If you’re lucky enough to be traveling, I hope you have a wonderful time off and see you next Monday.
• 1585 ~ Heinrich Schütz, German composer
• 1895 ~ The Berliner Gramophone Company was founded in Philadelphia. Record players were not too far off in the future.
• 1904 ~ “Little Johnny Jones” opened in Hartford, CT. The show became a hit several times, due in part to a little ditty which became quite popular. Give My Regards to Broadway was penned, as was the entire musical, by the ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ himself, George M. Cohan.
• 1918 ~ Kurt Redel, German flutist and conductor
• 1930 ~ Toru Takemitsu, Japanese composer
• 1935 ~ Wedding bells pealed for a singer and a bandleader who tied the knot, making radio history together. The bandleader was Ozzie Nelson and the singer was Harriet Hilliard. They would make the history pages again on this very day in 1944.
• 1941 ~ The Benny Goodman Orchestra recorded Buckle Down Winsocki, with Tom Dix as featured vocalist, on the Columbia label.
• 1941 ~ George Bellamy, Guitarist with The Tornados
• 1942 ~ Buzz (Reese) Clifford, Singer
• 1944 ~ Susan Raye, Singer
• 1944 ~ The first broadcast of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet was heard on the CBS radio network. The show would continue on radio until 1953 and on ABC~TV from 1952 to 1966. “Hi Mom, Hi Dad, Hi Dave, Hi Ricky.”
• 1947 ~ Tony Wilson, Bass, singer with Hot Chocolate
• 1948 ~ Johnny Ramone (Cummings), Guitarist with The Ramones
• 1949 ~ Hamish Stuart, Guitarist, singer with Average White Band
• 1950 ~ Robert ‘Kool’ Bell, Bass guitar, singer with Kool and the Gang
• 1956 ~ Lawrence “a-one and a-two” Welk was doing so well with “da boys inta bant” on ABC-TV, that, after being on the tube for just one year with The Lawrence Welk Show, Welk originated another popular show called Lawrence Welk’s Top Tunes and New Talent.
• 1961 ~ Ted Kooshian, American jazz pianist
• 1974 ~ Then Came You, by Dionne Warwicke and The Spinners, went solid gold this day. While the editors are poring over the proper spelling of her name, might we add that due to some superstitious feeling having to do with astrology, the former Ms. Warwick changed her name for good luck to Warwicke. It apparently worked. That is, until she went solo again upon meeting Barry Manilow in the early 1980s. Tunes likeI’ll Never Love This Way Again, Deja Vu and hits with Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross and some friends made it OK to be just Dionne Warwick again.
• 1979 ~ “Sugar Babies”, opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway. The star of the hit show was also making his debut on the Great White Way. Mickey Rooney, who had been acting since the 1930s, once again delighted one and all with his performance.
• 1984 ~ Anne Murray won the Country Music Association’s Album of the Year Award this day for A Little Good News. Murray was the first woman to win this award.
1835 ~ Camille Saint-Saëns, French composer, organist and conductor Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals is featured in Disney’s Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.
Read quotes by and about Saint-Saëns
More information about Saint-Saëns
• 1931 ~ Russ Columbo’s Prisoner of Love was recorded on Victor Records.
1940 ~ John Lennon, British rock singer, songwriter and guitarist
More information about Lennon
• 1935 ~ Cavalcade of America was first broadcast on radio this very day. The CBS show featured some of Hollywood and Broadway’s most famous stars in leading roles in the half-hour radio dramas. Thomas Chalmers narrated the stories about obscure incidents and people in American history. The orchestra (yes, radio shows had live orchestras back then) was led by Donald Voorhees. The show aired from 1935 to 1953, changing from CBS to NBC in 1939; with one sponsor for its entire duration. The DuPont Company introduced its slogan on Cavalcade of America …”Better things for better living through chemistry…”
• 1941 ~ Helen Morgan passed away
• 1947 ~ “High Button Shoes”, opened on Broadway in New York City with an entertainer named Phil Silvers in the lead. The popular show ran for 727 performances.
• 1948 ~ Jackson Browne, Songwriter, singer
• 1967 ~ “And now…heeeeeeeeerrrree’s the Doctor!” Coming out of the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra to become musical director of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Doc Severinsen replaced Skitch Henderson on this night. Doc became famous for an eccentric wardrobe, quick wit, great trumpet solos and fabulous charts. Tommy Newsome became Doc’s backup arranger for many of the tunes the band played. Later, Doc and the band would move to solo albums, group CDs and incredibly successful concert tours. Doc went on to play with various symphony orchestras and even became the owner of a custom trumpet company in the San Francisco Bay Area.
• 1973 ~ Priscilla Presley, was divorced from Elvis in Santa Monica, CA. Ms. Presley got $1.5 million in cash, $4,200 per month in alimony, half interest in a $750,000 home plus about 5% interest in two of Elvis’ publishing companies.
• 1973 ~ Paul Simon got a gold record this day for his hit, Loves Me like a Rock.
• 1976 ~ Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony number 5 in c minor” landed for a twenty-two-week stop in the first spot on the Top 5. Beethoven is dead and this isn’t a ghost story. It’s simply a case of Beethoven being updated with a disco-rock beat and a catchy new title: A Fifth of Beethoven.
• 1988 ~ Elmer J. ‘Mousey’ Alexander passed away
• 2001 ~ Herbert Ross died at the age of 76. He was a director and choreographer whose credits include the hit movies “The Goodbye Girl,” “The Sunshine Boys” and “The Turning Point.”
• 2003 ~ Don Lanphere, a saxophone player who came on strong at the dawn of bebop, nearly succumbed to drugs and drinking, then recovered to become the city’s jazz “grandpop,” died of hepatitis C. He was 75. As lead tenor in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and in smaller groups, Lanphere’s versatility and virtuosity ranged from blazing riffs on the tenor to a solo jazz rendition of the Lord’s Prayer on the soprano sax. Many who were born long after Lanphere’s boyhood gigs with such legends as Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and Max Roach hailed him as a jazz patriarch or, as his Web site proclaimed, “Seattle jazz grandpop.” Born in the apple country of central Washington about 95 miles east of Seattle, Lanphere played as a teenager with touring bands in Seattle, then studied music briefly at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. By the time he got to New York, captivated by the post-World War II bebop revolution, he was hooked on heroin. By his early 20s he had recorded with Navarro and Roach and played gigs with Parker, Woody Herman and top big bands, including one led by Artie Shaw. He could write a chart, the chord arrangement on which jazz improvisation is based, from the sound of water dripping in a tub. Battling alcohol and narcotics addictions that resulted in at least one arrest, he was back at his father’s store in Wenatchee – “from the Big Apple to the little apple,” he once said – by 1960. Only after he and his wife Midge became born-again Christians in 1969 did he dust off his horn. In an interview in 1998, he said that without the conversion, “I would be dead by now.”
• 1902 ~ The Gibson Mandolin guitar company was formed. Gibson’s first electric guitar the ES-150 was produced in 1936, and in 1946 Gibson introduced the P-90 single coil pickup, which was eventually used on the first Les Paul model made in 1952.
• 1906 ~ Paul Creston, American composer and organist
• 1908 ~ Johnny Green, Songwriter of Coquette, Body and Soul, I’m Yours, (You Came Along From) Out of Nowhere, I Cover the Waterfront, Easy Come, Easy Go; won five Oscars for work on MGM films: “Easter Parade”, “West Side Story”, “Oliver”, “An American in Paris”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “High Society”, “Raintree County”, T”he Great Caruso”, “Summer Stock” and “Brigadoon”
• 1914 ~ Ivory Joe Hunter, Singer, pianist, songwriter
• 1928 ~ You’re the Cream in My Coffee … comes from “Hold Everything”, which opened on Broadway this day and ran for 413 performances.
• 1937 ~ The Mutual Broadcasting System debuted Thirty Minutes in Hollywood. 48 sponsors shared the cost of the program that aired in 72 cities nationwide. It was the first Mutual co-op radio show. George Jessel and Norma Talmadge starred. Music was provided by the Tommy Tucker Orchestra.
• 1940 ~ Moonlight and Roses, by Lanny Ross, was recorded on the Victor label.
• 1942 ~ The anniversary of the first production of Verdi’s opera Aida by an all African-American cast
• 1946 ~ Ben Vereen, American dancer and singer of popular music, Tony Award-winning actor, TV host of You Write the Songs
• 1953 ~ Midge (James) Ure, Singer, songwriter
• 1955 ~ David Lee Roth, Singer with Van Halen
• 1958 ~ Tanya Tucker, Singer
• 1961 ~ Martin Kemp, Bass with Spandau Ballet, brother of musician Gary Kemp
• 1970 ~ Neil Diamond reached the #1 spot on the pop music charts for the first time with Cracklin’ Rosie. In 1972, Diamond would reach a similar pinnacle with Song Sung Blue.
• 1979 ~ Not just Rumours, but fact, that Fleetwood Mac got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• 1985 ~ Yul Brynner passed away
• 2001 ~ Patricia Anne McKinnon, whose singing career began on Canadian television’s “Singalong Jubilee”, died of lymphatic cancer. She was 53. McKinnon was born in Shilo, Manitoba. Beginning her singing career at the age of 13, McKinnon sang for the Halifax-produced “Singalong Jubilee,” a show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also starred in television programs, including “Juliette,” “Show of the Week,” and “A Go Go ’66.” For more than 28 years McKinnon fought Hodgkins disease, which put her career on hold at times.
• 2003 ~ Eugene Istomin, one of the first great classical pianists born in America, died after battling liver cancer. He was 77. At 17, Istomin won both the prestigious Leventritt and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra awards. In 1943, he made sensational debuts in the same week with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy and the New York Philharmonic under Artur Rodzinski, playing Johannes Brahms’Second Piano Concerto. At 25, he began a long association with cellist Pablo Casals. A year and a half after Casals’ death in 1973, Istomin married his widow, Marta, now president of the Manhattan School of Music. In a career that carried him throughout the world, Istomin gave more than 4,000 concerts with leading conductors – including Bruno Walter, Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Leopold Stokowski and Leonard Bernstein.