. 1842 ~ Stephane Mallarme, French Symbolist poet, born. His “L’Apres-midi d’un Faune” inspired composer Claude Debussy to write an orchestral prelude of the same name.
. 1844 ~ Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer
More information about Rimsky-Korsakov
. 1882 ~ Gian Francesco Malipiero, Italian composer and musicologist
. 1902 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company. The recording session took place in Milan, Italy and Caruso walked away with $500 for his effort.
. 1905 ~ John Kirkpatrick, American pianist (Concord Sonata)
. 1910 ~ Hold on to your hats! The opera, Pipe of Desire, was first performed this day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Frederick Sheperd Converse wrote the work that turned out to be the first opera by an American composer to be performed at the Met.
. 1927 ~ John Kander, composer (Cabaret, Chicago, Funny Lady, Kramer vs Kramer)
. 1940 ~ Glen Gray and his orchestra recorded No Name Jive on Decca Records.
• 1689 ~ Joseph Bodin De Boismortier, French baroque composer of instrumental music, cantatas, opéra-ballets, and vocal music.
• 1893 ~Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel premiered on this day in Weimar in 1893, with Richard Strauss conducting. Is there any better opera for Christmas time?
• 1907 ~ Don McNeill, Radio host
1918 ~ José Greco, Italian flamenco dancer
• 1929 ~ Chet Baker, American jazz trumpeter and singer
• 1934 ~ Claudio Scimone, Italian conductor and musicologist
• 1935 ~ ‘Little’ Esther Phillips (Esther Mae Jones), Pianist, singer, Grammy nomination for Best female R & B vocalist in 1973. Aretha Franklin won but she gave the award to Esther
• 1939 ~ Johnny Kidd (Frederick Heath), Singer, songwriter with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
• 1940 ~ Tim Hardin, Singer, composer
• 1940 ~ Jorma Kaukonen, Guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and also Hot Tuna
• 1940 ~ Eugene Record, Singer with Chi-Lites
• 1942 ~ Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska. It was the first of his many famous Christmas shows for American armed forces around the world. The tradition continued for more than three decades.
• 1943 ~ The first complete opera to be televised was aired on WRBG in Schenectady, NY. (WRGB was named after GE engineer Dr. W.R.G. Baker. It was not named, as many have thought over the years, for red, blue and green, the three primary colors of a TV picture tube.) Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” was the opera presented.
• 1945 ~ Ron Bushy, Drummer with Iron Butterfly
• 1951 ~ Johnny Contardo, Singer with Sha-Na-Na, formerly Eddie and The Evergreens
• 1964 ~ Eddie Vedder (Mueller), Songwriter, singer with Pearl Jam
• 1964 ~ Rock ’n’ roll radio, in the guise of Pirate Radio, went to the U.K. Radio London began its regular broadcasts. It was joined, at sea, by other pirates like Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg. It was a gallant effort to broadcast commercial radio, which was illegal in Great Britain. On England’s mainland, one had to listen to ‘Auntie Beeb’ (the BBC) or nothing at all. It was generally like a battle. Government agents would attempt to board a floating radio station, take it over, and shut it down. Many times the ships would broadcast from different locales to foil the governmental crackdown on the high seas. Later, the BBC split into four different radio networks, Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4, to stem the tide of the pirates who gained huge audiences by playing popular music. Eventually, limited commercial broadcasting came to Great Britain.
• 1969 ~ B.J. Thomas received a gold record for the single, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head from the motion picture, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Raindrops hit number one on the pop charts on January 3, 1970 and stayed there for 4 weeks.
• 1969 ~ Elton John met with arranger Paul Buckmaster, writer Bernie Taupin and producer Gus Dudgeon. The collaboration marked the start of one of the most successful milestones of music in the 1970s. Together, they created Your Song, Friends, Levon, Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man and many more.
• 2001 ~ Anthony Charles Chavis, Zydeco musician and son of the late Zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis, died after suffering a heart attack He was 45. His death came just eight months after his father’s. Charles Chavis, in addition to playing the washboard, was lead vocalist on numerous recordings with Boozoo, including his 1996 hit What You Gonna Do? After Boozoo Chavis’ death, his sons had agreed to continue the Magic Sounds Band. It was not clear how Charles Chavis’s death would affect the group. In addition to his music, Charles Chavis had worked with his father as a jockey and trainer at Chavis stables.
• 2018 ~ Liza Redfield, who broke a barrier on July 4, 1960, when she raised her baton at the Majestic Theater to start a performance of “The Music Man,” becoming the first woman to be the full-time conductor of a Broadway pit orchestra, died at the age of 94.
• 1877 ~ Thomas Alva Edison made the first sound recording ever by reciting and recording the nursery rhyme, “Mary had a Little Lamb”. Edison recorded sound on a cylinder, which was then rotated against a needle. The needle moved up and down in the grooves of the cylinder, producing vibrations that were amplified by a conical horn. Edison assumed that this would be useful only for office dictation purposes and not much for recording music.
• 1887 ~ Joseph Lamb, American ragtime composer
• 1896 ~ Ira Gershwin (Israel Gershvin), American librettist and lyricist
1920 ~ Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer
More information about Brubeck
• 1929 ~ Nikolaus Harnoncourt, German conductor, cellist and musicologist
• 1930 ~ Bobby Van (Bobby King Robert Stein), Actor, dancer
• 1939 ~ Steve Alaimo, Singer, actor
• 1941 ~ Helen Cornelius, Singer
• 1942 ~ Len Barry (Borrisoff), Singer, with The Dovells
• 1944 ~ Jonathan (Kenneth) King, Singer, songwriter, producer
• 1944 ~ Red Bank Boogie, Count Basie’s salute to his hometown, was recorded on Columbia Records. The tune is a tribute to Red Bank, New Jersey.
• 1948 ~ Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts debuted on CBS-TV. The show ran for almost10 years and the redhead introduced such talent as Pat Boone, The Chordettes, Carmel Quinn, The McGuire Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Connie Francis, Steve Lawrence and Al Martino.
• 1950 ~ Joe Hisaishi, Japanese composer
• 1956 ~ Peter Buck, Guitarist with R.E.M.
• 1956 ~ Rick (Paul) Buckler, Drummer, singer with The Jam
• 1960 ~ Eileen Farrell debuted at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC in the title role of Gluck’sAlcestis.
• 1962 ~ Ben Watt, Guitarist, keyboard, singer with Everything but the Girl
• 1969 ~ Musician Cab Calloway turned actor as he was seen in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Littlest Angel on NBC. The big band singer, known for such classics as Minnie the Moocher, became a movie star in The Blues Brothers (1980) with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.
• 1969 ~ Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, by Steam, reached the #1 spot on the top 40. It stayed at the top for two weeks and was the only major hit for the group.
• 2000 ~ Werner Klemperer, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who went on to play the inept German prison-camp commandant Col. Klink on TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes,” died of cancer at the age of 80. Klemperer fled Germany in 1935 with his father, Otto, a distinguished conductor and composer. He won two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the monocled Col. Wilhelm Klink on the 1960s sitcom about World War II Allied prisoners of war. He was a gifted actor on both film and stage, receiving a Tony nomination in 1988 as a feature actor in a musical for his role in Hal Prince’s revival of “Cabaret.” Other Broadway roles included starring opposite Jose Ferrer in “The Insect Comedy,” and with Tallulah Bankhead in the 1955 production of “Dear Charles.” Most recently, he co-starred in Circle in the Square’s production of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya.” Klemperer also appeared as a narrator with nearly every major symphony orchestra in the United States. His repertoire included such works as Beethoven’s “Egmont” and “Fidelio,” Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat” and “Oedipus Rex.” His narration of Mozart’s “The Impresario,” with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, aired on PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center.” He also performed in various operas, including “The Sound of Music,” with the New York City Opera. He played Prince Orlofsky in “Die Fledermaus” with companies in Seattle and Cleveland.
• 2003 ~ Hans Hotter, the world’s leading Wagnerian bass-baritone of his time, died at the age of 94. The 6-foot-4 Hotter, whose career spanned half a century, was known for his booming, noble voice. He mastered such roles as Wotan in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Gurnemanz in “Parsifal”, the title role in “The Flying Dutchman” and Hans Sachs in DieMeistersinger. He also won praise for Schubert lieder. Hotter started his operatic career in 1930, and sang in Prague and Hamburg and at the Munich Opera, where he became a leading singer in 1937. He remained with the company until 1972. He also was a member of the Vienna Opera from 1939 until 1970. Hotter created the role of Olivier in the world premiere of Richard Strauss“Capriccio” in 1942. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the role of Jupiter in Strauss’s “Die Liebe der Danae” had been written for him but its premiere was disrupted when all theaters were closed after the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in August 1944. After the war, Hotter began a 12-year association with the Wagner family’s opera house at the Bayreuth festival in 1952. The same year, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Dutchman. He also became a producer. His final production was in 1981 in Chicago of Beethoven’s“Fidelio”.
1917 ~ Dizzy (John Birks) Gillespie, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader Read quotes by and about “Dizzy” Gillespie
More information about Gillespie
• 1921 ~ Sir Malcolm Arnold, Composer of screen scores: “David Copperfield”, “The Chalk “Garden”, “Suddenly, Last Summer”, “Solomon and Sheba”, “Island in the Sun”, “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Trapeze”, “I Am a Camera”, “The Belles of St. Trinian’s” “the Eye Witness series”
• 1924 ~ It was a big night for a big band in New York’s Cinderella Ballroom. The crowd loved the Wolverine Orchestra from Chicago and the guy on the cornet, Bix Beiderbecke, the ‘young man with a horn’.
• 1938 ~ Quaker City Jazz was recorded on the Bluebird label by Jan Savitt’s orchestra. The tune would become the theme of the band. It was not, however, recorded in the Quaker City of Philadelphia. The song was waxed in New York City.
• 1940 ~ Manfred Mann (Michael Lubowitz), Singer with Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
• 1941 ~ Steve Cropper, Guitarist with the groups: Blues Brothers as well as Booker T and The MG’s
• 1942 ~ Elvin Bishop, Guitarist, singer with Paul Butterfield Blues Band
• 1943 ~ Ron Elliott, Guitarist with Beau Brummels
• 1946 ~ Lee Loughnane, Brass with Chicago
• 1953 ~ Charlotte Caffey, Guitar, singer with The Go-Gos
• 1955 ~ Eric Faulkner, Guitarist with Bay City Rollers
• 1957 ~ Julian Cope, Bass, guitar, singer
• 1957 ~ Steve Lukather, Guitarist with Toto
• 1958 ~ Orchestral strings were used for the first time in a rock and roll tune. Buddy Holly recorded It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, written by Paul Anka. Sadly, it would be Holly’s last studio session. The song wasn’t released until after his death in February of 1959.
• 2001 ~ George Feyer, a pianist and entertainer who played at some of New York’s top hotels, died at the age of 92. Feyer, who was known for setting pop lyrics to classical music, entertained the sophisticated Manhattan cafe society for three decades. He played for decades at the Carlyle, the Stanhope and the Waldorf-Astoria. He made many recordings, including his Echoes album series, which featured Echoes of Paris and Echoes of Broadway. Born in Budapest on Oct. 27, 1908, Feyer attended the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied with composer Sir Georg Solti. One of his first jobs was playing for silent movies. During World War II, the Nazis put Feyer on forced labor details, then imprisoned him in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for the final year of the war. Feyer and his family moved to New York in 1951. He stopped working full time in 1982.
• 1941 ~ Fry Me Cookie, with a Can of Lard was recorded by the Will Bradley Orchestra on Columbia. Ray McKinley was featured.
• 1942 ~ Dave Lovelady, Drummer with The Fourmost
• 1943 ~ C.F. (Fred) Turner, Musician with Bachman~Turner Overdrive
• 1947 ~ Bob Weir (Hall), American rock guitarist and singer with The Grateful Dead
• 1953 ~ Tony Carey, Keyboards with Rainbow
• 1959 ~ Gary Kemp, Guitarist with Spandau Ballet, brother of musician Martin Kemp
• 1969 ~ Wendy Wilson, Singer with Wilson Phillips, daughter of Beach Boys singer, Brian Wilson
• 1972 ~ John C. Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival called it a career … and the group disbanded. Fogerty continued in a solo career with big hits including, Centerfield and The Old Man Down the Road.
• 1976 ~ Memphis, TN disc jockey Rick Dees and his ‘Cast of Idiots’ made it all the way to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with the immortal Disco Duck (Part 1). Dees is still around, but not as a recording artist. He’s a DJ in Los Angeles and is hosting several varieties of the Weekly Top 40 show, syndicated around the world.
• 1983 ~ George Liberace passed away. He was an American musician and television performer. Born in Menasha, Wisconsin, he was the elder brother and business partner of famed U.S. pianist Liberace.
• 1990 ~ Art Blakey passed away. He was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.
• 2000 ~ David Golub, American pianist and chamber music conductor, passed away at the age of 50. Born in Chicago, Golub grew up in Dallas, where he began learning the piano. In 1969 he moved to New York and spent his student years honing his technique at New York’s Juilliard School of Music. He also began conducting during summer breaks at Vermont’s Marlboro festival. In 1979, he accompanied violinist Isaac Stern on a tour of China. A film about the tour, “From Mao to Mozart,” won the 1980 Academy Award for Best Documentary. As a performer, Golub was perhaps best known for his work with violinist MarkKaplan and cellist Colin Carr in the trio they formed in 1982. In the late 1990s, Golub began cultivating his interest in opera. Under his leadership, the Padua Chamber Orchestra recorded some of Haydn’s least-known work for opera. An acclaimed chamber ensemble performer – most notably with the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio – Golub led the Padua Chamber Orchestra during the 1994-95 season and took it on tour in the United States in 1999. He is survived by his wife, Maria Majno.
• 2001 ~ Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Jay Livingston, whose collaboration with Ray Evans led to such hits as Silver Bells, Que Sera, Sera and Mona Lisa, died of pneumonia. He was 86. Livingston’s songwriting partnership with Evans spanned 64 years. Often called the last of the great songwriters, Livingston and Evans had seven Academy Award nominations and won three – in 1948 for Buttons and Bows in the film The Paleface, in 1950 for Mona Lisa in Captain Carey, USA, and in 1956 for Que Sera, Sera in The Man Who Knew Too Much. They wrote the television theme songs for Bonanza and Mr. Ed, and were honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for the most performed music for film and TV for 1996. Livingston was born on March 28, 1915, in the Pittsburgh suburb of McDonald. He met Evans in 1937 at the University of Pennsylvania, where they were both students. The team’s final project was the recording, Michael Feinstein Sings the Livingston and Evans Song Book, due for 2002 release.
• 1928 ~ Glen Gray’s orchestra recorded Under a Blanket of Blue, with Kenny Sargeant on vocals.
• 1930 ~ Tommy Collins (Leonard Sipes), Singer, songwriter
• 1938 ~ Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson), Singer, songwriter
• 1946 ~ Helen Shapiro, Singer, actress
• 1968 ~ The Beatles rode the nearly seven-minute-long Hey Jude to the top of the charts for a nine week-run starting this day. Talk about your microgroove recording! Copies of this Apple release were shipped by the dozen to radio stations because the platters wore out after just a few plays.
• 1984 ~ Saluting his 34 years in television, Bob “If There’s an Honor I’ll Be There” Hope showed outtakes of his years in television on (where else?) NBC. When he began in television’s infancy, back in 1950, Hope said he got into the new medium “…because the contract was so delicious, I couldn’t turn it down.”
• 1911 ~ George Liberace, Violinist, conductor; administrator of Liberace Museum; brother of pianist/entertainer Liberace
• 1918 ~ Jan La Rue, American musicologist
• 1918 ~ Hank Jones, Pianist. He accompanied Billy Eckstine and Ella Fitzgerald. He led the Hank Jones Trio
• 1919 ~ Mornam Del Mar, British conductor
• 1923 ~ Ahmet Ertegun, Recording Executive
• 1939 ~ John West, Musician, guitarist with Gary Lewis and the Playboys
• 1942 ~ Harry James and his band recorded the classic I’ve Heard that Song Before, for Columbia Records. Helen Forrest sang on the million-seller.
• 1943 ~ Lobo, Singer
• 1946 ~ Gary Lewis (Levitch), Singer with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, entertainer Jerry Lewis’ son
• 1946 ~ Bob Welch, Guitarist and singer with Fleetwood Mac
• 1947 ~ Karl Green, Musician, guitar and harmonica with Herman’s Hermits
• 1964 ~ Jim Reeves, popular U.S. country music singer, died in an air crash near Nashville.
• 1985 ~ Prince was big at the box office with the autobiographical story of the Minneapolis rock star, Purple Rain. The flick grossed $7.7 million in its first three days of release on 917 movie screens. The album of the same name was the top LP in the U.S., as well.
• 2019 ~ Hal (Harold Smith) Prince died at the age of 91, He was an American theatrical producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the 20th century.
Over the span of his career, he garnered 21 Tony Awards, more than any other individual, including eight for directing, eight for producing the year’s Best Musical, two as Best Producer of a Musical, and three special awards.
• 1682 ~ Johann Heinrich Kittel, Composer, died at the age of 29
• 1702 ~ Johann Schneider, Composer
• 1775 ~ August Harder, Composer
• 1817 ~ Ignace Xavier Joseph Leybach, Composer
• 1832 ~ Johan August Soderman, Composer
• 1839 ~ Friedrich Gernsheim, Composer
• 1853 ~ Francesco Fanciulli, Composer
• 1871 ~ Karl Tausig, Polish pianist, died at the age of 29
• 1873 ~ Antonina Neshdanova, Russian soprano
• 1875 ~ Donald Francis Tovey, English, musicologist and composer
• 1876 ~ Vittorio Gnecchi, Composer
• 1878 ~ Henri Zagwijn, Composer
• 1885 ~ Benjamin James Dale, Composer
• 1904 ~ Jef Alpaerts, Flemish pianist and conductor
• 1908 ~ Rudolf Petzold, Composer
• 1913 ~ Everett Helm, Composer
• 1915 ~ Esther Williamson Ballou, Composer
• 1916 ~ Eleanor Steber, American soprano. She was an internationally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera diva, appeared in 50 different leading operatic roles, heard in more premieres at the Met than any other artist.
• 1928 ~ Vince Guaraldi, Pianist on the Charlie Brown TV specials
• 1933 ~ Mimi Hines, Pop singer in Ford & Hines (with husband, Phil Ford) and Broadway singer
• 1939 ~ Spencer Davis, Musician with Spencer Davis Group
• 1939 ~ Charlie Barnet and his orchestra recorded Cherokee for Bluebird Records. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the horn of Billy May on the piece.
• 1952 ~ Phoebe Snow, American singer of popular music
• 1952 ~ Nicolette Larson, Singer
• 1954 ~ The first Newport Jazz Festival was held on the grass tennis courts of the Newport Casino in Newport RI. Eddie Condon and his band played Muskrat Ramble as the opening number of the world’s first jazz fest.
• 1961 ~ Rocker Bobby Lewis was starting week #2 of a seven-week stay at number one (one, one, one) on the pop-music charts with his smash, Tossin’ and Turnin’. Lewis, who grew up in an orphanage, learned to play the piano at age 5. He became popular in the Detroit, MI area before moving on to fame and fortune with Beltone Records.
• 1967 ~ John (William) Coltrane passed away
• 1967 ~ Monkees performed at Forest Hills NY as Jimi Hendrix’s opening act
• 1968 ~ The Beatles’ feature-length cartoon, Yellow Submarine, premiered at the London Pavilion. The song, Yellow Submarine, had been a #2 hit for the supergroup (9/17/66) and was the inspiration for the movie.
• 1987 ~ “Les Miserables” opened at Imperial Theatre in Tokyo
• 2002 ~ Lee Maye, a singer who played in the Milwaukee Braves outfield with Hank Aaron in the 1960s, died. He was 67. Maye began his 13-year major league career in 1959 and played with the Braves from 1959 to 1965. He later played for the Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox before retiring in 1971. Maye had a lifetime average of .274 and was admired for his ability to juggle his baseball and music careers. He performed with two doo-wop groups – Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns, and Country Boys & City Girls – and sometimes sang with The Platters. He produced several popular singles during his 1960s recording career, including Gloria, Cool Loving and I Wanna Love.
• 2014 ~ Elaine Stritch, American actress (30 Rock, Two’s Company), singer and member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, died in her sleep at the age of 89
• 2016 ~ Gary S. Paxton [Larry Wayne Stevens], American musician and songwriter (Monster Mash, Alley Oop), died at the age of 77