. 1732 ~ Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
Listen to Haydn’s music
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. 1872 ~ Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev. He was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes.
. 1880 ~ Henryk Wieniawski, Polish violist/composer, died at the age of 44
. 1901 ~ John Stainer died. He was an English composer and organist whose music, though not generally much performed today, was very popular during his lifetime.
. 1922 ~ Richard Kiley, American actor and singer (Kismet, Man of La Mancha, Endless Love)
. 1928 ~ Lefty (William Orville) Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Famer
. 1934 ~ Shirley Jones, Singer, actress
. 1935 ~ Herb Alpert, American trumpeter, bandleader (Tijuana Brass), composer, record company executive: the “A” of A&M Records
. 1937 ~ Phil Harris recorded one of his best-known songs in Los Angeles, CA. That’s What I Like About the South was recorded on a 78 RPM disk. Harris would move to TV stardom and continue as a popular vocalist during the 1950s with such hit songs as The Thing.
. 1943 ~ The show, Away We Go, was renamed. The show opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City and, thanks to the talents of stars like Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts and Howard DeSilva, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances, until 1948. The musical, which has grossed millions of dollars on stage and as a blockbuster movie was initially produced for the sum of $75,000. It is still legendary among musical productions – especially after it was retitled Oklahoma!
. 1944 ~ Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge), Bass, singer with The Fortunes
. 1944 ~ Mick Ralphs, Guitarist
. 1945 ~ Al Nichol, Guitarist, keyboards with The Turtles
. 1953 ~ Sean Hopper, Keyboards with Clover and Huey Lewis and The News
. 1959 ~ Angus Young, Guitarist with AC/DC
. 1967 ~ Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time in a public performance at Finsbury Park in London.
. 1985 ~ Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, long a favorite of country music stars, closed its doors in Nashville, TN.
. 1884 ~ Joseph Bonnet, French organist and composer. He founded the organ department at the Eastman School of Music during his time in the U.S.
. 1901 ~ Alfred Newman, Conductor
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. 1917 ~ Nat “King” Cole, American jazz singer and pianist
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. 1930 ~ Paul Horn, American jazz flutist, saxophonist, clarinetist and composer
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. 1938 ~ Rudolf Nureyev, Dancer
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. 1944 ~ John Lill CBE, English classical pianist
. 1944 ~ John Sebastian, American pop-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, His group, The Lovin’ Spoonful performed Do You BelieveIn Magic, Summer In The City, Daydream, You Didn’t Have to be SoNice, Nashville Cats His solos include Darling Be Home Soon and Welcome Back
. 1930 ~ Lorin Maazel, American conductor
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. 1941 ~ Les Hite and his orchestra recorded The World is Waiting for the Sunrise on Bluebird Records. The instrumental became Hite’s most popular work. A decade later, Les Paul and Mary Ford added a vocal to the tune, making it one of their biggest-selling hit songs.
. 1944 ~ Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand soprano
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. 1962 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded his final session for Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra had been recording for his own record label, Reprise, for two years. His final side on Capitol was I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues, with Skip Martin’s orchestra.
. 1966 ~ Richard Hageman, Dutch-born American pianist, composer and conductor, died at the age of 84
. 1967 ~ Nelson Eddy passed away
. 1967 ~ Zoltán Kodály, Hungarian composer died
. 1985 ~ Yul Brynner played his famous role as the king in “The King and I” in his 4,500th performance in the musical. The actor, age 64, opened the successful production on Broadway in 1951.
. 2001 ~ Michael Smith, the drummer for the 1960s rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders, died in Kona, Hawaii, of natural causes at the age of 58. Smith, who played the part of the madcap jokester on stage, joined the band in 1962. The Raiders were known for their tri-cornered hats, colonial costumes and wild stage act. The Raiders were signed by CBS’ Columbia Records in 1963, and in 1965 they were hired to host “Where the Action Is,” a daily afternoon television show on ABC produced by Dick Clark Productions. The Raiders’ hit singles included Just Like Me,Kicks,Good Thing and Indian Reservation.
. 2018 ~ Arthur Foote, American classical composer, and a member of the “Boston Six” (Suite for Strings in E), died at the age of 83
. 1848 ~ Hubert Parry, English composer, teacher and historian of music.
. 1873 ~ Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, sang nearly 70 roles; appeared in nearly every country of Europe and North and South America
Read quotes by and about Caruso
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. 1883 ~ Oscar Hammerstein of New York City patented the first practical cigar-rolling machine. If Oscar’s name sounds familiar, it should. Hammerstein’s grandson later made his mark by writing some of the best- known music in the world, teaming up frequently with Richard Rodgers.
. 1887 ~ Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, died at the age of 53
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. 1887 ~ Lotte Lehman, Singer
. 1897 ~ Marian Anderson, Opera diva
. 1923 ~ Dexter Gordon, American jazz tenor saxophonist
. 1927 ~ Guy Mitchell (Al Cernick), Singer, actor
. 1935 ~ Mirella Freni, Italian soprano
. 1936 ~ Chuck Glaser, Singer with Glaser Brothers
. 1948 ~ Eddie Gray, Guitarist with Tommy James & The Shondells
. 1951 ~ Steve Harley (Nice), Singer with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
. 1954 ~ Neal Schon, Guitarist with Santana; Journey
. 1955 ~ Garry Christian, Singer with The Christians
. 1970 ~ Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
. 2003 ~ Tom Glazer, 88, the balladeer, guitarist and songwriter who, along with Burl Ives, Josh White, Pete Seeger and others, helped spark national interest in folk music in the 1940s, died. Mr. Glazer wrote songs for children, including a hit 1963 parody, On Top of Spaghetti, that won him National Critics’ and Parent Magazine awards. He also acted, sang and wrote for movies and TV. He was singer-narrator for the film, Sweet Land of Liberty, and composed the score for the Andy Griffith film A Face in the Crowd. Mr. Glazer was a native of Philadelphia who attended the City College of New York. As a young man, he played tuba and bass in military and jazz bands and worked at the Library of Congress. He began singing with a group while living in Washington, and was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to perform at the White House. Mr. Glazer became a full-time musician in 1943 and, over the years, hosted three radio series. He also wrote books about music, including a number of songbooks. His song Because All Men Are Brothers, based on the Passion Chorale by J. S. Bach, was recorded by the Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary. Other hits included, Old Soldiers Never Die for Vaughn Monroe, More for Perry Como, Til We Two Are One for Georgie Shaw, and A Worried Man, recorded by the Kingston Trio. His song, The Musicians was used on the “Barney” television show for children; Bob Dylan recorded his Talking Inflation Blues.
. 2003 ~ Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for more than 30 years, died. He was 74. From 1968 to 2000, Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced the show at Pittsburgh public television station WQED. The final new episode, which was taped in December 2000, aired in August 2001, though PBS affiliates continued to air back episodes. Rogers composed his own songs for the show and began each episode in a set made to look like a comfortable living room, singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”, as he donned sneakers and a zip-up cardigan. His message remained simple: telling his viewers to love themselves and others. On each show, he would take his audience on a magical trolley ride into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where his puppet creations would interact with each other and adults. Rogers did much of the puppet work and voices himself. He also studied early childhood development at the University of Pittsburgh and consulted with an expert there over the years. Rogers’ show won four Emmy Awards, plus one for lifetime achievement. He was given a George Foster Peabody Award in 1993, “in recognition of 25 years of beautiful days in the neighborhood.” One of Rogers’ red sweaters hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
. 2003 ~ Jean Sullivan, a musician, dancer and actress who starred opposite Errol Flynn in the 1944 film “Uncertain Glory,” died of cardiac arrest. She was 79. Sullivan was the leading lady Marianne in “Uncertain Glory” and also has a starring role in the 1945 movie “Escape in the Desert.” The young actress also played the daughter of Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson in the motion picture comedy “Roughly Speaking.” Despite a budding acting career, Sullivan relocated to New York and began studying ballet and dancing professionally. While practicing flamenco steps during a Carnegie Hall rehearsal, Sullivan was discovered by choreographer Anthony Tudor and was a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She enhanced her flamenco by playing Spanish guitar and became a popular entertainer at Latin nightclubs throughout New York City. Sullivan also played cello and piano. Despite her career change, Sullivan performed flamenco on TV variety shows, including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Jackie Gleason Show.” She also was a meteorologist on local New York television stations.
. 2013 ~ Van Cliburn died. He was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of 23, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.
. 1791 ~ Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works. His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
More information on Czerny
Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!
. 1836 ~ Léo Delibes, French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage.
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. 1893 ~ Andrés Segovia, Spanish guitarist
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. 1933 ~ Nina Simone, American jazz and soul singer
. 1943 ~ David Geffen, Tony Award-winning producer of Cats in 1983, M Butterfly in 1988, “Miss Saigon”, Beetlejuice and Risky Business. Also a record executive: Geffen Records and a partner in Dreamworks film production company with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.
. 1982 ~”Ain’t Misbehavin'” closed at Longacre Theater in New York City after 1604 performances
. 1990 ~ “The Batman Theme” by Danny Elfman won Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition at 32nd Annual Grammy Awards
. 1991 ~ Dame Margot Fonteyn died. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time.
. 2015 ~ Clark Terry died. He was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, educator, and NEA Jazz Masters inductee. He played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–1951), Duke Ellington (1951–1959) and Quincy Jones (1960).
Terry’s career in jazz spanned more than seventy years and he is among the most recorded of jazz musicians.
. 2017 ~ Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Polish-born classical conductor and composer, died at the age of 93
. 2019 ~ Peter Tork, a musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of The Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold The Beatles, has died at the age of 77.
. 1912 ~ Rudolf Firkušný, Czech composer, classical pianist
. 1914 ~ Matt Dennis, Pianist, singer, recorded vocals for Paul Whiteman
. 1916 ~ The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented its first concert. The symphony was the first by a municipal orchestra to be supported by taxes.
. 1941 ~ Sergio Mendes, Brazilian jazz pianist and composer
. 1935 ~ Gene Vincent (Craddock), Singer, actor
. 1938 ~ Larry Clinton and his orchestra recorded Martha on Victor Records. Bea Wain was heard warbling the vocals on the tune.
. 1938 ~ Bobby”Boris” Pickett, American singer-songwriter (Monster Mash), born in Somerville, Massachusetts (d. April 25, 2007)
. 1939 ~ Gerry Goffin, Lyricist with Carole King and with Michael Masser
. 1940 ~ NBC radio presented “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” for the first time. The famous Blue network series included several distinguished alumni — among them, Dinah Shore and Zero Mostel. The chairman, or host, of “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” was Milton Cross. He would say things like, “A Bostonian looks like he’s smelling something. A New Yorker looks like he’s found it.” The show combined satire, blues and jazz and was built around what were called the three Bs of music: Barrelhouse, Boogie Woogie and Blues.
. 1968 ~ The new 20,000 seat Madison Square Garden officially opened in New York. It was the fourth arena to be named Madison Square Garden. The showplace for entertainment and sports opened with a gala show hosted by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.
. 1973 ~ Ethan Iverson, US pianist, composer, and critic, born in Menomonie, Wisconsin
. 1982 ~ Eleanor Powell, American actress and tap dancer (Born to Dance), died of cancer at the age of 69
. 1985 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, composer, died at the age of 68
. 2001 ~ Dame Sonia Arova, a Bulgarian-born ballerina who danced with Rudolf Nureyev, at his request, in his American debut, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 74. Arova was knighted by King Olaf V of Norway, only the second woman to receive that distinction. During her years as founding artistic director of the State of Alabama Ballet, Dame Sonia Arova changed the face of dance in Birmingham. Through a stage career that lasted three decades and a teaching career that occupied three more, she lived and breathed ballet. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Arova began dancing at age 6. By 8, she was studying ballet intensively in Paris. When war broke out in 1940, she escaped the Nazis’ advance with her English piano teacher in a harrowing flight during which their train was machine-gunned by German troops. Arriving in England, Arova was enrolled in an arts school and later joined the International Ballet. In 1965, Arova became artistic director of the Norwegian National Ballet, moved to California in 1971 to co-direct the San Diego Ballet and in 1975 accepted a teaching position at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Maintaining her position at ASFA, she took over the newly formed State of Alabama Ballet in 1981 as artistic director, with her husband, Thor Sutowski, as artistic associate and choreographer. In 1996, the couple returned to San Diego, and she spent her last years with the San Diego Ballet.
. 2003 ~ Moses G. Hogan, 45, a pianist and choral conductor known for his contemporary arrangements of spirituals, died of a brain tumor in New Orleans. He was editor of the Oxford Book of Spirituals, published in 2001 by Oxford University Press. The book has become the U.S. music division’s top seller. Mr. Hogan also toured with his own singing groups, the Moses Hogan Chorale and Moses Hogan Singers. His arrangements, more than 70 of which have been published by the Hal Leonard publishing company, were performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, soprano Barbara Hendricks and countertenor Derek Lee Ragin.
. 2003 ~ William L. “Weemo” Wubbena Jr., 72, a retired Army colonel who sang in Washington area barbershop quartets, died of cancer. Col. Wubbena was born in Marquette, Mich., and raised in Washington. He was a member of the Montgomery County chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America.
. 2018 ~ Vic Damone [Vito Farinola], American singer (On the Street Where You Live), entertainer, actor and TV presenter (Vic Damone Show), died at the age of 89
• 1901 ~ Marlene Dietrich, German singer and actress
• 1903 ~ The barbershop quartet favorite, Sweet Adeline, was sung for the first time, in New York City. The song was composed by Henry Armstrong with the words of Richard Gerard. The title of the song came from a theater marquee that promoted the great operatic soprano, Adelina Patti. Now female barbershop quartets call themselves Sweet Adelines.
• 1906 ~ Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, writer and radio personality
• 1911 ~ Anna Russell, Operatic parodies
• 1927 ~ The Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) musical, Show Boat, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. Its star, Helen Morgan, received excellent reviews from critics of the show; a musical about riverboat show people and their romances and disappointments.
• 1931 ~ Walter Norris, Pianist, composer
• 1932 ~
Radio City Music Hall, in New York City, opened. It was the largest indoor theater in the world. The gala grand opening show was a six-hour extravaganza that lost half a million dollars within three weeks. The theater has since been renovated to recapture its original decorative charm. An Art Deco cathedral of entertainment, it seats more than 6,200 people and is still a must-see for those visiting New York. During the holiday season, audiences continue to get a kick out of seeing the world- famous Rockettes perform in precision on Radio City Music Hall’s nearly 10,000-square-foot stage which is a combination movie palace and live theater. It remains a showcase for many exciting musical events. It has a seating capacity of 6,200 seats.
• 1939 ~ The Glenn Miller Show, also known as Music that Satisfies, started on CBS radio. The 15-minute, twice-a-week show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes and was heard for nearly three years.
• 1940 ~ Singer Al Jolson and actress Ruby Keeler were divorced after 12 years of marriage. They had separated a year earlier; but Jolson talked Keeler into co-starring with him in the Broadway show, Hold on to Your Hats. She left the show before the opening and then left the marriage.
• 1941 ~ Leslie Maguire, Pianist with Gerry and The Pacemakers
• 1944 ~ Mick Jones, Guitarist with Foreigner
• 1952 ~ David Knopfler, Guitarist, singer with Dire Straits
• 1953 ~ Elliot Easton (Shapiro), Guitarist with The Cars
• 1975 ~ The Staple Singers reached the top spot on the pop music charts for the second time in their career. This time with Let’s Do It Again. The song, the theme from the movie soundtrack of the same name, was the last hit the group would have. I’ll Take You There was The Staple Singers’ first number one hit (June 3, 1972).
• 1980 ~ The John Lennon hit, (Just Like) Starting Over, began a five-week stay at #1 on the pop charts. The hit was from the album, Double Fantasy. Lennon was murdered on December 8th of that year, as the single and LP had started their climb up the charts.
• 1981 ~ Hoagland “Hoagy” Carmichael, American composer, singer and actor (In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening), died at the age of 82
• 2003 ~ Vestal Goodman, a pioneering gospel music singer who performed for half a century, including a stint on “The PTL Club” with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, died. She was 74. Goodman and her late husband Howard “Happy” Goodman were part of The Happy Goodman Family act, which recorded 15 No. 1 gospel music songs and performed more than 3,500 concerts. In the mid-1980s, the couple were regulars on “The PTL Club” television show starring the Bakkers. They left in 1988 after three years on the show, and were not linked to financial improprieties as others on the show were. The Happy Goodman Family was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998. They were original members of “The Gospel Singing Jubilee” syndicated TV program that was a pioneer in gospel music broadcasting, appearing on more than 100 U.S. stations. The Goodmans sang at the White House in 1979 for President Carter.
• 2003 ~ Bobbie Nell Brookshire Gordon, a singer who toured in the 1970s with jazz great Duke Ellington, died. She was 64. Gordon, a Dayton native, was discovered in 1961 while singing at a bar in her hometown. She performed with pianist Betty Greenwood and had come to the attention of Ellington, the noted bandleader. Gordon toured from 1970 to 1974 with Ellington. A newly released digital video disc of a 1971 performance, “Live at Tivoli Gardens,” includes Gordon singing “Love You Madly” and “One More Time.” Gordon was featured as “Nell Brookshire” with Ellington on the cover of Jet magazine in September 1971.
• 2003 ~ Dick St. John, half of the Dick & Dee Dee duo, whose 1961 hit, The Mountain’s High, made No. 2 on the Billboard pop singles chart, died. He was 63. Dick & Dee Dee’s biggest hit was The Mountain’s High, but they also cracked the Top 25 pop singles chart in 1963 with Young and In Love and 1965’s Thou Shalt Not Steal. St. John, born Richard Gosting, began performing with his friend Mary Sperling in junior high. With St. John as the chief songwriter, the two soon attracted the attention of Liberty Records in Los Angeles. St. John and Sperling, who was renamed Dee Dee by the label, combined elements of doo-wop, soul and R&B in their sound. They toured with the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Dick & Dee Dee were semi-regulars on such musical shows as “American Bandstand.” St. John also wrote songs that were recorded by Lesley Gore, Jan and Dean, the Four Seasons and Quincy Jones, and he contributed music to many television shows.
• 1928 ~ America’s original Funny Girl, Fanny Brice, recorded If You Want the Rainbow, a song from the play, My Man, on Victor Records.
• 1932 ~ Abbe Lane (Lassman), Singer, glamour actress, photographed in a bathtub filled with coffee, bandleader Xavier Cugat’s ex-wife
• 1936 ~ You Can’t Take It with You opened at the Booth Theatre in New York City.
• 1946 ~ Patty Duke, US film actress
• 1947 ~ Christopher Parkening, American guitarist
• 1953 ~ Fred Allen returned from semi-retirement to narrate Prokofiev’s classic, Peter and the Wolf, on the Bell Telephone Hour on NBC radio.
• 1963 ~ Singer Dinah Washington died in Detroit.
• 1970 ~ George Harrison received a gold record for his single, My Sweet Lord.
• 1983 ~ The musical biography of Peggy Lee opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. The show was titled Peg.
• 1984 ~ The Cotton Club opened around the U.S. There were nine classic songs by Duke Ellington on the soundtrack of the movie.
• 1990 ~ Opera lovers were turned into couch potatoes. For four evenings, starting on this day, they watched and listened to an unabridged telecast of Richard Wagner’s marathon-length opera The Ring.
• 2001 ~ Conte Candoli, a Trumpet player and staple of The Tonight Show band during Johnny Carson’s era, died of cancer. He was 74. Candoli was recognized for developing a musical style based on Dizzy Gillespie’s bebop playing, with a touch of Miles Davis and Clifford Brown. The Indiana-born Candoli, grew up surrounded by musical instruments and influences. His father, a factory worker, played the trumpet and wanted Candoli and his brother Pete to become musicians. At 16, he worked in Woody Herman’s orchestra during summer vacations. While playing in California, Candoli began his association with the then New York-based Tonight Show. In 1972, when Carson moved the show to Burbank, Candoli joined the band. He left when Carson retired in 1992.
1803 ~ Louis-Hector Berlioz, French composer, conductor, music critic and major force in the development of musical form during the Romantic Era
More information about Berlioz
• 1876 ~ Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Polish composer and conductor
• 1882 ~ The Bijou Theatre in Boston, MA became the first theatre to be lighted by electricity.
• 1908 ~ Elliot Cook Carter, Jr., American composer
• 1916 ~ (Damaso) Perez Prado, Piano, organ
• 1926 ~ Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton, Blues singer
• 1931 ~ Rita Moreno (Rosita Alverio), Dancer, Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress
• 1934 ~ Curtis Williams, Singer with The Penguins
• 1935 ~ Tom Brumley, Steel guitar with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, Stone Canyon Band
• 1939 ~ Marlene Dietrich recorded Falling In Love Again on the Decca label.
• 1940 ~ David Gates, Guitarist, keyboard, singer with Bread
• 1944 ~ Brenda Lee (Tarpley), American singer of popular music
• 1944 ~ “The Chesterfield Supper Club” debuted on NBC radio. Perry Como, Jo Stafford and many other stars of the day shared the spotlight on the 15-minute show that aired five nights a week. The show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes.
• 1952 ~ An audience of 70,000 people watched from 31 theatres as Richard Tucker starred in Carmen. The event was the first pay-TV production of an opera. Ticket prices ranged from $1.20 to $7.20.
• 1954 ~ Jermaine Jackson, Singer with The Jackson Five, brother of Michael, Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy, Marlon and Jackie
• 1973 ~ Karen and Richard Carpenter received a gold record for their single, Top of the World.
• 1982 ~ Toni Basil reached the #1 one position on the pop music charts for the first time, with her single, Mickey.
• 2000 ~ Ruth Martin, a writer whose translations of both popular and obscure operas were widely used in American opera houses, died at the age of 86. Martin collaborated with her husband Thomas Martin in translating the librettos of some of the world’s most famous operas, including Mozart’sDon Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as Puccini’sBoheme, and Bizet’sCarmen. Martin and her husband also translated some of the rarest operas, such as Offenbach’sGrand Duchess of Gerolstein, and Dvorák’sRusalka. The Martins’ translations were marked by their clarity and singability, and despite the increasing use of closed-captioning systems in major opera houses, their translations are still used widely. Martin contributed articles on opera for Opera News, Aria, and Theater Arts. She also served on the boards of the New York Federation of Music Clubs, the Liederkranz Foundation and the National Opera Foundation.
• 2001 ~ Erik Johns, who wrote the libretto for Aaron Copland’s only full-length opera, The Tender Land, died in a fire at his home in Fishkill, N.Y. He was 74. Born Horace Eugene Johnston in Los Angeles, Johns began his career in music as a dancer. He met Copland when he was 19 at a New Year’s Eve party in New York. In 1952 the two began collaborating on an opera based on Let Us Now PraiseFamous Men, a book by writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans that describes the lives of several Southern sharecropper families during the Depression. Copland composed the music and Johns wrote the libretto, or the words. The work was originally commissioned as a television opera by NBC but was subsequently rejected by the network. The New York City Opera performed it at its premiere at City Center in April 1954 in a short two-act version. The two later added a third act.
• 2001 ~ Jose Fajardo, a Cuban flutist who was one of the most influential bandleaders in Latin music, died an aneurysm. He was 82. The Cuban native had emigrated from Cuba in 1961, when he refused a request from the Cuban government to continue a musical tour to other communist countries. During his lengthy career, Fajardo recorded more than 40 albums and performed around the world. He was credited with expanding the audience for charanga, a Cuban musical style that backs a singer with flute, violins, piano, bass and percussion. Fajardo started his first group, Fajardo y sus Estrellas, in the 1940s. He later led three bands by the same name. After moving to the United States, he founded bands in New York and Miami and began performing in new style called pachanga, featuring a slightly more assertive rhythm. Fajardo was featured on “Cuban Masters: Los Originales,” an album of performances by leading Cuban musicians that was released November 2001.
• 2002 ~ Kay Rose, the first woman to win an Academy Award for sound editing, died. She was 80. Rose won the statuette for her work on the 1984 film The River. A native of New York, Rose was recognized in March with a career achievement award from the Cinema Audio Society. The Motion Picture Sound Editors gave her a similar lifetime achievement award in 1993. In October 2002, directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg endowed the Kay Rose Chair in the Art of Sound and Dialogue Editing at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television. The chair is the first of its kind in the country. After studying film at Hunter College, she became a civilian film apprentice for the Army Signal Corps during World War II. There, she helped create such training films as How to Erect a Double Apron Barbed Wire Fence and the John Huston documentary Report from the Aleutians. She moved to Hollywood in 1944 and found a job as an assistant to an editor at Universal studios. In 1951, she married film editor Sherman Rose. Together, they produced the 1954 sci-fi cult classic, Target Earth. They later divorced. During her five-decade career, Rose received sound editing credits on such films as The Rose,Ordinary People,On Golden Pond,The Milagro Beanfield War, The Prince of Tides,For the Boys and Speed.
. 1954 ~ George McArdle, Bass guitarist with Little River Band
. 1954 ~ June Pointer, Singer with The Pointer Sisters
. 1955 ~ Billy Idol (Broad), Guitarist, singer, songwriter
. 1957 ~ John Aston, Guitarist with these groups: Photons, Psychedelic Furs
. 1957 ~ Richard Barbieri, Drummer with Japan, composer
. 1968 ~ Diana Ross and The Supremes hit the #1 spot on the music charts with Love Child. The somewhat controversial tune (for the times) stayed at the top for two weeks.
. 1971 ~ ABC-TV presented Brian’s Song as the ABC Movie of the Week. The touching story was about Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo and his friendship with Gayle Sayers, who watched Brian die a tragic death. The theme song, Brian’s Song, was performed by Michel Legrand.
. 1974 ~ The Eagles hit, Best of My Love, was released. It would take until March 1, 1975 for it to reach the #1 spot on the top 40 charts.
. 1970 ~ Des’ree, Singer
. 1996 ~ Tiny Tim died performing Tiptoe Through the Tulips to an audience at a benefit in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He cut the song short, commenting to his wife, Miss Sue, that he felt ill. As he was making his way with Sue to her table, amidst the applause of his loyal fans, he collapsed, was taken to a Minneapolis hospital and died without regaining consciousness.
. 2017 ~ Jim Nabors, American comedian, actor and singer (Gomer Pyle, Back Home Again in Indiana), died from health complications at the age of 87
. 2019 ~ Mariss Jansons, one of today’s most respected and in-demand conductors, died t the age of 76.
Jansons had been suffering from heart disease and had canceled several concert appearances this year as a result. In October 2019, after a six-month hiatus, he returned to the podium with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.