On February 26 in Music History

today

. 1770 ~ Anton Reicha, Czech-born, later naturalized French composer of music very much in the German style

. 1802 ~ Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and many other works

. 1879 ~ Frank Bridge, English composer, violist and conductor

. 1922 ~ Dancing to jazz music and tango bands was criticized in Paris. It seems that dancing was detracting the French from their postwar reconstruction, according to “La Revue Mondiale”.

. 1928 ~ “Fats” (Antoine) Domino, American rock-and-roll pianist and singer. His works include: Ain’t That a Shame, Goin’ Home, I’m in Love Again, Blue Monday, I’m Walkin’ and Blueberry Hill

. 1930 ~ Lazar Berman, Soviet pianist

. 1945 ~ Mitch Ryder (William Levise), Singer with Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels

. 1947 ~ Sandie Shaw (Goodrich), Singer

. 1950 ~ Jonathan Cain, Keyboard with Babys

. 1954 ~ Michael Bolton, Grammy Award-winning singer. Some of his songs are: When a Man Loves a Woman and How Am I Supposed to Live Without You

. 1961 ~ John-Jon (John Andrew Foster), Musician with Bronski Beat

. 1965 ~ Juan Trigos, Mexican composer and conductor

. 1972 ~ Harry Nilsson started his second week at number one with that toe-tapping ditty, Without You. The whiny love song stayed at the top for a total of four weeks.

. 1977 ~ The Eagles’ New Kid in Town landed in the top spot on the pop music charts for one week beginning this day.

. 1981 ~ Howard Hanson died.  He was an American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist, and champion of American classical music.

. 1983 ~ Charley Pride’s Why Baby Why topped the country charts. The song was written by George Jones (who found national fame with his own version in 1955) and Darrell Edwards. Legend has it that inspiration for the song came when Edwards overheard a couple squabbling in their car in Orange, TX.

. 2003 ~ Otha Turner, 94, who created his own niche in blues music with an ethereal mix of early American colonial drums and West African flute, died in Como, Miss. His recording Everybody Hollerin’ Goat was rated among the Top 10 blues releases in 1997 by Rolling Stone magazine. Members of a Senegalese drum troupe performed with Mr. Turner on the album. Mr. Turner was presented with a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award, the Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award and the Charlie Patton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival.

. 2011 ~ Eugene Fodor, American classical violinist (1974 Tchaikovsky Award), died at the age of 60

On February 24 in Music History

today

. 1766 ~ Samuel Wesley, English organist and composer in the late Georgian period. Wesley was a contemporary of Mozart (1756–1791) and was called by some “the English Mozart.”

. 1771 ~ Johann Baptist Cramer,  English musician of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and musical conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.

. 1832 ~ Frederic Chopin’s first Paris concert. The musicologist Arthur Hedley has observed that “As a pianist Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances—few more than thirty in the course of his lifetime.

. 1842 ~ Arrigo Boito, Italian composer, librettist and poet

. 1858 ~ Arnold Dolmetsch, British music antiquarian and musician

. 1932 ~ Michel Legrand, Academy Award-Winning composer for Best Original Score: Yentl in 1983, Brian’s Song, Ice Station Zebra

. 1934 ~ Renata Scotto, Italian soprano. She made her operatic debut at age 18 and is best known for performances as Violetta in La Traviata, Cio-Cio- San in Madama Butterfly, Mimi (and the occasional Musetta) in La Bohème, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Francesca in Francesca da Rimini. She is also an opera director.

. 1940 ~ Frances Langford recorded one of the classic songs of all time — and one that would become a Walt Disney trademark. When You Wish Upon a Star was recorded on Decca Records during a session in Los Angeles. Many artists have recorded the song, including pop diva Linda Ronstadt (with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in the early 1980s). One can hear the song not only on record, but as the theme in the opening credits of any Disney movie, video and TV program and those “I’m going to Disneyland/World!” commercials, too.

. 1942 ~ Paul Jones, Harmonica, singer with Manfred Mann

. 1943 ~ Stephen Douglas Burton, American composer and teacher

. 1947 ~ Rupert Holmes, Songwriter: over 300 songs & jingles, singer, producer

. 1947 ~ Lonnie Turner, Bass, singer with The Steve Miller Band

. 1964 ~ The musical, “What Makes Sammy Run”, opened in New York at the 54th Street Theatre. Making his Broadway debut in the show was Steve Lawrence. The production ran for 540 performances.

. 1985 ~ Yul Brynner reprised his role in “The King and I” setting a box office record for weekly receipts. The show took in $520,920.

. 1990 ~ Johnnie Ray died.  He was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist.

. 1991 ~ Webb Pierce passed away.  He was one of the most popular American honky tonk, rockabilly vocalists, guitarists of the 1950s

. 1994 ~ Donald Phillips, pianist/composer, died at the age of 80

On February 20 in Music History

 

 

. 1626 ~ John Dowland, composer, died

. 1803 ~ Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich, Swiss Composer

. 1903 ~ Karel Janeček, Czech composer

. 1937 ~ Nancy Wilson, American jazz singer

. 1941 ~ Buffy (Beverly) Sainte-Marie, Singer, songwriter, married to Jack Nitzsche

. 1940 ~ Christoph Eschenbach, German pianist and conductor

. 1940 ~ Larry Clinton and his orchestra recorded Limehouse Blues on Victor Records.

. 1946 ~ Sandy Duncan, Dancer, actress

. 1946 ~ J. (Jerome) Geils, Guitarist with The J. Geils Band

. 1950 ~ Walter Becker, Bass, guitarist with Steely Dan

. 1951 ~ Randy California (Wolfe), Singer, guitarist with Spirit

. 1961 ~ Percy Aldridge Grainger, Australian/US composer/pianist, died at the age of 78

. 1963 ~ Ian Brown, Singer with Stone Roses

. 1974 ~ After a decade of marriage, Cher filed for separation from husband Sonny Bono. Not long afterwards, she filed for divorce and the accompanying alimony. This time she sang, I Got You Babe, for real … before becoming a successful solo singer and movie actress in films such as “Moonstruck” (Best Actress Oscar in 1987).

. 1975 ~ Brian (Thomas) Littrell, Singer with Backstreet Boys

. 1977 ~”My Fair Lady” closed at St James Theater in New York City after 384 performances

. 1982 ~ Singer Pat Benatar married musician-producer Neil Geraldo in Hawaii.

. 2005 ~ John Raitt, American actor and singer (Chevy Show, Pajama Game), died from complications of pneumonia at the age of 88

 

 

On February 18 in Music History

presidents-day

. 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

On February 16 in Music History

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”.

On February 14 in Music History

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

On February 11 in Music History

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