1824 ~ Bedrich Smetana, Bohemian (Czech) composer who pioneered the development of a musical style that became closely identified with his people’s aspirations to a cultural and political “revival.” He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast (“My Fatherland”), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer’s native Bohemia. It contains the famous symphonic poem “Vltava”, also popularly known by its German name “Die Moldau” (in English, “The Moldau”).
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. 1900 ~ Kurt Weill, German-born American composer of operas and other music
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. 1905 ~ Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) born
. 1905 ~ Marc Blitzstein, American composer
. 1917 ~ Desi Arnaz (Desiderio Alberto Arnez y De Acha III), Bandleader, singer, actor, married to Lucille Ball, co-owner of Desilu Productions, introduced 3-camera sitcom technique
. 1921 ~ Robert Simpson, English composer and long-serving BBC producer and broadcaster
. 1923 ~ (Arthel Lane) Doc Watson, Grammy Award-winning singer, flat-picking guitarist
. 1934 ~ Doug Watkins, Jazz musician, bass with these groups: Pepper-Knepper Quintet, Hank Mobley Quartet, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers
. 1938 ~ Ben Harney, American composer and pianist died (b. 1871)
. 1942 ~ Lou Reed (Lewis Alan Reed), Singer, songwriter, guitarist with Velvet Underground
. 1949 ~ Eddie Money (Mahoney), Singer
. 1950 ~ Karen Carpenter, Drummer, singer with Grammy Award-winning group, The Carpenters. Their hits included “(They Long to Be) Close to You”, Top Of The World and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
. 1955 ~ Jay Osmond, Singer with The Osmond Brothers
. 1956 ~ John Cowsill, Singer with The Cowsills
. 1956 ~ Mark Evans, Bass with AC/DC
. 1962 ~ Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi), American rock singer, songwriter. Best known as a musician, songwriter and actor and the lead singer and founder of band Bon Jovi. He has great commercial success including multiple number 1’s in the US and around the world and collected a number of awards including Academy Award, American Music Award, Golden Globe and a Grammy. His hits include “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There for You”. Bon Jovi has sold more than 120 million records worldwide. He has appeared in multiple movies and was cast as a plumber who was the boyfriend in the TV Series Ally McBeal.
. 1963 ~ Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and singer, Patsy Cline, killed in a plane crash
. 1974 ~ Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, Innervisions and his hit songs, You Are The Sunshine of My Life and Superstition.
. 1985 ~ Country singer Gary Morris hit #1 on the country charts for the first time with Baby Bye Bye, from his album, Faded Blue.
. 2003 ~ Hank Ballard, 75, the singer and songwriter whose hit The Twist ushered in a nationwide dance craze in the 1960s, died. He wrote and recorded The Twist in 1958, but it was released only on the B-side of a record. In 1959, Chubby Checker debuted his own version of the song on Dick Clark’s Philadelphia television show. It soon topped the charts and launched a dance craze that prompted the creation of other Twist songs, including Twist and Shout by the Isley Brothers and Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke. Mr. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Mr. Ballard was discovered in the early 1950s by writer-producer Johnny Otis. He was lead singer for the Royals, which changed its name to the Midnighters. Mr. Ballard, who was born John H. Kendricks in Detroit, grew up singing in church in Bessemer, Ala. At 15, he returned to Detroit and set out to form a doo-wop group while working on a Ford Motor Co. assembly line.
. 2018 ~ Van McLain [McElvain], American rock guitarist (Shooting Star), died at the age of 62 from West Nile virus