February 18: On This Day in Music

 

 

. 1655 ~ Pietro Giovanni Guarneri, Italian violin maker
More information on Guarneri

. 1735 ~ The first opera performed in America, known as either “Flora” or “Hob in the Well”, was presented in Charleston, SC.

. 1850 ~ Sir George Henschel, German-born British conductor, composer and baritone

. 1927 ~ Singer Jessica Dragonette starred on radio’s “Cities Service Concerts” (sponsored by the oil company of the same name) and literally, “sang her way into radio immortality.” She also sang on the “Palmolive Beauty Box Theatre” in the 1930s. In 1940 she starred on Pet Milk’s “Saturday Nite Serenade”. Her many fans referred to her as the “first great voice of the air.”

. 1933 ~ Yoko Ono, Japanese-born American rock singer, songwriter and artist Widow of John Lennon
More information on Ono

. 1938 ~ One of the most famous and popular motion pictures of all time lit up the silver screen, as The Big Broadcast of 1938 was released to movie houses. The film featured Bob Hope and his version of what would be his theme song, Thanks for the Memory. The song received an Oscar for Best Song. Dorothy Lamour and W.C. Fields also had starring roles in the film.

. 1941 ~ Herman Santiago, Singer with Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

. 1942 ~ The Mills Brothers waxed one of their three greatest hits. Paper Doll became Decca record #18318. In addition to Paper Doll, the other two classics by the Mills Brothers are: You Always Hurt The One You Love in 1944 and Glow Worm in 1952.

. 1964 ~ “Any Wednesday” opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York City. The play established Gene Hackman as an actor. Don Porter and Sandy Dennis also starred in the show.

. 1956 ~ Gustave Charpentier, French opera composer (Louise), died at the age of 95

. 1987 ~ Dmitry Borisovich Kabalevsky, composer, died at the age of 82
More about Kabalevsky

. 2001 ~ Legendary singer and songwriter Charles Trenet, whose fanciful ballads and poetic love songs captured the hearts of the French for more than six decades, died of a stroke at the age of 87. Trenet, who wrote nearly 1,000 songs and gained world renown with the romantic ballad La Mer (The Sea), was decorated in 1998 by President Jacques Chirac as a Commander of the Legion of Honor – France’s highest civilian honor. La Mer was recorded in 1946 and remade by American Bobby Darin as Beyond the Sea in 1960. Known as Le Fou Chantant (The Singing Fool), Trenet was known for his flashing smile, tilted-back hat and buttonhole carnation. Trenet spent several years in the United States after World War II, appearing in Broadway cabarets. He returned to France in 1951 and resumed a career that included five novels and lead roles in a dozen films.

. 2003 ~ Jonathan Eberhart, 60, an award-winning aerospace writer who also was a folk singer and a founder in 1964 of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, died. By day, Mr. Eberhart was space sciences editor of the weekly newsmagazine Science News, covering space sciences and the development of the U.S. aerospace program. He worked there for more than 30 years before he retired in 1991. For three decades, he also was a fixture of the Washington folk music scene, performing and recording on his own and with the group Boarding Party. He helped folk singer Pete Seeger sail the sloop Clearwater on its maiden voyage and sang at performances along the route and on the record of sea chanteys made by the crew. He wrote songs — including “Lament for a Red Planet,” inspired by his coverage of NASA’s Mars explorer mission for Science News — and collected rare folk music and instruments from around the world. Among Mr. Eberhart’s own records were “Life’s Trolley Ride” on the Folk-Legacy label. He helped stage the Folklore Society’s popular free summer festivals, which drew thousands of music lovers to Glen Echo Park and other venues. The gatherings started out as concerts at the Washington Ethical Society. They quickly grew into two-day, five-stage celebrations co-sponsored by the National Park Service. Hundreds of singers, dancers, musicians, storytellers and craftspeople came, along with thousands of visitors over a weekend. Mr. Eberhart was born in Evanston, Ill., and raised in Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y. He attended Harvard University, working during the summer at Science News, and then joining the staff as a writer in 1964. Mr. Eberhart’s contributions to the local music scene included a radio program on international folk music for WGTB. His search for international talent reached to more than 30 countries as well as Washington’s own international communities. “It’s easy to find a good banjo player,” he said in an interview in The Washington Post, “but how do you find an Eritrean krar lyre player?” One of his investigative techniques was to ask cabdrivers speaking accented English where they were born and whether they knew someone who could play native instruments. The result would be festival or folklore society acts from Afghanistan or Iceland or Vietnam. Mr. Eberhart also wrote articles about music for publications that included Sing Out and liner notes for numerous recordings, notably the Nonesuch Explorer international series world music.

. 2003 ~ Faith Marian Forrest, 83, a pianist who performed in recitals in Washington and elsewhere in the country and taught at her Kensington home, died of cancer. Mrs. Forrest was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a graduate of Brooklyn College. She did graduate work in music at Columbia University. After moving to Washington in 1941, she was a secretary for the War Department. From 1942 to 1946, she worked for the music department of the Library of Congress. Until the mid-1960s, she gave recitals, sometimes with her husband, clarinetist Sidney Forrest, at concert locations that included the Phillips Gallery as well as in Baltimore, New York and the Midwest. She taught piano during the summer for several decades at the Interlochen Arts Camps in Michigan and taught privately at home until last year.

. 2003 ~ Johnny Paycheck, the carousing country music singer best remembered for his blue-collar anthem Take This Job and Shove It died. His 1977 hit about a factory worker bent on revenge against his boss still resonates with listeners and continues to get radio play, especially on Friday afternoons. Paycheck had nearly three-dozen hits, beginning with the hard-driving 1965 song A-11. He earned two Grammy nominations during his career, the first in 1971 for the single She’s All I Got and the second in 1978 for Take This Job and Shove It. He had a powerful, expressive voice, distinctive inflection and a knack for delivering solid country emotion. Born Donald Eugene Lytle in Greenfield, Ohio, he picked up a guitar at age 6, and was performing and traveling on his own by age 15. He launched his career as a sideman to such stars as George Jones and Faron Young. He adopted the name Paycheck from a boxer.

. 2014 ~ Maria Franziska von Trapp, Austrian-born American singer, died at the age of 99

February 16: On This Day in Music

today

. 1709 ~ Charles Avison, English composer during the Baroque and Classical periods. He was a church organist at St John The Baptist Church in Newcastle and at St. Nicholas’s Church.

. 1878 ~ Selim Palmgren, Finnish composer, pianist, and conductor

. 1866 ~ David Mannes, American violinist and conductor; founder of the Mannes College of music

. 1896 ~ Alexander Brailowsky, Pianist

. 1901 ~ Wayne King, ‘The Waltz King’, saxophonist and bandleader

. 1907 ~ Alec Wilder, American composer, arranger and songwriter

. 1910 ~ Albert Heinrich Zabel died.  He was a German composer and virtuoso harpist.

. 1915 ~ Emil Waldteufel, [Charles Levy], French composer (Estudiantina), died

 

. 1916 ~ Bill Doggett, Musician

. 1918 ~ Patti Andrews (Patricia Marie Andrews), Lead singer with The Andrews Sisters

. 1935 ~ Sonny (Salvatore) Bono, Singer in the group Sonny and Cher. He later became mayor of Palm Springs, CA and a US Congressman

. 1938 ~ John Corigliano, American composer
More information about Corigliano

. 1939 ~ Herbie & Harold Kalin, Singers, The Kalin Twins

. 1942 ~ Shep Fields and his orchestra recorded Jersey Bounce on Bluebird Records.

. 1956 ~ James Ingram, Singer

. 1963 ~ The Beatles moved to the top of the British rock charts with Please, Please Me exactly one month after the record was released. It was the start of the Beatles domination of the British music charts, as well as the beginning of the British Invasion in America and elsewhere around the world.

. 1968 ~ Elvis Presley received a gold record for his sacred album of hymns, How< Great Thou Art. Despite his popularity in the pop music world, Elvis won only 3 Grammy Awards — one for this album, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1970; then for He Touched Me in 1972. He did, however, receive over a dozen Grammy nominations.

. 1972 ~ Led Zeppelin made their Australian live debut when they kicked off a six-date tour at the Subiaco Oval, Perth. Police battled with over 500 fans who rammed locked gates trying to get into the concert. Over 4,000 fans stood outside the venue without tickets and local residents jammed police phone lines to complain about the noise.

. 2015 ~ Leslie Gore died.  She was an American singer. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit “It’s My Party”, and followed it up with other hits including “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me”.

February 14: On This Day in Music

valentine-heart

Happy Valentine’s Day

 

. 1602 ~ Pier Francesco Cavalli, Italian opera composer

. 1813 ~ Alexander Dargomyzhsky, Russian composer

. 1882 ~ Ignace Friedman, Polish pianist and composer

. 1894 ~ Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky), The stingy, violin-playing, perennial-39- year-old comedian of radio, television and vaudeville

. 1923 ~ Cesare Siepi, Opera basso

. 1925 ~ Elliot Lawrence (Broza), Emmy Award-winning composer, conductor, arranger, musical director of Night of 100 Stars, Night of 100 Stars II,

. 1993, 1994, 1995 Kennedy Center Honors; Tony Award: musical direction: How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying

. 1931 ~ Phyllis McGuire, Singer

. 1934 ~ Florence Henderson, Singer

. 1946 ~ Gregory Hines, Dancer

. 1950 ~ Roger Fisher, Guitarist with Heart

. 1957 ~ Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, “King David”, made its debut at New York’s Town Hall. The four-part symphony jazz suite was conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos.

. 1972 ~ “Grease” opened at the Eden Theatre in New York City. The musical later moved to the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway where it became the longest-running musical ever with 3,388 performances. A hit movie based on the stage play starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and produced the hit song, Grease, by Frankie Valli, You’re the One That I Want and Summer Nights by Travolta and Newton-John.

. 1984 ~ British rocker Elton John married Renata Blauel in Sydney, Australia on this day.

. 1998 ~ Frederick Loewe American composer of musicals, died
More information about Loewe

. 2003 ~ Jack Maher, 78, who served more than three decades as publisher of respected jazz magazine Down Beat and its parent company, Maher Publications, died. Down Beat began in 1934 to chronicle the comings and goings of touring swing bands. A previous owner forfeited the magazine to his printer, Mr. Maher’s father, John Maher. After his father died in 1968, Jack Maher put up his own money to acquire Down Beat, outbidding Playboy founder and jazz aficionado Hugh Hefner. Mr. Maher was credited with transforming Down Beat into a leading forum on jazz, with a roster of writers that included Leonard Feather, Nat Hentoff, Dan Morgenstern and Ira Gitler. He changed a number of his father’s policies, including one that had frowned on putting pictures of black musicians on Down Beat’s cover.

. 2004 ~ Joe McFarlin, whose late-night shows on WCCO radio featured big bands, swing and traditional jazz for a quarter-century, died. He was 78. McFarlin was as a nightly presence on 830 AM during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, attracting a following across the country. McFarlin retired from WCCO in 1992. Management and format changes had reduced his broadcast to about two hours on the weekends and he was forced to choose from a jazz-free play list. He served as a U.S. Navy signalman during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines and Pearl Harbor. McFarlin began his radio career in 1947 at WREX in Duluth and worked at several other stations before moving to the Twin Cities in 1961, where he worked at KRSI before joining WCCO.

. 2011 ~ George Shearing, British-American blind jazz pianist (Lullaby of Birdland), died at the age of 91

February 11: On This Day in Music

today

. 1830 ~ Peter Arnold Heise, Danish composer

. 1830 ~ Hans Bronsart Von Schellendorf, classical musician, pianist and composer who studied under Franz Liszt

. 1889 ~ John Mills, Guitarist, singer, bass with The Mills Brothers. He was father of the four Mills brothers and took youngest son John, Jr.’s place after his death in 1935

. 1908 ~ Josh White, ‘The Singing Christian’, blues/folk singer, guitarist

. 1912 ~ Rudolf Firkušný, Czech composer, classical pianist

. 1914 ~ Matt Dennis, Pianist, singer, recorded vocals for Paul Whiteman

. 1916 ~ The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented its first concert. The symphony was the first by a municipal orchestra to be supported by taxes.

. 1941 ~ Sergio Mendes, Brazilian jazz pianist and composer

. 1935 ~ Gene Vincent (Craddock), Singer, actor

. 1938 ~ Larry Clinton and his orchestra recorded Martha on Victor Records. Bea Wain was heard warbling the vocals on the tune.

. 1938 ~ Bobby”Boris” Pickett, American singer-songwriter (Monster Mash), born in Somerville, Massachusetts (d. April 25, 2007)

. 1939 ~ Gerry Goffin, Lyricist with Carole King and with Michael Masser

. 1940 ~ NBC radio presented “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” for the first time. The famous Blue network series included several distinguished alumni — among them, Dinah Shore and Zero Mostel. The chairman, or host, of “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” was Milton Cross. He would say things like, “A Bostonian looks like he’s smelling something. A New Yorker looks like he’s found it.” The show combined satire, blues and jazz and was built around what were called the three Bs of music: Barrelhouse, Boogie Woogie and Blues.

. 1968 ~ The new 20,000 seat Madison Square Garden officially opened in New York. It was the fourth arena to be named Madison Square Garden. The showplace for entertainment and sports opened with a gala show hosted by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

. 1973 ~ Ethan Iverson, US pianist, composer, and critic, born in Menomonie, Wisconsin

. 1982 ~ Eleanor Powell, American actress and tap dancer (Born to Dance), died of cancer at the age of 69

. 1985 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, composer, died at the age of 68

. 2001 ~ Dame Sonia Arova, a Bulgarian-born ballerina who danced with Rudolf Nureyev, at his request, in his American debut, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 74. Arova was knighted by King Olaf V of Norway, only the second woman to receive that distinction. During her years as founding artistic director of the State of Alabama Ballet, Dame Sonia Arova changed the face of dance in Birmingham. Through a stage career that lasted three decades and a teaching career that occupied three more, she lived and breathed ballet. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Arova began dancing at age 6. By 8, she was studying ballet intensively in Paris. When war broke out in 1940, she escaped the Nazis’ advance with her English piano teacher in a harrowing flight during which their train was machine-gunned by German troops. Arriving in England, Arova was enrolled in an arts school and later joined the International Ballet. In 1965, Arova became artistic director of the Norwegian National Ballet, moved to California in 1971 to co-direct the San Diego Ballet and in 1975 accepted a teaching position at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Maintaining her position at ASFA, she took over the newly formed State of Alabama Ballet in 1981 as artistic director, with her husband, Thor Sutowski, as artistic associate and choreographer. In 1996, the couple returned to San Diego, and she spent her last years with the San Diego Ballet.

. 2003 ~ Moses G. Hogan, 45, a pianist and choral conductor known for his contemporary arrangements of spirituals, died of a brain tumor in New Orleans. He was editor of the Oxford Book of Spirituals, published in 2001 by Oxford University Press. The book has become the U.S. music division’s top seller. Mr. Hogan also toured with his own singing groups, the Moses Hogan Chorale and Moses Hogan Singers. His arrangements, more than 70 of which have been published by the Hal Leonard publishing company, were performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, soprano Barbara Hendricks and countertenor Derek Lee Ragin.

. 2003 ~ William L. “Weemo” Wubbena Jr., 72, a retired Army colonel who sang in Washington area barbershop quartets, died of cancer. Col. Wubbena was born in Marquette, Mich., and raised in Washington. He was a member of the Montgomery County chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America.

. 2018 ~ Vic Damone [Vito Farinola], American singer (On the Street Where You Live), entertainer, actor and TV presenter (Vic Damone Show), died at the age of 89

February 8: On This Day in Music

today

. 1709 ~ Giuseppe Torelli, Italian composer, died at the age of 50

. 1741 ~ Andre-Ernest-Modeste Gretry, composer

. 1932 ~ John Williams, American Academy Award-winning composer and conductor
More information about Williams

. 1934 ~ Elly Ameling, Dutch Soprano

. 1936 ~ Larry Verne, Singer

. 1937 ~ Joe Raposa, composer/songwriter (Sesame Street)

. 1938 ~ Ray Sharpe, Singer

. 1941 ~ Tom Rush, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1943 – Creed Bratton, Guitarist, banjo, sitar with The Grass Roots

. 1963 ~ Joshua Kadison, American pianist and songwriter

. 2001 ~ Leslie Edwards, a dancer and director at the Royal Ballet, died of cancer at the age of 84. Edwards made his debut in 1933 with the Vic-Wells Ballet. Except for a stint with the Ballet Rambert from 1935 to 1937, Edwards spent his entire career with Sadler’s Wells Ballet, which became the Royal Ballet Company in 1956. He appeared in more than 70 roles at the Royal Ballet and was a key figure in its choreographic group, as well as working as ballet master to the Royal Opera for 20 years. Edwards was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1975, and a studio at the rebuilt Sadler’s Wells Theatre was named for him.

. 2017 ~ Nicolai Gedda, Swedish opera tenor (Opera Two to Six), died at the age of 91

February 5: On This Day in Music

. 1748 ~ Christian Gottlob Neefe, German composer/conductor/tutor of Beethoven

. 1916 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded O Solo Mio for the Victor Talking Machine Company, which eventually became Victor Records, then RCA Victor.

. 1921 ~ Sir John Pritchard, British conductor

. 1928 ~ Singer Jessica Dragonette was seen on one of the first television shows. She was used only to test the new medium. She didn’t even get to sing.

. 1930 ~ Don Goldie, Trumpeter on Basin Street Blues with vocals by Jack Teagarden

. 1931 ~ Eddie Cantor’s long radio career got underway as he appeared on Rudy Vallee’s “The Fleischmann Hour”.

. 1933 ~ Claude King, Singer

. 1940 ~ One of the great classic songs of the Big Band era was recorded. Glenn Miller and his band played Tuxedo Junction at the RCA Victor studios in Manhattan. The flip side of the record (released on the Bluebird label) was Danny Boy.

. 1941 ~ Barrett Strong, Singer, songwriter

. 1942 ~ Cory Wells, Singer with Three Dog Night

. 1943 ~ Charles Winfield, Musician with Blood, Sweat and Tears

. 1958 ~ A year after its founding, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) formed a New York chapter. NARAS is better known as the Grammy Awards organization.

. 1961 ~ The Shirelles were winding up their first week at #1 on the music charts with Will You Love Me Tomorrow. The song was at the top for two weeks. It was the group’s first #1 tune and the first #1 tune from the pen of a New York Brill Building songwriter who worked right down the hall from Neil Sedaka. She became a huge star in her own right with several #1 singles and albums in the 1970s. Her name: Carole King.

. 1969 ~ Bobby Brown, Grammy Award-winning singer, married singer, Whitney Houston

. 2003 ~ Clyde Douglas Dickerson, 80, a saxophone player who played for four decades at Washington area jazz clubs and held down a day job for 20 years as doorman at the Watergate Hotel, died after a stroke. Mr. Dickerson, known as “Watergate Clyde,” appeared at such spots as Blues Alley, Pigfoot and One Step Down and at jazz joints along 14th Street NW. He freelanced for a number of decades as far away as Upstate New York and Ohio. He collaborated with pianist and trumpet player Jimmy Burrell at the old Crow’s Toe at 10th and K streets NW, the Chaconia Lounge on upper Georgia Avenue NW and Today’s in Rockville. Mr. Dickerson also played with performers who included Oran “Hot Lips” Page, the Mangione brothers, ex-Temptation David Ruffin and Rick James. He also appeared in a Lester Young tribute with Shirley Horn and saxmen Byron Morris and Ron Holloway.

His last performance was on Capitol Hill, at Ellington’s at Eighth, shortly before his death. Washington Post staff writer Eve Zibart wrote of Mr. Dickerson that he might once have thought of himself as a musician who worked hotels on the side, but over the years the occupations began to blur. “You take Rostropovich,” Mr. Dickerson said of the National Symphony Orchestra conductor. “Slava gets up there, and whatever composer it is, he can read the score and tell what the composer felt, and he can get that out to the musicians. “It’s the same with being a doorman: If you really know the general manager, you know how he feels about the hotel — it’s like his home, and the people coming in are like his personal guests. I’m the substitute for the general manager . . . playing the overture to the hospitality.” Zibart interviewed him in 1988, his 16th year at the hotel, shortly after the Watergate management threw him a birthday party.

It featured Gerard Schwarz, guest conductor of the Washington Opera and a trumpet virtuoso; pianist Christopher Norton; Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), sponsor of a bill recognizing jazz as a national treasure — and a birthday cake topped by a saxophone. Mr. Dickerson was born in Bristol, Tenn. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

. 2014 ~ Richard Hayman, American orchestra leader (Vaughn Monroe Show), died at the age of 93

February 4: On This Day in Music

today

. 1677 ~ Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer/violinist and second cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach. (d. 1731)

. 1893 ~ Bernard Rogers, American composer

. 1894 ~ Adolphe Sax, Belgian musician and inventor of the saxophone, died at the age of 79
More about Sax

. 1912 ~ Erich Leinsdorf, Austrian-born American conductor

. 1937 ~ Glen Gray and his Casa Loma Orchestra recorded A Study in Brown, on Decca Records.

. 1941 ~ John Steel, Singer, drummer with The Animals

. 1944 ~ Florence LaRue (Gordon), Singer with The Fifth Dimension

. 1962 ~ Clint Black, Singer, actor

. 1975 ~ Louis (Thomas) Jordan passed away

. 1983 ~ Karen Carpenter died at 32 of cardiac arrest at her parent’s house in Downey, California; the coroner’s report gave the cause of death of imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa. The Carpenters 1970 album Close to You, featured two hit singles: “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”  They peaked at No.1 and No.2, on the US chart. In 1975 – In Playboy’s annual opinion poll; its readers voted Karen Carpenter the Best Rock Drummer of the year.

. 1987 ~ The show-biz world was saddened when Liberace died at his Palm Springs, CA estate. He was 67. Lee, as he was known, was the master of Las Vegas. Hundreds of thousands flock to his museum there (operated by his brother, George) to see Liberace’s garish suits, trademark candelabra, and learn of the myths behind this hugely successful star of television, stage and concerts the world over.
More information about Liberace

. 2001 ~ James Louis “J.J.” Johnson, an influential jazz trombonist who later forged a career arranging and recording scores for motion pictures and television, died at the age of 77. The Indianapolis native, who began playing piano at age 11, was a perennial winner of “Down Beat” magazine’s reader’s poll as best trombonist. While he was praised by jazz aficionados, Johnson also made his mark in popular culture, writing and arranging music for such television shows as “Starsky and Hutch”, “Mayberry, R.F.D.” and “That Girl”. His film music credits included “Cleopatra Jones” and “Shaft.” During his long career, he performed with such jazz greats as Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. While touring with jazz bands during the heyday of those ensembles, he played with the Clarence Love and Snookum Russell bands. He got his first big break with the Benny Carter band in 1942.

. 2016 ~ Leslie Bassett, American classical composer (Variations for Orchestra – Pulitzer Prize 1966), died at the age of 93