Today’s piece is a favorite in cartoons as you’ll see below. Hungarian Rhapsody number 2 by Franz Liszt is the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies and is by far the most famous of the set. They are all based on Hungarian folk tunes, or what Liszt assumed were Hungarian folk tunes. Even though Liszt’s nationality was Hungarian, he wasn’t familiar with the language.
So he ended up making some assumptions. Some of these Hungarian Rhapsodies were not actually gypsy folk tunes at all, but tunes composed by middle-and-upper-class folk, which the gypsies integrated into their own music.
These Rhapsodies are very difficult for pianists since Liszt was a virtuoso musician and liked to compose pieces only he could play.
• 1939 ~ Philip Balsley, Singer with The Statler Brothers
• 1941 ~ Les Brown and His Band of Renown paid tribute to baseball’s “Yankee Clipper”, Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, with the recording of Joltin’ JoeDiMaggio on Okeh Records. From that time on, DiMaggio adopted the nickname, Joltin’ Joe.
• 1949 ~ Keith Carradine, Actor and composer, whose recording of I’m Easy reached No. 17 on the U.S. charts in 1976.
• 1950 ~ Andy Fairweather-Low, Musician, guitar, singer with Amen Corner
• 1958 ~ Harry (Harry Lillis III) Crosby, Singer and actor, son of Bing Crosby and Kathryn Grant
• 1958 ~ Chris Foreman, Musician, guitar with Madness
• 1960 ~ Tell Laura I Love Her, by Ray Peterson, wasn’t a big hit in Great Britain. Decca Records in England said the song was “too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility.” They destroyed 25,000 of the platters this day.
• 1961 ~ The Edge (David Evans), Musician, guitar with U2
• 1974 ~ Roberta Flack received a gold record for the single, Feel Like Makin’ Love. Flack, born in Asheville, NC and raised in Arlington, VA, was awarded a music scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC at the age of 15. One of her classmates became a singing partner on several hit songs. Donny Hathaway joined Flack on You’ve Got a Friend, Where is the Love and The Closer I Get to You. She had 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s and 1980s.
• 1975 ~ Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly passed away
• 1997 ~ Duncan Swift, jazz pianist, died at the age of 74
• 2017 ~ Glen Campbell died at the age of 81. He was an American singer, songwriter, musician, television host, and actor.