. 1875 ~ Opening of the Paris Opera building.
. 1880 ~ Nicolai Karlovich Medtner, Russian composer and pianist
. 1919 ~ Erica Morini, Concert violinist
. 1923 ~ Sam Phillips, Record executive with Sun Records: The [Memphis] Million Dollar Quartet: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich
. 1931 ~ Alfred Brendel, American Pianist
More information about Brendel
. 1931 ~ Alvin Ailey, was an African-American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City
. 1935 ~ Phil Spitalny’s All-Girl Orchestra was featured on CBS radio this day on the program “The Hour of Charm”.
. 1938 ~ Lindsay Crosby, Actor, son of crooner Bing Crosby
. 1941 ~ Decca record #23210 was recorded. The title was Chica Chica Boom Chic by the lovely Carmen Miranda. She sang the song in the film, “That Night in Rio”.
. 1942 ~ Maurizio Pollini, Italian pianist
. 1949 ~ George ‘Funky’ Brown, Drummer with Kool and The Gang
. 1950 ~ Chris Stein, Guitarist with Blondie
. 1950 ~ Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” hit #1 on the Billboard Pop Charts. It sold over 8 million copies and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1985.
. 1955 ~ A tune used in a “Studio One” production became the #1 song on the pop music charts this day. Joan Weber’s song, Let Me Go, Lover, rode the hit parade as the most popular record in the U.S. for four weeks straight. Before being aired on television, the song had only been heard on a limited basis. In fact, the title was even different. It used to be known as Let Me Go, Devil.
. 1972 ~ John Denver received a gold record for the album, “Aerie”, this day.
. 1979 ~ Charles Mingus passed away. He was an American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader.
. 1979 ~ John Travolta probably remembers that the soundtrack LP of “Saturday Night Fever” reached $25 million in sales.
. 1980 ~The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” becomes hip-hop’s first Top 40 hit
. 1984 ~ The group, The Police, planned a farewell concert for March 2 in Australia. After nine years together, band members decided to go their separate ways.
. 1997 ~ Burton Lane died at the age of 84. He was an American composer and lyricist. His most popular and successful works include Finian’s Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
. 1997 ~ Sonny Bono was killed in a skiing accident. Bono starred along with Cher in “The Sonny and Cher Show.” He also recorded hits such as “I got You Babe” (1965), and received ten gold records during his career.
. 2000 ~ Mejla Hlavsa, a Czech rock performer and friend of President Vaclav Havel, died of cancer at the age of 49. He was a bass player and singer with the band Plastic People of the Universe. Hlavsa, whose group was banned in the 1970s, was imprisoned in 1976 for unauthorized performances, deemed political protests under the former communist regime. At the time, the band had been performing at private gatherings, including parties at Havel’s summer house in Hradecek, northern Bohemia. Now the country’s president, Havel was Czechoslovakia’s best known anti-communist dissident at the time. After the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the band resumed public performances. Hlavsa also performed at the White House in September 1998, at a dinner organized by President Clinton during an official visit by the Czech president. One of Hlavsa’s influences, Lou Reed, also performed during Havel’s visit. Reed was a founding member of the rock group Velvet Underground, which helped inspire Havel’s leadership of the “Velvet Revolution” that brought democracy to the Czech Republic. Havel had called the musicians “two legends from our two nations who both, in one way or another, are bound with the ideal of freedom.”
. 2016 ~ Pierre Boulez, classical music’s maverick, died aged 90. As well as composing, Boulez was a prolific writer and pianist and an inspiration for generations of young musicians.