October 5 ~ On This Day in Music

today

• 1830 ~ Chester A. Arthur, Piano-playing president
Other Presidential Musicians

• 1925 ~ Jürgen Jürgens, German conductor

• 1930 ~ The New York Philharmonic Orchestra was first heard on the air over CBS radio from Carnegie Hall. The Sunday afternoon concerts set CBS back $15,000. Not per week, but for the entire season!

• 1935 ~ Margie Singleton, Singer, TV performer on Louisiana Hayride

• 1938 ~ Johnny Duncan, Singer

• 1938 ~ Carlo Mastangelo, Singer with Dion and The Belmonts

• 1939 ~ As long as Ted Weems’ orchestra recorded on Decca Records, so did the featured vocalist in his band, the barber from Canonsburg, PA, Perry Como. Before becoming a star in his own right, and making the move to RCA Records and NBC, ‘Mr. C.’ recorded I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now with Weems on Decca.

• 1943 ~ Steve Miller, Singer, songwriter with The Steve Miller Band

• 1947 ~ A small Northern California company got a major boost from Bing Crosby. The first show recorded on tape was broadcast on ABC radio. ‘Der Bingle’ was so popular, that his taped show promoted wide distribution of the new magnetic tape recorders that would become broadcast classics – the venerable Ampex 200.

• 1949 ~ Brian Connolly, Singer with The Sweet

• 1949 ~ B.W. Stevenson, Singer, songwriter

• 1950 ~ Eddie Clarke, Guitarist with Motorhead

• 1951 ~ Bob Geldof, Singer, songwriter with Boomtown Rats, organized fund-raising group: Band Aid

• 1955 ~ Leo Barnes, Musician with Hothouse Flowers

• 1962 ~ Ken Noda, American pianist and composer

• 1962 ~ The Beatles debut single ‘Love Me Do’ was released in the UK. It spent 26 weeks on the chart peaking at No.17. Beatles producer George Martin has said when ‘Love Me Do’ was released, it was the day the world changed.

• 1965 ~ Adding to his many credits, accolades and honors, Henry Mancini received a gold record for the soundtrack LP from the movie, The Pink Panther.

• 2000 ~ Singer, actor and composer Cuco Sanchez, whose six-decade career included the ranchera hits La cama de piedra and Anillo de compromiso, died of liver failure. He was 79. Sanchez, whose full name was Jose del Refugio Sanchez Saldana, recorded his first song at 13. In 1940, he was signed by Mexico’s largest media company, for which he acted in movies and television programs. Sanchez’s long career included about 200 songs, which were translated into 27 languages. Among his hits were Mi chata, Anoche estuve llorando, No soy monedita de oro, Buenas noches mi amor, Con la misma moneda, Que manera de perder, Fallaste corazon, and Oigame compadre. Sanchez also composed music for movies.

• 2000 ~ The Beatles Release Own Account of Band’s History. Its title is “The Beatles Anthology”

• 2003 ~ Clarence B. Cagle, a legendary pianist for the Texas Playboys, died at the age of 83. Cagle began playing violin and banjo at house parties at age 9. In 1938, Cagle moved to Coffeyville, Kan., where he played with Herb Goddard’s Oklahoma Wanderers. By then, he’d switched to playing the piano. Cagle auditioned for legendary Texas swing musician Bob Wills in 1943 in Tulsa. He got the job and performed with the Texas Playboys until Wills left for Hollywood to make Western films. Cagle stayed in Tulsa with Wills’ brother, Johnnie Lee Wills, developing his well-known “Boogie Woogie Highball.” Cagle played with him for the next 17 years. He was admitted to the Western Swing Hall of Fame in Sacramento, Calif., in 1988.

• 2014 ~ Geoffrey Holder, Trinidadian-American actor, choreographer, singer, director and painter (Annie, The Wiz), died at the age of 84

Happy Birthday, Vladimir Horowitz!

 

 

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.

     Horowitz’s birthday

     anniversary of Horowitz’s death

     History of the Piano

     News Item including Horowitz

 

September 29: On This Day in Music

today

 

• 1863 ~ Opera “The Pearl Fishers” (Les Pêcheurs de Perles) by Bizet was first produced at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris

• 1907 ~ (Orvon) Gene Autry, ‘The Singing Cowboy’, actor in over 100 cowboy westerns, singer, CMA Hall of Fame and the only person to have 5 Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. They were for film, radio, TV, stage and records.

• 1930 ~ Richard Bonynge, Australian conductor

• 1930 ~ “Ba, ba, ba, boo. I will, ba ba ba boo … marry you!” ‘Der Bingle’, better known as Bing Crosby, America’s premier crooner for decades, married Dixie Lee.

OCMS 1935 ~ Jerry Lee Lewis, American rock-and-roll singer and pianist
More information about Lewis

• 1942 ~ Jean-Luc Ponty, French jazz pianist

• 1947 ~ Dizzy Gillespie presented his first Carnegie Hall concert in New York, adding a sophisticated jazz touch to the famous concert emporium. Diz would become one of the jazz greats of all time. His trademark: Two cheeks pushed out until it looked like his face would explode. But, as the hepcats said, “Man, that guy can blow!”

 

• 1948 ~ Mark Farner, Guitar: singer with Grand Funk Railroad

• 1953 ~ Danny Thomas, who many now remember as Marlo’s dad and Phil Donahue’s father-in-law, is also remembered for many things that influenced television. At the suggestion of his friend, Desi Arnaz, Thomas negotiated a deal that would allow him to retain ownership rights to his programs, like Make Room for Daddy, which debuted this day on ABC-TV. Later, in 1957, the show would move to CBS under the Desilu/Danny Thomas Productions banner. The rest is, literally, TV history. His success allowed him to give something back to the world, in the form of his philanthropic efforts to build St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. “All I prayed for was a break,” he once told an interviewer, “and I said I would do anything, anything, to pay back the prayer if it could be answered. All I needed was a sign of what to do and I would do it.” And so it was.

• 1962 ~ My Fair Lady closed on this day after a run of 6½ years. At the time, the show held the Broadway record for longest-running musical of all time. 3,750,000 people watched the wonderful show and heard tunes like Wouldn’t it Be Loverly, Show Me, Get Me to the Church on Time, I’m an Ordinary Man, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face and the Vic Damone/Robert Goulet standard, On the Street Where You Live. The team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe turned George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, into a colorful, musical production. They gave a new life to the rough-around-the-edges, cockney, flower girl; the subject of a bet between Professor Higgins (Just You Wait, ’Enry ’Iggins) and a colleague. The Professor bet that he could turn Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady (The Rain in Spain). With a Little Bit of Luck he did it. Eliza, looking and acting very much like a princess, sang I Could Have Danced All Night. After its Broadway success, My Fair Lady was made into a motion picture (1964) and won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.

• 1983 ~ On the Great White Way, A Chorus Line became the longest-running show on Broadway, with performance number 3,389. Grease, the rock ’n’ roll production, had been the previous box-office champ since 1980.

• 2001 ~ Dan Cushman, a prolific fiction writer whose 1953 novel “Stay Away, Joe” was made into a movie starring Elvis Presley, died of heart failure. He was 92. The former New York Times book critic wrote dozens of books and was best known for “Stay Away, Joe.” The book’s portrayal of American Indians stirred controversy in Montana, and Indian novelist James Welch vetoed an excerpt for inclusion in “The Last Best Place,” a Montana anthology. In 1998 Cushman received the H.G. Merriam Award for Distinguished Contributions to Montana Literature, joining such notables as Richard Hugo, A.B. Guthrie Jr. and Norman Maclean. Cushman was first paid for his writing when he received $5 a week for reporting news for a newspaper in Big Sandy, Mont. “It was in Big Sandy where I learned all the trouble you can cause by printing all the news of a small town,” Cushman said. He wrote books set in the South Pacific, the Congo and the Yukon, and drew on his colorful life for much of his fiction. Cushman worked as a cowboy, printer, prospector, geologist’s assistant, advertising writer and radio announcer.

 

Singer Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence-Foster-Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability. The historian Stephen Pile ranked her “the world’s worst opera singer … No one, before or since, has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.”

Despite (or perhaps because of) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Cole Porter, Gian Carlo Menotti, Lily Pons, Sir Thomas Beecham, and other celebrities were fans. Enrico Caruso is said to have “regarded her with affection and respect”.

In 2016 Meryl Streep made Jenkins famous (again)

In the 1940s, New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) dreams of becoming a great opera singer. Unfortunately, her ambition far exceeds her talent. The voice Florence hears in her head is beautiful, but to everyone else it is quite lousy. Her husband St. Clair goes to extreme lengths to make sure his wife never finds out how awful she truly is. When Florence announces her plans for a concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair soon realizes that he’s facing his greatest challenge yet.

 

September 22: On This Day in Music

 

OCMS MrsO’s birthday OCMS

 

 

 

• 1918 ~ Henryk Szeryng, Polish-born Mexican violinist

• 1926 ~ William O. Smith, American composer and jazz clarinetist

• 1930 ~ Joni James (Joan Carmello Babbo), Singer

• 1937 ~ Red Norvo and his orchestra recorded the Russian Lullaby on the Brunswick label. Norvo did more famous work at a later date, recording with a singer named Dinah Shore.

• 1941 ~ Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Bulgarian soprano

• 1943 ~ Singer Kate Smith finished her War Bond radio appeal. For 13 continuous hours Smith had stayed on the air, collecting a whopping $39 million dollars in bond pledges.

• 1951 ~ David Coverdale, Singer with Deep Purple

• 1954 ~ Shari Belafonte, Actress, TV co-host, singer Harry Belafonte’s daughter

• 1956 ~ Debby Boone, Grammy Award-winning singer: Best New Artist in 1977, sang with The Boone Family; daughter of singers Pat and Shirley Boone

• 1962 ~ It was a hootenanny of a good time in, of all places, New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. The cast included newcomer Bob Dylan making his first appearance at Carnegie Hall.

• 1964 ~ In the tradition of the Broadway stage, the lights lowered, the curtain rose and Zero Mostel stepped into the spotlight as the fiddler played. “Tra-a–a- dition”, he sang, as he began the first of 3,242 performances of Fiddler on the Roof. The musical opened on Broadway this day. The story of Tevye (brilliantly played by Mostel), a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, takes place in a small Russian village in the late 1890s. He sings and dances his way through the tragedies and comedies of a father fighting for tradition in a changing world. “To life”, he sang, as the music of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick made the stories by Sholem Aleichem come alive. And he brought tears to audiences eyes with the poignant, Sunrise, Sunset, and laughter, too, with the memorable, If I were a Rich Man — which surely made Zero Mostel a wealthy man.

• 1980 ~ John Lennon signed with Geffen Records. The Lennon LP, Double Fantasy, was released on Geffen. (Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980.)

• 1985 ~ The poor of America’s Heartland … the financially troubled farmers of Middle America … got help from their friends in the music biz. Singing stars Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Cougar Mellencamp held a benefit concert to raise funds. The stars came out and so did the money. The Farm Aid concert raised ten million dollars.

• 1987 ~ Norman Luboff passed away

• 1989 ~ Irving Berlin passed away

• 2001 ~ Isaac Stern, the master violinist who saved Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball, died at the age of 81. Stern, one of the last great violinists of his generation, helped advance the careers of a new generation, including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma. He played well over 175 performances at Carnegie Hall, America’s musical temple renown for its acoustics. The hall opened in 1891. As the city was planning Lincoln Center in the 1950s, a builder proposed an office building to replace Carnegie Hall. Using his prestige and his contacts among fellow artists and benefactors, Stern rallied the opposition, eventually securing legislation that enabled the city to acquire the building in 1960 for $5 million. On Jan. 8, 1943, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in a recital produced by the impresario Sol Hurok. Performing with pianist Alexander Zakin, who became his longtime accompanist, Stern played Mozart, Bach, Szymanowski, Johannes Brahms and Wieniawski. The performance attracted the attention of composer-critic Virgil Thomson. Writing in the New York Herald Tribune, Thomson proclaimed him “one of the world’s master fiddle players.” At his peak, Stern would perform more than 200 concerts a year. Stern boycotted Germany for years because of the Holocaust, but taught a nine-day seminar there in 1999.

May 19: On This Day in Music

today

• 1616 ~Johann Jakob Froberger, composer

• 1861 ~ Dame Nellie Melba (Helen Porter Mitchell), Australian coloratura soprano. She gave her name to Melba Toast, Peach Melba and Melba Sauce.
More information about Melba

• 1895 ~ Albert Hay Malotte, composer

• 1919 ~ Georgie Auld (John Altwerger), Musician: saxophones: bandleader; passed away in 1990

• 1921 ~ The first opera presented in its entirety over the radio was broadcast by 9ZAF in Denver, CO. The opera, “Martha”, aired from the Denver Auditorium.

• 1941 ~ The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra backed the popular singing duo of Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell as Decca record number 3859 turned out to be Time Was – a classic.

• 1945 ~ Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend, British rock guitarist
More information about Townshend
News Items about Townshend

• 1949 ~ Dusty Hill, Musician, bass, singer

• 1952 ~ Grace Jones, Jamaican new-wave singer and songwriter

• 1954 ~ Charles Edward Ives, US composer (Unanswered Question), died at the age of 79

• 1958 ~ Bobby Darin’s single, Splish Splash, was released as the first eight-track master recording pressed to a plastic 45 RPM disc.

• 1965 ~ Roger Miller received a gold record for the hit, King of the Road. The song was Miller’s biggest hit record. It got to number four (3/20/65) on the pop charts and stayed on for 12 weeks.

• 1966 ~ Country music came to New York’s Carnegie Hall this night. Eddy Arnold debuted with an array of popular country artists in the Big Apple.

• 1968 ~ Piano stylist and vocalist Bobby Short gained national attention as he presented a concert with Mabel Mercer at New York’s Town Hall. He had been the featured artist at the intimate Hotel Carlisle for years.

• 1973 ~ Stevie Wonder moved to the number one position on the Billboard pop music chart with You are the Sunshine of My Life.

• 2001 ~ Joe Graydon, who left the FBI for show business and became a popular big band singer, TV talk show host and concert promoter, died at the age of 82. Graydon joined the FBI in 1940, spending the next six years investigating spy cases and tracking down World War II military deserters. But Graydon, who had worked his way through college singing in nightclubs and on college campuses, decided to return to music after the war. He accepted a four-month gig as a singer on the highly popular radio show, “Your Hit Parade.” A successful singing career followed, and in 1950 he was offered a job in television as well. “The Joe Graydon Show” was broadcast on Los Angeles and San Diego television stations for much of the first half of the 1950s. He later switched to managing the careers of others, including Helen Forrest, Dick Haymes, Ray Eberle and the Pied Pipers. When swing music saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1970s, he began producing Big Band concerts and shows.

May 15: On This Day in Music

today

 

• 1567 ~ Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer
More information about Monteverdi

• 1808 ~ Michael William Balfe, Irish composer

• 1813 ~ Stephen Heller, Hungarian composer and pianist. His career spanned the period from Schumann to Bizet, and was an influence for later Romantic composers.

• 1918 ~ Eddie Arnold, Singer

• 1908 ~ Lars-Erik Larsson, Swedish composer

• 1923 ~ Ellis Larkins, Pianist, a favorite accompanist of singers from Mildred Bailey to Ella Fitzgerald

• 1936 ~ Anna Maria Alberghetti, Singer

• 1937 ~ Trini Lopez, Folk Singer and guitarist

• 1938 ~ Lenny Welch, Singer

• 1938 ~ Guy Lombardo and his orchestra recorded Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride, the group’s last side for Victor Records. Lombardo took disc number 25861 and moved the Royal Canadians over to Decca Records to make “the sweetest sound this side of heaven.”

• 1942 ~ Lainie Kazan, Singer

• 1947 ~ Graham Goble, Guitarist with Little River Band

• 1948 ~ Brian Eno, Musician, synthesizer, record producer, songwriter, co-founder of Roxy Music

• 1953 ~ Mike Oldfield, Composer, musician

• 1964 ~ The Smothers Brothers, Dick and Tom, gave their first concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

• 1970 ~ Close to You, the Carpenter’s second album and the one that launched them to meteoric fame, was released by A&M Records. The title song, (They Long to Be) Close to You, became a pop music standard and the first of six million-sellers in a row for Karen and Richard.

• 1972 ~ Glen Campbell earned a gold record for his Greatest Hits album on this day.

• 1995 ~ Johnny Van Derrick, British jazz violinist (Pink Panther Theme), died at the age of 68

• 2003 ~ June Carter Cash, American musician and singer died at the age of 73

• 2004 ~ Clint Warwick [Albert Eccles], English bassist (Moody Blues), died at the age of 63

• 2008 ~ Alexander Courage, American composer of original Star Trek theme, died at the age of 88

• 2011 ~ Bob Flannigan, American jazz singer (The Four Freshmen), died at the age of 84

May 9: On This Day in Music

today

• 1707 ~ Dietrich Buxtehude, German organist/composer, died at about the age of 69

• 1740 ~ Giovanni Paisiello, Italian composer (Barber of Seville)

• 1880 ~ Johann Hermann Berens, composer, died at the age of 54

• 1905 ~ Ernst Pauer, Austrian composer and pianist, died at the age of 78

• 1914 ~ Carlo Maria Guilini, Italian conductor

• 1914 ~ Hank Snow (Clarence Eugene), Canadian-born American country-music singer, guitarist and songwriter, Country Music Hall of Fame

• 1937 ~ Sonny Curtis, Guitarist with Buddy Holly & The Crickets, songwriter

• 1939 ~ Nokie Edwards, Guitarist with The Ventures

• 1939 ~ Ray Eberle recorded Stairway to the Stars with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for Bluebird records.

• 1941 ~ Pete Birrell, Guitarist with Freddie & The Dreamers

• 1942 ~ Tommy Roe, Singer, songwriter

• 1944 ~ Richie Furay, Musician with Poco and Buffalo Springfield

• 1945 ~ Steve Katz, Record producer; musician: guitar, harmonica, singer with Blood, Sweat and Tears

• 1949 ~ Billy Joel, Grammy Award-winning American rock singer, songwriter and pianist Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 3/15/99
More information on Joel

• 1962 ~ The Beatles signed their first recording contract. George Martin was hired to be the group’s producer and the band would record for EMI Parlophone.

• 1964 ~ Hello Dolly! became the nation’s top pop record. The milestone put Louis Armstrong on the Billboard music chart in the top spot for the first time in his 41-year music career. Later, ‘Satchmo’ was cast in the movie version of Hello Dolly!

• 1965 ~ Vladimir Horowitz played his first public concert in 12 years at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The audience applauded the piano virtuoso with a standing ovation that lasted for 30 minutes.

 

• 1970 ~ Guess Who started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘American Woman’, it was the group’s sixth Top 30 hit and only chart-topper. The song was born by accident when guitarist Randy Bachman was playing a heavy riff on stage after he had broken a string, the other members joined in on the jam. A fan in the audience who had recorded the gig on tape presented it to the group after the show and they developed it into a full song.

• 1991 ~ Rudolph Serkin passed away.  He was a Bohemian-born pianist who was widely regarded as one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of the twentieth century.

• 2001 ~ James Myers, whose two-minute, eight-second tune Rock Around the Clock is considered the granddaddy of all rock ‘n’ roll songs, died of leukemia. He was 81. The song was No. 1 for eight weeks and went on to sell 22 million copies worldwide. It has been recorded by more than 500 artists, from Mae West to the Sex Pistols, and has been used in more than 40 movies. Myers, who also wrote under the name Jimmy DeKnight, penned more than 300 songs and had bit parts in movies and TV shows, but Rock Around the Clock remained his most famous work.

• 2010 ~ Lena Horne, American singer and actress died

• 2020 ~ Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman), American singer, songwriter, and musician died. An influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades, he was nicknamed “The Innovator”, “The Originator”, and “The Architect of Rock and Roll”. Penniman’s most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his charismatic showmanship and dynamic music, characterized by frenetic piano playing, pounding backbeat and raspy shouted vocals, laid the foundation for rock and roll.

May 5: On This Day in Music

cinco-de-mayo

Cinco de Mayo

• 1891 ~ New York City was the site of the dedication of a building called the Music Hall. It was quite a celebration. A festival was held for five days, featuring guest conductor Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. The structure is not called the Music Hall anymore. It’s called Carnegie Hall, named in honor of Andrew Carnegie.

• 1900 ~ The Billboard, a magazine for the music and entertainment industries, began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. The name was later shortened to Billboard.

• 1910 ~ Giulietta Simionato, Italian contralto

• 1927 ~ Charles Rosen, American pianist, musicologist, and writer

• 1934 ~ Ace Cannon, Saxophonist

• 1935 ~ The radio program, Rhythm at Eight, made its debut. The star of the show was 24-year-old Ethel Merman. Though Merman would become a legend years later, she didn’t fare so well on radio. Her show was taken off the air after 13 weeks and Miss Merman returned to her first love, Broadway. Tammy Wynette (1942) (Pugh) Grammy Award-winning country singer and songwriter

• 1948 ~ Bill Ward, Musician, drummer

• 1955 ~ The musical, Damn Yankees, opened in New York City for a successful run of 1,019 performances. The show at the 42nd Street Theatre mixed both baseball and ballet. It is an adaptation of the book, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant. Gwen Verdon starred in the role of Lola. Whatever Lola wants Lola gets including the Tony for Best Actress in a musical for her performance.

• 1973 ~ 56,800 fans paid $309,000 to see Led Zeppelin at Tampa Stadium. This was the largest, paid crowd ever assembled in the U.S. to see a single musical act. The concert topped The Beatles 55,000-person audience at Shea Stadium in New York ($301,000) on August 15, 1965.

• 2000 ~ Hugh N. Pruett, the wardrobe director for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, died at 68. Pruett worked with countless international opera singers, directors and designers on 329 productions in his more than 40 years with the Lyric Opera.

• 2002 ~ Veteran movie director George Sidney, famed for such musicals as “Anchors Aweigh,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Annie Get Your Gun,” died at his Las Vegas home. Born into a show business family, the Long Island, New York, native shot 28 features in 27 years, and worked with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Tony Curtis, Lana Turner, Dick Van Dyke, Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret. He once defined a star as “someone who attracts your attention even when he or she isn’t doing anything.” After making his mark in short films, Sidney moved to features in 1941 with “Thousands Cheer,” a hit musical starring Kathryn Grayson and Gene Kelly. “Anchors Aweigh” (1945), which starred Sinatra and Gene Kelly as sailors on liberty, received five Oscar nominations including best picture. In 1950, Sidney took over the troubled production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” which was a major success — as was his 1951 remake of “Show Boat” and his 1953 film version of Cole Porter’s musical “Kiss Me Kate.” In 1963, he directed Presley and Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas,” considered one of the better entries in the rock legend’s woeful Hollywood career. Sidney’s last film was the 1968 British musical “Half a Sixpence,” starring Tommy Steele. Sidney served two stints as president of the Directors Guild of America, and helped animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera set up what would become a cartoon powerhouse.

 

May 2: On This Day in Music

today

• 1660 ~ Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer
More information about Alessandro Scarlatti

• 1895 ~ Lorenz Hart, American lyricist and librettist
More information about Hart

• 1901 ~ Bing Crosby, American actor and singer of popular music

• 1924 ~ Theodore Bikel, Entertainer, singer, actor

• 1938 ~ Ella Fitzgerald recorded one of her biggest hits, A-Tisket, A-Tasket, with Chick Webb’s band. Following Webb’s death, Fitzgerald took over the band for some three years.

• 1939 ~ “Peter and the Wolf” first heard in Moscow.

• 1946 ~ Leslie Gore, Singer

• 1960 ~ Harry Belafonte presented his second Carnegie Hall concert in New York City.

• 1965 ~ Ed Sullivan had said he would not have this British rock group on his CBS- TV Sunday night show again. This night, however, Ed softened up — and allowed Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones to make a second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

• 1985 ~ Larry Clinton passed away.  He was a trumpeter who became a prominent American bandleader and arranger.

• 2001 ~ Robert McKinley “Uncle Bob” Douglas, a renowned mountain fiddler who debuted at the Grand Ole Opry at age 100 last year, died of pneumonia. He was 101. He was scheduled to receive the state’s highest arts award, the Governor’s Folklife Heritage Award, on May 15 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Douglas, a retired steamfitter who never pursued a lucrative commercial career, won the Smithsonian Institution’s national fiddling contest in 1975 and performed at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville.

• 2003 ~ George Wyle, 87, who wrote the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island,” the Christmas classic “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and more than 400 other songs, died. “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island,” which he wrote with the show’s creator and producer, Sherwood Schwartz, became one of the most popular television theme songs. The show debuted on CBS in 1964 and ran until 1967, and its reruns have remained popular. The New York native moved to Los Angeles in 1946 to write and conduct music for “The Alan Young Radio Show.” He went on to work as choral director for television shows including “The Dinah Shore Show,” “The Jerry Lewis Show” and “The Andy Williams Show.” He also handled music for specials by magician David Copperfield and Carol Channing and for the People’s Choice Awards presentations.