April 1 in Music History

 

And by a weird calendar this year…

 

It’s also April Fool’s Day

OCMS. 1866 ~ Ferruccio Busoni, Italian pianist and composer
Read quotes by and about Busoni
More information about Busoni

OCMS 1873 ~ Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian-born American composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Rachmaninoff
More information about Rachmaninoff

. 1895 ~ Alberta Hunter, American blues singer

. 1909 ~ Eddie Duchin, Bandleader

. 1917 ~ Scott Joplin, U.S. jazz musician famous for his ragtime pieces notably The Entertainer, died.

. 1932 ~ Jane Powell, Singer

. 1932 ~ Debbie Reynolds, Entertainer

. 1984 ~ Marvin (Pentz) Gaye, Jr. passed away.

. 1985 ~ The long-awaited album, We Are the World, was finally released. Eight rock stars donated previously unreleased material for the LP. Three million copies of the award-winning single of the same name had already been sold. The song, We Are the World, was number five, and moving up, on the Billboard magazine pop single’s chart this day.

. 1991 ~ Martha Graham passed away.  She was an American modern dancer and choreographer.

. 2001 ~ Eva Heinitz, who fled Nazi Germany in the prime of her career as a cello performer and was one of the first professional viola da gamba players in modern times, died at the age of 94. Heinitz, a native of Berlin, soared to prominence as a brilliant, temperamental soloist with the greatest orchestras of Europe in her 20s. Initially instructed on the cello, Heinitz taught herself to play the smaller instrument and performed the Bach Passions under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwangler and Otto Klemperer, who called her the world’s best viola da gamba player. Heinitz, who once described herself as “51 percent” Jewish, fled Germany in 1933. She lived in Paris and London, moved to New York in 1939 and was hired by Fritz Reiner as a section cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. She came to Seattle in 1948 and was hired as faculty cellist at the University of Washington. During her 28-year tenure, she became one of the founders of the early-music revival, which brought a renewed interest in music and instruments of the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1991, her international colleagues gathered in Indiana and accorded her the title “Grande Dame du Violoncelle” – great lady of the cello.

. 2001 ~ Trinh Cong Son, Vietnam’s most beloved singer-songwriter who opposed the Vietnam War and sought postwar reconciliation, died after a long battle with diabetes at the age of 62. Dubbed the “Bob Dylan of Vietnam” by American folk singer Joan Baez for his anti-war songs, his music is still widely performed in Vietnam and in overseas Vietnamese communities. Son, who was persecuted by the South Vietnamese government in the late 1960s and early ’70s, wrote more than 600 songs. His pacifist songs about the futility of war were banned at the time, but bootleg copies circulated throughout South Vietnam and overseas. When the war ended, most of Son’s family fled overseas but he stayed. He was equally unpopular with the new Communist government for his songs about reconciliation and spent 10 years in forced labor “re-education camps.” But by the late ’80s, he regained popularity, and his songs are still performed by some of Vietnam’s biggest pop artists.

. 2001 ~ Theodore M. “Ted” McCarty, a key figure in the development of the electric guitar and former president of Gibson Guitar Co., died at the age of 91. In his 18 years as president at Gibson, McCarty transformed the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based maker of acoustic musical instruments into the purveyor of guitars to the stars. The solid-body electric guitar was considered something of a gimmick when McCarty left the Wurlitzer Co. to join Gibson in 1948. He had a degree in commercial engineering and had been an engineering designer for the military during World War II. Despite not being musically inclined, McCarty saw possibilities in the electric guitar. At Gibson, he helped bring to life the Les Paul series, named for the blues guitarist who endorsed it, the Explorer series, widely used by both rock and country guitarists, and the radical Flying V. McCarty later bought the Bigsby Co., which manufactures vibratos for guitars. He sold the company and retired in 1999.

. 2015 ~ Cynthia Lennon, the late John Lennon’s wife from 1962-1968, has died at age 75.

Hot Cross Buns

 

It’s the beginning of Lent so…

It’s time for Hot Cross Buns. “Hot Cross Buns” is an English language nursery rhyme, Easter song, and street cry referring to the spiced English bun known as a hot cross bun, which is associated with the end of Lent and is eaten on Good Friday in various countries.

This is from Keyboard Kickoff:


From last year, on another of my blogs:

 

My husband came home from the grocery store last night with Hot Cross Buns.  I was surprised because they had never had them before Ash Wednesday in past years.  I almost refused to eat them because they were “seasonally incorrect”.  Of course, I did try one to be sure that they weren’t mislabeled or anything…

I’d never even heard of HCB before college.  My freshman year in the dining commons at UMass Amherst changed all that.  Huge pans of actually hot, cross buns.  We actually even put butter on them, too.  No wonder the “Freshman 15” was a problem.

I’ve made a fairly exhaustive study of the local grocery stores’ versions and the one from  Giant come out on top.  Surprisingly, Wegmans isn’t the winner in this case.

Looking for a video on the history of HCB, I came across one for making these at home.

Maybe that wouldn’t be a good thing!

 

A bit of HCB trivia: English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow moldy during the subsequent year.

Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover.

If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck.

If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

 

Turns out there’s also a “Not Cross Bun” which is a variation on the hot cross bun. It uses the same ingredients but instead of having a “cross” on top, it is has a smiley face in reference to it being “not cross” or “angry”.

The not cross bun was first sold commercially in 2014 by an Australian bakery in response to supermarkets selling hot cross buns as early as Boxing Day (December 26)

 

April 16 ~ This Day in Music History

 

. 1919 ~ Merce Cunningham, Dancer, choreographer

. 1923 ~ Bennie Green, Trombonist, lyricist

OCMS 1924 ~ Henry Mancini, American arranger, composer, conductor and pianist
More information about Mancini

. 1929 ~ Roy Hamilton, Singer

. 1930 ~ Herbie Mann, American jazz flutist

. 1935 ~ Bobby Vinton (Stanley Vintulla), Singer

. 1939 ~ Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien), Singer, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999

. 1944 ~ Dennis Russell Davies, American conductor

. 1947 ~ Gerry Rafferty, Singer, songwriter

. 1949 ~ Bill Spooner, Musician, guitarist with The Tubes

. 1963 ~ Jimmy Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds, he is the youngest Osmond

. 1973 ~ Former Beatle, Paul McCartney, leading the group, Wings, starred in his first TV special titled, James Paul McCartney. The show featured the new group, including Paul’s wife, Linda on keyboards and backing vocals.

. 2001 ~ Walter Stanton, who invented an easily replaceable phonograph stylus that helped create a consumer market for audio equipment, died at the age of 86. Stanton invented the slide-in stylus in the 1940s. The design enabled users to replace a needle assembly by themselves instead of having to send it back to the factory when it wore out. The invention became one of the basics in phonograph cartridge design. He also prodded major manufacturers to arrive at a standard mounting system for cartridges and the type of recording on records, that enabled record players and styluses to be sold separately. He also helped found the Institute of High Fidelity, whose annual trade shows in New York attracted thousands of gadget lovers.

 

Happy Easter! Hallelujah Chorus

 

hallelujah

 

Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Hallelujah Chorus

Part II of the Messiah covers the Passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the later spreading of the Gospel, concluded by the “Hallelujah Chorus”.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the classical and beloved Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

And also on Nov.13 2010 unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 participants in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob.

Today is Easter Sunday and churches around the world will be singing the hallelujah Chorus, including Pender United Methodist in Fairfax.  MrsO will be singing in 3 services there – please join us!

Piano Maestro – New Easter Song

pm-easter

 

 

There’s an “egg-citing” new song release in Piano Maestro so students can play more Easter themed songs!

“This Is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham has just been added! It can be found in the Holiday (Easter) category in the Library in three different versions – easy, melody line and a nice 2 hand version!

Enjoy!