April 14 in Music History

today

. 1759 ~ George Frideric Handel, organist, violinist and composer, died. Among his best known oratorios are “Saul,” “Israel in Egypt” and the “Messiah”.

. 1900 ~ Salvatore Baccaloni, Opera singer

. 1922 ~ Soprano Jeanette Vreeland sang the first radio concert from an airplane as she flew over New York City.

. 1922 ~ Ali Akbar Khan, Indian composer and maestro sarod player

. 1924 ~ Shorty Rogers (Milton Rajonsky), Musician: trumpet, bandleader, songwriter, composer, arranger

. 1933 ~ Buddy Knox, Singer

. 1933 ~ Morton Subotnick, American composer of experimental music

. 1935 ~ Loretta Lynn, American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist, first woman to earn the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award; named ACM Artist of the Decade in 1979

. 1941 ~ Hildegarde recorded the standard Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup on Decca Records. Hildegarde was the elegant singer with the long white gloves who was accompanied by the Harry Sosnik Orchestra. It took another 14 years, but Nat ‘King’ Cole turned the song into an even bigger hit, landing at number 7 on the pop music charts.

. 1951 ~ Julian Lloyd Webber, British cellist

. 1958 ~ Pianist Van Cliburn was presented on national TV for the first time on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jack Paar.

. 1958 ~ Laurie London reached the top spot on the music charts with He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, knocking Perry Como’s Catch a Falling Star down a peg or two.

. 1960 ~ The musical Bye Bye Birdie opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City. Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke starred in the Broadway show which ran for 607 performances.

. 1967 ~ Herman’s Hermits, featuring lead singer Peter Noone, went gold with the single, There’s a Kind of Hush. It was a two-sided hit, with the flip-side, No Milk Today, also receiving considerable play. Hush, however, was a top five song, while the ‘B’ side just made it into the top 40 at number 35.

. 1995 ~ Burl Ives, Oscar-winning actor and singer whose gentle voice helped popularize American folk music, died. He played powerful dramatic roles in movies including “The Big Country,” for which he won an Academy Award for best-supporting actor, and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

April 1 in Music History

 

And by a weird calendar this year…

 

It’s also April Fool’s Day

OCMS. 1866 ~ Ferruccio Busoni, Italian pianist and composer
Read quotes by and about Busoni
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OCMS 1873 ~ Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian-born American composer and pianist
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. 1895 ~ Alberta Hunter, American blues singer

. 1909 ~ Eddie Duchin, Bandleader

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

. 1932 ~ Jane Powell, Singer

. 1932 ~ Debbie Reynolds, Entertainer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 31 in Music History

 

. 1732 ~ Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
Listen to Haydn’s music
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. 1872 ~ Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev.  He was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes.

. 1880 ~ Henryk Wieniawski, Polish violist/composer, died at the age of 44

. 1901 ~ John Stainer died.  He was an English composer and organist whose music, though not generally much performed today, was very popular during his lifetime.

. 1922 ~ Richard Kiley, American actor and singer (Kismet, Man of La Mancha, Endless Love)

. 1928 ~ Lefty (William Orville) Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Famer

. 1934 ~ Shirley Jones, Singer, actress

. 1935 ~ Herb Alpert, American trumpeter, bandleader (Tijuana Brass), composer, record company executive: the “A” of A&M Records

. 1937 ~ Phil Harris recorded one of his best-known songs in Los Angeles, CA. That’s What I Like About the South was recorded on a 78 RPM disk. Harris would move to TV stardom and continue as a popular vocalist during the 1950s with such hit songs as The Thing.

. 1943 ~ The show, Away We Go, was renamed. The show opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City and, thanks to the talents of stars like Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts and Howard DeSilva, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances, until 1948. The musical, which has grossed millions of dollars on stage and as a blockbuster movie was initially produced for the sum of $75,000. It is still legendary among musical productions – especially after it was retitled Oklahoma!

. 1944 ~ Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge), Bass, singer with The Fortunes

. 1944 ~ Mick Ralphs, Guitarist

. 1945 ~ Al Nichol, Guitarist, keyboards with The Turtles

. 1953 ~ Sean Hopper, Keyboards with Clover and Huey Lewis and The News

. 1959 ~ Angus Young, Guitarist with AC/DC

. 1967 ~ Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time in a public performance at Finsbury Park in London.

. 1985 ~ Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, long a favorite of country music stars, closed its doors in Nashville, TN.

March 30 in Music History

. 1674 ~ Pietro Antonio Locatelli died.  He was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.

. 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer

. 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s

. 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer

. 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon. Alma Cummings danced the fox trot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.

. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahm’s Rhapsody in G Minor.  He was 13.

. 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music

. 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drummer with The Moody Blues

. 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack country duo

. 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; songwriter, Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990

. 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist

. 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as their hit single, He’s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I Will Follow Him on April 27th.

. 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter

. 1964 ~ Willem Andriessen, Dutch composer and pianist (Beethoven), died at the age of 76

. 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer

. 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics called Bacall “a sensation.” The play, at the Palace Theatre, was an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances. A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.

. 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, “Hey, this sounds like disco!” and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history…

. 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshine on My Shoulders. It was the singer’s first number one song. Three other singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie’s Song, Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10 at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.

March 25 in Music History

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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the church year. At the other end of Holy Week is Easter, the most important day of the church year.

. 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
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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.
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

. 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 in 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
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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
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.

March 15 in Music History

today

.1897 ~ First performance of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60.  It is a symphony in four movements.

. 1835 ~ Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer who, together with brothers Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss made up the Strauss musical dynasty. He was the son of Johann Strauss I and Maria Anna Streim.

. 1873 ~ Lee Shubert, Broadway producer. Theaters in NY and LA named after him. He died in 1953

. 1907 ~ Jimmy McPartland, Jazz musician: cornetist; played for the Wolverine Orchestra, Embassy Four; bandleader; played at Newport Jazz Festival with wife, Marian

. 1916 ~ Harry James, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader, married to Betty Grable (second of four wives)

. 1918 ~ Lili Boulanger, composer, died at the age of 24
More about Boulanger

. 1933 ~ Cecil Taylor, American jazz pianist and composer

. 1944 ~ Sly Stone, American soul-rock singer and instrumentalist

. 1956 ~ “My Fair Lady” opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater in New York City for 2,715 performances

. 1959 ~ The musical, No Strings, opened on Broadway at the 54th Street Theatre. Richard Kiley and Diahann Carroll starred in the show. Also featured was the show’s composer in an acting role, singing his own lyrics. The composer was Richard Rodgers.

. 1968 ~ LIFE magazine called Jimi Hendrix, “the most spectacular guitarist in the world.”

. 1987 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express” opened on Broadway. This was the first ever roller-skating musical.

. 1964 ~ My Fair Lady, by Lerner and Loewe, opened on Broadway. It ran for 6-1/2 years before 2,717 audiences. It became, thanks to Rex Harrison and an outstanding cast, the longest-running musical to that time.

. 1970 ~ The musical, Purlie, opened a run of 680 continuous performances on Broadway.

. 2001 ~ Ann Sothern died at the age of 92. She was an actress who starred as the saucy, liberated showgirl in MGM’s “Masie” movies during the 1940s and played single working women on TV in “Private Secretary” and “The Ann Southern Show.”