April 14 in Music History

today

. 1759 ~ George Frideric Handel, organist, violinist and composer, died. Among his best known oratorios are “Saul,” “Israel in Egypt” and the “Messiah”.

. 1900 ~ Salvatore Baccaloni, Opera singer

. 1922 ~ Soprano Jeanette Vreeland sang the first radio concert from an airplane as she flew over New York City.

. 1922 ~ Ali Akbar Khan, Indian composer and maestro sarod player

. 1924 ~ Shorty Rogers (Milton Rajonsky), Musician: trumpet, bandleader, songwriter, composer, arranger

. 1933 ~ Buddy Knox, Singer

. 1933 ~ Morton Subotnick, American composer of experimental music

. 1935 ~ Loretta Lynn, American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist, first woman to earn the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award; named ACM Artist of the Decade in 1979

. 1941 ~ Hildegarde recorded the standard Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup on Decca Records. Hildegarde was the elegant singer with the long white gloves who was accompanied by the Harry Sosnik Orchestra. It took another 14 years, but Nat ‘King’ Cole turned the song into an even bigger hit, landing at number 7 on the pop music charts.

. 1951 ~ Julian Lloyd Webber, British cellist

. 1958 ~ Pianist Van Cliburn was presented on national TV for the first time on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jack Paar.

. 1958 ~ Laurie London reached the top spot on the music charts with He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, knocking Perry Como’s Catch a Falling Star down a peg or two.

. 1960 ~ The musical Bye Bye Birdie opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City. Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke starred in the Broadway show which ran for 607 performances.

. 1967 ~ Herman’s Hermits, featuring lead singer Peter Noone, went gold with the single, There’s a Kind of Hush. It was a two-sided hit, with the flip-side, No Milk Today, also receiving considerable play. Hush, however, was a top five song, while the ‘B’ side just made it into the top 40 at number 35.

. 1995 ~ Burl Ives, Oscar-winning actor and singer whose gentle voice helped popularize American folk music, died. He played powerful dramatic roles in movies including “The Big Country,” for which he won an Academy Award for best-supporting actor, and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

April 13 in Music History

today

. 1377 ~ Guillaume de Machaut died. French poet and musician. Composer of monophonic and polyphonic music. Leading representative of the Ars nova tradition
More information about Machaut

. 1742 ~ Handel’s Messiah premier in Dublin

. 1810 ~Félicien-César David, French composer

. 1816 ~ Sir William Sterndale Bennett, British pianist, conductor and composer

. 1906 ~ Bud (Lawrence) Freeman, Jazz musician, tenor sax

. 1917 ~ Howard Keel, American singer and actor, born as Harold Clifford Leek. He appeared in singing and acting roles in films from 1948-68 and also appeared on TV in “Dallas.”

. 1928 ~ Teddy Charles, Vibraphonist, songwriter

. 1940 ~ Lester Chambers, Singer, musician, played harmonica

. 1941 ~ Margaret Price, British soprano

. 1944 ~ Jack Casady, Musician, KBC Band, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane

. 1946 ~ Al Green, Singer, songwriter

. 1951 ~ Peabo Bryson, Singer

. 1958 ~ Van Cliburn of Kilgore, TX earned first prize in the Soviet Union’s Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow.

. 1961 ~ Carnival opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. Anna Maria Alberghetti starred in the musical which ran for 719 performances.

. 1963 ~ Jack Cassidy and Barbara Cook starred in She Loves Me, which opened at the O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The Broadway musical ran for 189 performances.

. 1980 ~ Broadway’s longest-running musical closed after eight years. Grease ran for 3,388 performances and earned $8 million. Though the longest running musical on the Great White Way at the time, Grease was also the third longest-running Broadway show. Other shows in the top five included: The Defiant Ones and Life with Father, Oh! Calcutta, A Chorus Line and Fiddler on the Roof.

. 1985 ~ The Grand Ole Opry, a radio staple from Nashville for 60 years, came to TV. The Nashville Network presented the country music jamboree to some 22-million homes across the U.S.

April 12 in Music History

today

. 1684 ~ Niccolo Amati, member of a family of violin makers in Cremona, Italy, died.

. 1904 ~ Lily (Alice) Pons, Singer

. 1905 ~ The Hippodrome opened in New York City with the gala musical revue, A Yankee Circus on Mars.

. 1913 ~ Lionel Hampton, American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, drummer and bandleader; played with Benny Goodman and recorded with Louis Armstrong. He was responsible for introducing the vibraphone into jazz.

. 1914 ~ George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” opened in London with Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle and Sir Herbert Tree as Professor Higgins. This would later become the musical My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe.

. 1916 ~ Russ Garcia, Musician, composer, orchestra leader

. 1931 ~ Billy (Richard) Vaughn, Musician, orchestra leader, music director

. 1932 ~ Tiny Tim (aka Darry Dover, Larry Love) (Herbert Khaury), Ukulele playing, falsetto singer, best known for Tiptoe Through the Tulips

. 1933 ~ Monserrat Caballé (1933) Spanish opera singer and a leading Verdi and Donizetti soprano

. 1938 ~ Fedor Chaliapin, foremost Russian operatic bass singer and one of opera’s greatest performers, died.

. 1939 ~ One of the classic theme songs of the Big Band era was recorded for Decca. Woody Herman’s orchestra recorded Woodchopper’s Ball.

. 1940 ~ Herbie Hancock, Oscar-winning American jazz/fusion musician, pianist and composer

. 1950 ~ David Cassidy, Singer

OCMS 1954 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets recorded Rock Around the Clock for Decca Records. The song was recorded at the Pythian Temple, “a big, barnlike building with great echo,” in New York City. “Rock Around the Clock” was formally released a month later. It sold an estimated 25 million copies worldwide, making it the second biggest-selling single at the time behind Bing Crosby White Christmas
More information about Rock Around the Clock

. 1999 ~ BoxCar Willie, Country singing star, who blended a mellow voice with a rough- hewn hobo persona, died. He was 67.

April 6 in Music History

today

. 1660 ~ Johann Kuhnau, German composer and writer

. 1895 ~ Waltzing Matilda, one of Australia’s best-known tunes written by bush poet Banjo Paterson, was first publicly performed at a hotel in the remote northern town of Winton.

. 1913 ~ ‘Pappy’ Wade Ray, Country entertainer/musician with the Grand Ole Opry

. 1917 ~ George M. Cohan wrote Over There, which became the chief marching song for World War I

. 1924 ~ Mimi (Miriam) Benzell, Opera singer, mezzo-soprano

. 1924 ~ Dorothy Donegan, Jazz pianist

. 1925 ~ Eddie Cantor recorded the standard, If You Knew Susie, for Columbia Records. There was none classier.

. 1927 ~ Gerry Mulligan, Jazz musician, composer

. 1929 ~ Edison Denisov, Soviet composer

OCMS 1929 ~ André Previn, German-born American pianist, composer and conductor, Known as a classical orchestral conductor, notably of Shostakovich, he also conducted and scored film music and arrangements, Oscar-winning film scores: Gigi, Porgy and Bess, Irma La Douce, My Fair Lady, Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Domingo, Berry, 2000
More information about Previn

. 1931 ~ Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip character developed by Harold Gray, came to life on the NBC Blue network. About 5 decades later, the comic strip inspired a Broadway play and a movie, both titled, Annie.

. 1937 ~ Merle Haggard, American ccountry musicsinger, songwriter, fiddler and guitarist, CMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year (1970)

. 1944 ~ Michelle Phillips (Holly Michelle Gilliam), Singer with The Mamas and the Papas

. 1956 ~ Capitol Tower, the home of Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA, was dedicated. The building was the first circular office tower designed in America. It is 13 stories tall and 92 feet in diameter. At night, a light at the tip of the tower blinks the letters “H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D” in Morse Code.

. 1971 ~ Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer, died in New York. One of the 20th Century’s leading musical figures and most famous for his ballets “The Rite of Spring” and “Petrushka.”

. 1971 ~ Rolling Stone Records was formed to promote the hits of The Rolling Stones. The famous Stones trademark, the lips logo, became widely used. Brown Sugar was the first hit by the Rolling Stones on the new label, followed by Wild Horses, Tumbling Diceand Start Me Up.

. 1973 ~ The Stylistics received a gold record for their ballad hit, Break Up to Make Up. The Philadelphia soul group placed 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s. More of their gold record winners include: You Are Everything, Betcha By Golly Wow, I’m Stone in Love With You and You Make Me Feel Brand New.

. 1974 ~ The first concert film featuring a soundtrack in quadraphonic sound opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

. 1974 ~ ABBA for Sweden won the 19th Eurovision Song Contest singing “Waterloo”

. 1985 ~ The country group, Alabama, went five-for-five as the album 40 Hour Week grabbed the top spot on the Billboard country chart. The group had a number one album for each of the previous five years. The popularity of the quartet (three are cousins from Fort Payne, AL) continues today.

. 1994 ~ Dick Cary passed away.  He was an American jazz pianist, trumpet and alto horn player, and prolific arranger and composer.

. 1998 ~ Tammy Wynette, known as “The First Lady of Country Music” and world- renowned for her hit Stand by Your Man, died aged 55.

. 2001 ~ Daniel J. “Danny” Gaither, the original tenor voice of the former Bill Gaither Trio, died after a five-year battle with lymphoma. He was 62. He joined the Bill Gaither trio when he turned 18. His brother, Bill, led the group, and his younger sister, Mary Ann, was the group’s original female singer. Danny Gaither traveled with the family trio for about 10 years until the early 1980s, when he started doing solo work. Problems with his vocal chords forced him to give up his solo career about 10 years later. Danny Gaither won several Grammy and Dove awards for his work. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in April 1999.

. 2016 ~ Merle Ronald Haggard died.  He was an American country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist

March 30 in Music History

. 1674 ~ Pietro Antonio Locatelli died.  He was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.

. 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer

. 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s

. 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer

. 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon. Alma Cummings danced the fox trot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.

. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahm’s Rhapsody in G Minor.  He was 13.

. 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music

. 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drummer with The Moody Blues

. 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack country duo

. 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; songwriter, Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990

. 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist

. 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as their hit single, He’s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I Will Follow Him on April 27th.

. 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter

. 1964 ~ Willem Andriessen, Dutch composer and pianist (Beethoven), died at the age of 76

. 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer

. 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics called Bacall “a sensation.” The play, at the Palace Theatre, was an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances. A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.

. 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, “Hey, this sounds like disco!” and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history…

. 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshine on My Shoulders. It was the singer’s first number one song. Three other singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie’s Song, Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10 at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.

March 26 in Music History

today

. 1827 ~ German composer Ludwig van Beethoven died in Vienna. Beethoven is considered one of the greatest western composers ever. He composed many of his finest works after he had become totally deaf.

. 1828 ~ Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, performed his one and only public concert in the capital city of Vienna.

. 1871 ~ François-Joseph Fetis died.  He was a Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and influential music critic.

. 1918 ~ Cesar Cui, Russian composer, died
More information about Cui

. 1921 ~ Joe Loco (Jose Esteves, Jr.), Jazz musician, arranger, credited with introducing the mambo (1951) and cha-cha-cha (1953) to the US

. 1925 ~ Pierre Boulez, French composer and conductor. His later work, notably “Le Marteau sans maitre,” gained him a worldwide reputation.
More information on Boulez
Grammy winner

. 1929 ~ Maurice Simon, Jazz musician, tenor sax

. 1940 ~ Rod Lauren, Singer

. 1941 ~ Jimmy Lunceford and his orchestra recorded the tune, Battle Axe, for Decca Records. Lunceford began with the Chickasaw Syncopaters, a 10-piece band, in the late 1920s. By 1934, he would add names like Sy Oliver, Willie Smith, Earl Caruthers, Joe Thomas, Al Norris, Moses Allen, and James Crawford to form orchestras that would entertain through the mid-1940s.

. 1944 ~ Diana Ross (Diane Earle), American pop-soul singer with The Supremes

. 1948 ~ Richard Tandy, Bass with Electric Light Orchestra

. 1948 ~ Steven Tyler (Tallarico), Singer with Aerosmith

. 1949 ~ Vicki Lawrence, Emmy Award-winning actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Fran Sheehan, Bass with Boston

. 1950 ~ Teddy Pendergrass, American soul singer, songwriter and drummer

. 1950 ~ Alan Silvestri, American film score composer (Back To The Future, Forrest Gump)

. 1968 ~ Kenny Chesney, American singer

. 1974 ~ David Essex received a gold record for the hit, Rock On. Though a million seller, Rock On never made it to number one on the pop-rock charts – stalling at number five. It was on the charts for a total of 14 weeks. Essex portrayed the role of Christ in the London production of Godspell. He starred in several British films in 1970. 1975 ~ Tommy, the film based on the rock opera by the group, The Who, premiered in London.

. 2000 ~ John Corigliano won an Oscar for the score to the movie The Red Violin

. 2015 ~ Joseph Smith died.  He was a well-liked, modest and warmly adventurous New York pianist.

Benita Meshulam, a close friend, wrote: “Joe was the most curious musician I have ever known, always looking for forgotten works, studying them thoroughly. He was interested not only in the works but the composers and investigated everything. He was a pianist who didn’t care about the condition of the pianos he performed on. It was his message that he wanted to get across–a real musician’s musician who lived and breathed his art. He was also the kindest and most generous colleague.”

How Playing An Instrument Benefits Your Brain

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout.

What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

via How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins | TED-Ed.