. 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.
. 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
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. 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.
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. 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
. 1890 ~ Lauritz Melchior, Danish-born American tenor
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. 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
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. 1917 ~ Dame Vera Lynn, English singer and sweetheart of British forces during World War Two
. 1920 ~ Marian McPartland, British jazz pianist
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. 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 ~ BeatleJohn 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.
. 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
. 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.
• 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 LionelBarrymore 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
• 1728 ~ Franz Xaver Pokorny, Czech Classical era composer and violinist.
• 1783 ~ Padre Antonio Francisco Javier Jose Soler
• 1871 ~ Henry Kimball Hadley, American composer and conductor
• 1890 ~ Yvonne Arnaud, French-born pianist, singer and actress
• 1898 ~ Irene (Marie) Dunne, Actress in Show Boat, Anna and the King of Siam, Alternate Delegate to the United Nations, Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985.
• 1909 ~ Vagn Holmboe, Danish composer and music critic
• 1920 ~ An English-born comedian named Leslie Downes became an American citizen. He had lived in the United States since 1908 and became one of the nation’s true ambassadors for show business and charity. We say, “Thanks for the memories,” to Bob Hope.
• 1928 ~ For the first time, a living actress in the United States had a theater named after her. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre opened in New York City.
• 1932 ~ Al Jolson recorded April Showers on Brunswick Records.
• 1938 ~ John Harbison, American composer and conductor
• 1944 ~ Bobby Colomby, Drummer, singer with Blood, Sweat & Tears
• 1948 ~ Little Stevie Wright, Singer with The Easybeats
• 1949 ~ Harry Belafonte had his second session with Capitol Records. Included in the session were Whispering and Farewell to Arms. With eight tunes then recorded and little enthusiasm from record buyers, Capitol decided to part company with Belafonte by not renewing the singer’s contract. He went to RCA Victor in April 1952.
• 1952 ~ Jimmy Boyd reached the #1 spot on the record charts with the Christmas song of the year, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.
• 1957 ~ Billy (Steven) Bragg, Songwriter, guitarist, singer
• 1966 ~ Chris Robinson, Singer with The Black Crowes
• 1972 ~ Jack Albertson and Sam Levine starred as two retired vaudevillians in Neil Simon’s classic comedy, The Sunshine Boys, which opened at the Broadhurst Theatre in NYC. The play had a run of 538 performances. The movie version later became a box office smash, as well.
• 1973 ~ Singer Bobby Darin passed away following open-heart surgery at the age of 37. He left a legacy of memories in rock ’n’ roll and pop tunes, as well as on television and in movies (even an Oscar nomination for his role in Captain Newman, M.D.). The story of Darin being groomed to replace Frank Sinatra at Capitol Records is absolutely true. Unfortunately, Capitol didn’t think the grooming was going so well and withheld many of Darin’s songs for many years; releasing them in a compilation CD in 1995. Good stuff to listen to: Splish Splash, Queen of the Hop, Dream Lover, Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea, If I Werea Carpenter, etc. At the end, Darin, who had recorded for Atco, Capitol and Atlantic Records had just begun recording for Motown.
• 1980 ~ Shirley Temple Black became a grandmother. Her oldest daughter gave birth to a baby girl.
• 1982 ~ Artur Rubinstein, pianist (My Young Years), died at the age of 95
• 1999 ~ Hank Snow passed away
• 2000 ~ Roebuck “Pops” Staples, patriarch of the Staple Singers whose lyrics on “Respect Yourself” and other hits delivered a civil rights message with a danceable soul beat, passed away. “They took this really positive message music and made it contemporary and popular by putting it with electric guitars and inserting a groove,” said Sherman Wilmott, who is helping create a museum in Memphis, Tennessee, honoring the musical stars at Stax Records, the Staple Singers’ principal label. Born in Winona, Mississippi, Staples learned to sing acapella and developed his Delta blues electric guitar style. Starting out as a gospel group in 1948, the Staple Singers with son Pervis and daughters Mavis and Cleotha as singers reached an even wider audience with 1970s soul hits such as Respect Yourself,I’ll Take You There and If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me). Before achieving stardom, Staples resisted taking his family on tour and held jobs in Chicago’s stockyards and steel mills. Staples came to believe he could contribute in song to the battle for blacks’ civil rights being waged by the Rev. Martin Luther King and others, Wilmott said. “He sang and played guitar. He was extremely well- spoken and calm and intelligent,” he said. Another daughter, Yvonne, told the Tribune: “When Dr. King started preaching, Pops said ‘I think we can sing it.’ That’s what he felt,” she said. “He believed that the world could be made a better place for all of us.” At age 80, Staples won a Grammy Award as a solo artist in 1994 for his album “Father Father.” He also received a National Heritage Fellowship Award at the White House from first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. The group entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year. In a 1998 interview with the Tribune, Staples said his musical education began early. “We’d come home and didn’t have anything to do after we eat but go to bed. So we’d go out in the yard and sing.”
• 2000 ~ Rob Buck, lead guitarist for the rock band 10,000 Maniacs, died of liver failure at the age of 42, three weeks after he collapsed at his home in western New York.
2004 ~ Blues singer-guitarist Son Seals, one of the most distinctive voices to emerge in the genre during the 1970s, died at the age of 62.
More information about Son Seals
2004 ~ Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi, one of the great post-World War II opera divas who Arturo Toscanini said had the “voice of an angel,” died at the age of 82.
More information about Renata Tebaldi
1644 ~ Antonio Stradivari, Italian, most celebrated of all violin makers, died on this date.
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• 1778 ~ Joseph Grimaldi, Clown: ‘greatest clown in history’, ‘king of pantomime’, Joey the Clown; singer, dancer, acrobat, his character was part of the plot for the movie “Her Alibi”. He died in 1837.
• 1786 ~ Baron Karl von Weber, Opera composer
• 1788 ~ Camille Pleyel, Austrian piano builder/composer
1869 ~ Edward Alexander MacDowell, American composer and pianist
More information about MacDowell
• 1892 ~ Premiere of The Nutcracker ballet by Tchaikovsky. This traditional Christmas ballet is so popular that its annual performances keeps many opera companies afloat. Act 1 tells a story of how little Clara aids her magical Christmas gift (a Nutcracker in the form of a soldier) defeat an army of mice. As a reward, he takes her to his magic kingdom and introduces her to a variety of subjects in a colorful stream of character dances. Tchaikovsky’s supply of themes is endless and he constantly provides brilliant orchestration.
• 1919 ~ Anita O’Day (Colton), American jazz singer
• 1920 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini made his first recording for Victor Records in Camden, New Jersey.
• 1934 ~ Willie Smith sang with Jimmy Lunceford and his orchestra on Rhythm is Our Business on Decca Records
• 1941 ~ Sam Andrew, Guitarist with Big Brother and the Holding Company
• 1943 ~ Keith Richards, British rock guitarist and singer with The Rolling Stones
• 1948 ~ Bryan ‘Chas’ Chandler, Bass with the Animals
• 1961 ~ The Tokens celebrated their first #1 hit single. The Lion Sleeps Tonight(Wimoweh) was a chart-topper for four weeks in a row.
• 1972 ~ Helen Reddy received a gold record for the song that became an anthem for women’s liberation, I Am Woman. The song had reached number one on December 9, 1972.
• 1975 ~ Rod Stewart announced that he was leaving the group, Faces, and was going solo in a deal with Warner Brothers.
• 1981 ~ Rod Stewart gave a concert at the Los Angeles Forum, which was televised to 23 countries and carried by FM radio stations in the US to an audience of about 35 million.
• 1982 ~ Daryl Hall and John Oates reached the #1 spot on the music charts for the fifth time with Maneater. The song stayed in the top spot for four weeks, making it Hall and Oates’ most popular hit.
• 2001 ~ Eddie Baker, whose efforts to create a jazz hall of fame planted the seeds for the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, died after complications from heart surgery. He was 71. Baker, a trumpeter and pianist, had led the New Breed Jazz Orchestra since the 1960s, forming close relationships with many top jazz artists. He began calling for a jazz hall of fame as early as the 1970s. He held what he hoped would be the first annual induction to the International Jazz Hall of Fame in 1985 at the Music Hall. But attendance was low, despite a star-studded roster of talent that included the Count Basie Orchestra, George Benson and Woody Herman. He maintained the hall of fame on paper, even though it never had a physical home. Through the years, Baker suggested building a jazz hall in several spots in Kansas City, including the 18th and Vine district and Union Station. His push generated interest in the project, but the American Jazz Museum opened under a different name in 1997 without his involvement. He also was an original member of the Kansas City Jazz Commission, which organized pub crawls and promoted jazz in the 1980s, and he helped organize the Elder Statesmen of Jazz, a service organization of older musicians.
• 2004 ~ Legendary British saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, who played with a list of musicians that reads like a who’s who of the international jazz and rock music scene, has died.
• 1913 ~ Morton Gould, American Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, conductor and pianist
• 1924 ~ Ken Albers, Bass singer with The Four Freshmen
• 1927 ~ For the first time, famed radio announcer George Hay introduced the WSM Barn Dance as the Grand Ole Opry. The show’s title may have changed but it remained the home of country music.
• 1930 ~ Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded the haunting Mood Indigo on Victor Records. It became one of the Duke’s most famous standards.
• 1943 ~ Chad Stuart, Guitarist, lyricist, singer with the duo – Chad & Jeremy
• 1946 ~ Christopher ‘Ace’ Kefford, Bass with The Move
• 1947 ~ Walter ‘Clyde’ Orange, Drummer, singer with The Commodores
• 1948 ~ Jessica Cleaves, Singer with Friends of Distinction
• 1949 ~ Frank Beard, Drummer with ZZ Top
• 1949 ~ Fats Domino recorded his first sides for Imperial Records. The legend from New Orleans recorded The Fat Man, one of the earliest rock and roll records. The title also turned into Domino’s nickname and stayed with him through his years of success.
• 1951 ~ John (Raul) Rodriguez, Singer
• 1953 ~ Harry Belafonte debuted on Broadway in Almanac at the Imperial Theatre. Critics hailed Belafonte’s performance as “electrifyingly sincere.” Also starring in the show: Hermione Gingold, Billy DeWolfe, Polly Bergen and Orson Bean.
• 1966 ~ The Beach Boys made a one-week stop at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 asGood Vibrations made it to #1. It was the third #1 hit the group scored. The others were I Get Around and Help Me, Rhonda.
• 1967 ~ Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays (Otis’ backup group) were killed in the crash of a private plane near Madison, Wisconsin. Redding was 26 years old. His signature song, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was recorded three days before his death. It was #1 for four weeks beginning February 10, 1968. Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. The Bar-Kays biggest hit was in July, 1967: Soul Finger. James Alexander, bass player for the group, was not on the plane. Ben Cauley, trumpet player, survived the crash. The group played for a time with various new members.
• 1987 ~ Jascha Heifetz passed away
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• 1569 ~ Paul Sartorius, German organist and composer
• 1615 ~ Guillaume Dumanoir, II, French violinist and composer who composed dance music enjoyed by Louis XIV
• 1667 ~ Nathaniel Schnittelbach, composer, died at the age of 34
• 1715 ~ Girolamo Abos, composer of Italian opera and church music.
• 1720 ~ Carlo Antonio Campioni, Italian composer.
• 1757 ~ Daniel Read, American composer of the First New England School, and one of the primary figures in early American classical music.
• 1775 ~ Karl Marian Paradeiser, German composer, died at the age of 28.
• 1780 ~ Robert Archibald Smith, English composer.
• 1829 ~ Anton G Rubinstein, Russian pianist/conductor/composer
• 1840 ~ Frederick Scotson Clark, composer.
• 1848 ~ Frédéric Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.
• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.
• 1852 ~ Minnie Hauk, American soprano
• 1854 ~ First Performance of Anton Rubinstein‘s Ocean Symphony in Leipzig.
• 1860 ~ Edmund Scheucker, Viennese harpist.
• 1861 ~ Vaclav Suk, Czech-born Russian composer and violinist.
• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.
• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.
• 1870 ~ Alfred Hill, Australian composer
• 1873 ~ David Karl Björling, Swedish tenor
• 1873 ~ W.C. Handy, American blues composer and bandleader
More information about Handy
• 1889 ~ George S. (Simon) Kaufman, Playwright: The Cocoanuts, A Night at the Opera, with Moss Hart, The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can’t Take It with You
• 1893 ~ George Alexander Osborne, Irish pianist and composer (La Pluie de perles), died of natural causes at the age of 87
• 1894 ~ Debut of opera star Enrico Caruso in Mario Morelli’s L’Amico Francesco at Naples Teatro Nuovo.
• 1895 ~ Paul Hindemith, German-born American composer and conductor
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• 1896 ~ Lawrence Mervil Tibbett, American baritone
• 1905 ~ Eddie (Albert) Condon, Guitarist, bandleader, promoter of Dixieland Jazz
• 1908 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini made his debut in the United States this day. He appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, conducting Aida.
• 1931 ~ Bob Gibson, Singer, songwriter, leader of folk music movement in late ’50s, duo of Gibson and (Bob) Camp
• 1932 ~ The Palace in New York City closed its doors. It was the most famous vaudeville theater in America. Later, it became a movie house with live performances preceding the flicks; most notably: the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their heyday.
• 1935 ~ The Rodgers and Hart musical, Jumbo, opened in New York City for a run of 233 performances.
• 1937 ~ Bob Crosby and his orchestra recorded South Rampart Street Parade on Decca Records.
• 1945 ~ Martine Van Hammel, Ballet, American Ballet Theatre
• 1955 ~ ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford drove to the top spot on the record charts on this day. Sixteen Tons, where he owed his “soul to the company store…”, became the fastest-selling record in history, jumping to #1 in just 3 weeks. The tune, on Capitol Records, stayed at #1 for eight weeks.
• 1964 ~ Albert Hay Malotte, composer, died at the age of 69
• 1964 ~ Diana Krall, Canadian Jazz pianist and singer
• 1970 ~ Anne Murray received a gold record for Snowbird. She was the first Canadian recording artist to receive a gold record.
• 2000 ~ Russ Conway, a British pianist known as the “Prince Charming of Pop” who sold
More than 30 million records in the 1950s and ’60s, died at age 75. He had 17 consecutive hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and won a silver disc when his record Roulette topped 250,000 sales – a total rapidly equaled by three other hits, Sidesaddle, China Tea and Snow Coach. Conway’s formal piano education consisted of one lesson at age 4. He left school at 14 and got work in a lawyer’s office. But he was sent to juvenile detention for three years for taking money he found in a package. In a detention center, he found a piano to play. While doing a stint as a pianist in a club, he was discovered by choreographer Irving Davies. He went on to provide piano accompaniment to a string of singers. Soon he was composing the songs that made him famous and won him the nicknames “Prince Charming of Pop” and the “Sheik of the Keyboard.”
• 2001 ~ Blue guitarist and singer Isaac Scott, a major figure in the city’s music scene for more than a quarter century, died of complications from diabetes. He was 56. A stream of musicians paid their respects to Scott, said his ex-wife, Eloise DePoe. He was found in his apartment Nov. 4 and never regained consciousness. Scott recorded several albums, including “The Isaac Scott Band,” “Big Time Blues Man” and “High Class Woman.” He also appeared on the compilation albums “Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival” and “Live at the Roadhouse.” Primarily a “cover artist,” Scott did not write his own songs, which hindered national recognition. But he received several local honors, including the Washington Blues Society’s Hall of Fame (1991) and lifetime-achievement (2000) awards. He also performed at last year’s opening of the Experience Music Project. Scott taught himself piano and guitar, and started out playing gospel music, once touring the West Coast with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. In 1974, he turned his attention to blues, with a sound flavored by his love of Seattle-born guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Like Albert Collins, an early influence, Scott played electric guitar with his thumb instead of a pick, which contributed to his distinctive sound. He also was known for his stamina, often playing two- and three-hour sets.
• 2001 ~ Tommy Flanagan, a jazz pianist who worked with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, died of an arterial aneurysm. He was 71. Flanagan, part of his own classic jazz trio, accompanied Fitzgerald for 20 years, also acting as her musical director. He also worked for Tony Bennett. He became a celebrated figure in jazz with such trio albums as “Jazz Poet” (1989) and “Let’s” (1993). Flanagan’s trio included bassists George Mraz and Peter Washington, and drummers Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash and Albert Heath. Flanagan won the distinguished Danish Jazzpar Prize in 1993. Born in Detroit, Flanagan was the youngest of six children. He recorded “Sunset and the Mockingbird: The Birthday Concert,” live at the Vanguard in 1998. He was to appear at Iridium this holiday season.
Destined to become one of the world’s greatest pianists, Vladimir Horowitz was born in 1903 in Kiev, Russia. While most young children were playing games, Vladimir was playing with the ivories. His time was well spent as he was fully capable of performing publicly by the time he was sixteen.
Within four years, the young piano virtuoso was entertaining audiences at recitals throughout Leningrad – 23 performances in one year, where he played over 200 different works of music, never repeating a composition. After Leningrad, Horowitz played in concerts in Berlin, Hamburg and Paris.
In 1928, the Russian pianist traveled to the United States to play with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Arturo Toscanini chose Horowitz to perform his first solo with the New York Philharmonic. It was there that Horowitz met his bride-to-be, Toscanini’s daughter, Wanda. The two were wed in Milan in 1933. New York became Horowitz’ permanent home in 1940. He became a U.S. citizen a few years later, devoting the rest of his career to benefit performances, and helping young, aspiring artists.
His return to the concert stage in May of 1965 was a triumphant success, as was his television recital, Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall.
Just three years before his death, Vladimir Horowitz returned to his homeland to perform once again for the Russian people on April 20, 1986. They felt he had been away far too long … close to sixty years.