May 7: Today’s Music History

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•  1833 ~ Johannes Brahms, German composer
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• 1840 ~ Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer
Listen to Tchaikovsky’s music
Read about Tchaikovsky
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• 1919 ~ Eva (Evita) Peron, Argentina’s spiritual leader and wife of Argentina’s President, Juan Peron; actress on stage, film and radio; the subject of the Broadway musical and film Evita

• 1927 ~ Elisabeth Söderström, Swedish soprano

• 1931 ~ Teresa Brewer (Breuer), Singer

• 1941 ~ Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded one of the great American music standards, Chattanooga Choo Choo
More information about Chattanooga Choo Choo

• 1942 ~ Felix Weingartner, Austrian conductor and composer, died; best known for his interpretations of Wagner and Beethoven.

• 1958 ~ Pianist Van Cliburn signed an artist’s contract with RCA Victor Records.

• 1966 ~ The Mamas & The Papas made the climb to the top of the Billboard pop music chart with Monday, Monday.

• 1977 ~ The Eagles went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Hotel California’, the group’s fourth US No.1, a No.8 hit in the UK. The Eagles also won the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year for ‘Hotel California’ at the 20th Annual Grammy Awards in 1978. The song’s guitar solo is ranked 8th on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Solos and was voted the best solo of all time by readers of Guitarist magazine.

• 1995 ~ Ray McKinley passed away.  He was an American jazz drummer, singer, and bandleader.

• 2002 ~ Buster Brown, a tap star and choreographer who danced on stage, in films and on television, died. He was 88. Brown was one of the last surviving members of the Copasetics, a legendary group of veteran dancers who performed together. Known for his quick rhythms and charm, Brown was a mentor and teacher for a younger generation of dancers. Brown, who was born James Brown in Baltimore, began his dancing career with a trio called the Three Aces and Speed Kings. He eventually began a solo career, appearing in the Hollywood musical “Something to Shout About” in 1943. Brown toured with the bands of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington, and was a featured dancer in Ellington’s concerts in the 1960s. He danced in the films “The Cotton Club” and “Tap” and on two public television specials. He also performed with the original casts of the Broadway musicals “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “Black and Blue.” Brown toured South America with the Cab Calloway Orchestra and was commissioned by the State Department to perform in several African countries. He also taught master classes throughout Europe. Beginning in 1997, Brown was master of ceremonies at a weekly Sunday tap jam at the Manhattan club Swing 46, where young and old dancers stopped by to perform. He recently received an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma City University.

April 30: Today’s Music History

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. 1717 ~ Guillaume Gommaire Kennis, composer

. 1792 ~ Johann Friedrich Schwencke, composer

. 1837 ~ Alfred Gaul, composer

. 1852 ~ Anton Rubinstein’s opera “Dmitri Donskoi”, premiered in St Petersburg

. 1870 ~ Franz Lehar, Austrian composer of operettas. He achieved worldwide recognition for “The Merry Widow”.
More information about Lehar

. 1883 ~ David John de Lloyd, composer

. 1884 ~ Albert Israel Elkus, composer

. 1885 ~ The Boston Pops Orchestra formed

. 1885 ~ Luigi Russolo, composer

. 1886 ~ Frank Merrik, composer

. 1900 ~ Train engineer Casey Jones was killed when trying to save the Cannonball Express as it highballed its way through Vaughn, MS. The famous song about Jones is based on this train accident.

. 1903 ~ Victor Records made its first Red Seal recording this day. The premiere disk featured Ada Crossley, an opera contralto.

. 1916 ~ Robert Shaw, American conductor, Robert Shaw Chorale; music director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

. 1923 ~ Percy Heath, Jazz musician: bass: founder of Modern Jazz Quartet, The Heath Brothers

. 1933 ~ Willie Nelson, American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his band recorded the bandleader’s signature song, Contrasts, for Decca Records. The song went on to become one of the most familiar big band themes of the era.

. 1941 ~ Johnny Farina, Musician: rhythm guitar with Santo & Johnny

. 1943 ~ Bobby Vee (Velline), Singer

. 1944 ~ Richard Schoff, Singer with The Sandpipers

. 1953 ~ Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle became a team this day at Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra’s new musical style, under Riddle’s direction, brought the crooner to the top of the record world for the second time in his illustrious career.

. 1953 ~ Merrill Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds: Alan, Donny, Jay, Marie, Wayne, Jimmy

. 1954 ~ Darius Milhaud’s Fourth Concerto for piano and orchestra premiered in Haifa

. 1956 ~ Richard Farina, folk singer: Reflections in a Crystal Wind

. 1983 ~ Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) passed away.  He was an American blues musician.

. 1987 ~ Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first time. The discs were Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver. All became hits again for the Fab Four.

. 2000 ~ Bill Woods, a bandleader who helped Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and other country music stars launch their careers, died. He was 76. In the 1950s, Woods ran The Blackboard country music club in Bakersfield. The club attracted many country music stars and helped develop what became known as the Bakersfield Sound. Woods also could play many instruments, including piano, guitar, fiddle, drums, and the banjo.

. 2000 ~ Jonah Jones, a Grammy award-winning jazz trumpet player who began his career on a Mississippi riverboat and became a star playing with Cab Calloway, died at the age of 90.

. 2001 ~ Herman “Rock” Johnston, a musician known for his innovative work on steel drums, died of prostate cancer. He was 63. Johnston gained acclaim in the early 1960s with an innovation that stretched the musical range of the instrument from 24 to 36 notes. During his career, the Trinidad native appeared at the United Nations, Lincoln Center and Radio City Musical Hall in New York City, and with the Boston Symphony at its summer festival in Tanglewood. His repertoire spanned rock, spiritual, classical, show tunes and Caribbean folk music.

. 2003 ~ Bill Napier, a clarinetist who rose to prominence with the premier San Francisco jazz bands of the 1940s and 50s, died. He was 76. Napier helped create a catchy West Coast style with a Dixieland sound and a San Francisco vibe. He played with jazz stars including trombonist Turk Murphy, Lu Watters and Bob Scobey’s Frisco Jazz Band. Though he took some lessons, Napier essentially taught himself to play. His talent, and his love of music brought him to an eclectic mix of venues – from cable car turnabouts to halftime of Harlem Globetrotters’ games to Silicon Valley soirees at the height of the dot-com boom. His last show was December 30, 2002.

. 2015 ~ Ben E. King [Benjamin Earl Nelson], American soul singer (Stand by Me), died at the age of 76

.2016 ~ Phil Ryan, Welsh keyboardist and composer (Man, Pete Brown), died at the age of 69

April 29: Today’s Music History

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OCMS 1879 ~ Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor. Founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947 and did much to promote the works of Delius, Sibelius and Richard Strauss.
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. 1895 ~ Sir Malcolm Sargent, English conductor, born. He was in charge of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 1942 until 1948 and of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1950 until 1957.

OCMS 1899 ~ Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist, bandleader and composer
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Grammy winner

. 1913 ~ Donald Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers.

. 1925 ~ Danny Davis (George Nowland), Grammy Award-winning bandleader with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1969, Country Music Awards Instrumental Group of the Year 1969 to 1974

. 1927 ~ Carl Gardner, Singer with The Coasters

. 1931 ~ (Anthony James) Lonnie Donegan, Folk singer, musician: guitar, banjo

. 1933 ~ Rod McKuen, Singer, poet-songwriter

. 1936 ~ Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist

. 1936 ~ April Stevens (Carol Lo Tempio), Singer

. 1943 ~ Duane Allen, Singer with the Oak Ridge Boys

. 1947 ~ Tommy James (Jackson), Singer with Tommy James and The Shondells

. 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Musician, guitar and singer with Status Quo

. 1968 ~ Hair made its way from Greenwich Village to Broadway. The show certainly opened eyes. It was the first time that actors appeared nude in a Broadway musical. Hair ran for 1,844 shows on and off Broadway. It was even more successful in its London run later. Big songs from the show: Hair (The Cowsills) and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The 5th Dimension).

. 1969 ~ Sir Duke, Duke Ellington, celebrated his 70th birthday. He was honored with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government’s highest civilian honor.

. 2001 ~ Opera diva Rita Nellie Hunter, a powerful soprano celebrated for her fine Wagnerian performances, died at the age of 67. Hunter, originally from Wallasey, England, was best remembered as the quintessential Brunnhilde of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, which she performed in London, New York, Germany and Sydney. Hunter’s agile voice led her through performances of Verdi’s “Aida,” and “Macbeth,” Puccini’s “Turandot” and Strauss’ challenging “Elektra.” Despite her remarkable voice, Hunter did not reach international stardom. Her physical size, at a time when the opera was seeking slimmer performers, and the fact that she sang roles primarily in English, kept her from achieving global fame. Hunter married tenor John Darnley Thomas in 1960, and after his death in 1994, took over management of his Singing Academy in Sydney.

April 28: Today’s Music History

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. 1870 ~ Hermann Suter, Swiss composer and conductor

. 1871 ~ Louise Homer, American opera singer, contralto at the NY Metropolitan Opera House

. 1873 ~ Harold Bauer, English/US pianist

 

. 1892 ~ John Jacob Niles, Composer

. 1917 ~ “Papa” John Creach, Singer

. 1920 ~ Nan Merriman, American mezzo-soprano

. 1940 ~ Pennsylvania 6-5000, the classic Glenn Miller signature song, was recorded on Bluebird Records.

. 1940 ~ Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian soprano, died.

. 1941 ~ Ann-Margaret, Entertainer

. 1950 ~ Jay Leno, TV personality

. 1987 ~ For the first time, a compact disc of an album was released before its vinyl counterpart. The Art of Excellence by Tony Bennett, his first recorded work in a decade, went on sale.

. 2001 ~ Evelyn Kuenneke, a Berlin singer and cabaret artist whose tune Sing Nightingale Sing was a hit among German soldiers during World War II, died of lung cancer at the age of 79. Kuenneke started out as a dancer at Berlin’s State Opera in the late 1930s. When the Nazis banned her from appearing in cabaret shows under her artist name Evelyn King in 1939, she turned to movies and pop songs that also took her on the wartime military entertainment circuit. With the war started by Adolf Hitler in full fury, Kuenneke scored her biggest success in 1941 with Sing Nightingale Sing, a nostalgia-laced ditty set to a slow swing beat. She continued her career after the war with pop recordings and films, dropping out of the public eye in the 1960s but staging a comeback in the 1970s. Since then, she regularly appeared on stage in small productions or variety shows until a few months ago. Born Dec. 15, 1921 in Berlin, Kuenneke was the daughter of German operetta composer Eduard Kuenneke and the opera singer Katarina Krapotkin.

. 2002 ~ Noel Da Costa, a composer and professor at Rutgers University, died. He was 82. Da Costa also wrote music that drew from African folk music. His piece, Primal Rites, was performed in 1983 by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under John Williams, with Max Roach as the soloist. Born in Nigeria, Da Costa’s family moved to Harlem as a young boy. He attended Queens College and Columbia University. He won a Fulbright Scholarship to study music with Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence, Italy. Da Costa joined the faculty of Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J. in 1970 after teaching for the city universities of New York. He retired from Rutgers last year.

. 2007 ~ Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist and bandleader (Tonight Show), died at the age of 78

April 23: Today’s Music History

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. 1756 ~ Alexander Reinagle, English-American composer, born

. 1882 ~ Albert Coates, British conductor and composer

OCMS 1891 ~ Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer and pianist
More information about Prokofiev
Grammy winner

. 1924 ~ Arthur Frackenpohl, American composer

. 1928 ~ Shirley Temple, Entertainer

. 1936 ~ Roy Orbison, American rock-and-roll singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1939 ~ Ray Peterson, Singer

. 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Drummer for the rock band The Who

. 1952 ~ Narada Michael Walden, Musician: drums with the group Mahavishnu Orchestra, record producer, singer, songwriter

. 1952 ~ Elisabeth Schumann, German soprano, died. Best known for her roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi Fan Tutte,” she was also a popular recitalist

. 1985 ~ This was a big day for the flamboyant Liberace. Lee, as he was called by those close to him, first appeared on the TV soap opera, Another World. The sequined and well-furred pianist appeared as a fan of Felicia Gallant, a romance novelist. Later in the day, Liberace was a guest video jockey on MTV!

and

. 1985 ~ The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was Sunday in the Park with George.

. 1986 ~ Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer of Over the Rainbow died at the age of 81

. 2001 ~ Genji Ito, the resident composer for the experimental theater club La MaMa E.T.C. and a music collaborator with many other groups, died of cancer at the age of 54. Ito composed scores for more than 25 theatrical productions at La MaMa. He received an Obie Award in 1986 for sustained excellence. Working closely with Ellen Stewart, La MaMa’s founder, Ito produced scores notable for their stylistic variation and diversity. For 1986’s “Orfei,” a retelling of the Orpheus myth, Ito composed a score that mixed traditional folk instruments with modern electronic ones. For 1993’s “Ghosts: Live from Galilee,” the story of a group of black men accused of raping a white woman in 1931, Ito composed a score that combined blues with country and vaudeville. Ito also wrote 15 compositions for the Ubu Repertory.

April 21: Today’s Music History

. 1880 ~ Estelle Liebling, American soprano

. 1899 ~ Randall Thompson, American composer

. 1920 ~ Bruno Maderna, Italian-born German conductor and composer

. 1924 ~ Don Cornell (Louis Varlaro), Singer

. 1924 ~ Clara Ward, Gospel singer, Clara Ward Gospel Troupe

. 1931 ~ Carl Belew, Country singer

. 1947 ~ Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterburg), Singer, songwriter, with the Psychedelic Stooges

. 1963 ~ The Beatles and The Rolling Stones met for the first time together, at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England. The Stones opened the show.

. 1977 ~ Annie opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre. Andrea McArdle was a shining star in the title role. Annie continued on the Great White Way until January 2, 1983.

. 2016 ~ Prince Rogers Nelson died.  He was known by the mononym Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range.

April 20: Today’s Music History

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. 1881 ~ Nicolai Miaskovsky, Russian composer

. 1925 ~ Tito (Ernest) Puente, Jazz musician, bandleader

. 1925 ~ Henri Renaud, French pianist

. 1931 ~ Louis Armstrong recorded the classic, When It’s Sleepy Time Down South, for Okeh Records. Satchmo would use the tune as his theme song for decades. The song was waxed in Chicago, IL.

. 1934 ~ One of America’s most beloved child stars made her debut. Shirley Temple debuted in Stand Up and Cheer, which opened in New York City. Moviegoers would rave about her song and dance routine, Baby, Take a Bow, for many years.

. 1935 ~ Your Hit Parade, starring Kay Thompson, Charles Carlyle, Gogo DeLys and Johnny Hanser, was first broadcast on radio in 1935. A youngster named Frank Sinatra would later be part of the program as a featured vocalist. Your Hit Parade stayed on the radio airwaves for 24 years. Snooky Lanson would later host the program when it made the transition from radio to TV. Other long-time regulars on the TV version were: Russell Arms, Gisele MacKenzie and Dorothy Collins. They were the lucky ones who got to present the top seven songs each week. Since many songs stayed on the list for weeks on end, these vocalists had to invent new ways to present the hit parade. On April 24, 1959, Your Hit Parade died. The regulars just didn’t fit with the new rock ‘n’ roll hits. Imagine, if you can, Snooky Lanson singing Hound Dog. The original title of the radio show was, Lucky Strike Hit Parade, sponsored by, you guessed it, Lucky Strike cigarettes. The cigarette company continued to sponsor the TV show (those were the days when cigarette companies sponsored lots of TV shows), and the opening theme song was Be Happy, Go Lucky.

. 1943 ~ John Eliot Gardiner, British conductor

. 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, British rock singer and guitarist

. 1951 ~ Luther Vandross, soul singer, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Never Too Much’, first released 1983, US N0.10 and UK No.2 single with Janet Jackson ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’).  Also worked with David Bowie, Mariah Carey. Vandross died on 1st July 2005 aged 54 two years after suffering a major stroke.

. 1968 ~ Hair opened on Broadway

. 1985 ~ The British pop music group Wham!, featuring George Michael, became the first to release cassettes in the People’s Republic of China. Selections from two of the group’s albums were packaged and sold on the tape.

. 1986 ~ Pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave his first concert in the Soviet Union in 61 years. He had emigrated in 1925.

. 1987 ~ Starlight Express posted the largest week’s gross in Broadway history. The roller-skating musical earned $606,081 at the box office. The revival of The King and I starring Yul Brynner had been the previous leader (1985).

. 2000 ~ Canadian composer Louis Applebaum, long associated with the prestigious classical repertory company the Stratford Festival, died of cancer. He was 82.

. 2001 ~ Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor, collapsed at the podium while conducting a performance of Verdi’s Aida in Berlin. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors could not revive him. Sinopoli, 54, was the music director of the Dresden Staatskapelle and was a controversial figure in classical music. An avid scholar, Sinopoli had a medical degree and was also studying archaeology.

. 2003 ~ Nina Simone, whose deep, raspy, forceful voice made her a unique figure in jazz and later helped define the civil rights movement, died. She was 70. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933 in North Carolina, Simone was the sixth of seven children in a poor family. She began playing the piano at age 4. In the late 1950s Simone recorded her first tracks, including Plain Gold Ring and Don’t Smoke In Bed. But she gained fame in 1959 with her recording of I Loves You Porgy, from the opera “Porgy & Bess.” But she later wove the turbulent times of the 1960s into her music. In 1963, after the church bombing that killed four young black girls in Birmingham, Ala., and the slaying of Medgar Evers, she wrote Mississippi Goddam, and after the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she recorded Why? The King of Love is Dead. One of her most famous songs was the black pride anthem, To Be Young, Gifted and Black.

Simone enjoyed perhaps her greatest success in the 1960s and 70s, with songs like I Want A Little Sugar in My Bowl, and Four Women, the song with the famous line “they call me PEACHES.” She recorded songs from artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bee Gees and made them her own. Perhaps one of her more popular covers was her version of House of the Rising Sun. While she had a regal presence onstage, she could often be temperamental. She had a reputation for chewing out audience members who interrupted her performances in clubs with conversation or loud drinking or talking. In 1999 she received a lifetime achievement award in Dublin and an award for excellence in music from the Association of African American Music in Philadelphia.

. 2017 ~ Cuba Gooding Sr., American singer (Everybody Plays the Fool), died at the age of 72

April 18: Today’s Music History

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. 1796 ~ The Archers, the first opera composed by Benjamin Carr, an American composer, was performed in New York City.

OCMS 1819 ~ Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer and conductor
More information about von Suppé

OCMS 1882 ~ Leopold Stokowski, British-born American conductor
More information about Stokowski

. 1918 ~ Tony Mottola, composer, guitarist: played with Al Caiola, George Hall’s orchestra, CBS radio studio orchestra, worked with Raymond Scott backing up young  Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, arranger for Como’s TV variety show

. 1929 ~ Red Nichols and his Five Pennies recorded the Glenn Miller arrangement of Indiana for Brunswick Records. Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Jack Teagarden were all part of the recording session that took place in New York City.

. 1936 ~ Ottorino Respighi, Italian composer, died. Best known for his orchestral pieces including the “Pines of Rome.”
More information about Respighi

. 1938 ~ Catherine Malfitano, American soprano

. 1938 ~ Hal Galper, jazz pianist

. 1941 ~ Mike Vickers, Musician: guitar, reeds played with the group Manfred Mann

. 1946 ~ Hayley Mills, Singer, actress

. 1946 ~ Alexander Spence, Musician: guitarist and singer with the group Moby Grape

. 1965 ~ Contralto Marian Anderson ended her 30-year singing career with a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

. 1974 ~ James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, received a gold record this day for the single, The Payback. Of the 44 hits that Brown would put on the charts over three decades, he received only one other gold record – for Get on the Good Foot – Part 1 in 1972. His biggest pop hits include: I Got You (I Feel Good) at number three in 1965, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag at number eight in 1965, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World at number eight in 1966, I Got The Feelin’ at number six in 1968 and Living in America at number four in 1986. This song was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film, Rocky IV.

. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson faced surgery in Los Angeles. Doctors performed scalp surgery to repair the damage done after the megastar’s hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial on January 27. Jackson was hospitalized and recuperated for months before he could return to work. His single recording of Thriller had been certified platinum in February 1984.

. 1985 ~ The sequined ‘King of Show Business’, Liberace, broke his own record for ticket sales at Radio City Music Hall. Liberace grossed more than $2,000,000 for his engagement in the historic New York City venue. His previous record was set in 1984 ($1.6 million in tickets sold).

. 2001 ~ Billy Mitchell died at the age of 74. He was a saxophonist who played with jazz greats Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman.

April 16: Today’s Music History

. 1897 Milton J. Cross, American TV announcer. He was best known as the voice of the Metropolitan Opera, hosting its Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts for 43 years, from the time of their inception on December 25, 1931 until his death in 1975.

. 1919 ~ Merce Cunningham, Dancer, choreographer

. 1923 ~ Bennie Green, Trombonist, lyricist

OCMS 1924 ~ Henry Mancini, American arranger, composer, conductor and pianist
More information about Mancini

. 1929 ~ Roy Hamilton, Singer

. 1930 ~ Herbie Mann, American jazz flutist

. 1935 ~ Bobby Vinton (Stanley Vintulla), Singer

. 1939 ~ Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien), Singer, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999

. 1944 ~ Dennis Russell Davies, American conductor

. 1947 ~ Gerry Rafferty, Singer, songwriter

. 1949 ~ Bill Spooner, Musician, guitarist with The Tubes

. 1963 ~ Jimmy Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds, he is the youngest Osmond

. 1973 ~ Former Beatle, Paul McCartney, leading the group, Wings, starred in his first TV special titled, James Paul McCartney. The show featured the new group, including Paul’s wife, Linda on keyboards and backing vocals.

. 1996 ~ Lucille Bremer, American actress and dancer (Meet Me in St. Louis, Ziegfeld Follies), died at the age of 79

. 2001 ~ Walter Stanton, who invented an easily replaceable phonograph stylus that helped create a consumer market for audio equipment, died at the age of 86. Stanton invented the slide-in stylus in the 1940s. The design enabled users to replace a needle assembly by themselves instead of having to send it back to the factory when it wore out. The invention became one of the basics in phonograph cartridge design. He also prodded major manufacturers to arrive at a standard mounting system for cartridges and the type of recording on records, that enabled record players and styluses to be sold separately. He also helped found the Institute of High Fidelity, whose annual trade shows in New York attracted thousands of gadget lovers.

April 15: Today’s Music History

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. 1452 ~ Leonardo da Vinci, Italian musician, painter, sculptor, engineer, mathematician, scientist and what-not

. 1651 ~ Domenico Gabrieli, Italian composer and cellist

. 1891 ~ Stephen Albert Emery, American composer and pianist, died at the age of 49

OCMS 1894 ~ Bessie Smith, American blues, jazz and vaudeville singer
More information about Smith

. 1920 ~ Jim Timmens, Grammy Award-winning composer: Aren’t You Glad You’re You in 1995, Best Recording For Children, jazz musician, musical director of New York’s Radio City Music Hall

. 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest’s Phonofilm, the first sound-on-sound film, motion picture, was demonstrated for a by-invitation-only audience at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. The guests saw The Gavotte, a man and woman dancing to old-time music and The Serenade, four musicians who played on wind, percussion and string instruments.

OCMS 1924 ~ Neville Marriner, British violinist and conductor

. 1927 ~ Serge Koussevitsky directed the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the first performance of Frederick Converse’s symphony, Flivver Ten Million, a salute to the ‘Tin Lizzie’ automobile.

. 1930 ~ Herb Pomeroy, Musician: trumpet, teacher at Berklee in Boston, bandleader, directed radio Malaysia Orchestra

. 1933 ~ Roy Clark, Musician, guitar, banjo, CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1973, country singer, Comedian of the Year in 1970, 1971 and 1972

. 1972 ~ Roberta Flack started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. Written in 1957 by political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who was later to become his wife. At the time the couple were lovers, although MacColl was married to someone else. MacColl is the father of singer/songwriter Kirsty MacColl. The song was featured in the Clint Eastwood film ‘Play Misty For Me.’