. 1940 ~ Mary Martin recorded My Heart Belongs to Daddy — for Decca Records. The song was her signature song until she starred in “South Pacific” in 1949. Then, Larry Hagman’s mother had a new trademark: “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair…”
. 1945 ~ Richard Tucker debuted at the Metropolitan OperaHouse in New York City in the production of “La Gioconda”.
. 1945 ~ Vaughn Moore made it to the top of the Billboard Pop Chart with his hit, “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” The song is still one of the most popular holiday songs to this day.
. 1964 ~ The Beatles reached the #1 spot on the music charts, as their hit single, I Want to Hold Your Hand, grabbed the top position in “Cash Box” magazine, as well as on the list of hits on scores of radio stations. It was the first #1 hit for The Beatles. “Billboard” listed the song as #1 on February 1. The group’s second #1 hit song, She Loves You, was also released this day – but not on Capitol Records. It was on Swan Records. Other songs by The Beatles were released on Vee Jay (Please, Please Me), M-G-M (My Bonnie with Tony Sheridan), Tollie (Twist and Shout), Atco (Ain’t She Sweet) and the group’s own label, Apple Records, as well as Capitol.
. 1981 ~ Alicia Keys is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, pianist and actress. She was born in one of the roughest areas on New York (Hell’s Kitchen) where it was known in earlier decades as the home of organized crime. Keys attended Professional Performing Arts School where a number of other notable artists have attended including Britney Spears, and graduated at sixteen. She has had a successful career as a solo artist winning eleven Grammy Awards, and 4 top selling albums Songs in A Minor, The Diary of Alicia Keys, Unplugged and As I Am . She has also had a number of singles that have not only topped the charts in the US but around the world including “Fallin'” and “No One”.
. 1999 ~ Robert Shaw passed away. Shaw was an American conductor most famous for his work with his namesake Chorale, with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Shaw received 14 Grammy awards, four ASCAP awards for service to contemporary music, the first Guggenheim Fellowship ever awarded to a conductor, the Alice M. Ditson Conductor’s Award for Service to American Music; the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League for “distinguished service to music and the arts,” the American National Medal of Arts, France’s Officier des Arts et des Lettres, England’s Gramophone Award, and was a 1991 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
. 2004 ~ Ronald Fredianelli, a co-founder of the 1950s pop vocal group the Gaylords, died in Las Vegas. He was 73. Fredianelli, who performed as Ronnie Gaylord teamed with Bonaldo Bonaldi and Don Rea in the early 1950s. Bonaldi performed as Burt Holiday. Their debut song, Tell Me You’re Mine, was a Top 10 hit in 1953. Other hits included From the Vine Came the Grape and The Little Shoemaker. Although the Gaylords formed in Detroit, Fredianelli and Bonaldi became a staple in Nevada showrooms, where they performed for decades as Gaylord and Holiday. Bonaldi and Rea live in Reno. One of Fredianelli’s sons, Anthony, is the guitarist for the rock group Third Eye Blind.
. 2015 ~ Artemios “Demis” Ventouris Roussos (June 15 1946-January 25, 2015) was a Greek singer and performer who had international hit records as a solo performer in the 1970s after having been a member of Aphrodite’s Child, a progressive rock group that also included Vangelis. He has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.
. 2018 ~ John Morris, American film and Broadway composer who commonly worked alongside Mel Gibson and Gene Wilder, died of a respiratory infection at the age of 91.
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!
. 1941 ~ Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded Moonglow on Victor Records. In the band were such sidemen as Johnny Guarnieri, Jack Jenney, Billy Butterfield and Ray Conniff on trombone.
. 1943 ~ Duke Ellington and the band played for a black-tie crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first of what was to become an annual series of concerts featuring the Duke.
. 1943 ~ Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five took the song “What’s the Use of Getting Sober” to the top chart spot. It only stayed there for one week.
. 1948 ~ Anita Pointer, Singer with The Pointer Sisters
. 1950 ~ Bill Cunningham, Bass, piano with The Box Tops
. 1950 ~ Patrick Simmons, Singer, guitarist with The Doobie Brothers
. 1974 ~ Mike Oldfield’sTubular Bells opened the credits of the movie, “The Exorcist”, based on the book by William Peter Blatty. The song received a gold record this day.
. 1977 ~ Carole King’s landmark album, “Tapestry”, became the longest-running album to hit the charts, as it reached its 302nd week on the album lists.
. 1978 ~ Vic Ames killed in car crash
. 1981 ~ Samuel Barber, American composer (School for Scandal), died of cancer at the age of 70
. 1986 ~The first ten musicians were inducted into Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame including James Brown, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
When Chuck Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, an all-star band, including John Fogerty, Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Neil Young and Steve Winwood, charged through a raucous “Roll Over Beethoven” with de facto bandleader Chuck Berry guiding the show.
. 1993 ~Thomas Gorsey passed away on this day. He was considered to be the “Father of Gospel Music” and had written over a thousand gospel songs in his lifetime.
. 2002 ~ Alfred Glasser, a former director of education for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, died of cancer. He was 70. Glasser held the education post for 30 years before his retirement in 1996. Since 1997, Glasser served as chairman of the board and commentator for Chicago’s concert opera company, da Corneto Opera. For the past decade, he served on the board of Alliance Francaise of Chicago, a French cultural group. Glasser also founded the Lyric Opera Lecture Corps, a community service project.
. 2003 ~ Nell Carter, actress-singer, died at the age of 54. She was best known for her role as the housekeeper in the TV sitcom “Gimme a Break!”. Carter, who was born September 13, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, first rose to stardom on the New York stage. After a series of roles on- and off-Broadway — and a short-lived part in the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” — in 1977 she starred in the show “Ain’t Misbehavin’!”, a revue of the works of composer Fats Waller. She was rewarded for her performance with an Obie Award, and later with a Tony Award when the show moved to Broadway. Several years later, she earned an Emmy for her performance on a television presentation of the musical. Despite her Broadway success, Carter would have preferred to sing opera. “When I was growing up, it was not something you aspired to,” she said in 1988. “I was a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or nurses.” “Gimme a Break!” ran from 1981 to 1987. Carter was nominated for two Emmys for her role as housekeeper Nell Harper, who helped run the household of police chief Carl Kanisky, played by Dolph Sweet. She also garnered two Golden Globe nominations for the role.
. 2003 ~ For Sale: One of London’s most famous music venues, which in its heyday in the 1960s played host to The Who, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, is for sale, its administrators said. The Marquee Club, which in the 1970s was the epicenter of the punk explosion, ran into financial difficulties after its high-profile relaunch last fall, said a spokeswoman for administrator BDO Stoy Hayward. “We’re looking for someone in the music business who can capitalize on the Marquee brand and keep running it as a live venue,” she said. The price tag is at least $200 million. The club opened in London’s Soho district in 1958 and was so cramped and sweaty that, according to legend, Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats blacked out on stage. In 1988, it moved to a new location in nearby Charing Cross, but within eight years it had closed down. A high-profile relaunch at a new venue in Islington, north London September 2002 was headlined by the controversial electro-rockers Primal Scream, but according to the club’s administrators, huge start-up costs quickly led to its downfall.
. 2017 ~ Bobby Freeman, American singer (Do You Want to Dance), died at the age of 76
. 2018 ~ Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, anti-apartheid activist (I Am Not Afraid), described as the “father of South African jazz,” died at the age of 78
Muzio Clementi lived from January 23, 1752 until March 10, 1832. He was a composer and pianist who born in Rome. In 1766 he was brought to England, where he conducted the Italian Opera in London (1777–80), toured as a virtuoso pianist (1781), and went into the piano-manufacturing business.
He wrote the Gradus ad Parnassum from 1817 to 1826, a piano method on which subsequent piano methods have been based. He composed mainly piano and chamber music.
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.
. 1889 ~ Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, American blues guitarist, folk singer and songwriter
. 1891 ~ Mischa Elman, violinist
1894 ~ Walter Hamor Piston, American composer
More information about Piston
. 1899 ~ Alexander Tcherepnin, Composer
. 1922 ~ Ray Anthony (Antonini), Bandleader
. 1926 ~ David Tudor, American pianist and composer of experimental music
. 1935 ~ Buddy Blake (Buddy Cunningham), Recording artist: recorded for Sun Records as B.B. Cunningham and Buddy Blake; record executive: Cover Record Co., Sam Phillips’ Holiday Inn label
. 1941 ~ Ron Townson, Singer with The 5th Dimension
. 1942 ~ Harry Babbitt sang as Kay Kyser and his orchestra recorded, Who Wouldn’tLove You, on Columbia Records. The record went on to be a big hit for Kyser.
. 1947 ~ George Grantham, Drummer with Poco
. 1958 ~ The rock ‘n’ roll classic, Get a Job, by The Silhouettes, was released.
. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley got a little U.S. mail this day with greetings from Uncle Sam. The draft board in Memphis, TN ordered the King to report for duty; but allowed a 60-day deferment for him to finish the film, “King Creole”.
. 1964, The Beatles, a British rock group, released its first LP album, “Meet The Beatles“, in the US record stores. The album turned out to be a super hit and reached #1 position on music charts by early February.
. 1965 ~ John Michael Montgomery, Country singer
. 1965 ~ Alan Freed, the ‘Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, died in Palm Springs, CA. Freed was one of the first radio disc jockeys to program black music, or race music, as it was termed, for white audiences. In the 1950s, Freed, at WJW Radio in Cleveland, coined the phrase, “rock ‘n’ roll,” before moving to WABC in New York. He was fired by WABC for allegedly accepting payola (being paid to play records by certain artists and record companies). The 1959-1960 congressional investigation into payola made Freed the scapegoat for what was a widespread practice. Freed, not so incidentally, died nearly penniless after the scandal was exposed.
. 2002 ~ Actress, writer and musician Carrie Hamilton, daughter of actress Carol Burnett, died of cancer. She was 38. Hamilton, whose father was the late producer Joe Hamilton, appeared in the television series “Fame” and had guest roles on other shows, including “Murder She Wrote,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “thirtysomething.” She also starred in television movies. She and her mother collaborated on a stage version of Burnett’s best-selling memoir “One More Time.” The resulting play, “Hollywood Arms,” will have its world premiere in Chicago in April, said Burnett’s publicist, Deborah Kelman. Hamilton spoke publicly in the ’80s about her struggles with addiction and her decision to go drug-free. She starred as Maureen in the first national touring version of the musical “Rent” and wrote and directed short films through the profit-sharing production company Namethkuf. She won “The Women in Film Award” at the 2001 Latino Film Festival for her short film “Lunchtime Thomas.”
. 2002 ~ John Jackson, who went from gravedigger to one of the pre-eminent blues musicians in the country, died from kidney failure. He was 77. During his long career, Jackson played for presidents and in 68 countries. Jackson earned a living as a cook, a butler, a chauffeur and a gravedigger before his music career took off. He was playing guitar for some friends at a gas station in Fairfax in 1964 when Charles L. Perdue, who teaches folklore at the University of Virginia, pulled in to get some gas. He listened as Jackson taught a song to a mailman he knew. He and Jackson became friends, and Perdue eventually helped launch Jackson’s career by introducing him to people in the music business. The seventh son of 14 children, Jackson had just three months’ education at the first-grade level. But he earned the admiration of fans from all walks of life around the world. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger are among the performers he has played with and befriended. Among his numerous awards is the National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage Fellowship Award, which he received in 1986.
. 1948 ~ Ted Mack came to television as “The Original Amateur Hour” debuted on the DuMont network. The program continued on different networks for a 22-year run on the tube. Teresa Brewer and Pat Boone got their start on this program.
. 1953 ~ Brett Hudson, Singer, comedian with Hudson Brothers
. 1968 ~ Singer Eartha Kitt made headlines, as she got into a now-famous confrontation with Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, wife of the President of the United States, at a White House luncheon to discuss urban crime. Ms. Kitt told Lady Bird (the First Lady) that American youth were rebelling against the war in Vietnam, linking the crime rate with the war escalation. She had a lot to say and it definitely was not “C’est Si Bon”.
. 1986 ~ Dionne Warwick’s single for AID’s research, That’s What Friends are For, became her second #1 song on the music charts. Although Dionne had many hits in the 1960s, singing Burt Bacharach tunes like I Say a Little Prayer and Do You Know the Way to San Jose.
. 2017 ~ Roberta Peters, American operatic soprano (NY Met), died at the age of 86
. 1712 ~ John Stanley, English composer and organist
. 1728 ~ Johann Gottfried Muthel, German composer and noted keyboard virtuoso
. 1734 ~ François-Joseph Gossec, Belgian composer
More information about Gossec
. 1750 ~ Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer (Adagio in G Minor), died at the age of 78
. 1876 ~ The saxophone was played by Etta Morgan at New York City’s Olympic Theatre. The instrument was little known at the time in the United States.
. 1913 ~ Vido Musso, Reed instruments, played with Benny Goodman, bandleader: Stan Kenton was his pianist
. 1917 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, US composer, born in Tucson, Arizona (d. 1995)
. 1920 ~ George Handy (George Joseph Hendleman), Pianist, composer, arranger for the Boyd Raeburn band, Alvino Rey band, Paramount Studios
. 1922 ~ Betty White, Emmy Award-winning actress on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, singer
. 1926 ~ Moira Shearer, Ballerina
. 1927 ~ Eartha Kitt, Singer. Kitt’s birth certificate listing her actual birthdate as 1/17/27 was found in 1997. She has celebrated her birthday as Jan. 26 (1928) all of her life and says, “It’s been the 26th of January since the beginning of time and I’m not going to change it and confuse my fans.”
. 1938 ~The first jazz concert is performed at Carnegie Hall.Benny Goodman and his orchestra performed at this iconic New York City venue and the event included guests like Count Basie and other popular names of the day. It gave the genre credibility as a legitimate musical preference.
. 1941 ~ Gene Krupa and his band recorded the standard, Drum Boogie, on Okeh Records. The lady singing with the boys in the band during the song’s chorus was Irene Daye.
. 1944 ~ Chris Montez, Singer
. 1948 ~ Mick Taylor, Singer, rhythm guitar with The Rolling Stones
. 1955 ~ Steve Earle, Songwriter, singer, guitar
. 1956 ~ Paul Young, Singer
. 1959 ~ Susanna Hoffs, Singer, guitar with The Bangles
. 1960 ~ John Crawford, Singer, bass with Berlin
. 1969 ~ Lady Samantha, one of the very first recordings by Reginald Kenneth Dwight (aka Elton John), was released in England on Philips records. The song floundered, then bombed. The rock group, Three Dog Night, however, recorded it for an album.
. 2001 ~ Pianist and singer Emma Kelly, the “Lady of 6,000 Songs” made famous by the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” died from a liver ailment at the age of 82. Kelly’s nightclub act, in which she tapped her vast repertoire of American popular standards five nights a week until she became ill a month ago, was a must-see for Savannah tourists itching to meet a real-life character from author John Berendt’s Southern Gothic best seller. Though the book helped her book performances from New York to Switzerland, Kelly continued to crisscross south Georgia to play church socials and high school graduations, Kiwanis luncheons and wedding receptions. Berendt devoted an entire chapter to Kelly in the 1994 book, describing her as a teetotaling Baptist who would play smoky cocktail lounges Saturday nights and Sunday school classes the next morning. Kelly performed at her own nightclub, Emma’s, in Savannah, for five years in the late 1980s. She then bounced between lounges near the downtown riverfront. She also independently recorded three albums, the last of which were released posthumously, her son said.
. 2001 ~ Jazz musician, composer and conductor Norris Turney, who played alto sax and flute with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and led the Norris Turney Quartet, died of kidney failure at the age of 79. Turney recorded with a number of bands over the years, and toured with Billy Eckstine, Ray Charles and others. He was an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis. Turney’s lone CD as a bandleader, “Big, Sweet ‘N Blue,” was warmly received by jazz critics.
. 2002 ~ Edouard Nies-Berger, the veteran organist and protege of Albert Schweitzer, died at the age of 98. Nies-Berger, who played with the New York Philharmonic, was a native of Strasbourg in Alsace. His father, a church organist, was an associate of Schweitzer. The doctor, philosopher and Nobel laureate was pastor of a nearby church where the teenage Nies-Berger played occasionally. Nies-Berger moved to New York in 1922 and for the next 15 years played the organ in houses of worship across the country. By the mid-’30s he settled in Los Angeles and performed in the soundtracks of several films, including “The Bride of Frankenstein” and “San Francisco.” He returned to Europe in 1937 to study conducting with Bruno Walter in Salzburg, Austria. After conducting for two years in Latvia and Belgium he returned to the United States. He was named organist of the New York Philharmonic, where he played under the direction of such conductors as Walter, George Szell and Leonard Bernstein. Nies-Berger was reunited with Schweitzer in 1949, when the humanitarian visited the United States. For six years they collaborated on the completion of Schweitzer’s edition of the organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After serving at St. Paul’s in Richmond, Nies-Berger returned to Europe for several years to perform as a recitalist and write several books, including a memoir of Schweitzer. In 1991 he was awarded the gold medal of the Art Institute of Alsace, and in 1993 was named a knight of the arts and letters by the French Ministry of Education and Culture.
. 2013 ~ Lizbeth Webb, English soprano, died at the age of 86
. 1775 ~ Giovanni Battista Sammartini, composer, died
. 1890 ~ Premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, ballet by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky. After the less-than-promising 1877 debut of Swan Lake, marred by a largely amateur production, over a decade elapsed before the composer was commissioned by the Director of the Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg to supply music for a ballet on the Perrault fairy tale, The Sleeping Beauty. Tchaikovsky threw himself arms-deep into the project. Not only was the composer again on happy turf, but he was also currently in a state of delight by the occasional presence of a three-year-old little girl; children seemed to tap a joyful vein in Tchaikovsky. The little girl’s proximity fed a spirit of fantasy that transmitted to this most lighthearted of the composer’s scores. Most musicologists and historians concede that Sleeping Beauty is the most perfectly wrought of Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores, classic in its restraint, yet possessing the right amount of color and panache to render it pure Tchaikovsky; its waltz remains a Pops favorite.
. 1896 ~ Alexander Scriabin made his European debut as a pianist at the Salle Erard in Paris
. 1964 ~ The soundtrack album of the musical, “The King and I”, starring Yul Brynner, earned a gold record.
. 1967 ~ Ed Sullivan told the Rolling Stones to change the lyrics and the title to the song, Let’s Spend the Night Together, so it became Let’s Spend Some Time Together.
. 1972 ~ Elvis Presley, who was also censored from the waist down by Ed Sullivan, reportedly drew the largest audience for a single TV show to that time. Elvis presented a live, worldwide concert from Honolulu on this day.
. 1972 ~ “American Pie” by Don McLlean hit #1 on the pop charts
. 1987 ~ Ray Bolger died. He was an American entertainer of vaudeville, stage and actor, singer and dancer best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
. 1993 ~ Sammy Cahn passed away. He was an American lyricist, songwriter and musician.
. 2018 ~ Edwin Hawkins, American gospel musician, choirmaster and composer (Oh Happy Day), died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 74
. 2019 ~ Carol Elaine Channing died at the age of 98. She was an American actress, singer, dancer and comedian. Notable for starring in Broadway and film musicals, her characters typically radiate a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect.
Eugene Bertram “Gene” Krupa lived from January 15, 1909 to October 16, 1973. He was an American jazz and big band drummer, actor and composer, known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style.
One of my all-time favorite non-piano songs is Sing Sing Sing. Krupa joined Benny Goodman’s band in 1934, where his featured drum work made him a national celebrity. His tom-tom interludes on their hit “Sing, Sing, Sing” were the first extended drum solos to be recorded commercially.
The Benny Goodman big band playing Sing Sing Sing, featuring Gene Krupa at the end. We get the added benefit of hearing Mr. Harry James play a trumpet solo.