. 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
.1897 ~ First performance of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60. It is a symphony in four movements.
. 1835 ~ Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer who, together with brothers Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss made up the Strauss musical dynasty. He was the son of Johann Strauss I and Maria Anna Streim.
. 1873 ~ Lee Shubert, Broadway producer. Theaters in NY and LA named after him. He died in 1953
. 1907 ~ Jimmy McPartland, Jazz musician: cornetist; played for the Wolverine Orchestra, Embassy Four; bandleader; played at Newport Jazz Festival with wife, Marian
. 1916 ~ Harry James, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader, married to Betty Grable (second of four wives)
. 1918 ~ Lili Boulanger, composer, died at the age of 24
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. 1933 ~ Cecil Taylor, American jazz pianist and composer
. 1944 ~ Sly Stone, American soul-rock singer and instrumentalist
. 1956 ~ “My Fair Lady” opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater in New York City for 2,715 performances
. 1959 ~ The musical, No Strings, opened on Broadway at the 54th Street Theatre. Richard Kiley and Diahann Carroll starred in the show. Also featured was the show’s composer in an acting role, singing his own lyrics. The composer was Richard Rodgers.
. 1968 ~ LIFE magazine called Jimi Hendrix, “the most spectacular guitarist in the world.”
. 1987 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express” opened on Broadway. This was the first ever roller-skating musical.
. 1964 ~ My Fair Lady, by Lerner and Loewe, opened on Broadway. It ran for 6-1/2 years before 2,717 audiences. It became, thanks to Rex Harrison and an outstanding cast, the longest-running musical to that time.
. 1970 ~ The musical, Purlie, opened a run of 680 continuous performances on Broadway.
. 2001 ~ Ann Sothern died at the age of 92. She was an actress who starred as the saucy, liberated showgirl in MGM’s “Masie” movies during the 1940s and played single working women on TV in “Private Secretary” and “The Ann Southern Show.”
Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an influential American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. He wrote the Valentine Stomp above in 1929.
. 1626 ~ John Dowland, English composer (In Darkness We Dwell), died at the age of 62
. 1899 ~ Alexander Tcherepnin, pianist and composer
. 1903 ~ First performance of “The Wizard of Oz” as a Broadway musical
. 1917 ~ Billy Maxted, Pianist, songwriter, arranger and bandleader
. 1927 ~ The first opera to be broadcast over a national radio network was presented in Chicago, IL. Listeners heard selections from “Faust” by Charles Gounod.
. 1932 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani gave a memorable concert at Queen’s Hall in England to ‘glowing notices’. This was the beginning of the musician’s successful recording career that provided beautiful music to radio stations for nearly five decades. Better known as just Mantovani, his music still entertains us with hits like Red Sails in the Sunset, Serenade in the Night, Song from Moulin Rouge and Charmaine.
. 1939 ~ Wolfman Jack (Robert Smith), Disc jockey, icon of ’60s radio, broadcasting from XERF, then XERB in Mexico and heard throughout a major part of the U.S.; TV announcer: The Midnight Special; actor: American Graffiti; author: Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal
. 1942 ~ Mac (Scott) Davis, Singer, actor, host of The Mac Davis Show, songwriter, ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1975
. 1942 ~ Nostalgia buffs will want to grab the greatest hits CD of Count Basie (on Verve) and crank up One O’Clock Jump. Just one of the many signature tunes by Bill Basie; the tune was originally recorded on Okeh Records this day.
. 1948 ~ Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian composer and teacher
. 1950 ~ Billy Ocean, Grammy Award-winning R&B Male Vocal in 1984
. 1957 ~ Singer Patsy Cline appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s nighttime TV show. She sang the classic, Walking After Midnight, which quickly launched her career.
. 1959 ~ The Kingston Trio (Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard) received a gold record for Tom Dooley. The Kingston Trio recorded many hits, including Greenback Dollar, M.T.A., Reverend Mr. Black, TijuanaJail, and the war protest song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?.
. 1966 ~ George Harrison of The Beatles married Patricia (Patty) Anne Boyd in Surrey, England. The two met on the set of the movie, “A Hard Day’sNight”.
. 1970 ~ ABC-TV presented “The Johnny Cash Show” in prime time. Previously, the show had been a summer replacement. The regular season series was a big boost for country music. Johnny wore black in the all-color show, however, like he still does today.
. 1978 ~ The soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever” reached #1 on the album charts — a position it held for the next six months.
. 1987 ~ Thirty years after its release, Jackie Wilson’s single, Reet Petite (written by Motown founder Berry Gordy), ended a month at the top of England’s music charts. Three years earlier, on this same date, Jackie Wilson died after being in a coma (following a heart attack) for eight and a half years.
. 2002 ~ Peggy Lee, the singer-composer whose smoky voice in such songs as Is That All There Is? and Fever made her a jazz and pop legend, died of a heart attack. She was 81. Lee battled injury and ill health, including heart trouble, throughout a spectacular career that brought her a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and sold- out houses worldwide. In more than 50 years in show business, which began during a troubled childhood and endured through four broken marriages, Lee recorded hit songs with the Benny Goodman band, wrote songs for a Disney movie and starred on Broadway in a short-lived autobiographical show, Peg. A string of hits, notably Why Don’t You Do Right?, made her a star. Then she fell in love with Goodman’s guitarist, Dave Barbour, and withdrew from the music world to be his wife and raise their daughter, Nicki. She returned to singing when the marriage fell apart. Lee’s other notable recordings included Why Don’t You Do Right?I’m a Woman,Lover,Pass Me By,Where or When,The Way You Look Tonight,I’m Gonna Go Fishin‘ and Big Spender. The hit Is That All There Is? won her a Grammy for best contemporary female vocal performance in 1969. She collaborated with Sonny Burke on the songs for Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp, and was the voice for the wayward canine who sang He’s a Tramp (But I Love Him).
. 1889 ~ Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, American blues guitarist, folk singer and songwriter
. 1891 ~ Mischa Elman, violinist
1894 ~ Walter Hamor Piston, American composer
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. 1899 ~ Alexander Tcherepnin, Composer
. 1922 ~ Ray Anthony (Antonini), Bandleader
. 1926 ~ David Tudor, American pianist and composer of experimental music
. 1935 ~ Buddy Blake (Buddy Cunningham), Recording artist: recorded for Sun Records as B.B. Cunningham and Buddy Blake; record executive: Cover Record Co., Sam Phillips’ Holiday Inn label
. 1941 ~ Ron Townson, Singer with The 5th Dimension
. 1942 ~ Harry Babbitt sang as Kay Kyser and his orchestra recorded, Who Wouldn’tLove You, on Columbia Records. The record went on to be a big hit for Kyser.
. 1947 ~ George Grantham, Drummer with Poco
. 1958 ~ The rock ‘n’ roll classic, Get a Job, by The Silhouettes, was released.
. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley got a little U.S. mail this day with greetings from Uncle Sam. The draft board in Memphis, TN ordered the King to report for duty; but allowed a 60-day deferment for him to finish the film, “King Creole”.
. 1964, The Beatles, a British rock group, released its first LP album, “Meet The Beatles“, in the US record stores. The album turned out to be a super hit and reached #1 position on music charts by early February.
. 1965 ~ John Michael Montgomery, Country singer
. 1965 ~ Alan Freed, the ‘Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, died in Palm Springs, CA. Freed was one of the first radio disc jockeys to program black music, or race music, as it was termed, for white audiences. In the 1950s, Freed, at WJW Radio in Cleveland, coined the phrase, “rock ‘n’ roll,” before moving to WABC in New York. He was fired by WABC for allegedly accepting payola (being paid to play records by certain artists and record companies). The 1959-1960 congressional investigation into payola made Freed the scapegoat for what was a widespread practice. Freed, not so incidentally, died nearly penniless after the scandal was exposed.
. 2002 ~ Actress, writer and musician Carrie Hamilton, daughter of actress Carol Burnett, died of cancer. She was 38. Hamilton, whose father was the late producer Joe Hamilton, appeared in the television series “Fame” and had guest roles on other shows, including “Murder She Wrote,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “thirtysomething.” She also starred in television movies. She and her mother collaborated on a stage version of Burnett’s best-selling memoir “One More Time.” The resulting play, “Hollywood Arms,” will have its world premiere in Chicago in April, said Burnett’s publicist, Deborah Kelman. Hamilton spoke publicly in the ’80s about her struggles with addiction and her decision to go drug-free. She starred as Maureen in the first national touring version of the musical “Rent” and wrote and directed short films through the profit-sharing production company Namethkuf. She won “The Women in Film Award” at the 2001 Latino Film Festival for her short film “Lunchtime Thomas.”
. 2002 ~ John Jackson, who went from gravedigger to one of the pre-eminent blues musicians in the country, died from kidney failure. He was 77. During his long career, Jackson played for presidents and in 68 countries. Jackson earned a living as a cook, a butler, a chauffeur and a gravedigger before his music career took off. He was playing guitar for some friends at a gas station in Fairfax in 1964 when Charles L. Perdue, who teaches folklore at the University of Virginia, pulled in to get some gas. He listened as Jackson taught a song to a mailman he knew. He and Jackson became friends, and Perdue eventually helped launch Jackson’s career by introducing him to people in the music business. The seventh son of 14 children, Jackson had just three months’ education at the first-grade level. But he earned the admiration of fans from all walks of life around the world. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger are among the performers he has played with and befriended. Among his numerous awards is the National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage Fellowship Award, which he received in 1986.
1943 ~ Randy (Randall Stuart) Newman, American pop-rock songwriter, singer and pianist
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. 1945 ~ R.B. Greaves, Singer
. 1948 ~ Beeb Birtles, Guitarist with The Little River Band
. 1949 ~ Alexander Godunov, Ballet dancer, actor
. 1949 ~ Paul Shaffer, Bandleader on Late Show with David Letterman, comedian
. 1956 ~ Holding the #1 spot on the music charts: Guy Mitchell singing Singing the Blues. The song remained at the top of the Hit Parade for 10 weeks. Here’s a bit of trivia: Ray Conniff whistled the intro to Singing the Blues.
. 1966 ~ The New Vaudeville Band received a gold record for Winchester Cathedral this day.
. 1974 ~ John Lennon appeared in concert for the last time, at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Lennon joined Elton John to sing Whatever Gets You Through the Night as well as I Saw Her Standing There.
Night on Bald Mountain refers to a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a “musical picture”, St. John’s Eve on Bald Mountain on the theme of a witches’ sabbath occurring on St. John’s Eve, which he completed on that very night, June 23, in 1867.