March 17 in Music History

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

 

 

. 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
More information about Newman

. 1917 ~ Nat “King” Cole, American jazz singer and pianist
More information about Cole

. 1930 ~ Paul Horn, American jazz flutist, saxophonist, clarinetist and composer
More information about Horn

. 1938 ~ Rudolf Nureyev, Dancer
More information about Nureyev

. 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 Believe In Magic, Summer In The CityDaydream, You Didn’t Have to be So Nice, Nashville Cats His solos include Darling Be Home Soon and Welcome Back

 

On March 15 in Music History

 

More about the Ides of March

.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
More about Boulanger

. 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.”

On March 14 in Music History

pi-day

. 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.
More information about Telemann

. 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”
Read quotes by and about Strauss
More information about Strauss

. 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
Read quotes by and about Einstein

. 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.

On March 11 in Music History

today

. 1851 ~ The first performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto” was given in Venice.

Rigoletto lacks melody.  This opera has hardly any chance of being kept in the repertoire.” ~ Gazette Musicale de Paris, reviewing Rigoletto shortly after its premiere.

. 1876 ~ Carl Ruggles, American composer

. 1897 ~ Henry Dixon Cowell, American composer
More information about Cowell

. 1903 ~ Lawrence Welk, American accordionist and conductor of “champagne” music
More information about Welk

. 1914 ~ William Lloyd Webber, English composer

. 1919 ~ Mercer Ellington, Trumpeter, bandleader, songwriter, only son of Duke Ellington. He led the Duke’s band after he died.

. 1921 ~ Astor Piazzola, Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger

and

. 1942 ~ Vaughn Monroe and his orchestra recorded the classic, Sleepy Lagoon. It was the last song Monroe would record for Bluebird Records. Vaughn sang on the track while Ray Conniff played trombone. Both later moved to different record companies. Monroe went with RCA and Conniff to Columbia. The big-voiced baritone of Monroe was regularly heard on radio and he was featured in several movies in the 1950s. He died in May 1973. Racing With the Moon and Ghost Riders in the Sky were two of his greatest contributions to popular music.

. 1950 ~ Bobby McFerrin, Singer, pianist, jazz musician, songwriter, improvisational solo, McFerrin can sing all vocal parts and imitate instruments.

. 1968 ~ Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for the single, (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay. Redding was killed in a plane crash in Lake Monona in Madison, WI on December 10, 1967. The song was recorded just three days before his untimely death. He recorded 11 charted hit songs between 1965 and 1969. Otis Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

. 1975 ~ Philip Bezanson, composer, died at the age of 59. He helped guide the Department of Music at UMass Amherst through its period of rapid expansion in the late 1960s and early 1970s (when Mrs. O was a student there!). After graduate study (PhD 1954) and appointment to the faculty at the University of Iowa, Bezanson was brought to UMass in 1964 to become Head of the Music Department and helped to expand and reorient the program, recruiting an increasingly accomplished faculty, including his former student Frederick Tillis.

. 1985 ~ DJs around the U.S. began questioning listeners to see which ones could name the 46 pop music stars who appeared on the hit, We Are the World. The song, airing first on this day as a single, contains a “Who’s Who” of contemporary pop music.

. 2000 ~ Roy Henderson, a baritone famed for his performances of Frederick Delius’ works and a teacher of Kathleen Ferrier, died. He was 100.

. 2003 ~ Sidney Lippman, a songwriter who helped compose hits for Nat King Cole and other artists, died. He was 89. Lippman, who studied musical composition at the Juilliard School in New York, wrote or co-wrote several well-known songs, including Too Young, a song Cole took to the top of the charts in 1951. That hit, co-written by longtime collaborator Sylvia Dee, came two years after he teamed up with Buddy Kaye and Fred Wise on ‘A’ You’re Adorable (The Alphabet Song), a No. 1 hit performed by Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters.

. 2007 ~ Betty Hutton [Elizabeth June Thornburg], American actress, dancer, singer and comedian (Greatest Show on Earth), died of colon cancer at the age of 86

and

. 2015 ~ Jimmy Greenspoon died.  He was an American keyboard player and composer, best known as a member of the band, Three Dog Night.

. 2018 ~ Ken Dodd, British singer and comedian described as “the last great music hall entertainer,” died of complications from a chest infection at the age of 90.

On March 10 in Music History

international-bagpipe

 

and

mario-day

National Mario Day is observed each year on March 10th and honors Mario from the popular Nintendo game.
It is celebrated on March 10th because of the way the date appears, when abbreviated (Mar.10),  it looks just like the name Mario.

. 1832 ~ Muzio Clementi died.  He was an Italian-born English composer, pianist, pedagogue, conductor, music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer.  He is also the subject of this month’s Piano Explorer, which is enjoyed by my students.

. 1844 ~ Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist

. 1879 ~ Ignaz Moscheles died.  He was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso

. 1892 ~ Arthur Honegger, French composer
Read quotes by and about Honegger
More information about Honegger

1903 ~ “Bix” Beiderbecke, American jazz cornetist
More information about Beiderbecke

. 1910 ~ Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke, composer, died at the age of 85

. 1935 ~ Nelson Eddy recorded Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life for Victor Records. The song came from the film, “Naughty Marietta”. Later, Eddy recorded the classic tune with Jeanette MacDonald.

. 1937 ~ An audience of 21,000 jitterbuggers jammed the Paramount Theatre in New York City to see a young clarinetist whom they would crown, ‘King of Swing’ on this night. The popular musician was Benny Goodman.

. 1940 ~ W2XBS-TV in New York City originated the first televised opera as members of the Metropolitan Opera Company presented scenes from “I Pagliacci”.

. 1956 ~ Julie Andrews was 23 years old this night when she made her TV debut. She appeared with Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson in the musical adaptation of Maxwell Anderson’s play, “High Tor”.

. 1977 ~ E Power Biggs, English organist/composer (CBS), died at the age of 70

. 2003 ~ Lionel Dakers, who directed the Royal School of Church Music for 16 years, died at age 79. Dakers was a stickler for high musical standards and opposed some of the modernizing trends in English church music. Dakers was organist at Ripon Cathedral from 1954 to 1957, then moved to Exeter Cathedral before his appointment as director of the Royal School of Church Music in 1972. In 1976, he was appointed a director of Hymns Ancient & Modern, publisher of some of the most widely used Anglican hymnals.

. 2016 ~ Keith Emerson died.  He was an English keyboardist and composer with English rock musician Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

. 2017 ~(Joan) Joni Sledge, vocalist (Sister Sledge “We are Family”), died at the age of 60

On March 6 in Music History

today

. 1808 ~ The first college orchestra ever, organized at Harvard College.

. 1925 ~ Wes Montgomery, American jazz guitarist

. 1930 ~ Lorin Maazel, American conductor
More information on Maazel

. 1941 ~ Les Hite and his orchestra recorded The World is Waiting for the Sunrise on Bluebird Records. The instrumental became Hite’s most popular work. A decade later, Les Paul and Mary Ford added a vocal to the tune, making it one of their biggest-selling hit songs.

. 1944 ~ Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand soprano
More information on Te Kanawa

. 1962 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded his final session for Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra had been recording for his own record label, Reprise, for two years. His final side on Capitol was I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues, with Skip Martin’s orchestra.

. 1966 ~ Richard Hageman, Dutch-born American pianist, composer and conductor, died at the age of 84

. 1967 ~ Nelson Eddy passed away

. 1967 ~ Zoltán Kodály, Hungarian composer died

. 1985 ~ Yul Brynner played his famous role as the king in “The King and I” in his 4,500th performance in the musical. The actor, age 64, opened the successful production on Broadway in 1951.

. 2001 ~ Michael Smith, the drummer for the 1960s rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders, died in Kona, Hawaii, of natural causes at the age of 58. Smith, who played the part of the madcap jokester on stage, joined the band in 1962. The Raiders were known for their tri-cornered hats, colonial costumes and wild stage act. The Raiders were signed by CBS’ Columbia Records in 1963, and in 1965 they were hired to host “Where the Action Is,” a daily afternoon television show on ABC produced by Dick Clark Productions. The Raiders’ hit singles included Just Like Me, Kicks, Good Thing and Indian Reservation.

. 2018 ~ Arthur Foote, American classical composer, and a member of the “Boston Six” (Suite for Strings in E), died at the age of 83

On March 5 in Music History

today

. 1807 ~ The first performance of Ludwig von Beethoven’s 4th Symphony in B

. 1853 ~ Arthur William Foote, American composer

. 1887 ~ Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer and collector of Brazilian folk songs
More information about Villa-Lobos

. 1917 ~ The first jazz recording for Victor Records was released. The Original Dixieland ‘Jass’ Band performed on the tune The Dixie Jass Band One Step. The word ‘Jass’ was later changed to ‘Jazz‘.

. 1928 ~ Lou Levy, Pianist with Supersax; recorded with Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Anita O’Day

. 1931 ~ Barry Tuckwell, Austrian French-horn player

. 1931 ~ Without a Song was recorded by Lawrence Tibbett for Victor Records. This wonderful melody came from the film, “The Southerner” and has been a hit for many, including Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

. 1947 ~ Eddie Hodges, Singer, actor

. 1948 ~ Eddy Grant, Singer, songwriter

. 1950 ~ Eugene Fodor, Violinist, made solo debut at age 10 with the Denver Symphony, won first national competition at age 12, won first prize in International Paganini Competition, won highest prize in International Tchaikovsky Competition
More information about Fodor

. 1952 ~ Alan Clark, Keyboards with Dire Straits

. 1953 ~ Sergei Prokofiev passed away
More information about Prokofiev

. 1958 ~ Andy (Andrew Roy) Gibb, Singer with the Bee Gees, host of TV’s Solid Gold

. 1960 ~ Elvis Presley returned to civilian life after a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army. Not since General Douglas MacArthur returned from battle has a soldier received such publicity. Elvis said he probably would not be growing his famous and long sideburns back, though he did relent in later years.

. 1963 ~ Patsy Cline, Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and Hankshaw Hawkins were killed in a plane crash at Camden, TN, near Nashville. The famous country music stars were returning from a benefit performance. Cline, the ‘Queen of Country Music’ was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Jessica Lange played Patsy in the 1985 biographical film, Sweet Dreams, named after one of Cline’s hugely popular songs. Willie Nelson wrote her biggest hit, Crazy, which become a number one country hit and a top 10 pop song in November, 1961.

. 1969 ~ The rock magazine, Creem, was published for the first time this day.

. 1973 ~ Roberta Flack, riding at #1 on the pop music charts with, Killing Me Softly with His Song, could hardly wait to rip into the fancy frame containing her brand new gold record. She flew to the stereo machine and set the needle down on the shiny surface, only to hear Come Softly to Me. She was so impressed by this unexpected turn of the table that she wound up humming the old Fleetwoods song for three days.

. 2016 ~ Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Austrian conductor, particularly known for his historically informed performances of music from the Classical era and earlier, died at the age of 86