• 1847 ~ Agnes Marie Jacobina Zimmermann, Composer
• 1852 ~ Stefano Gobatti, Composer
• 1874 ~ Gerhard von Keussler, Composer
• 1877 ~ Wanda Landowska, Harpsichordist
• 1878 ~ Joseph Holbrooke, English pianist, conductor and composer
• 1897 ~ Paul Ben-Haim, Israeli composer and student of Middle Eastern folk music
• 1918 ~ George Rochberg, American composer and music editor
• 1924 ~ Janos Starker, Hungarian-born Grammy Award-winning American cellist.
• 1934 ~ Love in Bloom, sung by Bing Crosby with Irving Aaronson’s orchestra, was recorded for Brunswick Records in Los Angeles. The song was fairly popular, but became a much bigger success when comedian Jack Benny made it a popular standard.
• 1944 ~ Robbie Robertson, Musician, composer, guitarist with The Band
• 1950 ~ Michael Monarch, Musician, guitarist with Steppenwolf
• 1951 ~ Huey Lewis (Cregg), Rock Singer
• 1954 ~ Elvis Presley recorded That’s All Right (Mama) and Blue Moon of Kentucky. It was his first session for Sam Phillips and Sun Records in Memphis, TN.
• 1965 ~ Maria Callas gave her last stage performance, singing Puccini’s opera “Tosca” at London’s Covent Garden.
• 1969 ~ The Rolling Stones gave a free concert in Hyde Park, London, in memory of Brian Jones, who had died two days before.
• 1983 ~ Placido Domingo’s performance of Puccini’s opera La Bohème had one and one-half hours of applause and 83 curtain calls at the State Opera house in Vienna, Austria.
• 2001 ~ Ernie K-Doe, a flamboyant rhythm and blues singer who had a No. 1 hit with Mother-In-Law in 1961, died Thursday. He was 65. K-Doe, born Ernest Kador Jr., was one of many New Orleans musicians, including Fats Domino, Aaron Neville and The Dixie Cups, who landed singles at or near the top of the national charts in the 1950s and ’60s. He had a handful of minor hits, such as T’aint it the Truth,Come on Home and Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta. But he was forever associated with his only No. 1 single. Mother-In-Law was produced by legendary New Orleans producer and songwriter Allen Toussaint, who also played piano for the recording. In 1995, K-Doe opened Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-In-Law Lounge near the French Quarter, where he performed on Sundays.
• 2003 ~ Johnny Cash made his last ever live performance when he appeared at the Carter Ranch. Before singing “Ring of Fire”, Cash read a statement about his late wife that he had written shortly before taking the stage: “The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.” Cash died on Sept 12th of that same year.
• 1941 ~ Shirley Owens Alston, Singer with The Shirelles
• 1946 ~ Matthew Fisher, English keyboardist with Procol Harum
• 1954 ~ Will Rossiter, Composer, died at the age of 87
• 1964 ~ Louis Gruenberg, Composer, died at the age of 79
• 1964 ~ Rolling Stones recorded their 12×5 album at Chess Studios Chicago
• 1966 ~ The BeatlesPaperback Writer was released in England
• 1966 ~ The Beatles recorded Rain, first to use reverse tapes
• 1966 ~ Janis Joplin’s first live concert in the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco
• 1966 ~ The Mamas and The Papas won a gold record for Monday, Monday
• 1968 ~ Yury Sergeyevich Milyutin, Composer, died at the age of 65
• 1972 ~ Elvis Presley recorded a live album at NY’s Madison Square Garden
• 1972 ~ The Rolling Stones double album Exile On Main Street went to No.1 on the UK chart, the band’s seventh UK No.1 album. In 2010, the re-released album entered the UK chart at No.1, almost 38 years to the week after it first occupied that position. The Rolling Stones are the first act to ever have a studio album return to No.1 after it was first released.
• 1972 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. earned his place at the top of the popular music charts for the first time, after years in the entertainment business. His number one song, The Candy Man, stayed at the top for three consecutive weeks. The Candy Man was truly a song of fate for Sammy. He openly did not want to record the song, but did so as a favor to MGM Records head Mike Curb, since it was to be used in the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Davis said he would give the tune one take, “and that’s it!” Sure enough, in that one-time recording, Sammy nailed it. The Candy Man stayed on the pop charts for 16 weeks. The best the legendary performer had done before was 12 weeks for Love Me or Leave Me in 1955 and 11 weeks for I’ve Gotta Be Me (from Golden Rainbow) in 1969. After The Candy Man became a hit, Davis included it in his stage shows and concerts — and collected huge royalties from it.
• 1976 ~ Paul McCartney and Wings set a record for an indoor concert crowd as 67,100 fans gathered in Seattle, WA to hear the former Beatle and his new group.
• 1982 ~ Addie “Micki” Harris, American singer with the Shirelles, died at the age of 42
• 1985 ~ Nineteenth Music City News Country Awards: Statler Brothers, Barbara Mandrell
• 1990 ~ “Meet Me St Louis” closed at Gershwin Theater NYC after 253 performances
• 1992 ~ Hachidal Nakamura, Composer, died at the age of 61 of heart failure
• 1996 ~ Thirtyth Music City News Country Awards: Alan Jackson
• 2001 ~ Pianist Yaltah Menuhin, last of three famous siblings whose musical talents brought them fame at an early age, died at the age of 79. Yaltah, the youngest, and her sister Hepzibah, also a pianist, did not achieve the international renown of their brother, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin. But they often appeared with him in concerts around the world, including the Bath Festival in Britain, where Yehudi was artistic director in the 1960s. Yaltah Menuhin was born in San Francisco, to Russian-Jewish parents. Like her siblings, she began studying music as a child, and moved about the world performing. Her brother was astonishing audiences with his virtuosity by the age of 7. Yaltah Menuhin and her husband, pianist Joel Ryce, often performed together as a duo in the United States, and she also performed with violist Michael Mann.
• 2001 ~ Harold S. Grossbardt, a founder of Colony Records, the famed record collector’s store in Manhattan, died at the age of 85. Grossbardt founded the store in 1948 with his partner, Sidney Turk, and the shop quickly became popular with music lovers. Hundreds of musicians, including Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and Michael Jackson, shopped at the store. Grossbardt worked at Colony Records until his retirement in 1988.
• 2004 ~ US singer, songwriter Ray Charles died aged 73. Glaucoma rendered Charles blind at the age of six. He scored the 1962 UK & US No.1 single ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ plus over 30 other US Top 40 singles and the 2005 US No.1 album ‘Genius Loves Company.’ Charles who was married twice and fathered twelve children by nine different women appeared in the 1980 hit movie, The Blues Brothers was also the winner of 17 Grammy Awards.
• 1746 ~ Giovanni Antonio Pollarolo, Composer, died at the age of 69
• 1778 ~ Voltaire, (François-Marie Arouet), French writer of Candide, died at the age of 42. Candide was later set to music by Leonard Bernstein
• 1791 ~ Ildephons Haas, Composer, died at the age of 56
• 1797 ~ Johann Christian Lobe, Composer
• 1797 ~ Carl Ludwig Junker, Composer, died at the age of 48
• 1808 ~ Joaquim Casimiro Jr, Composer
• 1833 ~ Josef Slavik, Composer, died at the age of 27
• 1844 ~ Louis Varney, Composer
• 1853 ~ Karl Fritjof Valentin, Composer
• 1866 ~ Opera “Die Verkaufte Braut” premiered in Prague
• 1870 ~ Gustave Vogt, Composer, died at the age of 89
• 1883 ~ Riccardo Zandonai, Composer
• 1887 ~ Gino Tagliapietra, Composer
• 1906 ~ William Yeates Hurlstone, Composer, died at the age of 30
• 1909 ~ Benny Goodman, American jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader. He became a leading player with his own bands during the 1930’s and also commissioned works from classical composers including Bartok and Copland.
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• 1913 ~ Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Trumpet with Tommy Dorsey Band and Isham Jones Band
• 1913 ~ Cedric Thorpe Davie, Composer
• 1917 ~ The jazz standard “Dark Town Strutters Ball” by Original Dixieland Jass Band was first recorded
• 1920 ~ George London, Baritone singer with Bel canto Trio (with Frances Yeend and Mario Lanza); member: Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera; Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Director: National Opera Institute; head of the Washington Opera and established the George London Foundation for Singers in 1971.
• 1922 ~ ‘Smilin’ Ed McConnell debuted on radio, smiling and playing his banjo. McConnell quickly became a legend in the medium.
. 1681 ~ Georg Philipp Telemann, German composer. One of the leading composers of the German Baroque, Georg Philipp Telemann was immensely prolific and highly influential. He wrote an opera at age 12, produced it at school, and sang the lead. His mother put all his instruments away and forbade further music. However, he continued to study and write in secret. He led a remarkably busy life in Hamburg, teaching, composing two cantatas for each Sunday, leading a collegium, and writing immense amounts of additional music. For two centuries musical scholars tended to look down on him by comparison with Bach, but from the midpoint of the twentieth century his reputation soared as musicologists began cataloguing his immense output, uncovering masterpiece after masterpiece.
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. 1727 ~ Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, German virtuoso harpsichordist, organist, and composer of the late Baroque and early Classical period
. 1804 ~ Johann Strauss, Sr., Austrian composer; “The Father of the Waltz”
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. 1864 ~ (John Luther) Casey Jones, railroad engineer, subject of The Ballad of Casey Jones, killed in train crash Apr 30, 1900
. 1879 ~ Albert Einstein, Mathematician and enthusiastic amateur violinist
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. 1885 ~ “The Mikado,’ the comic operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, premiered at the Savoy Theater, London.
. 1912 ~ Les Brown, Bandleader, Les Brown and His Band of Renown
. 1922 ~ Les Baxter, Bandleader
. 1931 ~ Phil Phillips (Baptiste), Singer
. 1933 ~ Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., American jazz composer, trumpeter, bandleader and pianist. He composed film scores, TV show themes; record producer; arranger; 25 Grammys, Grammy’s Trustees Award in 1989, Grammy’s Legends Award in 1990; Musical Director for Mercury Records, then VP; established Qwest Records
. 1934 ~ Shirley Scott, Swinging, blues-oriented organist, recorded mostly with former husband Stanley Turrentine
. 1941 ~ Years before Desi Arnaz would make the song Babalu popular on the I Love Lucy TV show, Xavier Cugat and his orchestra recorded it with Miguelito Valdes doing the vocal. The song was on Columbia Records, as was the Arnaz version years later.
. 1945 ~ Walter Parazaider, Reeds with Chicago
. 1955 ~ Boon Gould, Guitarist with Level 42
. 1958 ~ The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the first gold record. It was Perry Como’s Catch A Falling Star on RCA Victor Records. The tune became the first to win million-seller certification, though other songs dating as far back as the 1920s may have sold a million records or more. Due to lack of a certification organization like the RIAA, they weren’t awarded the golden platter. The next three gold records that were certified after Perry Como’s million seller were the 45 rpm recordings of He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Laurie London, Patricia, an instrumental by the ‘Mambo King’, Perez Prado and Hard Headed Woman by Elvis Presley. The first gold-album certification went to the soundtrack of the motion picture, Oklahoma!, featuring Gordon MacRae. Is there really a gold record inside the wooden frame presented to winners? Those who know say, “No.” Its a gold-leaf veneer of maybe 18 kt. gold and/or it is a record painted gold. Yes, the song earning the award is supposed to be the one making up the gold record, but this is not always the case, according to several artists who have tried to play theirs.
. 1959 ~ Elvis Presley made the album charts, but no one would have known by the title of the disk. For LP Fans Only was the first LP ever issued without the artist’s name to be found anywhere on the cover — front or back.
. 1976 ~ Busby Berkeley, U.S. director and choreographer, died. He was best known for his lavish mass choreography in the films “42nd Street,” “Gold Diggers of 1933” and “Roman Scandals.”
. 1985 ~ Bill Cosby captured four People’s Choice Awards for The Cosby Show. The awards were earned from results of a nationwide Gallup Poll. Barbara Mandrell stunned the audience by announcing that she was pregnant while accepting her second award on the show. Bob Hope won the award as All-Time Entertainer beating Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra for the honor.
. 2016 ~ Sir Peter Maxwell Davies died. He was an English composer and conductor.
. 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.
. 1715 ~ Jacques Duphly, French harpsichordist and composer.
.1782 ~ On this day Mozart wrote a letter to his father about Muzio Clementi. He said: “Clementi plays well, as far as execution with the right-hand goes. His greatest strength lies in his passages in 3rds. Apart from that, he has not a kreuzer’s worth of taste or feeling – in short he is a mere mechanicus.”
. 1876 ~ Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian Opera Composer
. 1905 ~ Tex (Woodward Maurice) Ritter, Country singer, actor, John Ritter’s father
. 1921 ~ The opening of Town Hall in New York City, an important new concert hall
. 1926 ~ Ray Price, Singer
. 1926 ~ Morton Feldman, American composer, born in NYC, New York
. 1928 ~ Vladimir Horowitz debuted as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the very same night that Sir Thomas Beecham gave his first public performance in the United States.
. 1930 ~ Glenn Yarbrough, Singer with The Limeliters
. 1933 ~ Václav Suk, Czech-born Russian composer and violinist, died at the age of 71
. 1939 ~ William Lee Golden, Singer with The Oak Ridge Boys
. 1939 ~ The Ink Spots gained national attention after five years together, as they recorded If I Didn’t Care. Many other standards by the group soon followed.
. 1946 ~ Cynthia Robinson, Singer, trumpeter with Sly and the Family Stone
. 1949 – Arthur Godfrey and His Friends was first seen on CBS-TV this day. The program stayed on the network for seven years.
. 1959 ~ Per Gessle, Guitarist, singer with Roxette
. 1963 ~ Songwriter Bob Dylan sang Blowin’ In the Wind on the BBC radio presentation of “The Madhouse on Castle Street”. The song soon became one of the classics of the 1960s protest movement.
. 1985 ~ After a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince (now known as The Artist Previously Known as Prince) slipped to the #2 spot with Purple Rain. Replacing Prince at the top spot: ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen’s Born In the USA, which spent 24 weeks waiting for Purple Rain to fall.
. 1995 ~ Laurel McGoff, American singer
. 2001 ~ Luis Floriano Bonfa, the master guitarist and composer who helped found Bossa Nova music, died of cancer at the age of 78. Bonfa, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in Oct. 17, 1922, began composing in the 1940s and launched his career as a solo artist in 1952. Better known abroad than at home, Bonfa became internationally famous for his contributions to the soundtrack of Marcel Camus’ 1959 classic film “Black Orpheus.” The film introduced an international audience to Bossa Nova – a more sophisticated and less percussive samba style – and made Bonfa and fellow composer Antonio Carlos Jobim stars. “Bonfa plays the guitar like no other, in a very personal, charismatic style. His guitar is a little orchestra,” the late composer Jobim once said. His reputation grew further when he was a featured performer at the Bossa Nova festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1962. He was even more famous for his more than 500 compositions especially Manhade Carnaval andSamba de Orpheu. Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley recorded songs written by Bonfa. In recent years, his productivity slowed. His last major label release “The Bonfa Magic,” was recorded in 1991.
. 2001 ~ Opera singer Kyra Vayne, a star of the 1940s and 1950s whose talents were rediscovered in the 1990s, died at age 84. The Russian-born soprano was born in St. Petersburg. Vayne fled the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution with her family and was eight years old when her family settled in London. She began a successful opera career in the 1940s, and sang for allied troops during World War II. She later joined the Russian Opera Company, then based at London’s Savoy Theater. Her career collapsed in 1957 when her agent, Eugene Iskoldoff, committed suicide, and for the next 35 years she worked as a secretary for the British Broadcasting Corp.
In the early 1990s, a music company released four recordings of her voice, leading the U.S. music magazine “Fanfare” to ask, “How is it possible that such a singer has not come down to us as one of the century’s most celebrated sopranos?” Soon afterward, Arcadia Books published her autobiography, “A Voice Reborn,” which tenor Placido Domingo described as having “all the elements of an opera.” At the end of 1999, nearly 80 years after she fled Russia, Vayne was invited to perform at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater to mark the new millennium – her first public performance in 40 years. “For me to sing at the Bolshoi is beyond any fairy tale,” she said at the time. “I am not worried about singing in public again after so long, but I am fearful of the emotional impact.” Vayne never married and had no children.
. 2003 ~ Maurice Gibb, a member of the famed disco band the Bee Gees, died at a Miami Beach hospital. He was 53. Gibb, joined with his older brother and his twin to harmonize their way to becoming one of the best selling musical groups ever. Gibb played bass and keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb. In a 1978 interview with TG Magazine, Gibb lamented the perception that the Bee Gees were only a disco band. “People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now,” Gibb said. “But they don’t know what they’re talking about. If you listen to our records, you’ll find that there’s dance music. But there are also ballads like More Than A Woman. And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too.” The Bee Gees – twins Maurice and Robin, and their older brother Barry – have lived in South Florida since the late 1970s. Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment. Chris Hutchins, a writer and former press agent for the Bee Gees, said Maurice was “very much a tormented soul.” “He was not the star (of the Bee Gees), and he knew it, he felt it,” Hutchins told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. Known for their close harmonies and original sound, the Bee Gees are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their 1977 contributions to the “Saturday Night Fever” album made it the best selling movie soundtrack ever with more than 40 million copies sold. Among their disco hits on that album are Stayin’ Alive, More Than a Woman and How Deep Is Your Love and Night Fever. The group won seven Grammy Awards. The Bee Gees last album was in 2001, entitled “This Is Where I Came In.” The family emigrated from England to Australia in 1958, and the brothers soon gained fame as a teen pop group. They returned to England in the 1960s, and their first four albums contained hits such as 1941 New York Mining Disaster, To Love Somebody and their first U.S. number one song, 1971’s How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.
The Bee Gees followed “Saturday Night Fever” with the 1978 album “Spirits Having Flown” which sold 20 million copies. The brothers wrote and produced songs for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick in the 1980s. They also wrote the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit Islands in the Stream. The Bee Gees released three studio albums and went on a world tour in the 1990s. The live album from the tour “One Night Only,” sold more than 1 million albums in the United States. The Bee Gees run a music production company in Miami called Middle Ear Studios. Gibb’s first wife was British singer Lulu. He and his second wife, Yvonne, were married for more than 20 years and had two children.
• 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.
• 1925 ~ Jimmy Smith, Grammy Award-winning musician, modern jazz organist
• 1925 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr., American singer of popular music
1939 ~ James Galway, Irish flutist
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• 1939 ~ Jerry Butler, Singer with The Impressions
• 1941 ~ Ray Eberle and The Modernaires teamed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra to record Moonlight Cocktail on Bluebird Records. By April, 1942, the song was a solid hit.
• 1942 ~ Bobby Elliott, Drummer with The Hollies
• 1943 ~ Jim (James Douglas) Morrison ‘The Lizard King’, Singer in the rock group The Doors
• 1946 ~ John Rubinstein, Tony Award-winning actor, composer
• 1947 ~ Gregg Allman, Keyboards, guitar, singer with Allman Brothers Band
• 1957 ~ Phil Collen, Guitarist with Def Leppard
• 1961 ~ Surfin’, The Beach Boys first record, was released on Candix Records. It became a local hit in Los Angeles but only made it to #75 nationally. The surfin’ music craze didn’t take hold across America for another year. By the time Surfin’ Safari entered the Top 40 (September, 1962), though, The Beach Boys were ridin’ a wave of popularity that continues today.
• 1963 ~ Florence Henderson and Jose Ferrer co-starred in The Girl Who Came to Supper on Broadway. The production, however, only lasted for 112 shows.
• 1963 ~ Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He was set free four days later. It was discovered that Sinatra, Jr. cooperated with his abductors in their plot. Dad was not proud, nor pleased. Frank, Jr. went on to conduct the big band for Frank, Sr. and all was well.
• 1966 ~ Sinead O’Connor, Singer
• 1980 ~ John Lennon was shot and killed on this day as he stood outside of his New York City apartment house, the Dakota. A deranged, obsessed ‘fan’ asked Lennon to autograph an album, then shot him as Lennon started to comply. The man was quickly apprehended by others gathered at the scene. A several-days vigil by hundreds of mourning fans is remembered as candles flickered and the song Give Peace a Chance was heard, a continuing tribute to the musician and songwriter of a generation. John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, together with New York’s officials, set up a permanent memorial to her husband: a section of Central Park, opposite the Dakota, named Strawberry Fields.
• 1982 ~ Marty Robbins passed away
• 2003 ~ Lewis Allen, producer of the Broadway hit “Annie” and winner of three Tony Awards, died of pancreatic cancer, his wife said. He was 81. “Annie” opened in 1977 and ran for six years. Allen won a Tony for it and for two plays he produced: Herb Gardner’s “I’m Not Rappaport” in 1986 and Terrence McNally’s “Master Class” in 1996. Allen also produced several films, including Shirley Clarke’s “The Connection” (1961), Francois Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451” (1966) and both the 1963 and 1990 versions of “Lord ofthe Flies.” He was an early supporter of “Annie,” which started life at a regional theater in Connecticut. Although that production received lukewarm reviews, Allen got producer-director Mike Nichols to join him in backing the Broadway version, which spawned the 1982 film version that Allen did not produce. Allen was born in Berryville, Va., graduated from the University of Virginia and served with the American Field Service during World War II. His wife, Jay Presson Allen, wrote the screenplays for “Cabaret” (1972) and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie”(1964).
• 2003 ~ Cuban pianist Ruben Gonzalez, who found new fame in the mid-1990s playing with Compay Segundo’s Buena Vista Social Club band, died. He was 84. Gonzalez’s keyboard gymnastics provided the heartbeat of the Buena Vista Social Club’s string of traditional Cuban “son” music albums beginning in 1997. The smallish man with grizzled hair and beard gained worldwide attention as the pianist on the opening album of the series, the Grammy-winning “Buena Vista Social Club.”
• 1934 ~ Cole Porter recorded his own composition titled, You’re the Top, from the show “Anything Goes”, on Victor.
• 1935 ~ A talented twelve-year-old sang on Wallace Beery’s NBC radio show on NBC. Judy Garland delighted the appreciative audience. The young girl would soon be in pictures and at the top of stardom. It would be only four years before Ms. Garland (George Jessel gave her the name, thinking it would be better than her own, Frances Gumm) captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere with her performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”.
• 1944 ~ Michael Piano, Singer with The Sandpipers
• 1946 ~ Keith Hopwood, Singer, guitarist with Herman’s Hermits
• 1952 ~ NBC~TV premiered Victory at Sea. The show was the first documentary film series to gain wide acceptance. Richard Rodgers wrote the score and Robert Russell Bennett orchestrated it. No Other Love, adapted from one of the songs in the score, became a hit for Perry Como in the summer of 1953.
• 1953 ~ Keith Strickland, Drummer with The B-52s
• 1956 ~ Walter Gieseking, German pianist/composer, died at the age of 60
• 1962 ~ The Rolling Stones consisting of Keith Richard, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart and drummer Tony Chapman recorded their first demo tape at Curly Clayton Studios in Highbury, London. They recorded three songs, Jimmy Reed’s ‘Close Together’, Bo Diddley’s ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘Soon Forgotten.’
• 1965 ~ The Beatles received MBE medals from the Queen of England, as they became Members of the British Empire. Ceremonies were held at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon returned his medal four years later in protest of Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian Civil War.
• 1971 ~ Memphis minister Al Green received a gold record for his single, Tired of Being Alone.
• 1984 ~ Barbra Streisand won multiplatinum certification for three albums that reached the four-million-dollar sales mark. “Greatest Hits, Vol. II”, “Guilty”, and “A Star is Born” (with Kris Kristofferson) were honored.
• 2001 ~ Laszlo Halasz, the first music director of the New York City Opera, died at the age of 96. Halasz became the opera’s first director in 1943. During his eight-year tenure, the New York City Opera became an important training ground for young singers. The company also became an important venue for new works. Born in Hungary, Halasz studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, where his teachers included Béla Bartók, Ernst von Dohnanyi, Leo Weiner and Zoltán Kodály. He made his professional debut as a pianist in 1928, but in 1931 decided to focus on conducting. He came to New York in 1936, and when the New York City Opera was formed in the fall of 1943, Halasz was appointed its music director. The company’s first season included productions of Puccini’s “Tosca,” Flotow’s “Martha” and Bizet’s “Carmen” Halasz conducted the company’s first American premiere, Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” in 1946, and the opera’s first world premiere, of William Grant Still’s “Troubled Island,” with a libretto by Langston Hughes. But the opera’s board was uneasy with Halasz’s ventures into modern opera. When the board insisted in 1951 that Halasz submit his repertory plans for approval, he resigned. The board ultimately relented, but when Halasz became involved in union disputes later that year, the board fired him. After leaving City Opera, Halasz began a second career as a record producer. He also conducted opera at houses in Frankfurt, Barcelona, Budapest, London and South America. As a teacher, he was on the conducting faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, in Baltimore, and the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y.
• 2001 ~ Herbert Weissenstein, a consultant who specialized in classical music, died at the age of 56. Weissenstein began his career in 1970 as public relations director for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He moved on to the New York Philharmonic and in 1979 became director of development and strategic planning at Carnegie Hall. In 1984, he founded H.F. Weissenstein & Co., which specialized in consulting, directing seminars, and publishing articles in the fields of management and development. His clients included the Electronic Media Forum, the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater, the Manhattan Theater Club, the International Organization for the Transition of Professional dancers and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
• 1930 ~ I Got Rhythm, by George Gershwin, sung by Ethel Merman, was a show-stopper in the production of “Girl Crazy” on Broadway. It was Merman’s debut on the Great White Way as she captivated audiences and launched her stellar career. “Girl Crazy” went on for 272 performances.
• 1931 ~ Rafael Puyana, Colombian harpsichordist
• 1938 ~ Melba Montgomery, Singer
• 1938 ~ One of the great songs of the big band era was recorded by Bob Crosby (Bing’s brother) and The Bob Cats. Big Noise from Winnetka on Decca Records featured Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc. Haggart whistled and played bass, while Bauduc played the skins.
• 1939 ~ Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) was organized on this day to compete with ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers). The two music licensing organizations’ goal is to ensure that composers, artists and publishers are properly paid for the use of their works.
• 1940 ~ Cliff Richard (Harry Webb), Singer
• 1946 ~ Justin Hayward, Guitarist, singer with The Moody Blues
• 1961 ~ The Broadway production “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” opened.
• 1971 ~ It was John and Yoko Day on The Dick Cavett Show on ABC. The couple promoted Lennon’s new LP (Imagine) and film (Imagine) and Yoko’s book, two films and a fine arts show.
• 1996 ~ Eighteen years after its creation, The Rolling Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus was finally released. The 1968 event put together by The Stones comprised two concerts on a circus stage and included performances by The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull and Jethro Tull. John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed as part of a supergroup called The Dirty Mac, along with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell and Keith Richards. It was originally planned to be aired on BBC TV.
• 2001 ~ Willam Farr Christensen, a Utah dancer who started on the vaudeville stage and went on to become one of the most important figures in American ballet, died at the age of 99. Founder of the San Francisco Ballet and Utah’s Ballet West, Christensen was the first person in the United States to choreograph full-length versions of several ballet classics, including “The Nutcracker”, “Coppelia” and “Swan Lake”. With his brothers Lew and Harold, he toured the famous Orpheum vaudeville circuit in the 1920s, performing a ballet act at a time when few Americans were familiar with the art. By 1934, Christensen had quit the circuit to found the first ballet company in Portland, Ore., then left three years later to join the San Francisco Opera Ballet as a principal soloist. Within a year he was named ballet master of the company. In 1941 he founded the San Francisco Ballet, the first major ballet company in the West. Christensen choreographed the country’s first full-length production of “The Nutcracker” in 1944, and today it is a Christmas tradition for nearly every ballet company in the nation.