. 1791 ~ Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works. His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
More information on Czerny
Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!
. 1836 ~ Léo Delibes, French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage.
More information on Delibes
. 1893 ~ Andrés Segovia, Spanish guitarist
More information on Segovia
. 1933 ~ Nina Simone, American jazz and soul singer. Simone is best known and remembered for her string of hits in the Sixties and Seventies and often referred to as the “High Priestess of Soul”. She was a civil rights activist who advocated violent revolution during the civil rights period as opposed to Martin Luther King’s non-violent approach.
. 1943 ~ David Geffen, Tony Award-winning producer of Cats in 1983, M Butterfly in 1988, “Miss Saigon”, Beetlejuice and Risky Business. Also a record executive: Geffen Records and a partner in Dreamworks film production company with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.
. 1982 ~”Ain’t Misbehavin'” closed at Longacre Theater in New York City after 1604 performances
. 1990 ~ “The Batman Theme” by Danny Elfman won Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition at 32nd Annual Grammy Awards
. 1991 ~ Dame Margot Fonteyn died. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time.
. 2015 ~ Clark Terry died. He was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, educator, and NEA Jazz Masters inductee. He played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–1951), Duke Ellington (1951–1959) and Quincy Jones (1960).
Terry’s career in jazz spanned more than seventy years and he is among the most recorded of jazz musicians.
. 2017 ~ Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Polish-born classical conductor and composer, died at the age of 93
. 2019 ~ Peter Tork, a musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of The Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold The Beatles, has died at the age of 77.
. 1571 ~ Michael Praetorius, German organist, composer and theorist
. 1621 ~ Michael Praetorius, German composer (In Dulce Jubilo), died on his 50th birthday
More information about Praetorius
. 1797 ~ Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, German piano manufacturer
More information about Steinway
. 1847 ~ Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer and music teacher
. 1857 ~ Mikhail Glinka, Russian composer (“Ruslan and Ludmilla”), died at the age of 53
More about Glinka
. 1905 ~ Harold Arlen, (Hyman Arluck) American composer of musicals and songs
More information about Arlen
. 1918 ~ Hank Locklin (Lawrence Hankins Locklin), Country singer
. 1932 ~ George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show on CBS radio. The couple was so popular that soon, they would have their own Burns & Allen Show. George and Gracie continued on radio for 18 years before making the switch to TV. All in all, they were big hits for three decades.
. 1941 ~ Brian Holland, Songwriter
. 1941 ~ Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded one of big band’s all-time classics on this day. Take the “A” Train was recorded at Victor’s Hollywood studio and became the Duke’s signature song.
. 1944 ~ Mick Avory, Drummer with The Kinks
. 1951 ~ Melissa Manchester, Singer
. 1958 ~ Get A Job, by The Silhouettes, reached the top spot on the music Tunedex. It remained at #1 for two weeks. Talk about sudden change in American popular music! One week earlier, the number one song was Sugartime, by The McGuire Sisters, a song that definitely was not classified as rock ‘n’ roll. Get A Job was replaced by Tequila, an instrumental by a studio group known as The Champs.
. 1959 ~ Ali (Alistair) Campbell, Guitarist, lead singer with UB40
. 1964 ~ Jack Teagarden [Weldon Leo Teagarden], American trombonist and actor (Meet Band Leaders), died from bronchial pneumonia at the age of 58
More about Teagarden
. 1965 ~ This was a sad day in music, as singer Nat ‘King’ Cole died in Santa Monica, CA. The music legend was 45.
. 1986 ~ Whitney Houston reached the #1 spot on the music charts. Her single, How Will I Know, replaced a song recorded by her first cousin, Dionne Warwick (That’s What Friends Are For). Whitney is the daughter of singer Cissy Houston.
. 1992 ~ William Schuman passed away. Schuman was an American composer and arts administrator.
. 2010 ~ Adam Kaczyński, Polish pianist and composer, died at the age of 76
. 2012 ~ Oscar-nominated singer and composer Dory Previn died at the age of 86 in Massachusetts. Previn had worked on songs with her former husband composer Andre Previn and had found solo success after releasing several albums of her own. She had also written songs for famous singers like Doris Day and won an Emmy award for co-writing the theme song for television show Two Of A Kind.
. 2016 ~ George Gaynes, American singer, actor and voice artist (Tootsie, Police Academy, General Hospital), died at the age of 98
. 1941 ~ Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded Moonglow on Victor Records. In the band were such sidemen as Johnny Guarnieri, Jack Jenney, Billy Butterfield and Ray Conniff on trombone.
. 1943 ~ Duke Ellington and the band played for a black-tie crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first of what was to become an annual series of concerts featuring the Duke.
. 1943 ~ Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five took the song “What’s the Use of Getting Sober” to the top chart spot. It only stayed there for one week.
. 1948 ~ Anita Pointer, Singer with The Pointer Sisters
. 1950 ~ Bill Cunningham, Bass, piano with The Box Tops
. 1950 ~ Patrick Simmons, Singer, guitarist with The Doobie Brothers
. 1974 ~ Mike Oldfield’sTubular Bells opened the credits of the movie, “The Exorcist”, based on the book by William Peter Blatty. The song received a gold record this day.
. 1977 ~ Carole King’s landmark album, “Tapestry”, became the longest-running album to hit the charts, as it reached its 302nd week on the album lists.
. 1978 ~ Vic Ames killed in car crash
. 1981 ~ Samuel Barber, American composer (School for Scandal), died of cancer at the age of 70
. 1986 ~The first ten musicians were inducted into Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame including James Brown, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
When Chuck Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, an all-star band, including John Fogerty, Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Neil Young and Steve Winwood, charged through a raucous “Roll Over Beethoven” with de facto bandleader Chuck Berry guiding the show.
. 1993 ~Thomas Gorsey passed away on this day. He was considered to be the “Father of Gospel Music” and had written over a thousand gospel songs in his lifetime.
. 2002 ~ Alfred Glasser, a former director of education for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, died of cancer. He was 70. Glasser held the education post for 30 years before his retirement in 1996. Since 1997, Glasser served as chairman of the board and commentator for Chicago’s concert opera company, da Corneto Opera. For the past decade, he served on the board of Alliance Francaise of Chicago, a French cultural group. Glasser also founded the Lyric Opera Lecture Corps, a community service project.
. 2003 ~ Nell Carter, actress-singer, died at the age of 54. She was best known for her role as the housekeeper in the TV sitcom “Gimme a Break!”. Carter, who was born September 13, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, first rose to stardom on the New York stage. After a series of roles on- and off-Broadway — and a short-lived part in the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” — in 1977 she starred in the show “Ain’t Misbehavin’!”, a revue of the works of composer Fats Waller. She was rewarded for her performance with an Obie Award, and later with a Tony Award when the show moved to Broadway. Several years later, she earned an Emmy for her performance on a television presentation of the musical. Despite her Broadway success, Carter would have preferred to sing opera. “When I was growing up, it was not something you aspired to,” she said in 1988. “I was a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or nurses.” “Gimme a Break!” ran from 1981 to 1987. Carter was nominated for two Emmys for her role as housekeeper Nell Harper, who helped run the household of police chief Carl Kanisky, played by Dolph Sweet. She also garnered two Golden Globe nominations for the role.
. 2003 ~ For Sale: One of London’s most famous music venues, which in its heyday in the 1960s played host to The Who, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, is for sale, its administrators said. The Marquee Club, which in the 1970s was the epicenter of the punk explosion, ran into financial difficulties after its high-profile relaunch last fall, said a spokeswoman for administrator BDO Stoy Hayward. “We’re looking for someone in the music business who can capitalize on the Marquee brand and keep running it as a live venue,” she said. The price tag is at least $200 million. The club opened in London’s Soho district in 1958 and was so cramped and sweaty that, according to legend, Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats blacked out on stage. In 1988, it moved to a new location in nearby Charing Cross, but within eight years it had closed down. A high-profile relaunch at a new venue in Islington, north London September 2002 was headlined by the controversial electro-rockers Primal Scream, but according to the club’s administrators, huge start-up costs quickly led to its downfall.
. 2017 ~ Bobby Freeman, American singer (Do You Want to Dance), died at the age of 76
. 2018 ~ Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, anti-apartheid activist (I Am Not Afraid), described as the “father of South African jazz,” died at the age of 78
. 1775 ~ Giovanni Battista Sammartini, composer, died
. 1890 ~ Premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, ballet by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky. After the less-than-promising 1877 debut of Swan Lake, marred by a largely amateur production, over a decade elapsed before the composer was commissioned by the Director of the Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg to supply music for a ballet on the Perrault fairy tale, The Sleeping Beauty. Tchaikovsky threw himself arms-deep into the project. Not only was the composer again on happy turf, but he was also currently in a state of delight by the occasional presence of a three-year-old little girl; children seemed to tap a joyful vein in Tchaikovsky. The little girl’s proximity fed a spirit of fantasy that transmitted to this most lighthearted of the composer’s scores. Most musicologists and historians concede that Sleeping Beauty is the most perfectly wrought of Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores, classic in its restraint, yet possessing the right amount of color and panache to render it pure Tchaikovsky; its waltz remains a Pops favorite.
. 1896 ~ Alexander Scriabin made his European debut as a pianist at the Salle Erard in Paris
. 1964 ~ The soundtrack album of the musical, “The King and I”, starring Yul Brynner, earned a gold record.
. 1967 ~ Ed Sullivan told the Rolling Stones to change the lyrics and the title to the song, Let’s Spend the Night Together, so it became Let’s Spend Some Time Together.
. 1972 ~ Elvis Presley, who was also censored from the waist down by Ed Sullivan, reportedly drew the largest audience for a single TV show to that time. Elvis presented a live, worldwide concert from Honolulu on this day.
. 1972 ~ “American Pie” by Don McLlean hit #1 on the pop charts
. 1987 ~ Ray Bolger died. He was an American entertainer of vaudeville, stage and actor, singer and dancer best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
. 1993 ~ Sammy Cahn passed away. He was an American lyricist, songwriter and musician.
. 2018 ~ Edwin Hawkins, American gospel musician, choirmaster and composer (Oh Happy Day), died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 74
. 2019 ~ Carol Elaine Channing died at the age of 98. She was an American actress, singer, dancer and comedian. Notable for starring in Broadway and film musicals, her characters typically radiate a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect.
. 1930 ~ Robert ‘Squirrel’ Lester, Singer with The Chi-Lites
. 1938 ~ Singer Allan Jones recorded The Donkey Serenade for Victor Records. The song became the one most often associated with the singer. Allan sang and acted in several Marx Brothers films: “A Night at the Opera”, “A Day at theRaces”, but the film that catapulted him to stardom was the operetta, “Firefly”, with Jeanette MacDonald. Singer Jack Jones is the son of Allan and wife, actress Irene Hervey.
. 1941 ~ The four Modernaires joined to sing with the Glenn Miller Band on a permanent basis beginning this day. They had a ‘solo’ hit in 1946 with To Each His Own.
. 1957 ~ Elvis Presley recorded All Shook Up and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin for Victor Records in Hollywood. The former tune became Elvis’ ninth consecutive gold record.
. 1961 ~ Wayne Marshall, English pianist, organist and conductor
. 1962 ~ Singer Chubby Checker set a record, literally, with the hit, The Twist. The song reached the #1 position for an unprecedented second time – in two years. The Twist was also number one on September 26, 1960.
. 1968 ~ Johnny Cash performed live for the second time at Folsom Prison in the prison cafeteria which was recorded as the album “Johnny Cash at At Folsom Prison”.
. 2001 ~ Kenneth Haas, the former general manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, died after a long illness at the age of 57. Haas was general manager of the Boston orchestra from 1987 to 1996 and was instrumental in appointing Keith Lockhart conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Haas was general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1976 to 1987 after performing the same job for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1975. In Cleveland he established the orchestra’s chamber music and recital series.
. 2001 ~ Michael Cuccione, youngest of the five-member spoof boy band 2gether, died at age 16 from complications from Hodgkin’s disease. The teen played Jason “Q.T.” McKnight on the MTV show “2gether,” which poked fun at the boy band craze. His character had a fictional illness, “biliary thrombosis,” but Cuccione really had suffered from Hodgkin’s disease as a child and underwent five months of chemotherapy. The singer-actor set up a cancer research foundation co-wrote a book with his grandmother and appeared on “Baywatch” as a cancer victim.
. 1803 ~ Henri Herz, Austrian pianist and composer
. 1838 ~ Max Bruch, German Composer
More information about Bruch
. 1850 ~ Franz Xaver Scharwenka, Polish composer
More information about Scharwenka
. 1852 ~ Louis Braille died. He was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day and is known worldwide simply as braille.
. 1856 ~ Giuseppe Martucci, Italian composer, conductor, pianist and teacher influential in reviving Italian interest in non-operatic music.
. 1863 ~ First performance of Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Sonata No. 3 in f, in Vienna.
. 1878 ~ Carl Sandburg, Author, poet, folk balladeer
. 1916 ~ Philip Bezanson, American composer and educator
. 1924 ~ Earl Scruggs, American country music singer, banjo player and songwriter, born. He was with the Grand Ole Opry.
. 1929 ~ Wilbert Harrison, Singer
. 1934 ~ Bobby Lord, Country singer
. 1937 ~ Nino Tempo, Sax musician, singer with April Stevens
. 1937 ~ Doris Troy, Singer
. 1938 ~ Trummy Young played trombone and sang with the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra in New York City as Margie became Decca record number 1617.
. 1946 ~ Roger Keith, Lead guitarist, Pink Floyd
. 1946 ~ Syd (Roger) Barrett, Guitarist, singer with Pink Floyd
. 1959 ~ Kathy Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge
. 1964 ~ Premier of “Hello Dolly”
. 1966 ~ Duke Ellington’s concert of sacred music, recorded at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, was broadcast on CBS-TV.
. 1975 ~ The Broadway premiere of “The Wiz” opened, receiving enthusiastic reviews. The show, a black version of “The Wizard of Oz”, ran for 1,672 shows at the Majestic Theatre. Moviegoers, however, gave a thumbs down to the later cinema version of the musical that starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. One memorable song from the show is Ease on Down the Road.
. 1993 ~ The great jazz trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie died of cancer at age 75. He has been credited with being a co-founder (with Charlie Parker) of ‘bebop’ music and wrote many jazz numbers (Salt Peanuts, Night in Tunisia). Gillespie also created the ‘afro-cuban’ sound in jazz music. A few of the disciples who preached Dizzy’s gospel of bebop were Thelonious Monk, Earl ‘Bud’ Powell, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
• 1808 ~ Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony given world premiere in Vienna.
• 1821 ~ Giovanni Bottesini, Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso
• 1853 ~ Maria Teresa Carreno, Venezuelan pianist, singer, composer, and conductor.
1858 ~ Giacomo Puccini, Italian opera composer
More information about Puccini
• 1874 ~ Franz Schmidt, Austrian composer, cellist and pianist.
1883 ~ Edgard Varèse, French-born American avant-garde composer
More information about Varèse
• 1885 ~ (Joseph) Deems Taylor, American opera composer and writer, music critic for New York World from 1921 until 1925, New York American from 1931 to 1932, intermission commentator for Sunday radio broadcasts of NY Philharmonic (1936 to 1943), president of ASCAP, married to poet and playwright Mary Kennedy
• 1894 ~ Claude Debussy’s first orchestral masterpiece “Prélude à l’apres-midi d’un faune” premiered in Paris
• 1901 ~ André Kostelanetz, Russian-born American conductor and arranger of Broadway show tunes
• 1939 ~ Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey (Mother of the Blues) passed away
• 1941 ~ Jimmy Lunceford and his orchestra recorded Blues in the Night on Decca. The song became one of Lunceford’s biggest hits. Between 1934 and 1946 Jimmy Lunceford had more hits (22) than any other black jazz band (except Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway).
• 1944 ~ Barry Jenkins, Drummer with Nashville Teens and also the Animals
• 1946 ~ Rick Nielsen, Guitarist, singer with Cheap Trick
• 1949 ~ Maurice Gibb, Bass, songwriter with the Bee Gees, married to singer Lulu, twin of Robin Gibb. The Bee Gees sold over 200 million records and were one of the most popular groups from the mid 60’s to late 70’s.
• 1949 ~ Robin Gibb, Songwriter for Bee Gees, twin of Maurice Gibb
• 1958 ~ The Chipmunks were at the #1 position on the music charts on this day in 1958 as Alvin, Simon, and Theodore sang with David Seville. The Chipmunk Song, the novelty tune that topped the charts for a month, is still a Christmas favorite today…
Christmas, Christmas time is near
Time for toys and time for cheer
We’ve been good, but we can’t last
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast
Want a plane that loops the loop
Me, I want a hula hoop
We can hardly stand the wait
Please Christmas, don’t be late.
• 1972 ~ Folk singer Joni Mitchell received a gold record for the album, For the Roses. The album included the song, You Turn Me on, I’m a Radio.
• 1981 ~ London was the scene of a rock ’n’ roll auction where buyers paid $2,000 for a letter of introduction from Buddy Holly to Decca Records. Cynthia and John Lennon’s marriage certificate was worth $850 and an autographed program from the world premiere of the Beatles film Help! brought $2,100.
• 1984 ~ CBS Records announced plans for the release of Mick Jagger’s first solo album, set for February,
• 1985 ~ The Rolling Stones went solo after a 20-year career with the self- proclaimed “greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.” The album: She’s the Boss.
• 2002 ~ Joe Strummer (John Mellors), who brought punk attitude and politics to one of the most significant bands in rock ‘n’ roll history, the Clash, died of a heart attack at his home in Somerset, England. He was 50. Strummer, a singer, guitarist, songwriter, activist and actor, had been touring with his band the Mescaleros since the release of their second album “Global a- Go-Go” in July 2001; the latest leg of the tour ended in November in Liverpool. The Clash, which formed in 1976, released its first album in ’77 and broke up for good in 1986, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March. The original lineup of Strummer, Mick Jones, Terry Chimes and Paul Simonon was expected to re-form for the induction ceremony and play the band’s first single, “White Riot,” at the ceremony. Although it was written as an advertising tagline, the Clash successfully lived up to its slogan as “the only band that matters.” The son of a diplomat, Strummer was born John Graham Mellor on Aug. 21, 1952, in Ankara, Turkey. He attended boarding schools in London, and as a teenager grew infatuated with reggae, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. He formed a pub band, the 101ers, in 1974, which he gave up to form the Clash with Jones, Chimes and Keith Levene. The band was playing standard rock ‘n’ roll prior to Strummer’s arrival. He added reggae to the mix and upped the ante in politics and intensity. He took a Jones tune, for example, that was a complaint about a girlfriend and turned it into one of the band’s early anthems, “I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.” “Within the Clash, Joe was the political engine of the band,” British troubadour Billy Bragg said. “Without Joe there’s no political Clash, and without the Clash the whole political edge of punk would have been severely dulled.” Jones and Strummer penned all of the tunes on their debut and often worked as a team, though later albums would have songs attributed solely to Strummer and, for their final two efforts, have all songs attributed to the band.
• 1928 ~ America’s original Funny Girl, Fanny Brice, recorded If You Want the Rainbow, a song from the play, My Man, on Victor Records.
• 1932 ~ Abbe Lane (Lassman), Singer, glamour actress, photographed in a bathtub filled with coffee, bandleader Xavier Cugat’s ex-wife
• 1932 ~ Charlie RIch, American Country and Western Singer . He began his career while serving in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950s, but did not have major success until the 70’s when he had a string of number 1 Country and Western Singles Hits including Behind Closed Doors, “The Most Beautiful Girl”, “A Very Special Love Song”, “I Don’t See Me in Your Eyes Anymore” and “I Love My Friend”. “The Most Beautiful Girl” also made number one on the US pop charts.
• 1936 ~ You Can’t Take It with You opened at the Booth Theatre in New York City.
• 1946 ~ Patty Duke, US film actress
• 1947 ~ Christopher Parkening, American guitarist
• 1953 ~ Fred Allen returned from semi-retirement to narrate Prokofiev’s classic, Peter and the Wolf, on the Bell Telephone Hour on NBC radio.
• 1963 ~ Singer Dinah Washington died in Detroit.
• 1970 ~ George Harrison received a gold record for his single, My Sweet Lord.
• 1983 ~ The musical biography of Peggy Lee opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. The show was titled Peg.
• 1984 ~ The Cotton Club opened around the U.S. There were nine classic songs by Duke Ellington on the soundtrack of the movie.
• 1990 ~ Opera lovers were turned into couch potatoes. For four evenings, starting on this day, they watched and listened to an unabridged telecast of Richard Wagner’s marathon-length opera The Ring.
• 2001 ~ Conte Candoli, a Trumpet player and staple of The Tonight Show band during Johnny Carson’s era, died of cancer. He was 74. Candoli was recognized for developing a musical style based on Dizzy Gillespie’s bebop playing, with a touch of Miles Davis and Clifford Brown. The Indiana-born Candoli, grew up surrounded by musical instruments and influences. His father, a factory worker, played the trumpet and wanted Candoli and his brother Pete to become musicians. At 16, he worked in Woody Herman’s orchestra during summer vacations. While playing in California, Candoli began his association with the then New York-based Tonight Show. In 1972, when Carson moved the show to Burbank, Candoli joined the band. He left when Carson retired in 1992.
• 1913 ~ Morton Gould, American Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, conductor and pianist
• 1924 ~ Ken Albers, Bass singer with The Four Freshmen
• 1927 ~ For the first time, famed radio announcer George Hay introduced the WSM Barn Dance as the Grand Ole Opry. The show’s title may have changed but it remained the home of country music.
• 1930 ~ Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded the haunting Mood Indigo on Victor Records. It became one of the Duke’s most famous standards.
• 1943 ~ Chad Stuart, Guitarist, lyricist, singer with the duo – Chad & Jeremy
• 1946 ~ Christopher ‘Ace’ Kefford, Bass with The Move
• 1947 ~ Walter ‘Clyde’ Orange, Drummer, singer with The Commodores
• 1948 ~ Jessica Cleaves, Singer with Friends of Distinction
• 1949 ~ Frank Beard, Drummer with ZZ Top
• 1949 ~ Fats Domino recorded his first sides for Imperial Records. The legend from New Orleans recorded The Fat Man, one of the earliest rock and roll records. The title also turned into Domino’s nickname and stayed with him through his years of success.
• 1951 ~ John (Raul) Rodriguez, Singer
• 1953 ~ Harry Belafonte debuted on Broadway in Almanac at the Imperial Theatre. Critics hailed Belafonte’s performance as “electrifyingly sincere.” Also starring in the show: Hermione Gingold, Billy DeWolfe, Polly Bergen and Orson Bean.
• 1966 ~ The Beach Boys made a one-week stop at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 asGood Vibrations made it to #1. It was the third #1 hit the group scored. The others were I Get Around and Help Me, Rhonda.
• 1967 ~ Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays (Otis’ backup group) were killed in the crash of a private plane near Madison, Wisconsin. Redding was 26 years old. His signature song, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was recorded three days before his death. It was #1 for four weeks beginning February 10, 1968. Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. The Bar-Kays biggest hit was in July, 1967: Soul Finger. James Alexander, bass player for the group, was not on the plane. Ben Cauley, trumpet player, survived the crash. The group played for a time with various new members.
• 1987 ~ Jascha Heifetz passed away
Read quotes by and about Heifetz
More information about Heifetz
• 2021 ~ Michael Nesmith, a singer and guitarist for the hit group the Monkees, died at the age of 78.
• 1667 ~ Michel Pignolet De Monteclair, French composer
• 1861 ~ Lillian Russell (Helen Louise Leonard), Singer, actress, burlesque
• 1879 ~ Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty, Irish composer, conductor, pianist and organist
• 1915 ~ Eddie Heywood, Jr., Pianist, composer
• 1927 ~ Duke Ellington’s big band opened the famed Cotton Club in Harlem. It was the first appearance of the Duke’s new and larger group. He played the club until 1932.
For part 2:
• 1934 ~ Ethel Merman recorded I Get a Kick Out of You, from Cole Porter’s musical, Anything Goes. She was backed by the Johnny Green Orchestra. The tune was recorded for Brunswick Records.
• 1934 ~ Wink (Winston Conrad) Martindale, TV host, singer
• 1938 ~ Yvonne Minton, Australian mezzo-soprano
• 1940 ~ John Cale, Bass, keyboard, viola, singer with The Velvet Underground
• 1942 ~ Bob Mosley, Bass with Moby Grape
• 1942 ~ Chris Hillman, Guitar, bass, mandolin with The Byrds
• 1944 ~ Dennis Wilson, American rock-and-roll singer and drummer
• 1948 ~ Southside Johnny (Lyon), Singer with Southside Johnny and The Asbury Dukes
• 1953 ~ Leonard Bernstein conducted at Teatro alla Scala for the first time, in a production of Cherubini’s “Medea.” Maria Callas (1923-1977) sang the title role. Bernstein was the first American to conduct at La Scala.
“Then came the famous meeting with Maria Callas [in 1953].
To my absolute amazement, she understood immediately the dramatic reasons for the transposition of scenes and numbers, and the cutting out of her aria in the second act. We got along famously – it was perfect. She understood everything I wanted, and I understood everything she wanted…Then I met the orchestra, [began 5 days of rehearsals]…and we opened.
I can tell you I was quaking as I entered that pit, because it was the first time I had ever entered a pit – and of all places, at La Scala!
The opera audience didn’t really know who I was. I felt like an interloper and a bit of a student. However, I pulled myself together and played the overture [of Medea], which is very long, and hoped for the best. It seemed as though we could never get the opera to begin. By the end of Medea, the place was out of its mind.”
Interview with John Gruen, 1972
• 1965 ~ Composer, lyricist, and singer, Jacques Brel made his American debut in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Brel composed Jackie, You’re Not Alone, If You Go Away and more.
• 1972 ~ Billy Paul from Philadelphia received a gold record for his smash hit, Me and Mrs. Jones.
• 2002 ~ Emmy-nominated pianist George Gaffney, who accompanied such musicians as Peggy Lee, Engelbert Humperdink and Sarah Vaughan, died. He was 62. Born in New York City, Gaffney began studying the piano at age 10 but switched to the trombone. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1958 to 1961, Gaffney returned to New York, where he played piano and began arranging and accompanying singers. Gaffney moved to the Chicago area in the mid-1960s and was musical director of the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wis., where he first met Vaughan. Gaffney came to California in the early 1970s and found work as a studio musician and accompanist. He worked on a number of television programs, including the TV series “Moonlighting,” and was nominated for an Emmy. From 1980 to 1990, he was Vaughan’s accompanist and musical director. He moved to Las Vegas in 1994 and worked as Humperdink’s musical director. In recent years, he also orchestrated tunes for Rita Moreno.
• 2002 ~ Mary Hansen, guitarist and vocalist with the ’90s alternative band Stereolab died. She was 36. Hansen, from Maryborough in Queensland, Australia, died in a cycling accident in London, The Independent newspaper reported Friday. Details of the accident were not available. Band spokesman Mick Houghton was quoted by The Independent as saying a truck might have backed into her, “but I really don’t know much more than that.” Hansen joined the band in 1992, two years after it was formed by Tim Gane, formerly of the band McCarthy, and his girlfriend Laetitia Sadier. Among hundreds of messages posted on the band Web site, one from a fan who identified himself as Louis called Hansen “the soul” of the band. Hansen, who played several instruments, first appeared on 1992’s LoFi single and all subsequent releases, including 1994’s Mars Audiac Quintet and 1996’s Emperor Tomato Ketchup. Stereolab had been working on a new album, expected to be released next year.
• 2003 ~ Barry Morell, a tenor who played leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera and internationally for more than two decades, died of esophageal cancer. He was 75. Morell began his career as a baritone, until he sought the guidance of former Metropolitan Opera baritone Giuseppe Danise, who told him he should be a tenor. He was best known for performing the operas of Puccini. He made his debut as Pinkerton in “Madame Butterfly” in 1955 with the New York City Center Opera Company. In 1958, he made his Met debut in the same role. He appeared in Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna and other opera houses in Europe, South America and across the United States. Among his more than 20 roles during 257 performances at the Met were Rodolfo in “LaBoheme,” Enzo in “La Gioconda” and the title roles of “Don Carlo”and “Faust”.