On February 5 in Music History

. 1748 ~ Christian Gottlob Neefe, German composer/conductor/tutor of Beethoven

. 1916 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded O Solo Mio for the Victor Talking Machine Company, which eventually became Victor Records, then RCA Victor.

. 1921 ~ Sir John Pritchard, British conductor

. 1928 ~ Singer Jessica Dragonette was seen on one of the first television shows. She was used only to test the new medium. She didn’t even get to sing.

. 1930 ~ Don Goldie, Trumpeter on Basin Street Blues with vocals by Jack Teagarden

. 1931 ~ Eddie Cantor’s long radio career got underway as he appeared on Rudy Vallee’s “The Fleischmann Hour”.

. 1933 ~ Claude King, Singer

. 1940 ~ One of the great classic songs of the Big Band era was recorded. Glenn Miller and his band played Tuxedo Junction at the RCA Victor studios in Manhattan. The flip side of the record (released on the Bluebird label) was Danny Boy.

. 1941 ~ Barrett Strong, Singer, songwriter

. 1942 ~ Cory Wells, Singer with Three Dog Night

. 1943 ~ Charles Winfield, Musician with Blood, Sweat and Tears

. 1958 ~ A year after its founding, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) formed a New York chapter. NARAS is better known as the Grammy Awards organization.

. 1961 ~ The Shirelles were winding up their first week at #1 on the music charts with Will You Love Me Tomorrow. The song was at the top for two weeks. It was the group’s first #1 tune and the first #1 tune from the pen of a New York Brill Building songwriter who worked right down the hall from Neil Sedaka. She became a huge star in her own right with several #1 singles and albums in the 1970s. Her name: Carole King.

. 1969 ~ Bobby Brown, Grammy Award-winning singer, married singer, Whitney Houston

. 2003 ~ Clyde Douglas Dickerson, 80, a saxophone player who played for four decades at Washington area jazz clubs and held down a day job for 20 years as doorman at the Watergate Hotel, died after a stroke. Mr. Dickerson, known as “Watergate Clyde,” appeared at such spots as Blues Alley, Pigfoot and One Step Down and at jazz joints along 14th Street NW. He freelanced for a number of decades as far away as Upstate New York and Ohio. He collaborated with pianist and trumpet player Jimmy Burrell at the old Crow’s Toe at 10th and K streets NW, the Chaconia Lounge on upper Georgia Avenue NW and Today’s in Rockville. Mr. Dickerson also played with performers who included Oran “Hot Lips” Page, the Mangione brothers, ex-Temptation David Ruffin and Rick James. He also appeared in a Lester Young tribute with Shirley Horn and saxmen Byron Morris and Ron Holloway.

His last performance was on Capitol Hill, at Ellington’s at Eighth, shortly before his death. Washington Post staff writer Eve Zibart wrote of Mr. Dickerson that he might once have thought of himself as a musician who worked hotels on the side, but over the years the occupations began to blur. “You take Rostropovich,” Mr. Dickerson said of the National Symphony Orchestra conductor. “Slava gets up there, and whatever composer it is, he can read the score and tell what the composer felt, and he can get that out to the musicians. “It’s the same with being a doorman: If you really know the general manager, you know how he feels about the hotel — it’s like his home, and the people coming in are like his personal guests. I’m the substitute for the general manager . . . playing the overture to the hospitality.” Zibart interviewed him in 1988, his 16th year at the hotel, shortly after the Watergate management threw him a birthday party.

It featured Gerard Schwarz, guest conductor of the Washington Opera and a trumpet virtuoso; pianist Christopher Norton; Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), sponsor of a bill recognizing jazz as a national treasure — and a birthday cake topped by a saxophone. Mr. Dickerson was born in Bristol, Tenn. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

. 2014 ~ Richard Hayman, American orchestra leader (Vaughn Monroe Show), died at the age of 93

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with New Songs

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In honor of the Chinese New Year, which begins Thursday, February 19th, JoyTunes is releasing a new category of songs to celebrate! The tunes included in this category are traditional Chinese songs that are fun to learn and play.

In addition, we are excited to be participating in the App Store Chinese New Year promotion! AppStore.com/CNY

About the Chinese New Year

Also known as the Spring Festival and celebrated for 15 days, the Chinese New Year occurs separately from the western celebrated New Year date as the Chinese follow a different calendar. Many of the celebrations come from ancient Chinese traditions which were set forth to honor deities and family ancestors. Although the biggest celebrations occur in China and other countries with a significant Chinese population, many major cities around the world hold festivals with some of the largest being in San Francisco, New York and London.

Celebrating the New Year

As the New Year approaches, families take great care to clean their houses as it is a way to “sweep” away any bad luck and misfortune. When the celebrations begin, families open the doors and windows of the home in order to let in good luck and fortune. You will also see red paper-cuts and lanterns hanging in doors and windows.

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According to an ancient legend, a mythical beast called Nian would come to a Chinese village on New Year’s Day and eat animals, crops, and sometimes even children. One day a god visited a villager and told him to put red paper and firecrackers in from of each home as Nian was afraid of both. This began the tradition of placing red lanterns and other paper objects in the windows of homes. Nian was frightened away and never returned to harm the village.

The Year of the Goat

Chinese New Year, Year of the goat

2015 is the year of the goat and your Chinese zodiac sign if you were born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 or 2015. So, what should you know if you are a goat sign? Your lucky numbers are 2, 7 and any number containing a 2 or 7. The 7th and 30th are your lucky days of each month and your lucky colors are brown, red and purple. Many good things will happen for those born under the goat sign!