. 1867 ~ Charles Gounod’s opera “Romeo et Juliette” was first performed, in Paris.
. 1894 ~ Nicholas Slonimsky, Russian-born American musicologist, musical lexicographer and composer
. 1871 ~ Sigismond Thalberg died. He was a composer and one of the most famous virtuoso pianists of the 19th century.
. 1915 ~ Alexander Scriabin, Russian composer (Prometheus) and pianist, died at the age of 43
. 1931 ~ Igor Oistrakh, Violinist
. 1932 ~ Maxine (Ella) Brown, Singer
. 1933 ~ Calvin Newborn, Jazz/blues guitarist, brother of piano wizard Phineas Newborn Jr.
. 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded I Hadn’t Anyone ’til You for Victor Records. Jack Leonard was featured as vocalist.
. 1941 ~ Judith Blegan, American soprano
. 1944 ~ Cuba Gooding, Singer
. 1947 ~ Pete Ham, Musician, guitar, piano, singer
. 1948 ~ Kate Pierson, Musician, organ, singer with the B-52s
. 1954 ~ The Movie White Christmas featuring the songs of Irving Berlin, including the Title Song White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, opens at Radio City Music Hall. The original song “White Christmas” was originally heard for the first time in the 1942 film Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
. 1959 ~ Sheena Easton, Singer
. 1959 ~ Lloyd Price’s song, Personality, was released. Price had 10 songs that made it on the nation’s pop music charts in the 1950s through early 1960s.
. 1959 ~ Louis Lortie, French Canadian concert pianist
. 1970 ~ Mariah Carey, Singer
. 1976 ~ Maxine Nightingale received a gold record for the single, Right Back Where We Started From. Nightingale was in the productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and Savages in the early ’70s. Right Back Where We Started From was a number two hit for two weeks in 1976.
. 1981 ~ Former Beatle Ringo Starr married Barbara Bach at the Marylebone Registry Office in London. Paul McCartney and wife Linda, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson were in attendance.
. 1999 ~ Jazz trumpet great Al Hirt died
. 2002 ~ Classical violinist Guila Bustabo died at the age of 86. Bustabo, born in Manitowoc, Wis., in 1916, toured Europe and Asia, performing under such conductors as Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwangler. Bustabo studied at the Juilliard School in New York before moving to Paris. During her career, she recorded concertos by Beethoven and Bruch with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Bustabo was arrested in Paris after World War II, accused of being a Nazi sympathizer because she played under conductor Willem Mengelberg. Mengelberg had been affiliated with musical associations sanctioned by the Nazi Party. The accusation against Bustabo was eventually dropped.
. 2007 ~ Mstislav Rostropovich, Russian cellist and conductor died