of other Twist songs, including Twist and Shout by the Isley Brothers and Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke. Mr. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Mr. Ballard was discovered in the early 1950s by writer-producer Johnny Otis. He was lead singer for the Royals, which changed its name to the Midnighters. Mr. Ballard, who was born John H. Kendricks in Detroit, grew up singing in church in Bessemer, Ala. At 15, he returned to Detroit and set out to form a doo-wop group while working on a Ford Motor Co. assembly line.

. 2018 ~ Van McLain [McElvain], American rock guitarist (Shooting Star), died at the age of 62 from West Nile virus

The Music Man

 

 

A few years ago TCM was doing 31 Days of Oscars.  I first sort of noticed this when I looked ahead in the scheduling and noticed that all TCM shows were alphabetized.  At first, I thought maybe that this scheme was some sort of placeholder before I realized what they were doing. Personally, I preferred when 31 Days grouped films by nomination category, by studio or by actor. Alphabetical is easy for them but hard on me, looking through every entry to see what to record.

 

Saturday, we were up to the M’s and Tivo faithfully recorded (The) Music Man.  When I watched it on Sunday, I was most pleased to realize that I remembered all the words.

 

 

Remembering all the words is no small feat.

I first started collecting records (yes, records!) of musicals when I was in high school in Springfield, MA.  Our library had an outstanding record collection, but I could only check out one (or 2?) at a time.

I would bring my record(s) home, and listen to them like crazy.  Then I’d save my allowance and any work money I had and go to the local department store to buy my favorites.   I always bought musicals and they were nearly Original Broadway Cast.  Years later, I still have all these records, even though I usually listen on Spotify or on one of my carefully curated playlists. (I also can’t listen to any of the music out of order.)

As the years roll by, many of these musicals, like The Music Man, have gone on to become films.  I am not usually a happy camper when the music is changed from what I remember of the OBCs and the film, but The Music Man film made the cut for me  🙂