. 1887 ~ Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer and collector of Brazilian folk songs
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. 1917 ~ The first jazz recording for Victor Records was released. The Original Dixieland ‘Jass’ Band performed on the tune The Dixie Jass Band One Step. The word ‘Jass’ was later changed to ‘Jazz‘.
. 1928 ~ Lou Levy, Pianist with Supersax; recorded with Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Anita O’Day
. 1931 ~ Barry Tuckwell, Austrian French-horn player
. 1931 ~ Without a Song was recorded by Lawrence Tibbett for Victor Records. This wonderful melody came from the film, “The Southerner” and has been a hit for many, including Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
. 1947 ~ Eddie Hodges, Singer, actor
. 1948 ~ Eddy Grant, Singer, songwriter
. 1950 ~ Eugene Fodor, Violinist, made solo debut at age 10 with the Denver Symphony, won first national competition at age 12, won first prize in International Paganini Competition, won highest prize in International Tchaikovsky Competition
More information about Fodor
. 1958 ~ Andy (Andrew Roy) Gibb, Singer with the Bee Gees, host of TV’s Solid Gold
. 1960 ~ Elvis Presley returned to civilian life after a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army. Not since General Douglas MacArthur returned from battle has a soldier received such publicity. Elvis said he probably would not be growing his famous and long sideburns back, though he did relent in later years.
. 1963 ~ Patsy Cline, Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and Hankshaw Hawkins were killed in a plane crash at Camden, TN, near Nashville. The famous country music stars were returning from a benefit performance. Cline, the ‘Queen of Country Music’ was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Jessica Lange played Patsy in the 1985 biographical film, Sweet Dreams, named after one of Cline’s hugely popular songs. Willie Nelson wrote her biggest hit, Crazy, which become a number one country hit and a top 10 pop song in November, 1961.
. 1969 ~ The rock magazine, Creem, was published for the first time this day.
. 1973 ~ Roberta Flack, riding at #1 on the pop music charts with, Killing Me Softly with His Song, could hardly wait to rip into the fancy frame containing her brand new gold record. She flew to the stereo machine and set the needle down on the shiny surface, only to hear Come Softly to Me. She was so impressed by this unexpected turn of the table that she wound up humming the old Fleetwoods song for three days.
. 2016 ~ Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Austrian conductor, particularly known for his historically informed performances of music from the Classical era and earlier, died at the age of 86
. 1834 ~ Albert Heinrich Zabel, harpist and composer
. 1857 ~ Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts
. 1923 ~ Frederick A. Julliard set up a million-dollar fund to establish a music school. Today, Juilliard is one of the world’s leading music and dance schools.
. 1927 ~ David Ahlstrom, American composer
. 1931 ~ Maurice Chevalier recorded Walkin’ My Baby Back Home for Victor Records in New York City. The same tune was recorded 21 years later by Nat ‘King’ Cole and Johnny Ray. It became a major hit for both artists.
. 1945 ~ Oliver (Swofford), Singer
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley entered the music charts for the first time. Heartbreak Hotel began its climb to the number one spot on the pop listing, reaching the top on April 11, 1956. It stayed at the top for eight weeks.
. 1958 ~ Roy Hamilton’s record, Don’t Let Go, became #13 in its first week on the record charts. The song was the first stereo record to make the pop music charts. 1958 was the year for several stereo recordings, including Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes by Chuck Willis, Yakety Yak by the Coasters, Born Too Late by The Poni-Tails, It’s All in the Game by Tommy Edwards and What Am I Living For by Chuck Willis.
. 1965 ~ Filming began for The Beatles’ second movie, “HELP!”, in the Bahamas.
. 1976 ~ Florence Ballard passed away. She was an American vocalist, one of the founding members of the popular Motown vocal group the Supremes. Ballard sang on sixteen top forty singles with the group, including ten number-one hits.
. 1985 ~ Efrem A Zimbalist, Russian/US composer/violinist, died at the age of 95
. 2001 ~ Ray Hendricks, a singer of the Big Band era who performed with Benny Goodman and Betty Grable, died at the age of 88. His career took him to Hollywood and across the country with stars including Goodman, Grable, Hoagy Carmichael, Ben Bernie, Ray Noble and Sid Lippman. His earliest performances were on Spokane radio station KFPY. He soon set out for California with Bob Crosby, brother of Bing Crosby. After serving as a flying instructor in the Air Force during World War II, he returned to Spokane and formed his own orchestra. He continued playing local venues for several decades but said he regretted not pushing his career after the war.
. 1935 ~ Sonny (Salvatore) Bono, Singer in the group Sonny and Cher. He later became mayor of Palm Springs, CA and a US Congressman
. 1938 ~ John Corigliano, American composer
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. 1939 ~ Herbie & Harold Kalin, Singers, The Kalin Twins
. 1942 ~ Shep Fields and his orchestra recorded Jersey Bounce on Bluebird Records.
. 1956 ~ James Ingram, Singer
. 1963 ~ The Beatles moved to the top of the British rock charts with Please, Please Me exactly one month after the record was released. It was the start of the Beatles domination of the British music charts, as well as the beginning of the British Invasion in America and elsewhere around the world.
. 1968 ~ Elvis Presley received a gold record for his sacred album of hymns, How< Great Thou Art. Despite his popularity in the pop music world, Elvis won only 3 Grammy Awards — one for this album, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1970; then for He Touched Me in 1972. He did, however, receive over a dozen Grammy nominations.
. 1972 ~ Led Zeppelin made their Australian live debut when they kicked off a six-date tour at the Subiaco Oval, Perth. Police battled with over 500 fans who rammed locked gates trying to get into the concert. Over 4,000 fans stood outside the venue without tickets and local residents jammed police phone lines to complain about the noise.
. 2015 ~ Leslie Gore died. She was an American singer. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit “It’s My Party”, and followed it up with other hits including “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me”.
. 1914 ~ Larry Adler, Composer of movie scores such as A Cry from the Streets, Genevieve, Great Chase
. 1927 ~ Leontyne Price, American soprano, Metropolitan Opera
More information about Price
. 1929 ~ Jerry Goldsmith, pianist and composer (Twilight Zone)
. 1933 ~ The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.
. 1942 ~ Glenn Miller was awarded the first-ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of “Chattanooga Choo Choo”
. 1940 ~ Roberta Flack, American pop-soul singer
. 1944 ~ Peter Allen, Australian pop singer, songwriter and pianist
. 1942 ~ Ted Fio Rito’s orchestra recorded Rio Rita for Decca Records in Los Angeles. Bob Carroll sang on the disc that became the group’s theme song.
. 1946 ~ Donovan (Leitch), Singer
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley wiggled his way through Heartbreak Hotel this day for RCA Records in Nashville, TN. The record received two gold records, one for each side. The hit on the other side was I Was the One.
. 1960 ~ “Unsinkable Molly Brown” closed at the Winter Garden in New York City after 532 performances. Molly Brown was based on the true story of a Titanic survivor.
. 1964 ~ The Beatles, British super rock group, made their first American appearance on the Ed Sullivan TV show
. 1966 ~ Billy Rose passed away. Rose was an American impresario, theatrical showman and lyricist.
. 2002 ~ Dave Van Ronk, a New York-born guitarist and singer who was at the forefront of the Greenwich Village folk boom, died at the age of 65. A prolific musician who was nominated for a Grammy, Van Ronk offered his home as a hangout for fellow musicians in the 1960s. Among them was a young Bob Dylan. “People were always stopping by,” said Mitch Greenhill, his longtime manager. “He (Van Ronk) was one of the few guys who was working at a pretty high level who went out of his way to be friendly.” Born in Brooklyn, Van Ronk started living in Greenwich Village by the time he was a teenager. His first album, “Ballads, Blues and a Spiritual” was released in 1957. He opened his home to Dylan when the artist arrived in New York in the 1960s. Inspired by a haunting version of House of the Rising Sun, released by Van Ronk, Dylan performed it on his debut album. They also appeared together in 1974 with other singers at a benefit for Chilean political prisoners. Asked over the years about his relationship with Dylan, Van Ronk always played down his influence on Dylan by saying, “He was as big an influence on me as I was on him,” said Greenhill, who knew Van Ronk for more than 40 years. Van Ronk spent 40 years on tour, and made at least 26 albums. His most recent was last year’s “Sweet and Lowdown,” a return to his jazz roots. He received a Grammy nomination in 1996 for his record “From … Another Time and Place.” He was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
. 2006 ~ At the XX Winter Olympic Games open in Turin, Italy, Luciano Pavarotti sang “Nessun Dorma” in his last ever performance.
. 1669 ~ Miquel Lopez, composer, born. He died sometime in 1723
. 1671 ~ Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker
. 1862 ~ The Battle Hymn of the Republic was first published in “Atlantic Monthly”. The lyric was the work of Julia Ward Howe. The Battle Hymn of the Republic is still being sung and to the tune of a song titled John Brown’s Body.
. 1869 ~ Victor Herbert, Composer, cellist and conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He composed operettas such as Babes in Toyland, Naughty Marietta and songs like Ah Sweet Mystery of Life (At Last I’ve Found You)
. 1877 ~ Thomas Frederick Dunhill, English composer and writer on musical subjects
. 1894 ~ James P. Johnson, American pianist and composer (Charleston), born in New Brunswick, New Jersey
. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded his first sides for Victor Records. He did ten songs in the session and was paid only $4,000.
. 1937 ~ Don Everly born, Singer with his brother, Phil, in The Everly Brothers. Some of their hits were: Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy’s Clown and All I Have To Do Is Dream
. 1937 ~ Ray Sawyer, Singer with Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
. 1939 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded And the Angels Sing on Victor Records. The vocalist on that number, who went on to find considerable fame at Capitol Records, was Martha Tilton.
. 1940 ~ Frank Sinatra sang Too Romantic and The Sky Fell Down in his first recording session with the Tommy Dorsey Band. The session was in Chicago, IL. Frankie replaced Jack Leonard as lead singer with the band.
. 1941 ~ “Downbeat” magazine reported this day that Glenn Miller had inked a new three-year contract with RCA Victor Records. The pact guaranteed Miller $750 a side, the fattest record contract signed to that time.
. 1949 ~ RCA Victor countered Columbia Records’ 33-1/3 long play phonograph disk with not only a smaller, 7-inch record (with a big hole in the center), but an entire phonograph playing system as well. The newfangled product, the 45- rpm, which started a revolution (especially with the new rock and roll music), soon made the 78-rpm record a blast from the past.
. 1952 ~ Rick James (James Johnson), Singer
. 1954 ~ Mike Campbell, Guitarist with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
. 1968 ~ Elvis Presley celebrated the birth of his daughter, Lisa Marie. Lisa Marie married and divorced the ‘Gloved One’, Michael Jackson, in the ’90s.
. 1971 ~ The soundtrack album from the movie, “Love Story”, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, with music by Frances Lai, was certified as a gold record on this day.
. 1995 ~ Richey Edwards, guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers, vanished leaving no clues to his whereabouts. He left The Embassy Hotel in London at 7am, leaving behind his packed suitcase. His car was found on the Severn Bridge outside Bristol, England sixteen days later. Edwards has never been found, despite constant searching, and in November 2008 he was declared officially dead.
. 2002 ~ Hildegard Knef, a smoky-voiced actress and singer who starred in Germany’s first post-World War II movie and scandalized church officials with a 1951 nude scene, died of a lung infection at a Berlin hospital. She was 76. Knef became a star for her role as a former concentration camp inmate returning home in Wolfgang Staudte’s 1946 “Murderers Are Among Us.” Knef, who sometimes went as Hildegard Neff in the United States, appeared in more than 50 films, most of them made in Europe. She reportedly turned down a Hollywood studio contract after being told she would have to change her name and say she was Austrian, not German. She scandalized Roman Catholic authorities with a brief nude scene in the 1951 German film “The Story Of A Sinner.” Her work in the United States included the role of Ninotchka in Cole Porter’s Broadway musical “Silk Stockings” in the 1950s, and a supporting role in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” She launched a career as a singer in the 1960s and wrote a best-selling 1970 autobiography. She continued to act and sing almost until the end of her life, appearing as herself in the 2000 documentary “Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song” and in the 1999 German comedy, “An Almost Perfect Wedding.”
. 2003 ~ Latin jazz musician Ramon “Mongo” Santamaria, a Cuban-born percussionist and bandleader known for his conga rhythms, died in Miami at age 85. He was best known for his 1963 recording of Herbie Hancock’s song Watermelon Man, which became his first Top 10 hit. In 1959, Santamaria penned Afro Blue, which quickly became a jazz standard covered by stars such as Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. Born in Havana, Santamaria performed at Havana’s famed Tropicana Club before moving to New York City in the early 1950s, touring with the Mambo Kings and performing with Tito Puente and Cal Tjader. Santamaria recorded scores of albums in a career that spanned nearly 40 years, mixing rhythm and blues with jazz and hip-swaying conga. In 1977 he was awarded a Grammy for Best Latin Recording for his album “Amancer.” In recent years, he divided his time between Manhattan and Miami.
. 2018 ~ Alan Stout, American composer, died at the age of 85
. 2018 ~ Dennis Edwards, who joined the Temptations in 1968 and sang on a string of the group’s hits including “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Ball of Confusion” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” in an initial tenure that stretched to 1977, died at the age of 74
. 1722 ~ Johann Ernst Bach, German composer of the Bach family
. 1791 ~ Ferdinand Herold, French composer
. 1887 ~ Artur Rubinstein, Polish-born American pianist, played solo for the Berlin Symphony at the age of 12.
Read quotes by and about Rubinstein
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. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso signed his first contract with Victor Records. He had debuted at the Metropolitan Opera just two months before.
. 1927 ~ Ronnie Scott (Schatt), Jazz musician: tenor sax, bandleader, jazz club owner in London
. 1927 ~ Twenty years before the famous record by Art Mooney was recorded, Jean Goldkette and his dancing orchestra recorded, I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover. Though the name of the bandleader may not be so famous, two of his sidemen on this Victor recording session certainly were: Big band fans know Bix Beiderbecke and Joe Venuti.
. 1940 ~ “Beat the Band” made its debut on NBC radio. The band was that of Ted Weems and his 14-piece orchestra, who were joined by Elmo ‘The Whistling Troubadour’ Tanner, Harry Soskind and Country Washington. One other star of the show was a barber from Pittsburgh, PA (nearby Canonsburg, actually), who would record many hits for RCA Victor from 1943 right through the dawn of the 1970s. His name was Perry Como. Beat the Band was a funky show where listeners’ questions were selected in the hopes of stumping the band. If a listener’s question was chosen, he or she received $10. The questions were posed as riddles: What song title tells you what Cinderella might have said if she awoke one morning and found that her foot had grown too large for her glass slipper? If the band played the correct musical answer, Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?, the listener lost.
. 1943 ~ Dick Taylor, Bass, guitar with The Pretty Things
. 1944 ~ John Tavener, British avant-garde composer
More information about Tavener
. 1944 ~ Brian Keenan, Drummer with groups Manfred Mann and The Chambers Brothers
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television. No, he didn’t appear on some teenage dance show; but rather, “The Dorsey Brothers Show”, starring Tommy and Jimmy. Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed by the instruments of the Dorsey band.
. 1968 ~ Sarah McLauchlan, Singer
. 1985 ~ 45 of the world’s top recording artists were invited to an all-night recording session at the A&M studios in Los Angeles. As each of the artists walked through the studio door, they were greeted by a hand-lettered sign — put there by Lionel Richie. It simply said, “Check your ego at the door.” The session started at 10 p.m. with producer Quincy Jones conducting. At 8 o’clock the following morning, the project, “USA for Africa”, spearheaded by promoter, Ken Kragen, was recorded and mixed. The resulting song, We Are the World, featuring Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many others became the top song in the U.S. on April 13, 1985.
. 2002 ~ Michael Hammond, who became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts just a week earlier, died apparently of natural causes. He was 69. A native of Kenosha, Wis., the conductor and composer had been dean of the School of Music at Rice University in Houston when President Bush nominated him to lead the federal agency that decides grants for the arts. After being confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 20, 2001, Hammond had assumed the post-Jan. 22, 2002, and was still in the process of moving to Washington. A student of music and medicine, Hammond’s interests included music from Southeast Asia, the Renaissance and medieval times and the intersection between music and neuroscience. He received a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University. He also studied Indian philosophy and music at Dehli University in India. In 1968, he left his post as director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee to become the founding dean of music at the State University of New York at Purchase. He later served as president of the school, until he left for Rice’s Shepherd School of Music in 1986. All the while, he retained his interest in medicine, teaching neuroanatomy and physiology at Marquette Medical School and at the University of Wisconsin. Hammond also served as the founding rector of the Prague Mozart Academy in the Czech Republic, now the European Mozart Academy was on the board of the Houston Symphony, and was vice chairman of the board of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.
. 2002 ~ Steve Caldwell, who sang and played saxophone for the Swingin’ Medallions at the time of the band’s 1966 hit Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love), died of pancreatic cancer. He was 55. Caldwell was with the group from 1963 to 1969. After getting his master’s degree in chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he returned to his native Atlanta and ran the Norell temporary staffing agency until starting his own company in 1976. His wife, Lynn Caldwell, said he raised $1 million for charity through World Methodist Evangelism.
. 1889 ~ Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, American blues guitarist, folk singer and songwriter
. 1891 ~ Mischa Elman, violinist
1894 ~ Walter Hamor Piston, American composer
More information about Piston
. 1899 ~ Alexander Tcherepnin, Composer
. 1922 ~ Ray Anthony (Antonini), Bandleader
. 1926 ~ David Tudor, American pianist and composer of experimental music
. 1935 ~ Buddy Blake (Buddy Cunningham), Recording artist: recorded for Sun Records as B.B. Cunningham and Buddy Blake; record executive: Cover Record Co., Sam Phillips’ Holiday Inn label
. 1941 ~ Ron Townson, Singer with The 5th Dimension
. 1942 ~ Harry Babbitt sang as Kay Kyser and his orchestra recorded, Who Wouldn’tLove You, on Columbia Records. The record went on to be a big hit for Kyser.
. 1947 ~ George Grantham, Drummer with Poco
. 1958 ~ The rock ‘n’ roll classic, Get a Job, by The Silhouettes, was released.
. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley got a little U.S. mail this day with greetings from Uncle Sam. The draft board in Memphis, TN ordered the King to report for duty; but allowed a 60-day deferment for him to finish the film, “King Creole”.
. 1964, The Beatles, a British rock group, released its first LP album, “Meet The Beatles“, in the US record stores. The album turned out to be a super hit and reached #1 position on music charts by early February.
. 1965 ~ John Michael Montgomery, Country singer
. 1965 ~ Alan Freed, the ‘Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, died in Palm Springs, CA. Freed was one of the first radio disc jockeys to program black music, or race music, as it was termed, for white audiences. In the 1950s, Freed, at WJW Radio in Cleveland, coined the phrase, “rock ‘n’ roll,” before moving to WABC in New York. He was fired by WABC for allegedly accepting payola (being paid to play records by certain artists and record companies). The 1959-1960 congressional investigation into payola made Freed the scapegoat for what was a widespread practice. Freed, not so incidentally, died nearly penniless after the scandal was exposed.
. 2002 ~ Actress, writer and musician Carrie Hamilton, daughter of actress Carol Burnett, died of cancer. She was 38. Hamilton, whose father was the late producer Joe Hamilton, appeared in the television series “Fame” and had guest roles on other shows, including “Murder She Wrote,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “thirtysomething.” She also starred in television movies. She and her mother collaborated on a stage version of Burnett’s best-selling memoir “One More Time.” The resulting play, “Hollywood Arms,” will have its world premiere in Chicago in April, said Burnett’s publicist, Deborah Kelman. Hamilton spoke publicly in the ’80s about her struggles with addiction and her decision to go drug-free. She starred as Maureen in the first national touring version of the musical “Rent” and wrote and directed short films through the profit-sharing production company Namethkuf. She won “The Women in Film Award” at the 2001 Latino Film Festival for her short film “Lunchtime Thomas.”
. 2002 ~ John Jackson, who went from gravedigger to one of the pre-eminent blues musicians in the country, died from kidney failure. He was 77. During his long career, Jackson played for presidents and in 68 countries. Jackson earned a living as a cook, a butler, a chauffeur and a gravedigger before his music career took off. He was playing guitar for some friends at a gas station in Fairfax in 1964 when Charles L. Perdue, who teaches folklore at the University of Virginia, pulled in to get some gas. He listened as Jackson taught a song to a mailman he knew. He and Jackson became friends, and Perdue eventually helped launch Jackson’s career by introducing him to people in the music business. The seventh son of 14 children, Jackson had just three months’ education at the first-grade level. But he earned the admiration of fans from all walks of life around the world. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger are among the performers he has played with and befriended. Among his numerous awards is the National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage Fellowship Award, which he received in 1986.
. 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.
. 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.
. 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.
. 1715 ~ Jacques Duphly, French harpsichordist and composer.
.1782 ~ On this day Mozart wrote a letter to his father about Muzio Clementi. He said: “Clementi plays well, as far as execution with the right-hand goes. His greatest strength lies in his passages in 3rds. Apart from that, he has not a kreuzer’s worth of taste or feeling – in short he is a mere mechanicus.”
. 1876 ~ Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian Opera Composer
. 1905 ~ Tex (Woodward Maurice) Ritter, Country singer, actor, John Ritter’s father
. 1921 ~ The opening of Town Hall in New York City, an important new concert hall
. 1926 ~ Ray Price, Singer
. 1926 ~ Morton Feldman, American composer, born in NYC, New York
. 1928 ~ Vladimir Horowitz debuted as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the very same night that Sir Thomas Beecham gave his first public performance in the United States.
. 1930 ~ Glenn Yarbrough, Singer with The Limeliters
. 1933 ~ Václav Suk, Czech-born Russian composer and violinist, died at the age of 71
. 1939 ~ William Lee Golden, Singer with The Oak Ridge Boys
. 1939 ~ The Ink Spots gained national attention after five years together, as they recorded If I Didn’t Care. Many other standards by the group soon followed.
. 1946 ~ Cynthia Robinson, Singer, trumpeter with Sly and the Family Stone
. 1949 – Arthur Godfrey and His Friends was first seen on CBS-TV this day. The program stayed on the network for seven years.
. 1959 ~ Per Gessle, Guitarist, singer with Roxette
. 1963 ~ Songwriter Bob Dylan sang Blowin’ In the Wind on the BBC radio presentation of “The Madhouse on Castle Street”. The song soon became one of the classics of the 1960s protest movement.
. 1985 ~ After a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince (now known as The Artist Previously Known as Prince) slipped to the #2 spot with Purple Rain. Replacing Prince at the top spot: ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen’s Born In the USA, which spent 24 weeks waiting for Purple Rain to fall.
. 1995 ~ Laurel McGoff, American singer
. 2001 ~ Luis Floriano Bonfa, the master guitarist and composer who helped found Bossa Nova music, died of cancer at the age of 78. Bonfa, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in Oct. 17, 1922, began composing in the 1940s and launched his career as a solo artist in 1952. Better known abroad than at home, Bonfa became internationally famous for his contributions to the soundtrack of Marcel Camus’ 1959 classic film “Black Orpheus.” The film introduced an international audience to Bossa Nova – a more sophisticated and less percussive samba style – and made Bonfa and fellow composer Antonio Carlos Jobim stars. “Bonfa plays the guitar like no other, in a very personal, charismatic style. His guitar is a little orchestra,” the late composer Jobim once said. His reputation grew further when he was a featured performer at the Bossa Nova festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1962. He was even more famous for his more than 500 compositions especially Manhade Carnaval andSamba de Orpheu. Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley recorded songs written by Bonfa. In recent years, his productivity slowed. His last major label release “The Bonfa Magic,” was recorded in 1991.
. 2001 ~ Opera singer Kyra Vayne, a star of the 1940s and 1950s whose talents were rediscovered in the 1990s, died at age 84. The Russian-born soprano was born in St. Petersburg. Vayne fled the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution with her family and was eight years old when her family settled in London. She began a successful opera career in the 1940s, and sang for allied troops during World War II. She later joined the Russian Opera Company, then based at London’s Savoy Theater. Her career collapsed in 1957 when her agent, Eugene Iskoldoff, committed suicide, and for the next 35 years she worked as a secretary for the British Broadcasting Corp.
In the early 1990s, a music company released four recordings of her voice, leading the U.S. music magazine “Fanfare” to ask, “How is it possible that such a singer has not come down to us as one of the century’s most celebrated sopranos?” Soon afterward, Arcadia Books published her autobiography, “A Voice Reborn,” which tenor Placido Domingo described as having “all the elements of an opera.” At the end of 1999, nearly 80 years after she fled Russia, Vayne was invited to perform at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater to mark the new millennium – her first public performance in 40 years. “For me to sing at the Bolshoi is beyond any fairy tale,” she said at the time. “I am not worried about singing in public again after so long, but I am fearful of the emotional impact.” Vayne never married and had no children.
. 2003 ~ Maurice Gibb, a member of the famed disco band the Bee Gees, died at a Miami Beach hospital. He was 53. Gibb, joined with his older brother and his twin to harmonize their way to becoming one of the best selling musical groups ever. Gibb played bass and keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb. In a 1978 interview with TG Magazine, Gibb lamented the perception that the Bee Gees were only a disco band. “People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now,” Gibb said. “But they don’t know what they’re talking about. If you listen to our records, you’ll find that there’s dance music. But there are also ballads like More Than A Woman. And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too.” The Bee Gees – twins Maurice and Robin, and their older brother Barry – have lived in South Florida since the late 1970s. Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment. Chris Hutchins, a writer and former press agent for the Bee Gees, said Maurice was “very much a tormented soul.” “He was not the star (of the Bee Gees), and he knew it, he felt it,” Hutchins told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. Known for their close harmonies and original sound, the Bee Gees are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their 1977 contributions to the “Saturday Night Fever” album made it the best selling movie soundtrack ever with more than 40 million copies sold. Among their disco hits on that album are Stayin’ Alive, More Than a Woman and How Deep Is Your Love and Night Fever. The group won seven Grammy Awards. The Bee Gees last album was in 2001, entitled “This Is Where I Came In.” The family emigrated from England to Australia in 1958, and the brothers soon gained fame as a teen pop group. They returned to England in the 1960s, and their first four albums contained hits such as 1941 New York Mining Disaster, To Love Somebody and their first U.S. number one song, 1971’s How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.
The Bee Gees followed “Saturday Night Fever” with the 1978 album “Spirits Having Flown” which sold 20 million copies. The brothers wrote and produced songs for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick in the 1980s. They also wrote the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit Islands in the Stream. The Bee Gees released three studio albums and went on a world tour in the 1990s. The live album from the tour “One Night Only,” sold more than 1 million albums in the United States. The Bee Gees run a music production company in Miami called Middle Ear Studios. Gibb’s first wife was British singer Lulu. He and his second wife, Yvonne, were married for more than 20 years and had two children.