May 11: Today’s Music History

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• 1885 ~ Joseph “King” Oliver, American jazz cornetist and bandleader

• 1887 ~ Paul Wittgenstein, an Austrian concert pianist notable for commissioning new piano concerti for the left hand alone, following the amputation of his right arm during the First World War. He devised novel techniques, including pedal and hand-movement combinations, that allowed him to play chords previously regarded as impossible for a five-fingered pianist.

• 1888 ~ Irving Berlin, Russian-born American songwriter and lyricist
More information about Berlin
Grammy winner

 

• 1894 ~ Martha Graham, Modern dancer: Denishawn dance school and performing troupe, Graham company, established school of modern dance at Bennington College; choreographer

• 1895 ~ William Grant Still, American composer
More information about Still

• 1916 ~ Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), died at the age of 43

• 1927 ~ The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded; although the first Oscars were not presented for several years after its founding.

• 1931 ~ Dick Garcia, Guitarist

• 1941 ~ Eric Burdon, Singer with The Animals

• 1943 ~ Les (John) Chadwick, Bass with Gerry & The Pacemakers

• 1965 ~ Liza Minnelli opened in Flora the Red Menace. The musical ran for only 87 performances at the Alvin Theatre.

• 1970 ~ The Chairmen of the Board received a gold record for the hit, Give Me Just a Little More Time. The Detroit group recorded three other songs in 1970, with moderate success.

• 1979 ~ Lester Flatt passed away.  He was a bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his collaboration with banjo picker Earl Scruggs in The Foggy Mountain Boys.

• 2000 ~ Zydeco trumpeter Warren Ceasar, who recorded three solo albums and performed with the legendary Clifton Chenier, died of a brain aneurysm. He was 48. Ceasar, who was born and raised in Basile, was the nephew of the late internationally known fiddler, Canray Fontenot. In addition to his role as frontman for Warren Ceasar and the Zydeco Snap Band, Ceasar also played with Clifton Chenier, who is known as “The Grandfather of Zydeco.” Ceasar also performed with soul greats Isaac Hayes and Al Green.

• 2011 ~ [Eugene Edward] Snooky Young, American jazz trumpeter who mastered the plunger mute, died at the age of 92

 

• 2018 ~ Scott Hutchinson, Scottish musician (Frightened Rabbit), died at the age of 36

May 10: Today’s Music History

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OCMS 1855 ~ Anatoli Liadov, Russian composer
More information about Liadov

• 1876 ~ Richard Wagner’s Centennial Inaugural March was heard for the first time at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA. Wagner did just fine for creating the magnificent work. He received a paycheck of $5,000. In 1876 dollars, that was quite a lot of money.

• 1888 ~ Max Steiner, composer and conductor, born. Best known for his film scores for such films as “The Informer” and “Now Voyager” for which he won academy awards and Gone With The Wind.

• 1894 ~ Dmitri Tiomkin, Conductor, composer: film scores such as “High Noon.”

• 1899 ~ Fred Astaire (Austerlitz), Dancer, American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the most influential dancer in the history of film. He Starred in 10 Broadway and West End musicals, made 31 musical films including Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), and Shall We Dance (1937) Holiday Inn (1942), Easter Parade (1948) and The Band Wagon (1953). His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years.

• 1909 ~ Mother Maybelle Carter (Addington), Played melody on bass strings of guitar, rhythm on treble, singer with The Carter Family

• 1916 ~ OCMS Milton Byron Babbitt, American composer and theorist
More information on Babbitt

• 1935 ~ Larry Williams, Singer

• 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the classic, Perfidia, for Decca Records. The song would later be a hit for The Ventures (1960).

• 1936 ~ Gary Owens, DJ, TV and radio host

• 1938 ~ Henry Fambrough, Singer with The Spinners

• 1941 ~ Danny Rapp, Singer with Danny & The Juniors

• 1945 ~ Graham Gouldman, Musician: guitar, singer, songwriter

• 1946 ~ Donovan (Leitch), Scottish folk singer

• 1946 ~ Dave Mason, Songwriter, musician, singer

• 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra teamed with Axel Stordahl’s orchestra and on Columbia Records.

• 1963 ~ The Rolling Stones produced their very first recordings this day. The session included Come On and I Wanna Be Loved. The Stones would make it to the American pop music charts in August, 1964.

• 1974 ~ Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely earned a gold record for the group, The Main Ingredient. The trio began as the Poets in 1964. Cuba Gooding, Sr. is heard singing lead.

• 2000 ~ Margaret Harris, a theater designer whose work helped modernize staid, gilt-laden English theater in the 1930s, died at the age of 95. Harris began attending theater as a teenager with her sister and a friend. They sketched the actors they saw on stage, sending the drawings to each theater. One sketch caught the eye of actor John Gielgud, who suggested the trio design the costumes for a production of “Romeo and Juliet” he planned to direct. Adopting the name Motley, the three went on to design several productions for Gielgud, including 1932’s landmark “Richard of Bordeaux,” “The Merchant of Venice” and “Hamlet.” Harris also worked on Broadway and in Hollywood, designing an American production of “Romeo and Juliet” starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh and working on the sets for the film version of the musical “Oklahoma!” Queen Elizabeth II made Harris a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1975. In 1997, she received a special Olivier award, Britain’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tony.

.2010 ~ Lena Horne passed away at the age of ninety-two. Horne, a prominent player during the civil rights era, became known as the first African-American sex-symbol and actively fought against racial discrimination during her singing and acting career, which lasted over sixty years.

 

March 24: Today’s Music History

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. 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 22: Today’s Music History

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. 1687 ~ Jean-Baptiste Lully, French composer, died.  He was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French baroque style.

. 1840 ~ Clara Wieck wrote a letter dated today to Robert Schumann.  Part of it said: “When I heard Liszt for the first time…I was overwhelmed and sobbed aloud, it so shook me.”

. 1842 ~ Carl August Nicolas Rosa, German violinist and composer. In 1873 he founded the Carl Rosa Opera Company.

. 1865 ~ Theophile Ysaye, Belgian composer and pianist

. 1868 ~ Hamish Maccunn, Scottish Romantic composer, conductor and teacher

. 1911 ~ Herman Jadlowker became the first opera singer to perform two major roles in the same day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

. 1920 ~ Fanny Waterman, DBE is a piano teacher and the founder, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. She is also president of the Harrogate International Music Festival.

. 1925 ~ The first Japanese radio station, Tokyo Shibaura, began broadcasting.

. 1930 ~ Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist of musicals
More information about Sondheim

. 1936 ~ Glen Campbell, Singer and studio guitarist

. 1937 ~ Johnny Ferguson, Singer

. 1943 ~ Keith Relf, Recording artist of The Yardbirds

. 1943 ~ George Benson, American jazz and pop guitarist and singer

. 1944 ~ Jeremy Clyde, Singer with Chad & Jeremy

. 1947 ~ Harry Vanda, Guitarist with The Easybeats

. 1948 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer
More information about Lloyd Webber

. 1948 ~ Randy Hobbs, Bass with The McCoys

. 1948 ~ The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.

. 1956 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the play, Mr. Wonderful, in New York City. The critics were unkind, saying that they didn’t care for the production. Audiences, however, gave it ‘thumbs up’ and the show went on to be one of Broadway’s more popular musicals — catapulting Davis into the limelight. His father had already launched him into the vaudeville spotlight when Sammy was just three years old. By the time he was Mr. Wonderful, Sammy Davis, Jr. had played vaudeville and the nightclub circuit singing and dancing his way to the top over a twenty-eight-year period. He entertained us for sixty-two years!

. 1956 ~ Perry Como became the first major TV variety-show host to book a rock and roll act on his program. The ‘Incomparable Mr. C.’ booked Carl Perkins for the show and Perkins sang Blue Suede Shoes. 1962 ~ The play, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, opened on Broadway. It featured a 19-year-old named Barbra Streisand. She stopped the show at the famed Shubert Theatre in New York City. Streisand starred as Miss Marmelstein. Audiences kept coming back for more of Barbra for 300 performances.

. 1980 ~ The first CD (compact disc) was put on sale by RCA.  The first major artist to have his entire catalog converted to CD was David Bowie, whose 15 studio albums were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four greatest hits albums.

. 1980 ~ Pink Floyd started a 4-week run in the #1 slot on the pop charts with their smash, Another Brick in the Wall. When the boys popped open their gold record and threw it on the stereo, they heard Flowers on the Wall by the Statler Brothers.

. 2015 ~ Norman O. Scribner, founder and artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, one of the region’s preeminent symphonic choirs, died

March 17: Today’s Music History

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

 

 

. 1884 ~ Joseph Bonnet, French organist and composer.  He founded the organ department at the Eastman School of Music during his time in the U.S.

. 1901 ~ Alfred Newman, Conductor
More information about Newman

. 1917 ~ Nat “King” Cole, American jazz singer and pianist
More information about Cole

. 1930 ~ Paul Horn, American jazz flutist, saxophonist, clarinetist and composer
More information about Horn

. 1938 ~ Rudolf Nureyev, Dancer
More information about Nureyev

. 1944 ~ John Lill CBE, English classical pianist

. 1944 ~ John Sebastian, American pop-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, His group, The Lovin’ Spoonful performed Do You Believe In Magic, Summer In The CityDaydream, You Didn’t Have to be So Nice, Nashville Cats His solos include Darling Be Home Soon and Welcome Back

 

March 13: Today’s Music History

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. 1860 ~ Hugo Wolf, Austrian composer
Read quotes by and about Wolf
More information about Wolf

. 1890 ~ Fritz Busch, German composer

. 1910 ~ Sammy Kaye, Bandleader, Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye

. 1914 ~ Bobby Haggart, Bass with these groups: Bob Cats; Peanuts Hucko’s Pied Piper Quintet, Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band, composer

. 1915 ~ Percy Grainger makes his debut as a pianist with the New York Philharmonic playing Grieg’s Piano Concerto

. 1916 ~ Ina Ray Hutton (Odessa Cowan), a Tap dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies, pianist, bandleader, singer and actress

. 1918 ~ Tessie O’Shea, Singer, actress

. 1923 ~ Red Garland, Jazz musician, reeds, pianist

. 1926 ~ Roy Haynes, Modern jazz drummer, bandleader

. 1930 ~ Liz Anderson (Haaby), Country singer, songwriter, mother of country/pop singer Lynn Anderson

. 1932 ~ Jan Howard, Country singer, toured with Carter sisters

. 1933 ~ Mike Stoller, Record producer, songwriter with Jerry Leiber

. 1934 ~ Dick Katz, Pianist, a composer with the Tony Scott Quartet, J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding groups

. 1939 ~ Neil Sedaka, American songwriter and singer of popular music

. 1942 ~ Bing Crosby and Mary Martin were heard having a bit of fun as they joined together to record Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie for Decca Records.

. 1946 ~ Thomas Frederick Dunhill passed away.  He was an English composer and writer on musical subjects.

. 1947 ~ The musical “Brigadoon” opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 581 performances and was later staged in London (1949). Memorable melodies from “Brigadoon” include I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean, The Heather on the Hill, Come to Me, Bend to Me, Almost Like Being in Love and There but for You Go I.

. 1949 ~ Donald York, Singer with Sha Na Na

. 1949 ~ Imperial Records was created in Los Angeles, California. Lew Chudd created the company that became famous for distributing recordings of some of music’s greatest icons, including Fats Domino, Ricky Nelson and many others.

. 1960 ~ Adam Clayton, Musician with U2

. 1968 ~ The Byrds received a gold record for the album, “Greatest Hits”, which featured Turn! Turn! Turn!, written by Pete Seeger (excerpted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible). The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

. 1972 ~ The Merv Griffin Show, starring perennial game show and late-night TV host, singer and pianist, Merv Griffin, debuted in syndication for Metromedia Television. Joining Merv were sidekick, Arthur Treacher and Mort Lindsey and his orchestra. Griffin had a number one song with the Freddy Martin Orchestra in the 1940s. I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts that launched him to fame and fortune.

. 1976 ~ The Four Seasons, featuring the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli, returned to the pop charts after a 10-year absence. The group scored with December 1963 (Oh, What A Night), which became the top song in the country. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

. 1987 ~ Gerald Moore, England, pianist (Am I Too Loud), died at the age of 87.

March 12: Today’s Music History

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. 1563 ~ John Bull, English composer, musician and organ builder, credited with composing Britain’s national anthem “God Save The King/Queen” (debated), died about the age of 68

. 1710 ~ Thomas Arne, English composer
More information about Arne

. 1890 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, Ukrainian ballet dancer

. 1891 ~ Clara Schumann gave her final piano performance.

. 1921 ~ Gordon MacRae, Singer

. 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated his putting sound on motion picture film. One of the pioneers of radio in the early 1900s, DeForest came up with a snappy name for his invention; he called it phonofilm. Today, we call it a soundtrack.

. 1937 ~ Charles-Marie Widor died.  He was a was a French organist, composer and teacher.

. 1939 ~ Artie Shaw and his band recorded the standard, Deep Purple, in New York for the Bluebird label. Listening carefully after the first minute or so, one can hear Helen Forrest sing the vocal refrain. Larry Clinton and his orchestra had a number one song with a similar arrangement of the same tune that same year. It later was a hit for saxophonist, Nino Tempo and his sister, April Stevens in 1963. Hundreds of versions of this song have been recorded through the years, making it one of the most popular standards of all time.

. 1940 ~ Al Jarreau, Singer

. 1946 ~ Liza Minnelli, American actress and singer of popular music
More information about Minnelli

. 1948 ~ James Taylor, American folk-rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist

. 1955 ~ Charlie “Bird” Parker, an influential U.S. jazz saxophonist, died.

. 1955 ~ One of the great groups of jazz appeared for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Dave Brubeck Quartet presented a magnificent concert for jazz fans.

. 1969 ~ Wedding bells rang in London for singer, Paul McCartney and his new bride, photographer, Linda Eastman.

. 1985 ~ Eugene Ormandy, U.S. conductor, died. He directed the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1936-1980 and was especially noted for his performances of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich.

. 1986 ~ Following its success in London’s West End Les Miserables opened at the Broadway Theater running until it closed on May 18, 2003. In 2006 it was revived and was again on Broadway showing at the Broadhurst Theatre.

. 1987 ~ The famous musical play “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo opened on Broadway in New York.

. 1991 ~ Jimmy McPartland passed away

. 1993 ~ June Valli, singer (Crying in the Chapel), died at the age of 62

. 1999 ~ World-famous violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin died in Berlin.

March 8: Today’s Music History

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. 1714 ~ Carl Phillip Emanuel (C.P.E.) Bach, German composer
More information on C. P. E. Bach

. 1857 ~ Ruggero Leoncavallo, Italian composer
More information about Leoncavallo

. 1866 ~ “It is possible to be as much of a musician as Saint-Saëns;  it is impossible to be more of one!” ~ Franz Liszt on meeting fellow composer Camille Saint-Saëns in Paris.

. 1869 ~ Hector Berlioz, French composer (Symphony Fantastic), died at the age of 65

. 1889 ~ John Thompson, Piano educator

. 1911 ~ Alan Hovhaness, American composer
More information about Hovhaness

. 1922 ~ Cyd Charisse, Dancer

. 1927 ~ Dick Hyman, Pianist and music director for Arthur Godfrey

 

. 1945 ~ Michael Dolenz best known as the drummer vocalist of the television sitcom “The Monkeys” which appeared on American television from 1966 to 1968. He also wrote a number of the songs which later became hits including “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer”. He has also toured at various times since with reunion tours for “The Monkeys” . Micky stage name (“Micky Braddock” ) had TV experience prior to the formation of The Monkeys TV show from his time as the 10-year-old star of the Circus Boy series in the 1950s.

. 1961 ~ Conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham died at the age of 81.

. 1962 ~ The Beatles performed for the first time on the BBC in Great Britain. John, Paul, George and … Pete Best sang Dream Baby on the show, “Teenager’s Turn” on ‘Auntie Beeb’ (as the BBC was known).

. 1993 ~ Billy Eckstine, jazz singer (Fools Rush In), died at the age of 78 of stroke

. 1983 ~ William T Walton, English composer (Belhazzar’s feast), died at the age of 80

. 2001 ~ Ballet Legend Dame Ninette De Valois died at the age of 102. She was the founder of Britain’s Royal Ballet who launched dancer Margot Fonteyn on the road to stardom. De Valois, a strict and demanding disciplinarian with her pupils, was a gifted and theatrical choreographer who almost single-handedly put British ballet on the international stage. The doyenne of dance helped to nurture the talents of unknowns like Fonteyn and courted controversy in the 1960’s at the height of the Cold War when she invited Russian dancer Rudolph Nureyev to appear with her company. De Valois always gave credit to Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev for teaching her all she knew. “Everything,” she once said of the Ballet Russe legend. “Diaghilev just managed the whole company. He knew all about the different teachers. He knew the types of teachers he wanted, he knew the type of ballet he wanted. He was a musician.” Born Edris Stannus in 1898 in the Irish county of Wicklow, she graduated from Irish jig to the ballet, worked with the writer W.B. Yeats at Dublin’s Abbey Theater and then, almost single-handedly, brought ballet to the fore in Britain. The famed diva, who adopted her professional name from an ancestor who had married into a French family, was first inspired at the age of 11 when she watched Anna Pavlova dancing The Dying Swan. In 1923, she joined Diaghilev’s troupe in Monte Carlo and began to lay the foundations of her own ballet empire. She gave up dancing herself after discovering that she had been suffering for years from polio. “It was no tragedy. I wasn’t that great,” she once said. In 1926, she opened her own ballet school in London. From the tiniest beginnings, she built up the Sadlers Wells Ballet in less than a decade. At the end of World War II, the company moved triumphantly into the Royal Opera House. A ballet dynasty was born. De Valois retired in 1963 but remained intimately involved in the ballet school, forever the sharp-tongued martinet who could strike terror in tomorrow’s ballet hopefuls.

. 2001 ~ Maude Rutherford, a singer and dancer in the glory days of black theater during the 1920s, died. She was believed to have been 104. Rutherford was billed as the Slim Princess when she worked with entertainers such as Fats Waller, Josephine Baker and Pearl Bailey. She was a featured performer and favorite at Harlem’s Cotton Club. Rutherford’s theater credits include: “Dixie to Broadway,” (1924), “Chocolate Sandals,” (1927), and “Keep Shufflin”‘ (1928). She retired from show business in 1950 and worked as a switchboard operator at an Atlantic City hotel.

. 2003 ~ Adam Faith, a square-jawed British singer who was briefly a Cockney challenger to Elvis Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll crown, died of a heart attack. He was 62. Born Terry Nelhams in west London in 1940, Faith was a handsome teenager who was playing with a skiffle music group – a mixture of jug band, acoustic, folk, blues and country and western styles – when he was spotted by producers of a British Broadcasting Corp. music program. Adopting the stage name Adam Faith, he became – alongside Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele and Billy Fury – a pop star of the pre-Beatles era. Developing a hiccuping delivery reminiscent of Buddy Holly, Faith had more than 20 British hits, including the chart-topping What Do You Want? and Poor Me. Faith also was a versatile actor, appearing in films like Beat Girl, Mix Me A Person and 1975’s Stardust opposite David Essex. In the 1970s he played a Cockney ex-con in the TV series Budgie.

. 2015 ~ Lew Soloff, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat and Tears), died at the age of 71

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.

. 2012 ~ Mega-star and singer Whitney Houston died at the age of 48 in a Los Angeles hotel the night before the Grammy Awards. Plagued by substance abuse in her later life, Houston had become one of the most popular and celebrated singers in her early career.

. 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