July 4 ~ This Day in Music History

Happy Fourth!

On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. This declaration announced to the world that the 13 colonies would no longer be held by British rule. Today Americans celebrate by the flying of a flag, cooking at home (usually a cookout, also known as a barbecue), and watching a brilliant fireworks display.

• 1826 ~ Stephen Foster, American composer of songs
More information about Foster

• 1832 ~ It was on this day that America was sung in public for the first time — at the Park Street Church in Boston, MA. Dr. Samuel Francis Smith wrote the words, borrowing the tune from a German songbook. Ironically, and unknown to Dr. Smith at the time, the melody is the same as the British national anthem.

• 1895 ~ America the Beautiful, the famous song often touted as the true U.S. national anthem, was originally a poem written by Katherine Lee Bates. The Wellesley College professor’s poem was first published this day in the Congregationalist, a church newspaper.

• 1898 ~ Michael Aaron, Piano Educator

• 1900 ~ Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, American jazz trumpeter, singer and bandleader Read quotes by and about Armstrong
More information about Armstrong

• 1909 ~ Alec Templeton, Pianist

• 1911 ~ Mitch Miller, American conductor, oboist, record company executive, producer, arranger for the Sing Along with Mitch LPs and TV show

• 1937 ~ Ray Pillow, Singer

• 1938 ~ Bill Withers, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer

• 1942 ~ The Irving Berlin musical, This is the Army, opened at New York’s Broadway Theatre. Net profits of the show were $780,000.

• 1943 ~ Al ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson, Musician, guitarist, harmonica, singer with Canned Heat

• 1943 ~ The Rhythm Boys, Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Harry Barris, were reunited for the first time since the 1930s on Paul Whiteman Presents on NBC radio.

• 1948 ~ Jeremy Spencer, Musician, guitarist with Fleetwood Mac

• 1955 ~ John Waite, Singer

• 1958 ~ Kirk Pengily, Rock Musician

• 1985 ~ A crowd, estimated at one million, gathered in Philadelphia to celebrate the 209th anniversary of America’s independence. The Beach Boys were joined by Mr. T. on drums to really add some fireworks to the festivities. The Oak Ridge Boys, Joan Jett and Jimmy Page joined in the celebration.

• 1999 ~ Ronny Graham passed away

• 2001 ~ Maceo Anderson, a tap dancer and founding member of the Four Step Brothers, died in Los Angeles at the age of 90. The group tap danced all over the world, performing for the queen of England and the emperor of Japan. The Four Step Brothers also performed at Radio City Music Hall. The group started as a trio. In the mid-1920s, the group performed at the Cotton Club with Duke Ellington, who wrote The Mystery Song for them. Anderson began dancing as a child in the South. When he was six, he and his mother moved to a basement apartment in Harlem. He taught tap dance at his own school in Las Vegas and across the country until 1999.

 

 

Happy Fourth!

july4-eisenhower

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”, “America the Beautiful”, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”, “This Land Is Your Land”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and, regionally, “Yankee Doodle” in northeastern states and “Dixie” in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

A bit of audio for your listening pleasure, as played by Vladimir Horowitz…

May 29 ~ This Day in Music History

memorial-day

• 1680 ~ Abraham Megerle, Composer, died at the age of 73

• 1680 ~ Luca Fumagalli (1837) Composer

• 1730 ~ William Jackson, Composer

• 1731 ~ Orazio Mei, Composer

• 1741 ~ Johann Gottfried Krebs, Composer

• 1750 ~ Giuseppe Porsile, Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1753 ~ Joseph Haydn’s “Krumme Teufel,” premiered

• 1791 ~ Pietro Romani, Composer

• 1833 ~ William Marshall, Composer, died at the age of 84

• 1860 ~ Isaac Albéniz, Spanish composer
More information about Albéniz

• 1843 ~ Emile Pessard, Composer

• 1862 ~ Franciszek Wincenty Mirecki, Composer, died at the age of 71

• 1881 ~ Frederik Septimus Kelly, Composer

• 1883 ~ William Beatton Moonie, Composer

• 1889 ~ August Strindberg’s “Hemsoborna,” premiered in Copenhagen

• 1890 ~ Francis de Bourguignon, Composer

• 1897 ~ Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Austrian-born American composer
More information about Korngold

• 1897 ~ Ignace Lilien, Composer

• 1899 ~ Frantz Jehin-Prume, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1903 ~ Bob Hope, Entertainer

• 1905 ~ Fela Sowande, Composer

• 1905 ~ Leon Francis Victor Caron, Composer, died at the age of 55

• 1906 ~ Hans Joachim Schaeuble, Composer

• 1910 ~ Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, Russian Composer, died at the age of 73

• 1911 ~ Sir William Gilbert, English librettist who together with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan collaborated on many operettas, died of a heart attack after rescuing a woman from drowning. He was 74.

• 1911 ~ Carl M Story (1916) Fiddler

• 1912 ~ Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA — for dancing the Turkey Trot while on the job!

• 1919 ~ (Walter) (Wladziu Valentino) Liberace, American concert pianist and showman. His trade mark was a candelabra on his piano.
More information about Liberace

• 1922 ~ Iannis Xenakis, Rumanian-born French theorist and composer
More information on Xenakis

• 1923 ~ Eugene Wright, Jazz musician, bass with Dukes of Swing, played with Brubeck

• 1935 ~ Josef Suk, Czech violinist and composer, died at the age of 61

• 1930 ~ Eleanor Fazan, Opera and show choreographer

• 1937 ~ Peter Kolman, Composer

• 1941 ~ Roy Crewsdon, Guitarist with Freddie and The Dreamers

• 1942 ~ The biggest selling record of all time was recorded. A little out of season, perhaps, but White Christmas, the Irving Berlin classic, was recorded by Bing Crosby for Decca Records. The song was written for the film “Holiday Inn”. More than 30-million copies of Crosby’s most famous hit song have been sold and a total of nearly 70-million copies, including all versions of the standard, have been sold.

• 1943 ~ Hermann Hans Wetzler, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1943 ~ “The Million Dollar Band” was heard for the first time on NBC radio. Charlie Spivak was the first leader of the band that featured Barry Wood as vocalist. The unusual feature of the show was the awarding each week of five diamond rings!

• 1945 ~ Gary Brooker, Keyboard player, singer

• 1948 ~ Linda Esther Gray, opera singer

• 1948 ~ Michael Berkley, Composer and broadcaster

• 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Guitarist

• 1949 ~ Gary Brooker, Rock keyboardist with Procol Harum

• 1950 ~ Rebbie (Maureen) Jackson, Singer, oldest member of the Jackson family

• 1951 ~ Dimitrios Levidis, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1951 ~ Fanny Brice, Ziegfeld Girl (Baby Snooks Show), died at the age of 59

• 1951 ~ Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Composer, died at the age of 91

• 1951 ~ Robert Kahn, Composer, died at the age of 85

• 1951 ~ Danny Elfman (1953) Singer with Oingo Boingo;, composer of soundtracks to Batman, Beetlejuice and The Simpsons

• 1956 ~ LaToya Jackson, Singer

• 1956 ~ Hermann Abendroth, German conductor (Gewandhausorkest), died at the age of 73

• 1956 ~ Arnold Schoenberg’s “Modern Psalm,” premiered

• 1960 ~ Everly Brothers Cathy’s Clown hit #1

• 1961 ~ Melissa Etheridge, Singer

• 1961 ~ Uuno Kalervo Klami, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1961 ~ Ricky Nelson reached the top spot on the “Billboard” singles chart withTravelin’ Man. It was was Nelson’s second chart-topping hit. Poor Little Fool made it to the top in August of 1958.

• 1962 ~ Barbra Streisand appeared on “Garry Moore Show”

• 1967 ~ Geronimo Baqueiro Foster, Composer, died at the age of 69

• 1971 ~ Max Trapp, Composer, died at the age of 83

• 1972 ~ The Osmonds received a gold record for the album, “Phase III”.

• 1975 ~ Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown, Singer

• 1976 ~ One Piece At A Time by Johnny Cash hit #29

• 1977 ~ Goddard Lieberson, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1989 ~ Danielle Riley Keough, grand daughter of Elvis Presley

• 1991 ~ “Les Miserables” opened at ACTEA Theatre, Auckland NZ

• 1992 ~ Peter John “Ollie” Halsall, Guitarist, died of a heart attack at 43

• 1994 ~ Oliver “Bops Junior” Jackson, drummer, died at the age of 61

• 1994 ~ “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” closed at Minskoff Theater NYC after 223 performances

• 1996 ~ James George “Jimmy” Rowles, Jazz pianist, died at the age of 77

• 1997 ~ Jeff Buckley, Musician, drowned at age 30

• 2003 ~ Janet Collins, the first black prima ballerina to appear at the Metropolitan Opera and one of a few black women to become prominent in American classical ballet, died. She was 86. In 1951, Collins performed lead roles in “Aida” and Bizet’s Carmen and danced in “La Gioconda” and “Samson and Delilah” at the Met in New York City. That was four years before Marian Anderson made her historic debut as the first black to sing a principal role at the Met. Collins left the Met in 1954. During the 1950s, she toured with her own dance group throughout the United States and Canada and taught. Collins also danced in films, including the 1943 musical “Stormy Weather” and 1946’s “The Thrill of Brazil.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1974 paid homage to Collins and Pearl Primus as pioneering black women in dance.

Happy Tap Dance Day

tap-dance-day

 

Another of the Who Knew?-type posts. It’s National Tap Dance Day.  When I was a little kid, I took the “required” ballet and tap classes for a year.  My mom has a picture of me in my tutu and one in my majorette costume for the tap recital.  I imagine I only took for the year because those costumes cost extra money.

Later on, I bought tap shoes – still unused – and signed up with a friend for a local adult tap class.  Unfortunately, we were the only ones who signed up for the class and it was cancelled.  It was a major nightmare trying to get our money back.  They wanted to give us a credit for the next time, but that would cost more money which we didn’t want to pay.

But, I digress.

National Tap Dance Day falls on May 25 every year and is a celebration of tap dancing as an American art form. The idea of National Tap Dance Day was first presented to U.S. Congress on February 7, 1989 and was signed into American law by President George H.W. Bush on November 8, 2004. The one-time official observance was on May 25, 1989.

Tap Dance Day is also celebrated in other countries, particularly Japan, Australia, India and Iceland.
National Tap Dance Day was the brainchild of Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval, and Linda Christensen. They deemed May 25 appropriate for this holiday because it is the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a significant contributor to tap dance.

 

 

Even Legos can tap to Puttin’ On The Ritz! A tribute to Fred Astaire, in the classic scene from the 1946 musical, Blue Skies, with the music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. Although originally written for vaudevillian Harry Richman in 1930, the lyrics were readapted along with a brand new dance sequence some 16 years later.

 

 

Here’s the original from Blue Skies, although some has been cut with stills of Fred inserted:

 

 

And another version, with Michael Jackson 🙂

 

 

Just for comparison, the real original 1930 movie footage of Irving Berlin’s world-famous song, sung by Harry Richman, from the film of the same name.

 

 

And something completely different with my old favorites, The Nicholas Brothers from the film Stormy Weather.

 

Today is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day

Piano 8

 

 

Each year on May 22 we observe National Buy a Musical Instrument Day.  The day is all about playing music.  If you are a musician, it might be time for a new instrument.  Maybe you can learn to play a second or third one.  If you have never played an instrument before, National Buy A Musical Instrument Day might be the motivation you need to start.

Naturally, here at the O’Connor Music Studio, a piano, keyboard with weighted keys (and 88 of them!) or organ is recommended but this day is for all types of instruments and is for people of all ages.  Grandpa can play his ukulele while the grandkids play the drums, trombone, and flute. Together they can all make terrific music!

Adapted from http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-buy-a-musical-instrument-day-may-22/

 

May 14 ~ This Day in Music History

mothers-day-38

• 1885 ~ Otto Klemperer, German conductor, In his early career he championed modern works.

• 1916 ~ Skip (Lloyd) Martin, Bandleader, composer, arranger

• 1917 ~ Norman Luboff, Choral leader, The Norman Luboff Choir

• 1925 ~ Patrice Munsel, Soprano, Metropolitan Opera diva at age 17; actress in The Great Waltz, Melba; radio performer: The Great Sopranos – Voices of Firestone Classic Performances; radio host: The Patrice Munsel Show

• 1925 ~ Al Porcino, Jazz musician, trumpet

• 1936 ~ Bobby Darin (Cassotto), Grammy Award-winning singer, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990

• 1937 ~ Duke Ellington and his band recorded the classic, Caravan, for Brunswick Records.

• 1943 ~ Jack Bruce, Musician: bass with the group Cream

• 1943 ~ Derek Leckenby, Guitarist with Herman’s Hermits

• 1944 ~ Troy Shondell, Singer

• 1945 ~ Gene Cornish, Guitarist with The Young Rascals

• 1952 ~ David Byrne, American rock composer, singer, American rock composer, performance artist and movie director

• 1957 ~ The musical, New Girl in Town, opened at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City. Thelma Ritter and Gwen Verdon starred in the Broadway adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie. New Girl in Town had a run of 431 performances.

1959 ~ “President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke ground for Lincoln Center at the site of Avery Fisher Hall, then named Philharmonic Hall. Musicians representing the Lincoln Center constituents participated: Leonard Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic and the Juilliard Chorus (Frederick Prausnitz, director), and Leonard Warren and Risë Stevens (Juilliard Graduate School ’36, voice), both of The Metropolitan Opera, performed excerpts from I Pagliacci and Carmen.” ~Jeni Dahmus, archivist at The Juilliard School

• 1971 ~ The Honey Cone received a gold record for the single, Want Ads. The female soul trio was formed in Los Angeles in 1969 and scored two million-sellers, Want Ads and Stick Up. The trio had a total of four songs on the charts that were moderate hits. Only Want Ads, however, made it to the number one position.

• 1971 ~ Danny Wood, Singer with New Kids on the Block

• 1998 ~ Frank Sinatra, one of the world’s greatest popular singers, died.

• 2001 ~ Loften Mitchell, a Tony Award-nominated playwright and early leader of the black theater movement, died at the age of 82. Mitchell was nominated for a Tony Award in 1976 for his book for the musical “Bubbling Brown Sugar,” a performance of black music and dance. He also wrote “A Land Beyond the River,” “Star of the Morning,” and the books “Voices of the Black Theater” and “Black Drama.” For many years he taught at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

• 2003 ~ Otto Edelmann, whose dark bass-baritone propelled him to some of the world’s most renowned opera stages over a career spanning more than four decades, died. He was 86. Edelmann was often associated with masterful performances as Ochs in “Der Rosenkavalier,” and Hans Sachs in “Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg.” With his powerful voice, Edelmann was a favorite choice for Wagnerian roles. Edelmann trained at the Vienna Music Academy, now the Vienna University for Music and Performing Arts, under coaches including Gunnar Graarud. After a 1937 debut as Figaro in Gera, Germany, he sang in Nuremberg until 1940, when he was drafted into Hitler’s army. Captured by the Soviets, he spent several years as a prisoner of war. Edelmann’s postwar debut at the Vienna State Opera, as the hermit in “Der Freischuetz” in 1947, was the first of a 36-year engagement in the Austrian capital that included 430 performances in 36 different roles. He also was a regular for decades at the Salzburg Festival and other annual music events across Europe. Edelmann later turned increasingly to teaching, and in 1982 was appointed singing professor at the Vienna Music Academy.

•  B.B. King, “the King of the Blues,” whose stinging guitar solos and husky, full-throated vocals made him an international music icon and the most commercially successful performer in blues history, died at the age of 89.