March 27 ~ This Day in Music History

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. 1771 ~ A review of a concert in Venice given today by 15 year old Mozart read: “He worked out (a fugue theme) for more than an hour with such science, dexterity, harmony and proper attention to rhythm that even the greatest connoisseurs were astounded.

. 1851 ~ (Paul-Marie-Theodore) Vincent d’Indy, French composer and conductor
More information about d’Indy

. 1868 ~ Patty Smith Hill, songwriter, with Mildred Hill, composers of Happy Birthday To You. It’s first title was Good Morning to All

. 1892 ~ Ferde Grofe, Composer
More information about Grofe

. 1914 ~ Snooky Lanson (Roy Landman), Singer, vocalist on Your Hit Parade on radio and TV

. 1920 ~ Richard Hayman, Musician, house conductor for Mercury Records, harmonica player

. 1924 ~ Sarah Vaughan, ‘The Divine One’, American jazz singer, pianist, she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989

. 1927 ~ Mstislav Rostropovich, Soviet cellist and conductor
More information about Rostropovich

. 1931 ~ Burt Collins, Jazz musician, trumpet, flugel horn, played with Jess Roden Band, Lalo Schifrin, T. Rex

. 1945 ~ Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded the classic, It’s Only a Paper Moon for Decca Records.

. 1947 ~ Tom Sullivan, Singer, composer

. 1950 ~ Tony Banks, Keyboards with Genesis

. 1950 ~ Jazz pianist Erroll Garner became one of the first jazz instrumentalists to give a solo concert. He played the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH. In 1954, Garner would gain international applause for writing and recording a standard that has been presented many times since: Misty. Johnny Mathis and Sarah Vaughan are but two of many recording artists to offer vocal renditions of this renowned Garner composition. Play Misty for me.

. 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded I’m a Fool to Want You for Columbia.

. 1958 ~ CBS Laboratories announced a new stereophonic record that was playable on ordinary LP phonographs, meaning, monaural. In stereo, on the proper equipment, a new rich and fuller sound was heard. It eventually became a standard for record and equipment buyers.

. 1959 ~ Andrew Farriss, Keyboards with INXS

. 1967 ~ Pop hit Happy Together by The Turtles became the No. 1 song in America.

. 1970 ~ Mariah Carey. Grammy Award-winning singer. She has sold more than 120 million albums and singles since her debut in 1990, only artist with a #1 single in every year of the 1990s. She has spent more weeks at #1 than any other artist

. 1971 ~ Janis Joplin started her second (and final) week at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson.

. 1975 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, English composer and Master of the Queen’s Music, died. Master of the Queen’s Music (or Master of the King’s Music) is a post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. The holder of the post originally served the monarch of England.

The post is roughly comparable to that of Poet Laureate. It is given to people eminent in the field of classical music; they have almost always been composers (George Frederick Anderson was one exception; he was a violinist who is not known to have ever composed any music). Duties are not clearly stated, though it is generally expected the holder of the post will write music to commemorate important royal events, such as coronations, birthdays, anniversaries, marriages and deaths, and to accompany other ceremonial occasions. The individual may also act as the Sovereign’s adviser in musical matters.

. 2015 ~ Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, died at the age of 83.
His poems, translated into 60 languages, have been set to music by some of Sweden’s foremost composers.

A passionate pianist, Tomas Tranströmer had to relearn how to play after a stroke in 1990 left him paralyzed down his right side. He said that playing the piano every day was the key to saving his life.

March 10 ~ This Day in Music History

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

. 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”.

. 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.

March 5 ~ This Day in Music History

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. 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.

November 3, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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.1587 ~ Samuel Scheidt, German organist and composer

.1801 ~ Vincenzo Bellini, Italian composer

OCMS 1911 ~ Vladimir Ussachevsky, Russian-born American composer
More information about Ussachevsky

.1933 ~ John Barry, Academy Award~winning composer

.1941 ~ The classic Jerry Gray arrangement of String of Pearls was recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra on Bluebird 78s. The recording featured the trumpet of Bobby Hackett.

.1948 ~ Lulu (Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie), Singer. She changed her name to Lulu (and The Luvvers) in Scotland, early in her career. Married to singer Maurice Gibb

.1954 ~ Adam Ant (Stuart Goddard), Singer

.1956 ~ The classic MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, was first seen on television. The film cost CBS $250,000 to show. The movie was shown 18 times between 1956 and 1976, and you can probably catch it again no matter what year it is.

.1957 ~ Sam Phillips, owner of legendary Sun Records in Memphis, TN, released Great Balls of Fire, by Jerry Lee Lewis. Looking carefully at the original label, one will find credit to Lewis and “his pumping piano.”

.1960 ~ James Prime, Keyboards with Deacon Blue

.1960 ~ “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, opened on Broadway. The play would become an American theater standard and a smashing career launch for Shirley MacLaine.

.1962 ~ Billboard magazine dropped the “Western” from its chart title. The list has been known as Hot Country Singles ever since.

.1972 ~ Singers Carly Simon and James Taylor were married in Carly’s Manhattan apartment. The couple was said to be the highest-paid couple in the world next toElizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Carly and ‘Sweet Baby’ James would divorce years later, but they are still good friends.

.1990 ~ Mary Martin died

.2000 ~ Mary Hunter Wolf, one of the first female directors on Broadway died at the age of 95. Wolf made her Broadway debut directing the 1944 production of Horton Foote’s “Only the Heart.” The following year, she directed the first black Broadway musical, “Carib Song.” After directing a string of successful plays and musicals, Wolf was hired as an associate director for Jerome Robbins’ “Peter Pan,” starring Mary Martin. In 1947 Wolf was tapped to direct a new musical “High Button Shoes,” but was dismissed by the show’s producers before rehearsals began. Wolf sued, charging that her contract had been broken because she was a woman. Two years later the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor. During her third year at Wellesley College, Wolf visited her aunt, author Mary Austin, in Santa Fe, N.M. where she found herself introduced into the circle of D.H Lawrence, Willa Cather and Sinclair Lewis. She soon abandoned her studies to pursue a directing career.

November 2, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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OCMS 1739 ~ Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Austrian composer and violinist
More information about Dittersdorf

.1937 ~ Earl ‘Speedoo’ Carroll, Singer with these groups the Carnations, the Cadillacs and the Coasters

.1938 ~ Jay Black (David Blatt), Singer with Jay and The Americans

.1941 ~ Brian Poole, Singer with Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

.1941 ~ Bruce Welch (Cripps), Guitarist with The Shadows

.1944 ~ Keith Emerson, British rock keyboardist

.1946 ~ Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor and composer

.1952 ~ Maxine Nightingale, Singer

.1955 ~ The first pop song by Julie London appeared on the charts. London’s smoky and sultry rendition of Cry Me a River stayed on the pop chart for five months, reaching as high as #9. Julie was Mrs. Jack Webb (Dragnet) and Mrs. Bobby Troup (songwriter, trumpeter).

.1958 ~ Billboard magazine introduced a new chart. It ranked the top singles in order, from number 1 to 100. Previously, only 30 records had been on the weekly hit list.

.1963 ~ After giving benefit performances for years, singer Kate Smith presented her first full concert performance to a paying crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

OCMS 1968 ~ Another biggie for Stevie Wonder went on sale. For Once in My Life reached #2 on the pop charts on December 28, 1968.

.1974 ~ The first of the former Beatles to try a nationwide concert tour was in Los Angeles, appearing at the Forum. Unfortunately, only half the house was filled to see George Harrison. He stopped touring soon thereafter.

.1985 ~ On this day, for only the second time, a TV soundtrack LP topped the album charts. “Miami Vice” (title track by Jan Hammer) enjoyed a run of 11 (nonconsecutive) weeks. The only other TV soundtrack LP to chart at #1 was Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn” in 1959.

November 1, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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OCMS1830 ~ Frederic Chopin left Warsaw for Paris, never to return. He was presented a cup of Polish soil on this day.
More about Chopin

.1902 ~ Eugen Jochum, German conductor

.1921 ~ Jan Tausinger, Rumanian-born Czech violist, conductor and composer

.1923 ~ Victoria de Los Angeles, Spanish soprano

.1926 ~ Lou Donaldson, Alto saxophone, singer

.1937 ~ ‘Whispering’ Bill (James) Anderson, Songwriter, singer

.1940 ~ Barry Sadler, Songwriter, singer

.1944 ~ Keith Emerson, Keyboards with Emerson, Lake & Powell as well as Emerson, Lake & Palmer

.1944 ~ Chris Morris, Guitarist with Paper Lace

.1945 ~ Rick Grech, Bassist, violinist

.1950 ~ Dan Peek, Guitarist, singer with America

.1951 ~ Ronald Bell, Saxophone with Kool & The Gang

.1957 ~ Lyle Lovett, Grammy Award-winning singer, Best Male Country Vocal in 1989

.1959 ~ Eddie MacDonald, Bass with The Alarm

.1962 ~ Rick Allen, Drummer with Def Leppard

.1962 ~ Mags Furuholmen, Keyboards, singer with a-ha

.1968 ~ George Harrison’s soundtrack LP, “Wonderwall”, was released. It was the first solo album by one of The Beatles. The album was also the first on the new Apple label.

.1969 ~ Warner Brothers Records added Faces, to its roster. They fared OK, but even better when lead singer Rod Stewart stepped out to become a superstar on his own. The group’s former label, Mercury, capitalized on the fact by releasing Maggie Mae and three other Faces tunes before Stewart went solo for Warner exclusively.

.1969 ~ The last album of The Beatles reached #1 on the album chart. “Abbey Road” was the top LP for eleven nonconsecutive weeks.  The final studio recordings from the group featured two songs; ‘Something’ & ‘Here Comes The Sun’. The cover supposedly contained clues adding to the ‘Paul Is Dead’ phenomenon: Paul is barefoot and the car number plate ‘LMW 281F’ supposedly referred to the fact that McCartney would be 28 if he was still alive. ‘LMW’ was said to stand for ‘Linda McCartney Weeps.’

OCMS 1975 ~ Elton John’s Island Girl hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song parked itself at the top of the hit heap for 3 weeks.

August 11, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1862 ~ Carrie Jacobs Bond, American composer

• 1919 ~ Ginette Neveu, French violinist

• 1925 ~ Mike Douglas (Dowd), TV host of The Mike Douglas Show; singer, The Music Show, Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge

• 1927 ~ Raymond Leppard, British conductor and harpsichordist

• 1941 ~ Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded Elmer’s Tune on Bluebird Records.

• 1942 ~ Mike Hugg, Musician, drums with Chapter Three, Manfred Mann

• 1943 ~ Jim Kale, Musician, bass with The Guess Who

• 1943 ~ Guy Vallari, Singer with Regents

• 1949 ~ Eric Carmen, Musician, bass, keyboards, songwriter, singer with The Raspberries

• 1950 ~ Erik Braunn, Musician, guitar, singer with Iron Butterfly

• 1955 ~ Joe Jackson, Singer

• 1958 ~ Elvis Presley received a gold record for the hit, Hard Headed Woman. The song was featured in the movie King Creole.

• 1987 ~ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles was called “the best album made during the last 20 years” by the respected music publication, Rolling Stone magazine.

• 1996 ~ Rafael Kubelik, Czech conductor, died aged 82. He made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1934 and went into exile in 1948 and made an emotional return when he conducted the opening concert of the 1990 Prague Spring music festival.