September 30: On This Day in Music

• 1852 ~ Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish composer and organist

• 1908 ~ David Oistrakh, Russian violinist

 

 

• 1922 ~ Oscar Pettiford, Bass, cello. He played with Charlie Barnet, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and Stan Getz

• 1933 ~ The theme song was Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here and it opened the National Barn Dance. The half-hour country music and comedy show, originally heard on WLS, Chicago since 1924, moved to the NBC Blue network this night. National Barn Dance was broadcast from the Eighth Street Theater in Chicago, where the stage was transformed into a hayloft every Saturday night. The host was Joe Kelly. Uncle Ezra was played by Pat Barrett who was known to say, “Give me a toot on the tooter, Tommy,” as he started dancing. A few of the other Barn Dance characters were Arkie, the Arkansas Woodchopper; Pokey Martin; the Hoosier Hotshots; the Prairie Ramblers; cowgirl, Patsy Montana; Pat Buttram; Lulu Belle and the Cumberland Road Runners. Gene Autry and Red Foley were heard early in their careers on National Barn Dance. Although there were plenty of sponsors (Alka Seltzer, One-A-Day vitamins, Phillips Milk of Magnesia), the National Barn Dance was one of the few radio shows to charge admission!

• 1935 ~ Jill Corey (Norma Jean Speranza), Singer

• 1935 ~ Johnny Mathis, American singer of popular music

• 1935 ~ “Summertime … and the livin’ is easy.” Porgy and Bess was presented for the first time, at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. It was a flop! It was revived in 1942. It wasn’t a flop that time. It ran longer than any revival in the history of U.S. musical theater.

• 1941 ~ The Larry Clinton Orchestra recorded their version of That Solid Old Man, on Bluebird Records.

• 1942 ~ Frankie Lymon, Singer: recorded at age 14

• 1942 ~ Dewey Martin, Drummer, singer with Buffalo Springfield

• 1943 ~ Marilyn McCoo (Davis), Singer with The Fifth Dimension, TV hostess of Solid Gold from 1981 to 1984 and 1986 to 1988, TV music reporter

• 1946 ~ Sylvia Peterson, Singer with The Chiffons

• 1953 ~ Deborah Allen (Thurmond), Singer

• 1954 ~ Julie Andrews, who would later become a household name in movies, TV and on records, opened on Broadway for the first time. The future star of The Sound of Music appeared in The Boy Friend this night.

• 1976 ~ Mary Ford passed away

• 1977 ~ President Jimmy Carter designated October as the official country music month.

• 1979 ~ Clio-Danae Othoneou, Greek actress, musician and pianist

• 1989 ~ Virgil Thomson, US composer/critic (4 saints in 3 acts), died at the age of 92

• 2003 ~ Ronnie Dawson, the rock singer known as the “Blonde Bomber,” died. He was 64. Dawson was diagnosed in 2002 with throat cancer but continued to perform. One of his last gigs was an emotional performance at the Rockabilly Rave festival in England in February. He enthralled fans at the Big D Jamboree in the 1950s and at Carnegie Hall in the 1990s. Among Dawson’s songs as a teenager in the 1950s were Action Packed and I Make the Love. He was famous for live performances where he would jump from the stage, run through the audience and play his guitar while standing on a table. In the late 1950s, Dawson recast himself as an R&B artist named Snake Monroe, signed briefly with Columbia Records, and then joined the local Western swing pioneers the Light Crust Doughboys. In the 1960s, he packed the Levee Club with the Levee Singers, a folk act that appeared nationally on “The Danny Kaye Show” and “The Jimmy Dean Show.” After the Levee Singers broke up, he formed a country band, Steel Rail, and later sang television and radio jingles.

• 2003 ~ Robert LaMarchina, conductor of the Honolulu Symphony from 1967 to 1978, died. He was 75. Born in New York City, Robert LaMarchina began studying the cello at the age of 7. At 8, he made his first appearance as a solo cellist with the St. Louis Symphony. LaMarchina was 15 when famed conductor Arturo Toscanini hired him to perform with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. LaMarchina made is first appearance as a conductor in 1951 in Japan in the Fujiwara Opera’s production of “Madame Butterfly”. He later taught music at Indiana University, traveled with the Ambassadors of Opera and conducted operas on the West Coast.

July 19: Today’s Music History

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Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 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.

• 2015 ~ Van Alexander, American composer and bandleader (A-Tisket, A-Tasket), died at the age of 100

June 26: Today’s Music History

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Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

• 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: Today’s Music History

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Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 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, Songwriter 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: Today’s Music History

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. 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.

. 1952 ~ Ketil Bjørnstad, Norwegian pianist

. 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.

. 2007 ~ Bobby “Boris” Pickett, American singer-songwriter (Monster Mash), died from leukemia at the age of 69

April 4: Today’s Music History

. 1804 ~ Joseph Fischhof, Czech-Austrian pianist and composer

. 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 traveling 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: Today’s Music History

. 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

. 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

. 1961 ~ “Gypsy” closed at the Broadway Theater in New York City after 702 performances

. 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.

. 1991 ~ Eileen Joyce, pianist, died at the age of 78

March 20: Today’s Music History

. 1812 ~ Jan Ladislav Dussek died.  He was a Czech composer and pianist.

. 1828 ~ Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright. He wrote Peer Gynt, which Grieg later set to music.

. 1873 ~ Sergei V Rachmaninov, Russian/US pianist/composer born (Old Style)

. 1890 ~ Lauritz Melchior, Danish-born American tenor
More information about Melchior

. 1890 ~ Beniamino Gigli, Italian operatic tenor, born; with a repertory of over 60 roles, he retired in 1955 after over 40 years singing.

. 1907 ~ Ozzie Nelson, Bandleader, actor in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He was married to actress, Harriet Nelson and they were the parents of David and Ricky Nelson.

. 1915 ~ Sviatoslav Richter, Russian pianist
More information about Richter

. 1917 ~ Dame Vera Lynn, English singer and sweetheart of British forces during World War Two

. 1920 ~ Marian McPartland, British jazz pianist
More information about McPartland

. 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded Christopher Columbus on Victor Records in Chicago, IL.

. 1948 ~ Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra were featured in the first televised symphonic concert. CBS-TV, with help from its then Philadelphia television station, WCAU-TV 10, carried the program from the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the home of the world-famous orchestra. The concert was televised live, at 5 p.m.

Ninety minutes later, NBC-TV carried TV’s second symphonic concert. This one was from Carnegie Hall in New York City. Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra was featured in a presentation of Wagner compositions.

. 1969 ~ Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono at the Rock of Gibraltar on this day. Lennon called the location, “quiet, friendly and British.” He was the second Beatle to marry in eight days. Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman were wed a week earlier.

January 16 ~ On This Day in Music

 

. 1864 ~ Anton Schindler, German violinist and Beethoven’s biographer, died at the age of 68

. 1875 ~ First American performance of Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances”

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1886 ~ Death of Italian opera composer Amilcare Ponchielli, in Milan. He was 51.

. 1891 ~ French Composer Leo Delibes died at the age of 54

. 1905 ~ Ernesto Halffter, Spanish composer and conductor

. 1908 ~ Ethel Merman (Zimmerman), American singer of popular music, Tony Award-winning actress (musical), Musical Theater Hall of Fame. She is most famous for Call Me Madam in 1951, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, There’s No Business Like Show Business and Alexander’s Ragtime Band

. 1929 ~ Marilyn Horne, American mezzo-soprano

. 1929 ~ G.T. (Granville) Hogan, Jazz drummer who played with Elmo Hope, Earl Bostic

. 1934 ~ Bob Bogle (Robert Lenard Bogle), Guitarist, bass with The Ventures

. 1938 ~ Béla Bartók and his wife, Ditta performed their first public concert featuring his Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion

. 1938 ~ Benny Goodman and his band, plus a quartet, brought the sound of jazz to Carnegie Hall in New York City. When asked how long an intermission he wanted, he quipped, “I don’t know. How much does Toscanini get?”

. 1942 ~ Bill Francis, Keyboard, singer with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

. 1942 ~ Kay Kyser and the band recorded A Zoot Suit for Columbia Records. The tune is about the problems associated with wearing this garish, exaggerated ‘hep’ fashion.

. 1946 ~ Katia Ricciarelli, Italian soprano

. 1946 ~ Ronnie Milsap, Grammy Award-winning singer in 1976, CMA Male Vocalist of the Year (1974, 1976, 1977), CMA Entertainer of the Year (1977), blind since birth, he learned to play several instruments by age 12

. 1950 ~ Debbie Allen, Dancer, actress, choreographer, sister of actress Phylicia Rashad

. 1957 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini died in New York at the age of 89.

. 1957 ~ The Cavern Club opened for business in Liverpool, England. The rock club was just a hangout for commoners. Then, things changed — big time. It all started in the early 1960s when four kids from the neighborhood popped in to jam. They, of course, turned out to be The Beatles.

. 1962 ~ Paul Webb, Bass with Talk Talk

. 1964 ~ “Hello Dolly!” opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Carol Channing starred in the role of Mrs. Dolly Levi. The musical was an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s play, “The Matchmaker”. The show, with an unforgettable title song, was hailed by critics as the “…possible hit of the season.” It was possible, all right. “Hello Dolly!” played for 2,844 performances. And, it returned to Broadway in the 1990s, again starring Carol Channing.

. 1972 ~ David Seville died on this day in Beverly Hills, CA. Born Ross Bagdasarian, the musician was the force, and artist, behind the Alvin and the Chipmunks novelty songs of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

. 1973 ~ Clara Ward passed away. Ward was an American gospel artist who achieved great artistic and commercial success in the 1940s and 1950s.

. 1976 ~ The album, “Frampton Comes Alive”, was released by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records. The double LP soon reached the top spot of the album charts and stayed perched there for 17 weeks. It sold 19 million copies in its first year.

. 1980 ~ Lin Manuel Miranda, American actor, composer, lyricist (Hamilton)

. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson received eight awards at the 11th annual American Music Awards this night.

. 2001 ~ Eleanor Lawrence, a flutist who played often in chamber music performances and with several orchestras in New York City, died of brain cancer at the age of 64. She is credited with transforming a simple newsletter into an important source for flutists. Lawrence studied the flute at the New England Conservatory with the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Pappoutsakis. She later studied with flutists from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera orchestra. She joined the American Symphony Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic after moving to New York in the 1960s. She played periodically with the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. Besides performing, Lawrence taught at the Manhattan School of Music. She served three times as the president of the New York Flute Club. She edited The National Flute Association Newsletter, now The Flutist Quarterly, from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, expanding it from a brief information sheet to a publication with regular interviews.

December 25 ~ On This Day in Music

merry-christmas

Merry Christmas!
Christmas Family Fun
Christmas Music
Christmas Music Lyrics

Christmas Countdown: Hallelujah Chorus

OCMS 1583 ~ Orlando Gibbons
Read quotes by and about Gibbons
More information about Gibbons

• 1896 ~ John Philip Sousa wrote the melody to a song that had haunted him for days. On Christmas Day, that melody was finally titled, The Stars and Stripes Forever.

• 1907 ~ Cab Calloway (Cabell Calloway III), American jazz singer and bandleader

• 1912 ~ Tony Martin (Alvin Morris), Singer, actor, married to dancer Cyd Charisse

• 1915 ~ Pete Rugolo, Bandleader, arranger, scored TV’s The Fugitive

• 1931 ~ Lawrence Tibbett was the featured vocalist as radio came to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The first opera was Hansel und Gretel by Humperdinck, heard on the NBC network of stations. In between acts of the opera, moderator Olin Downes would conduct an opera quiz, asking celebrity guests opera-related questions. The program’s host and announcer was Milton Cross. He worked out of the Met’s Box 44.

• 1932 ~ Little Richard, American rock-and-roll singer, pianist and songwriter

• 1937 ~ O’Kelly Isley, Singer with the Grammy Award-winning group, The Isley Brothers

• 1937 ~ Arturo Toscanini conducted the first broadcast of Symphony of the Air over NBC radio.

• 1939 ~ The Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, was read by Lionel Barrymore on The Campbell Playhouse on CBS radio. The reading of the tale became an annual radio event for years to come.

• 1941 ~ Don Pullen, pianist/composer

• 1944 ~ Henry Vestine, Guitarist with Canned Heat, sideman for Frank Zappa

• 1945 ~ Noel Redding, Bass with Noel Redding Band and also The Jimi Hendrix Experience

• 1946 ~ Jimmy Buffett, Songwriter, singer

• 1948 ~ Barbara Mandrell, CMA Entertainer of the Year (1980, 1981), Female Vocalist of the Year in 1979

• 1954 ~ Robin Campbell, Guitar, singer with UB40

• 1954 ~ Annie Lennox, Singer with Eurythmics

• 1957 ~ Shane MacGowan, Songwriter, musician: guitar, singer with The Pogues

 

 

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