Finlandia, Op. 26, is a tone poem by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It was written in 1899 and revised in 1900. The piece was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire, and was the last of seven pieces performed as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.
In order to avoid Russian censorship, Finlandia had to be performed under alternative names at various musical concerts. Titles under which the piece masqueraded were numerous—famous examples include Happy Feelings at the awakening of Finnish Spring, and A Scandinavian Choral March.
• 1938 ~ A Tisket A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb hit #1
• 1940 ~ Clint Warwick (Eccles), Musician, bass with The Moody Blues
• 1945 ~ Carley Simon, American Grammy Award-winning singer – Best New Artist in 1971; Academy Award-winning song, Let the River Run, 1988
• 1946 ~ Allen Lanier, Musician, guitarist, keyboards with Blue Oyster Cult
• 1946 ~ Ian McDonald, Musician, instrumentalist with Foreigner
• 1952 ~ “Wish You Were Here” opened at Imperial Theater New York City for 597 performances
• 1955 ~ “Can Can” closed at Shubert Theater New York City after 892 performances
• 1961 ~ Pat Boone spent this day at number one for one last time with Moody River. Boone, a teen heart-throb in the 1950s, had previously walked his way up the music charts, wearing white buck shoes, of course, with these other hits: Ain’t That a Shame, I Almost Lost My Mind, Don’t Forbid Me, Love Letters in the Sand and April Love.
• 1963 ~ George Michael (Yorgos Panayiotou), Singer
• 1966 ~ The Beatles’Paperback Writer, single went #1 & stayed #1 for 2 weeks
• 1967 ~ 400 million watched The Beatles “Our World” TV special
• 1969 ~ The Guess Who from Canada received a gold record for their hit single, These Eyes.
• 2000 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber’sCats, the longest-running production in Broadway history, closed after 7,397 performances.
• 2000 ~ Arnold Black, a composer and violinist who started a beloved classical music program in the rural Berkshires, died at the age of 77.
More information on Arnold Black
• 2002 ~ Nellie Monk, wife and muse of the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 80. Born Nellie Smith in St. Petersburg, Fla., she moved to New York with her family and met Thelonious Monk at the age of 16 at a neighborhood basketball court. Throughout their nearly four-decade relationship, Thelonious Monk, who was known as an eccentric absorbed in his work, depended on his wife for financial and emotional support. Nellie Monk worked as a seamstress during World War II, and afterward occasionally made clothes for her husband and others. While she was never her husband’s official manager, she paid musicians, collected money from promoters, and made sure band members had plane tickets. Thelonious Monk wrote a famed ballad, Crepuscule With Nellie, when she was undergoing surgery for a thyroid problem in 1957. The couple was together from about 1947 until Thelonious Monk died in 1982.