August 22 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS   1862 ~ Claude Debussy, French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, though he himself disliked the term when applied to his compositions.
More information about Debussy

• 1906 ~ The Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey began to manufacture the Victrola (record player). The hand-cranked unit, with horn cabinet, sold for $200. Records sold separately.

• 1917 ~ John Lee Hooker, American blues guitarist and singer, born in Clarksdale, Miss. He began his career in Detroit in 1948 with the release of Boogie Chillun, the biggest of his several hit records and a staple of both the blues and rock repertoires. He toured continually, and among “deep blues” artists, enjoyed an unusually successful career, appearing in concerts and on recordings with many of the leading figures in rock. He was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

OCMS  1928 ~ Karlheinz Stockhausen, German composer
More information about Stockhausen
Read quotes by and about Stockhausen

• 1926 ~ Bob Flanigan, Singer with The Four Freshmen

• 1932 ~ The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) began its first experimental TV broadcast in England.

• 1938 ~ Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers appeared, dancing, on the cover of LIFE magazine, published on this day.

• 1938 ~ Count Basie recorded the classic swing tune, Jumpin’ at the Woodside, for Decca Records.

• 1942 ~ Joe Chambers, Musician: guitar, singer with The Chambers Brothers

• 1950 ~ Sam Neely, Singer

• 1960 ~ Debbi Peterson, Drummer, singer with Bangles

• 1961 ~ Roland Orzabal, Singer, guitarist

• 2002 ~ Frederick Selch, an advertising executive and magazine publisher who collected hundreds of antique musical instruments, died at the age of 72.
Selch began collecting almost 50 years ago and owned more than 300 musical instruments by 1977.
In that year, he founded the Federal Music Society, an organization dedicated to performing music from the Colonial-Federal period. The group’s 26 players used instruments in Selch’s collection to perform in more than 70 concerts.
Selch was also the owner, editor and publisher of Ovation, a monthly magazine about classical music, from 1983 to 1989. He produced the Broadway musical “Play Me a  Country Song” in 1982, and in the past 10 years was involved in a series of American  Music Festivals at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Selch, who received a master’s degree in radio-television production from Syracuse University, worked at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency from 1955 to 1974.
He is to be awarded a posthumous doctorate from the American Studies program at New York University.

• 2002 ~ Richard Lippold, a sculptor whose abstract works are featured at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and at Harvard University, died. He was 87. Lippold created giant metal abstractions, many of which are suspended by wires so  they appear to be hovering or moving through space.
His piece World Tree, a 27-foot structure of straight and circular metal tubes that resembles a radio antenna, stands on the Harvard University campus.
He is also known for Ad Astra, a double spire that rises 115 feet in front of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and Orpheous and Apollo, a constellation of bronze bars connected by wires in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.
Lippold studied industrial design, piano and dance at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. He worked as a freelance industrial designer for several years before teaching art at the University of Michigan.
He later taught at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., and Hunter College in New York.

August 21 ~ This Day in Music History

Here in Fairfax, the Eclipse will be about 81 percent of the sun covered.

  • The City of Fairfax will have a viewing party at Old Town Hall (3999 University Drive Fairfax). The event runs from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. featuring family-friendly activities like stories, crafts, music, and more while the eclipse becomes visible.

You can also use this interactive Google map to find the spot of the longest eclipse. And an interactive map with additional events throughout the U.S. is found here.

 

• 1904 ~ (William Allen) Count Basie, Bandleader, pianist
More information about Count Basie

• 1928 ~ Art Farmer, Trumpeter, flugelhorn, worked with Horace Henderson, Johnny Otis, Lionel Hampton Band; recorded be-bop classic Farmer’s Market; developed musical instrument called ‘flumpet’

OCMS   1933 ~ Dame Janet Baker, British mezzo-soprano Read quotes by and about Baker
More information about Baker

• 1938 ~ Kenny (Kenneth Donald) Rogers, Grammy and CMA Award-winning singer; groups: The Kirby Stone Four, The New Christy Minstrels, The First Edition

• 1938 ~ A classic recording was made this day when Fats Waller performed Ain’t Misbehavin.

• 1939 ~ Harold Reid, Singer with The Statler Brothers

• 1944 ~ Jackie DeShannon (Sharon Myers), Singer, songwriter

• 1947 ~ Carl Giammarese, Guitarist with The Buckinghams

• 1952 ~ Joe Strummer (John Mellors), Guitarist and singer
More information about Joe Strummer (John Mellors)

• 1957 ~ Kim Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge

• 1976 ~ RCA Victor Records announced that sales of Elvis Presley records had passed the 400 million mark.

• 1980 ~ Linda Ronstadt debuted on Broadway in the production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s, The Pirates of Penzance.

How Big are *Your* Hands?

pianist-hands

Redditor NeokratosRed  had an idea: depict the hands of great composers and pianists, according to the characteristics of their music. He shared it on the social media site, and also punted for suggestions of more. It has since received over 300,000 images views, and lots of further suggestions from fellow Redditors and piano geeks.

Whisks for Chopin’s elegant pianistic souffles, feather dusters for the gentle impressionism of Debussy, instruments of trade for the composer of the thunderous Hammerklavier sonata.

Piano, and the internet – top marks to the both of you.

via This infographic of composers’ hands is painfully (and hilariously) accurate | Classic FM.

August 20 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1561 ~ Jacopo Peri, Italian composer
More information about Peri

• 1882 ~ Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” first performed in Moscow.

• 1885 ~ The Mikado, by Gilbert and Sullivan, opened at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City.

• 1905 ~ Weldon Leo ‘Jack’ Teagarden, Jazz musician, trombonist and singer whose relaxed, melodic instrumental style was highly influential
More information about Teagarden

• 1923 ~ Jim (James Travis) Reeves

• 1926 ~ Frank Rosolino, Musician: trombone, played with Stan Kenton, Harold Land, Bob Cooper, Clarke-Boland Big Band

• 1927 ~ Joya Sherrill, Singer

• 1931 ~ Frank Capp, Musician, drummer with the big jazz band, Capp-Pierce Juggernaut

• 1935 ~ Justin Tubb, Singer, Ernest Tubb’s son

• 1939 ~ Orrin Tucker’s orchestra recorded Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny, Oh!, on Columbia Records.

• 1942 ~ Issac Hayes, Grammy and Academy Award-winning American rhythm-and-blues singer, songwriter and arranger

• 1947 ~ Jim Pankow, Trombonist, songwriter with Chicago

• 1948 ~ Robert Plant, British rock singer with Honeydrippers and composer

• 1951 ~ Phyl Lynott, Musician: bass, singer with Thin Lizzy

• 1952 ~ Doug Fieger, Musician, guitar, singer with The Knack

• 1952 ~ Rudy Gatlin, Singer with The Gatlin Brothers

• 1969 ~ Andy Williams received a gold record for the album Happy Heart on Columbia   Records.

• 1977 ~ Best of My Love, by the Emotions, topped the pop charts. It had a number one run of four weeks.

• 2001 ~ Frank C. “Papa” Mangione, father of jazz musicians Chuck and Gap Mangione, died  at age 91.
Mangione worked at Eastman Kodak Co., ran a grocery store for about two decades and returned to the photography company until his retirement in 1975. For the next 15 years, he sold music and merchandise on worldwide tours with his more famous son, Chuck, a flugelhorn ace.
A son of Italian immigrants, Mangione’s childhood was chronicled by his brother, Jerry, in a best-selling 1942 memoir called “Mount Allegro: A Memoir of Italian American Life.”
Three of Chuck Mangione’s songs, 60 Miles Young, 70 Miles Young and Papa Mangione, were dedicated to his father.

August 19 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1881 ~ Georges Enesco, Rumanian composer, violinist and conductor

• 1918 ~ Sgt. Irving Berlin’s musical about army life in World War I opened at the Century Theatre in New York City. Yip Yip Yaphank included songs, such as Mandy and Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.

• 1939 ~ Ginger (Peter) Baker, Trumpeter, drummer with Cream

• 1939 ~ The Dick Jurgens Orchestra recorded Day Dreams Come True at Night on Okeh Records. Eddy Howard was the vocalist on the piece. It became Jurgens’ theme song.

• 1940 ~ Johnny Nash, American pop-reggae singer, songwriter and guitarist

• 1943 ~ Billy J. Kramer (William Ashton), Singer with The Dakotas

• 1945 ~ Ian Gillan, Singer with Deep Purple

• 1947 ~ Gerard Schwarz, American trumpeter and conductor

• 1951 ~ John Deacon, Bass with Queen, score of Flash Gordon

• 1964 ~ The Beatles began their first North American concert tour. They would visit 26 cities.

• 1972 ~ NBC-TV presented The Midnight Special for the first time. John Denver was the host for the first show. Wolfman Jack was the show’s announcer. The Midnight Special proved to be a ratings success.

• 1991 ~ Richard Maltby passed away. He was an American musician, conductor, arranger and bandleader.

• 2001 ~ Singer Betty Everett, whose recording of The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) made Billboard’s Top 10 in 1964, died Sunday. She was 61.

Everett is remembered primarily for one huge hit song in the 1960s, but she also recorded many other songs and was recognized as one of the top soul singers of her time.

Starting at age 9, Everett played the piano and sang in church. She continued to sing in gospel choirs before moving to Chicago in 1957, where she recorded a string of hits on local record labels such as C.J. Cobra and OneDerful that included I’ll Be There and I’ve Got a Claim On You.

Everett signed a contract in the early 1960s with VeeJay, a record label that was then issuing recordings by The Beatles.
Everett recorded The Shoop Shoop Song in the spring of 1964, and it soared to Billboard’s Top 10.

The song was later recorded by Cher in the soundtrack for the 1990 movie Mermaids and more recently by Vonda Shepard of the Fox television show Ally McBeal.

All About Clefs

 

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.

 

 

August 18 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1750 ~ Antonio Salieri, Italian composer and conductor
More information about Salieri

• 1873 ~ Leo Slezak, Austrian tenor

• 1907 ~ Howard Swanson, American composer

• 1937 ~ The first FM radio construction permit was issued. It went to W1X0J (later to become WGTR) in Boston, MA. The station went on the air two years later.

• 1939 ~ Johnny Preston, Singer

• 1944 ~ Carl Wayne, Singer with The Move

• 1949 ~ Ralph Flanagan and his orchestra recorded their first tune on wax, You’reBreaking My Heart.

• 1950 ~ Dennis Elliott, Drummer with Foreigner

• 1957 ~ Ron Strykert, Guitarist with Men at Work

• 1958 ~ Perez Prado, the ‘Mambo King’, received one of the first gold records awarded by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA). The single, Patricia, was certified as having sold over one million copies.

• 1973 ~ Jazz drummer Gene Krupa played for the final time with members of the original Benny Goodman Quartet. Krupa, a jazz and big band legend, died on October 6, 1973.

• 1981 ~ Robert Russell Bennett passed away

• 1981 ~ Rex Harrison brought the award-winning My Fair Lady back to Broadway as he recreated the role of Henry Higgins. The play had originally opened in 1956.

• 2001 ~ Jack Elliott, a composer and conductor who worked on numerous hit television shows and movies, died of a brain tumor. He was 74.
Elliott came to Los Angeles in the early 1960s to work as a musical arranger on Judy Garland’s television show.
He gained a reputation as one of the top composers and arrangers in Hollywood. If a television show was popular in the 1970s, it most likely had the music of Elliott and his frequent collaborator Allyn Ferguson. They worked on such shows as: “Police Story,” “Barney Miller,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “The Love Boat.”
He also worked in films and teamed with director Carl Reiner on several projects, including: “The Comic,” “The Jerk” and “Oh God.”
Elliott served as music director for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, writing the music for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as conducting the orchestra.

• 2003 ~ Tony Jackson, bass player for The Searchers, a Liverpool band best known for the 1964 song “Needles and Pins,” died at the age of 63.
Jackson sang and played bass for The Searchers, a Liverpool band that briefly rivaled The Beatles for popularity in the early 1960s. “Needles and Pins” made the top 20 in the United States after it was released in 1964.
Jackson was lead singer on the band’s first two British hits, “Sweets for My Sweet” and “Sugar and Spice,” but played bass only on the enduring “Needles and Pins” and “Don’t Throw Your Love Away.”
Feeling sidelined, Jackson quit the group in 1964. His follow-up band, Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, failed to score a hit and he drifted out of the music business.