December 4 ~ On This Day in Music

Christmas Countdown

• 1660 ~ André Campra, French composer

• 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.”
Leonard Bernstein
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.

• 1976 ~ Baron (Edward) Benjamin Britten (of Aldeburgh) died in Aldeburgh. He was a British composer, conductor, and pianist.
More information about Britten

• 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 “La Boheme,” Enzo in “La Gioconda” and the title roles of “Don Carlo”and “Faust”.

October 26 ~ On This Day in Music

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OCMS 1685 ~ Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer and harpsichordist
More information about Scarlatti

• 1898 ~ Beryl Rubinstein, American pianist and composer

• 1911 ~ Mahalia Jackson, American soul and gospel singer

• 1913 ~ Charlie Barnet, Saxophonist, bandleader, his autobiography is Those Swinging Years

• 1934 ~ Cole Porter recorded his own composition titled, You’re the Top, from the show “Anything Goes”, on Victor.

• 1935 ~ A talented twelve-year-old sang on Wallace Beery’s NBC radio show on NBC.  Judy Garland delighted the appreciative audience. The young girl would soon be in pictures and at the top of stardom. It would be only four years before Ms. Garland (George Jessel gave her the name, thinking it would be better than her own, Frances Gumm) captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere with her performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”.

• 1944 ~ Michael Piano, Singer with The Sandpipers

• 1946 ~ Keith Hopwood, Singer, guitarist with Herman’s Hermits

• 1952 ~ NBC~TV premiered Victory at Sea. The show was the first documentary film series to gain wide acceptance. Richard Rodgers wrote the score and Robert Russell Bennett orchestrated it. No Other Love, adapted from one of the songs in the score, became a hit for Perry Como in the summer of 1953.

• 1953 ~ Keith Strickland, Drummer with The B-52s

• 1956 ~ Walter Gieseking, German pianist/composer, died at the age of 60

• 1962 ~ The Rolling Stones consisting of Keith Richard, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart and drummer Tony Chapman recorded their first demo tape at Curly Clayton Studios in Highbury, London. They recorded three songs, Jimmy Reed’s ‘Close Together’, Bo Diddley’s ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘Soon Forgotten.’

• 1965 ~ The Beatles received MBE medals from the Queen of England, as they became Members of the British Empire. Ceremonies were held at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon returned his medal four years later in protest of Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian Civil War.

• 1971 ~ Memphis minister Al Green received a gold record for his single, Tired of Being Alone.

• 1984 ~ Barbra Streisand won multiplatinum certification for three albums that reached the four-million-dollar sales mark. “Greatest Hits, Vol. II”, “Guilty”, and “A Star is Born” (with Kris Kristofferson) were honored.

• 2001 ~ Laszlo Halasz, the first music director of the New York City Opera, died at the age of 96. Halasz became the opera’s first director in 1943. During his eight-year tenure, the New York City Opera became an important training ground for young singers. The company also became an important venue for new works. Born in Hungary, Halasz studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, where his teachers included Béla Bartók, Ernst von Dohnanyi, Leo Weiner and Zoltán Kodály. He made his professional debut as a pianist in 1928, but in 1931 decided to focus on conducting. He came to New York in 1936, and when the New York City Opera was formed in the fall of 1943, Halasz was appointed its music director. The company’s first season included productions of Puccini’s “Tosca,” Flotow’s “Martha” and Bizet’s “Carmen”  Halasz conducted the company’s first American premiere, Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” in 1946, and the opera’s first world premiere, of  William Grant Still’s “Troubled Island,” with a libretto by Langston Hughes. But the opera’s board was uneasy with Halasz’s ventures into modern opera. When the board insisted in 1951 that Halasz submit his repertory plans for approval, he resigned. The board ultimately relented, but when Halasz became involved in union disputes later that year, the board fired him. After leaving City Opera, Halasz began a second career as a record producer. He also conducted opera at houses in Frankfurt, Barcelona, Budapest, London and South America. As a teacher, he was on the conducting faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, in Baltimore, and the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y.

• 2001 ~ Herbert Weissenstein, a consultant who specialized in classical music, died at the age of 56. Weissenstein began his career in 1970 as public relations director for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He moved on to the New York Philharmonic and in 1979 became director of development and strategic planning at Carnegie Hall. In 1984, he founded H.F. Weissenstein & Co., which specialized in consulting, directing seminars, and publishing articles in the fields of management and development. His clients included the Electronic Media Forum, the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater, the Manhattan Theater Club, the International Organization for the Transition of Professional dancers and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

October 15 ~ On This Day in Music

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• 1818 ~ Alexander Dreyschock, Bohemian pianist

• 1844 ~ Friedrich Niedzsche, German philosopher and composer

• 1900 ~ Boston Symphony Hall’s first concert took place

• 1906 ~ American premièr of Puccini’s opera, “Madama Butterfly”, Washington, D.C.

• 1913 ~ David Carroll, Conductor, arranger, record producer for The Diamonds and The Platters

• 1925 ~ Mickey (McHouston) Baker, Guitarist, singer in the duo, Mickey and Sylvia

• 1925 ~ Grand Ole Opry started on radio in Nashville, Tennessee (where it still originates). It was first heard on network radio in 1939. The show finally made it to TV on this day in 1955.

• 1926 ~ Karl Richter, German organist and conductor

• 1931 ~ The production of “Cat and the Fiddle” opened in New York. It played for 395 performances.

• 1932 ~ The first city-owned opera house, the War Memorial Opera House of San Francisco, opened this day. “Tosca” was the first opera presented.

• 1937 ~ Barry McGuire, Singer, songwriter with The New Christy Minstrels

• 1938 ~ Marv Johnson, Singer

• 1942 ~ Don Stevenson, Drummer, singer with Moby Grape

• 1946 ~ Richard Carpenter, Composer, singer, Grammy Award-winning group, the Carpenters

• 1948 ~ Chris De Burgh (Davidson), Singer, songwriter

• 1951 ~ I Love Lucy debuted on CBS-TV. For the next 20 years, Lucille Ball would be a TV regular. She did take 1956 off. Why? No, having little Ricky had nothing to do with it. She starred in “Damn Yankees” on Broadway that year.

• 1953 ~ Tito (Toriano) Jackson, Singer with The Jackson Five, brother of Michael,Janet, Jermaine, LaToya

• 1953 ~ “Teahouse of the August Moon” opened on Broadway to begin a long and successful run of 1,027 performances.

• 1955 ~ The Grand Ole Opry started on TV

• 1964 ~ An American treasure passed away. Cole Porter, renowned lyricist and composer, died at age 73. I’ve Got You Under My Skin and hundreds of other classics crossed all musical style and format boundaries throughout his long and rich career. More information about Porter

• 2001 ~ Etta James, the prolific jazz vocalist whose soulful, blues-influenced recordings over more than a half century won her acclaim and two Grammy nominations, died of complications from a bout with cancer. She was 72. Jones’ style was described as a cross between Billie Holiday, her idol, and Dinah Washington. She died the same day her last recording, Etta Jones Sings Lady Day, hit music stores. Born in Aiken, S.C., Jones was a teen-ager when she was discovered while competing in a contest at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Jones collaborated with such greats as Oliver Nelson, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Kenny Burrell and Cedar Walton, both in concert and on recordings. She recorded prolifically for RCA, Prestige, Muse and more recently Highnote Records. Jones earned a gold record for her 1960 recording Don’t Go to Strangers, and received a Grammy nomination in 1981 for Save Your Love For Me. She got a second Grammy nomination in 1999 for a collection of songs: My Buddy – Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson. Jones was the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Eubie Blake Jazz Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women in Jazz Foundation.

June 26: Today’s Music History

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Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

• 1284 ~ The Pied Piper exacted his revenge upon the German town of Hamelin this day. The townspeople had promised to pay the piper a large fee if he could rid their town the nasty rats running all over the place. He had played his trusty pipe and the rats had followed him out of town and into the River Weser. But once the rodents were eliminated, the local folks decided not to pay after all. The piper was not pleased and repaid the townspeople by playing his pipe for the children of Hamelin, just like he had done for the rats. And just like the rats, the children followed him out of town.

 

• 1582 ~ Johannes Schultz, Composer

• 1657 ~ Tobias Michael, Composer, died at the age of 65

• 1661 ~ Lazaro Valvasensi, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1747 ~ Leopold Jan Antonin Kozeluh, Composer

• 1778 ~ Angelo Antonio Caroli, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1798 ~ Eugene Godecharle, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1823 ~ Frederick Bowen Jewson, Composer

• 1824 ~ Moritz Furstenau, Composer

• 1836 ~ Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, author and composer of the Marseillaise, died

• 1870 ~ Wagner’s opera “Valkyrie” premiered in Munich

• 1874 ~ Mikhail Vladimirovich Ivanov-Boretsky, Composer

• 1875 ~ Camille Zeckwer, Composer

• 1878 ~ Albert Siklos, Composer

• 1891 ~ Heinrich Lemacher, Composer

• 1893 ~ “Big Bill” Broonzy, American blues singer and guitarist

• 1894 ~ Bill Wirges, American orchestra leader

• 1901 ~ William Busch, Composer

• 1902 ~ Antonia Brico, Conductor and pianist. Because there were so few opportunities for female conductors, she organized the Woman’s Symphony Orchestra in 1935.

• 1909 ~ “Col Tom” Parker (Dries Van Kruijk), Elvis Presley’s manager

• 1912 ~ Gustav Mahler’s 9th Symphony premiered in Vienna

• 1914 ~ Richard Maltby, Bandleader

• 1914 ~ Wolfgang Windgassen, German tenor with the Stuttgart Opera

• 1916 ~ Guiseppe Taddei, Italian baritone

• 1924 ~ Syd Lawrence, Bandleader

• 1924 ~ Ziegfeld Follies opened on Broadway

• 1928 ~ Jacob Druckman, American composer

• 1931 ~ Lucien Goethals, Composer

• 1933 ~ Claudio Abbado, Italian conductor
More information about Abbado

• 1933 ~ The Kraft Music Hall debuted. It turned out to be one of radio’s longest-running hits. The first program presented Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. SingerAl Jolson became the host of the show shortly thereafter. Several years later, crooner Bing Crosby was named the host. The Kraft Music Hall continued on NBC radio until 1949 and then on TV for many more years; the first year as Milton Berle Starring in the Kraft Music Hall, then Kraft Music Hall Presents: The Dave King Show followed by Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall for four seasons. From 1967 on, The Kraft Music Hall featured a different host.

• 1934 ~ Dave Grusin, Composer of film scores

• 1934 ~ Luis Felipe Pires, Composer

• 1940 ~ Billy Davis, Jr., Singer with The 5th Dimension

• 1942 ~ Larry Taylor, Musician, bass with Canned Heat

• 1943 ~ John Allen Strang, Composer

• 1943 ~ Georgie Fame (Clive Powell), Singer

• 1945 ~ Barry Schrader, Composer

• 1945 ~ Erno Rapee, Composer, died at the age of 54

• 1945 ~ Nikolay Nikolayevich Tcherepnin, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1953 ~ Ralph Ezell, American singer

• 1954 ~ Robert Davi, American opera singer/actor

• 1956 ~ Clifford Brown, American jazz trumpeter, died at the age of 25

• 1964 ~ A Hard Day’s Night was released by United Artists Records. The album featured all original material by The Beatles and became the top album in the country by July 25, 1964.

• 1965 ~ Mr. Tambourine Man, by The Byrds, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts. The song was considered by many to be the first folk-rock hit. The tune was written by Bob Dylan, as were two other hits for the group: All I Really Want to Do and My Back Pages. The group of James Roger McGinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Mike Clarke charted seven hits. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

• 1966 ~ “Time for Singing” closed at Broadway Theater New York City after 41 performances

• 1971 ~ Inia Te Wiata, opera singer, died

• 1971 ~ Juan Manen, Composer, died at the age of 88

• 1971 ~ “Man of La Mancha” closed at ANTA Washington Square Theater New York City after 2329 performances

• 1972 ~ David Lichine (Lichtenstein), Russian/American choreographer, died at the age of 61

• 1973 ~ Arnold Richardson, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1973 ~ London production of “Grease” premiered

• 1977 ~ Lou Reizner, Rock vocalist/producer, died at the age of 43

• 1977 ~ Elvis Presley sang the last performance of his career, in Indianapolis. He died two months later.

• 1981 ~ Peter Kreuder, German composer, died

• 1982 ~ André Tchaikowsy, Pianist and composer, died

• 1983 ~ Walter O’Keefe, Songwriter and TV host, died at the age of 82

• 1983 ~ “Show Boat” closed at Uris Theater New York City after 73 performances

• 1984 ~ Barbra Streisand recorded Here We Are at Last

• 1991 ~ Carmine Coppola, Composer and conductor (Godfather II), died at the age of 80

• 1994 ~ Thomas Henry Wait Armstrong, Organist, died at the age of 96

• 2001 ~ French soprano Gina Cigna, famed for singing Puccini’s “Turandot”, died at the age of 101. Born in Paris in 1900, Cigna made her stage debut at Milan’s La Scala opera house at age 27 under the name Ginette Sens. Her breakthrough came two years later when she performed in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at La Scala under her own name. Arturo Toscanini, the conductor, was particularly fond of Cigna’s expressive voice, which received widespread acclaim. An auto accident ended Cigna’s performing career in 1947. Until 1965, she coached opera singers in Milan, Siena and Canada.

May 27: Today’s Music History

 

• 1638 ~ Nicolas Forme, Composer, died at the age of 71

• 1652 ~ Jacques Huyn, Composer, died at the age of 39

• 1690 ~ Giovanni Legrenzi, Italian Composer, died at the age of 63

• 1708 ~ Jacques Danican Philidor, Composer, died at the age of 51

• 1738 ~ Bonaventura Furlanetto, Composer

• 1796 ~ James S McLean patented his piano

• 1799 ~ Jacques-François-Fromental-Elie Halévy, French composer whose five-act grand opera La Juive (1835) was, with Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, the prototype of early French grand opera.

• 1806 ~ Charles-Joseph Tolbecque, Composer

• 1819 ~ Julia Ward Howe, Battle Hymn of the Republic
More information about Howe

• 1822 ~ Joseph Joachim Raff, German composer and teacher, greatly celebrated in his lifetime but nearly forgotten in the late 20th century.

• 1822 ~ Henry Wylde, Composer

• 1840 ~ Niccolò Paganini Composer and violinist died at the age of 57. He wrote six concertos for violin.
Read quotes by and about Paganini
More information about Paganini

• 1849 ~ “Blind” Tom Bethune, Pianist and composer

• 1878 ~ Isadora Duncan, Dancer

• 1878 ~ Carlo Marsili, Composer, died at the age of 49

• 1884 ~ Bax Brod, Composer

• 1888 ~ Louis Durey, Composer

• 1891 ~ Claude Adonai Champagne, Composer

• 1900 ~ Leopold Godowsky, Jr., American musician and photographic technician primarily known as a co-developer of Kodachrome film (1935).

• 1902 ~ Celius Dougherty, Composer

• 1906 ~ First outlining of Gustav Mahler’s 6th Symphony

• 1907 ~ Felix de Nobel, Dutch orchestra leader

• 1908 ~ Harold Rome, Composer

• 1909 ~ Isador Goodman, Composer

• 1914 ~ Hugh Le Caine, Composer

• 1915 ~ Mario del Monaco, Italian opera singer famed for Verdi and Puccini

• 1928 ~ Thea Musgrave, Scottish composer, best known for her concertos operas and choral and other vocal works.

• 1929 ~ Donald Howard Keats, Composer

• 1930 ~ Eino Tamberg, Composer

• 1931 ~ Veroslav Neumann, Composer

• 1932 ~ Jeffrey Bernard, Singer

• 1935 ~ Ramsey Lewis, American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader

• 1935 ~ Elias Gistelinck, Flemish Composer

• 1939 ~ Don Williams, Country singer

• 1940 ~ Rene Koering, Composer

• 1942 ~ Priscilla Anne McLean, Composer

• 1947 ~ Liana Alexandra, Composer

• 1950 ~ Frank Sinatra made his TV debut as he appeared on NBC’s “Star-Spangled Review” with show biz legend, Bob Hope.

• 1957 ~ Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion), Singer with Siouxsie and the Banshees

• 1957 ~ That’ll be the Day, by The Crickets and featuring Buddy Holly, was released by Brunswick Records. On September 14th, the tune became the most popular record in the U.S. It was the first hit for Holly and his group after two previous releases went nowhere on Decca Records in 1956.

• 1961 ~ Singer Johnny Cash turned TV actor. He appeared on the NBC drama, “The Deputy”.

• 1972 ~ “Applause” closed at the Palace Theater in New York City after 900 performances

• 1975 ~ Paul McCartney released Venus & Mars

• 1975 ~ Andre 3000. One half of the famous hip hop duo Outkast, Andre 3000 (born Andre Lauren Benjamin), began his music career in the 1990s. He and Big Boi (Antwan Andre Patton) formed the hip hop group Outkast in 1992 and released their debut album in 1994. Andre 3000 had continued success with Outkast, becoming one of the most well-regarded rappers of the 1990s and 2000s and has won 7 Grammys.

• 1983 ~ Arnoldus Christian Vlok van Wyk, Composer, died at the age of 67

• 1988 ~ Melvin J “Cy” Oliver, American jazz composer and orchestra leader died at the age of 77

• 1994 ~ Red Rodney, Bebop-trumpeter died at the age of 66

• 1995 ~ C W Stubblefield, Music Promoter died at the age of 64

• 1995 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, Composer, died at the age of 78

• 1996 ~ Albert “Pud” Brown, Clarinetist and saxophonist died at the age of 79

• 1996 ~ Ivan Sutton, Concert Promoter died at the age of 82

• 2017 ~ Gregg Allman, the soulful singer-songwriter and rock n’ blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band with his late brother, Duane, and composed such classics as “Midnight Rider,” “Melissa” and the epic concert jam “Whipping Post,” died at age 69

 

May 6: Today’s Music History

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1896 ~ Puccini’s opera La Bohème made its world premiere in Venice

 

 

• 1913 ~ Chopin’s Polonaise, films: The Eddy Duchin Story, Hollywood Canteen, Out of this World, Diamond Horseshoe

• 1913 ~ Carmen Cavallaro, American actor and pianist (Hollywood Canteen, Diamond Horseshoe)

Yes!  Same video!

• 1915 ~ George Perle, American composer and theorist

• 1918 ~ Godfrey Ridout, Canadian composer

• 1926 ~ Marguerite Piazza (Luft), Soprano and regular on TV’s Your Show of Shows

• 1942 ~ Richard Stilwell, American baritone

• 1945 ~ Bob Seger, Singer

• 1963 ~ Ted Weems passed away. He was an American bandleader and musician.

• 1983 ~ Kai Winding passed away. He was a Danish-born American trombonist and jazz composer.

• 2002 ~ Otis Blackwell, American pianist, singer and songwriter died

April 29: Today’s Music History

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OCMS 1879 ~ Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor. Founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947 and did much to promote the works of Delius, Sibelius and Richard Strauss.
Read quotes by and about Beecham

. 1895 ~ Sir Malcolm Sargent, English conductor, born. He was in charge of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 1942 until 1948 and of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1950 until 1957.

OCMS 1899 ~ Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist, bandleader and composer
Read quotes by and about Ellington
More information about Ellington
Grammy winner

. 1913 ~ Donald Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers.

. 1925 ~ Danny Davis (George Nowland), Grammy Award-winning bandleader with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1969, Country Music Awards Instrumental Group of the Year 1969 to 1974

. 1927 ~ Carl Gardner, Singer with The Coasters

. 1931 ~ (Anthony James) Lonnie Donegan, Folk singer, musician: guitar, banjo

. 1933 ~ Rod McKuen, Singer, poet-songwriter

. 1936 ~ Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist

. 1936 ~ April Stevens (Carol Lo Tempio), Singer

. 1943 ~ Duane Allen, Singer with the Oak Ridge Boys

. 1947 ~ Tommy James (Jackson), Singer with Tommy James and The Shondells

. 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Musician, guitar and singer with Status Quo

. 1958 ~ The Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” opens for its first night in London, with Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, and Julie Andrews playing Eliza Doolittle. Tickets for the show cost just over £1, the first month is sold out before opening night.

. 1968 ~ Hair made its way from Greenwich Village to Broadway. The show certainly opened eyes. It was the first time that actors appeared nude in a Broadway musical. Hair ran for 1,844 shows on and off Broadway. It was even more successful in its London run later. Big songs from the show: Hair (The Cowsills) and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The 5th Dimension).

. 1969 ~ Sir Duke, Duke Ellington, celebrated his 70th birthday. He was honored with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government’s highest civilian honor.

. 2001 ~ Opera diva Rita Nellie Hunter, a powerful soprano celebrated for her fine Wagnerian performances, died at the age of 67. Hunter, originally from Wallasey, England, was best remembered as the quintessential Brunnhilde of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, which she performed in London, New York, Germany and Sydney. Hunter’s agile voice led her through performances of Verdi’s “Aida,” and “Macbeth,” Puccini’s “Turandot” and Strauss’ challenging “Elektra.” Despite her remarkable voice, Hunter did not reach international stardom. Her physical size, at a time when the opera was seeking slimmer performers, and the fact that she sang roles primarily in English, kept her from achieving global fame. Hunter married tenor John Darnley Thomas in 1960, and after his death in 1994, took over management of his Singing Academy in Sydney.

April 25: Today’s Music History

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. 1906 ~ John Knowles Paine died.  He was the first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music.

. 1913 ~ Earl Bostic, Saxophonist, bandleader

. 1915 ~ Italo Tajo, Italian bass

. 1915 ~ Sal Franzella, Jazz musician, alto sax, clarinet

. 1918 ~ Ella Fitzgerald, American Grammy Award-winning singer (12), jazz and popular music. She was discovered at age 16 at an amateur night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and went on to work with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

. 1923 ~ Albert King, American blues singer and guitarist

. 1923 ~ Melissa Hayden (Mildred Herman), Ballerina with the New York City Ballet

. 1926 ~ Arturo Toscanini conducted the first performance of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Turandot” at La Scala, Milan.

. 1932 ~ Gator (Willis) Jackson, Composer, tenor sax, invented the gator horn

. 1933 ~ Jerry Leiber, Record producer with Mike Stoller

. 1945 ~ Stu Cook, Bass with Creedence Clearwater Revival

. 1945 ~ Bjorn Ulvaeus, Musician, guitar, singer with Abba

. 1946 ~ The popular Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra recorded Cement Mixer for Majestic records, tapes and CDs this day. Well, not tapes and CDs. We were still listening to 78s back then … thick, heavy ones, at that.

. 1952 ~ Ketil Bjørnstad, Norwegian pianist

. 1956 ~ The rock ‘n roll legend, Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel went No.1.

. 1970 ~ DJs around the U.S. played the new number one song, ABC, quite often, as the Jackson 5 reached the number one spot in pop music for two weeks. ABC was the second of four number one songs in a row for the group from Gary, IN. I Want You Back was their first. ABC was one of 23 hits for Michael, Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Marlon. ABC was knocked out of first place by The Guess Who and their hit, American Woman.

. 1973 ~ The group, The Sweet, received a gold record for the hit Little Willy. The English rocker band recorded four hits in addition to their first million-seller, Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run, Action and Love is like Oxygen. Little Willy was a top-three hit, while the group’s other gold record winner, Fox on the Run made it to the top five.

. 2000 ~ David Merrick, one of Broadway’s most flamboyant and successful theatrical producers who created “Gypsy,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “42nd Street,” died in London at the age of 88. During his long career as arguably Broadway’s most successful producer, Merrick won all the major theatrical awards, including 10 Tony Awards just for “Hello, Dolly!” He was best-known for his musicals but he produced many non-musicals as well.

. 2007 ~ Bobby “Boris” Pickett, American singer-songwriter (Monster Mash), died from leukemia at the age of 69

March 4: Today’s Music History

 

March Forth is also known as Marching Music Day.  Find out more at https://www.maryo.co/march-forth-fourth/

Today is also  National Grammar Day.

. 1678 ~ Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Italian Baroque composer. The creator of hundreds of spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Vivaldi is widely recognized as the master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized perhaps more than any of his contemporaries. A group of four violin concerti from Vivaldi’s Op. 8, better known as “The Four Seasons”, may well be the most universally recognizable musical work from the Baroque period. Perhaps the most prolific of all the great European composers, he once boasted that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could ready the individual parts for the players in the orchestra.
More information about Vivaldi

(MaryO’Note:  Spring from The Four Seasons is available in the Piano Maestro App for piano students)

. 1801 ~ The U.S. Marine Band performed for the first time at a presidential nomination. That president was Thomas Jefferson.

. 1839 ~ Ignace Antoine Ladurner, pianist/composer, died at the age of 72

. 1875 ~ Bizet’s Carmen premier, Paris

. 1877 ~ The ballet of Swan Lake, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was performed for the first time in the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia

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. 1915 ~ Carlos Surinac, Catalan Spanish-born composer and conductor

. 1918 ~ Frank Wigglesworth, American composer

. 1925 ~ Enzo Stuarti, Opera singer

. 1928 ~ Samuel Adler, German-born American composer

. 1929 ~ Bernard Haitink, Dutch conductor

. 1932 ~ Miriam (Zensile) Makeba, South African born singer who was the first black South African to attain international stardom.

. 1934 ~ Barbara McNair, Singer, TV hostess of The Barbara McNair Show, actress

. 1942 ~ Dick Jurgen’s orchestra recorded One Dozen Roses on Okeh Records in Chicago.

. 1942 ~ The Stage Door Canteen opened on West 44th Street in New York City. The canteen became widely known as a service club for men in the armed forces and a much-welcomed place to spend what would otherwise have been lonely hours. The USO, the United Service Organization, grew out of the ‘canteen’ operation, to provide entertainment for American troops around the world.

. 1943 ~ Irving Berlin picked up the Best Song Oscar for a little ditty he had written for the film, Holiday Inn: White Christmas at the 15th Academy Awards.

. 1944 ~ Bobby Womack, Songwriter, singer

. 1948 ~ Chris Squire, Bass with Yes

. 1948 ~ Shakin’ Stevens (Michael Barratt), Singer, actor

. 1951 ~ Chris Rea, Guitarist with these groups Chris Rea Band and Ambrosia; singer, songwriter

. 1969 ~ Chastity Bono, Singer, daughter of Sonny & Cher

. 1978 ~ Andy Gibb reached the top of the music charts as (Love is) Thicker Than Water reached #1 for a two-week stay. The Bee Gees also set a record on this day as their single, How Deep Is Your Love, from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack stayed in the top 10 for an unprecedented 17 weeks.

. 1981 ~ Lyricist E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg died in an auto accident in Hollywood, CA at the age of 82. Two of his most successful hits were Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz and It’s Only a Paper Moon, popularized by Nat King Cole and many others.

. 2001 ~ Glenn Hughes, a singer who performed as the mustachioed, leather-clad biker in the disco band the Village People, died at the age of 50. The group, which was the brainchild of producer Jacques Morali, featured men dressed as an Indian, a soldier, a construction worker, a police officer, a cowboy and Hughes’ character, a biker. The band released its first single, San Francisco (You’ve Got Me), in 1977. It followed the next year with its first hit, Macho Man. The band then produced a string of hits, including Y.M.C.A., In the Navy and Go West. Collectively the Village People sold 65 million albums and singles. Although disco fell out of fashion in the 1980s, Hughes stayed with the band until 1996, when he left to sing in Manhattan cabarets.

. 2003 ~ Fedora Barbieri, a mezzo-soprano whose passionate singing sometimes stole the scene from opera diva Maria Callas, died. She was 82. Born in Trieste in 1920, Barbieri performed on stages ranging from Milan’s La Scala to New York’s Metropolitan Opera House to London’s Covent Garden. Barbieri’s career started in 1940 and for her 80th birthday, she sang the role of Mamma Lucia in Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” in Florence. Her repertoire included roles in operas by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. Barbieri died in Florence, which she had adopted as her home and where she gave many performances.

. 2003 ~ Emilio Estefan Sr., father of the Latin music mogul, died at the age of 83. Estefan Sr. played the plump and comical ambassador in a music video for the Miami Sound Machine’s hit song Conga, which featured singer Gloria Estefan, wife of Estefan Jr. The Miami Sound Machine’s office was once located in Estefan Sr.’s garage. His son later built a home for his parents on his Star Island compound. Estefan Sr. was born in Santiago de Cuba and moved to Spain with Estefan Jr. in 1966. His wife and another son stayed in Cuba because the boy was of military draft age and couldn’t leave until 1980. Estefan Sr. came to Miami in 1968, a year after Estefan Jr., and opened a clothing business in Hialeah.

. 2009 ~ Joseph Bloch died. He was an American concert pianist and professor of piano literature at the Juilliard School in New York City. During a career at Juilliard that spanned five decades, Bloch’s students included Emanuel Ax, Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter, Garrick Ohlsson, Jeffrey Siegel and Jeffrey Swann.

. 2011 ~ Johnny Preston, American pop singer (Running Bear), died at the age of 71

February 17: On This Day in Music

. 1653 ~ Arcangelo Corelli, Italian violinist and composer
More information on Corelli

. 1902 ~ Marian Anderson, American contralto
Read quotes by and about Anderson
More information on Anderson

. 1904 ~ Puccini’s opera, Madama Butterfly was first performed at La Scala, the world’s most famous opera house in Milan, Italy.

. 1909 ~ Marjorie Lawrence, Opera soprano: “One of the truest Wagnerian interpreters of our time, unchallenged for the stirring magnificence of her Brunnhilde and the tender simplicity of her Sieglinde, or the stately loveliness of her Elsa and the compelling malevolence of her Ortrud.”

 

 

. 1923 ~ Buddy (Boniface) DeFranco, Clarinetist, bandleader. He won all modern jazz music polls in the early 1950s

. 1933 ~ Bobby Lewis, Pianist, singer

. 1941 ~ Gene Pitney, Singer, songwriter

. 1945 ~ Zina Bethune, Dancer, choreographer, actress

. 1946 ~ Dodie Stevens (Geraldine Ann Pasquale), Singer

. 1954 ~ Doris Day’s single, Secret Love, became the #1 tune in the U.S. The song, from the motion picture, “Calamity Jane”, stayed at the top of the music charts for three weeks.

. 1962 ~ The Beach Boys started making waves with their first Southern California hit, Surfin’. Their new musical style swept the U.S. like a tidal wave when they hit nationally with Surfin’ Safari in August of this same year.

. 1962 ~ Gene Chandler hit #1 with Duke of Earl on this day. The song stayed at the top for three weeks. It hit #1 on the rhythm & blues charts, as well. Duke of Earl was Chandler’s biggest hit out of a half-dozen he recorded. His only other million-seller came with Groovy Situation in 1970. Curtis Mayfield wrote several hits for Chandler, including Just Be True, What Now and Nothing Can Stop Me. Chandler’s real name is Eugene Dixon. He owned his own record label, Mr. Chand, from 1969 to 1973, though Groovy Situation was recorded in 1970 for Mercury.

. 1966 ~ Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler received a gold record from RCA Victor, for both the album and the single of The Ballad of the Green Berets. Sadler, who recorded one other single (“The “A” Team”) for the label, had served in Vietnam until injuring a leg in a Viet Cong booby trap.

. 1972 ~ Billie Joe Armstrong, Grammy Award-winning singer (1994), guitarist and songwriter with Green Day

. 1998 ~ Bob Merrill passed away.  Merrill was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter.

. 2010 ~ Kathryn Grayson [Zelma Hedrick], American vocalist and actress (Anchors Aweigh, Kiss Me Kate), died of natural causes at the age of 88

. 2017 ~ Alan Aldridge, British artist, graphic designer and illustrator whose artwork was used in record covers for The Beatles and The Who, died at the age of 73