If you’re traveling, I hope you have a wonderful time off and see you next Monday.
• 1902 ~ The Gibson Mandolin guitar company was formed. Gibson’s first electric guitar the ES-150 was produced in 1936, and in 1946 Gibson introduced the P-90 single coil pickup, which was eventually used on the first Les Paul model made in 1952.
• 1906 ~ Paul Creston, American composer and organist
• 1908 ~ Johnny Green, Songwriter of Coquette, Body and Soul, I’m Yours, (You Came Along From) Out of Nowhere, I Cover the Waterfront, Easy Come, Easy Go; won five Oscars for work on MGM films: “Easter Parade”, “West Side Story”, “Oliver”, “An American in Paris”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “High Society”, “Raintree County”, “The Great Caruso”, “Summer Stock” and “Brigadoon”
• 1914 ~ Ivory Joe Hunter, Singer, pianist, songwriter
• 1920 ~ Thelonious (Sphere) Monk, American jazz pianist and composer
• 1928 ~ You’re the Cream in My Coffee … comes from “Hold Everything”, which opened on Broadway this day and ran for 413 performances.
• 1935 ~ George Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess” opened on Broadway New York
• 1937 ~ The Mutual Broadcasting System debuted Thirty Minutes in Hollywood. 48 sponsors shared the cost of the program that aired in 72 cities nationwide. It was the first Mutual co-op radio show. George Jessel and Norma Talmadge starred. Music was provided by the Tommy Tucker Orchestra.
• 1940 ~ Moonlight and Roses, by Lanny Ross, was recorded on the Victor label.
• 1942 ~ The anniversary of the first production of Verdi’s opera Aida by an all African-American cast
• 1946 ~ Ben Vereen, American dancer and singer of popular music, Tony Award-winning actor, TV host of You Write the Songs
• 1953 ~ Midge (James) Ure, Singer, songwriter
• 1955 ~ David Lee Roth, Singer with Van Halen
• 1958 ~ Tanya Tucker, Singer
• 1961 ~ Martin Kemp, Bass with Spandau Ballet, brother of musician Gary Kemp
• 1970 ~ Neil Diamond reached the #1 spot on the pop music charts for the first time with Cracklin’ Rosie. In 1972, Diamond would reach a similar pinnacle with Song Sung Blue.
• 1979 ~ Not just Rumours, but fact, that Fleetwood Mac got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• 1985 ~ Yul Brynner passed away
• 2001 ~ Patricia Anne McKinnon, whose singing career began on Canadian television’s “Singalong Jubilee”, died of lymphatic cancer. She was 53. McKinnon was born in Shilo, Manitoba. Beginning her singing career at the age of 13, McKinnon sang for the Halifax-produced “Singalong Jubilee,” a show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also starred in television programs, including “Juliette,” “Show of the Week,” and “A Go Go ’66.” For more than 28 years McKinnon fought Hodgkins disease, which put her career on hold at times.
• 2003 ~ Eugene Istomin, one of the first great classical pianists born in America, died after battling liver cancer. He was 77. At 17, Istomin won both the prestigious Leventritt and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra awards. In 1943, he made sensational debuts in the same week with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy and the New York Philharmonic under Artur Rodzinski, playing Johannes Brahms’Second Piano Concerto. At 25, he began a long association with cellist Pablo Casals. A year and a half after Casals’ death in 1973, Istomin married his widow, Marta, now president of the Manhattan School of Music. In a career that carried him throughout the world, Istomin gave more than 4,000 concerts with leading conductors – including Bruno Walter, Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Leopold Stokowski and Leonard Bernstein.
• 2010 ~ Dame Joan Sutherland, Australian operatic soprano died at the age of 83
• 1863 ~ Isador Philipp, French pianist
• 1888 ~ Friedrich Schorr, Hungarian bass-baritone
• 1917 ~ Laurindo Almeida, Grammy Award-winning composer, musician, guitarist
• 1919 ~ Marge Champion (Marjorie Belcher), Dancer, actress, choreographer with Gower Champion, model for animated Snow White
• 1924 ~ Theatregoers heard the song Indian Love Call for the first time in the operetta Rose Marie, which opened in New York City.
• 1927 ~ Sophie Tucker recorded her signature song, Some of These Days, for Columbia Records.
• 1931 ~ The radio show 15 Minutes with Bing Crosby debuted on CBS. The singer became a super-hot property after the debut.
• 1936 ~ David Blaki, British composer
• 1939 ~ Sam Gooden, Singer with Roosters
• 1940 ~ Jimmy Clanton, Singer, songwriter, toured with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars
• 1943 ~ Rosalind Ashford, Singer with Martha and the Vandellas
• 1946 ~ Marty Grebb, Musician, keyboards with The Buckinghams
• 1957 ~ Steve Porcaro, Keyboards, singer with Toto
• 1958 ~ Fritz McIntyre, Keyboards with Simply Red
• 1965 ~ The Beatles received a gold record for their single Help!, from the movie of the same name.
• 1997 ~ Sir Rudolf Bing died. He was an Austrian-born opera impresario who worked in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, most notably being General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1950 to 1972.
• 2000 ~ Elvera Sanchez Davis, a tap dancer and the mother of Sammy Davis, Jr., died at the age of 95. Known as Baby Sanchez, Davis began performing at 16 in the chorus line at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem. She continued her career into the early 1940s, dancing for six years in the chorus line at the Apollo Theatre. In 1923, performing in a touring show called “Holiday in Dixie”, she met and married Sammy Davis Sr., also a dancer in the show. Their son was born in 1925. He became a tap-dance prodigy by age 10, trained and brought up by his father after his parents separated. Mrs. Davis retired when the Apollo disbanded its dance chorus, though she danced informally into her 90s. She also performed in touring revues and in films including Carl Micheaux’s 1936 “Swing”. Davis continued to be involved with tap dance until her death, serving from 1989 as an adviser to the New York Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day.
Sammy Davis, Jr. died in 1990 at the age of 64.
• 2001 ~ Troy Donahue died at the age of 65. He was a matinee idol who climbed to stardom in the 1950s with his role in “A Summer Place.”
• 2001 ~ Jazz saxophonist Jay Migliori, who worked with musicians and singers ranging from
Frank Zappa to Frank Sinatra, died of colon cancer. He was 70.
Migliori, who was also a founding member of the Grammy-winning jazz group Supersax, played on some 4,000 recordings during his career. Although he described his own style as “modern acoustic jazz with roots in bebop,” he was equally comfortable working with country stars like Glen Campbell, a wide variety of rock musicians including Zappa and the Four Seasons and pop stars as varied as Dean Martin and Celine Dion. He performed with more than two dozen bands over the years, including those led by Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, Terry Gibbs and Maynard Ferguson. In 1971, he joined Supersax, an ensemble built around a five-saxophone section that specialized in orchestrated Charlie Parker solos. He also recorded several albums of his own, including “Jazz in Transition” and “Smile.”
• 2006 ~ [Jean-Josephat] Clermont Pépin, Canadian pianist and composer (Implosion Symphony), died at the age of 80
Today is a great day for patriotic music and there’s nothing better than John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever
A part of every Fourth of July program at the Esplanade in Boston involves a giant American flag unfurling from the ceiling during the Stars and Stripes. Can you find it?
Piano arrangement by Vladimir Horowitz:
With Horowitz playing:
The Muppets version of Stars and Stripes forever
The animated graphical score:
The Band of the Grenadier Guards
The same melody can be heard with these words:
John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever is never part of a regular circus program. It is reserved for emergency use – sometimes called the “Disaster March”. If a major problem happens — an animal gets loose, a high wind threatens the tent, or a fire breaks out — the band plays the march as a warning signal to every worker on the circus lot that something is wrong.
Find piano arrangements of the Stars and Stripes Forever in Movement 2
Closing out today, enjoy The Year 1812, Festival Overture in E♭ major, Op. 49, popularly known as the 1812 Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
• 1638 ~ Nicolas Forme, Composer, died at the age of 71
• 1652 ~ Jacques Huyn, Composer, died at the age of 39
• 1690 ~ Giovanni Legrenzi, Italian Composer, died at the age of 63
• 1708 ~ Jacques Danican Philidor, Composer, died at the age of 51
• 1738 ~ Bonaventura Furlanetto, Composer
• 1796 ~ James S McLean patented his piano
• 1799 ~ Jacques-François-Fromental-Elie Halévy, French composer whose five-act grand opera La Juive (1835) was, with Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, the prototype of early French grand opera.
• 1806 ~ Charles-Joseph Tolbecque, Composer
• 1822 ~ Joseph Joachim Raff, German composer and teacher, greatly celebrated in his lifetime but nearly forgotten in the late 20th century.
• 1822 ~ Henry Wylde, Composer
• 1849 ~ “Blind” Tom Bethune, Pianist and composer
• 1878 ~ Isadora Duncan, Dancer
• 1878 ~ Carlo Marsili, Composer, died at the age of 49
• 1884 ~ Bax Brod, Composer
• 1888 ~ Louis Durey, Composer
• 1891 ~ Claude Adonai Champagne, Composer
• 1900 ~ Leopold Godowsky, Jr., American musician and photographic technician primarily known as a co-developer of Kodachrome film (1935).
• 1902 ~ Celius Dougherty, Composer
• 1906 ~ First outlining of Gustav Mahler’s 6th Symphony
• 1907 ~ Felix de Nobel, Dutch orchestra leader
• 1908 ~ Harold Rome, Composer
• 1909 ~ Isador Goodman, Composer
• 1914 ~ Hugh Le Caine, Composer
• 1928 ~ Thea Musgrave, Scottish composer, best known for her concertos operas and choral and other vocal works.
• 1929 ~ Donald Howard Keats, Composer
• 1930 ~ Eino Tamberg, Composer
• 1931 ~ Veroslav Neumann, Composer
• 1932 ~ Jeffrey Bernard, Singer
• 1935 ~ Ramsey Lewis, American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader
• 1935 ~ Elias Gistelinck, Flemish Composer
• 1939 ~ Don Williams, Country singer
• 1940 ~ Rene Koering, Composer
• 1942 ~ Priscilla Anne McLean, Composer
• 1947 ~ Liana Alexandra, Composer
• 1950 ~ Frank Sinatra made his TV debut as he appeared on NBC’s “Star-Spangled Review” with show biz legend, Bob Hope.
• 1957 ~ Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion), Singer with Siouxsie and the Banshees
• 1957 ~ That’ll be the Day, by The Crickets and featuring Buddy Holly, was released by Brunswick Records. On September 14th, the tune became the most popular record in the U.S. It was the first hit for Holly and his group after two previous releases went nowhere on Decca Records in 1956.
• 1961 ~ Singer Johnny Cash turned TV actor. He appeared on the NBC drama, “The Deputy”.
• 1972 ~ “Applause” closed at the Palace Theater in New York City after 900 performances
• 1975 ~ Paul McCartney released Venus & Mars
• 1983 ~ Arnoldus Christian Vlok van Wyk, Composer, died at the age of 67
• 1988 ~ Melvin J “Cy” Oliver, American jazz composer and orchestra leader died at the age of 77
• 1994 ~ Red Rodney, Bebop-trumpeter died at the age of 66
• 1995 ~ C W Stubblefield, Music Promoter died at the age of 64
• 1995 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, Composer, died at the age of 78
• 1996 ~ Albert “Pud” Brown, Clarinetist and saxophonist died at the age of 79
• 1996 ~ Ivan Sutton, Concert Promoter died at the age of 82
• 2017 ~ Gregg Allman, the soulful singer-songwriter and rock n’ blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band with his late brother, Duane, and composed such classics as “Midnight Rider,” “Melissa” and the epic concert jam “Whipping Post,” died at age 69
Each year on May 22 we observe National Buy a Musical Instrument Day. The day is all about playing music. If you are a musician, it might be time for a new instrument. Maybe you can learn to play a second or third one. If you have never played an instrument before, National Buy A Musical Instrument Day might be the motivation you need to start.
Naturally, here at the O’Connor Music Studio, a piano, keyboard with weighted keys (and 88 of them!) or organ is recommended but this day is for all types of instruments and is for people of all ages. Grandpa can play his ukulele while the grandkids play the drums, trombone, and flute. Together they can all make terrific music!