July 11 ~ 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 the 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.

June 20 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is one of those that piano students often try to learn on their own – or a friend will teach them the first 9 notes.  It’s usually played too fast and, often in the wrong octave, or the first couple notes are repeated too many times.

This is one of two pieces that are so often played incorrectly that they have the distinction of being banned from competition in Northern Virginia Piano Teacher competitions.

Stay tuned for the other one!

Fur Elise was not published during Beethoven’s lifetime, having been discovered by Ludwig Nohl 40 years after the composer’s death. The identity of “Elise” is unknown.

The very basic melody:

 

 

The actual beginning is a little more involved.

 

And, there’s more!

 

If you’d like to learn to play this piece correctly, find the sheet music at IMSLP, Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music, and countless compilations of classical music available at the O’Connor Music Studio.

Follow along:

By Valentina Lisitsa:

 

Ragtime!

 

A variety of instruments (Piano, Guitar, Cat Piano, Cello, Launchpad, Ukulele)

 

The Big Piano at FAO Schwartz in NYC:

 

Glass harp:

 

Youtube has many, many more versions.  Beethoven would probably go nuts!

May 11 in Music History

today

• 1885 ~ Joseph “King” Oliver, American jazz cornetist and bandleader

• 1887 ~ Paul Wittgenstein, an Austrian concert pianist notable for commissioning new piano concerti for the left hand alone, following the amputation of his right arm during the First World War. He devised novel techniques, including pedal and hand-movement combinations, that allowed him to play chords previously regarded as impossible for a five-fingered pianist.

• 1888 ~ Irving Berlin, Russian-born American songwriter and lyricist
More information about Berlin
Grammy winner

 

• 1894 ~ Martha Graham, Modern dancer: Denishawn dance school and performing troupe, Graham company, established school of modern dance at Bennington College; choreographer

• 1895 ~ William Grant Still, American composer
More information about Still

• 1916 ~ Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), died at the age of 43

• 1927 ~ The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded; although the first Oscars were not presented for several years after its founding.

• 1931 ~ Dick Garcia, Guitarist

• 1941 ~ Eric Burdon, Singer with The Animals

• 1943 ~ Les (John) Chadwick, Bass with Gerry & The Pacemakers

• 1965 ~ Liza Minnelli opened in Flora the Red Menace. The musical ran for only 87 performances at the Alvin Theatre.

• 1970 ~ The Chairmen of the Board received a gold record for the hit, Give Me Just a Little More Time. The Detroit group recorded three other songs in 1970, with moderate success.

• 1979 ~ Lester Flatt passed away.  He was a bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his collaboration with banjo picker Earl Scruggs in The Foggy Mountain Boys.

• 2000 ~ Zydeco trumpeter Warren Ceasar, who recorded three solo albums and performed with the legendary Clifton Chenier, died of a brain aneurysm. He was 48. Ceasar, who was born and raised in Basile, was the nephew of the late internationally known fiddler, Canray Fontenot. In addition to his role as frontman for Warren Ceasar and the Zydeco Snap Band, Ceasar also played with Clifton Chenier, who is known as “The Grandfather of Zydeco.” Ceasar also performed with soul greats Isaac Hayes and Al Green.

April 19 in Music History

today

OCMS 1836 ~ Augustus D. Julliard, American music patron; responsible for founding The Julliard School of Music
More information about Julliard

. 1876 ~ Samuel Sebastian Wesley, composer, died at the age of 65

. 1892 ~ Germaine Tailleferre, French composer

. 1905 ~ Tommy Benford, Drummer with Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers

. 1920 ~ Frank Fontaine, Comedian, actor, singer

. 1924 ~ A new show joined the airwaves. The Chicago Barn Dance aired on WLS radio in the Windy City. Later, the famous program would be renamed The National Barn Dance. This program was the first country music jamboree on radio. (The Grand Ole Opry on WSM Radio in Nashville, TN began in 1925.) National Barn Dance continued for many years on the radio station that was owned by retailer, Sears Roebuck & Co. WLS, in fact, stood for ‘World’s Largest Store’. Though the Barn Dance gave way to rock music and now, talk radio, The Grand Ole Opry continues each weekend in Nashville.

. 1927 ~ Don Barbour, Singer with the group, The Four Freshmen

. 1928 ~ Alexis Korner, Musician: guitar, singer

. 1935 ~ Dudley Moore, English pianist and actor

. 1942 ~ Alan Price, Musician: keyboards, singer: groups: Alan Price Combo, The Animals. Some favorites were House of the Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out of This Place

. 1942 ~ Larry (Hilario) Ramos, Jr., Musician, guitar, singer with the group: The Association

. 1943 ~ Eve Graham, Singer with The New Seekers

. 1943 ~ Czeslaw Bartkowski, jazz musician, drums

. 1945 ~ The musical Carousel, based on Molnar’s Liliom, opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. John Raitt and Jan Clayton starred in the show which ran for 890 performances. Music was by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.

. 1947 ~ Murray Perahia, American pianist and conductor

. 1947 ~ Mark Volman, Saxophonist, singer

. 1959 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte appeared in the first of two benefit concerts for charity at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

. 1967 ~ Nancy Sinatra and her dad, Frank, received a gold record award for their collaboration on the hit single, Something Stupid.

1987 ~ The Simpsons TV show was born
John Brunning celebrates tonight with Danny Elfman’s theme to the series

. 2000 ~ Richard L. Campbell, a classical music announcer on WCPE-FM died during his on-the-air shift, apparently of a massive heart attack. He was 67. On the air, Campbell catered to his audience by using his warm baritone voice to soothing effect. Before coming to WCPE about 10 years ago, he was a computer programmer and helped design the station’s traffic system.

. 2012 ~ Greg Ham, Australian rock saxophonist and flutist (Men At Work), died at the age of 58

February 8 in Music History

today

. 1709 ~ Giuseppe Torelli, Italian composer, died at the age of 50

. 1741 ~ Andre-Ernest-Modeste Gretry, composer

. 1932 ~ John Williams, American Academy Award-winning composer and conductor
More information about Williams

. 1934 ~ Elly Ameling, Dutch Soprano

. 1936 ~ Larry Verne, Singer

. 1938 ~ Ray Sharpe, Singer

. 1941 ~ Tom Rush, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1943 – Creed Bratton, Guitarist, banjo, sitar with The Grass Roots

. 1963 ~ Joshua Kadison, American pianist and songwriter

. 2001 ~ Leslie Edwards, a dancer and director at the Royal Ballet, died of cancer at the age of 84. Edwards made his debut in 1933 with the Vic-Wells Ballet. Except for a stint with the Ballet Rambert from 1935 to 1937, Edwards spent his entire career with Sadler’s Wells Ballet, which became the Royal Ballet Company in 1956. He appeared in more than 70 roles at the Royal Ballet and was a key figure in its choreographic group, as well as working as ballet master to the Royal Opera for 20 years. Edwards was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1975, and a studio at the rebuilt Sadler’s Wells Theatre was named for him.

. 2017 ~ Nicolai Gedda, Swedish opera tenor (Opera Two to Six), died at the age of 91

January 7 in Music History

today

. 1762 ~ The first public concert by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 6 and his sister Nannerl, age 12 was on this day.

. 1857  ~ First performance of Franz Liszt‘s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A, in Weimar. Liszt conducted  and the soloist was his pupil, Hans von Bronsart.

. 1876 ~ William Yeates Hurlstone

. 1899 ~ Francis Poulenc, French composer
More information about Poulenc

. 1922 ~ Jean-Pierre Rampal, French flutist
More information about Rampal

. 1924 ~ George Gershwin completed the incomparable score of Rhapsody in Blue. Incidentally, George was only 26 years old at the time. George didn’t even have an interest in music until his family got him a piano when he was twelve. Nine years later he had his first hit, Swanee, with lyrics written by Irving Caesar. Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned in 1924 by Paul Whiteman and then orchestrated by Ferde Grofe of Grand Canyon Suite fame. This first orchestration of Gershwin’s score was never quite right. Grofe’s style didn’t gel with Gershwin’s. Several other artists attempted to do justice to Rhapsody in Blue, never quite making the grade. Some thirty years later, orchestra leader Hugo Winterhalter with Byron Janis at the piano did a jazzed up version; pretty close to the way Gershwin had described his piece. However, it wasn’t until Gershwin’s original solo piano was accompanied by a jazz band led by Michael Tilson Thomas, that the true arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue was heard. No matter how you hear it, Rhapsody in Blue will remain the signature of one of the most influential of composers, songwriters and pianists in American music history.

. 1926 ~ A famous marriage that endured for many years is remembered this day. It’s the wedding anniversary of George Burns and Gracie Allen who were married by a Justice of the Peace in Cleveland, Ohio.

. 1930 ~ Jack Greene, The Green Giant, CMA Male Vocalist, Album, Single and Song of the Year

. 1940 ~ The gate to Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch opened. The ‘singing cowboy’ would entertain on CBS radio for the next 16 years.

. 1941 ~ Good-for-Nothin’-Joe was recorded by the sultry Lena Horne. She sang the classic song with Charlie Barnet and his orchestra on Bluebird Records.

. 1942 ~ Paul Revere, Singer, keyboards with Paul Revere and The Raiders

. 1946 ~ Jann Wenner, Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine

. 1947 ~ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was the #1 song on the U.S. pop charts

. 1948 ~ Kenny Loggins, American pop-rock singer, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and guitarist

. 1950 ~ Ernest Tubb made his first appearance at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Ernest also did a 15-minute radio program each day that became very popular in West Texas. So popular, in fact, that he bought the radio station that had aired the program for years and years: KGKL in San Angelo, Texas.

. 1955 ~ The first black singer at the Metropolitan Opera was Marian Anderson, who appeared as Ulrica in Verdi’s “The Masked Ball”.

. 1958 ~ The Flying V guitar, which is a favorite of rock musicians, was patented this day by the Gibson Guitar Company.

. 1985 ~ Yul Brynner returned to the Broadway stage this night as “The King and I” returned to where Yul first began his reign, 33 years before. Through his career to that date, Brynner appeared in 4,434 shows without missing a single performance.

. 2002 ~ Jon Lee, drummer for the Welsh rock band Feeder, died at the age of 33. The trio’s biggest hit single was the 2001 single Buck Rogers, which reached No. 5 on the British charts. Feeder released its first full-length album, “Polythene,” in England in 1997; it was released in the United States in early 1998. The band released its third album, “Echo Park,” last year, which debuted at No. 5 in Britain and swiftly sold more than 100,000 copies.

. 2002 ~ Nauman Steele Scott III, co-owner of Black Top Records which gained an international reputation for its blues, rhythm-and-blues and zydeco recordings, died. Scott suffered from heart disease. He was 56. Scott owned Black Top Records with his brother, Hammond. The label featured such artists as Earl King, Snooks Eaglin and the Neville Brothers. Black Top releases picked up two Grammy nominations and have won more than 30 W.C. Handy Blues Awards.

. 2018 ~ Ray Thomas, Moody Blues Founding Member, died at the age of 76. Born in 1941, Thomas founded The Moody Blues in 1964 with fellow musicians including Mike Pinder and Denny Laine.

December 13 ~ This Day in Music History

hanukkah

Hanukkah
Hanukkah Music
Hanukkah Music Lyrics

 

Hanukkah 2017 began at sunset (4:48 at the O’Connor Music Studio) on Tuesday, December 12 and ends on Wednesday, December 20.

Christmas Music: The Alfred Burt Carols

• 1761 ~ Johann Andreas Streicher, German piano maker

• 1835 ~ Phillips Brooks, Lyricist, O Little Town of Bethlehem

• 1838 ~ Alexis Vicomte De Castillon

• 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.

• 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 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 did’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’s What’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/