. 1787 ~ Franz Gruber, composer of Silent Night. The song was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in present-day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had written the lyrics of the song “Stille Nacht” in 1816.
The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass. It is unknown what inspired Mohr to write the lyrics, or what prompted him to create a new carol.
1896 ~ Virgil Thomson, American composer, conductor and music critic
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. 1924 ~ Paul Desmond, was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer, best known for the work he did in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for composing that group’s greatest hit, “Take Five”.
. 1925 ~ Derroll Adams, Country singer, played with Jack Elliott
. 1931 ~ Nat Adderley, Musician, cornet, mellophone, French horn, trumpet, brother of Cannonball Adderley
. 1941 ~ Percy Sledge, Singer
. 1949 ~ Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Johnnie Marks, appeared on the music charts and became THE musical hit of the Christmas season. Although Gene Autry’s rendition is the most popular, 80 different versions of the song have been recorded, with nearly 20,000,000 copies sold.
. 1955 ~ Following a summer at the top of the American pop charts, Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets became the #1 song in Great Britain.
. 1585 ~ Thomas Tallis, English composer, died at the age of 80
. 1666 ~ Giuseppe Guarneri, Italian violin maker
1876 ~ Manuel de Falla, Spanish composer and conductor
More information about de Falla
. 1889 ~ The first ‘Nickel-in-the-Slot’ (jukebox) was placed in service in the Palais Royal Saloon in San Francisco, California. Juke, at the time, was a slang word for a disorderly house, or house of ill repute. The unit, developed by Louis T. Glass, contained an Edison tinfoil phonograph with four listening tubes. There was a coin slot for each tube. 5 cents bought a few minutes of music. The contraption took in $1,000 in six months!
1903 ~ Enrico Caruso, famed Italian tenor, made his debut in the United States at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. He sang in the role of the Duke in Rigoletto.
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. 1920 ~ Herman Nieland, Dutch organist/pianist/composer
. 1924 ~ Vincent Lopez and some 40 jazz musicians presented a concert of upbeat music at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC.
. 1928 ~ Jerry Bock, American songwriter for the musical theater
1933 ~ Krzysztof Penderecki, Polish composer and conductor
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. 1935 ~ Ethel Leginska became the first woman to write an opera and conduct it. Her original work, titled Gale, opened at the Chicago City Opera Company.
. 1938 ~ Bob Hope and Shirley Ross recorded a song for the film, The Big Broadcast of 1938. Thanks for the Memory became Decca record number 2219. It also became Hope’s theme song.
. 1955 ~ Ludovico Einaudi, Italian composer and pianist
. 1974 ~ Billy Swan reached the #1 spot on the singles charts for the first and only time. I Can Help was the most popular song in the U.S. for two weeks.
. 1925 ~ Gunther Schuller, American composer, conductor, French-horn player and educator
. 1938 ~ Bunny Berigan and his orchestra recorded Jelly Roll Blues on Victor Records. The tune became a standard for the band.
. 1943 ~ Floyd Sneed, Drummer with Three Dog Night
. 1946 ~ Aston Barrett, Musician with ‘Family Man’, bass with Bob Marley & The Wailers
. 1949 ~ Steve ‘Miami’ Van Zandt, Singer, songwriter, guitar
. 1950 ~ Tina (Martina) Weymouth, Bass with Talking Heads
. 1953 ~ Craig Hundley, Pianist with the Craig Hundley Trio
. 1955 ~ RCA paid the unheard of sum of $25,000 to Sam Phillips of Memphis, TN for the rights to the music of a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi: Elvis Presley. Thanks to negotiations with Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, RCA tossed in a $5,000 bonus as well, for a pink Cadillac for Elvis’ mother.
. 1957 ~ The Miles Davis Quintet debuted with a jazz concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.
. 1965 ~ The production of Man of LaMancha, including the classic The Impossible Dream, opened in New York City for the first of 2,328 performances.
. 1975 ~ Dr. Zhivago appeared on TV for the first time. The production, including Somewhere My Love, had earned $93 million from theater tickets over ten years. NBC paid $4 million for the broadcast rights.
. 1977 ~ Tony Orlando returned to the concert stage after a self-imposed, three-month retirement following the suicide death of his good friend, Freddie Prinze. Orlando appeared in concert in San Carlos, California.
. 2001 ~ Norman Granz, the impresario who helped make jazz more accessible to the public while making the music business fairer to black performers, died in Geneva, Switzerland, of complications from cancer. He was 83. Granz owned four labels – Clef, Norgran, Verve and Pablo – and at one time or another recorded most of the major names in jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson. Many historians credit him with bringing top jazz performers in integrated bands into venues across the country through a series called Jazz at the Philharmonic. Granz’s efforts also helped end a system in which white performers generally earned far more than blacks. He insisted on equality in pay, dining and accommodations for his musicians. In 1947, he told Down Beat magazine that he lost $100,000, then a sizable sum, by turning down bookings in segregated concert halls.
• 1695 ~ Henry Purcell, English composer (Indian Queen), died at the age of 36
. 1710 ~ Bernardo Pasquini died. He was an Italian composer of operas, oratorios, cantatas and keyboard music. A renowned virtuoso keyboard player in his day, he was one of the most important Italian composers for harpsichord between Girolamo Frescobaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, having also made substantial contributions to the opera and oratorio.
. 1877 ~ Thomas A. Edison, who really enjoyed the jazz he heard coming from his newest invention, told those gathered that he just invented the ‘talking machine’ (phonograph). On February 19, 1878, Edison received a patent for the device.
. 1904 ~ Coleman Hawkins, American jazz tenor saxophonist, solo with the Fletcher Henderson band, jazz bandleader
• 1912 ~ Eleanor Powell, American actress and tap dancer (Born to Dance, Born to Dance)
. 1931 ~ Malcolm Williamson, Australian composer
. 1933 ~ Jean Shepard, Country singer
. 1934 ~ Cole Porter’s Anything Goes opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 420 performances.
.1934 ~ Ella Fitzgerald won Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Finding herself onstage as a result of pure chance after her name was drawn out of a hat, the aspiring dancer spontaneously decided to turn singer instead—a change of heart that would prove significant not only for herself personally, but also for the future course of American popular music.
. 1936 ~ James DePreist, Orchestra leader with the Oregon Symphony
1937 ~ Following Carnegie Hall performances in both 1906 and 1919, Arthur Rubinstein presented another historic and highly acclaimed performance at the arts center this day.
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• 1938 ~ Leopold Godowsky, pianist/composer, died at the age of 68
. 1940 ~ Dr. John (‘Mac’ Malcolm John Rebennack), Organ, guitar, singer, songwriter
. 1940 ~ Natalia Makarova, Ballerina with the Kirov Ballet (now Saint Petersburg Ballet) from 1959 until 1970
. 1944 ~ Happy trails to you, until we meet again….The Roy Rogers Show was first heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Singing along with Roy (‘The King of the Cowboys’), were the Whippoorwills and The Sons of the Pioneers.
. 1944 ~ I’m Beginning to See the Light, the song that would become the theme song for Harry James and his orchestra, was recorded this day. The song featured the lovely voice of Kitty Kallen (Little Things Mean a Lot).
. 1948 ~ Lonnie (LeRoy) Jordan, Keyboards, singer
. 1950 ~ Livingston Taylor, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, brother of singer James Taylor
. 1952 ~ Lorna Luft, Singer, actress, daughter of singer-actress Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft; sister of singer-actress Liza Minnelli
. 1955 ~ The first lady of the American stage, Helen Hayes, was honored for her many remarkable years in show business, as the Fulton Theatre in New York City was renamed the Helen Hayes Theatre.
. 1959 ~ Following his firing from WABC Radio in New York the day before, Alan Freed refused “on principle” to sign a statement that he never received money or gifts (payola) for plugging records. Incidentally, few may remember, but Freed left WABC while he was on the air. He was replaced in mid~record by Fred Robbins, who later became a nationally~known entertainment reporter for Mutual Radio.
. 1962 ~ Leonard Bernstein broadcast his Young People’s Concert “Sound of a Hall” from the New York Philharmonic’s new home at Lincoln Center (now David Geffen Hall). He spoke about the science of sound; acoustics, vibration, sound waves, echo and reverberation. ÒWell, the best test of dynamic range I can think of is that great piece of fireworks – Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812, because it begins as softly as possible with only 6 solo strings, and runs the whole dynamic range to a full orchestra, plus at the end, an extra brass band…plus the deafening roar of cannon plus the jangle of church bells…” We share with you this excerpt of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic performing the 1812 Overture.
. 1981 ~ Olivia Newton-John started the first of 10 weeks at the top of the pop music charts when Physical became the music world’s top tune.
. 1990 ~ Instrument lovers have paid some pretty awesome prices for violins made by Antonio Stradivari. But a red Strad owned by the family of composer Felix Mendelssohn sold on this day for an all-time high of $1,700,00.
. 2001 ~ Ralph Burns, who won Academy Awards, an Emmy and a Tony as a music arranger after making a name for himself in jazz as a piano player in the Woody Herman band, died at the age of 79. Burns collected his first Academy Award for adapting the musical score of the 1972 movie “Cabaret.” He won another Oscar for adapting the musical score for “All That Jazz,” an Emmy for television’s “Baryshnikov on Broadway” and a Tony in 1999 for the Broadway musical “Fosse.” His other film credits included “Lenny,” “In The Mood,” “Urban Cowboy,” “Annie,” “My Favorite Year” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” He also collaborated with Jule Styne on “Funny Girl” and Richard Rodgers on “No Strings.” The Massachusetts native, who took up piano as a child, was playing in dance bands in Boston when he was 12, graduating to jazz orchestras by his teens. He worked with Herman band’s for 15 years as both a writer and piano player, composing some of the group’s biggest hits. Among them were “Apple Honey,” “Bijou” and the three-part “Summer Sequence.” “Early Autumn,” written later as a fourth movement for “Summer Sequence,” became a hit with singers after Johnny Mercer supplied words for it. Later, Burns worked in the studio with such popular singers as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole.
. 2003 ~ Teddy Randazzo, co-author of more than 600 songs for acts including The Temptations and Frank Sinatra, died at the age of 68. With co-author Bobby Weinstein and others, Randazzo wrote hits such as Goin’ Out of My Head,Hurt So Bad and It’s Gonna Take a Miracle for acts such as Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Lettermen, Linda Ronstadt, The Temptations and Sinatra. Randazzo began his career at age 15 as lead singer of the group The Three Chuckles. The group’s first hit, Runaround, rose to No. 20 on the Billboard charts and sold more than 1 million copies. Randazzo started a solo career in 1957 and found modest success over the next seven years before meeting Weinstein. The duo’s songs have been recorded by more than 350 artists, including Gloria Gaynor, Queen Latifah and Luther Vandross. They parted ways in 1970 and Weinstein became an executive for Broadcast Music Inc. and Randazzo became a producer for Motown Records.
• 1724 ~ First Performance of J. S. Bach’s Sacred Cantata No. 26 Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig performed on the 24th Sunday following Trinity. A portion of Bach’s second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig, 1724-25.
• 1736 ~ J. S. Bach named court composer by Poland’s King Agustus III.
• 1826 ~ Composer Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny performed his overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for the first time.
• 1828 ~ Death of Austrian composer Franz Schubert in Vienna, at the age of 31 from typhus. He is buried near Beethoven.
• 1859 ~ Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, Russian composer and conductor
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• 1874 ~ Birth of composer Karl Adrian Wohlfahrt.
• 1875 ~ First Performance of Tchaikovsky‘s Third Symphony, in Moscow.
• 1888 ~ Piano Debut in Boston of composer Edward MacDowell with the Kneisel Quartet.
• 1905 ~ Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist and bandleader
• 1923 ~ First Performances of Béla Bartók‘sFive Dances and Zoltán Kodály‘sPsalums Hungaricus in Budapest, marking the 50th anniversary of the union of cities Buda and Pest.
• 1936 ~ Birth of classical music commentator (Detroit Symphony broadcasts) Dick Cavett, in Kearney, Nebraska. ABC-TV talk show host (Dick Cavett Show).
• 1936 ~ First concert recorded on magnetic tape with the London Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham at BASF’s own concert hall in Ludwigshaven, Germany.
• 1937 ~ Ray Collins, Songwriter
• 1938 ~ Hank Medress, Singer with The Tokens, record producer
• 1943 ~ Fred Lipsius, Piano, sax with Blood Sweat & Tears
• 1943 ~ Stan Kenton and his orchestra recorded Artistry in Rhythm, the song that later become the Kenton theme. It was Capitol record number 159. The other side of the disk was titled, Eager Beaver.
• 1944 ~ Agnes Baltsa, Greek mezzo-soprano
• 1954 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. was involved in a serious auto accident in San Bernardino, CA. Three days later, Davis lost the sight in his left eye. He later referred to the accident as the turning point of his career.
• 1957 ~ American conductor Leonard Bernstein named Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. First American-born and educated conductor named to head an important American Orchestra.
• 1961 ~ A year after Chubby Checker reached the #1 spot with The Twist, the singer appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show to sing the song again. The Twist became the first record to reach #1 a second time around, on January 13, 1962.
• 1962 ~ For the first time, a jazz concert was presented at the White House. Jazz had previously been served as background music only.
• 2000 ~ First Performance of Philip Glass‘ Double Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, by the American Composers Orchestra. Lincoln Center in New York.
• 2017 ~ Della Reese [Delloreese Patricia Early], American singer and actress (Della Reese Show, Royal Family), died at the age of 86
• 2017 ~ Mel Tillis [Lonnie Melvin Tillis], American country singer (Who’s Julie, M-M-Mel), died of respiratory failure at the age of 85
• 1726 ~ The first performance of J. S. Bach‘s Sacred Cantata No. 55 Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht on the 22nd Sunday following Trinity. Was part of Bach’s third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig 1725-27
• 1848 ~ Frederic Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.
• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.
• 1877 ~ The first production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera, The Sorcerer, was presented, in London.
• 1888~ The first production of Tchaikovsky‘s Fifth Symphony in St. Petersburg.
• 1891 ~ Poland’s premier and premier ivory tickler, Ignace Jan Paderewski, made his American debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In later years, Paderewski, who suffered from arthritis, settled in Paso Robles, CA. The hot mineral baths located there eased his pain. He played only Steinway grand pianos custom-built to his specifications. In fact, five were made just for his use.
• 1925 ~ Sir Charles Mackerras, Australian conductor
• 1930 ~ David Amram, American composer and French-horn player
• 1938 ~ Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian folk singer, songwriter and guitarist
• 1938 ~ Orchestra leader Kay Kyser, speaking to an audience at the College of the City of New York (CCNY) told of the “inner workings and artistic features of swing music.” It marked the first of a series of lectures on swing music presented by Kyser, who went on to present The Kollege of Musical Knowledge on radio.
• 1941 ~ Gene Clark, Singer, guitar with The Byrds
• 1942 ~ Bob Gaudio, Singer with The Royal Teens; The Four Seasons
• 1946 ~ Martin Barre, Guitarist with Jethro Tull
• 1950 ~ Roberta Peters filled in for the lead in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, making her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She would become one of the Met’s most famous stars.
• 1962 ~ The 4 Seasons, with Frankie Valli as lead singer, began a five-week run at the top of the tunedex with Big Girls Don’t Cry.
• 1967 ~ Ronald DeVoe, Singer with New Edition
• 1970 ~ Elton John recorded an album live, on what was WABC-FM in New York City. It marked the first time that a concert was aired live and recorded for release as aired. The LP was titled, 11/17/70.
• 1981 ~ Bob Eberly died
• 2001 ~ Jerry Jerome, a tenor sax player who was a featured soloist with the bands of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, died of leukemia. He was 89. One of the big names in the Big Band era, Jerome was a featured soloist with the Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo and Artie Shaw orchestras. He then became a successful musical director and conductor on radio and television. Jerome also established a music business, scoring and arranging commercial jingles. Three years ago, Arbors Records released Jerome’s “Something Old, Something New.” The sequel recording, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” will be released in December. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jerome started playing the sax while in high school. He attended the University of Alabama and went on the medical school, playing gigs at jazz clubs to earn tuition money. He joined Goodman’s orchestra at the height of its popularity in 1938. When Goodman broke up his band in 1940, Jerome joined Shaw. While with Shaw, he appeared in the film “Second Chorus,” with Fred Astaire and Burgess Meredith.
• 2003 ~ Arthur Conley, a 1960s soul singer and protege of Otis Redding’s, died at his home in the town of Ruurlo, in the eastern Netherlands. He was 57. Conley was born in Atlanta and started his recording career in 1959 as leader of the group Arthur and the Corvets. He was best known for his 1967 hit, Sweet Soul Music, which he co-wrote with Redding based on a number by Sam Cooke. Conley had several minor hits in the following two years. He moved to Europe in the early 1970s after several tours of the continent, deciding that he was “fed up with the pressure” in the United States, said Giesen. In the Netherlands, Conley appeared on television and radio, and ran an independent record label. In the last five years he was an adviser to The Original Sixties R&B and Soul Show, which sought to reproduce the sound and look of the heyday of soul.
• 2018 ~ Cyril Pahinui, a nationally recognized Hawaiian guitarist and singer who preserved and extended the tradition of slack-key guitar, died at the age of 68
• 1569 ~ Paul Sartorius, German organist and composer
• 1615 ~ Guillaume Dumanoir, II, French violinist and composer who composed dance music enjoyed by Louis XIV
• 1667 ~ Nathaniel Schnittelbach, composer, died at the age of 34
• 1715 ~ Girolamo Abos, composer of Italian opera and church music.
• 1720 ~ Carlo Antonio Campioni, Italian composer.
• 1757 ~ Daniel Read, American composer of the First New England School, and one of the primary figures in early American classical music.
• 1775 ~ Karl Marian Paradeiser, German composer, died at the age of 28.
• 1780 ~ Robert Archibald Smith, English composer.
• 1829 ~ Anton G Rubinstein, Russian pianist/conductor/composer
• 1840 ~ Frederick Scotson Clark, composer.
• 1848 ~ Frédéric Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.
• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.
• 1852 ~ Minnie Hauk, American soprano
• 1854 ~ First Performance of Anton Rubinstein‘s Ocean Symphony in Leipzig.
• 1860 ~ Edmund Scheucker, Viennese harpist.
• 1861 ~ Vaclav Suk, Czech-born Russian composer and violinist.
• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.
• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.
• 1870 ~ Alfred Hill, Australian composer
• 1873 ~ David Karl Björling, Swedish tenor
• 1873 ~ W.C. Handy, American blues composer and bandleader
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• 1889 ~ George S. (Simon) Kaufman, Playwright: The Cocoanuts, A Night at the Opera, with Moss Hart, The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can’t Take It with You
• 1893 ~ George Alexander Osborne, Irish pianist and composer (La Pluie de perles), died of natural causes at the age of 87
• 1894 ~ Debut of opera star Enrico Caruso in Mario Morelli’s L’Amico Francesco at Naples Teatro Nuovo.
• 1895 ~ Paul Hindemith, German-born American composer and conductor
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• 1896 ~ Lawrence Mervil Tibbett, American baritone
• 1905 ~ Eddie (Albert) Condon, Guitarist, bandleader, promoter of Dixieland Jazz
• 1908 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini made his debut in the United States this day. He appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, conducting Aida.
• 1931 ~ Bob Gibson, Singer, songwriter, leader of folk music movement in late ’50s, duo of Gibson and (Bob) Camp
• 1932 ~ The Palace in New York City closed its doors. It was the most famous vaudeville theater in America. Later, it became a movie house with live performances preceding the flicks; most notably: the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their heyday.
• 1935 ~ The Rodgers and Hart musical, Jumbo, opened in New York City for a run of 233 performances.
• 1937 ~ Bob Crosby and his orchestra recorded South Rampart Street Parade on Decca Records.
• 1945 ~ Martine Van Hammel, Ballet, American Ballet Theatre
• 1955 ~ ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford drove to the top spot on the record charts on this day. Sixteen Tons, where he owed his “soul to the company store…”, became the fastest-selling record in history, jumping to #1 in just 3 weeks. The tune, on Capitol Records, stayed at #1 for eight weeks.
• 1964 ~ Albert Hay Malotte, composer, died at the age of 69
• 1964 ~ Diana Krall, Canadian Jazz pianist and singer
• 1970 ~ Anne Murray received a gold record for Snowbird. She was the first Canadian recording artist to receive a gold record.
• 2000 ~ Russ Conway, a British pianist known as the “Prince Charming of Pop” who sold
More than 30 million records in the 1950s and ’60s, died at age 75. He had 17 consecutive hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and won a silver disc when his record Roulette topped 250,000 sales – a total rapidly equaled by three other hits, Sidesaddle, China Tea and Snow Coach. Conway’s formal piano education consisted of one lesson at age 4. He left school at 14 and got work in a lawyer’s office. But he was sent to juvenile detention for three years for taking money he found in a package. In a detention center, he found a piano to play. While doing a stint as a pianist in a club, he was discovered by choreographer Irving Davies. He went on to provide piano accompaniment to a string of singers. Soon he was composing the songs that made him famous and won him the nicknames “Prince Charming of Pop” and the “Sheik of the Keyboard.”
• 2001 ~ Blue guitarist and singer Isaac Scott, a major figure in the city’s music scene for more than a quarter century, died of complications from diabetes. He was 56. A stream of musicians paid their respects to Scott, said his ex-wife, Eloise DePoe. He was found in his apartment Nov. 4 and never regained consciousness. Scott recorded several albums, including “The Isaac Scott Band,” “Big Time Blues Man” and “High Class Woman.” He also appeared on the compilation albums “Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival” and “Live at the Roadhouse.” Primarily a “cover artist,” Scott did not write his own songs, which hindered national recognition. But he received several local honors, including the Washington Blues Society’s Hall of Fame (1991) and lifetime-achievement (2000) awards. He also performed at last year’s opening of the Experience Music Project. Scott taught himself piano and guitar, and started out playing gospel music, once touring the West Coast with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. In 1974, he turned his attention to blues, with a sound flavored by his love of Seattle-born guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Like Albert Collins, an early influence, Scott played electric guitar with his thumb instead of a pick, which contributed to his distinctive sound. He also was known for his stamina, often playing two- and three-hour sets.
• 2001 ~ Tommy Flanagan, a jazz pianist who worked with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, died of an arterial aneurysm. He was 71. Flanagan, part of his own classic jazz trio, accompanied Fitzgerald for 20 years, also acting as her musical director. He also worked for Tony Bennett. He became a celebrated figure in jazz with such trio albums as “Jazz Poet” (1989) and “Let’s” (1993). Flanagan’s trio included bassists George Mraz and Peter Washington, and drummers Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash and Albert Heath. Flanagan won the distinguished Danish Jazzpar Prize in 1993. Born in Detroit, Flanagan was the youngest of six children. He recorded “Sunset and the Mockingbird: The Birthday Concert,” live at the Vanguard in 1998. He was to appear at Iridium this holiday season.
.1778 ~ Johann Nepomuk Hummel, German pianist and composer
.1805 ~ Fanny Cacilia Mendelssohn Hensel, German pianist and composer. She composed over 460 pieces of music. Her compositions include a piano trio and several books of solo piano pieces and songs. A number of her songs were originally published under her brother, Felix Mendelssohn’s, name in his opus 8 and 9 collections. Her piano works are often in the manner of songs, and many carry the name Lieder für das Pianoforte (Songs for the piano, a parallel to Felix’s Songs without Words).
.1831 ~ Ignaz Joseph Pleyel, Austrian composer/piano builder, died at the age of 74
1900 ~ Aaron Copland, American composer and conductor
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.1904 ~ Art Hodes, Russian-born American jazz pianist
.1915 ~ Martha Tilton, Singer, actress in The Benny Goodman Story, Sunny
.1915 ~ Theodor Leschetizky, composer, died at the age of 85
.1920 ~ Johnny Desmond (Giovanni DeSimone), Singer with the Bob-O-Links, the Bob Crosby Band, Glenn Miller AAF band, Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club, Your Hit Parade, Face the Music and an actor
.1921 ~ KYW radio, Chicago, IL broadcast the first opera by a professional company. Listeners heard Samson Et Dalila as it was being performed at the Chicago Auditorium.
.1940 ~ Freddie Garrity, Singer with Freddie and the Dreamers
.1944 ~ An outstanding array of musicians gathered in Hollywood to record a classic. Tommy Dorsey and orchestra made Opus No. 1, Victor record number 20-1608. Buddy Rich was the drummer in the session, Al Klink and Buddy DeFranco blew sax and Nelson Riddle played trombone on the Sy Oliver arrangement.
.1946 ~ Manuel de Falla, Spanish composer died at the age of 70. Along with Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados, he was one of Spain’s most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century.
.1948 ~ James Young, Guitarist with Styx
.1951 ~ Stephen Bishop, Singer, guitarist, songwriter
.1953 ~ Alexander O’Neal, Songwriter, singer
.1954 ~ Yanni (Chrysomallis), Pianist, music used on broadcasts of Tour de France, Olympic Games, World Series; swimmer on the Greek National Swim Team
.1955 ~ Frankie Banali, Musician with Quiet Riot
.1956 ~ Alec Such, Bass with Bon Jovi
.1967 ~ The Monkees received a gold record for Daydream Believer.
.1975 ~ They Just Can’t Stop It (The Games People Play) became a gold record for the Spinners. Their other hits include Then Came You (with Dionne Warwick), Could It Be I’m Falling in Love, The Rubberband Man, Working My Way Back to You, Cupid, It’s a Shame and I’ll Be Around, for Motown.
.1977 ~ Richard Addinsell, English composer (Alice in Wonderland), died at the age of 73
.1981 ~ For the second week in a row, Daryl Hall and John Oates owned the top spot on the pop music charts with Private Eyes.
.2000 ~ David Wilson, drummer and backup vocalist for The Cascades, died at the age of 63. The Cascades were best known for their No. 1 1963 hit Rhythm of the Rain, as well as Second Chance and Shy Girl. Wilson was born in 1936 in Scotland and moved to the United States with his family six years later. After he joined the Navy, Wilson formed a band with songwriter John Gummoe and some friends in San Diego. They first called themselves the Thunder Notes, but later took the name The Cascades when they recorded Rhythm of the Rain. The single earned the group a gold record.
.1916 ~ Joe Bushkin, American jazz pianist (A Couple of Joes)
.1922 ~ Al Hirt, Trumpeter, Flight of the Bumble Bee as theme song for TV’s The Green Hornet, played in singer Don Gibson’s band, regular on Make Your Own Kind of Music
.1926 ~ Dame Joan Sutherland, Australian coloratura soprano
.1930 ~ The Waltz You Save for Me, by ‘The Waltz King’ himself, Wayne King, was recorded on Victor. It became King’s theme.
.1937 ~ Mary Travers, American folk singer, Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary
.1938 ~ Dee (Delectus) Clark, Singer
.1942 ~ Johnny Rivers (John Ramistella), Singer
.1943 ~ Joni Mitchell, Canadian folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, 1970 UK No.11 single ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, 1974 US No.7 single ‘Help Me’. She wrote ‘Both Sides Now’ a hit for Judy Collins and ‘Woodstock’ a hit for Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Matthews Southern Comfort. Mitchell’s work is highly respected by critics, and she has deeply influenced fellow musicians in a diverse range of genres.
.1947 ~ Billboard magazine began listing the top 15 popular records. Only 10 songs had been featured previously.
.1956 ~ Elvis Presley hit the charts with Love Me. The song was the first million-seller to make the charts without being released as a single. It was, instead, an EP (extended play) 45 rpm, with three other songs on it: Rip It Up, Paralyzed and When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again on RCA Victor.
.1970 ~ Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? was released by Columbia. It became the third tune by Chicago to hit the pop music charts. Make Me Smile and 25 or 6 to 4 were previous hits. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? made it to #7 on the charts, January 7, 1971.
.1976 ~ Gone With the Wind was aired (over two nights) on NBC-TV. The showing was the highest-rated TV show in history. 65 percent of all viewers turned on their sets to watch Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler.
.1978 ~ Nick Gilder, Singer
.1979 ~ The Rose, starring Bette Midler, got star treatment with a world premiere in Los Angeles. The movie was modeled after the life of Janis Joplin.
.2000 ~ Doug Nelson, bassist in teen blues star Jonny Lang’s band, was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck on a rural highway in northern Minnesota. He was 46. Nelson began playing professionally at age 15. He worked in Los Angeles for a time and toured with Olivia Newton-John, before returning in the late 1980s to the Twin Cities, where he played with local bands. He joined Lang’s group about three years ago.
.2000 ~ Columbia Legacy and Verve released a five-CD box set companion titled “Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of American Music” in addition to 22 individual artist discs.
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.2001 ~ Gene Wooten, a dobro player who backed Patty Loveless, the Osborne Brothers, Wilma Lee Cooper and other country stars, died from complications of lung cancer. He was 49. “He was like a teacher for everyone,” said mandolinist Roland White. “He was like our guru. He just helped everybody in music. … There was no ego ever – ever – and that’s hard to find.” Wooten, a native of Franklinton, N.C., attended Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where he began his career in music. He moved to Nashville in 1977 and was hired by Cooper. Wooten played on the Mountain Soul album by Loveless this year. He was voted best dobro player three times by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America.
.2004 ~ Howard Keel, American actor, singer and president of the Screen Actors Guild (7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Kiss Me Kate), died at the age of 87
.2016 ~ Leonard Cohen, Canadian writer and singer-songwriter (Death of Ladies Man), died at the age of 82
.2018 ~ Francis Lai, the French composer best known for his themes for the movies “Love Story” and “A Man and a Woman,” died at the age of 86.