On May 7 in Music History

today

•  1833 ~ Johannes Brahms, German composer
More information about Brahms

• 1840 ~ Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer
Listen to Tchaikovsky’s music
Read about Tchaikovsky
Read quotes by and about Tchaikovsky
More information about Tchaikovsky

• 1919 ~ Eva (Evita) Peron, Argentina’s spiritual leader and wife of Argentina’s President, Juan Peron; actress on stage, film and radio; the subject of the Broadway musical and film Evita

• 1927 ~ Elisabeth Söderström, Swedish soprano

• 1931 ~ Teresa Brewer (Breuer), Singer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On April 23 in Music History

today

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

. 1882 ~ Albert Coates, British conductor and composer

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

. 1924 ~ Arthur Frackenpohl, American composer

. 1928 ~ Shirley Temple, Entertainer

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

. 1939 ~ Ray Peterson, Singer

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

On April 19 in Music History

today

OCMS 1836 ~ Augustus D. Julliard, American music patron; responsible for founding The Julliard School of Music
More information about Julliard

. 1876 ~ Samuel Sebastian Wesley, composer, died at the age of 65

. 1892 ~ Germaine Tailleferre, French composer

. 1905 ~ Tommy Benford, Drummer with Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers

. 1920 ~ Frank Fontaine, Comedian, actor, singer

. 1924 ~ A new show joined the airwaves. The Chicago Barn Dance aired on WLS radio in the Windy City. Later, the famous program would be renamed The National Barn Dance. This program was the first country music jamboree on radio. (The Grand Ole Opry on WSM Radio in Nashville, TN began in 1925.) National Barn Dance continued for many years on the radio station that was owned by the retailer, Sears Roebuck & Co. WLS, in fact, stood for ‘World’s Largest Store’. Though the Barn Dance gave way to rock music and now, talk radio, The Grand Ole Opry continues each weekend in Nashville.

. 1927 ~ Don Barbour, Singer with the group, The Four Freshmen

. 1928 ~ Alexis Korner, Musician: guitar, singer

. 1935 ~ Dudley Moore, English pianist and actor

. 1942 ~ Alan Price, Musician: keyboards, singer: groups: Alan Price Combo, The Animals. Some favorites were House of the Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out of This Place

. 1942 ~ Larry (Hilario) Ramos, Jr., Musician, guitar, singer with the group: The Association

. 1943 ~ Eve Graham, Singer with The New Seekers

. 1943 ~ Czeslaw Bartkowski, jazz musician, drums

. 1945 ~ The musical Carousel, based on Molnar’s Liliom, opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. John Raitt and Jan Clayton starred in the show which ran for 890 performances. Music was by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.

. 1947 ~ Murray Perahia, American pianist and conductor

. 1947 ~ Mark Volman, Saxophonist, singer

. 1959 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte appeared in the first of two benefit concerts for charity at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

. 1967 ~ Nancy Sinatra and her dad, Frank, received a gold record award for their collaboration on the hit single, Something Stupid.

1987 ~ The Simpsons TV show was born
John Brunning celebrates tonight with Danny Elfman’s theme to the series

. 2000 ~ Richard L. Campbell, a classical music announcer on WCPE-FM died during his on-the-air shift, apparently of a massive heart attack. He was 67. On the air, Campbell catered to his audience by using his warm baritone voice to soothing effect. Before coming to WCPE about 10 years ago, he was a computer programmer and helped design the station’s traffic system.

. 2012 ~ Greg Ham, Australian rock saxophonist and flutist (Men At Work), died at the age of 58

On April 5 in Music History

today

. 1724 ~ Giovanni Jacopo Casanova de Seingalt, Italian violinist During his life he was also a seminarian, a secretary to a cardinal, a Venetian ensign, an abbe, a gambler, an alchemist, a spy, a lover, adventurer, and a librarian.

. 1784 ~ Ludwig Spohr, German violinist, composer and conductor

. 1839 ~ Stanislaw Pilinski, French pianist and composer

. 1869 ~ Albert Roussel, French composer

. 1908 ~ Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor

. 1922 ~ Gale Storm (Josephine Cottle), Singer

. 1925 ~ Stan Levey, Musician, composer, drummer in a band with Charlie Parker

. 1928 ~ Tony Williams, Singer with The Platters

. 1932 ~ Billy Bland, Singer

. 1934 ~ Stanley Turrentine, Jazz musician – tenor sax

. 1940 ~ Tommy Cash, Songwriter, Johnny Cash’s brother

. 1946 ~ Vincent Youmans passed away.  He was an American Broadway composer and Broadway producer.

. 1958 ~ Johnny Mathis’ album, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, on Columbia Records, made it to the pop music charts for the first time. The LP remained on the charts for a record 490 weeks (nearly 9~1/2 years!) The record began its stay at number one (three weeks) on June 9, 1958. Mathis studied opera from age 13 and earned a track and field scholarship at San Francisco State College. He was invited to Olympic try-outs and chose a singing career instead. He was originally a jazz-style singer when Columbia switched Mathis to singing pop ballads. Johnny would chart over 60 albums in 30 years.

. 1982 ~ After eight years of publication to the radio and recording industry, Record World magazine ceased publication and filed for bankruptcy protection.

. 1985 ~ Broadcasters banded together to play the single, We Are the World, at 10:50 a.m. E.S.T. Stations in the United States were joined by hundreds of others around the world in a sign of unification for the African relief cause. Even Muzak made the song only the second vocal selection it has ever played in elevators and offices since its inception.

. 2018 ~ Cecil Taylor, jazz pianist died.

On March 30 in Music History

 

. 1674 ~ Pietro Antonio Locatelli died.  He was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.

. 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer

. 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s

. 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer

. 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon. Alma Cummings danced the foxtrot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.

. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahm’s Rhapsody in G Minor.  He was 13.

. 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music

. 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drummer with The Moody Blues

. 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack country duo

. 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; songwriter, Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990

. 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist

. 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as their hit single, He’s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I Will Follow Him on April 27th.

. 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter

. 1964 ~ Willem Andriessen, Dutch composer and pianist (Beethoven), died at the age of 76

. 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer

. 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics called Bacall “a sensation.” The play, at the Palace Theatre, was an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances. A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.

. 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, “Hey, this sounds like disco!” and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history…

. 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshine on My Shoulders. It was the singer’s first number one song. Three other singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie’s Song, Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10 at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.

On February 4 in Music History

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

Happy Birthday, Gene Krupa

krupa

 

Eugene Bertram “Gene” Krupa lived from January 15, 1909 to October 16, 1973.  He was an American jazz and big band drummer, actor and composer, known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style.

One of my all-time favorite non-piano songs is Sing Sing Sing. Krupa joined Benny Goodman’s band in 1934, where his featured drum work made him a national celebrity. His tom-tom interludes on their hit “Sing, Sing, Sing” were the first extended drum solos to be recorded commercially.

The Benny Goodman big band playing Sing Sing Sing, featuring Gene Krupa at the end. We get the added benefit of hearing Mr. Harry James play a trumpet solo.

~~~

Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich: Famous Drum Battle