1855 ~ Anatoli Liadov, Russian composer
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• 1876 ~ Richard Wagner’s Centennial Inaugural March was heard for the first time at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA. Wagner did just fine for creating the magnificent work. He received a paycheck of $5,000. In 1876 dollars, that was quite a lot of money.
• 1888 ~ Max Steiner, composer and conductor, born. Best known for his film scores for such films as “The Informer” and “Now Voyager” for which he won academy awards and Gone With The Wind.
• 1894 ~ Dmitri Tiomkin, Conductor, composer: film scores such as “High Noon.”
• 1899 ~ Fred Astaire (Austerlitz), Dancer, American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the most influential dancer in the history of film. He Starred in 10 Broadway and West End musicals, made 31 musical films including Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), and Shall We Dance (1937) Holiday Inn (1942), Easter Parade (1948) and The Band Wagon (1953). His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years.
• 1909 ~ Mother Maybelle Carter (Addington), Played melody on bass strings of guitar, rhythm on treble, singer with The Carter Family
• 1916 ~ Milton Byron Babbitt, American composer and theorist
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• 1935 ~ Larry Williams, Singer
• 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the classic, Perfidia, for Decca Records. The song would later be a hit for The Ventures (1960).
• 1936 ~ Gary Owens, DJ, TV and radio host
• 1938 ~ Henry Fambrough, Singer with The Spinners
• 1941 ~ Danny Rapp, Singer with Danny & The Juniors
• 1945 ~ Graham Gouldman, Musician: guitar, singer, songwriter
• 1946 ~ Donovan (Leitch), Scottish folk singer
• 1946 ~ Dave Mason, Songwriter, musician, singer
• 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra teamed with Axel Stordahl’s orchestra and on Columbia Records.
• 1963 ~ The Rolling Stones produced their very first recordings this day. The session included Come On and I Wanna Be Loved. The Stones would make it to the American pop music charts in August, 1964.
• 1974 ~ Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely earned a gold record for the group, The Main Ingredient. The trio began as the Poets in 1964. Cuba Gooding, Sr. is heard singing lead.
• 2000 ~ Margaret Harris, a theater designer whose work helped modernize staid, gilt-laden English theater in the 1930s, died at the age of 95. Harris began attending theater as a teenager with her sister and a friend. They sketched the actors they saw on stage, sending the drawings to each theater. One sketch caught the eye of actor John Gielgud, who suggested the trio design the costumes for a production of “Romeo and Juliet” he planned to direct. Adopting the name Motley, the three went on to design several productions for Gielgud, including 1932’s landmark “Richard of Bordeaux,” “The Merchant of Venice” and “Hamlet.” Harris also worked on Broadway and in Hollywood, designing an American production of “Romeo and Juliet” starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh and working on the sets for the film version of the musical “Oklahoma!” Queen Elizabeth II made Harris a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1975. In 1997, she received a special Olivier award, Britain’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tony.
.2010 ~ Lena Horne passed away at the age of ninety-two. Horne, a prominent player during the civil rights era, became known as the first African-American sex-symbol and actively fought against racial discrimination during her singing and acting career, which lasted over sixty years.