August 16: Today in Music History

today

• 1795 ~ Heinrich Marschner, German opera composer

• 1863 ~ Gabriel Pierné, French composer, conductor and organist

• 1929 ~ Bill Evans, American jazz pianist and composer

• 1932 ~ Eydie Gorme (Edith Gormezano), Grammy Award-winning singer, married since 1957 to Steve Lawrence.

• 1938 ~ Robert Johnson passed away

• 1939 ~ The famous vaudeville house, Hippodrome, in New York City, was used for the last time. There were several places called the Hippodrome around the country. They weren’t, generally, theatres, nor true nightclubs. Hippodromes were designed for the wide variety of vaudeville acts available at the time … dancing, music, comedy and skits.

• 1940 ~ Marching Along Together, by Frankie Masters and his orchestra, was recorded for Okeh Records.

• 1942 ~ Barbara George, Singer

• 1945 ~ Suzanne Farrell (Ficker), Ballerina

• 1953 ~ James ‘J.T.’ Taylor, Singer with Kool and The Gang

• 1958 ~ Madonna (Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone), Singer

• 1962 ~ Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles, handed drummer Pete Best his walking papers. Best had been with the group for 2-1/2 years. Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) was picked to take his place. One month later, the group recorded, Love Me Do.

• 1977 ~ Elvis Presley was rushed from Graceland to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Doctors’ efforts to revive him were fruitless and he was pronounced dead (coronary arrhythmia) at 3:30 p.m. He was 42 years old.

• 1984 ~ Prince was pictured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. He was shown with his left armpit exposed.

• 1984 ~ Though it didn’t make the pop music charts, a new single by Elvis Presley was released by RCA Victor Records. The song was originally recorded in 1956 at the Tupelo (MS) Fairgrounds. It was called, Baby, Let’s Play House.

• 2000 ~ Sally Amato, who founded the Amato Opera Theater with her husband, Anthony Amato, in 1948, died at the age of 82.
Amato, who performed under her maiden name, Serafina Bellantone, was born in Little Italy in 1917. As a child she appeared in vaudeville skits in local movie theaters.
She met her husband when they were both appearing in an operetta at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and they founded the Amato Opera Theater to provide young singers with a chance to perform.

• 2000 ~ Alan Caddy, English musician (The Tornados) died

• 2007 ~ Max Roach, American percussionist, drummer, and composer died

• 2018 ~ Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

 

 

Treblemaker!

 

When my students are first working with the Grand Staff, they are often confused about the placement of the various clefs.

In piano music, we generally use only the G-clef (Treble clef – not “trouble clef” as some think!) and the F-clef (Bass clef)  I try to show students how the curvy part of the G-clef wraps around the G above middle C and the F-clef looks sort of like an F marking the F below middle C.  I draw out G and F on the staff to show how these could have looked.

Originally, instead of a special clef symbol, the reference line of the staff was simply labeled with the name of the note it was intended to bear: F and C and, more rarely, G. These were the most often-used ‘clefs’ in Gregorian chant notation.  Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions.

Over time the shapes of these letters became stylized, leading to their current versions.