I’m sure many have you have learned Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by now. Did you know its’ the same melody as the ABC Song? You know…
Don’t believe it? Sing them both in your head or out loud.
The French melody first appeared in 1761, and has been used for many children’s songs, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and the “Alphabet Song”.
This is one of the first pieces a student learns in piano methods, since it has them reach just a bit outside their accustomed hand position on the word “little”.
I try to remember to let students know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed a set of twelve variations on the theme “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman” for the piano and it started as the same basic Twinkle tune.
The sheet music is available at the O’Connor Music Studio if you want to borrow it or download it here about 1/3 of the way down the page under “Scores”.
I always enjoy these graphical scores. Watch the colors as the melody gets more and more complex:
• 1934 ~ The Dorsey Brothers, Tommy and Jimmy, recorded Annie’s Aunt Fanny on the Brunswick label. The track featured trombonist Glenn Miller, who also vocalized on the tune.
• 1937 ~ Freddie Fender, Guitarist
• 1940 ~ Dorothy Rudd Moore, Composer
• 1942 ~ Glenn Wallichs did what was called ‘promotion’ for Capitol Records in Hollywood. He came up with the idea that he could send copies of Capitol’s new records to influential radio announcers all around the U.S. and, maybe, add to the chances that stations would play the records. The practice would soon become common among most record labels.
• 1944 ~ Roger Ball, Musician, saxophonist and keyboards with Average White Band
• 1945 ~ Anthony Braxton, Jazz musician
Read more about Braxton
• 1945 ~ Michelle Phillips (Holly Michelle Gilliam), Singer with The Mamas and the Papas
• 1945 ~ Gordon Waller, Singer with Peter and Gordon
• 1951 ~ Conductor Serge Koussevitsky died. Born in Russia, he conducted the State Symphony Orchestra in Petrograd before moving to the U.S. to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Read more about Serge Koussevitsky
• 1956 ~ Max Kowalski, Composer, died at the age of 73
• 1961 ~ “Wildcat” closed at Alvin Theater NYC after 172 performances
• 1963 ~ First transmission of Pop Go The Beatles on BBC radio
• 1964 ~ The Beatles “World Tour” begins in Copenhagen Denmark
• 1972 ~ Godfried Devreese, Composer, died at the age of 79
• 1997 ~ Ronnie Lane, bassist (Faces), died at the age of 50 of multiple sclerosis
• 2001 ~ John Hartford, a versatile and wry performer who wrote the standard Gentle on My Mind and turned his back on Hollywood to return to bluegrass music, died Monday at the age of 63. He was a singer-songwriter, comedian, tap-clog dancer, television performer and riverboat enthusiast. Gentle on My Mind has been broadcast on radio or television more than 6 million times, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated, which collects song royalties. It has been recorded more than 300 times, most prominently by Glen Campbell in 1967. Hartford’s career rambled from Hollywood to Nashville, with stops writing and performing on network television, thousands of shows at bluegrass clubs and festivals, and stints as a licensed steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. At the height of his fame in the early 1970s, Hartford reconsidered his decision to take an offer to star in a detective series on CBS. Instead, he returned to Nashville and resumed his career as an innovative, relatively low-profile bluegrass singer-songwriter. “I knew that if I did it, I would never live it down,” Hartford said of the television series in a 2000 interview. “Because then when I went back to music, people would start saying, `Oh, he didn’t make it in acting so he’s gone country.”‘ Born in New York City and raised in St. Louis, Hartford was enthralled as a youngster by riverboats and bluegrass music, in particular that of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. He moved to Nashville in 1965, and his first album “John Hartford Looks at Life” was released the following year. Hartford’s version of Gentle on My Mind from second album “Earthwords & Music” was a minor hit in 1967. The song is about a hobo whose mind is eased by the thought of a former lover. Hartford moved to California in 1968, landing a job writing and performing on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” His went on to the cast of “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.” Returning to Nashville in 1971, Hartford released the landmark acoustic album “Aereo-Plain” and continued to record until his death. He was one of the performers on the hit soundtrack to the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”