. 1884 ~ Joseph Bonnet, French organist and composer. He founded the organ department at the Eastman School of Music during his time in the U.S.
. 1901 ~ Alfred Newman, Conductor
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. 1917 ~ Nat “King” Cole, American jazz singer and pianist
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. 1930 ~ Paul Horn, American jazz flutist, saxophonist, clarinetist and composer
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. 1938 ~ Rudolf Nureyev, Dancer
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. 1944 ~ John Lill CBE, English classical pianist
. 1944 ~ John Sebastian, American pop-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, His group, The Lovin’ Spoonful performed Do You BelieveIn Magic, Summer In The City, Daydream, You Didn’t Have to be SoNice, Nashville Cats His solos include Darling Be Home Soon and Welcome Back
• 1895 ~ Vincent Lopez, Bandleader, played at NYC’s Astor Hotel, some of the greats started with him: Artie Shaw, Buddy Morrow, Buddy Clark
1904 ~ Dmitri Kabalevsky, Russian composer, pianist and conductor
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• 1910 ~ Paul Frederic Bowles, American composer and novelist
• 1914 ~ Bert Parks (Jacobson), Radio/TV host of Miss America Pageant, Break the Bank, Stop the Music
• 1919 ~ Sir David Willcocks, British organist, conductor and educator
• 1928 ~ Bo Diddley (Otha Ellas Bates McDaniel), Singer
• 1931 ~ Skeeter Davis (Mary Frances Penick), Singer
• 1936 ~ The famous feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen was ignited. After a 10- year-old performer finished a violin solo on The Fred Allen Show, Mr. Allen said, “A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing.” It didn’t take long for Mr. Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted for years on both comedian’s radio shows.
• 1937 ~ John Hartford, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, banjo, fiddle, guitar on Glen Campbell’s Good Time Comedy Hour
• 1939 ~ Del Shannon (Charles Westover), Singer, songwriter, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
• 1942 ~ Michael Nesmith, Guitarist with The Monkees, formed The First National Band, movie producer of the first Grammy-winning video
• 1945 ~ Davy Jones (David Thomas Jones), Singer with The Monkees, actor
• 1947 ~ Jeff Lynne, Singer, guitar with The Electric Light Orchestra, songwriter
• 1948 ~ Alfred Drake and Patricia Morrison starred in Kiss Me Kate which opened at the New Century Theatre in New York City. Cole Porter composed the music for the classic play that was adapted from Shakespeare’s comedy, The Taming ofthe Shrew. The show ran for 1,077 performances on the Great White Way.
• 1942 ~ Frank Sinatra opened at New York’s Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a 4-week engagement (his shows turned out to be so popular that he was booked for an additional 4 weeks). An estimated 400 policemen were called out to help curb the excitement. It is said that some of the teenage girls were hired to scream, but many more screamed for free. Sinatra was dubbed ‘The Sultan of Swoon’, ‘The Voice that Thrills Millions’, and just ‘The Voice’. Whatever he was, it was at this Paramount Theatre engagement that modern pop hysteria was born.
• 1954 ~ Pearl Bailey opened on Broadway in the play, House of Flowers, about two madams with rival bordellos. Diahann Carroll was also cast in the play, written by Truman Capote. Harold Arlen provided the musical score.
• 1969 ~ Peter, Paul and Mary received a gold record for the single, Leaving On aJet Plane. The song had hit #1 on December 20.
• 1970 ~ Paul McCartney sued the other three Beatles to dissolve the partnership and gain control of his interest. The suit touched off a bitter feud between McCartney and the others, especially his co-writer on many of the Beatles compositions, John Lennon. The partnership officially came to end in 1974.
• 1976 ~ The Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick, played their last show at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and retired as a team from show business. Each continued as a solo artist. They reunited years later for another stab at TV (on NBC) plus concert appearances that proved very successful.
• 2000 ~ Bohdan Warchal, a violinist and conductor who was one of Slovakia’s most popular musicians, of an unspecified illness at the age of 70. A violinist in the Slovak Philharmonic, Warchal, who died on Saturday, won acclaim as the founder and conductor of the Slovak Chamber Orchestra, which has given concerts all over the world ever since it was established in 1960. Warchal was awarded a medal by President Rudolf Schuster for his lifetime work last year.
• 2003 ~ Hong Kong’s Canto-pop diva and actress Anita Mui died. She was 40 years old. Mui began her career after winning a singing contest in Hong Kong in 1982. She rose to stardom with her song Homecoming in 1984. Canto-pop refers to hits sung in Cantonese, the dialect of Chinese that is widely spoken in Hong Kong and in many overseas Chinese communities. Mui also turned to acting and won Taiwan’s Golden Horse film award for best actress in 1987 for her role as a tormented ghost in the movie “Rouge.”
2004 ~ Artie Shaw (Arthur Arschawsky), American jazz clarinetist, bandleader, composer and arranger died
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• 1926 ~ Benny Goodman played a clarinet solo. This was not unusual for Benny except that it was his first time playing solo within a group recording session. Goodman was featured with Ben Pollack and His Californians on He’s the Last Word.
• 1930 ~ Peter Warlock [Philip Heseltine], British composer and music critic, died of a probable suicide at the age of 36
• 1936 ~ Tommy Steele (Hicks), Singer, actor
• 1937 ~ Art Neville, Keyboards, percussion, singer with The Neville Brothers
• 1937 ~ Nat Stuckey, Country singer, songwriter
• 1939 ~ Eddie Kendricks, Singer with The Temptations
• 1942 ~ Paul Butterfield, American blues singer and harmonica player with Paul Butterfield Blues Band
• 1943 ~ Dave Dee (Harmon), Tambourine, singer, record promoter
• 1955 ~ Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Studios in Memphis. The tune became one of the first records to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.
• 1958 ~ Mike Mills, Bass with R.E.M
• 1961 ~ Sarah Dallin, Singer with Bananarama
• 1969 ~ Tiny Tim (Herbert Buchingham Khaury) married Miss Vickie (Victoria Budinger) on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. This is the Tiny Tim of the falsetto version of Tiptoe Through the Tulips fame. The NBC-TV program earned the second-highest, all-time audience rating; second only to Neil Armstrong’s walking on the moon. Mr. Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie had a daughter, Tulip. Then in 1977 they stopped tiptoeing together.
• 1969 ~ Chicago Transit Authority became a gold record for the group of the same name (they later changed their name to Chicago). When the album was released by Columbia Records, it marked the first time an artist’s debut LP was a double record.
• 1970 ~ The Beach Boys played to royalty at Royal Albert Hall in London. Princess Margaret was in attendance and shook the royal jewelry to such classics as Good Vibrations, I Get Around and Help Me, Rhonda.
• 1977 ~ Elvis Costello, making a rare TV appearance, agreed to perform on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
• 1978 ~ Don Ellis passed away
• 1999 ~ Rex Allen passed away
• 2004 ~ Johnnie Carl, Crystal Cathedral Orchestra conductor, took his life. Mr. Carl has been in the employment of the Crystal Cathedral for nearly 30 years and was internationally renowned as a conductor and as a composer and arranger of over 3,500 musical pieces. He was 57 years old.
• 2018 ~ Galt MacDermot, Canadian musician and composer (Hair), died at the age of 89
• 2018 ~ Raven Wilkinson, American ballerina, first African American woman to dance with a major ballet company, died at the age of 83
1881 ~ Johannes Brahms gave the first performance of his Piano Concerto No.2 in Budapest.
.1899 ~ “Mezz” Mezzrow, American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist
.1929 ~ Piero Cappuccili, Italian baritone
.1930 ~ Ivan Moravec, Czech pianist
.1938 ~ 24-year-old Mary Martin made her Broadway stage debut in the musical comedy “Leave It to Me”. She brought down the house as she sang My HeartBelongs to Daddy. And the critics raved about New York’s bright new star. The following year brought Martin a top-ten hit with the same song. Martin suddenly found herself singing duets with Bing Crosby; starring on “Broadway in One Touch of Venus” in 1943; “Lute Song” in 1946; touring in “Annie Get Your Gun”; and then taking on what would become her immortal role, that of Nellie in “South Pacific”. South Pacific was one of Broadway’s biggest hits and the cast album was one of the first of its kind, also a big seller. Then came Mary’s stage and TV performances as Peter Pan. This would become her signature role, a memorable moment as the petite actress flew through the air with Tinkerbell and fought the dangerous Captain Hook. Broadway called to Mary Martin again in 1959 for “The Sound of Music” and once more in 1966 for “I Do, I Do”. Back in 1951, Mary Martin recorded a duet with a young man who was also destined for instant and long-term stardom. The song they sang together was Get Out Those Old Records. The twenty-year-old was her son, Larry Hagman, who later played J.R. Ewing. This is one man that Mary Martin didn’t want to wash out of her hair!
.1955 ~ Harry Belafonte recorded Jamaica Farewell and Come Back Liza for RCA Victor. The two tunes completed the Calypso album which led to Belafonte’s nickname, ‘Calypso King’.
.1967 ~ The first issue of Rolling Stone was published. John Lennon was on the cover. The magazine said it was not simply a music magazine but was also about “…the things and attitudes that music embraces.”
.1969 ~ Simon and Garfunkel recorded what would become their signature tune, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with a future member of Bread, Larry Knechtel on piano. Art wanted Paul to sing the song, but Paul insisted that Art’s voice was better suited for it. It was a decision that Paul would later say he regretted. The song won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
.1974 ~ Bachman Turner Overdrive went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’. Randy Bachman stuttered through the lyrics of the demo recording as a private joke about his brother Gary, who had a speech impediment. The record company liked that take better than the non-stammering version and released it.
.2003 ~ Saxophonist Buddy Arnold, who performed with such jazz greats as Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich and Tommy Dorsey and co-founded a program to help musicians suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, died at the age of age 77. Born Arnold Buddy Grishaver, he began playing the saxophone at age 9. And by the time he was 16, he was touring as a professional sideman and performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem with bandleader George Auld. After serving in the Army during World War II, Arnold joined the band of super-drummer Buddy Rich on a West Coast tour. Arnold earned his first recording credits in 1949 on the Mercury Records release of Gene Williams and the Junior Thornhill Band, and he toured with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco’s orchestra in 1951. But he soon descended into a decades-long struggle with drug addiction. Although he landed a recording contract with ABC Paramount in 1956 following an 18-month hospitalization, he was sentenced to prison in 1958 on an attempted burglary conviction. Pardoned two years later, he played with the Dorsey Band and toured with Stan Kenton. He later settled in Los Angeles and recorded four albums for Capitol Records. Arnold took a job in a drug treatment program after his early release from prison and went on to establish the Musician’s Assistance Program with his wife, Carole Fields, in 1992. The organization, dedicated to helping needy musicians obtain treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, has served more than 1,500 individuals during the past decade.
1814 ~ Adolphe Sax, Belgian instrumentalist, inventor of the saxophone and saxotromba
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1854 ~ John Phillip Sousa, American bandmaster and composer; “The March King”
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1860 ~ Ignace Jan Paderewski, Composer, pianist, Polish patriot, First Premier of Poland (1919), brought white Zinfandel wine grapes to U.S. for the first time
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1893 ~ Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer of the late-Romantic period (1812 Overture, Swan Lake), died at the age of 53
.1916 ~ Ray Conniff, American conductor, arranger and composer of popular music, trombonist
.1932 ~ Stonewall Jackson, Singer
.1936 ~ This was the day that big band icon Woody Herman played in his first recording session. He recorded Wintertime Dreams on Decca disc #1056.
.1937 ~ Eugene Pitt, Singer
.1938 ~ P.J. Proby (James Smith), Singer
.1940 ~ Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians recorded one of their lesser-known songs for Decca. It was The Moon Fell in the River.
.1941 ~ Doug Sahm, Singer, founded Sir Douglas Quintet
.1943 ~ Mike Clifford, Singer
.1947 ~ George Young, Guitarist with The Easybeats
.1948 ~ Glenn Frey, Songwriter, singer with The Eagles
1965 ~ Edgard Varèse, French-born composer, died at the age of 81
.2001 ~ John Denman, a clarinetist who was most recently artistic adviser to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s pops division, died from complications of esophageal cancer. He was 68. Denman, a native of London, was a principal clarinetist for the orchestra for more than 20 years. Denman also played principal clarinet with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He taught music at Trinity College in England before coming to teach at the University of Arizona. He joined the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in the late 1970s. In 1984, Denman left the University of Arizona after failing to receive tenure. For the rest of his life, he focused on his performing career. He also designed a small clarinet, the Kinder-Klari, to make practicing easier for young hands. Denman performed and recorded with jazz icon Buddy DeFranco and was a member of several jazz bands.
.2002 ~ Maria Johansson, an organist who became a local legend for singing religious songs and hymns in one of Stockholm’s main squares every day for nearly three decades, died at the age of 84. The daughter of a preacher, Johansson often served homemade sandwiches to the poor during breaks in her daily performance. At one point, she went to work at a bakery to help pay for the sandwiches, her husband said.
.2016 ~ Zoltan Kocsis, Hungarian pianist and conductor, died at the age of 64
• 1922 ~ Neal Hefti, Composer of TV’s Batman theme, The Odd Couple theme; Neal Hefti and His Orchestra performed on The Kate Smith Show
• 1925 ~ “Zoot” (John Haley) Sims, American jazz tenor and alto saxophonist and clarinetist. He played with the Benny Goodman Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, Stan Kenton, Gerry Mulligan, Birdland All-Stars, Jazz at Carnegie Hall
• 1926 ~ Jon Vickers, Canadian tenor
• 1930 ~ The tune, It Must Be True, was recorded on Victor by Bing Crosby, who sang with Gus Arnheim and his orchestra.
• 1944 ~ Denny Laine (Brian Hines), Guitarist, singer with The Moody Blues
• 1944 ~ The Martha Graham dance company performed a famous contemporary composition called “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland. This debut performance was staged at the Library of Congress.
• 1945 ~ Melba Moore, Singer and actress
• 1946 ~ Peter Green, Guitarist with Fleetwood Mac
• 1947 ~ Richard Dreyfuss, Academy Award-winning actor in The Goodbye Girl (1977) and Mr. Holland’s Opus
• 1953 ~ William Kapell, American pianist and recording artist, died in a plane crash at the age of 31
• 1961 ~ Randy (Steven Randall) Jackson, Singer with The Jackson Five, brother of Michael, Jermaine, Janet, LaToya, Tito, etc.
• 1961 ~ The top, pop song on the charts belonged to Dion (DiMucci). Runaround Sue was in its second week at the tiptop of the top~tune tabulation (it was in the top 40 for three months).
• 1970 ~ Neil Diamond received a gold record for the hit, Cracklin’ Rosie.
• 1981 ~ Loretta Lynn received a gold record for her album, “Greatest Hits, Vol. 2”.
• 1983 ~ After four weeks at #1 on the pop music charts, Bonnie Tyler’sTotal Eclipse of the Heart slipped to #2. It was replaced by Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
• 1987 ~ Woody Herman, American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and big band leader passed away
• 2001 ~ Henry Berthold “Spike” Robinson, a Britain-based American saxophonist admired for his liquid tone and lyrical verve, died at the age of 71. Robinson was born in Wisconsin and came to Britain as a U.S. Navy bandsman after World War II. In his spare, he time played with British bebop pioneers such as Ronnie Scott, John Dankworth and Victor Feldman, making a series of recordings for the Esquire label. He returned to the United States and completed an engineering degree, continuing to play in jazz clubs while working for Honeywell Corp. He returned to music full-time in 1981 after recording an album of Harry Warren compositions featuring Feldman and bassist Ray Brown. In 1989 Robinson moved to England. Despite poor health, he played steadily throughout Europe and the United States. He also recorded for the Edinburgh- based Hep label.
• 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.
• 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.
• 1955 ~ Bill Haley and Comets, Rock Around the Clock hit #1
• 1958 ~ Lily Theresa Strickland, Composer, died at the age of 71
• 1962 ~ The Beatles met their producer George Martin for first time. After listening to a playback of the audition tapes, Martin said, “They’re pretty awful.” He changed his mind after meeting the group, however.
• 1971 ~ For the last time, we saw Polish dancing bears, a little mouse named Topo Gigio, remembered The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, the comedy of Jackie Mason, John Byner, Rich Little, Richard Pryor and so many more, as The Ed Sullivan Show left CBS-TV. Gladys Knight and The Pips and singer Jerry Vale appeared on the final show. The Ed Sullivan Show had been a showcase for more than 20 years for artists who ranged from Ethel Merman to Ella Fitzgerald, from Steve (Lawrence) and Eydie (Gorme) to The Beatles. The Ed Sullivan Show was the longest-running variety show on TV ~ a “rillly big sheeeew.”
• 1991 ~ Stan Getz, Jazz saxophonist (Girl from Impanima), died at the age of 64
• 1994 ~ Willie Humphrey, Jazz clarinetist, died at the age of 93
• 1995 ~ Imam Elissa, Singer, died at the age of 76
• 2006 ~ Billy Preston, American soul musician, singer and pianist, 5th Beatle (David Brenner Show), died following long-term health issues at the age of 59
• 2006 ~ Hilton Ruiz, Puerto Rican-American jazz pianist died
• 2010 ~ Marvin Isley, American Musician The Isley Brothers died
• 2015 ~ Ronnie Gilbert, American folk singer (The Weavers), died at the age of 88
• 1750 ~ Johann Valentin Rathgeber, German Composer, died at the age of 68
• 1806 ~ Isaac Strauss, Composer
• 1807 ~ Robert Fuhrer, Composer
• 1830 ~ Olivier Metra, Composer
• 1831 ~ Jan G Palm Curaçao, Bandmaster/choir master/composer
• 1857 ~ Sir Edward Elgar, British composer Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, usually heard at graduations, was featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000.
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• 1858 ~ Harry Rowe Shelley, Composer
• 1863 ~ Paul Felix Weingartner, German conductor
• 1873 ~ François Hainl, Composer, died at the age of 65
• 1876 ~ Hakon Borresen, Composer
• 1891 ~ Ernst Kunz, Composer
• 1897 ~ Alexander Tansman, Composer
• 1900 ~ David Wynne, Composer
• 1909 ~ Robin Orr, Composer
• 1913 ~ Bert Farber, Orchestra leader for Arthur Godfrey and Vic Damone
• 1915 ~ Robert Moffat Palmer, American composer
• 1927 ~ Carl Butler, Country entertainer, songwriter
• 1927 ~ Freidrich Hegar, Composer, died at the age of 85
• 1929 ~ Alcides Lanza, Composer
• 1929 ~ Frederic Devreese, Composer
• 1932 ~ Sammy Turner (Samuel Black), Singer
• 1934 ~ Johnny Carter, American singer
• 1937 ~ Louis Vierne, Composer, died at the age of 66
• 1939 ~ Charles Miller, Saxophonist and clarinetist
• 1941 ~ William Guest, Singer with Gladys Knight & The Pips
• 1941 ~ Charlie Watts, Drummer with Rolling Stones
• 1944 ~ Marvin Hamlisch, American pianist, composer and arranger of popular music
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• 1947 ~ Hermann Darewsky, Composer, died at the age of 64
• 1949 ~ Dynam-Victor Fumet, Composer, died at the age of 82
• 1949 ~ Ernest Ford, Composer, died at the age of 91
• 1960 ~ For the first time in 41 years, the entire Broadway theatre district in New York City was forced to close. The Actors Equity Union and theatre owners came to a showdown with a total blackout of theatres.
• 1964 ~ The original cast album of “Hello Dolly!” went gold — having sold a million copies. It was quite a feat for a Broadway musical.
• 1964 ~ “Follies Bergere” opened on Broadway for 191 performances
• 1972 ~ Franz Philipp, Composer, died at the age of 81
• 1977 ~ Henri D Gagnebin, Swiss organist and composer, died at the age of 91
• 1982 ~ “Blues in the Night” opened at Rialto Theater NYC for 53 performances
• 1983 ~ Stan Rogers, musician, died in aircraft fire
• 1985 ~ The Huck Finn-based musical “Big River” earned seven Tony Awards in New York City at the 39th annual awards presentation.
• 1986 ~ Daniel Sternefeld, Belgian conductor and composer died at the age of 80
• 1987 ~ Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitarist, died at the age of 94. He established the guitar as a serious classical instrument through his numerous concerts and by his transcriptions of many pieces of Bach and Handel.
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• 1987 ~ Sammy Kaye, Orchestra leader (Sammy Kaye Show), died at the age of 77
• 1994 ~ Prima Sellecchia Tesh, daughter of John Tesh and Connie Sellecca
• 1997 ~ Doc Cheatham, Jazz musician, died of stroke at the age of 91
• 2001 ~ Imogene Coca, the elfin actress and satiric comedienne who co-starred with Sid Caesar on television’s classic “Your Show of Shows” in the 1950s, died at the age of 92. Coca’s saucer eyes, fluttering lashes, big smile and boundless energy lit up the screen in television’s “Golden Age” and brought her an Emmy as best actress in 1951. Although she did some broad burlesque, her forte was subtle exaggeration. A talented singer and dancer, her spoofs of opera divas and prima ballerinas tiptoed a fine line between dignity and absurdity until she pushed them over the edge at the end. With Caesar she performed skits that satirized the everyday – marital spats, takeoffs on films and TV programs, strangers meeting and speaking in cliches. “The Hickenloopers” husband-and-wife skit became a staple.
• 2015 ~ Paul Karolyi, Hungarian composer, died at the age of 80
• 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.
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• 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.