January 28: On This Day in Music

today

. 1722 ~ Johann Ernst Bach, German composer of the Bach family

. 1791 ~ Ferdinand Herold, French composer

. 1887 ~ Artur Rubinstein, Polish-born American pianist, played solo for the Berlin Symphony at the age of 12.
Read quotes by and about Rubinstein
More information about Rubinstein

. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso signed his first contract with Victor Records. He had debuted at the Metropolitan Opera just two months before.

. 1927 ~ Ronnie Scott (Schatt), Jazz musician: tenor sax, bandleader, jazz club owner in London

. 1927 ~ Twenty years before the famous record by Art Mooney was recorded, Jean Goldkette and his dancing orchestra recorded, I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover. Though the name of the bandleader may not be so famous, two of his sidemen on this Victor recording session certainly were: Big band fans know Bix Beiderbecke and Joe Venuti.

. 1929 ~ Acker (Bernard) Bilk, Clarinetist, composer

. 1935 ~ Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov, Russian composer, died at the age of 75

. 1938 ~ Bill Phillips, Country singer

. 1940 ~ “Beat the Band” made its debut on NBC radio. The band was that of Ted Weems and his 14-piece orchestra, who were joined by Elmo ‘The Whistling Troubadour’ Tanner, Harry Soskind and Country Washington. One other star of the show was a barber from Pittsburgh, PA (nearby Canonsburg, actually), who would record many hits for RCA Victor from 1943 right through the dawn of the 1970s. His name was Perry Como. Beat the Band was a funky show where listeners’ questions were selected in the hopes of stumping the band. If a listener’s question was chosen, he or she received $10. The questions were posed as riddles: What song title tells you what Cinderella might have said if she awoke one morning and found that her foot had grown too large for her glass slipper? If the band played the correct musical answer, Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?, the listener lost.

. 1943 ~ Dick Taylor, Bass, guitar with The Pretty Things

. 1944 ~ John Tavener, British avant-garde composer
More information about Tavener

. 1944 ~ Brian Keenan, Drummer with groups Manfred Mann and The Chambers Brothers

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Nikolayavich Baryshnikov, Russian-born American ballet dancer Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Others

. 1959 ~ Dave Sharp, Guitarist with The Alarm

. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television. No, he didn’t appear on some teenage dance show; but rather, “The Dorsey Brothers Show”, starring Tommy and Jimmy. Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed by the instruments of the Dorsey band.

. 1968 ~ Sarah McLauchlan, Singer

. 1985 ~ 45 of the world’s top recording artists were invited to an all-night recording session at the A&M studios in Los Angeles. As each of the artists walked through the studio door, they were greeted by a hand-lettered sign — put there by Lionel Richie. It simply said, “Check your ego at the door.” The session started at 10 p.m. with producer Quincy Jones conducting. At 8 o’clock the following morning, the project, “USA for Africa”, spearheaded by promoter, Ken Kragen, was recorded and mixed. The resulting song, We Are the World, featuring Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many others became the top song in the U.S. on April 13, 1985.

. 2002 ~ Michael Hammond, who became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts just a week earlier, died apparently of natural causes. He was 69. A native of Kenosha, Wis., the conductor and composer had been dean of the School of Music at Rice University in Houston when President Bush nominated him to lead the federal agency that decides grants for the arts. After being confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 20, 2001, Hammond had assumed the post-Jan. 22, 2002, and was still in the process of moving to Washington. A student of music and medicine, Hammond’s interests included music from Southeast Asia, the Renaissance and medieval times and the intersection between music and neuroscience. He received a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University. He also studied Indian philosophy and music at Dehli University in India. In 1968, he left his post as director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee to become the founding dean of music at the State University of New York at Purchase. He later served as president of the school, until he left for Rice’s Shepherd School of Music in 1986. All the while, he retained his interest in medicine, teaching neuroanatomy and physiology at Marquette Medical School and at the University of Wisconsin. Hammond also served as the founding rector of the Prague Mozart Academy in the Czech Republic, now the European Mozart Academy was on the board of the Houston Symphony, and was vice chairman of the board of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

. 2002 ~ Steve Caldwell, who sang and played saxophone for the Swingin’ Medallions at the time of the band’s 1966 hit Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love), died of pancreatic cancer. He was 55. Caldwell was with the group from 1963 to 1969. After getting his master’s degree in chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he returned to his native Atlanta and ran the Norell temporary staffing agency until starting his own company in 1976. His wife, Lynn Caldwell, said he raised $1 million for charity through World Methodist Evangelism.

January 27: On This Day in Music

. 1629 ~ Hieronymus Praetorius, composer, died at the age of 68

. 1731 ~ Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian instrument maker considered the inventor of the piano, died at the age of 75

. 1756 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, pianist
Listen to Mozart’s music
Read quotes by and about Mozart
More information about Mozart
Happy Birthday, Mozart!

 

. 1823 ~ Edouard Lalo, French composer

. 1885 ~ Jerome Kern, American songwriter and composer of musical comedies He was known as the father of the American musical, composing Show Boat, Ol’ Man River, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lovely to Look At, The Way You Look Tonight and The Last Time I Saw Paris

. 1895 ~ Harry Ruby (Rubinstein), Musician and composer

. 1901 ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer, died at the age of 77. He was an Italian operatic composer, the leading figure of Italian music in the nineteenth century and made important contributions to the development of opera.
More information about Verdi

. 1905 ~ John Schaum, Pianist, composer and music educator. Schaum began his career as a piano teacher in the late 1920s. In 1933 he founded the Schaum Piano School in Milwaukee. About the same time he began to compose piano music for teaching purposes. He also founded the first company to produce award stickers specifically for music students. Always on the lookout for better materials for his students, Schaum eventually decided to create his own books, beginning in 1941 with Piano Fun for Boys and Girls, which he later revised as the first in a series of nine piano method books that became the Schaum Piano Course, completed in 1945. These books are still widely used today.

. 1916 ~ Milt (Milton W.) Raskin, Pianist, composer and arranger

. 1918 ~ Skitch Henderson, Conductor of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, bandleader, musical director of NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show with Steve Allen and Johnny Carson

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bolshoi ballet dancer, defected to the U.S.

 

. 1961 ~ Leontyne Price made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. She sang in the role of Leonora in “Il Trovatore”. Price was only the seventh black singer to make a debut at the Met. Marian Anderson was the first (1955).

. 1968 ~ The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned $50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This is identical to what The Beatles were paid to perform at the Hollywood Bowl a few years earlier.

. 1968 ~ Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was released on this day, seven weeks after the singer’s death. It became #1 on March 16, 1968 and remained at the top spot for a month. Redding began his recording career in 1960 with Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers (on Confederate Records). He sang a duet with Carla Thomas and had 11 chart hits. Redding of Dawson, GA was killed in a plane crash at Lake Monona near Madison, WI.  Four members of the Bar-Kays were also killed in the crash. The Dock of the Bay, his only number one song, was recorded just three days before his death.

. 1973 ~ Mr and Mrs O got married 🙂
Read more here.

. 1982 ~ “Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat” opened at the Royale NYC for 747 performances

. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in Los Angeles. Pyrotechnics did not operate on cue, injuring the singer. Jackson was hospitalized for a few days and fans from around the world sent messages of concern.

. 2000 ~ Friedrich Gulda, Austrian pianist died at the age of 69.

. 2014 ~ Pete Seeger, American folk singer and activist, helped create the modern American folk music movement, died at 94

On August 23 ~ in Music History

today

• 1854 ~ Moritz Moszkowski, Polish-born German pianist and composer
More information about Moszkowski

• 1900 ~ Ernst Krenek, Austrian-born American composer, conductor and pianist

• 1905 ~ Constant Lambert, British composer, conductor and writer

• 1912 ~ Gene (Eugene Curran) Kelly, Dancer, actor: Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh, The Three Musketeers, Marjorie Morningstar, Inherit the Wind, North and South Book I; director: Singin’ in the Rain, Hello, Dolly!, A Guide for the Married Man, The Cheyenne Social Club

• 1917 ~ Tex (Sol) Williams, American country-western singer

• 1923 ~ Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, The Happiness Boys, were heard on radio for the first time. The two were billed as radio’s first comedians and were also credited with creating and performing the first singing commercial.

• 1936 ~ Rudy Lewis, Singer with Drifters

• 1942 ~ Patricia McBride, Ballerina: New York City Ballet. For many years she was Mikhail Baryshnikov’s only partner

• 1943 ~ LIFE magazine spotlighted a dance craze that was sweeping the U.S.A., the Lindy Hop

• 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Singer, drummer with The Who

• 1947 ~ Margaret Truman, daughter of U.S. President Harry S Truman, presented her first public concert.  Margaret sang before 15,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl. The concert did not get great reviews. In fact, the critics didn’t like Margaret’s singing at all. And Margaret’s dad didn’t like the critics, and said so, from the White House.

• 1949 ~ Rick Springfield, Singer

• 1951 ~ Mark Hudson, Singer with The Hudson Brothers

• 1951 ~ Jimi Jamison, Singer with Survivor

• 1953 ~ Bobby G. (Gubby), Singer with Bucks Fizz

• 1960 ~ Oscar (Greeley Clendenning) Hammerstein II passed away
More information about Hammerstein

• 1962 ~ Shaun Ryder, Singer with Happy Mondays

• 1966 ~ The U.S. premiere of the motion picture Help!, starring The Beatles, was held for thousands of moviegoers wanting to see the group’s first, color, motion picture. Their first film, A Hard Day’s Night, had been produced in black and white.

• 1990 ~ David Rose passed away

• 2001 ~ Kathleen Freeman, a veteran character actress whose face if not her name was known to audiences from television sitcoms, the film classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and Broadway’s “The Full Monty,” died of lung cancer at the age of  82.
Freeman gave her final performance in “The Full Monty”. She played a sassy piano player in the hit musical and earned a Tony nomination in May 2001.

Big, brash and funny were Freeman’s trademarks in playing recalcitrant maids, demented nuns, mouthy housekeepers, battle-ax mothers, irate landladies and nosy neighbors.

Starting in the Golden Age of television, Freeman appeared in such shows as “Topper,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Lucy Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “Murphy Brown” and “Married … With Children.”

“This will sound very corny and I’m sorry,” Freeman said last year in an Associated Press interview, “but I have always had the sense I was put here to do this: I am somebody who is around to help the world laugh. I have always had that sense. Corny but absolutely true.”

In “Singin’ in the Rain,” considered by many to be the best movie musical ever made, she played Jean Hagen’s frustrated voice teacher. Among Freeman’s other films were the sci-fi thriller “The Fly,” “The Rounders” with Henry Fonda, “Far Country” with Jimmy Stewart, and “North to Alaska” starring John Wayne. More recently she appeared in “Dragnet,” “Gremlins II,” “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” and both “Blues Brothers” comedies.

Freeman was born in Chicago and was propelled into show business at age 2. Her parents had a vaudeville act, Dixon and Freeman, in which their daughter did a little dance.

Freeman attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where she majored in music and was going to be a classical pianist. Then, she said, “A terrible thing happened. I got in a play and got a laugh. I just said a line and, `boom.”‘

Freeman then worked in many small theater groups, including the Circle Players, acting for such eminent directors – and actors – as Charles Laughton, Charlie Chaplin and Robert Morley.

At the same time, the early 1950s, the television explosion took over Los Angeles. From her first regular sitcom role, as the maid in “Topper,” Freeman went on to do just about every sitcom of the last 50 years.

For all her voluminous credits, Freeman’s stage credits were mostly on the road – touring as Miss Hannigan in “Annie” for 18 months, then in “Deathtrap” and later with Lauren Bacall in “Woman of the Year.”

Her only other Broadway appearance was for five months in the 1978 production of “13 Rue de l’Amore” starring Louis Jordan.

• 2001 ~ Frank Emilio Flynn, a blind pianist and Latin jazz pioneer who performed with many great American jazz artists, died at the age of 80.

Flynn lost his sight at age 13 but continued to study and perform classical works, transcribed into Braille, with the Symphonic Orchestra of Havana.

Flynn’s great passion was jazz, and in the 1950s he developed his own jazz-influenced ballad style, known in Cuba as “feeling.”

Performing with the Quinteto Cubana de Musica Moderno, or Cuban Quintet of Modern Music, he developed into one of the most important Cuban jazz musicians of his era.

He played at New York’s Lincoln Center in 1998 with trumpeters Alfredo Armenteros and Wynton Marsalis.

• 2018 ~ George Walker, Trailblazing American Composer, died at the age of 96

On January 28 in Music History

today

. 1722 ~ Johann Ernst Bach, German composer of the Bach family

. 1791 ~ Ferdinand Herold, French composer

. 1887 ~ Artur Rubinstein, Polish-born American pianist, played solo for the Berlin Symphony at the age of 12.
Read quotes by and about Rubinstein
More information about Rubinstein

. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso signed his first contract with Victor Records. He had debuted at the Metropolitan Opera just two months before.

. 1927 ~ Ronnie Scott (Schatt), Jazz musician: tenor sax, bandleader, jazz club owner in London

. 1927 ~ Twenty years before the famous record by Art Mooney was recorded, Jean Goldkette and his dancing orchestra recorded, I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover. Though the name of the bandleader may not be so famous, two of his sidemen on this Victor recording session certainly were: Big band fans know Bix Beiderbecke and Joe Venuti.

. 1929 ~ Acker (Bernard) Bilk, Clarinetist, composer

. 1935 ~ Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov, Russian composer, died at the age of 75

. 1938 ~ Bill Phillips, Country singer

. 1940 ~ “Beat the Band” made its debut on NBC radio. The band was that of Ted Weems and his 14-piece orchestra, who were joined by Elmo ‘The Whistling Troubadour’ Tanner, Harry Soskind and Country Washington. One other star of the show was a barber from Pittsburgh, PA (nearby Canonsburg, actually), who would record many hits for RCA Victor from 1943 right through the dawn of the 1970s. His name was Perry Como. Beat the Band was a funky show where listeners’ questions were selected in the hopes of stumping the band. If a listener’s question was chosen, he or she received $10. The questions were posed as riddles: What song title tells you what Cinderella might have said if she awoke one morning and found that her foot had grown too large for her glass slipper? If the band played the correct musical answer, Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?, the listener lost.

. 1943 ~ Dick Taylor, Bass, guitar with The Pretty Things

. 1944 ~ John Tavener, British avant-garde composer
More information about Tavener

. 1944 ~ Brian Keenan, Drummer with groups Manfred Mann and The Chambers Brothers

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Nikolayavich Baryshnikov, Russian-born American ballet dancer Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Others

. 1959 ~ Dave Sharp, Guitarist with The Alarm

. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television. No, he didn’t appear on some teenage dance show; but rather, “The Dorsey Brothers Show”, starring Tommy and Jimmy. Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed by the instruments of the Dorsey band.

. 1968 ~ Sarah McLauchlan, Singer

. 1985 ~ 45 of the world’s top recording artists were invited to an all-night recording session at the A&M studios in Los Angeles. As each of the artists walked through the studio door, they were greeted by a hand-lettered sign — put there by Lionel Richie. It simply said, “Check your ego at the door.” The session started at 10 p.m. with producer Quincy Jones conducting. At 8 o’clock the following morning, the project, “USA for Africa”, spearheaded by promoter, Ken Kragen, was recorded and mixed. The resulting song, We Are the World, featuring Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many others became the top song in the U.S. on April 13, 1985.

. 2002 ~ Michael Hammond, who became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts just a week earlier, died apparently of natural causes. He was 69. A native of Kenosha, Wis., the conductor and composer had been dean of the School of Music at Rice University in Houston when President Bush nominated him to lead the federal agency that decides grants for the arts. After being confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 20, 2001, Hammond had assumed the post-Jan. 22, 2002, and was still in the process of moving to Washington. A student of music and medicine, Hammond’s interests included music from Southeast Asia, the Renaissance and medieval times and the intersection between music and neuroscience. He received a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University. He also studied Indian philosophy and music at Dehli University in India. In 1968, he left his post as director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee to become the founding dean of music at the State University of New York at Purchase. He later served as president of the school, until he left for Rice’s Shepherd School of Music in 1986. All the while, he retained his interest in medicine, teaching neuroanatomy and physiology at Marquette Medical School and at the University of Wisconsin. Hammond also served as the founding rector of the Prague Mozart Academy in the Czech Republic, now the European Mozart Academy was on the board of the Houston Symphony, and was vice chairman of the board of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

. 2002 ~ Steve Caldwell, who sang and played saxophone for the Swingin’ Medallions at the time of the band’s 1966 hit Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love), died of pancreatic cancer. He was 55. Caldwell was with the group from 1963 to 1969. After getting his master’s degree in chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he returned to his native Atlanta and ran the Norell temporary staffing agency until starting his own company in 1976. His wife, Lynn Caldwell, said he raised $1 million for charity through World Methodist Evangelism.

On January 27 in Music History

. 1629 ~ Hieronymus Praetorius, composer, died at the age of 68

. 1731 ~ Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian instrument maker considered the inventor of the piano, died at the age of 75

. 1756 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, pianist
Listen to Mozart’s music
Read quotes by and about Mozart
More information about Mozart
Happy Birthday, Mozart!

 

. 1823 ~ Edouard Lalo, French composer

. 1885 ~ Jerome Kern, American songwriter and composer of musical comedies He was known as the father of the American musical, composing Show Boat, Ol’ Man River, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lovely to Look At, The Way You Look Tonight and The Last Time I Saw Paris

. 1895 ~ Harry Ruby (Rubinstein), Musician and composer

. 1901 ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer, died at the age of 77. He was an Italian operatic composer, the leading figure of Italian music in the nineteenth century and made important contributions to the development of opera.
More information about Verdi

. 1905 ~ John Schaum, Pianist, composer and music educator. Schaum began his career as a piano teacher in the late 1920s. In 1933 he founded the Schaum Piano School in Milwaukee. About the same time he began to compose piano music for teaching purposes. He also founded the first company to produce award stickers specifically for music students. Always on the lookout for better materials for his students, Schaum eventually decided to create his own books, beginning in 1941 with Piano Fun for Boys and Girls, which he later revised as the first in a series of nine piano method books that became the Schaum Piano Course, completed in 1945. These books are still widely used today.

. 1916 ~ Milt (Milton W.) Raskin, Pianist, composer and arranger

. 1918 ~ Skitch Henderson, Conductor of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, bandleader, musical director of NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show with Steve Allen and Johnny Carson

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bolshoi ballet dancer, defected to the U.S.

 

. 1961 ~ Leontyne Price made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. She sang in the role of Leonora in “Il Trovatore”. Price was only the seventh black singer to make a debut at the Met. Marian Anderson was the first (1955).

. 1968 ~ The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned $50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This is identical to what The Beatles were paid to perform at the Hollywood Bowl a few years earlier.

. 1968 ~ Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was released on this day, seven weeks after the singer’s death. It became #1 on March 16, 1968 and remained at the top spot for a month. Redding began his recording career in 1960 with Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers (on Confederate Records). He sang a duet with Carla Thomas and had 11 chart hits. Redding of Dawson, GA was killed in a plane crash at Lake Monona near Madison, WI.  Four members of the Bar-Kays were also killed in the crash. The Dock of the Bay, his only number one song, was recorded just three days before his death.

. 1973 ~ Mr and Mrs O got married 🙂
Read more here.

. 1982 ~ “Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat” opened at the Royale NYC for 747 performances

. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in Los Angeles. Pyrotechnics did not operate on cue, injuring the singer. Jackson was hospitalized for a few days and fans from around the world sent messages of concern.

. 2000 ~ Friedrich Gulda, Austrian pianist died at the age of 69.

. 2014 ~ Pete Seeger, American folk singer and activist, helped create the modern American folk music movement, died at 94

August 23 ~ in Music History

today

• 1854 ~ Moritz Moszkowski, Polish-born German pianist and composer
More information about Moszkowski

• 1900 ~ Ernst Krenek, Austrian-born American composer, conductor and pianist

• 1905 ~ Constant Lambert, British composer, conductor and writer

• 1912 ~ Gene (Eugene Curran) Kelly, Dancer, actor: Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh, The Three Musketeers, Marjorie Morningstar, Inherit the Wind, North and South Book I; director: Singin’ in the Rain, Hello, Dolly!, A Guide for the Married Man, The Cheyenne Social Club

• 1917 ~ Tex (Sol) Williams, American country-western singer

• 1923 ~ Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, The Happiness Boys, were heard on radio for the first time. The two were billed as radio’s first comedians and were also credited with creating and performing the first singing commercial.

• 1936 ~ Rudy Lewis, Singer with Drifters

• 1942 ~ Patricia McBride, Ballerina: New York City Ballet. For many years she was Mikhail Baryshnikov’s only partner

• 1943 ~ LIFE magazine spotlighted a dance craze that was sweeping the U.S.A., the Lindy Hop

• 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Singer, drummer with The Who

• 1947 ~ Margaret Truman, daughter of U.S. President Harry S Truman, presented her first public concert.  Margaret sang before 15,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl. The concert did not get great reviews. In fact, the critics didn’t like Margaret’s singing at all. And Margaret’s dad didn’t like the critics, and said so, from the White House.

• 1949 ~ Rick Springfield, Singer

• 1951 ~ Mark Hudson, Singer with The Hudson Brothers

• 1951 ~ Jimi Jamison, Singer with Survivor

• 1953 ~ Bobby G. (Gubby), Singer with Bucks Fizz

• 1960 ~ Oscar (Greeley Clendenning) Hammerstein II passed away
More information about Hammerstein

• 1962 ~ Shaun Ryder, Singer with Happy Mondays

• 1966 ~ The U.S. premiere of the motion picture Help!, starring The Beatles, was held for thousands of moviegoers wanting to see the group’s first, color, motion picture. Their first film, A Hard Day’s Night, had been produced in black and white.

• 1990 ~ David Rose passed away

• 2001 ~ Kathleen Freeman, a veteran character actress whose face if not her name was known to audiences from television sitcoms, the film classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and Broadway’s “The Full Monty,” died of lung cancer at the age of  82.
Freeman gave her final performance in “The Full Monty”. She played a sassy piano player in the hit musical and earned a Tony nomination in May 2001.

Big, brash and funny were Freeman’s trademarks in playing recalcitrant maids, demented nuns, mouthy housekeepers, battle-ax mothers, irate landladies and nosy neighbors.

Starting in the Golden Age of television, Freeman appeared in such shows as “Topper,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Lucy Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “Murphy Brown” and “Married … With Children.”

“This will sound very corny and I’m sorry,” Freeman said last year in an Associated Press interview, “but I have always had the sense I was put here to do this: I am somebody who is around to help the world laugh. I have always had that sense. Corny but absolutely true.”

In “Singin’ in the Rain,” considered by many to be the best movie musical ever made, she played Jean Hagen’s frustrated voice teacher. Among Freeman’s other films were the sci-fi thriller “The Fly,” “The Rounders” with Henry Fonda, “Far Country” with Jimmy Stewart, and “North to Alaska” starring John Wayne. More recently she appeared in “Dragnet,” “Gremlins II,” “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” and both “Blues Brothers” comedies.

Freeman was born in Chicago and was propelled into show business at age 2. Her parents had a vaudeville act, Dixon and Freeman, in which their daughter did a little dance.

Freeman attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where she majored in music and was going to be a classical pianist. Then, she said, “A terrible thing happened. I got in a play and got a laugh. I just said a line and, `boom.”‘

Freeman then worked in many small theater groups, including the Circle Players, acting for such eminent directors – and actors – as Charles Laughton, Charlie Chaplin and Robert Morley.

At the same time, the early 1950s, the television explosion took over Los Angeles. From her first regular sitcom role, as the maid in “Topper,” Freeman went on to do just about every sitcom of the last 50 years.

For all her voluminous credits, Freeman’s stage credits were mostly on the road – touring as Miss Hannigan in “Annie” for 18 months, then in “Deathtrap” and later with Lauren Bacall in “Woman of the Year.”

Her only other Broadway appearance was for five months in the 1978 production of “13 Rue de l’Amore” starring Louis Jordan.

• 2001 ~ Frank Emilio Flynn, a blind pianist and Latin jazz pioneer who performed with many great American jazz artists, died at the age of 80.

Flynn lost his sight at age 13 but continued to study and perform classical works, transcribed into Braille, with the Symphonic Orchestra of Havana.

Flynn’s great passion was jazz, and in the 1950s he developed his own jazz-influenced ballad style, known in Cuba as “feeling.”

Performing with the Quinteto Cubana de Musica Moderno, or Cuban Quintet of Modern Music, he developed into one of the most important Cuban jazz musicians of his era.

He played at New York’s Lincoln Center in 1998 with trumpeters Alfredo Armenteros and Wynton Marsalis.

• 2018 ~ George Walker, Trailblazing American Composer, died at the age of 96

January 28 in Music History

today

. 1722 ~ Johann Ernst Bach, German composer of the Bach family

. 1791 ~ Ferdinand Herold, French composer

. 1887 ~ Artur Rubinstein, Polish-born American pianist, played solo for the Berlin Symphony at the age of 12.
Read quotes by and about Rubinstein
More information about Rubinstein

. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso signed his first contract with Victor Records. He had debuted at the Metropolitan Opera just two months before.

. 1927 ~ Ronnie Scott (Schatt), Jazz musician: tenor sax, bandleader, jazz club owner in London

. 1927 ~ Twenty years before the famous record by Art Mooney was recorded, Jean Goldkette and his dancing orchestra recorded, I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover. Though the name of the bandleader may not be so famous, two of his sidemen on this Victor recording session certainly were: Big band fans know Bix Beiderbecke and Joe Venuti.

. 1929 ~ Acker (Bernard) Bilk, Clarinetist, composer

. 1935 ~ Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov, Russian composer, died at the age of 75

. 1938 ~ Bill Phillips, Country singer

. 1940 ~ “Beat the Band” made its debut on NBC radio. The band was that of Ted Weems and his 14-piece orchestra, who were joined by Elmo ‘The Whistling Troubadour’ Tanner, Harry Soskind and Country Washington. One other star of the show was a barber from Pittsburgh, PA (nearby Canonsburg, actually), who would record many hits for RCA Victor from 1943 right through the dawn of the 1970s. His name was Perry Como. Beat the Band was a funky show where listeners’ questions were selected in the hopes of stumping the band. If a listener’s question was chosen, he or she received $10. The questions were posed as riddles: What song title tells you what Cinderella might have said if she awoke one morning and found that her foot had grown too large for her glass slipper? If the band played the correct musical answer, Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?, the listener lost.

. 1943 ~ Dick Taylor, Bass, guitar with The Pretty Things

. 1944 ~ John Tavener, British avant-garde composer
More information about Tavener

. 1944 ~ Brian Keenan, Drummer with groups Manfred Mann and The Chambers Brothers

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Nikolayavich Baryshnikov, Russian-born American ballet dancer Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Others

. 1959 ~ Dave Sharp, Guitarist with The Alarm

. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television. No, he didn’t appear on some teenage dance show; but rather, “The Dorsey Brothers Show”, starring Tommy and Jimmy. Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed by the instruments of the Dorsey band.

. 1968 ~ Sarah McLauchlan, Singer

. 1985 ~ 45 of the world’s top recording artists were invited to an all-night recording session at the A&M studios in Los Angeles. As each of the artists walked through the studio door, they were greeted by a hand-lettered sign — put there by Lionel Richie. It simply said, “Check your ego at the door.” The session started at 10 p.m. with producer Quincy Jones conducting. At 8 o’clock the following morning, the project, “USA for Africa”, spearheaded by promoter, Ken Kragen, was recorded and mixed. The resulting song, We Are the World, featuring Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many others became the top song in the U.S. on April 13, 1985.

. 2002 ~ Michael Hammond, who became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts just a week earlier, died apparently of natural causes. He was 69. A native of Kenosha, Wis., the conductor and composer had been dean of the School of Music at Rice University in Houston when President Bush nominated him to lead the federal agency that decides grants for the arts. After being confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 20, 2001, Hammond had assumed the post Jan. 22, 2002, and was still in the process of moving to Washington. A student of music and medicine, Hammond’s interests included music from Southeast Asia, the Renaissance and medieval times and the intersection between music and neuroscience. He received a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University. He also studied Indian philosophy and music at Dehli University in India. In 1968, he left his post as director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee to become the founding dean of music at the State University of New York at Purchase. He later served as president of the school, until he left for Rice’s Shepherd School of Music in 1986. All the while, he retained his interest in medicine, teaching neuroanatomy and physiology at Marquette Medical School and at the University of Wisconsin. Hammond also served as the founding rector of the Prague Mozart Academy in the Czech Republic, now the European Mozart Academy, was on the board of the Houston Symphony, and was vice chairman of the board of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

. 2002 ~ Steve Caldwell, who sang and played saxophone for the Swingin’ Medallions at the time of the band’s 1966 hit Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love), died of pancreatic cancer. He was 55. Caldwell was with the group from 1963 to 1969. After getting his master’s degree in chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he returned to his native Atlanta and ran the Norell temporary staffing agency until starting his own company in 1976. His wife, Lynn Caldwell, said he raised $1 million for charity through World Methodist Evangelism.

January 27 in Music History

today

. 1629 ~ Hieronymus Praetorius, composer, died at the age of 68

. 1731 ~ Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian instrument maker – considered the inventor of the piano, died at the age of 75

. 1756 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, pianist
Listen to Mozart’s music
Read quotes by and about Mozart
More information about Mozart
Happy Birthday, Mozart!

 

. 1823 ~ Edouard Lalo, French composer

. 1885 ~ Jerome Kern, American songwriter and composer of musical comedies He was known as the father of the American musical, composing Show Boat, Ol’ Man River, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lovely to Look At, The Way You Look Tonight and The Last Time I Saw Paris

. 1895 ~ Harry Ruby (Rubinstein), Musician and composer

. 1901 ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer, died at the age of 77. He was an Italian operatic composer, the leading figure of Italian music in the nineteenth century and made important contributions to the development of opera.
More information about Verdi

. 1905 ~ John Schaum, Pianist, composer and music educator. Schaum began his career as a piano teacher in the late 1920s. In 1933 he founded the Schaum Piano School in Milwaukee. About the same time he began to compose piano music for teaching purposes. He also founded the first company to produce award stickers specifically for music students. Always on the lookout for better materials for his students, Schaum eventually decided to create his own books, beginning in 1941 with Piano Fun for Boys and Girls, which he later revised as the first in a series of nine piano method books that became the Schaum Piano Course, completed in 1945. These books are still widely used today.

. 1916 ~ Milt (Milton W.) Raskin, Pianist, composer and arranger

. 1918 ~ Skitch Henderson, Conductor of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, bandleader, musical director of NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show with Steve Allen and Johnny Carson

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bolshoi ballet dancer, defected to U.S.

. 1961 ~ Leontyne Price made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. She sang in the role of Leonora in “Il Trovatore”. Price was only the seventh black singer to make a debut at the Met. Marian Anderson was the first (1955).

. 1968 ~ The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned $50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This is identical to what The Beatles were paid to perform at the Hollywood Bowl a few years earlier.

. 1968 ~ Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was released on this day, seven weeks after the singer’s death. It became #1 on March 16, 1968 and remained at the top spot for a month. Redding began his recording career in 1960 with Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers (on Confederate Records). He sang duet with Carla Thomas and had 11 chart hits. Redding of Dawson, GA was killed in a plane crash at Lake Monona near Madison, WI. Four members of the Bar-Kays were also killed in the crash. The Dock of the Bay, his only number one song, was recorded just three days before his death.

. 1973 ~ Mr and Mrs O got married 🙂
Read more here.

. 1982 ~ “Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat” opened at the Royale NYC for 747 performances

. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in Los Angeles. Pyrotechnics did not operate on cue, injuring the singer. Jackson was hospitalized for a few days and fans from around the world sent messages of concern.

August 23 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1854 ~ Moritz Moszkowski, Polish-born German pianist and composer
More information about Moszkowski

• 1900 ~ Ernst Krenek, Austrian-born American composer, conductor and pianist

• 1905 ~ Constant Lambert, British composer, conductor and writer

• 1912 ~ Gene (Eugene Curran) Kelly, Dancer, actor: Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh, The Three Musketeers, Marjorie Morningstar, Inherit the Wind, North and South Book I; director: Singin’ in the Rain, Hello, Dolly!, A Guide for the Married Man, The Cheyenne Social Club

• 1917 ~ Tex (Sol) Williams, Singer

• 1923 ~ Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, The Happiness Boys, were heard on radio for the first time. The two were billed as radio’s first comedians and were also credited with creating and performing the first singing commercial.

• 1936 ~ Rudy Lewis, Singer with Drifters

• 1942 ~ Patricia McBride, Ballerina: New York City Ballet. For many years she was Mikhail Baryshnikov’s only partner

• 1943 ~ LIFE magazine spotlighted a dance craze that was sweeping the U.S.A., the Lindy Hop

• 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Singer, drummer with The Who

• 1947 ~ Margaret Truman, daughter of U.S. President Harry S Truman, presented her first public concert.  Margaret sang before 15,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl. The concert did not get great reviews. In fact, the critics didn’t like Margaret’s singing at all. And Margaret’s dad didn’t like the critics, and said so, from the White House.

• 1949 ~ Rick Springfield, Singer

• 1951 ~ Mark Hudson, Singer with The Hudson Brothers

• 1951 ~ Jimi Jamison, Singer with Survivor

• 1953 ~ Bobby G. (Gubby), Singer with Bucks Fizz

• 1960 ~ Oscar (Greeley Clendenning) Hammerstein II passed away
More information about Hammerstein

• 1962 ~ Shaun Ryder, Singer with Happy Mondays

• 1966 ~ The U.S. premiere of the motion picture Help!, starring The Beatles, was held for thousands of moviegoers wanting to see the group’s first, color, motion picture. Their first film, A Hard Day’s Night, had been produced in black and white.

• 1990 ~ David Rose passed away

• 2001 ~ Kathleen Freeman, a veteran character actress whose face if not her name was known to audiences from television sitcoms, the film classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and Broadway’s “The Full Monty,” died of lung cancer at the age of  82.
Freeman gave her final performance in “The Full Monty”. She played a sassy piano player in the hit musical and earned a Tony nomination in May 2001.

Big, brash and funny were Freeman’s trademarks in playing recalcitrant maids, demented nuns, mouthy housekeepers, battle-ax mothers, irate landladies and nosy neighbors.

Starting in the Golden Age of television, Freeman appeared in such shows as “Topper,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Lucy Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “Murphy Brown” and “Married … With Children.”

“This will sound very corny and I’m sorry,” Freeman said last year in an Associated Press interview, “but I have always had the sense I was put here to do this: I am somebody who is around to help the world laugh. I have always had that sense. Corny but absolutely true.”

In “Singin’ in the Rain,” considered by many to be the best movie musical ever made, she played Jean Hagen’s frustrated voice teacher. Among Freeman’s other films were the sci-fi thriller “The Fly,” “The Rounders” with Henry Fonda, “Far Country” with Jimmy Stewart, and “North to Alaska” starring John Wayne. More recently she appeared in “Dragnet,” “Gremlins II,” “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” and both “Blues Brothers” comedies.

Freeman was born in Chicago and was propelled into show business at age 2. Her parents had a vaudeville act, Dixon and Freeman, in which their daughter did a little dance.

Freeman attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where she majored in music and was going to be a classical pianist. Then, she said, “A terrible thing happened. I got in a play and got a laugh. I just said a line and, `boom.”‘

Freeman then worked in many small theater groups, including the Circle Players, acting for such eminent directors – and actors – as Charles Laughton, Charlie Chaplin and Robert Morley.

At the same time, the early 1950s, the television explosion took over Los Angeles. From her first regular sitcom role, as the maid in “Topper,” Freeman went on to do just about every sitcom of the last 50 years.

For all her voluminous credits, Freeman’s stage credits were mostly on the road – touring as Miss Hannigan in “Annie” for 18 months, then in “Deathtrap” and later with Lauren Bacall in “Woman of the Year.”

Her only other Broadway appearance was for five months in the 1978 production of “13 Rue de l’Amore” starring Louis Jordan.

• 2001 ~ Frank Emilio Flynn, a blind pianist and Latin jazz pioneer who performed with many great American jazz artists, died at the age of 80.

Flynn lost his sight at age 13 but continued to study and perform classical works, transcribed into Braille, with the Symphonic Orchestra of Havana.

Flynn’s great passion was jazz, and in the 1950s he developed his own jazz-influenced ballad style, known in Cuba as “feeling.”

Performing with the Quinteto Cubana de Musica Moderno, or Cuban Quintet of Modern Music, he developed into one of the most important Cuban jazz musicians of his era.

More recently, he played at New York’s Lincoln Center in 1998 with trumpeters Alfredo Armenteros and Wynton Marsalis.

January 28 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1722 ~ Johann Ernst Bach, German composer of the Bach family

. 1791 ~ Ferdinand Herold, French composer

. 1887 ~ Artur Rubinstein, Polish-born American pianist, played solo for the Berlin Symphony at the age of 12.
Read quotes by and about Rubinstein
More information about Rubinstein

. 1904 ~ Enrico Caruso signed his first contract with Victor Records. He had debuted at the Metropolitan Opera just two months before.

. 1927 ~ Ronnie Scott (Schatt), Jazz musician: tenor sax, bandleader, jazz club owner in London

. 1927 ~ Twenty years before the famous record by Art Mooney was recorded, Jean Goldkette and his dancing orchestra recorded, I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover. Though the name of the bandleader may not be so famous, two of his sidemen on this Victor recording session certainly were: Big band fans know Bix Beiderbecke and Joe Venuti.

. 1929 ~ Acker (Bernard) Bilk, Clarinetist, composer

. 1938 ~ Bill Phillips, Country singer

. 1940 ~ “Beat the Band” made its debut on NBC radio. The band was that of Ted Weems and his 14-piece orchestra, who were joined by Elmo ‘The Whistling Troubadour’ Tanner, Harry Soskind and Country Washington. One other star of the show was a barber from Pittsburgh, PA (nearby Canonsburg, actually), who would record many hits for RCA Victor from 1943 right through the dawn of the 1970s. His name was Perry Como. Beat the Band was a funky show where listeners’ questions were selected in the hopes of stumping the band. If a listener’s question was chosen, he or she received $10. The questions were posed as riddles: What song title tells you what Cinderella might have said if she awoke one morning and found that her foot had grown too large for her glass slipper? If the band played the correct musical answer, Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?, the listener lost.

. 1943 ~ Dick Taylor, Bass, guitar with The Pretty Things

. 1944 ~ John Tavener, British avant-garde composer
More information about Tavener

. 1944 ~ Brian Keenan, Drummer with groups Manfred Mann and The Chambers Brothers

. 1948 ~ Mikhail Nikolayavich Baryshnikov, Russian-born American ballet dancer Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Others

. 1959 ~ Dave Sharp, Guitarist with The Alarm

. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television. No, he didn’t appear on some teenage dance show; but rather, “The Dorsey Brothers Show”, starring Tommy and Jimmy. Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed by the instruments of the Dorsey band.

. 1968 ~ Sarah McLauchlan, Singer

. 1985 ~ 45 of the world’s top recording artists were invited to an all-night recording session at the A&M studios in Los Angeles. As each of the artists walked through the studio door, they were greeted by a hand-lettered sign — put there by Lionel Richie. It simply said, “Check your ego at the door.” The session started at 10 p.m. with producer Quincy Jones conducting. At 8 o’clock the following morning, the project, “USA for Africa”, spearheaded by promoter, Ken Kragen, was recorded and mixed. The resulting song, We Are the World, featuring Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many others became the top song in the U.S. on April 13, 1985.

. 2002 ~ Michael Hammond, who became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts just a week earlier, died apparently of natural causes. He was 69. A native of Kenosha, Wis., the conductor and composer had been dean of the School of Music at Rice University in Houston when President Bush nominated him to lead the federal agency that decides grants for the arts. After being confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 20, 2001, Hammond had assumed the post Jan. 22, 2002, and was still in the process of moving to Washington. A student of music and medicine, Hammond’s interests included music from Southeast Asia, the Renaissance and medieval times and the intersection between music and neuroscience. He received a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University. He also studied Indian philosophy and music at Dehli University in India. In 1968, he left his post as director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee to become the founding dean of music at the State University of New York at Purchase. He later served as president of the school, until he left for Rice’s Shepherd School of Music in 1986. All the while, he retained his interest in medicine, teaching neuroanatomy and physiology at Marquette Medical School and at the University of Wisconsin. Hammond also served as the founding rector of the Prague Mozart Academy in the Czech Republic, now the European Mozart Academy, was on the board of the Houston Symphony, and was vice chairman of the board of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

. 2002 ~ Steve Caldwell, who sang and played saxophone for the Swingin’ Medallions at the time of the band’s 1966 hit Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love), died of pancreatic cancer. He was 55. Caldwell was with the group from 1963 to 1969. After getting his master’s degree in chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he returned to his native Atlanta and ran the Norell temporary staffing agency until starting his own company in 1976. His wife, Lynn Caldwell, said he raised $1 million for charity through World Methodist Evangelism.