August 9 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1874 ~ Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan-born French composer, conductor and music critic

• 1902 ~ Solomon Cutner, Classical pianist. A virtuoso performer, he played Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto at the age of 10. His career was stopped after a stroke in 1965.

• 1902 ~ Zino (Rene) Francescatti, French concert violinist; passed away in 1991

• 1910 ~ A.J. Fisher of Chicago, IL received a patent for an invention that moms, grandmas and single guys certainly came to appreciate: the electric washing machine. Previous to Mr. Fisher’s invention, washing machines were cranked by hand (not easily done) – or you used a washboard (also sometimes used as a musical instrument).

• 1919 ~ Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Italian composer and librettist, died. He is famous for the single opera “Pagliacci” but never repeated the success with his other works.
More information about Leoncavallo

• 1932 ~ Helen Morgan joined the Victor Young orchestra to record Bill, a popular tune from Broadway’s Showboat.

• 1934 ~ Merle Kilgore, Songwriter Hall of Famer

• 1939 ~ Billy Henderson, Singer with Spinners

• 1955 ~ Benjamin Orr (Orzechowski), Musician, bass guitar, singer with The Cars

• 1963 ~ Whitney Houston, Grammy Award-winning singer

• 1963 ~ The TV program Ready, Set, Go! premiered on the BBC in London, England. The show gave exposure to such music luminaries as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

• 1964 ~ Joan Baez and Bob Dylan shared the stage for the first time when the singers performed in a concert in Forest Hills, NY.

• 1969 ~ Hot Fun in The Summertime, by Sly and the Family Stone, and Easy to Be Hard, from the Broadway production Hair, were released on this day. Hot Fun made it to number two on the music charts and Easy to Be Hard climbed to number four.

• 1975 ~ Dmitri Shostakovitch, Russian composer, died. He wrote 15 symphonies as well as operas, ballets and film and theater scores.
More information about Shostakovitch

• 1995 ~ Jerry Garcia passed away

• 2003 ~ Chester Ludgin, a baritone in the New York City Opera for more than 30 years, died at the age of 78.
Ludgin sang a host of lead baritone parts, but was most recognizable in operas including “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “Susannah.” He debuted at the City Opera in 1957 in Johann Strauss II’s “Fledermaus.”
He also portrayed the part of Sam for Leonard Bernstein’s “A Quiet Place” at the Houston Grand Opera in 1983. He also sang for the San Francisco Opera and other North American companies.
His last appearance at City Opera was in 1991, but he remained on the stage, singing in musical comedies. His most recent lead was in “The Most Happy Fella.”

• 2005 ~ News Item:  New Vivaldi work heard for first time in 250 years.

July 21 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1748 ~ Louis-Henry Paisible, Composer

• 1779 ~ Gottlob Wiedebein, Composer

• 1782 ~ Placidus Cajetan von Camerloher, Composer, died at the age of 63

• 1797 ~ Franz Schoberlechner, Composer

• 1865 ~ Robert Kahn, Composer

• 1870 ~ Josef Strauss, Austrian composer, died at the age of 42

• 1896 ~ Jean Rivier-Villemomble France, Composer

• 1898 ~ Ernest Willem Mulder, Composer

• 1898 ~ Sara Carter, Vocalist/guitarist with the Carter Family

• 1903 ~ Theodore Karyotakis, Composer

• 1906 ~ Daniel Ayala Perez, Composer

• 1915 ~ Floyd McDaniel ~ blues singer/guitarist

• 1920 ~ Isaac Stern, American concert violinist
Read quotes by and about Stern
More information about Stern

• 1920 ~ Manuel Valls Gorina, Composer

• 1921 ~ Billy Taylor, Orchestra leader on the David Frost Show

• 1922 ~ Kay Starr (Katherine Starks), Pop Singer

• 1925 ~ Lovro Zupanovic, Composer

• 1926 ~ Albert Fuller, American harpsichordist

• 1926 ~ Norman Jewison, Director of Jesus Christ, Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof

• 1927 ~ Stefan Niculescu, Composer

• 1931 ~ Leon Schidlowsky, Composer

• 1931 ~ Ted Husing was master of ceremonies for the very first CBS-TV program. The gala show featured singer Kate Smith, composer George Gershwin and New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker.

• 1935 ~ Kaye Stevens, Singer and comedienne on the Jerry Lewis Show

• 1938 ~ Anton Emil Kuerti, Composer

• 1938 ~ Paul Hindemith and Leonide Massines ballet premiered in London

• 1947 ~ Cat Stevens (Steven Demitri Georgiou) (Muslim name: Yusuf Islam), British folk-rock singer and songwriter

• 1948 ~ Donald Nichols Tweedy, Composer, died at the age of 58

• 1950 ~ Albert Riemenschneider, Composer, died at the age of 71

• 1958 ~ The last of Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts programs aired on CBS-TV. Many artists got their start on Talent Scouts, including Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, The McGuire Sisters and a singer named Connie Francis, who not only sang, but played the accordion, as well.

• 1962 ~ Dmitri Shostakovitch completed his 13th Symphony

• 1964 ~ Dmitri Shostakovitch completed his 10th String quartet

• 1969 ~ Just one day after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Duke Ellington and a portion of his band performed a 10-minute composition on ABC-TV titled Moon Maiden. The work featured piano, drums, bass and vocals.

• 1973 ~ Bad, Bad Leroy Brown reached the top spot on the Billboard pop-singles chart, becoming Jim Croce’s first big hit. Croce died in a plane crash two months later (September 20, 1973).

• 1976 ~ “Guys & Dolls” opened at Broadway Theater New York City for 239 performances

• 1994 ~ Dorothy Collins, Singer on Your Hit Parade, died at the age of 67

• 1995 ~ Edwin “Russell” House, Saxophonist, died at the age of 65

• 2000 ~ Iain Hamilton, the Scottish composer who turned Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” into an opera at the age of 78. Hamilton wrote four symphonies and dozens of orchestral and chamber works but is known best for his vocal music, which includes a cantata based on the poems of Robert Burns. “Anna Karenina” premiered at the English National Opera in 1981 to critical acclaim. His other operas include “Agamemnon”, “The Catiline Conspiracy”, based on a Ben Jonson play, and an adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play “The Royal Hunt of the Sun”. From 1961 to 1978 he was a professor of music at Duke University in North Carolina.

• 2000 ~ Barbra Streisand announced final concerts

• 2001 ~ Norman Hall Wright, the last surviving writer who worked on the Disney film Fantasia 2000, died at the age of 91. Wright studied at the University of Southern California before being hired by Walt Disney Productions. He started as an animator but later became a writer, producer and director. Wright developed the story of The Nutcracker Suite sequence for Fantasia 2000. He also was responsible for a sequence in Bambi. He wrote several cartoon shorts for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy and also produced several Wonderful World of Disney television programs.

• 2002 ~ Gus Dudgeon, a respected music producer who worked on many of Elton John’s hit recordings, died in a car crash in western England. He was 59. Dudgeon produced Rocket Man, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Your Song, Daniel and Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. Dudgeon also produced David Bowie’s Space Oddity and worked with other stars, including Chris Rea and Joan Armatrading. But it was his partnership with Sir Elton in the 1970s for which he will be best remembered. Dudgeon began his career in the early 1960s as a tea boy, running errands at Olympic Studios in London before joining Decca Records. He engineered the Zombies’ classic She’s Not There and the groundbreaking Blues Breakers album by John Mayall with Eric Clapton, before moving into producing.

• 2015 ~ Theodore Meir Bikel,  Austrian-American actor, folk singer, musician, composer, and activist, died at the age of 91.

July 19 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1592 ~ Erhard Buttner, Composer

• 1735 ~ Garret Wesley Mornington, Composer

• 1742 ~ Jean-Baptiste Davaux, Composer

• 1750 ~ Alessio Prati, Composer

• 1782 ~ Jonathan Blewitt, Composer

• 1789 ~ John Martin, English painter

• 1797 ~ Johann Gottlieb Schneider, Composer

• 1811 ~ Vincenz Lachner, German organist, conductor and composer

• 1906 ~ Klauss Egge, Norwegian composer

• 1913 ~ Charles Teagarden, trumpeter, bandleader, brother of Jack

• 1926 ~ Sue Thompson (Eva McKee), singer of Norman and Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)

• 1937 ~ George Hamilton IV, Singer

• 1939 ~ Jack Teagarden and his orchestra recorded Aunt Hagar’s Blues for Columbia Records. Teagarden provided the vocal on the session recorded in Chicago, IL.

• 1941 ~ Natalya Besamertnova, Ballet Dancer with the Bolshoi ballet

• 1942 ~ The Seventh Symphony, by Dmitri Shostakovitch, was performed for the first time in the United States by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

• 1942 ~ Vikki Carr (Florencia Bisenta deCasilla Martinez Cardona), Pop Singer

• 1946 ~ Alan Gorrie, Rock Singer with the Average White Band

• 1947 ~ Bernie Leadon, Musician, guitar with The Eagles

• 1947 ~ Brian Harold May, Musician, guitarist, singer and songwriter with Queen, who had the 1975 UK No.1 single Bohemian Rhapsody, which returned to No.1 in 1991. Queen scored over 40 other UK Top 40 singles, and also scored the 1980 US No.1 single Crazy Little Thing Called Love. May had the solo 1992 UK No.5 single Too Much Love Will Kill You. May was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005 for ‘services to the music industry and his charity work’. May earned a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College, London, in 2007.

• 1949 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte began recording for Capitol Records on this day. The first sessions included They Didn’t Believe Me and Close Your Eyes. A short time later, Capitol said Belafonte wasn’t “commercial enough,” so he signed with RCA Victor (for a very productive and commercial career).

• 1952 ~ Allen Collins, Musician, guitar with Lynyrd Skynyrd

• 1952 ~ “Paint Your Wagon” closed at Shubert Theater New York City after 289 performances

• 1966 ~ Frank Sinatra married actress Mia Farrow this day.

• 1963 ~ Kelly Shiver, Country Singer

• 1980 ~ Billy Joel, pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer, earned his first gold record with It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, which reached the top of the Billboard pop music chart. He would score additional million-sellers with Just the Way You Are, My Life, Uptown Girl (for girlfriend and later, wife and supermodel Christie Brinkley) and We Didn’t Start the Fire. Joel reached the top only one other time, with Tell Her About It in 1983.

• 2000 ~ H. LeBaron Taylor, a Sony executive who pioneered the mass marketing of music rooted in black culture and fostered minority development in the corporate world, died at the age of 65 of a heart attack. He was recognized by Ebony magazine as one of the top 50 black executives in corporate America. In the 1970s, Taylor was at CBS Records, leading its Black Music Marketing department, which sold music originating in black culture and styles that sprang from it, such as blues, soul, rap and hip-hop.

June 29 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1696 ~ Michel Lambert, Composer, died

• 1738 ~ Constantin Reindl, Composer

• 1783 ~ August Alexander Klengel, Composer

• 1842 ~ Josef Labor, Composer

• 1850 ~ Joseph Paul Skelly, Composer

• 1864 ~ Anton Beer-Walbrun, Composer

• 1870 ~ Joseph Carl Breil, Composer

• 1871 ~ Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian operatic singer. Her dazzling technique made her one of the most famous sopranos of her time.

• 1874 ~ Georg Gohler, Composer

• 1885 ~ Andre Gailhard, Composer

• 1886 ~ George Frederick Boyle, Composer

• 1893 ~ Aare Merikanto, Composer

• 1897 ~ Ottmar Gerster, Composer

• 1901 ~ Hendrik Diels, Flemish conductor

• 1901 ~ Nelson Eddy, American baritone and actor, often performed with Jeanette MacDonald

• 1903 ~ Rentaro Taki, Composer, died at the age of 23

• 1908 ~ Rene Gerber, Composer

• 1908 ~ Leroy Anderson, Composer
Read more about Anderson

• 1910 ~ Frank Loesser, American songwriter and composer of musical comedies

• 1911 ~ Bernard Herrmann, Composer

• 1914 ~ Rafael Kubelík, Czech-born Swiss conductor and composer of operas, symphonies and concertos

• 1922 ~ Ralph Burns, Musician, pianist, composer and arranger

• 1922 ~ Elmer J. ‘Mousey’ Alexander, Drummer with Alexanders the Great

• 1923 ~ Chou Wen-Chung, Chinese composer

• 1923 ~ Gustave Adolph Kerker, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1924 ~ Ezra Laderman, American composer

• 1925 ~ Hale Smith, Composer

• 1929 ~ Michio Mamaia, Composer

• 1936 ~ Leonard Lee, American vocalist

• 1938 ~ Billy Storm, Singer with the Valiants

• 1938 ~ Edmund Falkiner, Jazz saxophonist

• 1940 ~ Viacheslav Artyomov, Composer

• 1942 ~ Dmitri Shostakovitch’s Seventh Symphony, premiered

• 1943 ~ Roger Ruskin Spear, English saxophonist, kazoo with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

• 1945 ~ Little Eva (Boyd), Singer

• 1946 ~ “Are You with It?” closed at Century Theater New York City after 264 performances

• 1946 ~ “Billion Dollar Baby” closed at Alvin Theater New York City after 219 performances

• 1948 ~ Ian Paice, Musician, drums with Paice Ashton Lord

• 1953 ~ Jules van Nuffel, Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1955 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets reached the top of the pop music charts with Rock Around the Clock. The smash hit stayed there for eight straight weeks. The song was featured in the film Blackboard Jungle. Most consider the hit song the first rock ’n’ roll single.

• 1963 ~ “Little Me” closed at Lunt-Fontanne Theater New York City after 257 performances

• 1963 ~ The Beatles’ 1st song From Me to You hits UK charts

• 1964 ~ Milenko Zivkovic, Composer, died at the age of 63

• 1966 ~ Arthur Meulemans, Belgian Composer, died at the age of 82

• 1968 ~ Tiptoe Through the Tulips by Tiny Tim peaked at #17

• 1969 ~ Shorty Long, Soul singer and pianist, died at the age of 29

• 1969 ~ Vesselin Stoyanov, Composer, died at the age of 67

• 1970 ~ NBC presented an evening of exciting and entertaining TV with the award-winning Liza Minelli Special.

• 1980 ~ “Sweeney Todd” closed at Uris Theater New York City after 557 performances

• 1984 ~ Singer Bruce Springsteen kicked off his first U.S. tour in three years, before 17,700 fans at the Civic Center in St. Paul, MN. Music critics called the Boss, “the most exciting performer in rock.”

• 1992 ~ “Salome” opened at Circle in Sq Theater New York City for 9 performances

• 1994 ~ Kurt Eichhorn, Conductor, died at the age of 85

• 1994 ~ Ray Crane, Trumpeter, died at the age of 63

• 1998 ~ Horst Jankowski passed away

• 2001 ~ Kimo Wilder McVay, a veteran talent agent who promoted singer Don Ho into an international star, died at the age of 73. McVay introduced Ho, known for his song Tiny Bubbles, to tourist audiences in the 1960s at his Duke Kahanamoku’s nightclub in Waikiki. He represented Hawaii’s top talents in an up-and-down career that spanned nearly five decades, but slowed his work when diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. McVay was the son of Navy Capt. Charles B. McVay III, who was found guilty at a court martial trial of failing to steer a zigzag course to evade a Japanese submarine that sank the USS Indianapolis in 1945. The younger McVay’s years of trying to clear his father’s name resulted in congressional action last year to exonerate the Indianapolis’ skipper, who committed suicide in 1968.

• 2002 ~ Rosemary Clooney, the mellow-voiced singer who co-starred with Bing Crosby in “White Christmas” and staged a dramatic comeback after her career was nearly destroyed by drugs and alcohol, died. She was 74. Clooney soared to fame with her 1951 record of Come on-a My House, and became a star in television and films. Her career was sidelined by her marriage to Oscar- winning actor Jose Ferrer and the births of their five children. The pair divorced, and her attempts to return to performing were sabotaged by her erratic behavior. Having undergone a series of emotional upsets – she was devastated by Martin Luther King’s assassination, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Robert F. Kennedy was shot – the blond singer had a breakdown during a 1968 engagement in Reno. She underwent harrowing confinement in a psychotic ward, then began rebuilding her life, gradually resuming her career and reaching new heights as a singer. She performed a concert with Crosby in the Christmas of 1975 at the Los Angeles Music Center, and the pair continued on to Chicago, New York and London. Clooney won a new record contract, and singing dates poured in. In 1995, she received an Emmy Award nomination for guest actress in a drama series for her role on “ER” with her nephew, actor George Clooney. He is the son of her brother, former television news anchor Nick Clooney. In 1996, Clooney married Hollywood dancer Dante DiPaolo.

• 2002 ~ Edmund Anderson, a former stock broker and producer who was close friends with musician Duke Ellington, died. He was 89. Anderson and Ellington met in 1936 and remained friends until Ellington’s death in 1974. Anderson was said to have pressed Ellington to perform at Carnegie Hall, which he did for the first time in 1943. Anderson worked for his father’s brokerage, Anderson & Company, but had a strong interest in music and also produced broadcasts for radio, including a program known as “The Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show.” He also composed music, including the love song Flamingo, written in collaboration with Ted Grouya and recorded by Ellington and his band.

January 2 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1732 ~ Franz Xaver Brixi, Czech classical composer of the 18th century

• 1837 ~ Mily Balakirev, Russian Composer and collector of Russian Music
More information about Balakirev

• 1904 ~ James Melton, Singer in La Traviata

1905 ~ Sir Michael Tippett, British Composer and librettist
More information about Tippett

• 1917 ~ Vera Zorina (Eva Hartwig), Dancer, actress

• 1922 ~ Renata (Ersilia Clotilde) Tebaldi, Opera diva, lyric soprano. She debuted as Elena in Boito’s Mefistofele in 1944 and at the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’s Otello in 1955
More information about Tebaldi
Anniversary of Tebaldi’s death

• 1930 ~ Julius LaRosa, Singer

• 1932 ~ Freddy Martin formed a new band and was hired to play the Roosevelt Grill in New York City. Martin became one of the big names in the music business. Merv Griffin later became Martin’s lead vocalist.

• 1936 ~ Roger Miller. American country-music singer, guitarist and songwriter, 11 Grammys in 1964-65

• 1941 ~ The Andrews Sisters recorded Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy on Decca Records. LaVerne, Maxine and Patti Andrews recorded in Los Angeles and the song was heard in the movie, “Buck Privates”, starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

• 1949 ~ Chick Churchill, Keyboards with Ten Years After

• 1958 ~ Leonard Bernstein conducted his first concert as Joint Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, a title he shared with Dimitri Mitropoulos during the 1957-58 season.  At this concert, Bernstein conducted a program similar to that of his November 1943 New York Philharmonic debut: Schumann’s “Manfred” Overture and ‪‎Strauss‬’ “Don Quixote.” Additionally, Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic from the piano in the U.S. premiere of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

• 1971 ~The George Harrison album ‘All Things Must Pass’ started a seven week run at No.1 on the US album chart, making Harrison the first solo Beatle to score a US No.1 album. The triple album included the hit singles ‘My Sweet Lord’ and ‘What Is Life’, as well as songs such as ‘Isn’t It a Pity’ and the title track that were turned down by The Beatles.

• 1974 ~ Singing cowboy Tex Ritter died of a heart attack at the age of 67. His son, John, became a significant television star in “Three’s Company”, and in movies, including “Problem Child”.

• 1977 ~ Erroll Garner passed away.  He was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads.

• 1980 ~ Officials of the Miss America Pageant announced that Bert Parks would not return as host of the annual beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Parks sang There she is, Miss America for 25 years. He was replaced by Gary Collins.

• 1983 ~ The smash musical, “Annie”, closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances: the sixth longest-running show on the Great White Way. The five longest-running shows at the time were: “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Life With Father”, “Tobacco Road”, “Hello Dolly” and “Music Man”.

• 2003 ~ Bluegrass music veteran James McReynolds, who with his mandolin-playing brother Jesse formed the legendary “Jim & Jesse” duo honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died. Backed by their band, “The Virginia Boys,” their first single The Flame of Love, backed byGosh I Miss You All the Time, spent weeks on the national charts. Other songs regarded as Jim & Jesse classics are Cotton Mill Man, Diesel on My Tail, Are You Missing Me and Paradise. Jim’s enhanced high tenor and guitar playing combined with Jesse’s deep-voiced singing and unique mandolin style to produce their distinctive sound. Jesse developed a cross-picking technique and “split-string” style few could duplicate. The brothers’ performing career was interrupted by service in both World War II and the Korean War. They joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1964, and their numerous honors included induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Walkway of Stars” and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Honor.

• 2004 ~ Pioneering black actress and singer Etta Moten Barnett, who sang at the White House and appeared with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Flying Down to Rio, died. She was 102. Barnett was unique because of the romantic, sexy figures she portrayed – as opposed to the motherly nannies and maids that most black actresses were cast as in early Hollywood films. Barnett moved to New York City in her 30s and quickly landed a spot singing with the Eva Jessye Choir. The lead in the Broadway show Zombie followed. She later dubbed songs for actresses and was cast in the Busby Berkeley film Gold Diggers of 1933. In the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio, Barnett was cast as a Brazilian entertainer who sang The Carioca while Astaire and Rogers danced. The song was nominated for an Academy Award as best song. Her voice caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who invited her to sing at his White House birthday party. In 1942, she appeared as Bess in Porgy and Bess on Broadway and then toured with the show until 1945. Suffering from a strained voice, she gave her last formal concert in 1952

Getting Ready for Halloween: Dreams of a Witches’ Sabbath from Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz

berlioz-symphony-fantastique
The final movement is the best known part of the symphony, thanks to its use in the Julia Roberts movie, Sleeping With The Enemy. It features a four-part structure, which Berlioz described in his own program notes from 1845 as follows:

“He sees himself at a witches’ Sabbath, in the midst of a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind who have come together for his funeral. Strange sounds, groans, outbursts of laughter; distant shouts which seem to be answered by more shouts. The beloved melody appears once more, but has now lost its noble and shy character; it is now no more than a vulgar dance tune, trivial and grotesque: it is she who is coming to the Sabbath… Roar of delight at her arrival… She joins the diabolical orgy… The funeral knell tolls, burlesque parody of the Dies irae, the dance of the witches. The dance of the witches combined with the Dies irae.”

The Dies irae melody is one of the most-quoted in musical literature, appearing in the works of many diverse composers.

The traditional Gregorian melody has also been used as a theme or musical quotation in a number of  classical compositions, notable among them:

Free sheet music from IMSLP for the basic Dies irae

Free sheet music from IMSLP for the basic Symphonie fantastique (look under Arrangements and Transcriptions)

The basic Gregorian Chant

An animated version of the  Dreams of a Witches’ Sabbath from Symphonie fantastique.  Can you hear the Dies irae in this?  It starts around 3:18.

Leonard Bernstein conducts the “Orchestre National de France” in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique
5th Movement

August 9, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1874 ~ Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan-born French composer, conductor and music critic

• 1902 ~ Solomon Cutner, Classical pianist. A virtuoso performer, he played Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto at the age of 10. His career was stopped after a stroke in 1965.

• 1902 ~ Zino (Rene) Francescatti, French concert violinist; passed away in 1991

• 1910 ~ A.J. Fisher of Chicago, IL received a patent for an invention that moms, grandmas and single guys certainly came to appreciate: the electric washing machine. Previous to Mr. Fisher’s invention, washing machines were cranked by hand (not easily done) – or you used a washboard (also sometimes used as a musical instrument).

• 1919 ~ Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Italian composer and librettist, died. He is famous for the single opera “Pagliacci” but never repeated the success with his other works.
More information about Leoncavallo

• 1932 ~ Helen Morgan joined the Victor Young orchestra to record Bill, a popular tune from Broadway’s Showboat.

• 1934 ~ Merle Kilgore, Songwriter Hall of Famer

• 1939 ~ Billy Henderson, Singer with Spinners

• 1955 ~ Benjamin Orr (Orzechowski), Musician, bass guitar, singer with The Cars

• 1963 ~ Whitney Houston, Grammy Award-winning singer

• 1963 ~ The TV program Ready, Set, Go! premiered on the BBC in London, England. The show gave exposure to such music luminaries as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

• 1964 ~ Joan Baez and Bob Dylan shared the stage for the first time when the singers performed in a concert in Forest Hills, NY.

• 1969 ~ Hot Fun in The Summertime, by Sly and the Family Stone, and Easy to Be Hard, from the Broadway production Hair, were released on this day. Hot Fun made it to number two on the music charts and Easy to Be Hard climbed to number four.

• 1975 ~ Dmitri Shostakovitch, Russian composer, died. He wrote 15 symphonies as well as operas, ballets and film and theater scores.
More information about Shostakovitch

• 1995 ~ Jerry Garcia passed away

• 2003 ~ Chester Ludgin, a baritone in the New York City Opera for more than 30 years, died at the age of 78.
Ludgin sang a host of lead baritone parts, but was most recognizable in operas including “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “Susannah.” He debuted at the City Opera in 1957 in Johann Strauss II’s “Fledermaus.”
He also portrayed the part of Sam for Leonard Bernstein’s “A Quiet Place” at the Houston Grand Opera in 1983. He also sang for the San Francisco Opera and other North American companies.
His last appearance at City Opera was in 1991, but he remained on the stage, singing in musical comedies. His most recent lead was in “The Most Happy Fella.”

• 2005 ~ News Item:  New Vivaldi work heard for first time in 250 years.