July 22 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1597 ~ Virgilio Mazzocchi, Composer

• 1635 ~ Pietro Antonio Tamburini, Composer, died at the age of 45

• 1642 ~ Johann Quirsfeld, Composer

• 1651 ~ Ferdinand Tobias Richter, Composer

• 1721 ~ François-Joseph Krafft, Composer

• 1786 ~ Vaclav Kalous, Composer ~ died at the age of 71

• 1794 ~ Jean-Benjamin de La Borde, Composer ~ died at the age of 59

• 1830 ~ Herbert Stanley Oakeley, Composer

• 1833 ~ Benjamin Hanby, Composer

• 1848 ~ Lucien Fugère, French baritone

• 1871 ~ Akos Buttykai, Composer

• 1873 ~ Ettore Pozzoli, Composer

• 1878 ~ Ernest R. Ball, Composer

• 1879 ~ Gustaf Heintze, Composer

• 1889 ~ Frederick Preston Search, Composer

• 1893 ~ Katherine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful in Colorado

• 1913 ~ Licia Albanese, Italian-born American soprano. She is best remembered for her roles at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and for her recording of La Boheme conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

• 1919 ~ De Falla and Massine’s “Three-cornered Hat”, premiered in London

• 1924 ~ Margaret Whiting, Pop Singer

• 1932 ~ Florenz Ziegfeld, U.S. theatrical producer and impresario, died. He was famed for his “Follies” spectacular revues which ran every year from 1907 to 1931.

• 1933 ~ Caterina Jarboro became the first black prima donna of an opera company. The singer performed Verdi’s “Aida” with the Chicago Opera Company at the Hippodrome in New York City.

• 1937 ~ Chuck Jackson, Singer

• 1937 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded the now-standard tune, Got a Date with an Angel, for Victor Records in Hollywood, California. The distinctive vocal on the tune is provided by Skinnay Ennis.

• 1940 ~ George Clinton, Singer

• 1941 ~ Thomas Wayne (Perkins), Singer

• 1944 ~ Estelle Bennett, Singer with The Ronettes

• 1944 ~ Richard Davies, Keyboards, singer with Supertramp

• 1945 ~ Bobby Sherman, Singer, actor and founder of TAC-5, a paramedics group

• 1947 ~ Don Henley, Drummer, singer with Shiloh; The Eagles, songwriter

• 1959 ~ Benjamin Britten’s “Missa Brevis” in D premiered

• 1963 ~ The Beatles released “Introducing the Beatles”

• 1967 ~ The Billboard singles chart showed that Windy, by The Association, was the most popular record in the U.S. for the fourth straight week. The Los Angeles~based sextet would make way for Jim Morrison and The Doors a week later when Light My Fire became the hottest record of the mid~summer.

• 1977 ~ Tony Orlando announced his retirement from show business. Orlando was performing in Cohasset, MA when he said that he had finally decided to call it quits. Orlando had two solo hits in 1961 (Halfway to Paradise and Bless You) and 14 hits with his backup singers, Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent, (known as Dawn) through the mid~1970s. He also hosted a weekly TV variety show with Dawn from 1974~1976.

• 1985 ~ Bruce Springsteen became the hottest ticket in the rock concert biz as 70,000 Cleveland fans lined up (in less than three hours) to grab tickets to see the ‘Boss’.

• 2001 ~ Bob Ferguson, who wrote the standard Wings of a Dove and produced records for Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner and other country music stars, died at the age of 73. Ferguson, a native of Willow Springs, Mo., was hired in 1955 to produce films for the Tennessee Game & Fish Commission. He worked there until 1960, when he wrote and produced the No. 1 hit Wings of a Dove for Ferlin Husky. As a staff producer at RCA Records in the 1960s and early ’70s, Ferguson worked with artists like Parton, Connie Smith, Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass, Jim Ed Brown, George Hamilton IV and Archie Campbell. He wrote The Carroll County Accident, a No. 2 hit for Wagoner. It was named the best country song of 1969 by the Country Music Association.

• 2002 ~ Jazz singer Marion Montgomery, who frequently performed on British television and was known for her smooth, versatile voice, died. She was 67. Montgomery was born in Natchez, Miss., and lived in England for more than 30 years. She was well-known to television audiences as a resident singer on the British Broadcasting Corp. talk show “Parkinson” through the 1970s and was widely praised for her smooth voice and intimate, relaxed singing style. Montgomery worked as a cabaret singer in Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles before moving to Britain. She starred in the West End production of “Anything Goes” in 1969 and recorded a one-woman show for the BBC in 1975. Her albums included “Swings for Winners and Losers” (1963), “Let There Be Marion Montgomery,” (1963) and “Sometimes in the Night” (1989).

July 19 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1592 ~ Erhard Buttner, Composer

• 1735 ~ Garret Wesley Mornington, Composer

• 1742 ~ Jean-Baptiste Davaux, Composer

• 1750 ~ Alessio Prati, Composer

• 1782 ~ Jonathan Blewitt, Composer

• 1789 ~ John Martin, English painter

• 1797 ~ Johann Gottlieb Schneider, Composer

• 1811 ~ Vincenz Lachner, German organist, conductor and composer

• 1906 ~ Klauss Egge, Norwegian composer

• 1913 ~ Charles Teagarden, trumpeter, bandleader, brother of Jack

• 1926 ~ Sue Thompson (Eva McKee), singer of Norman and Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)

• 1937 ~ George Hamilton IV, Singer

• 1939 ~ Jack Teagarden and his orchestra recorded Aunt Hagar’s Blues for Columbia Records. Teagarden provided the vocal on the session recorded in Chicago, IL.

• 1941 ~ Natalya Besamertnova, Ballet Dancer with the Bolshoi ballet

• 1942 ~ The Seventh Symphony, by Dmitri Shostakovitch, was performed for the first time in the United States by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

• 1942 ~ Vikki Carr (Florencia Bisenta deCasilla Martinez Cardona), Pop Singer

• 1946 ~ Alan Gorrie, Rock Singer with the Average White Band

• 1947 ~ Bernie Leadon, Musician, guitar with The Eagles

• 1947 ~ Brian Harold May, Musician, guitarist, singer and songwriter with Queen, who had the 1975 UK No.1 single Bohemian Rhapsody, which returned to No.1 in 1991. Queen scored over 40 other UK Top 40 singles, and also scored the 1980 US No.1 single Crazy Little Thing Called Love. May had the solo 1992 UK No.5 single Too Much Love Will Kill You. May was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005 for ‘services to the music industry and his charity work’. May earned a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College, London, in 2007.

• 1949 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte began recording for Capitol Records on this day. The first sessions included They Didn’t Believe Me and Close Your Eyes. A short time later, Capitol said Belafonte wasn’t “commercial enough,” so he signed with RCA Victor (for a very productive and commercial career).

• 1952 ~ Allen Collins, Musician, guitar with Lynyrd Skynyrd

• 1952 ~ “Paint Your Wagon” closed at Shubert Theater New York City after 289 performances

• 1966 ~ Frank Sinatra married actress Mia Farrow this day.

• 1963 ~ Kelly Shiver, Country Singer

• 1980 ~ Billy Joel, pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer, earned his first gold record with It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, which reached the top of the Billboard pop music chart. He would score additional million-sellers with Just the Way You Are, My Life, Uptown Girl (for girlfriend and later, wife and supermodel Christie Brinkley) and We Didn’t Start the Fire. Joel reached the top only one other time, with Tell Her About It in 1983.

• 2000 ~ H. LeBaron Taylor, a Sony executive who pioneered the mass marketing of music rooted in black culture and fostered minority development in the corporate world, died at the age of 65 of a heart attack. He was recognized by Ebony magazine as one of the top 50 black executives in corporate America. In the 1970s, Taylor was at CBS Records, leading its Black Music Marketing department, which sold music originating in black culture and styles that sprang from it, such as blues, soul, rap and hip-hop.

June 26 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

• 1284 ~ The Pied Piper exacted his revenge upon the German town of Hamelin this day. The townspeople had promised to pay the piper a large fee if he could rid their town the nasty rats running all over the place. He had played his trusty pipe and the rats had followed him out of town and into the River Weser. But once the rodents were eliminated, the local folks decided not to pay after all. The piper was not pleased and repaid the townspeople by playing his pipe for the children of Hamelin, just like he had done for the rats. And just like the rats, the children followed him out of town.

 

• 1582 ~ Johannes Schultz, Composer

• 1657 ~ Tobias Michael, Composer, died at the age of 65

• 1661 ~ Lazaro Valvasensi, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1747 ~ Leopold Jan Antonin Kozeluh, Composer

• 1778 ~ Angelo Antonio Caroli, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1798 ~ Eugene Godecharle, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1823 ~ Frederick Bowen Jewson, Composer

• 1824 ~ Moritz Furstenau, Composer

• 1836 ~ Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, author and composer of the Marseillaise, died

• 1870 ~ Wagner’s opera “Valkyrie” premiered in Munich

• 1874 ~ Mikhail Vladimirovich Ivanov-Boretsky, Composer

• 1875 ~ Camille Zeckwer, Composer

• 1878 ~ Albert Siklos, Composer

• 1891 ~ Heinrich Lemacher, Composer

• 1893 ~ “Big Bill” Broonzy, American blues singer and guitarist

• 1894 ~ Bill Wirges, American orchestra leader

• 1901 ~ William Busch, Composer

• 1902 ~ Antonia Brico, Conductor and pianist. Because there were so few opportunities for female conductors, she organized the Woman’s Symphony Orchestra in 1935.

• 1909 ~ “Col Tom” Parker (Dries Van Kruijk), Elvis Presley’s manager

• 1912 ~ Gustav Mahler’s 9th Symphony premiered in Vienna

• 1914 ~ Richard Maltby, Bandleader

• 1914 ~ Wolfgang Windgassen, German tenor with the Stuttgart Opera

• 1916 ~ Guiseppe Taddei, Italian baritone

• 1924 ~ Syd Lawrence, Bandleader

• 1924 ~ Ziegfeld Follies opened on Broadway

• 1928 ~ Jacob Druckman, American composer

• 1931 ~ Lucien Goethals, Composer

• 1933 ~ Claudio Abbado, Italian conductor
More information about Abbado

• 1933 ~ The Kraft Music Hall debuted. It turned out to be one of radio’s longest- running hits. The first program presented Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. SingerAl Jolson became the host of the show shortly thereafter. Several years later, crooner Bing Crosby was named the host. The Kraft Music Hall continued on NBC radio until 1949 and then on TV for many more years; the first year as Milton Berle Starring in the Kraft Music Hall, then Kraft Music Hall Presents: The Dave King Show followed by Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall for four seasons. From 1967 on, The Kraft Music Hall featured a different host.

• 1934 ~ Dave Grusin, Composer of film scores

• 1934 ~ Luis Felipe Pires, Composer

• 1940 ~ Billy Davis, Jr., Singer with The 5th Dimension

• 1942 ~ Larry Taylor, Musician, bass with Canned Heat

• 1943 ~ John Allen Strang, Composer

• 1943 ~ Georgie Fame (Clive Powell), Singer

• 1945 ~ Barry Schrader, Composer

• 1945 ~ Erno Rapee, Composer, died at the age of 54

• 1945 ~ Nikolay Nikolayevich Tcherepnin, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1953 ~ Ralph Ezell, American singer

• 1954 ~ Robert Davi, American opera singer/actor

• 1956 ~ Clifford Brown, American jazz trumpeter, died at the age of 25

• 1964 ~ A Hard Day’s Night was released by United Artists Records. The album featured all original material by The Beatles and became the top album in the country by July 25, 1964.

• 1965 ~ Mr. Tambourine Man, by The Byrds, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts. The song was considered by many to be the first folk-rock hit. The tune was written by Bob Dylan, as were two other hits for the group: All I Really Want to Do and My Back Pages. The group of James Roger McGinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Mike Clarke charted seven hits. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

• 1966 ~ “Time for Singing” closed at Broadway Theater New York City after 41 performances

• 1971 ~ Inia Te Wiata, opera singer, died

• 1971 ~ Juan Manen, Composer, died at the age of 88

• 1971 ~ “Man of La Mancha” closed at ANTA Washington Square Theater New York City after 2329 performances

• 1972 ~ David Lichine (Lichtenstein), Russian/American choreographer, died at the age of 61

• 1973 ~ Arnold Richardson, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1973 ~ London production of “Grease” premiered

• 1977 ~ Lou Reizner, Rock vocalist/producer, died at the age of 43

• 1977 ~ Elvis Presley sang the last performance of his career, in Indianapolis. He died two months later.

• 1981 ~ Peter Kreuder, German composer, died

• 1982 ~ André Tchaikowsy, Pianist and composer, died

• 1983 ~ Walter O’Keefe, Songwriter and TV host, died at the age of 82

• 1983 ~ “Show Boat” closed at Uris Theater New York City after 73 performances

• 1984 ~ Barbra Streisand recorded Here We Are at Last

• 1991 ~ Carmine Coppola, Composer and conductor (Godfather II), died at the age of 80

• 1994 ~ Thomas Henry Wait Armstrong, Organist, died at the age of 96

• 2001 ~ French soprano Gina Cigna, famed for singing Puccini’s “Turandot”, died at the age of 101. Born in Paris in 1900, Cigna made her stage debut at Milan’s La Scala opera house at age 27 under the name Ginette Sens. Her breakthrough came two years later when she performed in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at La Scala under her own name. Arturo Toscanini, the conductor, was particularly fond of Cigna’s expressive voice, which received widespread acclaim. An auto accident ended Cigna’s performing career in 1947. Until 1965, she coached opera singers in Milan, Siena and Canada.

June 25 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1522 ~ Franchinus Gaffurius, Composer, died at the age of 71

• 1709 ~ Francesco Araja, Composer

• 1735 ~ Benvenuto Robbio San Rafaele, Composer

• 1767 ~ Georg Philipp Telemann, German late-baroque Composer, died at the age of 86
More information about Telemann

• 1785 ~ Pierre Talon, Composer, died at the age of 63

• 1796 ~ Ferdinando Giorgetti, Composer

• 1860 ~ Gustave Charpentier, French composer

• 1862 ~ Vasily Georgiyevich Wrangell, Composer

• 1870 ~ Opera “Die Walküre” by Richard Wagner was produced in Munich

• 1876 ~ John Patton, Trumpeter, died at Little Bighorn

• 1878 ~ Jean Gallon, Composer

• 1884 ~ Hans Rott, Composer, died at the age of 25

• 1886 ~ Nineteen-year-old Arturo Toscanini moved from the cello section to the conductor’s stand of the Rio de Janeiro Orchestra. The maestro conducted Verdi’s opera, Aida, this day.

• 1887 ~ George Abbott, Director: Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game

• 1889 ~ Ethel Glenn Hier, Composer

• 1897 ~ Hans Barth, German pianist and composer

• 1901 ~ Adolf Brunner, Composer

• 1910 ~ The first performance of “The Firebird”, a ballet by Igor Stravinsky, took place in Paris.

• 1921 ~ Peter Charles Arthur Wishart, Composer

• 1922 ~ Johnny Smith, Jazz musician, guitarist

• 1925 ~ Clifton Chenier, American blues singer

• 1925 ~ Ziggy Talent, American singer

• 1928 ~ William Joseph Russo, Composer

• 1935 ~ Kurt Schwertsik, Composer

• 1935 ~ Eddie Floyd, Singer with Falcons

• 1936 ~ Harold Melvin, American singer

• 1938 ~ A Tisket A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb hit #1

• 1940 ~ Clint Warwick (Eccles), Musician, bass with The Moody Blues

• 1945 ~ Carley Simon, American Grammy Award-winning singer – Best New Artist in 1971; Academy Award-winning song, Let the River Run, 1988

• 1946 ~ Allen Lanier, Musician, guitarist, keyboards with Blue Oyster Cult

• 1946 ~ Ian McDonald, Musician, instrumentalist with Foreigner

• 1952 ~ “Wish You Were Here” opened at Imperial Theater New York City for 597 performances

• 1955 ~ “Can Can” closed at Shubert Theater New York City after 892 performances

• 1961 ~ Pat Boone spent this day at number one for one last time with Moody River. Boone, a teen heart-throb in the 1950s, had previously walked his way up the music charts, wearing white buck shoes, of course, with these other hits: Ain’t That a Shame, I Almost Lost My Mind, Don’t Forbid Me, Love Letters in the Sand and April Love.

• 1963 ~ George Michael (Yorgos Panayiotou), Singer

• 1966 ~ The Beatles’ Paperback Writer, single went #1 & stayed #1 for 2 weeks

• 1967 ~ 400 million watched The Beatles “Our World” TV special

• 1969 ~ The Guess Who from Canada received a gold record for their hit single, These Eyes.

• 1971 ~ Stevie Wonder released Where I’m Coming From

• 1976 ~ Johnny Mercer, American songwriter, died at the age of 66 He wrote the lyrics for a number of award-winning songs including Moon River.

• 1977 ~ Endre Szervanszky, Composer, died at the age of 65

• 1977 ~ Petko Staynov, Composer, died at the age of 80

• 1983 ~ “Evita” closed at Broadway Theater New York City after 1568 performances

• 1987 ~ Boudleaux Bryant, Song writer for the Everly Brothers, died at the age of 67

• 1990 ~ Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Australian Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1992 ~ “Les Miserables” opened at Vinorhady Theatre, Prague

• 2000 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, the longest-running production in Broadway history, closed after 7,397 performances.

• 2000 ~ Arnold Black, a composer and violinist who started a beloved classical music program in the rural Berkshires, died at the age of 77.
More information on Arnold Black

• 2002 ~ Nellie Monk, wife and muse of the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 80. Born Nellie Smith in St. Petersburg, Fla., she moved to New York with her family and met Thelonious Monk at the age of 16 at a neighborhood basketball court. Throughout their nearly four-decade relationship, Thelonious Monk, who was known as an eccentric absorbed in his work, depended on his wife for financial and emotional support. Nellie Monk worked as a seamstress during World War II, and afterward occasionally made clothes for her husband and others. While she was never her husband’s official manager, she paid musicians, collected money from promoters, and made sure band members had plane tickets. Thelonious Monk wrote a famed ballad, Crepuscule With Nellie, when she was undergoing surgery for a thyroid problem in 1957. The couple was together from about 1947 until Thelonious Monk died in 1982.

April 25 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1906 ~ John Knowles Paine died.  He was the first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music.

. 1913 ~ Earl Bostic, Saxophonist, bandleader

. 1915 ~ Italo Tajo, Italian bass

. 1915 ~ Sal Franzella, Jazz musician, alto sax, clarinet

. 1918 ~ Ella Fitzgerald, American Grammy Award-winning singer (12), jazz and popular music. She was discovered at age 16 at an amateur night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and went on to work with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

. 1923 ~ Albert King, American blues singer and guitarist

. 1923 ~ Melissa Hayden (Mildred Herman), Ballerina with the New York City Ballet

. 1926 ~ Arturo Toscanini conducted the first performance of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Turandot” at La Scala, Milan.

. 1932 ~ Gator (Willis) Jackson, Composer, tenor sax, invented the gator horn

. 1933 ~ Jerry Leiber, Record producer with Mike Stoller

. 1945 ~ Stu Cook, Bass with Creedence Clearwater Revival

. 1945 ~ Bjorn Ulvaeus, Musician, guitar, singer with Abba

. 1946 ~ The popular Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra recorded Cement Mixer for Majestic records, tapes and CDs this day. Well, not tapes and CDs. We were still listening to 78s back then … thick, heavy ones, at that.

. 1956 ~ The rock ‘n roll legend, Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel went No.1.

. 1970 ~ DJs around the U.S. played the new number one song, ABC, quite often, as the Jackson 5 reached the number one spot in pop music for two weeks. ABC was the second of four number one songs in a row for the group from Gary, IN. I Want You Back was their first. ABC was one of 23 hits for Michael, Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Marlon. ABC was knocked out of first place by The Guess Who and their hit, American Woman.

. 1973 ~ The group, The Sweet, received a gold record for the hit Little Willy. The English rocker band recorded four hits in addition to their first million- seller, Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run, Action and Love is like Oxygen. Little Willy was a top-three hit, while the group’s other gold record winner, Fox on the Run made it to the top five.

. 2000 ~ David Merrick, one of Broadway’s most flamboyant and successful theatrical producers who created “Gypsy,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “42nd Street,” died in London at the age of 88. During his long career as arguably Broadway’s most successful producer, Merrick won all the major theatrical awards, including 10 Tony Awards just for “Hello, Dolly!” He was best-known for his musicals but he produced many non-musicals as well.

April 4 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1843 ~ Hans Richter, Hungarian conductor

. 1859 ~ Daniel Emmett introduced I Wish I was in Dixie’s Land (later named Dixie) in New York City. Just two years later, the song became the Civil War song of the Confederacy.

. 1875 ~ Pierre Monteux, French conductor, famed for his interpretation of early 20th century music, he conducted the first performances of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe.”

. 1891 ~ Distinguished American actor Edwin Booth made his final stage appearance in a production of Hamlet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

. 1895 ~ Arthur Murray Dancer

. 1915 ~ “Muddy” Waters, American blues singer and guitarist

. 1922 ~ Elmer Bernstein, Composer of Academy Award-winning film scores: Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967); Sudden Fear, The Man with the Golden Arm, Ten Commandments, Sweet Smell of Success, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Walk on the Wild Side and The Magnificent Seven

. 1938 ~ After seven years of singing on the radio, Kate Smith began a new noontime talk show.

. 1939 ~ Glenn Miller recorded his theme song, Moonlight Serenade, for Bluebird Records. Previously, the Miller theme had been Gone with the Dawn and, before then, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

. 1939 ~ Hugh Masakela, Trumpeter

. 1946 ~ Serge Leiferkus, Russian baritone

. 1954 ~ Maestro Arturo Toscanini conducted his last concert with the NBC Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Toscanini ended a 17-year association with the orchestra.

. 1964 ~ The Beatles set an all-time record on the Top 100 chart of Billboard magazine this day. All five of the top songs were by the British rock group. In addition, The Beatles also had the number one album as Meet the Beatles continued to lead all others. The LP was the top album from February 15 through May 2, when it was replaced by The Beatles Second Album. It was estimated at the time that The Beatles accounted for 60 percent of the entire singles record business during the first three months of 1964. The top five singles by The Beatles this day were:
1) Can’t Buy Me Love
2) Twist and Shout
3) She Loves You
4) I Want to Hold Your Hand
5) Please Please Me

. 1968 ~ Bobby Goldsboro received a gold record for the single, Honey. The poignantly sad song charted for 13 weeks, spending five weeks at number one. Goldsboro produced a total of 11 hits on the pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s. Honey was his only million seller and only number one hit.

. 1994 ~ Ginny Simms passed away.  She was an American popular singer and film actress.

. 2000 ~ Blues singer Mary Smith McClain, better known to fans as “Diamond Teeth Mary,” died in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was believed to have been 97 or 98. McClain was a teenager posing as a boy when she hopped a train in her native West Virginia to begin a new life as a travelling blues musician more than 80 years earlier. She went from singing at carnivals with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels to the Chicago Blues Festival, New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Europe. She sang with such music greats as B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. McClain, who once had diamonds set in her teeth, was considered the world’s oldest-performing true blues musician, appearing at local clubs until two weeks before her death.

March 25 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1699 ~ Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music.

. 1784 ~ François-Joseph Fetis, Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and influential music critic.

. 1851 ~ The Playel piano factory in Paris was destroyed by fire.  Playel was the favorite of Chopin in the 19th century, and it was identified with French composers known as the impressionist musicians of the early 20th century — like Ravel and Debussy.

Pleyel was founded in 1807 by Ignaz Pleyel, a composer and music publisher who studied with Franz Joseph Haydn.

. 1867 ~ Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor and musical director. Famed for his temper in rehearsals, he was director of La Scala and the Metropolitan opera houses. He also conducted the NBC symphony orchestra. With a career spanned 68 years, he was a cellist at age 19
Read quotes by and about Toscanini
More information on Toscanini

. 1881 ~ Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer and pianist, born. His knowledge of western musical techniques allied to the inspiration he derived from Hungarian peasant songs enabled him to become a unique musical force.
More information about Bartók

. 1903 ~ Grammy winner Frankie Carle (Carlone), Pianist and bandleader
More about Carle

. 1913 ~ The Palace Theatre opened its doors in New York City. Ed Wynn was first on the vaudeville bill. Some 20 years later, Wynn would be named as radio’s top entertainer. He later became popular on television, as well.

. 1918 ~ Claude Debussy, French composer, died. His music, described as “musical Impressionism”, explored original avenues of expression.

. 1931 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis, for Brunswick Records. Both Kemp and Ennis sang in the Dorsey Brothers Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Eugene Ormandy (later, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra). The pair were part of the orchestra vocal quartet that also featured Nye Mayhew and Saxey Dowell in 1928.

. 1934 ~ Johnny Burnette, ‘The Master’, singer, brother of singer Dorsey Burnette

. 1938 ~ Hoyt Axton, Singer, musician and songwriter. Axton’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, wrote Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel

. 1940 ~ Anita Bryant, Singer

. 1942 ~ Aretha Franklin, American soul singer, known as the “Queen of Soul” and “Lady Soul”, she won 15 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987)

. 1947 ~ Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Entertainer
More information about John

. 1948 ~ Kelly Garrett, Actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Neil Jones, Musician with Amen Corner

. 1951 ~ Maizie Williams, Singer with Boney M

. 1966 ~ Jeff Healey, Guitarist, singer, songwriter with the Jeff Healey Band, CBC radio show: My Kind of Jazz

. 1971 ~ Tom Jones went gold with his single, She’s a Lady.

. 1972 ~ The group, America, rode to the top of the pop music charts with their LP, America, and the single (included on the LP), A Horse with No Name. A Horse With No Name would be the group’s only gold record.