. 1948 ~ Ted Mack came to television as “The Original Amateur Hour” debuted on the DuMont network. The program continued on different networks for a 22-year run on the tube. Teresa Brewer and Pat Boone got their start on this program.
. 1953 ~ Brett Hudson, Singer, comedian with Hudson Brothers
. 1958 ~ Leonard Bernstein began presenting his television series What does music mean? The series ran for 53 programs.
. 1968 ~ Singer Eartha Kitt made headlines, as she got into a now-famous confrontation with Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, wife of the President of the United States, at a White House luncheon to discuss urban crime. Ms. Kitt told Lady Bird (the First Lady) that American youth were rebelling against the war in Vietnam, linking the crime rate with the war escalation. She had a lot to say and it definitely was not “C’est Si Bon”.
. 1986 ~ Dionne Warwick’s single for AID’s research, That’s What Friends are For, became her second #1 song on the music charts. Although Dionne had many hits in the 1960s, singing Burt Bacharach tunes like I Say a Little Prayer and Do You Know the Way to San Jose.
. 2017 ~ Roberta Peters, American operatic soprano (NY Met), died at the age of 86
On January 18, 1958 Leonard Bernstein began presenting his television series What does music mean? The series ran for 53 programs. Some of the episodes can be found below:
Part 1 What is Classical Music?
Plot: Bernstein conducts Handel’s Water Music and cites it as an indisputable example of classical music. “Exact” is the word that best defines classical music, Bernstein says and he demonstrates with musical illustrations from Bach’s Fourth Brandenburg Concerto, Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 in C Major and The Marriage of Figaro, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 102.
The decline of classical music at the end of the eighteenth century is tied to Beethoven’s innovations and the Romantic movement, and Bernstein conducts Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.
Part 2 What is Melody?
Plot: Bernstein discusses the different forms melody can take, including tune, theme, motive, melodic line and musical phrase. He illustrates by conducting the orchestra in excerpts from Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Hindemith, and Brahms.
Part 3 What is a Mode?
Plot: Bernstein discusses scales, intervals, and tones, and analyzes several pieces, including Debussy’s Fêtes, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and music from the Kinks and the Beatles, to illustrate different modes.
An excerpt from Bernstein’s ballet Fancy Free is also performed.
. 1712 ~ John Stanley, English composer and organist
. 1728 ~ Johann Gottfried Muthel, German composer and noted keyboard virtuoso
. 1734 ~ François-Joseph Gossec, Belgian composer
More information about Gossec
. 1750 ~ Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer (Adagio in G Minor), died at the age of 78
. 1876 ~ The saxophone was played by Etta Morgan at New York City’s Olympic Theatre. The instrument was little known at the time in the United States.
. 1913 ~ Vido Musso, Reed instruments, played with Benny Goodman, bandleader: Stan Kenton was his pianist
. 1917 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, US composer, born in Tucson, Arizona (d. 1995)
. 1920 ~ George Handy (George Joseph Hendleman), Pianist, composer, arranger for the Boyd Raeburn band, Alvino Rey band, Paramount Studios
. 1922 ~ Betty White, Emmy Award-winning actress on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, singer
. 1926 ~ Moira Shearer, Ballerina
. 1927 ~ Eartha Kitt, Singer. Kitt’s birth certificate listing her actual birthdate as 1/17/27 was found in 1997. She has celebrated her birthday as Jan. 26 (1928) all of her life and says, “It’s been the 26th of January since the beginning of time and I’m not going to change it and confuse my fans.”
. 1941 ~ Gene Krupa and his band recorded the standard, Drum Boogie, on Okeh Records. The lady singing with the boys in the band during the song’s chorus was Irene Daye.
. 1944 ~ Chris Montez, Singer
. 1948 ~ Mick Taylor, Singer, rhythm guitar with The Rolling Stones
. 1955 ~ Steve Earle, Songwriter, singer, guitar
. 1956 ~ Paul Young, Singer
. 1959 ~ Susanna Hoffs, Singer, guitar with The Bangles
. 1960 ~ John Crawford, Singer, bass with Berlin
. 1969 ~ Lady Samantha, one of the very first recordings by Reginald Kenneth Dwight (aka Elton John), was released in England on Philips records. The song floundered, then bombed. The rock group, Three Dog Night, however, recorded it for an album.
. 2001 ~ Pianist and singer Emma Kelly, the “Lady of 6,000 Songs” made famous by the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” died from a liver ailment at the age of 82. Kelly’s nightclub act, in which she tapped her vast repertoire of American popular standards five nights a week until she became ill a month ago, was a must-see for Savannah tourists itching to meet a real-life character from author John Berendt’s Southern Gothic best seller. Though the book helped her book performances from New York to Switzerland, Kelly continued to crisscross south Georgia to play church socials and high school graduations, Kiwanis luncheons and wedding receptions. Berendt devoted an entire chapter to Kelly in the 1994 book, describing her as a teetotaling Baptist who would play smoky cocktail lounges Saturday nights and Sunday school classes the next morning. Kelly performed at her own nightclub, Emma’s, in Savannah, for five years in the late 1980s. She then bounced between lounges near the downtown riverfront. She also independently recorded three albums, the last of which were released posthumously, her son said.
. 2001 ~ Jazz musician, composer and conductor Norris Turney, who played alto sax and flute with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and led the Norris Turney Quartet, died of kidney failure at the age of 79. Turney recorded with a number of bands over the years, and toured with Billy Eckstine, Ray Charles and others. He was an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis. Turney’s lone CD as a bandleader, “Big, Sweet ‘N Blue,” was warmly received by jazz critics.
. 2002 ~ Edouard Nies-Berger, the veteran organist and protege of Albert Schweitzer, died at the age of 98. Nies-Berger, who played with the New York Philharmonic, was a native of Strasbourg in Alsace. His father, a church organist, was an associate of Schweitzer. The doctor, philosopher and Nobel laureate was pastor of a nearby church where the teenage Nies-Berger played occasionally. Nies-Berger moved to New York in 1922 and for the next 15 years played the organ in houses of worship across the country. By the mid-’30s he settled in Los Angeles and performed in the soundtracks of several films, including “The Bride of Frankenstein” and “San Francisco.” He returned to Europe in 1937 to study conducting with Bruno Walter in Salzburg, Austria. After conducting for two years in Latvia and Belgium he returned to the United States. He was named organist of the New York Philharmonic, where he played under the direction of such conductors as Walter, George Szell and Leonard Bernstein. Nies-Berger was reunited with Schweitzer in 1949, when the humanitarian visited the United States. For six years they collaborated on the completion of Schweitzer’s edition of the organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After serving at St. Paul’s in Richmond, Nies-Berger returned to Europe for several years to perform as a recitalist and write several books, including a memoir of Schweitzer. In 1991 he was awarded the gold medal of the Art Institute of Alsace, and in 1993 was named a knight of the arts and letters by the French Ministry of Education and Culture.
. 2013 ~ Lizbeth Webb, English soprano, died at the age of 86
. 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
• 1732 ~ Franz Xaver Brixi, Czech classical composer of the 18th century
• 1837 ~ Mily Balakirev, Russian Composer and collector of Russian Music
More information about Balakirev
• 1899 ~ Alexander Tcherepnin, composer
• 1904 ~ James Melton, Singer in La Traviata
1905 ~ Sir Michael Tippett, British Composer and librettist
More information about Tippett
• 1917 ~ Vera Zorina (Eva Hartwig), Dancer, actress
• 1922 ~ Renata (Ersilia Clotilde) Tebaldi, Opera diva, lyric soprano. She debuted as Elena in Boito’s Mefistofele in 1944 and at the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’sOtello in 1955
More information about Tebaldi
• 1930 ~ Julius LaRosa, American singer (fired by Arthur Godfrey on the air)
• 1932 ~ Freddy Martin formed a new band and was hired to play the Roosevelt Grill in New York City. Martin became one of the big names in the music business. Merv Griffin later became Martin’s lead vocalist.
• 1936 ~ Roger Miller. American country music singer, guitarist and songwriter, 11 Grammys in 1964-65
• 1941 ~ The Andrews Sisters recorded Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy on Decca Records. LaVerne, Maxine and Patti Andrews recorded in Los Angeles and the song was heard in the movie, “Buck Privates”, starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
• 1949 ~ Chick Churchill, Keyboards with Ten Years After
• 1958 ~ Leonard Bernstein conducted his first concert as Joint Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, a title he shared with Dimitri Mitropoulos during the 1957-58 season. At this concert, Bernstein conducted a program similar to that of his November 1943 New York Philharmonic debut: Schumann’s “Manfred” Overture and Strauss’ “Don Quixote.” Additionally, Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic from the piano in the U.S. premiere of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
• 1971 ~The George Harrison album ‘All Things Must Pass’ started a seven-week run at No.1 on the US album chart, making Harrison the first solo Beatle to score a US No.1 album. The triple album included the hit singles ‘My Sweet Lord’ and ‘What Is Life’, as well as songs such as ‘Isn’t It a Pity’ and the title track that were turned down by The Beatles.
• 1974 ~ Singing cowboy Tex Ritter died of a heart attack at the age of 67. His son, John, became a significant television star in “Three’s Company”, and in movies, including “Problem Child”.
• 1977 ~ Erroll Garner passed away. He was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads.
• 1980 ~ Officials of the Miss America Pageant announced that Bert Parks would not return as host of the annual beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Parks sang There she is, Miss America for 25 years. He was replaced by Gary Collins.
• 1983 ~ The smash musical, “Annie”, closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances: the sixth longest-running show on the Great White Way. The five longest-running shows at the time were: “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Life With Father”, “Tobacco Road”, “Hello Dolly” and “Music Man”.
• 2003 ~ Bluegrass music veteran James McReynolds, who with his mandolin-playing brother Jesse formed the legendary “Jim & Jesse” duo honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died. Backed by their band, “The Virginia Boys,” their first single The Flame of Love, backed byGosh I Miss You All the Time, spent weeks on the national charts. Other songs regarded as Jim & Jesse classics are Cotton Mill Man,Diesel on My Tail,Are You Missing Me and Paradise. Jim’s enhanced high tenor and guitar playing combined with Jesse’s deep-voiced singing and unique mandolin style to produce their distinctive sound. Jesse developed a cross-picking technique and “split-string” style few could duplicate. The brothers’ performing career was interrupted by service in both World War II and the Korean War. They joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1964, and their numerous honors included induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Walkway of Stars” and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Honor.
• 2004 ~ Pioneering black actress and singer Etta Moten Barnett, who sang at the White House and appeared with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in FlyingDown to Rio, died. She was 102. Barnett was unique because of the romantic, sexy figures she portrayed – as opposed to the motherly nannies and maids that most black actresses were cast as in early Hollywood films. Barnett moved to New York City in her 30s and quickly landed a spot singing with the Eva Jessye Choir. The lead in the Broadway show Zombie followed. She later dubbed songs for actresses and was cast in the Busby Berkeley film Gold Diggers of 1933. In the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio, Barnett was cast as a Brazilian entertainer who sang The Carioca while Astaire and Rogers danced. The song was nominated for an Academy Award as best song. Her voice caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who invited her to sing at his White House birthday party. In 1942, she appeared as Bess in Porgy and Bess on Broadway and then toured with the show until 1945. Suffering from a strained voice, she gave her last formal concert in 1952
• 2019 ~ Daryl Frank Dragon was an American musician and songwriter, known as Captain from the pop musical duo Captain & Tennille, with his former wife, Toni Tennille. He died at the age of 76.
• 1944 ~ The musical, On the Town, opened in New York City for a run of 462 performances. It was Leonard Bernstein’s first big Broadway success. The show’s hit song, New York, New York, continues to be successful.
• 1946 ~ Edgar Winter, American rock vocalist, saxophonist, guitarist and keyboardist
• 1946 ~ Carrie Jacobs Bond passed away. She was an American singer, pianist, and songwriter who composed some 175 pieces of popular music from the 1890s through the early 1940s
• 1947 ~ Dick Diamonde (Dingeman Van Der Sluys), Bass with The Easybeats
• 1950 ~ Alex Chilton, Guitarist, singer
• 1952 ~ Fletcher Henderson, American musician died
• 1953 ~ Richard Clayderman, Pianist
• 1953 ~ Joe Diffie, Country Singer
• 1957 ~ At The Hop, by Danny and The Juniors, hit #1 on the music charts. It stayed at the top spot for seven weeks. The title of the tune was originally Do the Bop, but was changed at the suggestion of ‘America’s Oldest Living Teenager’ Dick Clark. Trivia: Danny and The Juniors filled in for a group that failed to appear on Clark’s American Bandstand show in Philadelphia. He called The Juniors to come into the studio immediately. They did and lip-synced At The Hop (written by Junior, Dave White and a friend, John Medora). It took off like a rocket to number one. (A few years later, Danny and The Juniors handed stardom to Chubby Checker when they failed to appear on Clark’s show.)
• 1964 ~ Principal filming of the movie classic, Dr. Zhivago, began on location near Madrid, Spain. When completed, the film was 197 minutes long and so spectacular that it received ten Oscar nominations, winning five of the Academy Awards, including Best Original Score. Lara’s Theme was first heard in this movie.
• 1971 ~ Max Steiner, Austrian composer (Gone With the Wind), died at the age of 83
• 1990 ~ David Archuleta, American singer
• 1981 ~ WEA Records (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) raised the price of its 45 rpm records from $1.68 to $1.98 this day. The company was the leader of the pack with other labels soon boosting their prices. Within a few years, the 45 rpm record was boosted right out of existence.
• 2001 ~ Frankie Gaye, whose combat experience during the Vietnam War was credited with influencing his older brother Marvin’s legendary Motown album “What’s Going On,” died of complications following a heart attack. He was 60. Gaye was a radio operator stationed in Vietnam in the 1960s when he wrote letters to his brother expressing his dissatisfaction with the war. His experiences influenced several songs on his brother’s 1971 album, including Save The Children, Inner City Blues and Mercy Mercy Me, according to Ralph Tee in the book “Soul Music Who’s Who.” Gaye, like his brother, had begun singing in church as a youngster. He went on to work with several Motown artists, including Mary Wells and Kim Weston and provided background vocals on many of his brother’s albums, including “What’s Going On” and 1977’s “Marvin Gaye, Live at the London Palladium.” On his own, Gaye composed the soundtrack to the 1972 film “Penitentiary 1” and toured extensively, both in the United States and England. He also released the singles Extraordinary Girl in 1989 and My Brother in 1990.
• 2016 ~ Debbie Reynolds, 84, died one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher. She was an American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian.
• 2017 ~ Rose Marie [Mazzetta], American actress, comedienne and singer, died at the age of 94
• 2018 ~ Christine McGuire, the eldest of the singing McGuire Sisters, who struck gold on the pop charts in the 1950s with “Sincerely,” “Sugartime” and other close-harmony hits that won young American hearts not quite ready for rock ′n’ roll, died at the age of 92.
. 1789 ~ Thanksgiving was celebrated nationally for the first time in the United States.
. 1915 ~ Earl Wild, American composer and pianist (Caesar’s Hour, NBC Symphony 1942)
1925 ~ Eugene Istomin, American pianist
. 1932 ~ Alan Stout, American composer
. 1933 ~ Robert Goulet (Stanley Applebaum), Singer, actor
. 1935 ~ Marian Mercer, Singer, actress
. 1938 ~ Ray Brown, Singer with The Four Freshmen
. 1938 ~ Tina Turner (Annie Bullock), American soul-rock singer, Grammy Award-winning Pop Singer of the Year, 1985; Ike Turner’s ex-wife
. 1940 ~ Xavier Cugat and his orchestra recorded Orchids in the Moonlight on the Columbia label.
. 1944 ~ Alan Henderson, Bass with Them
. 1946 ~ John McVie, Guitarist with Fleetwood Mac
. 1956 ~ Tommy Dorsey passed away at the age of 51. His records sold more than 110,000,000 copies.
. 1959 ~ Albert Ketèlbey, British composer (In a Monastery Garden), died at the age of 84
. 1963 ~ Amelita Galli-Curci passed away
. 1968 ~ Cream gave a farewell performance filmed by the BBC in London. The rock group played before a capacity crowd at Royal Albert Hall.
. 1969 ~ The Band received a gold record for the album, The Band.
. 1978 ~ Frank Rosolino passed away
. 1980 ~ “Wings Over America” premiered in New York City. The movie is about the first American tour of Paul McCartney and Wings.
. 2001 ~ Paul Hume, a music critic who once drew the ire of President Harry Truman after he panned his daughter’s recital, died of pneumonia at his home in Baltimore. Hume was 85. Hume worked for The Washington Post and built a reputation as one of the most learned critics in the nation. Classical music legends Vladimir Horowitz, Eugene Ormandy and Leonard Bernstein all held Hume in high esteem. Hume will always be remembered for his review of a recital by Truman’s daughter, Margaret, in 1950, in which he criticized her singing as flat. After reading the review, Truman wrote an angry, threatening letter to Hume. Truman’s remarks got him in hot water with the public, which felt he shouldn’t take time to joust with critics as the nation fought the Korean War. A Chicago native, Hume taught music history at Georgetown University from 1950 to 1977 and was a visiting professor at Yale University from 1975 to 1983. He wrote several books, including a study of Catholic church music and a biography of Giuseppe Verdi.
. 2003 ~ Meyer Kupferman, a prolific composer whose work ranged from contemporary classical music to opera, ballet and jazz, died. He was 77. Kupferman, a virtuoso clarinetist, taught composition and music theory at Sarah Lawrence College, where he was a staff member from 1951 to 1993. During his tenure there, he also served as chair of the music department and conducted the orchestra, chorus and chamber improvisation ensemble. In 1948 Kupferman wrote both his first piano concerto and opera. In all, he produced seven operas, 12 symphonies, nine ballets, seven string quartets, 10 concertos and hundreds of chamber works. His compositions have been performed and recorded worldwide. Kupferman also was commissioned by the Hudson Valley Philharmonic to write ‘FDR’ for the centennial of Franklin Roosevelt’s birth. The manuscript of the piece is now held by the Roosevelt Library. William Anderson, a family friend and a guitarist who performed Kupferman’s music, told the New York Times that Kupferman died of heart failure.
• 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.
. 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.
More information about Rubinstein
• 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
More information about Ippolitov-Ivanov
• 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
.1817 ~ Louis Lefébure-Wély, French organist and composer
.1854 ~ George Whitefield Chadwick, American composer and conductor
.1868 ~ Gioachino (Antonio) Rossini, Italian composer (Barber of Seville, William Tell), died at the age of 76. “Delight must be the basis and aim of this art,” Rossini wrote. “Simple melody – clear rhythm!” Rossini’s contribution to the development of opera was immense.
.1921 ~ Loonas Kokkonen, Finnish composer
.1943 ~ Leonard Bernstein replaced an indisposed Bruno Walter as conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Thus began a legendary career and worldwide appreciation for Bernstein’s many compositions with the orchestra.
.1951 ~ Nicolai Karlovich Medtner died. He was a Russian composer and pianist.
.1965 ~ Julie Harris starred in “Skyscraper”, which opened on Broadway in New York City. The musical ran for seven months.
.1968 ~ This was a good day for The Beatles. Their movie, “Yellow Submarine”, premiered in the U.S. and the single, Hey Jude, topped the pop music charts (it was in its 7th of 9 weeks at #1).
.1975 ~ Whoa Whoa Whoa, Feeeelings. One of the great lounge-lizard songs of all time, Feelings by Morris Albert, went gold.
.1988 ~ Antal Dorati, Hungarian-American conductor (Dresden Opera 1928-29), died at the age of 82
.1999 ~ Donald Mills passed away. He had been one of the Mills Brothers.
.2000 ~ Cecil Blackwood, a gospel singer who was a member of the Blackwood Brothers and crooned with Elvis Presley, of cancer at the age of 66. The Blackwood Brothers, who have won nine Grammys and 20 Dove awards, were a favorite of Elvis Presley, who briefly sang with Cecil Blackwood in a group named the Songfellows. The Blackwood Brothers were formed in 1934, the same year Blackwood was born in Ackerman, Miss. He became the group’s baritone in 1954. The Blackwood Brothers have recorded 300 albums, backed country stars Porter Wagoner and Barbara Mandrell, and are members of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
.2000 ~ Jimmy Payne Sr., a tap dancer whose rhythm and technique, as well as a mastery of precise steps, attracted Bob Fosse, June Allyson, Gregory Hines, Lena Horne and others to his Chicago studio, died Nov. 13 at the age of 95. The son of a Cuban mother and Barbadian father, Payne grew up in the Panama Canal Zone before moving to New York in 1917. After traveling from New York to Chicago in 1947, Payne helped introduce African and Afro-Cuban rhythms to the dance scene. He taught in a number of Chicago dance studios from the 1950s into the 1970s. He continued to teach some of the city’s top dancers until his regimen was slowed by a number of strokes in his early 90s.
.2000 ~ New York entertainment lawyer and tax expert Joseph Taubman, who wrote how-to books for people working in the business side of show business, died at the age of 81. Taubman’s clients included Lionel Richie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie. He also served as counsel to the National Film Board of Canada. Taubman wrote “Financing a Theatrical Production,” and his treatises on various aspects of the entertainment business published in the 1970s remain in print.
.2000 ~ The site, thebeatles.com, went live and is the band’s only official presence on the Internet among a flood of unofficial fan sites.
.2002 ~ Mieke van Hoek, a dance choreographer and teacher, died. She was 56. The Dutch-born van Hoek taught modern-dance choreography and dance improvisation at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie. After emigrating to the United States in 1977, van Hoek worked as a teaching assistant at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., and studied at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute in New York. She founded a center for meditation, healing and the arts in Canones in 2000.