. 1796 ~ The Archers, the first opera composed by Benjamin Carr, an American composer, was performed in New York City.
1819 ~ Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer and conductor
More information about von Suppé
1882 ~ Leopold Stokowski, British-born American conductor
More information about Stokowski
. 1918 ~ Tony Mottola, composer, guitarist: played with Al Caiola, George Hall’s orchestra, CBS radio studio orchestra, worked with Raymond Scott backing up young Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, arranger for Como’s TV variety show
. 1929 ~ Red Nichols and his Five Pennies recorded the Glenn Miller arrangement of Indiana for Brunswick Records. Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Jack Teagarden were all part of the recording session that took place in New York City.
. 1936 ~ Ottorino Respighi, Italian composer, died. Best known for his orchestral pieces including the “Pines of Rome.”
More information about Respighi
. 1941 ~ Mike Vickers, Musician: guitar, reeds played with the group Manfred Mann
. 1946 ~ Hayley Mills, Singer, actress
. 1946 ~ Alexander Spence, Musician: guitarist and singer with the group Moby Grape
. 1965 ~ Contralto Marian Anderson ended her 30-year singing career with a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
. 1974 ~ James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, received a gold record this day for the single, The Payback. Of the 44 hits that Brown would put on the charts over three decades, he received only one other gold record – for Get on the Good Foot – Part 1 in 1972. His biggest pop hits include: I Got You (I Feel Good) at number three in 1965, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag at number eight in 1965, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World at number eight in 1966, I Got The Feelin’ at number six in 1968 and Living in America at number four in 1986. This song was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film, Rocky IV.
. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson faced surgery in Los Angeles. Doctors performed scalp surgery to repair the damage done after the megastar’s hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial on January 27. Jackson was hospitalized and recuperated for months before he could return to work. His single recording of Thriller had been certified platinum in February 1984.
. 1985 ~ The sequined ‘King of Show Business’, Liberace, broke his own record for ticket sales at Radio City Music Hall. Liberace grossed more than $2,000,000 for his engagement in the historic New York City venue. His previous record was set in 1984 ($1.6 million in tickets sold).
. 2001 ~ Billy Mitchell died at the age of 74. He was a saxophonist who played with jazz greats Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman.
. 1804 ~ Joseph Fischhof, Czech-Austrian pianist and composer
. 1843 ~ Hans Richter, Hungarian conductor
. 1859 ~ Daniel Emmett introduced I Wish I was in Dixie’s Land (later named Dixie) in New York City. Just two years later, the song became the Civil War song of the Confederacy.
. 1875 ~ Pierre Monteux, French conductor, famed for his interpretation of early 20th century music, he conducted the first performances of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe.”
. 1891 ~ Distinguished American actor Edwin Booth made his final stage appearance in a production of Hamlet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
. 1895 ~ Arthur Murray Dancer
. 1915 ~ “Muddy” Waters, American blues singer and guitarist
. 1922 ~ Elmer Bernstein, Composer of Academy Award-winning film scores: Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967); Sudden Fear, The Man with the Golden Arm, Ten Commandments, Sweet Smell of Success, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Walk on the Wild Side and The Magnificent Seven
. 1938 ~ After seven years of singing on the radio, Kate Smith began a new noontime talk show.
. 1939 ~ Glenn Miller recorded his theme song, Moonlight Serenade, for Bluebird Records. Previously, the Miller theme had been Gone with the Dawn and, before then, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.
. 1939 ~ Hugh Masakela, Trumpeter
. 1946 ~ Serge Leiferkus, Russian baritone
. 1954 ~ Maestro Arturo Toscanini conducted his last concert with the NBC Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Toscanini ended a 17-year association with the orchestra.
. 1964 ~ The Beatles set an all-time record on the Top 100 chart of Billboard magazine this day. All five of the top songs were by the British rock group. In addition, The Beatles also had the number one album as Meet the Beatles continued to lead all others. The LP was the top album from February 15 through May 2, when it was replaced by The Beatles Second Album. It was estimated at the time that The Beatles accounted for 60 percent of the entire singles record business during the first three months of 1964. The top five singles by The Beatles this day were:
1) Can’t Buy Me Love
2) Twist and Shout
3) She Loves You
4) I Want to Hold Your Hand
5) Please Please Me
. 1968 ~ Bobby Goldsboro received a gold record for the single, Honey. The poignantly sad song charted for 13 weeks, spending five weeks at number one. Goldsboro produced a total of 11 hits on the pop charts in the 1960s and 1970s. Honey was his only million seller and only number one hit.
. 1994 ~ Ginny Simms passed away. She was an American popular singer and film actress.
. 2000 ~ Blues singer Mary Smith McClain, better known to fans as “Diamond Teeth Mary,” died in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was believed to have been 97 or 98. McClain was a teenager posing as a boy when she hopped a train in her native West Virginia to begin a new life as a traveling blues musician more than 80 years earlier. She went from singing at carnivals with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels to the Chicago Blues Festival, New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Europe. She sang with such music greats as B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. McClain, who once had diamonds set in her teeth, was considered the world’s oldest-performing true blues musician, appearing at local clubs until two weeks before her death.
. 1904 ~ Glenn Miller, American trombonist and bandleader
More information about Miller
. 1907 ~ Albert Clifton Ammons was born in Chicago, Illinois. He developed an interest in boogie-woogie and his 1936 recording of “Boogie Woogie Stomp” has been described as “the first 12-bar piano-based boogie-woogie.”
. 1922 ~ Michael Flanders, Songwriter, comedian with the duo: Flanders and [Donald] Swann, made humorous mockery of English and American failings, died in 1975
. 1927 ~ Harry Belafonte, American calypso and folk singer, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, father of Shari Belafonte
. 1928 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded Ol´ Man River for Victor Records. The featured vocalist on the track was 29-year-old Paul Robeson. The song became an American classic.
. 1930 ~ Benny Powell, Jazz musician, trombone with the Ernie Fields band, Lionel Hampton, a Count Basie veteran
. 1941 ~ FM Radio began in the U.S. when station W47NV in Nashville, TN started operations on this day. W47NV was the first commercial FM radio station to receive a license, some 20 years after its AM radio counterpart, KDKA in Pittsburgh. FM stands for ‘frequency modulation´ as opposed to ‘amplitude modulation´.
. 1941 ~ Downbeat magazine scooped the entertainment world with news that Glenn Miller’s renewed contract with Chesterfield Cigarettes was worth $4,850 a week (for three 15-minute programs).
. 1944 ~ Roger Daltrey, Singer with The Who
. 1968 ~ Country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter got married on this day. Johnny walked down the aisle knowing that his 1956 hit, Folsom Prison Blues, was about to be redone for a June release. Cash has a daughter, Rosanne, (previous marriage) who became a country star in her own right in the 1980s.
. 1968 ~ Elton John’s first record, I’ve BeenLoving You, was released by Philips Records in England. Philips, not realizing the potential of the soon-to-be superstar, released him in 1969, just prior to his teaming with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Elton then signed a contract with Uni Records and began to turn out what would become a string of more than 50 hits over the next 25 years.
. 1973 ~ The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opened with a unique presentation in New York City. The show featured music of the Beach Boys in “Deuce Coupe Ballet”. A clever show, even if it didn’t do much to bring the masses to ballet.
. 1985 ~ A Beatles song was used for the first time in a U.S. TV commercial. The rights for Lincoln-Mercury to use the song, HELP!, cost $100,000, helping boost the fortunes of the Ford Motor Company.
. 1985 ~ Eugene List, American concert pianist and teacher (Eastman School of Music), died at the age of 66. List performed internationally during the mid-to-late 1900s. He championed the works of the American pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869). Gottschalk played this piece, with all its fanfares and flourishes reminiscent of an imaginary band concert, at all his concerts.
. 2003 ~ Nadine Conner, a soprano who performed for nearly two decades at the Metropolitan Opera after singing on national radio, died. She was 96. Conner debuted at the Met in 1941 as Pamina in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” conducted by Bruno Walter. She performed there 249 times over 18 seasons. She won acclaim not only for her Mozart roles, including Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” and Susanna in “The Marriage of Figaro,” but also for her portrayals of Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Gilda in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” and Rosina in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” Conner began her career singing on national radio from Los Angeles, and appeared with such stars as Bing Crosby and Gordon MacRae and toured with film star Nelson Eddy. She joined a fledgling opera troupe in Los Angeles, making her debut as Marguerite in Gounod’s “Faust.” Her Met farewell, in 1960, also was in “Faust.”
. 1895 ~ France, There’s no business like show business, right? Well, this is where it all started. A patent for a machine “to film and view phronopotographic proofs” (in simpler words, a projector) was assigned to the Lumiere brothers of Paris.
. 1914 ~ The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.
. 1918 ~ Oliver Smith, Scenic designer for Broadway Musicals such as On the Town, Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Camelot, The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly! and films Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Porgy and Bess, The Band Wagon
. 1919 ~ “Tennessee” Ernie Ford, American country music singer and songwriter
. 1920 ~ Eileen Farrell, American soprano, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera. Also successful in singing and recording popular music and jazz
. 1940 ~ Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines and his orchestra recorded the classic Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues on the famous Bluebird record label.
. 1925 ~ Gene Ames, Singer with The Ames Brothers
. 1929 ~ Jesse McReynolds, Guitarist, folk singer with Jim & Jesse
. 1930 ~ Dotty McGuire, Singer with McGuire Sisters
. 1944 ~ Peter Tork (Peter Halsten Thorkelson), Bassist, singer with The Monkees
. 1950 ~ Roger Christian, Singer with The Christians
. 1956 ~ Peter Hook. Bass with Joy Division
. 1957 ~ Tony Butler, Bass with Big Country
. 1971 ~ The Osmonds, a family singing group from Ogden, Utah, began a five-week stay at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, “One Bad Apple”. The song, featuring the voice of little Donny Osmond, also showcased the talent of Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay Osmond. The brothers were regulars on Andy Williams’ TV show from 1962 to 1967. The group began as a religious and barbershop quartet in 1959. Together, the Osmonds scored with 10 singles in four years — four of them were top ten hits.
. 2001 ~ Music critic George T. Simon, the original Glenn Miller Band drummer who swapped his sticks for a pen and eventually earned a Grammy for his acclaimed liner notes, died of pneumonia following a battle with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 88. In 1937 Simon sat in with the fledgling Glenn Miller Band. But he opted for writing over drumming, and became editor-in-chief of Metronome magazine in 1939. As a writer, Simon worked for the New York Post and the now-defunct New York Herald-Tribune. He also served as executive director of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Grammy Awards. In 1977, Simon won his Grammy Award for best album notes – his contribution to the collection “Bing Crosby: A Legendary Performer.” Simon was hand-picked by Crosby to write the liner notes for the release.
. 2002 ~ Waylon Jennings, whose rebellious songs and brash attitude defined the outlaw movement in country music, died peacefully at his Arizona home after a long battle with diabetes-related health problems. He was 64. Jennings’ list of hits spans four decades and includes country music standards like Good-Hearted Woman and Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, both duets with Willie Nelson. Jennings made 60 albums and had 16 country singles that reached No. 1. His “Greatest Hits” album in 1979 sold 4 million – a rare accomplishment in country music for that era. Jennings won two Grammy awards and four Country Music Association awards. Other hits include I’m a Ramblin’ Man, Amanda, Lucille, I’ve Always Been Crazy, and Rose in Paradise. Jennings’ deep, sonorous voice narrated the popular TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard” and sang its theme song, which was a million seller. Jennings had been plagued with health problems in recent years that made it difficult for him to walk. In December 2002, his left foot was amputated. He traditionally wore a black cowboy hat and ebony attire that accented his black beard and mustache. Often reclusive when not on stage, he played earthy music with a spirited, hard edge. Some of Jennings’ album titles nourished his brash persona: “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean,” “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” “Nashville Rebel,” “Ladies Love Outlaws” and “Wanted: The Outlaws.” He often refused to attend music awards shows on the grounds that performers shouldn’t compete against each other. He didn’t show up at his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year. He made occasional forays into TV movies, including “Stagecoach” and “Oklahoma City Dolls,” plus the Sesame Street movie “Follow That Bird” and the B-movie “Nashville Rebel.”
. 2015 ~ John McCabe died. He was an English composer and pianist. He was a prolific composer from an early age but first became known as a pianist. He created works in many different forms, including symphonies, ballets, and solo works for the piano.
. 1760 ~ Jan Ladislav Dussek, Czech composer and pianist. Along with his friend, famed piano maker John Broadwood, Dussek made important design improvements to the piano, allowing for the more dynamic style of playing that his highly original compositions required. Beethoven himself later used a Broadwood piano with Dussek’s innovations. This helped pave the way for Romanticism and Dussek’s influence on Beethoven’s piano writing has been well documented.
Dussek’s Piano Sonata Op. 77 in F minor (“L’invocation”), from 1812, is the last work he ever composed, and he saved the best for last. This is a neglected masterpiece that foreshadows Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms.
. 1881 ~ Anna (Pavlovna) Pavlova, Russia’s premier ballerina
. 1894 ~ Hans von Bülow, German pianist and composer died (b. 1830)
More about von Bulow
. 1898 ~ Roy Harris, American composer
. 1904 ~ Ted Mack (William Maguiness), TV host of The Original Amateur Hour, The Ted Mack Family Hour
. 1914 ~ (Gordon) Tex Beneke, Bandleader, singer, tenor sax in the Glenn Miller Orchestra
, 1915 ~ Charles Emile Waldteufel, composer, died at the age of 77
. 1918 ~ All theatres in New York City were shut down in an effort to conserve coal.
. 1923 ~ Mel Powell, American jazz pianist and composer. One of his works is Mission to Moscow for Benny Goodman. He was also Dean of Music at California Institute of Arts.
. 1923 ~ Franco Zeffirelli, Italian director and producer of opera, theatre, film and television
. 1924 ~ Bandleader Paul Whiteman presented his unique symphonic jazz at the Aeolian Hall in New York City. The concert marked the first public performance of George Gershwin’sRhapsody in Blue. The composer, himself, was at the piano this night. Distinguished guests included John Philip Sousa and Jascha Heifetz.
. 1942 ~ Mildred Bailey recorded More Than You Know on Decca Records.
. 1948 ~ Joe Schermie, Bass with Three Dog Night
. 1949 ~ “Annie Get Your Gun” closed at the Imperial Theater in New York City after 1147 performances
. 1964 ~ The Beatles played two concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City, concluding a very successful American tour.
. 1968 ~ Singer and famed guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, received an honorary high school diploma from Garfield High School in Seattle, WA, where he had dropped out at the age of 14.
. 1972 ~ Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together knocked American Pie out of the top spot on the music charts. The record stayed at the top for one week, before giving way to Nilsson’s Without You. Green returned to his gospel roots in 1980 and is a minister in Memphis, TN. Green recorded 14 hit songs with six of them making it to the Top 10.
. 1976 ~ Sal Mineo, singer, died
. 1983 ~ Eubie Blake, US ragtime-composer/pianist (Memories of You), died at the age of 96
. 2011 ~ Elizabeth “Betty” Garrett, American actress, comedian, singer and dancer (All in the Family), died of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 91
. 1748 ~ Christian Gottlob Neefe, German composer/conductor/tutor of Beethoven
. 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.
. 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.
. 2014 ~ Richard Hayman, American orchestra leader (Vaughn Monroe Show), died at the age of 93
. 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
. 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.
• 1939 ~ One of the most celebrated motion pictures of all time, Gone with the Wind, starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable was premiered in Atlanta to critical acclaim. The picture ran for close to four hours.
• 1941 ~ A musical standard was recorded this day on Victor Records. Lena Horne sang the torch classic that became her signature: Stormy Weather. “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky. Stormy weather…”
• 1942 ~ Dave Clark, British rock drummer and singer
• 1943 ~ Fats (Thomas Wright) Waller died at the age of 39 from pneumonia. He was an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano
• 1944 ~ Glenn Miller passed away when his plane disappeared over the English Channel. Major Glenn Miller was on his way to lead his Air Force Band in a Christmas concert.
• 1954 ~ Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter was featured on Walt Disney’s TV series for the first time. Crockett was played by Fess Parker. It wasn’t long before the Davy Crockett craze brought a new number one song to the pop music charts. “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.”
• 1962 ~ The first record album to poke fun at a U.S. President became the #1 LP in the country. Vaughn Meader’sThe First Family made the humorist a household word. The album stayed at #1 for three months.
• 1984 ~ Jan Peerce passed away
• 1986 ~ Violinist Isaac Stern arrived in a horse-drawn carriage to cut the ribbon for the renovated Carnegie Hall in New York City.
• 1986 ~ Kenny Rogers cut himself a deal with the Dole Food Company. The singer became the highest-paid celebrity pitchman, ‘doling’ out nice words about pineapple and other Dole products for 17 million dollars.
• 2000 ~ Revered conjunto musician Valerio Longoria, who taught accordion to children in San Antonio for many years, died at the age of 76. Musicians and friends remembered the master accordionist as an innovator and influential stylist of conjunto music, a Texas-based rhythm fueled by the accordion and the bajo sexto, a 12-string Spanish bass guitar. As a teenager, Longoria played weddings and parties in Harlingen. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and at the end of World War II was stationed in Germany, where he managed to get an accordion and play in nightclubs. In 1945, he moved to San Antonio, where he began recording for Corona Records. Longoria was among the first inductees into the Tejano Conjunto Music Hall of Fame in 1982, and in 1986 he received the National Heritage Award, the nation’s highest honor for folk artists.
• 2001 ~ Rufus Thomas, a musician whose Bear Cat helped Sun Records get its start and whose Funky Chicken gave a boost to the Stax Label, died at the age of 84. Rufus Thomas was best known for novelty dance recordings like Walking the Dog,Do the Funky Chicken and Push and Pull. He began tap dancing on the streets of Memphis for tips and performed in amateur shows in high school. In the 1940s, Thomas ran his own Beale Street amateur show that attracted B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland and many other performers who went on to become famous. In his declining years, Thomas took on the title of Beale Street ambassador and liked to refer to himself as the world’s oldest teenager. In 1953, Thomas recorded Bear Cat, an answer to Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog, and it became Sun Record’s first hit. That was before Elvis Presley arrived on the scene to become Sun’s undisputed star. Thomas complained in later years that Sun’s black artists were pushed aside after Presley’s success. In the 1960s, Thomas became one of the founding performers for Stax Records, which created what came to be known as “the Memphis sound,” with performers like Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding and Sam and Dave.
• 2002 ~ John Crosby, founder and longtime former general director of the Santa Fe Opera, died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after a brief illness. He was 76. Crosby founded the Santa Fe Opera in 1957 and was its general director until his retirement at the end of the 2000 season. After his military service during World War II, Crosby majored in music theory at Yale and studied under composer Paul Hindemith, whom Crosby later brought to Santa Fe for the 1961 U.S. premiere of Hindemith’s opera News of the Day. Crosby also had worked as a Broadway arranger and studied at Columbia University in New York before making his move to found an opera company in Santa Fe. With $200,000 in financing from his father, Crosby purchased a ranch seven miles north of Santa Fe and oversaw construction of a 480-seat, open-air theater. The inaugural performance July 3, 1957, was Puccini’sMadama Butterfly. With the participation of Igor Stravinsky, early Santa Fe seasons gained world attention. Stravinsky brought music to the 1957 through 1963 seasons. His last night as both conductor and general director was Aug. 24, 2000, when he led Richard Strauss’Elektra. Former President Bush presented Crosby a National Medal of Arts in 1991. He also received an Officer’s Cross of the Federal German Order of Merit in 1992 for his service to German music.
• 2002 ~ Rick Chase, a morning radio personality for KWIN-FM of Stockton, was found dead in his apartment. He was 45. Chase was best known for his work at KMEL-FM in San Francisco from 1986 to 1998. He also worked at KFRC-FM and KITS-FM in the Bay Area, KNVQ-FM in Reno and KZZO-FM in Sacramento. Chase, a 20-year radio veteran known to his listeners for his bombastic on-air personality, had worked at KWIN for two years.
• 2002 ~ Washington, DC Area: The storied history and sweeping skyline of US Airways Arena ended in a billowing cloud of dust Sunday morning as technicians reduced it to rubble with hundreds of pounds of dynamite. Almost 200 people, some of whom grew up watching sports and cultural events at the arena, gathered hundreds of yards away in the chill morning to say goodbye to the piece of 20th-century Washington’s history just outside the Capital Beltway. A shopping center will replace it. The arena began life in 1973 as the Capital Centre, a state-of-the-art architectural gem. In the ensuing decades, it housed the Washington Bullets basketball team and the Washington Capitals hockey team and held concerts by Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, Luciano Pavarotti. “I remember seeing the Washington Bullets when they were really good and the Caps when they were really bad, as well as Prince and Tina Turner,” said Stewart Small, who grew up near the arena and now lives in Alexandria, Va. “I know it’s not Ebbets Field, but it had a lot of memories for me.” Crews used about 400 pounds of dynamite at 500 locations to do the job. In just over 15 seconds, the stadium that took 15 months to build caved into a cloud of light brown dust. Some in the crowd cheered, but most were silent. A few were teary-eyed as dust soared above where the 18,000-seat arena had stood. The arena opened Dec. 2, 1973, to a sellout crowd that watched the Bullets beat the Seattle SuperSonics 98-96. It has had no regular clients since the NBA Bullets, now Wizards, and the NHL Capitals moved to the MCI Center downtown.
• 1761 ~ Johann Andreas Streicher, German piano maker
• 1835 ~ Phillips Brooks, Lyricist, O Little Town of Bethlehem
• 1838 ~ Marie-Alexis Castillon de Saint-Victor, French composer
• 1843 ~ Charles Dickens published his play “A Christmas Carol”
• 1874 ~ Josef Lhévinne, Russian pianist, teacher. After gaining fame as a soloist in Russia and Europe, he and Rosa came to the U.S.A. in 1919. While they continued to concertize, they both taught at Juilliard; although he had the more prominent concert career, she lived on to become legendary for teaching an endless succession of prominent pianists including Van Cliburn.
• 1877 ~ Mykola Leontovych, Ukrainian composer
• 1903 ~ Carlos Montoya, Spanish Flamenco guitarist
• 1925 ~ Wayne Walker, Songwriter
• 1925 ~ Dick Van Dyke, American Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian
• 1928 ~ Audiences at Carnegie Hall heard the first performance of George Gershwin’s composition, An American in Paris. The debut was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch. Advertised as “a tone poem with jazz and sound effects”, it was used as a ballet for Gene Kelly’s 1951 performance in the movie of the same name. Unfortunately, George Gershwin did not live to see his composition being danced to in the Academy Award-winning An American in Paris. It won six Oscars: Best Art Direction/Set Direction [Color], Best Color Cinematography, Best Costume Design [Color], Best Story and Screenplay, Best Picture … and Best Score.
• 1929 ~ Christopher Plummer (Orme), Actor, Sound of Music, Doll’s House
• 1929 ~ Hoagy Carmichael recorded with Louis Armstrong. They did Rockin’ Chair on Columbia records and cylinders.
• 1940 ~ The two-sided jump tune, The Anvil Chorus, was recorded by Glenn Miller and his orchestra for Bluebird Records in New York. The 10-inch, 78 rpm record ran six minutes (including flipping).
• 1941 ~ John Davidson, Actor, singer, TV game show host of the Hollywood Squares
• 1948 ~ Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Guitarist with Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers
• 1948 ~ Ted Nugent, Guitarist, singer with Amboy Dukes
• 1948 ~ The American Federation of Musicians went back to work after an 11½-month strike. During the strike, there was an 11½-month ban on phonograph records as well.
• 1949 ~ Randy Owen, Guitarist, singer with Alabama
• 1949 ~ Tom Verlaine (Miller), Guitarist, singer with Television
• 1974 ~ Former Beatle George Harrison was greeted at the White House. President Gerald R. Ford invited Harrison to lunch. The two exchanged buttons, Ford giving George a WIN (Whip Inflation Now) pin and Harrison gave the President an OM (Hindu mantra word expressing creation) button.
• 2000 ~ Cellist Yo-Yo Ma made a special guest appearance on NBC television’s West Wing. No, he didn’t play a partisan leader, but he was featured in some of the music of Bach.
• 2002 ~ Maria Bjornson, a set and costume designer whose work on the hit musical The Phantom of the Opera won critical acclaim, was found dead at her London home. She was 53. Bjornson was born in Paris in 1949 and grew up in London, the daughter of a Romanian woman and a Norwegian father. She went to the French Lycee in London and then studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. Bjornson worked as a theater designer from 1969, and designed 13 productions at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theater. She worked for the Welsh National Opera and its English and Scottish counterparts and was involved with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Ballet. Her colorful and grand design for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theater in London in 1986 won her international acclaim. In 1988, Bjornson’s work on Phantom won two Tony Awards, one for sets and the other for costumes. After Phantom she collaborated with Lloyd Webber again on Aspects of Love, and worked on the Royal Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden in London in 1994 and on Cosi Fan Tutte at Glyndebourne in 1991.
• 2002 ~ Former Lovin’ Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky, who traded in the wild rock star life for a quiet existence as a restaurant owner in Canada, died. The Toronto native died of a heart attack at his home in Kingston, Ontario, six days before his 58th birthday. Famed for such hits as Do You Believe in Magic and Summer in the City, the Lovin’ Spoonful enjoyed a brief reign in the mid 1960s as America’s answer to the Beatles. The quartet, led by singer/guitarist John Sebastian, racked up seven consecutive top 10 singles in 16 months. Yanovsky, a tall Russian Jew who resembled Ringo Starr, joined forces with Sebastian in New York City in 1964. The pair shared a love of folk music, and both had played in the Mugwumps, a short-lived combo that also included future Mamas and Papas members “Mama” Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty. The Lovin’ Spoonful, named after a Mississippi John Hurt song, took shape in 1965 when Yanovsky and Sebastian teamed up with drummer Joe Butler and bass player Steve Boone. The group’s first single, Do You Believe In Magic reached the top 10 that year. Its follow-up, You Don’t Have To Be So Nice also went top 10 in early 1966. Summer in the City was their sole No. 1. Besides recording five albums, the band also did the soundtracks to Woody Allen’sWhat’s Up, Tiger Lily? and Francis Ford Coppola You’re A Big Boy Now. Yanovsky was the zany member of the group. He was the focal point during live performances, but his biting humor often rubbed his colleagues the wrong way, especially when one of his girlfriends ended up with Sebastian. In 1966, the group’s banner year, Yanovsky was faced with deportation after he and Boone were arrested for marijuana possession in San Francisco. They turned in their dealer, which damaged the band’s hipster credentials. Amid rising tensions, Yanovsky was voted out of the band in 1967, but remained on amicable terms with his colleagues. He recorded a solo album, Alive and Well in Argentina, in 1968. Sebastian, the band’s creative force, left that year, and the band soon broke up. The original members reunited in 1980 to appear in the Paul Simon film One-Trick Pony and then in 2000 when it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yanovsky dabbled in TV before going into the restaurant business. He ran Chez Piggy, an acclaimed eatery in Kingston.
• 2003 ~ Jazz trumpeter Webster Young, who played with greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane in the 1950s, died of a brain tumor. He was 71. Young’s career got an early boost when Louis Armstrong took him as a student when he was 10 years old. As a teenager, Young jammed with Dizzy Gillespie, earning the nickname “Little Diz” in Washington D.C.-area clubs for a style that resembled Gillespie’s. Young broke into the modern jazz scene in New York City in the late 1950s, recording several albums. He returned to Washington D.C. in the 1970s to raise his family. He toured in Europe in the 1980s and performed regularly at jazz clubs until eight months before his death. Young’s career peaked in 1957, when he played cornet with John Coltrane for the album “Interplay for Two Trumpets and Two Tenors” for the Prestige record label.
• 2017 ~ The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced this morning that rock legends The Moody Blues will be inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Current members Justin Hayward (lead guitar, vocals), John Lodge (bass guitar, vocals) and Graeme Edge (Gray Edge) (drums); will receive the honor alongside former members Ray Thomas (flute/vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboard/mellotron/vocals). The Moody Blues are one of five 2018 Inductees. Read more at http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-inducted-rock-roll-hall-fame-2018/