• 1939 ~ Philip Balsley, Singer with The Statler Brothers
• 1941 ~ Les Brown and His Band of Renown paid tribute to baseball’s “Yankee Clipper”, Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, with the recording of Joltin’ JoeDiMaggio on Okeh Records. From that time on, DiMaggio adopted the nickname, Joltin’ Joe.
• 1949 ~ Keith Carradine, Actor and composer, whose recording of I’m Easy reached No. 17 on the U.S. charts in 1976.
• 1950 ~ Andy Fairweather-Low, Musician, guitar, singer with Amen Corner
• 1958 ~ Harry (Harry Lillis III) Crosby, Singer and actor, son of Bing Crosby and Kathryn Grant
• 1958 ~ Chris Foreman, Musician, guitar with Madness
• 1960 ~ Tell Laura I Love Her, by Ray Peterson, wasn’t a big hit in Great Britain. Decca Records in England said the song was “too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility.” They destroyed 25,000 of the platters this day.
• 1961 ~ The Edge (David Evans), Musician, guitar with U2
• 1974 ~ Roberta Flack received a gold record for the single, Feel Like Makin’ Love. Flack, born in Asheville, NC and raised in Arlington, VA, was awarded a music scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC at the age of 15. One of her classmates became a singing partner on several hit songs. Donny Hathaway joined Flack on You’ve Got a Friend, Where is the Love and The Closer I Get to You. She had 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s and 1980s.
• 1975 ~ Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly passed away
• 1997 ~ Duncan Swift, jazz pianist, died at the age of 74
• 2017 ~ Glen Campbell died at the age of 81. He was an American singer, songwriter, musician, television host, and actor.
1803 ~ Adolphe Adam, Opera Composer, composer of Oh, Holy Night
More information about Adam
• 1849 ~ Georgetown University in Washington, DC, became the first college to offer a doctor of music degree. It was presented to Professor Henry Dielman.
• 1880 ~ Ernest Bloch, Swiss-born American composer, and conductor
More information about Bloch
• 1908 ~ Cootie (Charles) Williams, Trumpeter with Echoes of Harlem born. He performed with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman; band leader for Cootie Williams Sextet and Orchestra
• 1915 ~ Bob Eberly (Robert Eberle), Singer born. He performed with Kitty Kallen, sang with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra & on TV’s Top Tunes; brother of singer Ray Eberle
• 1921 ~ Billy Taylor, Jazz Piano. He was also the leader of the Billy Taylor Trio, Orchestra; co-founder of Jazzmobile ’65; the music director of The David Frost Show; and performed jazz segments on Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt
• 1938 ~ Clarinet virtuoso and big band leader Artie Shaw recorded his now-classic, Begin the Beguine, for Bluebird Records in New York City. Shaw was married to Ava Gardner at the time.
• 1941 ~ Barbara Jean Love, Singer with Friends of Distinction
• 1942 ~ Heinz Burt, Musician, bass with The Tornados
• 1947 ~ Mick Fleetwood, British rock drummer
• 1947 ~ Peter Serkin, American pianist
• 1951 ~ Lynval Golding, Musician, guitarist with The Specials
• 1956 – After a decade together as the country’s most popular comedy team, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis called it quits this night. They did their last show at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City. The duo ended their relationship exactly 10 years after they had started it.
• 1958 ~ Pam Tillis, Country Singer
• 1982 ~ “Eye Of The Tiger” from “Rocky III” topped the U.S. pop charts
• 2000 ~ Violinist Oscar Shumsky, a brilliant performer who trained generations of successful younger artists, died at the age of 83 from heart disease. Shumsky displayed his musical talent at an early age, first picking up a violin when he was 3 years old. His father, an amateur player who recognized his son’s brilliance, took him to the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was accepted as a student by violinist Leopold Auer and was later taught by Efrem Zimbalist. At the age of 9, Shumsky performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and after graduating from Curtis in 1936, he began playing around the world to widespread critical acclaim. He later branched into conducting. Shumsky was featured at Lincoln Center’s “Great Performer Series.” He trained generations of violinists at some of the nation’s most prestigious music schools, including the Curtis Institute, the Peabody Conservatory, Yale University and, for 25 years, at the Juilliard School.
• 2001 ~ Charles Henderson, editor of The American Organist, died at the age of 84. Henderson, who edited the journal for more than a decade, starting in 1973, conducted a production of Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde” broadcast nationally on CBS television in 1964. He was on the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary’s School of Sacred Music, and from 1976 to 1983 was the organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Milford, N.J. Born in West Chester, Pa., Henderson studied music at Bucknell University, the Juilliard School, Syracuse University and the Fontainebleau School in France.
• 2016 ~ Marni Nixon, American singer (for Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood & Deborah Kerr), died at the age of 86. She is now well-known as the real singing voices of the leading actresses in films, including The King and I, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady, although this was concealed at the time from audiences.
• 1746 ~ Giovanni Antonio Pollarolo, Composer, died at the age of 69
• 1778 ~ Voltaire, (François-Marie Arouet), French writer of Candide, died at the age of 42. Candide was later set to music by Leonard Bernstein
• 1791 ~ Ildephons Haas, Composer, died at the age of 56
• 1797 ~ Johann Christian Lobe, Composer
• 1797 ~ Carl Ludwig Junker, Composer, died at the age of 48
• 1808 ~ Joaquim Casimiro Jr, Composer
• 1833 ~ Josef Slavik, Composer, died at the age of 27
• 1844 ~ Louis Varney, Composer
• 1853 ~ Karl Fritjof Valentin, Composer
• 1866 ~ Opera “Die Verkaufte Braut” premiered in Prague
• 1870 ~ Gustave Vogt, Composer, died at the age of 89
• 1883 ~ Riccardo Zandonai, Composer
• 1887 ~ Gino Tagliapietra, Composer
• 1906 ~ William Yeates Hurlstone, Composer, died at the age of 30
• 1909 ~ Benny Goodman, American jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader. He became a leading player with his own bands during the 1930’s and also commissioned works from classical composers including Bartok and Copland.
More information on Goodman
• 1913 ~ Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Trumpet with Tommy Dorsey Band and Isham Jones Band
• 1913 ~ Cedric Thorpe Davie, Composer
• 1917 ~ The jazz standard “Dark Town Strutters Ball” by Original Dixieland Jass Band was first recorded
• 1920 ~ George London, Baritone singer with Bel canto Trio (with Frances Yeend and Mario Lanza); member: Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera; Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Director: National Opera Institute; head of the Washington Opera and established the George London Foundation for Singers in 1971.
• 1922 ~ ‘Smilin’ Ed McConnell debuted on radio, smiling and playing his banjo. McConnell quickly became a legend in the medium.
. 1684 ~ Nicolo Amati, member of a family of violin makers in Cremona, Italy, died.
. 1904 ~ Lily (Alice) Pons, Singer
. 1905 ~ The Hippodrome opened in New York City with the gala musical revue, A Yankee Circus on Mars.
. 1913 ~ Lionel Hampton, American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, drummer and bandleader; played with Benny Goodman and recorded with Louis Armstrong. He was responsible for introducing the vibraphone into jazz.
. 1914 ~ George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” opened in London with Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle and Sir Herbert Tree as Professor Higgins. This would later become the musical My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe.
. 1931 ~ Billy (Richard) Vaughn, Musician, orchestra leader, music director
. 1932 ~ Tiny Tim (aka Darry Dover, Larry Love) (Herbert Khaury), Ukulele playing, a falsetto singer, best known for Tiptoe Through the Tulips. Like many performers the persona on stage was very different to the real one, he had a comprehensive knowledge of pre-rock popular music and also a deep baritone voice, he was also a conservative with a traditional belief system about religion and marriage.
. 1933 ~ Monserrat Caballé (1933) Spanish opera singer and a leading Verdi and Donizetti soprano
. 1938 ~ Fedor Chaliapin, foremost Russian operatic bass singer and one of opera’s greatest performers, died.
. 1939 ~ One of the classic theme songs of the Big Band era was recorded for Decca. Woody Herman’s orchestra recorded Woodchopper’s Ball.
. 1940 ~ Herbie Hancock, Oscar-winning American jazz/fusion musician, pianist and composer
. 1950 ~ David Cassidy, Singer
1954 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets recorded Rock Around the Clock for Decca Records. The song was recorded at the Pythian Temple, “a big, barnlike building with great echo,” in New York City. “Rock Around the Clock” was formally released a month later. It sold an estimated 25 million copies worldwide, making it the second biggest-selling single at the time behind Bing Crosby White Christmas
More information about Rock Around the Clock
. 1999 ~ BoxCar Willie, Country singing star, who blended a mellow voice with a rough-hewn hobo persona, died. He was 67.
National Mario Day is observed each year on March 10th and honors Mario from the popular Nintendo game.
It is celebrated on March 10th because of the way the date appears, when abbreviated (Mar.10), it looks just like the name Mario.
. 1832 ~ Muzio Clementi died. He was an Italian-born English composer, pianist, pedagogue, conductor, music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer. He is also the subject of this month’s Piano Explorer, which is enjoyed by my students.
. 1844 ~ Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist
. 1879 ~ Ignaz Moscheles died. He was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso
. 1892 ~ Arthur Honegger, French composer
Read quotes by and about Honegger
More information about Honegger
1903 ~ “Bix” Beiderbecke, American jazz cornetist
More information about Beiderbecke
. 1910 ~ Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke, composer, died at the age of 85
. 1935 ~ Nelson Eddy recorded Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life for Victor Records. The song came from the film, “Naughty Marietta”. Later, Eddy recorded the classic tune with Jeanette MacDonald.
. 1937 ~ An audience of 21,000 jitterbuggers jammed the Paramount Theatre in New York City to see a young clarinetist whom they would crown, ‘King of Swing’ on this night. The popular musician was Benny Goodman.
. 1940 ~ W2XBS-TV in New York City originated the first televised opera as members of the Metropolitan Opera Company presented scenes from “I Pagliacci”.
. 1956 ~ Julie Andrews was 23 years old this night when she made her TV debut. She appeared with Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson in the musical adaptation of Maxwell Anderson’s play, “High Tor”.
. 1977 ~ E Power Biggs, English organist/composer (CBS), died at the age of 70
. 2003 ~ Lionel Dakers, who directed the Royal School of Church Music for 16 years, died at age 79. Dakers was a stickler for high musical standards and opposed some of the modernizing trends in English church music. Dakers was organist at Ripon Cathedral from 1954 to 1957, then moved to Exeter Cathedral before his appointment as director of the Royal School of Church Music in 1972. In 1976, he was appointed a director of Hymns Ancient & Modern, publisher of some of the most widely used Anglican hymnals.
. 2016 ~ Keith Emerson died. He was an English keyboardist and composer with English rock musician Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
. 2017 ~(Joan) Joni Sledge, vocalist (Sister Sledge “We are Family”), died at the age of 60
. 1760 ~ Jan Ladislav Dussek, Czech composer and pianist. Along with his friend, famed piano maker John Broadwood, Dussek made important design improvements to the piano, allowing for the more dynamic style of playing that his highly original compositions required. Beethoven himself later used a Broadwood piano with Dussek’s innovations. This helped pave the way for Romanticism and Dussek’s influence on Beethoven’s piano writing has been well documented.
Dussek’s Piano Sonata Op. 77 in F minor (“L’invocation”), from 1812, is the last work he ever composed, and he saved the best for last. This is a neglected masterpiece that foreshadows Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms.
. 1881 ~ Anna (Pavlovna) Pavlova, Russia’s premier ballerina
. 1894 ~ Hans von Bülow, German pianist and composer died (b. 1830)
More about von Bulow
. 1898 ~ Roy Harris, American composer
. 1904 ~ Ted Mack (William Maguiness), TV host of The Original Amateur Hour, The Ted Mack Family Hour
. 1914 ~ (Gordon) Tex Beneke, Bandleader, singer, tenor sax in the Glenn Miller Orchestra
, 1915 ~ Charles Emile Waldteufel, composer, died at the age of 77
. 1918 ~ All theatres in New York City were shut down in an effort to conserve coal.
. 1923 ~ Mel Powell, American jazz pianist and composer. One of his works is Mission to Moscow for Benny Goodman. He was also Dean of Music at California Institute of Arts.
. 1923 ~ Franco Zeffirelli, Italian director and producer of opera, theatre, film and television
. 1924 ~ Bandleader Paul Whiteman presented his unique symphonic jazz at the Aeolian Hall in New York City. The concert marked the first public performance of George Gershwin’sRhapsody in Blue. The composer, himself, was at the piano this night. Distinguished guests included John Philip Sousa and Jascha Heifetz.
. 1942 ~ Mildred Bailey recorded More Than You Know on Decca Records.
. 1948 ~ Joe Schermie, Bass with Three Dog Night
. 1949 ~ “Annie Get Your Gun” closed at the Imperial Theater in New York City after 1147 performances
. 1964 ~ The Beatles played two concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City, concluding a very successful American tour.
. 1968 ~ Singer and famed guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, received an honorary high school diploma from Garfield High School in Seattle, WA, where he had dropped out at the age of 14.
. 1972 ~ Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together knocked American Pie out of the top spot on the music charts. The record stayed at the top for one week, before giving way to Nilsson’s Without You. Green returned to his gospel roots in 1980 and is a minister in Memphis, TN. Green recorded 14 hit songs with six of them making it to the Top 10.
. 1976 ~ Sal Mineo, singer, died
. 1983 ~ Eubie Blake, US ragtime-composer/pianist (Memories of You), died at the age of 96
. 2011 ~ Elizabeth “Betty” Garrett, American actress, comedian, singer and dancer (All in the Family), died of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 91
. 1669 ~ Miquel Lopez, composer, born. He died sometime in 1723
. 1671 ~ Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker
. 1862 ~ The Battle Hymn of the Republic was first published in “Atlantic Monthly”. The lyric was the work of Julia Ward Howe. The Battle Hymn of the Republic is still being sung and to the tune of a song titled John Brown’s Body.
. 1869 ~ Victor Herbert, Composer, cellist and conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He composed operettas such as Babes in Toyland, Naughty Marietta and songs like Ah Sweet Mystery of Life (At Last I’ve Found You)
. 1877 ~ Thomas Frederick Dunhill, English composer and writer on musical subjects
. 1894 ~ James P. Johnson, American pianist and composer (Charleston), born in New Brunswick, New Jersey
. 1896 ~ Puccini’s “La Bohème” premiered in Turin, Italy. La Bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini between 1893 and 1895 to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème (1851) by Henri Murger. The story is set in Paris around 1830, and shows the Bohemian lifestyle of a poor seamstress and her artist friends.
. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded his first sides for Victor Records. He did ten songs in the session and was paid only $4,000.
. 1937 ~ Don Everly born, Singer with his brother, Phil, in The Everly Brothers. Some of their hits were: Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy’s Clown and All I Have To Do Is Dream
. 1937 ~ Ray Sawyer, Singer with Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
. 1939 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded And the Angels Sing on Victor Records. The vocalist on that number, who went on to find considerable fame at Capitol Records, was Martha Tilton.
. 1940 ~ Frank Sinatra sang Too Romantic and The Sky Fell Down in his first recording session with the Tommy Dorsey Band. The session was in Chicago, IL. Frankie replaced Jack Leonard as lead singer with the band.
. 1941 ~ “Downbeat” magazine reported this day that Glenn Miller had inked a new three-year contract with RCA Victor Records. The pact guaranteed Miller $750 a side, the fattest record contract signed to that time.
. 1949 ~ RCA Victor countered Columbia Records’ 33-1/3 long play phonograph disk with not only a smaller, 7-inch record (with a big hole in the center), but an entire phonograph playing system as well. The newfangled product, the 45- rpm, which started a revolution (especially with the new rock and roll music), soon made the 78-rpm record a blast from the past.
. 1952 ~ Rick James (James Johnson), Singer
. 1954 ~ Mike Campbell, Guitarist with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
. 1968 ~ Elvis Presley celebrated the birth of his daughter, Lisa Marie. Lisa Marie married and divorced the ‘Gloved One’, Michael Jackson, in the ’90s.
. 1971 ~ The soundtrack album from the movie, “Love Story”, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, with music by Frances Lai, was certified as a gold record on this day.
. 1995 ~ Richey Edwards, guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers, vanished leaving no clues to his whereabouts. He left The Embassy Hotel in London at 7am, leaving behind his packed suitcase. His car was found on the Severn Bridge outside Bristol, England sixteen days later. Edwards has never been found, despite constant searching, and in November 2008 he was declared officially dead.
. 2002 ~ Hildegard Knef, a smoky-voiced actress and singer who starred in Germany’s first post-World War II movie and scandalized church officials with a 1951 nude scene, died of a lung infection at a Berlin hospital. She was 76. Knef became a star for her role as a former concentration camp inmate returning home in Wolfgang Staudte’s 1946 “Murderers Are Among Us.” Knef, who sometimes went as Hildegard Neff in the United States, appeared in more than 50 films, most of them made in Europe. She reportedly turned down a Hollywood studio contract after being told she would have to change her name and say she was Austrian, not German. She scandalized Roman Catholic authorities with a brief nude scene in the 1951 German film “The Story Of A Sinner.” Her work in the United States included the role of Ninotchka in Cole Porter’s Broadway musical “Silk Stockings” in the 1950s, and a supporting role in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” She launched a career as a singer in the 1960s and wrote a best-selling 1970 autobiography. She continued to act and sing almost until the end of her life, appearing as herself in the 2000 documentary “Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song” and in the 1999 German comedy, “An Almost Perfect Wedding.”
. 2003 ~ Latin jazz musician Ramon “Mongo” Santamaria, a Cuban-born percussionist and bandleader known for his conga rhythms, died in Miami at age 85. He was best known for his 1963 recording of Herbie Hancock’s song Watermelon Man, which became his first Top 10 hit. In 1959, Santamaria penned Afro Blue, which quickly became a jazz standard covered by stars such as Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. Born in Havana, Santamaria performed at Havana’s famed Tropicana Club before moving to New York City in the early 1950s, touring with the Mambo Kings and performing with Tito Puente and Cal Tjader. Santamaria recorded scores of albums in a career that spanned nearly 40 years, mixing rhythm and blues with jazz and hip-swaying conga. In 1977 he was awarded a Grammy for Best Latin Recording for his album “Amancer.” In recent years, he divided his time between Manhattan and Miami.
. 2018 ~ Alan Stout, American composer, died at the age of 85
. 2018 ~ Dennis Edwards, who joined the Temptations in 1968 and sang on a string of the group’s hits including “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Ball of Confusion” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” in an initial tenure that stretched to 1977, died at the age of 74
National Compliment Day. Give an extra compliment on National Compliment Day which is observed annually on January 24. A compliment has a powerful effect. It can instill confidence in a child, or validate someone’s hard work.
The OCMS has sticker pages you can put in your student’s music or notebooks to remind him or her how well you think they’re doing.
Always find something to praise in your student’s practice and playing. You’ll see that it makes a world of difference.
. 1776 ~ Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, composer
. 1883 ~ Friedrich von Flotow, German baron/composer, died at the age of 70
More information about Flotow
. 1913 ~ Norman Dello Joio, American composer
More information about Dello Joio
. 1919 ~ Leon Kirchner, American composer and pianist
. 1925 ~ Maria (Betty Marie) Tallchief, Prima ballerina: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, New York City Ballet; formed ballet troupe and school (1974) which became Chicago City Ballet in 1980, wife of choreographer George Balanchine
. 1936 ~ Jack Scott (Scafone), Singer
. 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded one of the all-time greats, Stompin’ at the Savoy, on Victor Records. The song became such a standard, that, literally, hundreds of artists have recorded it, including a vocal version by Barry Manilow. The ‘King of Swing’ recorded the song in a session at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.
. 1941 ~ Neil Diamond, American pop-rock singer and songwriter
. 1941 ~ Ray Stevens, Singer and entertainer
. 1942 ~ Abie’s Irish Rose was first heard on NBC radio this day as part of “Knickerbocker Playhouse”. The program was a takeoff on the smash play from Broadway that ran for nearly 2,000 performances. Sydney Smith played the part of Abie. Rosemary Murphy was played by Betty Winkler.
. 1973 ~ ‘Little’ Donny Osmond, of the famed Osmond Brothers/Family, received a gold record for his album, “Too Young”. When he played the gold-plated disc on his Mickey Mouse phonograph, all he heard was Ben by ‘little’ Michael Jackson, a competitor in the ‘Kids Who Sing Really High Awards’ battle.
. 2006 ~ Fayard Nicholas, American tap dancer, one-half of The Nicholas Brothers and actor (The Five Heartbeats), died of pneumonia and complications from a stroke at the age of 91.
Children: don’t try this at home – never, ever dance on a piano!
National Polka Dot Day celebrates polka dots, and since 2016 has also been used to celebrate Minnie Mouse, who is known for often wearing the dots. She usually is seen wearing a red dress with white polka dots, and often has a matching bow. Celebrants of the holiday don polka dots to celebrate the dot and Minnie Mouse.
In the nineteenth century, garments with dots began becoming popular. Dotted-Swiss was one such type of garment. In Germany, dots on garments were called Thalertupfen. Dotted clothing could be seen in some famous paintings of the time, such as Monet’s Luncheon on the Grass and Bazille’s Family Reunion.
In the middle of that century, polka dancing became popular in Europe. The name for the dot comes from the dance, although there doesn’t seem to be any real connection between the two. “Polka” is a Polish word for “Polish woman,” and the term polka dot was first printed in 1857, in an American women’s magazine called Godey’s Lady’s Book.
The popularity of polka dots increased in the 1920s and ’30s. Miss America wore a polka dot swimsuit in 1926 and Minnie appeared with polka dots in 1928. Polka dot dresses were common during the 1930s. Following World War II, Dior began putting out dresses with polka dots, and polka dot clothing was worn by stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. In the 1960s, Yayoi Kusama began using polka dots in her paintings. Some men have worn polka dots, such as Bob Dylan, and Marvel Comics even created Polka-Dot Man. Today, polka dots are often worn nostalgically and have gained in popularity with the revival of vintage wear from the 1950s and ’60s.
Because Minnie Mouse is often seen wearing polka dots, the day has been closely tied to her. Although she appeared with Mickey in Plane Crazy on May 15, 1928, this did not have a wide release, and it is Steamboat Willie, which was released on November 18, 1928, which is widely known as Minnie Mouse’s debut. Independent, feminine, and cheerful, she is known for bringing happiness to others and helping them with troubles they may be having. Walt Disney was the first voice of Minnie, just for a short while, and many people have voiced her since. Russi Taylor began voicing her in 1986 and did so for decades afterward.
After Minnie’s debut in 1928, she appeared in many more short films throughout the 1930s. Mickey and Minnie were redesigned in the late 1930s, but Minnie was used less starting in the 1940s. It was not until the 1980s when she once again began being used more prominently in cartoons. She was in Mickey’s Christmas Carol in 1983 and had her first starring role in a television special with Totally Minnie in 1988. She has since appeared in films such as Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, and in television shows such as Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey Mouse, and Mickey and the Roadster Racers.
Minnie has been featured in comics, video games, and has been a staple at Disney parks such as Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, where events have been held on the day. In 2016, an art and fashion show called “Rock the Dots” was held on Polka Dot Day in Los Angeles; it was followed by an exhibit that was open to the public. Disney began encouraging people to wear polka dots and use the hashtag #RocktheDots. Minnie received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on National Polka Dot Day in 2018, during her 90th anniversary year.
How to Observe National Polka Dot Day
Celebrate the day by wearing polka dots. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and Shop Disney have polka dotted Minnie Mouse clothes and accessories available. Let people know you are wearing polka dots by using the hashtag #RocktheDots. The day could be spent watching films starring Minnie Mouse, such as Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie. Minnie was not wearing polka dots in those first films, but she was wearing a polka dot dress in their opening title sequences. You could also do some Minnie Mouse crafts, or plan a trip to Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World.
. 1886 ~ John J. Becker, American composer
. 1889 ~ The Columbia Phonograph Company was formed in Washington, DC.
. 1901 ~ Hans Erich Apostel, German-born Austrian composer
. 1904 ~ George Balanchine (Georgi Balanchivadze), Choreographer of Apollo, Orpheus, Firebird, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker. He founded School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet. He was married to Tanaquil Le Clercq.
. 1907 ~ The Richard Strauss opera, “Salome”, was featured with the Dance of the Seven Veils. It was copied by vaudeville performers. Soon, performances of the opera were banned at the Metropolitan Opera House.
. 1916 ~ Henri Dutilleux, French composer
. 1920 ~ William Warfield, singer (Show Boat)
. 1924 ~ James Louis “J.J.” Johnson, Trombonist, composer and bandleader. He was one of first to use the trombone in modern jazz
. 1931 ~ Clyde McCoy and his orchestra recorded Sugar Blues. The tune became McCoy’s theme song, thanks to its popularity on Columbia Records, and later on Decca, selling over a million copies.
. 1935 ~ Sam Cooke, American rhythm-and-blues singer
. 1949 ~ Steve Perry, Drummer with Radio Stars
. 1953 ~ Myung-Whun Chung, Seoul South Korea, pianist/conductor (Chung Trio)
. 2002 ~ Pete Bardens, a keyboardist who played alongside such pop stars as Mick Fleetwood, Ray Davies, Rod Stewart and Van Morrison, died of lung cancer. He was 57. He was known for his progressive and New Age rock style on synthesizer, electric piano and organ. In the 1960s, the London-born Bardens played in the Blues Messengers with Davies, who later went on to form The Kinks; Shotgun Express with Stewart; Them with Morrison; and the group Cheynes with Fleetwood and Peter Green, who went on to form Fleetwood Mac. In 1972, Bardens formed the progressive rock band Camel and stayed with it through the late 1970s. In 1978, he began a successful solo career, releasing several well-received records, including “Speed of Light”, and also played on Morrison’s album “Wavelength” and accompanied him on a world tour. Barden continued to compose, produce and perform music through the 1990s, appearing in Europe with his group Mirage.
. 2004 ~ Milt Bernhart, a big band trombonist known for his solo on Frank Sinatra’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin, died. He was 77. During his three-decade career, Bernhart played in bands led by Benny Goodman, Henry Mancini and others. He was performing in Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars when Marlon Brando arranged for the band to play in the 1954 film The Wild One. Bernhart then became an in-studio musician for Columbia and other film and television studios, and in 1956 added a memorable solo to Sinatra’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Born in Valparaiso, Ind., Bernhart was drafted into the Army and was to be sent overseas during World War II before he was transferred to the service’s band. After his music career wound down in 1973, he bought Kelly Travel Service in Los Angeles. He created the Big Band Academy of America in 1986 and planned to retire as the organization’s founding president in March.
. 2004 ~ Ann Miller, a childhood dance prodigy who fast-tapped her way to movie stardom that peaked in 1940s musicals like “On the Town”, “Easter Parade” and“Kiss Me Kate”, died of lung cancer. She was 81. Miller’s film career peaked at MGM in the late 1940s and early ’50s, but she honed her chops into her 60s, earning millions for “Sugar Babies”, a razzmatazz tribute to the era of burlesque featuring Mickey Rooney. Miller’s legs, pretty face and fast tapping (she claimed the record of 500 taps a minute) earned her jobs in vaudeville and nightclubs when she first came to Hollywood. Her early film career included working as a child extra in films and as a chorus girl in a minor musical, “The Devil on Horseback”. An appearance at the popular Bal Tabarin in San Francisco won a contract at RKO studio, where her name was shortened to Ann. Her first film at RKO, “New Faces of 1937”, featured her dancing. She next played an acting hopeful in “Stage Door”, with Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball and Eve Arden.
When Cyd Charisse broke a leg before starting “Easter Parade” at MGM with Fred Astaire, Miller replaced her. That led to an MGM contract and her most enduring work. She was teamed with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in “On the Town”, Red Skelton in “Watch the Birdie”, and Bob Fosse in “Kiss Me Kate“. Other MGM films included: “Texas Carnival”, “Lovely to Look At”, “Small Town Girl”, “Deep in My Heart”, “Hit the Deck” and “The Opposite Sex.” The popularity of musicals declined in the 1950s, and her film career ended in 1956. Miller remained active in television and the theater, dancing and belting songs on Broadway in “Hello, Dolly” and “Mame”. In later years, she astounded audiences in New York, Las Vegas and on the road with her dynamic tapping in “Sugar Babies.” The show opened on Broadway in 1979 and toured for years. In 1990, she commented that “Sugar Babies” had made her financially independent. While her career in Hollywood prospered, Miller became a regular figure in the town’s nightlife, and she caught the eye of Louis B. Mayer, all-powerful head of MGM. After dating, she declined to marry him because her mother would not allow it. She later married and divorced steel heir Reese Milner and oilmen William Moss and Arthur Cameron.
. 2004 ~ Dick Rodgers, an insurance salesman known as the “Polka King” when he hosted a regional television show from the 1950s to the 1970s, died. He was 76. Rodgers’ television show was on the air from 1955-78, starting on WMBV in Marinette, which later moved to Green Bay and became WLUK-TV. The program was shown on 17 Midwestern stations at its height. Rodgers’ accomplishments included membership in the International Polka Music Hall of Fame (1976) and in the World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame (1996). He also was named Orchestra Leader of the Year by the Wisconsin Orchestra Leaders Association in 1967.
. 1626 ~ John Dowland, English composer (In Darkness We Dwell), died at the age of 62
. 1899 ~ Alexander Tcherepnin, pianist and composer
. 1903 ~ First performance of “The Wizard of Oz” as a Broadway musical
. 1917 ~ Billy Maxted, Pianist, songwriter, arranger and bandleader
. 1927 ~ The first opera to be broadcast over a national radio network was presented in Chicago, IL. Listeners heard selections from “Faust” by Charles Gounod.
. 1932 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani gave a memorable concert at Queen’s Hall in England to ‘glowing notices’. This was the beginning of the musician’s successful recording career that provided beautiful music to radio stations for nearly five decades. Better known as just Mantovani, his music still entertains us with hits like Red Sails in the Sunset, Serenade in the Night, Song from Moulin Rouge and Charmaine.
. 1939 ~ Wolfman Jack (Robert Smith), Disc jockey, icon of ’60s radio, broadcasting from XERF, then XERB in Mexico and heard throughout a major part of the U.S.; TV announcer: The Midnight Special; actor: American Graffiti; author: Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal
. 1942 ~ Mac (Scott) Davis, Singer, actor, host of The Mac Davis Show, songwriter, ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1975
. 1942 ~ Nostalgia buffs will want to grab the greatest hits CD of Count Basie (on Verve) and crank up One O’Clock Jump. Just one of the many signature tunes by Bill Basie; the tune was originally recorded on Okeh Records this day.
. 1948 ~ Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian composer and teacher
. 1950 ~ Billy Ocean, Grammy Award-winning R&B Male Vocal in 1984
. 1957 ~ Singer Patsy Cline appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s nighttime TV show. She sang the classic, Walking After Midnight, which quickly launched her career.
. 1959 ~ The Kingston Trio (Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard) received a gold record for Tom Dooley. The Kingston Trio recorded many hits, including Greenback Dollar, M.T.A., Reverend Mr. Black, TijuanaJail, and the war protest song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?.
. 1966 ~ George Harrison of The Beatles married Patricia (Patty) Anne Boyd in Surrey, England. The two met on the set of the movie, “A Hard Day’sNight”.
. 1970 ~ ABC-TV presented “The Johnny Cash Show” in prime time. Previously, the show had been a summer replacement. The regular season series was a big boost for country music. Johnny wore black in the all-color show, however, like he still does today.
. 1978 ~ The soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever” reached #1 on the album charts — a position it held for the next six months.
. 1987 ~ Thirty years after its release, Jackie Wilson’s single, Reet Petite (written by Motown founder Berry Gordy), ended a month at the top of England’s music charts. Three years earlier, on this same date, Jackie Wilson died after being in a coma (following a heart attack) for eight and a half years.
. 2002 ~ Peggy Lee, the singer-composer whose smoky voice in such songs as Is That All There Is? and Fever made her a jazz and pop legend, died of a heart attack. She was 81. Lee battled injury and ill health, including heart trouble, throughout a spectacular career that brought her a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and sold- out houses worldwide. In more than 50 years in show business, which began during a troubled childhood and endured through four broken marriages, Lee recorded hit songs with the Benny Goodman band, wrote songs for a Disney movie and starred on Broadway in a short-lived autobiographical show, Peg. A string of hits, notably Why Don’t You Do Right?, made her a star. Then she fell in love with Goodman’s guitarist, Dave Barbour, and withdrew from the music world to be his wife and raise their daughter, Nicki. She returned to singing when the marriage fell apart. Lee’s other notable recordings included Why Don’t You Do Right?I’m a Woman,Lover,Pass Me By,Where or When,The Way You Look Tonight,I’m Gonna Go Fishin‘ and Big Spender. The hit Is That All There Is? won her a Grammy for best contemporary female vocal performance in 1969. She collaborated with Sonny Burke on the songs for Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp, and was the voice for the wayward canine who sang He’s a Tramp (But I Love Him).
. 2022 ~ Marvin Lee Aday (Meatloaf), died at age 74. He was a singer who appeared in several television shows and films, including the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Fight Club” and “Wayne’s World.”