1778 ~ Augustus Toplady, English hymn-writer who wrote Rock of Ages, died.
• 1868 ~ Leone Sinigaglia, Italian composer
• 1888 ~ An audio recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”, one of the first recordings of music ever made, is played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison’s phonograph in London, England.
• 1926 ~ Buddy (Armando) Greco, Singer and pianist
• 1937 ~ Brian Fennelly, American composer, pianist and conductor
• 1940 ~ Dash Crofts, Drums, mandolin and keyboard with Champs; singer is a duo with Seals and Crofts
• 1941 ~ David Crosby (Van Cortland), American rock singer, guitarist and songwriter. Performed with The Byrds as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
• 1941 ~ Connie Smith (Meadows), Singer
• 1946 ~ Larry Graham, Bassist and singer with Sly and the Family Stone as well as Graham Central Station
• 1971 ~ Elton John put the finishing touches to his Madman Across the Water LP at Trident Studios, London. Since the album’s release on Feb 2, 1972, it has sold over two million copies in the U.S. alone.
• 1981 ~ The BBC recording of the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana reached number one on the album charts in Britain.
• 1985 ~ Michael Jackson took control of the Beatles’ publishing rights. It was during their collaboration on 1983’s “Say Say Say” that former Beatle Paul McCartney is said to have advised King of Pop Michael Jackson to invest some of his enormous wealth in music publishing. It was sound financial advice that McCartney may have come to regret giving on August 14, 1985, when Michael Jackson purchased the publishing rights to the vast majority of the Beatles’ catalog for $47 million, outbidding McCartney himself.
• 2000 ~ Leonard Kwan, a master of slack key guitar whose composition Opihi Moemoe is considered a classic of the genre, died at the age of 69. Kwan began recording in 1957 and most recently recorded two albums for George Winston’s Dancing Cat Records. The second was released in September.
Kwan also was the first slack key guitarist to publicly share his instrument tunings in an instruction book.
Hawaiian slack key, or ki ho`alu, is a unique musical style dating to the 1830s, when Spanish and Mexican cowboys arrived in the islands. Some of the guitar strings are slacked from the standard tuning and songs are played in a finger-picking style, with the thumb playing bass. In 1960, he recorded, Slack Key, the world’s first all-instrumental slack key album.
• 2001 ~ Nicholas Orloff, a dancer and ballet teacher, died at the age of 86.
Orloff was known for his performance of the Drummer, a character he originated in David Lichine’s 1940 “Graduation Ball.”
He was a popular teacher with the Ballet Theater and other schools. He continued to teach in Manhattan schools even after suffering from a stroke three years ago.
Orloff appeared in the 1950 French film “Dream Ballerina” and on Broadway in the musical “Pipe Dream.”
He also was the ballet master of the Denver Civic Ballet in the mid- 1970s.
Born in Moscow, Orloff trained in Paris. He performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the Original Ballet Russe, Ballet Theater, as the American Ballet Theater was known, and the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Ceuvas.
• 2001 ~ Daniel Adrian Carlin, an Emmy-winning music editor who worked with soundtrack composers Lalo Schifrin and Ennio Morricone, died of complications from lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. He was 73.
Carlin edited the music for “Scorpio,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” “Ghost,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Dead Poets Society” and “Cliffhanger.” He won a music-editing Emmy in 1987 for his work on the miniseries “Unnatural Causes.”
He was founder in 1972 of La Da Music. Now known as Segue Music, it is considered the leading film and television editing company.