On September 14 ~ in Music History

today

• 1741 ~ George Frederick Handel completed his The Messiah. It took the composer just 23 days to complete the timeless musical treasure which is still very popular during the Christmas holiday season.

• 1888 ~ Michael Haydn (1737) Austrian composer

OCMS 1760 ~ Luigi Cherubini, Italian composer
More information about Cherubini

• 1814 ~ Frances Scott Key, an attorney in Washington, DC, was aboard a warship that was bombarding Fort McHenry (an outpost protecting the city of Baltimore, MD). Key wrote some famous words to express his feelings. Those words became The Star-Spangled Banner, which officially became the U.S. national anthem by an act of Congress in 1931.

• 1910 ~ Lehman Engel, American composer, conductor and writer

• 1927 ~ Gene Austin waxed one of the first million sellers. He recorded his composition, My Blue Heaven, for Victor Records.

• 1941 ~ Priscilla Mitchell, Singer

• 1946 ~ Pete Agnew, Bass, singer with Nazareth

• 1947 ~ Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman, Singer with Sha Na Na

• 1950 ~ Paul Kossoff, Guitarist with Free

• 1954 ~ Barry Cowsill, Singer with The Cowsills

• 1959 ~ Morten Harket, Singer with a-ha

• 1964 ~ Mary Howe, American composer and pianist (Sand), died at the age of 82

• 1973 ~ Donny Osmond received a gold record for his hit single, The Twelfth of Never. The song, released in March of 1973, was one of five which turned gold for the young Osmond. His other solo successes were Sweet & Innocent, Go Away Little Girl, Hey Girl and Puppy Love.

• 1985 ~ The first MTV Video Music Awards were presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Cars won Best Video honors for You Might Think and Michael Jackson won Best Overall Performance and Choreography for his Thriller video.

• 2002 ~ Jazz saxophonist and bandleader Paul Williams, whose 1949 Rhythm and Blues hit, The Huckle-Buck, was covered by Frank Sinatra, died, at the age of 87. Williams scored one of the first big hits of the R&B era in 1949 with The Huckle-Buck, based on Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time.” It was the biggest-selling record in the Savoy label’s 60-year history, topping the R&B charts for 14 weeks, and spawned vocal versions by Sinatra and others. The Huckle-Buck was one of three Top 10 and five Top 20 R&B hits Williams scored for Savoy in 1948 and 1949. Other Top 10 hits were 35-30 in 1948 and Walkin’ Around in 1949. Williams was later part of Atlantic Records’ house band in the ’60s and directed the Lloyd Price and James Brown orchestras until 1964. After leaving the music business temporarily, he opened a booking agency in New York in 1968. Born July 13, 1915, in Birmingham, Alabama, Williams played with Clarence Dorsey in 1946, and then made his recording debut with King Porter in 1947 for Paradise before forming his own band later that year. Saxophonists Noble “Thin Man” Watts and Wild Bill Moore, trumpeter Phil Guilbeau, and vocalists Danny Cobb, Jimmy Brown, Joan Shaw, and Connie Allen were among Williams’ band members.

• 2009 ~ Patrick Swayze, American actor, dancer, and songwriter (Dirty Dancing), died at the age of 57

At What Age Should A Child Begin Music Lessons?

child-piano

These days, there is much pressure for parents to begin their children in activities from an early age.  We know that children tend to pick up new skills easily and we want for them to have an opportunity to become experts at these new skills.  We also see curiosity, desire and eagerness to learn in our children and want to capitalize on that.

Music lessons are no exception.  We often get calls asking the question, “When is the best time to enroll my child in piano lessons?”  The answer to that is a tricky one, and varies for each child.  The right age for one may not be the right age for another.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering enrolling your child in music lessons:

1.   Does my child have an attention span to sit still for chunks of time and listen to instruction?

Many teachers today are very creative in using off-bench activities during lessons and have a plethora of activities to make lessons fun and engaging.  However, the fact remains that your child will need to sit at the piano for some periods of time during the lesson.  It is important that your child have the attention span to do this.

Read more at  How do we know if children are ready to begin music lessons? « Piano Pedagogy @ The New School for Music Study.

On September 13 ~ in Music History

today

OCMS 1819 ~ Clara Wieck Schumann, German pianist and composer
More information about Schumann

OCMS 1874 ~ Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian-born American composer
Read quotes by and about Schoenberg
More information on Schoenberg

• 1894 ~ Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer, died
More information on Chabrier

• 1911 ~ Bill Monroe, ‘Father of Bluegrass Music’, Country Music Hall of Fame, singer with The Bluegrass Band, songwriter

• 1916 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes, Singer

• 1917 ~ Robert Ward, American composer

• 1925 ~ Mel Torme,‘The Velvet Fog’, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of  The Christmas Song

• 1931 ~ Vaudeville star Eddie Cantor was heard for the first time – on NBC radio.
The Chase and Sanborn Hour became one of the most popular radio shows of the 1930s.

• 1941 ~ David Clayton-Thomas, Singer with Blood Sweat and Tears

• 1944 ~ Peter Cetera, Bass guitar, singer with Chicago

• 1952 ~ Randy Jones, Singer with The Village People

• 1954 ~ The cover of LIFE magazine was adorned with Judy Garland’s picture, with the caption, “Judy Garland takes off after an Oscar.” Garland had been nominated for her role in A Star is Born.

• 1956 ~ Joni Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge

• 1968 ~ Clarence Carter received a gold record for his million-selling hit Slip Away. Carter earned two other gold records for Too Weak to Fight and Patches. The singer from Montgomery, Alabama had been blind since age one and taught himself to play guitar by age 11.

• 1969 ~ John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, presented the Plastic Ono Band in concert for the first time. The appearance at the Toronto Peace Festival was Lennon’s first in four years. The first hit by the new group, Give Peace a Chance, made it to number 14 on the charts.

• 1977 ~ Leopold Stokowski conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, passed away
More information about Stokowski

• 1986 ~ Captain EO, a 17-minute, three-dimensional, musical, science-fiction flick starring Michael Jackson, made its gala premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, FL this day. The innovative movie cost approximately $1,000,000 a minute to produce.

• 2001 ~ Barbara Matera, who made costumes for Broadway shows, the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 72. With her husband, Matera founded Barbara Matera Ltd. in 1968, which produced costumes seen in the current Broadway productions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Kiss Me, Kate and 42nd Street. As the costumer for the American Ballet Theater, Matera outfitted performers in productions including Swan Lake and Othello. Her film credits include The Great Gatsby, The Addams Family, Moonstruck, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Age of Innocence and Death on the Nile. Matera also created the purple crystal-encrusted gown that Hillary Rodham Clinton wore at her husband’s first presidential inauguration.

Happy Birthday to Clara Schumann!

cschumann

 

Clara Schumann (1819-96) was much more than the wife of composer Robert Schumann. She was, quite simply, one of the greatest pianists of all time. A child prodigy, her technique and musicianship as a mature artist led to her being regarded as the equal of giants of the keyboard such a Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg and Anton Rubinstein.

And from her girlhood until the end of her marriage she composed wonderful music, mostly solo piano music, but other works as well, including a concerto, a large number of songs and a sublime piano trio.

In her later years, she was an internationally famous teacher, and her performing career lasted more than six decades. She was, quite simply, a phenomenon.

On September 12 ~ in Music History

today

1789 ~ Franz Xaver Richter died.  He was an Austro-Moravian singer, violinist, composer, conductor and music theoretician who spent most of his life first in Austria and later in Mannheim and in Strasbourg, where he was music director of the cathedral.

• 1888 ~ Maurice (Auguste) Chevalier, French chanteur and actor

• 1891 ~ Adolph Weiss, American composer and bassoonist

• 1924 ~ Ella Mae Morse, Singer, first artist to record for Capitol Records

• 1931 ~ George Jones, ‘The Possum’, singer

• 1940 ~ Tony Bellamy, Guitarist with The Tornados

• 1940 ~ Johnny Long’s orchestra recorded the classic A Shanty in Old Shanty Town for Decca Records.

• 1943 ~ Maria Muldaur (d’Amato), Singer

• 1944 ~ Booker T. Jones, American rock-and-roll musician

• 1944 ~ Barry White, Singer, played piano on Jesse Belvin’s Goodnight My Love in 1955

• 1952 ~ Gerry Beckley, Singer in the Grammy Award-winning (1972) group, America

• 1952 ~ Neil Peart, Drummer with Rush

• 1966 ~ “Hey, hey we’re the Monkees — and we don’t monkey around…” The theme song from the NBC-TV show, The Monkees, kicked off a fun-filled weekly series on this day in 1966. Some 400 aspiring actors had auditioned for the Columbia television series by producer Don Kirschner. Davy Jones, a former English horse racing jockey; Michael Nesmith, a session guitarist; Peter Tork of the Phoenix Singers; and Micky Dolenz, who had appeared in the TV series Circus Boy were picked to be America’s answer to The Beatles. The four were picked to become the fabricated music group – not because they could sing, act or play musical instruments – but because they looked the parts. Dolenz and Jones were actors, Tork and Nesmith had some musical experience. The Monkees were the first made-for-TV rock group. Ironically – or maybe not – The Monkees TV show won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series of 1967.

• 1966 ~ The Beatles received a gold record this day for Yellow Submarine.

• 1970 ~ James Taylor’s first single, Fire and Rain, was released. Taylor scored 14 hits on the music charts in the 1970s and 1980s.

• 1980 ~ An in-depth report on the death of Elvis Presley aired on ABC-TV’s 20/20. It raised so many unanswered questions that the official case concerning Elvis’ death was reopened.

• 1993 ~ Herman Nieland, organist/pianist/composer, died at the age of 82

• 2000 ~ Stanley Turrentine, a jazz saxophonist whose hit “Sugar” established him in the popular mainstream and influenced musicians in many other genres, died after suffering a stroke. He was 66. Turrentine played tenor saxophone, and mixed jazz with blues, rock, pop and rhythm and blues. He lived in Fort Washington, Md., outside Washington, D.C. “His impact on jazz was just astonishing,” said his agent, Robin Burgess. “He had a large impact on fusion, electric jazz and organ trio music.” Turrentine grew up in Pittsburgh, surrounded by music. His brother Tommy played trumpet, and the two played together in Pittsburgh while they were still in high school. Turrentine started his professional career playing with Ray Charles and Max Roach. He went solo in the 1960s and scored his biggest hit in 1970 with “Sugar,” which became something of a jazz standard. His blues-influenced riffs brought him commercial success with albums including “Stan ‘The Man’ Turrentine,” “Up at Minton’s,” and “Never Let Me Go.”

• 2003 ~ Johnny Cash, “The Man in Black”, died at the age of 71.
More information about Cash

The Piano’s Voice

Picture a seven-foot grand piano in a studio. The lid’s missing, so you can see all the strings. Researchers suspend a rod embedded with 32 microphones over the piano’s body.

“We played this middle C at a very soft level, a medium level, and a very loud level,” says Agnieszka Roginska, a professor in NYU’s music technology program. She says using a pianist to play middle C over and over wouldn’t be scientific. So they’re using a disklavier, a fancy player piano triggered by electronics. “So we could hit the same note, with the same velocity, thousands of times,” she says.

They’d record the piano in one spot. Then move the microphones eight inches. Record the note. Move the mics again. Record the note. Over and over and over, until they reach the back of the piano. At the end, they get “what is basically a very dense acoustical scan of the radiation pattern of the grand piano,” Roginska says.

Read the entire article here: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-08-10/science-tries-understand-what-gives-piano-its-voice

On September 11 ~ in Music History

We will always remember 911

OCMS 1786 ~ Friedrich Kuhlau, German-born Danish composer and pianist
More information about Kuhlau

• 1847 ~ This night an audience at the Eagle Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania enjoyed Foster’s rendition of his minstrel song, Oh! Susanna. Stephen got a bottle of whiskey for his performance.

• 1850 ~ Jenny Lind sang at the Castle Garden Theatre in New York City. It was her first performance in America. Lind’s voice was so sweet that she was nicknamed ‘The Swedish Nightingale’.

• 1911 ~ Alice Tully, American mezzo-soprano and music patron

OCMS 1956 ~ Arvo Pärt (1935) Estonian composer
More information about Pärt

• 1942 ~ Lola Falana, Singer, actress

• 1944 ~ Mickey Hart, Drummer, songwriter with Grateful Dead

• 1944 ~ Phil May, Singer with The Pretty Things; Fallen Angels

• 1945 ~ Ernest Tubb recorded It Just Doesn’t Matter Now and Love Turns to Hate on the Decca label. Tubb became the second recording artist to have made a commercial record in Nashville, TN.

• 1946 ~ Dennis Tufano, Guitarist, singer with The Buckinghams

• 1952 ~ Tommy Shaw, Guitarist with Styx

• 1959 ~ On this day in 1959 a statue to honor songwriter George M. Cohan was unveiled in New York City’s Duffy Square. Ten thousand people watched and sang his “Give My Regards to Broadway.” Today crowds gather near the statue daily to buy half-priced theater tickets.

• 1962 ~ Ringo Starr joined John, Paul and George for his first recording session as a Beatle, replacing bounced drummer Pete Best. Love Me Do was the result and it took 17 takes to complete … to everyone’s satisfaction.

• 1967 ~ Harry Connick, Jr., Grammy Award-winning singer

• 1969 ~ Leon Payne passed away

• 1984 ~ Bruce Springsteen broke the attendance record at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The Boss entertained 16,800 fans for the first of six sold-out shows. Springsteen broke his own record; one he set during a visit to Philly in 1981.

• 1993 ~ Erich Leinsdorf, Austrian-born American conductor, died at the age of 81

• 2001 ~ Larry Kegan, a singer-songwriter who performed in concert with Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and others, died of cardiac arrest. He was 59. Kegan sang at Gov. Jesse Ventura’s inaugural celebration in 1999, at American Indian functions and at Stillwater prison. A paraplegic since a diving accident when he was 15, and a quadriplegic after a car accident a decade later, Kegan was nonetheless very active. Kegan ran a resort for disabled veterans in Mexico and managed orange groves in Florida before returning to Minnesota in the mid-1970s. He met Dylan when they were teenagers at a summer camp. Decades later, in 1978, Dylan dedicated his album Street Legal to Kegan.

• 2004 ~ Fred Ebb, American lyricist

• 2017 ~ Peter Hall, English stage, film and opera director (Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre director), died at the age of 86