. 1843 ~ Francis Scott Key, American lawyer, poet and composer of the lyrics to “Star Spangled Banner” died at the age of 63
. 1856 ~ Charles (Johann Christian) Sinding, Norwegian composer
. 1895 ~ Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ. The sound of the Hammond was used by many rock artists including; Procol Harum, Keith Emerson, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers and The Faces. Hammond died on July 3, 1973. There is a Hammond organ in the O’Connor Music Studio.
. 1901 ~ Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov died. Kalinnikov was a Russian composer of two symphonies, several additional orchestral works and numerous songs, all of them imbued with characteristics of folksong.
. 1902 ~ Maurice Duruflé, French organist and composer
. 1924 ~ Don Cherry, Singer with Band of Gold
. 1928 ~ Ol’ Man River was recorded on Victor Records by Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. Bing Crosby crooned as the song’s featured vocalist. The tune came from the Broadway musical, “Showboat”.
. 1930 ~ Jack Nimitz, Jazz ‘reed’ musician, toured with Supersax
. 1933 ~ Goldie Hill, Country entertainer, married to country singer, Carl Smith
. 1946 ~ Naomi (Diane) Judd, Grammy Award-winning singer in the duo, The Judds, mother of singers Wynonna and Ashley
. 1949 ~ Dennis (Frederick) Greene, Singer with Sha-Na-Na
. 1958 ~ Vicki Peterson, Guitarist, singer with The Bangles
. 1980 ~ Rupert Holmes was at the top of the pop music charts, with Escape (The Pina Colada Song).
. 1981 ~ Leonard Bernstein began conducting the BR – Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra in Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” in Munich’s Hercules Hall. Performed one act at a time, in January, April, and November of 1981, respectively, Bernstein’s “Tristan und Isolde” was telecast live and later released as an audio recording by Philips–to some controversy.
Karl Böhm remarked, with regards to Bernstein’s exaggeratedly slow tempi, “For the first time, someone dares to perform this music as Wagner wrote it.” Böhm’s own recording of the Prelude was four minutes faster.
Upon completion of the project, Bernstein declared, “My life is complete… I don’t care what happens after this. It is the finest thing I’ve ever done.”
. 2003 ~ Mickey Finn, bongo player with 1970s band T.Rex, died at the age of 55. Formed by flamboyant lead singer Marc Bolan in 1967, T.Rex shot to fame with hits such as Get it On, Hot Love and Children of the Revolution in the early 1970s. The band was originally called Tyrannosaurus Rex but the name was shortened to T.Rex in 1970 after Finn joined, replacing original member Steve Took. The band achieved a huge following in Britain — sparking a period of “T.Rextacy” among devoted fans — but achieved more limited popularity in the United States and elsewhere. Credited with introducing the phenomenon of “glam rock” to pop music and influencing artists such as David Bowie, the band played to crowds of up to 100,000 and sold 39 million albums, according to Rolling Stone music magazine.
. 2004 ~ Randy VanWarmer, who recorded the pop hit Just When I Needed You Most and then had a successful career as a songwriter, died. He was 48. Just When I Needed You Most reached No. 4 on Billboard’s pop chart in 1979. VanWarmer, also a guitarist, had written it when he was 18. More recently, VanWarmer wrote I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why), a No. 1 hit by the country group Alabama in 1992, and I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes, No. 1 by the Oak Ridge Boys in 1984. VanWarmer was born March 30, 1955, in Indian Hills, Colo., and spent much of his childhood in Cornwall, England, after his father died. As a young man he lived in New York City and then Los Angeles before moving to Nashville in 1985. VanWarmer had recently recorded a duet with country singer Razzy Bailey, Sandcastles.
. 2005 ~ Spencer Dryden, drummer for the San Francisco rock band the Jefferson Airplane, died. He was 66.
. 2005 ~ Jimmy Griffin, an Academy Award-winning songwriter and former guitarist for the 1970s pop group Bread, died. He was 61.
. 2016 ~ Gilberto Mendes, Brazilian composer, died at the age of 93