. 1940 ~ The first all-Chinese commercial radio program was broadcast over KSAN radio in San Francisco, CA. Later, KSAN would become a pioneer in playing ‘underground rock’ music.
. 1943 ~ Mel Carter, Singer
. 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, Singer, guitarist
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut on this night at the Frontier Hotel. With Heartbreak Hotel at the top of the pop charts, one can imagine the excitement generated by the new ‘King of rock and roll’. Even with a number one hit, Elvis was not yet well-received by the middle-aged audience. Management of the Frontier was so unimpressed, they gave Elvis his walking papers after one week of a two-week engagement.
. 1983 ~ Earl “Fatha” Hines, American jazz pianist and bandleader, died at the age of 79
. 2001 ~ Jazz pianist-composer Isaac Cole, brother of the late singer Nat King Cole who worked on his niece Natalie’s multiple Grammy-winning 1991 album, died of cancer. He was 73. Ike Cole said he may have benefited from being compared with his more famous brother, who died in 1965 of lung cancer at 45, but that he disliked being accused of “trying to live off the name.” Ike Cole said he decided against changing his name because, shortly before dying, Nat asked him not to. He and brother Freddy toured in 1990 with a show saluting their famous brother. Ike Cole had played the bass drum in an Army band but in 1957, he formed the Ike Cole Trio in Chicago, where he was born, and went on the road. Winning major TV exposure, he soon was booked steadily for Las Vegas shows. His trio also regularly toured Japan, Australia and Europe as well as the United States. Though he often sang a medley of his older brother’s hits, Ike primarily was a jazzman. He played keyboard when Natalie Cole recorded her late father’s songs for a 1991 album that won three Grammys.
. 2013 ~ Richie Havens, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, died from a heart attack at the age of 72
. 1920 ~ Bruno Maderna, Italian-born German conductor and composer
. 1924 ~ Don Cornell (Louis Varlaro), Singer
. 1924 ~ Clara Ward, Gospel singer, Clara Ward Gospel Troupe
. 1931 ~ Carl Belew, Country singer
. 1947 ~ Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterburg), Singer, songwriter, with the Psychedelic Stooges
. 1963 ~ The Beatles and The Rolling Stones met for the first time together, at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England. The Stones opened the show.
. 1977 ~ Annie opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre. Andrea McArdle was a shining star in the title role. Annie continued on the Great White Way until January 2, 1983.
. 2016 ~ Prince Rogers Nelson died. He was known by the mononym Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range.
. 1925 ~ Tito (Ernest) Puente, Jazz musician, bandleader
. 1925 ~ Henri Renaud, French pianist
. 1931 ~ Louis Armstrong recorded the classic, When It’s Sleepy Time Down South, for Okeh Records. Satchmo would use the tune as his theme song for decades. The song was waxed in Chicago, IL.
. 1934 ~ One of America’s most beloved child stars made her debut. Shirley Temple debuted in Stand Up and Cheer, which opened in New York City. Moviegoers would rave about her song and dance routine, Baby, Take a Bow, for many years.
. 1935 ~ Your Hit Parade, starring Kay Thompson, Charles Carlyle, Gogo DeLys and Johnny Hanser, was first broadcast on radio in 1935. A youngster named Frank Sinatra would later be part of the program as a featured vocalist. Your Hit Parade stayed on the radio airwaves for 24 years. Snooky Lanson would later host the program when it made the transition from radio to TV. Other long-time regulars on the TV version were: Russell Arms, Gisele MacKenzie and Dorothy Collins. They were the lucky ones who got to present the top seven songs each week. Since many songs stayed on the list for weeks on end, these vocalists had to invent new ways to present the hit parade. On April 24, 1959, Your Hit Parade died. The regulars just didn’t fit with the new rock ‘n’ roll hits. Imagine, if you can, Snooky Lanson singing Hound Dog. The original title of the radio show was, Lucky Strike Hit Parade, sponsored by, you guessed it, Lucky Strike cigarettes. The cigarette company continued to sponsor the TV show (those were the days when cigarette companies sponsored lots of TV shows), and the opening theme song was Be Happy, Go Lucky.
. 1943 ~ John Eliot Gardiner, British conductor
. 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, British rock singer and guitarist
. 1951 ~ Luther Vandross, soul singer, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Never Too Much’, first released 1983, US N0.10 and UK No.2 single with Janet Jackson ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’). Also worked with David Bowie, Mariah Carey. Vandross died on 1st July 2005 aged 54 two years after suffering a major stroke.
. 1968 ~ Hair opened on Broadway
. 1985 ~ The British pop music group Wham!, featuring George Michael, became the first to release cassettes in the People’s Republic of China. Selections from two of the group’s albums were packaged and sold on the tape.
. 1986 ~ Pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave his first concert in the Soviet Union in 61 years. He had emigrated in 1925.
. 1987 ~ Starlight Express posted the largest week’s gross in Broadway history. The roller-skating musical earned $606,081 at the box office. The revival of The King and I starring Yul Brynner had been the previous leader (1985).
. 2000 ~ Canadian composer Louis Applebaum, long associated with the prestigious classical repertory company the Stratford Festival, died of cancer. He was 82.
. 2001 ~ Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor, collapsed at the podium while conducting a performance of Verdi’s Aida in Berlin. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors could not revive him. Sinopoli, 54, was the music director of the Dresden Staatskapelle and was a controversial figure in classical music. An avid scholar, Sinopoli had a medical degree and was also studying archaeology.
. 2003 ~ Nina Simone, whose deep, raspy, forceful voice made her a unique figure in jazz and later helped define the civil rights movement, died. She was 70. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933 in North Carolina, Simone was the sixth of seven children in a poor family. She began playing the piano at age 4. In the late 1950s Simone recorded her first tracks, including Plain Gold Ring and Don’t Smoke In Bed. But she gained fame in 1959 with her recording of I Loves You Porgy, from the opera “Porgy & Bess.” But she later wove the turbulent times of the 1960s into her music. In 1963, after the church bombing that killed four young black girls in Birmingham, Ala., and the slaying of Medgar Evers, she wrote Mississippi Goddam, and after the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she recorded Why? The King of Love is Dead. One of her most famous songs was the black pride anthem, To Be Young, Gifted and Black.
Simone enjoyed perhaps her greatest success in the 1960s and 70s, with songs like I Want A Little Sugar in My Bowl, and Four Women, the song with the famous line “they call me PEACHES.” She recorded songs from artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bee Gees and made them her own. Perhaps one of her more popular covers was her version of House of the Rising Sun. While she had a regal presence onstage, she could often be temperamental. She had a reputation for chewing out audience members who interrupted her performances in clubs with conversation or loud drinking or talking. In 1999 she received a lifetime achievement award in Dublin and an award for excellence in music from the Association of African American Music in Philadelphia.
. 2017 ~ Cuba Gooding Sr., American singer (Everybody Plays the Fool), died at the age of 72
1882 ~ Artur Schnabel, Austrian-born American pianist
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1903 ~ Gregor Piatigorsky, Russian-born American cellist and composer
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. 1930 ~ Chris Barber, Musician, trombone, bandleader
. 1933 ~ Backed by the On the Trail portion of the magnificent Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe, Johnny Rovetini, pillbox hat and all, uttered the words “Call for Philip Morris” for the first time on the radio. The famous phrase was said in perfect B flat pitch and tone to perfectly match the accompanying music.
. 1934 ~ Don Kirshner, American pop-music entrepreneur
. 1960 ~ American rock star Eddie (Ray Edward) Cochran died in a car crash while on tour with Gene Vincent in Britain.
. 1970 ~ The breakup of the most influential rock group in music history was official when Paul McCartney’s solo LP, McCartney, was released. Paul played all the instruments himself on this Apple album.
. 1971 ~ Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night, made it to the top of the pop music charts on this day. The song was number one for six weeks. Now that’s a hit! 1972 ~Betcha by Golly, Wow, by The Stylistics from Philadelphia, earned a gold record for the group. The Stylistics also scored million sellers with You AreEverything, I’m Stone in Love with You, Break Up to Make Up and You Make Me Feel Brand New.
. 1998 ~ Linda McCartney, photographer and wife of former Beatle Paul, died from cancer.
. 2013 ~ Deanna Durbin [Edna Mae Durbin], Canadian actress and vocalist (Every Sunday, Three Smart Girls, 100 Men & a Girl), died at the age of 91
. 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’sCatch 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.”
. 1999 ~ Anthony Newley, British actor and singer-songwriter (Doctor Dolittle; Goldfinger theme; Willy Wonka score), died at the age of 67
. 2007 ~ Don Ho, American musician (b. 1930)
. 2013 ~ Sir Colin Davis, English conductor (NY Met 1967-71), died at the age of 85
. 2015 ~ Percy Sledge, American soul singer (When A Man Loves A Woman), died at the age of 73
. 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.
. 1732 ~ Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
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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.
. 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 foxtrot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.
. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahms’ 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, ThankGod 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.
. 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
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. 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.