July 11 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1768 ~ Jose Melchior de Nebra Blascu, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1781 ~ Adolph Carl Kunzen, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1824 ~ Adolphe-Abraham Samuel, Composer

• 1826 ~ Carl Bernhard Wessely, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1836 ~ Carlos Gomez, Composer

• 1837 ~ Paul Lacombe, Composer

• 1857 ~ Iacob Moresianu, Composer

• 1861 ~ Anton Stepanovich Arensky, Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

• 1862 ~ Liza Nina Mary Frederica Lehmann, Composer

• 1892 ~ Giorgio Federico Ghedini, Composer

• 1897 ~ Blind Lemon Jefferson, Singer

• 1914 ~ Ahti Sonninen, Composer

• 1916 ~ Howard Brubeck, Composer

• 1918 ~ Enrico Caruso bypassed opera for a short time to join the war (WWI) effort. Caruso recorded Over There, the patriotic song written by George M. Cohan.

• 1920 ~ Yul Brynner (Taidje Khan), Academy & Tony Award-winning actor in The King and I

• 1925 ~ Mattiwilda Dobbs, American soprano

• 1925 ~ Nicolai Gedda, Swedish tenor

• 1926 ~ Rodolfo Arizaga, Composer

• 1927 ~ Herbert Blomstedt, American-born Swedish conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1954 until 1961

• 1928 ~ Robert Washburn, Composer

• 1929 ~ Hermann Prey, German baritone

• 1931 ~ Thurston Harris, American vocalist

• 1931 ~ Tab Hunter (Arthur Gelien), Singer

• 1932 ~ Alex Hassilev, American vocalist with the Limeliters

• 1937 ~ George Gershwin, Composer of An American Paris, died at the age of 38
More information about Gershwin

• 1938 ~ Terry Garthwaite, American guitarist and singer

• 1944 ~ Bobby Rice, Singer

• 1945 ~ Debbie Harry, Singer

• 1947 ~ Jeff Hanna, Singer, guitarist with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

• 1950 ~ Patty Pointer, Singer with Pointer Sisters

• 1950 ~ Timotei Popovici, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1951 ~ Bonnie Pointer, Singer with Pointer Sisters

• 1957 ~ Peter Murphy, Singer with Bauhaus

• 1959 ~ Richie Sambora, Guitarist

• 1964 ~ 18-year-old Millie Small was riding high on the pop music charts with My Boy Lollipop. Rod Stewart played harmonica. Millie Small was known as the ’Blue Beat Girl’ in Jamaica, her homeland.

• 1967 ~ Kenny Rogers formed The First Edition just one day after he and members Thelma Camacho, Mike Settle and Terry Williams left The New Christy Minstrels. The First Edition hosted a syndicated TV variety show in 1972.

• 1969 ~ David Bowie released Space Oddity in the UK for the first time. It was timed to coincide with the Apollo moon landing but had to be re-released before it became a hit, later in the year in the UK (but not until 1973 in the US).

• 1969 ~ Rolling Stones released Honky Tonk Woman

• 1973 ~ Alexander Vasilyevich Mosolov, Russian Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1980 ~ Boleslaw Woytowicz, Composer, died at the age of 80

• 1984 ~ Karel Mengelberg, Composer, died at the age of 81

• 1993 ~ Mario Bauza, Cuban/American jazz musician ~ died at the age of 82

• 1994 ~ Charles “Lefty” Edwards, Saxophonist, died at the age of 67

• 1994 ~ Lex P Humphries, Drummer, died at the age of 57

• 1996 ~ Louis Gottlieb, Musician, died at the age of 72

• 1999 ~ Big band jazz singer Helen Forrest died

• 2001 ~ Herman Brood, an artist and musician in the Dutch rock scene for 30 years, died at the age of 55. Brood became a sensation with his 1978 hit single Saturday Night, which he wrote as leader of the band Wild Romance. Over 25 years, he recorded nearly 20 albums. He also appeared in Dutch movies.

• 2002 ~ Blues singer Rosco Gordon died of a heart attack. He was 74. Rosco was known for 1950s hits including Booted, No More Doggin’, Do the Chicken and Just a Little Bit, which sold more than 4 million copies in covers by Etta James, Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Jerry Butler. His offbeat, rhythmic style influenced the early sounds of ska and reggae after he toured the Caribbean in the late ’50s. Gordon quit the music business in the 1960s and invested his winnings from a poker game in a dry cleaning business. He started his own record label in 1969 and returned to concert performances in 1981.

February 5 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1916 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded O Solo Mio for the Victor Talking Machine Company, which eventually became Victor Records, then RCA Victor.

. 1921 ~ Sir John Pritchard, British conductor

. 1928 ~ Singer Jessica Dragonette was seen on one of the first television shows. She was used only to test the new medium. She didn’t even get to sing.

. 1930 ~ Don Goldie, Trumpeter on Basin Street Blues with vocals by Jack Teagarden

. 1931 ~ Eddie Cantor’s long radio career got underway as he appeared on Rudy Vallee’s “The Fleischmann Hour”.

. 1933 ~ Claude King, Singer

. 1940 ~ One of the great classic songs of the Big Band era was recorded. Glenn Miller and his band played Tuxedo Junction at the RCA Victor studios in Manhattan. The flip side of the record (released on the Bluebird label) was Danny Boy.

. 1941 ~ Barrett Strong, Singer, songwriter

. 1942 ~ Cory Wells, Singer with Three Dog Night

. 1943 ~ Charles Winfield, Musician with Blood, Sweat and Tears

. 1958 ~ A year after its founding, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) formed a New York chapter. NARAS is better known as the Grammy Awards organization.

. 1961 ~ The Shirelles were winding up their first week at #1 on the music charts with Will You Love Me Tomorrow. The song was at the top for two weeks. It was the group’s first #1 tune and the first #1 tune from the pen of a New York Brill Building songwriter who worked right down the hall from Neil Sedaka. She became a huge star in her own right with several #1 singles and albums in the 1970s. Her name: Carole King.

. 1969 ~ Bobby Brown, Grammy Award-winning singer, married singer, Whitney Houston

. 2003 ~ Clyde Douglas Dickerson, 80, a saxophone player who played for four decades at Washington area jazz clubs and held down a day job for 20 years as doorman at the Watergate Hotel, died after a stroke. Mr. Dickerson, known as “Watergate Clyde,” appeared at such spots as Blues Alley, Pigfoot and One Step Down and at jazz joints along 14th Street NW. He freelanced for a number of decades as far away as Upstate New York and Ohio. He collaborated with pianist and trumpet player Jimmy Burrell at the old Crow’s Toe at 10th and K streets NW, the Chaconia Lounge on upper Georgia Avenue NW and Today’s in Rockville. Mr. Dickerson also played with performers who included Oran “Hot Lips” Page, the Mangione brothers, ex-Temptation David Ruffin and Rick James. He also appeared in a Lester Young tribute with Shirley Horn and saxmen Byron Morris and Ron Holloway.

His last performance was on Capitol Hill, at Ellington’s at Eighth, shortly before his death. Washington Post staff writer Eve Zibart wrote of Mr. Dickerson that he might once have thought of himself as a musician who worked hotels on the side, but over the years the occupations began to blur. “You take Rostropovich,” Mr. Dickerson said of the National Symphony Orchestra conductor. “Slava gets up there, and whatever composer it is, he can read the score and tell what the composer felt, and he can get that out to the musicians. “It’s the same with being a doorman: If you really know the general manager, you know how he feels about the hotel — it’s like his home, and the people coming in are like his personal guests. I’m the substitute for the general manager . . . playing the overture to the hospitality.” Zibart interviewed him in 1988, his 16th year at the hotel, shortly after the Watergate management threw him a birthday party.

It featured Gerard Schwarz, guest conductor of the Washington Opera and a trumpet virtuoso; pianist Christopher Norton; Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), sponsor of a bill recognizing jazz as a national treasure — and a birthday cake topped by a saxophone. Mr. Dickerson was born in Bristol, Tenn. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

January 28 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 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
More information about Rubinstein

. 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.

. 1929 ~ Acker (Bernard) Bilk, Clarinetist, composer

. 1938 ~ Bill Phillips, Country singer

. 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

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Nikolayavich Baryshnikov, Russian-born American ballet dancer Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Others

. 1959 ~ Dave Sharp, Guitarist with The Alarm

. 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.

January 13 ~ This Day in Music History

friday-the-13

 

 

. 1683 ~ Johann Christoph Graupner, German harpsichordist and composer of high Baroque music who was a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel.

. 1690 ~ Gottfried Heinrich Stolzel, German Baroque composer.

. 1842 ~ Heinrich Hofmann, German pianist and composer

. 1854 ~ The first patent for an accordion was issued to Anthony Fass, of Philadelphia, PA

. 1866 ~ Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov, Russian composer

. 1884 ~ Sophie Tucker (Abuza), Russian-born American burlesque and vaudeville singer

. 1904 ~ Richard Addinsell was born
More information about Addinsell

. 1909 ~ Quentin ‘Butter’ Jackson, Trombonist, played with Duke Ellington

. 1910 ~ Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn were heard via a telephone transmitter; rigged by DeForest Radio-Telephone Company to broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

. 1925 ~ Gwen Verdon (Gwyneth Evelyn Verdon), Dancer, Tony Award-winning Actress

. 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 the Races”, 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.

November 16, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1569 ~ Birth of German organist and composer Paul Sartorius in Nuremberg. d-28 February 1609, Innsbruck.

• 1615 ~ Birth of French violinist and composer Guillaume Dumanoir, II. He composed dance music enjoyed by Louis XIV

• 1667 ~ Death of composer Nathaniel Schnittelbach, at 34. b-1633.

• 1715 ~ Birth of composer Girolamo Abos on the island of Malta. Italian opera and church music.

• 1720 ~ Birth of Italian composer Carlo Antonio Campioni.

• 1757 ~ Birth of American composer Daniel Read, of the First New England School, and one of the primary figures in early American classical music. d-4 DEC 1836.

• 1775 ~ Death of German composer Karl Marian Paradeiser, at 28.

• 1780 ~ Birth of English composer Robert Archibald Smith.

• 1840 ~ Birth of composer Frederick Scotson Clark.

• 1848 ~ Frédéric Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.

• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.

• 1852 ~ Birth of American soprano Minnie Hauk in NYC. d-near Lucerne, 6 FEB 1929.

• 1854 ~ First Performance of Anton Rubinstein‘s Ocean Symphony in Leipzig.

• 1860 ~ Birth of Viennese harpist Edmund Scheucker.

• 1861 ~ Birth of composer Vaclav Suk.

• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.

• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.

• 1870 ~ Birth of Australian composer Alfred Hill in Melbourne. d-Sydney, 30 OCT 1960.

• 1873 Birth of Swedish tenor David Karl Björling, in Harmånger parish of northern Sweden’s Hälsingland province. d. Aug. 16, 1926.

• 1873 ~ W.C. Handy, American blues composer and bandleader
More information about Handy

• 1889 ~ George S. (Simon) Kaufman, Playwright: The Cocoanuts, A Night at the Opera, with Moss Hart, The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can’t Take It with You

• 1894 ~ Debut of opera star Enrico Caruso in Mario Morelli’s L’Amico Francesco at Naples Teatro Nuovo.

1895 ~ Paul Hindemith, German-born American composer and conductor
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• 1896 ~ Lawrence Mervil Tibbett, American baritone

• 1905 ~ Eddie (Albert) Condon, Guitarist, bandleader, promoter of Dixieland Jazz

• 1908 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini made his debut in the United States this day. He appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, conducting Aida.

• 1931 ~ Bob Gibson, Singer, songwriter, leader of folk music movement in late ’50s, duo of Gibson and (Bob) Camp

• 1932 ~ The Palace in New York City closed its doors. It was the most famous vaudeville theater in America. Later, it became a movie house with live performances preceding the flicks; most notably: the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their heyday.

• 1935 ~ The Rodgers and Hart musical, Jumbo, opened in New York City for a run of 233 performances.

• 1937 ~ Bob Crosby and his orchestra recorded South Rampart Street Parade on Decca Records.

• 1945 ~ Martine Van Hammel, Ballet, American Ballet Theatre

• 1955 ~ ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford drove to the top spot on the record charts on this day. Sixteen Tons, where he owed his “soul to the company store…”, became the fastest-selling record in history, jumping to #1 in just 3 weeks. The tune, on Capitol Records, stayed at #1 for eight weeks.

• 1970 ~ Anne Murray received a gold record for Snowbird. She was the first Canadian recording artist to receive a gold record.

• 2000 ~ Russ Conway, a British pianist known as the “Prince Charming of Pop” who sold
More than 30 million records in the 1950s and ’60s, died at age 75. He had 17 consecutive hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and won a silver disc when his record Roulette topped 250,000 sales – a total rapidly equaled by three other hits, Sidesaddle, China Tea and Snow Coach. Conway’s formal piano education consisted of one lesson at age 4. He left school at 14 and got work in a lawyer’s office. But he was sent to juvenile detention for three years for taking money he found in a package. In a detention center, he found a piano to play. While doing a stint as a pianist in a club, he was discovered by choreographer Irving Davies. He went on to provide piano accompaniment to a string of singers. Soon he was composing the songs that made him famous and won him the nicknames “Prince Charming of Pop” and the “Sheik of the Keyboard.”

• 2001 ~ Blue guitarist and singer Isaac Scott, a major figure in the city’s music scene for more than a quarter century, died of complications from diabetes. He was 56. A stream of musicians paid their respects to Scott, said his ex-wife, Eloise DePoe. He was found in his apartment Nov. 4 and never regained consciousness. Scott recorded several albums, including “The Isaac Scott Band,” “Big Time Blues Man” and “High Class Woman.” He also appeared on the compilation albums “Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival” and “Live at the Roadhouse.” Primarily a “cover artist,” Scott did not write his own songs, which hindered national recognition. But he received several local honors, including the Washington Blues Society’s Hall of Fame (1991) and lifetime-achievement (2000) awards. He also performed at last year’s opening of the Experience Music Project. Scott taught himself piano and guitar, and started out playing gospel music, once touring the West Coast with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. In 1974, he turned his attention to blues, with a sound flavored by his love of Seattle-born guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Like Albert Collins, an early influence, Scott played electric guitar with his thumb instead of a pick, which contributed to his distinctive sound. He also was known for his stamina, often playing two- and three-hour sets.

• 2001 ~ Tommy Flanagan, a jazz pianist who worked with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, died of an arterial aneurysm. He was 71. Flanagan, part of his own classic jazz trio, accompanied Fitzgerald for 20 years, also acting as her musical director. He also worked for Tony Bennett. He became a celebrated figure in jazz with such trio albums as “Jazz Poet” (1989) and “Let’s” (1993). Flanagan’s trio included bassists George Mraz and Peter Washington, and drummers Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash and Albert Heath. Flanagan won the distinguished Danish Jazzpar Prize in 1993. Born in Detroit, Flanagan was the youngest of six children. He recorded “Sunset and the Mockingbird: The Birthday Concert,” live at the Vanguard in 1998. He was to appear at Iridium this holiday season.

August 2, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today
• 1891 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, British composer
Read quotes by and about Bliss

• 1900 ~ Helen Morgan (Riggins), Pop Singer

• 1905 ~ Karl Amadeus Hartmann, German composer

• 1924 ~ Joe Harnell, Conductor and arranger

• 1925 ~ John Dexter, Opera director, Mid-America Chorale

• 1921 ~ Enrico Caruso, Italian operatic tenor, died in Naples.

• 1926 ~ The first demonstration of the Vitaphone system, that combined picture and sound for movies, was held at the Warner Theatre in New York City. John Barrymore and Mary Astor starred in the demonstration film for the new moving picture projector.

• 1935 ~ Hank Cochran, Pop Singer and songwriter

• 1937 ~ Garth Hudson, Musician, keyboard with The Band

• 1937 ~ Benny Goodman and his quartet recorded Smiles for Victor Records. Playing with Goodman’s clarinet on the famous song were Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa.

• 1939 ~ Edwin Patten, Singer with Gladys Knight & The Pips

• 1941 ~ Doris Kenner-Jackson (Coley), Singer with The Shirelles

• 1943 ~ Kathy Lennon, Singer with The Lennon Sisters

• 1951 ~ Andrew Gold, Singer, son of composer Ernest Gold

• 1991 ~ Jeri Southern passed away

• 1997 – Nigeria’s musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who popularized the Afro-music beat globally, died of AIDS aged 58.

• 2000 ~ Helen Quinn, who for more than 30 years presided over the Metropolitan Opera patrons who lined up to buy standing-room tickets, died at the age of 76. Often called the Queen of Standees by those who allowed her to take charge of the ticket queue, Quinn was herself a veteran of standing-room lines at the Met, and attended five or six performances a week, almost always as a standee. In 1966, on her own initiative, she imposed a system on the standee process that the throng of regulars was apparently happy to abide by, and to which the Met gave tacit approval.

• 2001 ~ Ron Townson, the portly centerpiece singer for the Grammy-winning pop group  The 5th Dimension, died of renal failure after a four-year battle with kidney disease. He was 68.  Other members of the reconstituted group – known for such 1960s hits as Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In, Wedding Bell Blues and Stoned Soul Picnic – performed at the Capitol Fourth music and fireworks show on July 4 in Washington, D.C.   Declining health had forced Townson to retire from The 5th Dimension in 1997, bringing to an end a career that saw him tour with such music legends as Nat ‘King’ Cole and Dorothy Dandridge, appear in operas and direct choirs. He helped front The 5th Dimension when the group’s smooth mixture of pop, jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues won it four Grammys in 1968 for the Jimmy Webb song Up Up and Away. Other hits included One Less Bell to Answer and Sweet Blindness. As various members left The 5th Dimension in the 1970s to pursue solo projects, Townson formed the group Ron Townson and Wild Honey. Later, he reunited with McLemore and LaRue in a new version of The 5th Dimension that included Phyllis Battle and Greg Walker. He also appeared on television and in films, including the 1992 movie The
Mambo Kings.

• 2002 ~ Freidann Parker, co-founder of the Colorado Ballet, died at the age of 77.  Colorado Ballet co-founder Lillian Covillo met Parker in the late 1940s in a dance class taught by Martha Wilcox. The two began the Covillo-Parker School of Dance, and then a fledgling ballet company.After an ambitious double bill in 1961, they created Colorado Concert Ballet, which presented Denver’s first Nutcracker the following season. Every performance sold out. By 1978, the board of directors more than doubled its budget to $100,000, and Colorado Ballet was born. Today its budget has grown to $7 million with a roster of 40 dancers. Parker’s first dance lessons were with Iris Potter. She later trained with modern-dance pioneer Hanya Holm.

July 11, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1768 ~ Jose Melchior de Nebra Blascu, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1781 ~ Adolph Carl Kunzen, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1824 ~ Adolphe-Abraham Samuel, Composer

• 1826 ~ Carl Bernhard Wessely, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1836 ~ Carlos Gomez, Composer

• 1837 ~ Paul Lacombe, Composer

• 1857 ~ Iacob Moresianu, Composer

• 1861 ~ Anton Stepanovich Arensky, Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

• 1862 ~ Liza Nina Mary Frederica Lehmann, Composer

• 1892 ~ Giorgio Federico Ghedini, Composer

• 1897 ~ Blind Lemon Jefferson, Singer

• 1914 ~ Ahti Sonninen, Composer

• 1916 ~ Howard Brubeck, Composer

• 1918 ~ Enrico Caruso bypassed opera for a short time to join the war (WWI) effort. Caruso recorded Over There, the patriotic song written by George M. Cohan.

• 1920 ~ Yul Brynner (Taidje Khan), Academy & Tony Award-winning actor in The King and I

• 1925 ~ Mattiwilda Dobbs, American soprano

• 1925 ~ Nicolai Gedda, Swedish tenor

• 1926 ~ Rodolfo Arizaga, Composer

• 1927 ~ Herbert Blomstedt, American-born Swedish conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1954 until 1961

• 1928 ~ Robert Washburn, Composer

• 1929 ~ Hermann Prey, German baritone

• 1931 ~ Thurston Harris, American vocalist

• 1931 ~ Tab Hunter (Arthur Gelien), Singer

• 1932 ~ Alex Hassilev, American vocalist with the Limeliters

• 1937 ~ George Gershwin, Composer of An American Paris, died at the age of 38
More information about Gershwin

• 1938 ~ Terry Garthwaite, American guitarist and singer

• 1944 ~ Bobby Rice, Singer

• 1945 ~ Debbie Harry, Singer

• 1947 ~ Jeff Hanna, Singer, guitarist with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

• 1950 ~ Patty Pointer, Singer with Pointer Sisters

• 1950 ~ Timotei Popovici, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1951 ~ Bonnie Pointer, Singer with Pointer Sisters

• 1957 ~ Peter Murphy, Singer with Bauhaus

• 1959 ~ Richie Sambora, Guitarist

• 1964 ~ 18-year-old Millie Small was riding high on the pop music charts with My BoyLollipop. Rod Stewart played harmonica. Millie Small was known as the ’Blue Beat Girl’ in Jamaica, her homeland.

• 1967 ~ Kenny Rogers formed The First Edition just one day after he and members Thelma Camacho, Mike Settle and Terry Williams left The New Christy Minstrels. The First Edition hosted a syndicated TV variety show in 1972.

• 1969 ~ David Bowie released Space Oddity in the UK for the first time. It was timed to coincide with the Apollo moon landing but had to be re-released before it became a hit, later in the year in the UK (but not until 1973 in the US).

• 1969 ~ Rolling Stones released Honky Tonk Woman

• 1973 ~ Alexander Vasilyevich Mosolov, Russian Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1980 ~ Boleslaw Woytowicz, Composer, died at the age of 80

• 1984 ~ Karel Mengelberg, Composer, died at the age of 81

• 1993 ~ Mario Bauza, Cuban/American jazz musician ~ died at the age of 82

• 1994 ~ Charles “Lefty” Edwards, Saxophonist, died at the age of 67

• 1994 ~ Lex P Humphries, Drummer, died at the age of 57

• 1996 ~ Louis Gottlieb, Musician, died at the age of 72

• 1999 ~ Big band jazz singer Helen Forrest died

• 2001 ~ Herman Brood, an artist and musician in the Dutch rock scene for 30 years, died at the age of 55. Brood became a sensation with his 1978 hit single Saturday Night, which he wrote as leader of the band Wild Romance. Over 25 years, he recorded nearly 20 albums. He also appeared in Dutch movies.

• 2002 ~ Blues singer Rosco Gordon died of a heart attack. He was 74. Rosco was known for 1950s hits including Booted, No More Doggin’, Do the Chicken and Just aLittle Bit, which sold more than 4 million copies in covers by Etta James, Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Jerry Butler. His offbeat, rhythmic style influenced the early sounds of ska and reggae after he toured the Caribbean in the late ’50s. Gordon quit the music business in the 1960s and invested his winnings from a poker game in a dry cleaning business. He started his own record label in 1969 and returned to concert performances in 1981.