• 1695 ~ Henry Purcell, English composer (Indian Queen), died at the age of 36
. 1710 ~ Bernardo Pasquini died. He was an Italian composer of operas, oratorios, cantatas and keyboard music. A renowned virtuoso keyboard player in his day, he was one of the most important Italian composers for harpsichord between Girolamo Frescobaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, having also made substantial contributions to the opera and oratorio.
. 1877 ~ Thomas A. Edison, who really enjoyed the jazz he heard coming from his newest invention, told those gathered that he just invented the ‘talking machine’ (phonograph). On February 19, 1878, Edison received a patent for the device.
. 1904 ~ Coleman Hawkins, American jazz tenor saxophonist, solo with the Fletcher Henderson band, jazz bandleader
• 1912 ~ Eleanor Powell, American actress and tap dancer (Born to Dance, Born to Dance)
. 1931 ~ Malcolm Williamson, Australian composer
. 1933 ~ Jean Shepard, Country singer
. 1934 ~ Cole Porter’s Anything Goes opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 420 performances.
.1934 ~ Ella Fitzgerald won Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Finding herself onstage as a result of pure chance after her name was drawn out of a hat, the aspiring dancer spontaneously decided to turn singer instead—a change of heart that would prove significant not only for herself personally, but also for the future course of American popular music.
. 1936 ~ James DePreist, Orchestra leader with the Oregon Symphony
1937 ~ Following Carnegie Hall performances in both 1906 and 1919, Arthur Rubinstein presented another historic and highly acclaimed performance at the arts center this day.
More information about Rubinstein
• 1938 ~ Leopold Godowsky, pianist/composer, died at the age of 68
. 1940 ~ Dr. John (‘Mac’ Malcolm John Rebennack), Organ, guitar, singer, songwriter
. 1940 ~ Natalia Makarova, Ballerina with the Kirov Ballet (now Saint Petersburg Ballet) from 1959 until 1970
. 1944 ~ Happy trails to you, until we meet again…. The Roy Rogers Show was first heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Singing along with Roy (‘The King of the Cowboys’), were the Whippoorwills and The Sons of the Pioneers.
. 1944 ~ I’m Beginning to See the Light, the song that would become the theme song for Harry James and his orchestra, was recorded this day. The song featured the lovely voice of Kitty Kallen (Little Things Mean a Lot).
. 1948 ~ Lonnie (LeRoy) Jordan, Keyboards, singer
. 1950 ~ Livingston Taylor, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, brother of singer James Taylor
. 1952 ~ Lorna Luft, Singer, actress, daughter of singer-actress Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft; sister of singer-actress Liza Minnelli
. 1955 ~ The first lady of the American stage, Helen Hayes, was honored for her many remarkable years in show business, as the Fulton Theatre in New York City was renamed the Helen Hayes Theatre.
. 1959 ~ Following his firing from WABC Radio in New York the day before, Alan Freed refused “on principle” to sign a statement that he never received money or gifts (payola) for plugging records. Incidentally, few may remember, but Freed left WABC while he was on the air. He was replaced in mid~record by Fred Robbins, who later became a nationally~known entertainment reporter for Mutual Radio.
. 1962 ~ Leonard Bernstein broadcast his Young People’s Concert “Sound of a Hall” from the New York Philharmonic’s new home at Lincoln Center (now David Geffen Hall). He spoke about the science of sound; acoustics, vibration, sound waves, echo and reverberation. ÒWell, the best test of dynamic range I can think of is that great piece of fireworks – Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812, because it begins as softly as possible with only 6 solo strings, and runs the whole dynamic range to a full orchestra, plus at the end, an extra brass band…plus the deafening roar of cannon plus the jangle of church bells…” We share with you this excerpt of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic performing the 1812 Overture.
. 1981 ~ Olivia Newton-John started the first of 10 weeks at the top of the pop music charts when Physical became the music world’s top tune.
. 1990 ~ Instrument lovers have paid some pretty awesome prices for violins made by Antonio Stradivari. But a red Strad owned by the family of composer Felix Mendelssohn sold on this day for an all-time high of $1,700,00.
. 2001 ~ Ralph Burns, who won Academy Awards, an Emmy and a Tony as a music arranger after making a name for himself in jazz as a piano player in the Woody Herman band, died at the age of 79. Burns collected his first Academy Award for adapting the musical score of the 1972 movie “Cabaret.” He won another Oscar for adapting the musical score for “All That Jazz,” an Emmy for television’s “Baryshnikov on Broadway” and a Tony in 1999 for the Broadway musical “Fosse.” His other film credits included “Lenny,” “In The Mood,” “Urban Cowboy,” “Annie,” “My Favorite Year” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” He also collaborated with Jule Styne on “Funny Girl” and Richard Rodgers on “No Strings.” The Massachusetts native, who took up piano as a child, was playing in dance bands in Boston when he was 12, graduating to jazz orchestras by his teens. He worked with Herman band’s for 15 years as both a writer and piano player, composing some of the group’s biggest hits. Among them were “Apple Honey,” “Bijou” and the three-part “Summer Sequence.” “Early Autumn,” written later as a fourth movement for “Summer Sequence,” became a hit with singers after Johnny Mercer supplied words for it. Later, Burns worked in the studio with such popular singers as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole.
. 2003 ~ Teddy Randazzo, co-author of more than 600 songs for acts including The Temptations and Frank Sinatra, died at the age of 68. With co-author Bobby Weinstein and others, Randazzo wrote hits such as Goin’ Out of My Head, Hurt So Bad and It’s Gonna Take a Miracle for acts such as Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Lettermen, Linda Ronstadt, The Temptations and Sinatra. Randazzo began his career at age 15 as lead singer of the group The Three Chuckles. The group’s first hit, Runaround, rose to No. 20 on the Billboard charts and sold more than 1 million copies. Randazzo started a solo career in 1957 and found modest success over the next seven years before meeting Weinstein. The duo’s songs have been recorded by more than 350 artists, including Gloria Gaynor, Queen Latifah and Luther Vandross. They parted ways in 1970 and Weinstein became an executive for Broadcast Music Inc. and Randazzo became a producer for Motown Records.