April 1: On This Day in Music

OCMS. 1866 ~ Ferruccio Busoni, Italian pianist and composer
Read quotes by and about Busoni
More information about Busoni

OCMS 1873 ~ Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian-born American composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Rachmaninoff
More information about Rachmaninoff

. 1895 ~ Alberta Hunter, American blues singer

. 1909 ~ Eddie Duchin, Bandleader

. 1917 ~ Scott Joplin, U.S. jazz musician famous for his ragtime pieces notably The Entertainer, died.

. 1932 ~ Jane Powell, Singer

. 1932 ~ Debbie Reynolds, Entertainer

. 1984 ~ Marvin (Pentz) Gaye, Jr. passed away.

. 1985 ~ The long-awaited album, We Are the World, was finally released. Eight rock stars donated previously unreleased material for the LP. Three million copies of the award-winning single of the same name had already been sold. The song, We Are the World, was number five, and moving up, on the Billboard magazine pop single’s chart this day.

. 1991 ~ Martha Graham passed away.  She was an American modern dancer and choreographer.

. 2001 ~ Eva Heinitz, who fled Nazi Germany in the prime of her career as a cello performer and was one of the first professional viola da gamba players in modern times, died at the age of 94. Heinitz, a native of Berlin, soared to prominence as a brilliant, temperamental soloist with the greatest orchestras of Europe in her 20s. Initially instructed on the cello, Heinitz taught herself to play the smaller instrument and performed the Bach Passions under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwangler and Otto Klemperer, who called her the world’s best viola da gamba player. Heinitz, who once described herself as “51 percent” Jewish, fled Germany in 1933. She lived in Paris and London, moved to New York in 1939 and was hired by Fritz Reiner as a section cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. She came to Seattle in 1948 and was hired as faculty cellist at the University of Washington. During her 28-year tenure, she became one of the founders of the early-music revival, which brought a renewed interest in music and instruments of the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1991, her international colleagues gathered in Indiana and accorded her the title “Grande Dame du Violoncelle” – great lady of the cello.

. 2001 ~ Trinh Cong Son, Vietnam’s most beloved singer-songwriter who opposed the Vietnam War and sought postwar reconciliation, died after a long battle with diabetes at the age of 62. Dubbed the “Bob Dylan of Vietnam” by American folk singer Joan Baez for his anti-war songs, his music is still widely performed in Vietnam and in overseas Vietnamese communities. Son, who was persecuted by the South Vietnamese government in the late 1960s and early ’70s, wrote more than 600 songs. His pacifist songs about the futility of war were banned at the time, but bootleg copies circulated throughout South Vietnam and overseas. When the war ended, most of Son’s family fled overseas but he stayed. He was equally unpopular with the new Communist government for his songs about reconciliation and spent 10 years in forced labor “re-education camps.” But by the late ’80s, he regained popularity, and his songs are still performed by some of Vietnam’s biggest pop artists.

. 2001 ~ Theodore M. “Ted” McCarty, a key figure in the development of the electric guitar and former president of Gibson Guitar Co., died at the age of 91. In his 18 years as president at Gibson, McCarty transformed the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based maker of acoustic musical instruments into the purveyor of guitars to the stars. The solid-body electric guitar was considered something of a gimmick when McCarty left the Wurlitzer Co. to join Gibson in 1948. He had a degree in commercial engineering and had been an engineering designer for the military during World War II. Despite not being musically inclined, McCarty saw possibilities in the electric guitar. At Gibson, he helped bring to life the Les Paul series, named for the blues guitarist who endorsed it, the Explorer series, widely used by both rock and country guitarists, and the radical Flying V. McCarty later bought the Bigsby Co., which manufactures vibratos for guitars. He sold the company and retired in 1999.

. 2015 ~ Cynthia Lennon, the late John Lennon’s wife from 1962-1968, has died at age 75.

March 31: On This Day in Music

 

. 1732 ~ Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
Listen to Haydn’s music
More information about Haydn

. 1872 ~ Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev.  He was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes.

. 1880 ~ Henryk Wieniawski, Polish violist/composer, died at the age of 44

. 1901 ~ John Stainer died.  He was an English composer and organist whose music, though not generally much performed today, was very popular during his lifetime.

. 1922 ~ Richard Kiley, American actor and singer (Kismet, Man of La Mancha, Endless Love)

. 1928 ~ Lefty (William Orville) Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Famer

. 1934 ~ Shirley Jones, Singer, actress

. 1935 ~ Herb Alpert, American trumpeter, bandleader (Tijuana Brass), composer, record company executive: the “A” of A&M Records

. 1937 ~ Phil Harris recorded one of his best-known songs in Los Angeles, CA. That’s What I Like About the South was recorded on a 78 RPM disk. Harris would move to TV stardom and continue as a popular vocalist during the 1950s with such hit songs as The Thing.

. 1943 ~ The show, Away We Go, was renamed. The show opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City and, thanks to the talents of stars like Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts and Howard DeSilva, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances, until 1948. The musical, which has grossed millions of dollars on stage and as a blockbuster movie was initially produced for the sum of $75,000. It is still legendary among musical productions – especially after it was retitled Oklahoma!

. 1944 ~ Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge), Bass, singer with The Fortunes

. 1944 ~ Mick Ralphs, Guitarist

. 1945 ~ Al Nichol, Guitarist, keyboards with The Turtles

. 1953 ~ Sean Hopper, Keyboards with Clover and Huey Lewis and The News

. 1959 ~ Angus Young, Guitarist with AC/DC

. 1967 ~ Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time in a public performance at Finsbury Park in London.

. 1985 ~ Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, long a favorite of country music stars, closed its doors in Nashville, TN.

March 30: On This Day in Music

 

. 1674 ~ Pietro Antonio Locatelli died.  He was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.

. 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer

. 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s

. 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer

. 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon. Alma Cummings danced the foxtrot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.

. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahm’s Rhapsody in G Minor.  He was 13.

. 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music

. 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drummer with The Moody Blues

. 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack country duo

. 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; songwriter, Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990

. 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist

. 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as their hit single, He’s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I Will Follow Him on April 27th.

. 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter

. 1964 ~ Willem Andriessen, Dutch composer and pianist (Beethoven), died at the age of 76

. 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer

. 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics called Bacall “a sensation.” The play, at the Palace Theatre, was an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances. A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.

. 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, “Hey, this sounds like disco!” and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history…

. 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshine on My Shoulders. It was the singer’s first number one song. Three other singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie’s Song, Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10 at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.

March 29: On This Day in Music

 

Piano Day, an annual worldwide event founded by a group of like-minded people, takes place on the 88th day of the year – in 2019 it’s the 29th March – because of the number of keys on the instrument being celebrated.

 

. 1788 ~ Charles Wesley, writer of over 5,500 hymns and, with his brother John, the founder of Methodism, died.

. 1871 ~ The Royal Albert Hall in London opened

. 1878 ~ Albert Von Tilzer, Composer.  He was the composer of “Take Me out to the Ball Game” among other old favorites.
More information about Von Tilzer

. 1879 ~ “Eugene Onegin”, best-known opera by Russian composer Tchaikovsky, was first performed at the Maliy Theatre in Moscow

. 1888 ~ Charles-Valentin Alkan died.  He was a French composer and pianist.

. 1902 ~ Sir William Walton, British composer
More information about Walton

. 1906 ~ E. Power Biggs, English Organist

. 1918 ~ Pearl Mae Bailey, American jazz singer, lead in black cast of Hello Dolly

. 1936 ~ Richard Rodney Bennett, British composer

. 1943 ~ Vangelis, (Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou), composer/keyboardist (Chariots of Fire)

. 1947 ~ Bobby Kimball (Toteaux), Singer with Toto

. 1949 ~ Michael Brecker, Jazz musician, reeds with The Brecker Brothers

. 1951 ~ The King and I, the wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on Margaret Langdon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam, opened this night in 1951 on Broadway. The King and I starred Yul Brynner in the role of the King of Siam. The king who, along with his subjects, valued tradition above all else. From this day forward, the role of the King of Siam belonged to Yul Brynner and no other. Brynner appeared in this part in more than 4,000 performances on both stage and screen (the Broadway show was adapted for Hollywood in 1956). Anna, the English governess hired to teach the King’s dozens of children, was portrayed by Gertrude Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Brynner acted, danced and sang their way into our hearts with such memorable tunes as Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance, Hello, Young Lovers, I Whistle a Happy Tune, We Kiss in a Shadow, I Have Dreamed, Something WonderfulA Puzzlement and March of the Siamese Children. The King and I ran for a total of 1,246 outstanding performances at New York’s St. James Theatre.

. 1952 ~ Roy Henderson’s last singing performance was on this date in the role of Christus in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at Southwark Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral on the south bank of the Thames in London.

. 1958 ~ W.C. (William Christopher) Handy, Composer passed away
More information about Handy

. 1963 ~ M.C. Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell), Grammy Award-winning singer

. 1973 ~ Hommy, the Puerto Rican version of the rock opera Tommy, opened in New York City. The production was staged at Carnegie Hall.

. 1973 ~ After recording On the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’, Dr. Hook finally got a group shot on the cover of Jann Wenner’s popular rock magazine. Inside, a Rolling Stone writer confirmed that members of the group (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) bought five copies of the magazine for their moms – just like in the song’s lyrics!

. 1980 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, Anglo-Italian conductor and arranger, died. Created the “Mantovani sound” that made him a highly successful recording artist and concert attraction.

. 1982 ~ Carl Orff, German composer of “Carmina Burana,” died.

. 1982 ~ Ray Bloch passed away

. 1999 ~ Legendary U.S. jazz and blues singer Joe Williams died aged 80.

. 2001 ~ John Lewis, a pianist who masterminded one of the most famous ensembles in jazz, the Modern Jazz Quartet, died at the age of 80. The M.J.Q., as the quartet was known, remained mostly unchanged from the mid-1950’s to the 90’s. It began recording in 1952 with Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke. When Clarke moved to Paris in 1955, Connie Kay replaced him and the quartet continued until Kay’s death in 1994. Lewis contributed the bulk of the group’s compositions and arrangements, including Django and Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West, and he insisted members wear tuxedos to dignify jazz as an art. He was born in LaGrange, Ill., in 1920, and grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. His entree to the jazz world came during World War II, when he met Kenny Clarke, an established drummer in the nascent bebop movement. At Clarke’s urging, Lewis moved to New York after his discharge and eventually replaced Thelonious Monk as Dizzy Gillespie’s pianist. He also performed or recorded with Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1952 he formed the M.J.Q. with Clarke, Jackson and Heath. The quartet was a steady seller of records and concert tickets well into the 1970’s. Lewis also taught music at Harvard and the City College of New York, and in the late 1950’s helped found the Lenox School of Jazz in Massachusetts.

. 2009 ~ Maurice Jarre, French composer (Doctor Zhivago-Acadamy Award winner in 1966), died at the age of 84

March 28: On This Day in Music

today

. 1880 ~ Rosina Lhevinne, piano teacher

. 1881 ~ Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, died from alcoholism. Best known for his “Pictures from an Exhibition” and the opera “Boris Godunov.”

. 1890 ~ Paul Whiteman, Bandleader, Washboard Blues, Ol’ Man River, Felix the Cat, Heartache and Ain’t Misbehavin’

. 1903 ~ Rudolph Serkin, Austrian concert pianist: “An artist of unusual and impressive talents in possession of a crystalline technique, plenty of power, delicacy, and tone pure and full.
A masterly musician … a scholar of profound art without pedantry, with the loftiest conceptions of beauty, whose every thought and emotion is for the glory of his art.

. 1905 ~ Frances Clark, Music Educator

. 1915 ~ Jay Livingston, Composer

. 1923 ~ Thad Jones (Thaddeus Joseph Jones), Trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, played with Count Basie, Thelonious Monk; bandleader for Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, composer

. 1930 ~ Robert Ashley, American composer

. 1930 ~ Eric Dixon, Saxophonist/flutist with the Count Basie Orchestra

. 1930 ~ Bill Anthony, Jazz musician, bass

. 1939 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Three Little Fishies for Victor Records.

. 1942 ~ Samuel Ramey, American bass

. 1943 ~ Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer and virtuoso pianist, died in California; best known for his piano concertos and his Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”.

. 1944 ~ WQXR radio in New York City, owned by The New York Times newspaper, banned singing commercials from its airwaves as of this day. Understandable, since the station has always been the classical music voice of Manhattan and there aren’t many classical singing commercials.

. 1945 ~ Chuck Portz, Bass with The Turtles

. 1947 ~ Barry Miles, Musician: keyboardist

. 1949 ~ Milan Williams, Keyboards, drums, trombone, guitar with Commodores

. 1955 ~ Reba (Nell) McEntire, Multi-Grammy, CMA, ACM Award-winning singer

. 1963 ~ Alec A Templeton, composer/pianist (Alec Templeton Time), died at the age of 52

. 1964 ~ Radio Caroline debuted as the first pirate radio station to broadcast off the coast of England. On this day in 1964, the combination of rock music and lively disk jockey patter played to a huge audience in Great Britain; but well out of reach of British authorities. However, that didn’t stop them from trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station ship. Radio Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually dull British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Today, all that is different, as there is licensed radio competition throughout Great Britain. The BBC and the giant, government-owned network has caught up with the times by offering five different services to appeal to wide audiences. They are simply known as ‘Radio 1′ through ‘Radio 5′ … No ‘Zees’, ‘Qs’ or ‘Bees’, just numbers that include a rock channel, a talk channel, a nostalgia/easy listening channel, a classical/fine arts channel and a news channel.

. 1969 ~ Joe Cocker played his first American concert. He entertained fans at Billy Graham’s Fillmore East in New York City.

. 1974 ~ The group, Blue Swede, received a gold record for the single, Hooked on a Feeling.

. 1974 ~ Dorothy Fields passed away

. 1980 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes passed away.  He was an Argentine actor and singer. He was one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, an actor, television host, and songwriter

. 1981 ~ The group, Blondie, featuring Debbie Harry, received a gold record for the tune, Rapture. At the time, the pop~rock hit was perched at the top of the pop music charts. Blondie had eight charted hits. Four of them were million sellers, beginning with their first release, Heart of Glass in 1979. Four of the eight hits were number one on the charts, as well.

. 1985 ~ Roger Waters of Pink Floyd made radio history. His Radio City Music Hall concert in New York was broadcast live using a new high-tech sound system called ‘holophonics’. It is said to have recreated the stage experience in amazing detail.

. 1986 ~ More than 6,000 radio stations of all format varieties (even Muzak) played We are the World simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST. The promotion became part of the biggest participatory event in history by linking a human chain of millions of people from sea to sea. Ken Kragen was the promotion genius behind the plan that raised millions of dollars and created awareness for the African famine relief project.

USA for Africa musicians

Conductor
  • Quincy Jones
Soloists (in order of appearance)
  • Lionel Richie
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Paul Simon
  • Kenny Rogers
  • James Ingram
  • Tina Turner
  • Billy Joel
  • Michael Jackson
  • Diana Ross
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Willie Nelson
  • Al Jarreau
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Kenny Loggins
  • Steve Perry
  • Daryl Hall
  • Huey Lewis
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Kim Carnes
  • Bob Dylan
  • Ray Charles (Also playing Piano and Keyboards)
Chorus (alphabetically)
  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Lindsey Buckingham
  • Mario Cipollina
  • Johnny Colla
  • Sheila E.
  • Bob Geldof
  • Bill Gibson
  • Chris Hayes
  • Sean Hopper
  • Jackie Jackson
  • La Toya Jackson
  • Marlon Jackson
  • Randy Jackson
  • Tito Jackson
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Bette Midler
  • John Oates
  • Jeffrey Osborne
  • Anita Pointer
  • June Pointer
  • Ruth Pointer
  • Smokey Robinson
Band
  • David Paich – synthesizers, musician
  • Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming
  • Paulinho da Costa – percussion
  • Louis Johnson – bass
  • Michael Omartian – keyboards
  • Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
  • John Robinson – drums

. 2001 ~ Moe Koffman, one of Canada’s best-known jazz musicians, died of cancer at the age of 72. Koffman, whose best known for his flute piece, Swinging Shepherd Blues, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. He was for decades a regular fixture at the modest Toronto jazz club, George’s Spaghetti House. Koffman, who also played saxophone and clarinet, composed and arranged many of his own pieces. A formidable break in his career came in 1948 after he won a record deal with New York’s Mainstream Records from a magazine contest. He recorded two records with the music house before moving back to Toronto. He received the Order of Canada in 1993 for his outstanding work and service to the arts.

. 2012 ~ Earl Scruggs, American bluegrass musician, died from natural causes at the age of 88

March 27: On This Day in Music

today

. 1771 ~ A review of a concert in Venice given today by 15 year old Mozart read: “He worked out (a fugue theme) for more than an hour with such science, dexterity, harmony and proper attention to rhythm that even the greatest connoisseurs were astounded.

. 1851 ~ (Paul-Marie-Theodore) Vincent d’Indy, French composer and conductor
More information about d’Indy

. 1868 ~ Patty Smith Hill, songwriter, with Mildred Hill, composers of Happy Birthday To You. It’s first title was Good Morning to All

. 1892 ~ Ferde Grofe, Composer
More information about Grofe

. 1914 ~ Snooky Lanson (Roy Landman), Singer, vocalist on Your Hit Parade on radio and TV

. 1920 ~ Richard Hayman, Musician, house conductor for Mercury Records, harmonica player

. 1921 ~ Harold Nicholas, American dancer known as one of the world’s greatest dancers (Nicholas Brothers)

Children: don’t try this at home – never, ever dance on a piano!

 

 

. 1924 ~ Sarah Vaughan, ‘The Divine One’, American jazz singer, pianist, she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989

. 1927 ~ Mstislav Rostropovich, Soviet cellist and conductor
More information about Rostropovich

. 1931 ~ Burt Collins, Jazz musician, trumpet, flugel horn, played with Jess Roden Band, Lalo Schifrin, T. Rex

. 1945 ~ Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded the classic, It’s Only a Paper Moon for Decca Records.

. 1947 ~ Tom Sullivan, Singer, composer

. 1950 ~ Tony Banks, Keyboards with Genesis

. 1950 ~ Jazz pianist Erroll Garner became one of the first jazz instrumentalists to give a solo concert. He played the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH. In 1954, Garner would gain international applause for writing and recording a standard that has been presented many times since: Misty. Johnny Mathis and Sarah Vaughan are but two of many recording artists to offer vocal renditions of this renowned Garner composition. Play Misty for me.

. 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded I’m a Fool to Want You for Columbia.

. 1952 ~ “Singin’ in the Rain”, a musical comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

. 1958 ~ CBS Laboratories announced a new stereophonic record that was playable on ordinary LP phonographs, meaning, monaural. In stereo, on the proper equipment, a new rich and fuller sound was heard. It eventually became a standard for record and equipment buyers.

. 1959 ~ Andrew Farriss, Keyboards with INXS

. 1967 ~ Pop hit Happy Together by The Turtles became the No. 1 song in America.

. 1970 ~ Mariah Carey. Grammy Award-winning singer. She has sold more than 120 million albums and singles since her debut in 1990, only artist with a #1 single in every year of the 1990s. She has spent more weeks at #1 than any other artist

. 1971 ~ Janis Joplin started her second (and final) week at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson.

. 1975 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, English composer and Master of the Queen’s Music, died. Master of the Queen’s Music (or Master of the King’s Music) is a post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. The holder of the post originally served the monarch of England.

The post is roughly comparable to that of Poet Laureate. It is given to people eminent in the field of classical music; they have almost always been composers (George Frederick Anderson was one exception; he was a violinist who is not known to have ever composed any music). Duties are not clearly stated, though it is generally expected the holder of the post will write music to commemorate important royal events, such as coronations, birthdays, anniversaries, marriages and deaths, and to accompany other ceremonial occasions. The individual may also act as the Sovereign’s adviser in musical matters.

. 2015 ~ Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, died at the age of 83.
His poems, translated into 60 languages, have been set to music by some of Sweden’s foremost composers.

A passionate pianist, Tomas Tranströmer had to relearn how to play after a stroke in 1990 left him paralyzed down his right side. He said that playing the piano every day was the key to saving his life.

. 2017 ~ Arthur Blythe, American jazz saxophonist, died at the age of 76

March 26: On This Day in Music

today

. 1827 ~ German composer Ludwig van Beethoven died in Vienna. Beethoven is considered one of the greatest western composers ever. He composed many of his finest works after he had become totally deaf.

. 1828 ~ Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, performed his one and only public concert in the capital city of Vienna.

. 1871 ~ François-Joseph Fetis died.  He was a Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and influential music critic.

. 1918 ~ Cesar Cui, Russian composer, died
More information about Cui

. 1921 ~ Joe Loco (Jose Esteves, Jr.), Jazz musician, arranger, credited with introducing the mambo (1951) and cha-cha-cha (1953) to the US

. 1925 ~ Pierre Boulez, French composer and conductor. His later work, notably “Le Marteau sans maitre,” gained him a worldwide reputation.
More information on Boulez
Grammy winner

. 1929 ~ Maurice Simon, Jazz musician, tenor sax

. 1940 ~ Rod Lauren, Singer

. 1941 ~ Jimmy Lunceford and his orchestra recorded the tune, Battle Axe, for Decca Records. Lunceford began with the Chickasaw Syncopaters, a 10-piece band, in the late 1920s. By 1934, he would add names like Sy Oliver, Willie Smith, Earl Caruthers, Joe Thomas, Al Norris, Moses Allen, and James Crawford to form orchestras that would entertain through the mid-1940s.

. 1944 ~ Diana Ross (Diane Earle), American pop-soul singer with The Supremes

. 1948 ~ Richard Tandy, Bass with Electric Light Orchestra

. 1948 ~ Steven Tyler (Tallarico), Singer with Aerosmith

. 1949 ~ Vicki Lawrence, Emmy Award-winning actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Fran Sheehan, Bass with Boston

. 1950 ~ Teddy Pendergrass, American soul singer, songwriter and drummer

. 1950 ~ Alan Silvestri, American film score composer (Back To The Future, Forrest Gump)

. 1968 ~ Kenny Chesney, American singer

. 1974 ~ David Essex received a gold record for the hit, Rock On. Though a million seller, Rock On never made it to number one on the pop-rock charts – stalling at number five. It was on the charts for a total of 14 weeks. Essex portrayed the role of Christ in the London production of Godspell. He starred in several British films in 1970. 1975 ~ Tommy, the film based on the rock opera by the group, The Who, premiered in London.

. 2000 ~ John Corigliano won an Oscar for the score to the movie The Red Violin

. 2015 ~ Joseph Smith died.  He was a well-liked, modest and warmly adventurous New York pianist.

Benita Meshulam, a close friend, wrote: “Joe was the most curious musician I have ever known, always looking for forgotten works, studying them thoroughly. He was interested not only in the works but the composers and investigated everything. He was a pianist who didn’t care about the condition of the pianos he performed on. It was his message that he wanted to get across–a real musician’s musician who lived and breathed his art. He was also the kindest and most generous colleague.”

March 25: On This Day in Music

. 1699 ~ Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music.

. 1784 ~ François-Joseph Fetis, Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and influential music critic.

. 1851 ~ The Playel piano factory in Paris was destroyed by fire.  Playel was the favorite of Chopin in the 19th century, and it was identified with French composers known as the impressionist musicians of the early 20th century — like Ravel and Debussy.

Pleyel was founded in 1807 by Ignaz Pleyel, a composer and music publisher who studied with Franz Joseph Haydn.

. 1867 ~ Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor and musical director. Famed for his temper in rehearsals, he was director of La Scala and the Metropolitan opera houses. He also conducted the NBC symphony orchestra. With a career spanned 68 years, he was a cellist at age 19
Read quotes by and about Toscanini
More information on Toscanini

. 1881 ~ Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer and pianist, born. His knowledge of western musical techniques allied to the inspiration he derived from Hungarian peasant songs enabled him to become a unique musical force.
More information about Bartók

. 1903 ~ Grammy winner Frankie Carle (Carlone), Pianist and bandleader

. 1913 ~ The Palace Theatre opened its doors in New York City. Ed Wynn was first on the vaudeville bill. Some 20 years later, Wynn would be named as radio’s top entertainer. He later became popular on television, as well.

. 1918 ~ Claude Debussy, French composer, died. His music, described as “musical Impressionism”, explored original avenues of expression.

. 1931 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis, for Brunswick Records. Both Kemp and Ennis sang in the Dorsey Brothers Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Eugene Ormandy (later, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra). The pair were part of the orchestra vocal quartet that also featured Nye Mayhew and Saxey Dowell in 1928.

. 1934 ~ Johnny Burnette, ‘The Master’, singer, brother of singer Dorsey Burnette

. 1938 ~ Hoyt Axton, Singer, musician and songwriter. Axton’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, wrote Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel

. 1940 ~ Anita Bryant, Singer

. 1942 ~ Aretha Franklin, American soul singer, known as the “Queen of Soul” and “Lady Soul”, she won 15 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987)

. 1947 ~ Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Entertainer
More information about John

. 1948 ~ Kelly Garrett, Actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Neil Jones, Musician with Amen Corner

. 1951 ~ Maizie Williams, Singer with Boney M

. 1961 ~ “Gypsy” closed at the Broadway Theater in New York City after 702 performances

. 1966 ~ Jeff Healey, Guitarist, singer, songwriter with the Jeff Healey Band, CBC radio show: My Kind of Jazz

. 1971 ~ Tom Jones went gold with his single, She’s a Lady.

. 1972 ~ The group, America, rode to the top of the pop music charts with their LP, America, and the single (included on the LP), A Horse with No Name. A Horse With No Name would be the group’s only gold record.

. 1991 ~ Eileen Joyce, pianist, died at the age of 78

March 24: On This Day in Music

today

. 1784 ~ Mozart‘s Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450 in B flat, K. 450 was first performed.  Mozart was the soloist.

It is a concertante work for piano, or pianoforte, and orchestra.  Mozart composed the concerto for performance at a series of concerts at the Vienna venues of the Trattnerhof and the Burgtheater. In a letter to his father, Mozart compared this concerto with the 16th concerto in D:

“I consider them both to be concertos which make one sweat, but the B flat one beats the one in D for difficulty.” Indeed, many pianists consider this to be the most difficult of all of Mozart’s piano concertos. The concerto is primarily difficult from its many quick scale patterns which must be played perfectly and also from its many fast chord patterns moving up and down.

Beginning with this concerto, Mozart began to use the term “grand” to describe his concerti such as K.450 which feature a prominent and required wind section for the ensemble. The work is orchestrated for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings.

The concerto is in three movements:
1. Allegro
2. Andante in E-flat major
3. Allegro

. 1808 ~ María Felicità Malibran, Spanish contralto

. 1895 ~ Arthur Murray, dancer

. 1900 ~ June (Algeria Junius) Clark, Musician, trumpeter

. 1916 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish composer, died in the English Channel. Best known for his piano suite “Goyescas” after paintings by Goya.

. 1920 ~ Gene Nelson (Eugene Leander Berg), Actor, dancer in Lullaby of Broadway, Oklahoma, Tea for Two, The West Point Story

. 1922 ~ Dave Appell, Arranger for big bands: Benny Carter, Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines; TV music director, record producer, singer, songwriter, musician with Dave Appell and the Applejacks

. 1928 ~ Byron Janis (Yanks), American pianist, NBC Symphony Orchestra; well-known piano performance on Hugo Winterhalter’s Rhapsody in Blue recording, composed by George Gershwin.

. 1935 ~ After a year as a local show from New York City, “Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour” was heard on the entire NBC radio network. The show stayed on the air for 17 years. Later, Ted Mack took over for Bowes and made the move from radio to television.

. 1937 ~ Benjamin Luxon, British baritone

. 1941 ~ Glenn Miller began work on his first motion picture for 20th Century Fox. The film was Sun Valley Serenade.

. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley reported to local draft board 86 in Memphis, TN. He became US 53310761. Oddly, since Elvis was now ‘government property’ serving his time in the Army, Uncle Sam stood to lose an estimated $500,000 in lost taxes each year that Private Presley was in the Army.

. 1980 ~ Capitol Records released some rare Beatles tracks. Included in the album were stereo versions of Penny Lane and She Loves You, sung by the group in German, under the title, Sie Liebt Dich. Also included was a German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand or, in the Teutonic tongue, Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.

. 2000 ~ French Quarter pianist and chanteuse Lily Simha Hood, whose fans included Tennessee Williams, died of kidney failure. She was cagey about revealing her age, and her husband asked that the secret remain with her death. Her musical career began on a whim. After dinner one night in 1976, the Hoods and a friend stopped at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a Bourbon Street bar across from their house. Mrs. Hood played a few tunes on the piano for her friend and was hired on the spot, even though she wasn’t looking for a job. Soon, “Miss Lily” had a crowd of regulars including Tennessee Williams, who would bring in a songbook for her to sing from. Mrs. Hood never formally studied the piano and never learned to read music. She was self-taught and learned by listening. She performed at Lafitte’s for 16 years, but health problems ended her career about 1993.

March 23: On This Day in Music

today

. 1731 ~ Johann Sebastian Bach‘s first performance of the St. Mark Passion.  It was Good Friday that year.

. 1743 ~ It was the first London performance of Handel’s “Messiah”, and King King George II was in the audience. In the middle of the “Hallelujah Chorus, the King rose to his feet in appreciation of the great piece! The entire audience followed suit out of respect for the King. And so began the custom of standing during the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus”.
More about Handel’s Messiah

. 1750 ~ Johann Matthias Sperger, Austrian contrabassist and composer.

. 1878 ~ Franz Schreker, Austrian composer and conductor

. 1887 ~ Anthony von Hoboken, Dutch music bibliographer; cataloguer of the works of Haydn

. 1917 ~ Johnny Guarnieri, Pianist, played with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw; played at the Tail O’ The Cock in LA for a decade

. 1926 ~ Martha Wright (Wiederrecht), Singer on The Martha Wright Show

. 1927 ~ Régine Crespin, French soprano

. 1949 ~ Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek), Guitarist, singer with The Cars

. 1950 ~ Aaron Copland won an Oscar for his score to the movie The Heiress

. 1953 ~ Chaka Khan (Yvette Marie Stevens), Singer

. 1966 ~ Marti Pellow (Mark McLoughlin), Singer with Wet, Wet, Wet

. 1974 ~ Cher reached the top of the music charts as Dark Lady reached the #1 spot for a one-week stay. Other artists who shared the pop music spotlight during that time included: Terry Jacks, John Denver, Blue Swede, Elton John and MFSB.

. 1985 ~ Singer Billy Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley in private ceremonies held in New York City.

. 1985 ~ Zoot (John Haley) Sims passed away.  He was an American jazz saxophonist, playing mainly tenor and soprano.

. 1985 ~ We Are the World, by USA for Africa, a group of 46 pop stars, entered the music charts for the first time at number 21.

. 2000 ~ Ed McCurdy, a leading 1950s folk music figure whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez, in Halifax, Novia Scotia. He was 81.