November 8 ~ in Music History

today

1793 ~ The Louvre Museum opened in Paris.

.1880 ~ Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut. Bernhardt appeared in Adrienne Lecouvreur in New York City.

.1890 ~ Caesar-Auguste Franck, Belgian organist/composer died in Paris

.1921 ~ Jerome Hines, American bass

.1924 ~ Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov, Russian pianist and composer

.1927 ~ Patti Page, American singer of popular music

.1927 ~ Chris Conner, Singer

.1932 ~ The team of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II debuted with their show, Make Mine Music. The Broadway production continued for 342 performances.

.1939 ~ This day marked Frank Sinatra’s last recording session with the Harry James Band. Sides recorded were Every Day of My Life and Ciribiribin.

.1939 ~ “Life With Father” premiered on Broadway in New York City. Eight years later, the show broke the existing record for longest-running stage production.

.1941 ~ Rodney Slater, Saxophone, trumpet with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

.1944 ~ Bonnie Bramlett, Songwriter, singer with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends

.1946 ~ Roy Wood (Ulysses Adrian Wood), Singer, songwriter, formed Electric Light Orchestra

.1947 ~ Minnie (Julia) Riperton, Singer

.1949 ~ Alan Berger, Bass with Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes

.1949 ~ Bonnie Raitt, American blues-rock singer and guitarist, won the Grammy Award in 1990, daughter of actor, John Raitt

.1954 ~ Ricki Lee Jones, Singer

.1958 ~ Terry Lee Miall, Drummer with Adam & The Ants

.1964 ~ Judy Garland and her daughter, Liza Minnelli, appeared together at the London Palladium. The program was shown on U.S. TV; and the LP, Live at the London Palladium became a classic on Capitol Records.

.1967 ~ The first solo movie by a Beatle opened in the U.S. It was John Lennon’s How I Won the War.

.2003 ~ Henry Phace Roberts, a tap dancer who performed with the Copasetics, the Five Blazers and the Three Rockets, died. He was 92. Roberts performed on television on “The Tonight Show” and “The Ed Sullivan S Show” and was in the films “Cabin in the Sky,” “Stormy Weather” and “The Cotton Club.” Born in Savannah, Ga., he was trained to tap dance on the streets as a child. Roberts began dancing professionally at 14, and performed for the last time at 87 with the Copasetics on a European tour.

November 7 ~ in Music History

 

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere).  One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

As per India’s official holiday calendar, Diwali in 2017 will be on October 19, coinciding with the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar.

 

.1916 ~ Joe Bushkin, American jazz pianist (A Couple of Joes)

.1922 ~ Al Hirt, Trumpeter, Flight of the Bumble Bee as theme song for TV’s The Green Hornet, played in singer Don Gibson’s band, regular on Make Your Own Kind of Music

.1926 ~ Dame Joan Sutherland, Australian coloratura soprano

.1930 ~ The Waltz You Save for Me, by ‘The Waltz King’ himself, Wayne King, was recorded on Victor. It became King’s theme.

.1937 ~ Mary Travers, American folk singer, Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary

.1938 ~ Dee (Delectus) Clark, Singer

.1942 ~ Johnny Rivers (John Ramistella), Singer

.1943 ~ Joni Mitchell, Canadian folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, 1970 UK No.11 single ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, 1974 US No.7 single ‘Help Me’. She wrote ‘Both Sides Now’ a hit for Judy Collins and ‘Woodstock’ a hit for Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Matthews Southern Comfort. Mitchell’s work is highly respected by critics, and she has deeply influenced fellow musicians in a diverse range of genres.

.1947 ~ Billboard magazine began listing the top 15 popular records. Only 10 songs had been featured previously.

.1956 ~ Elvis Presley hit the charts with Love Me. The song was the first million-seller to make the charts without being released as a single. It was, instead, an EP (extended play) 45 rpm, with three other songs on it: Rip It Up, Paralyzed and When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again on RCA Victor.

.1970 ~ Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? was released by Columbia. It became the third tune by Chicago to hit the pop music charts. Make Me Smile and 25 or 6 to 4 were previous hits. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? made it to #7 on the charts, January 7, 1971.

.1976 ~ Gone With the Wind was aired (over two nights) on NBC-TV. The showing was the highest-rated TV show in history. 65 percent of all viewers turned on their sets to watch Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler.

.1978 ~ Nick Gilder, Singer

.1979 ~ The Rose, starring Bette Midler, got star treatment with a world premiere in Los Angeles. The movie was modeled after the life of Janis Joplin.

.2000 ~ Doug Nelson, bassist in teen blues star Jonny Lang’s band, was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck on a rural highway in northern Minnesota. He was 46. Nelson began playing professionally at age 15. He worked in Los Angeles for a time and toured with Olivia Newton-John, before returning in the late 1980s to the Twin Cities, where he played with local bands. He joined Lang’s group about three years ago.

.2000 ~ Columbia Legacy and Verve released a five-CD box set companion titled “Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of American Music” in addition to 22 individual artist discs.
Read the news item

.2001 ~ Gene Wooten, a dobro player who backed Patty Loveless, the Osborne Brothers, Wilma Lee Cooper and other country stars, died from complications of lung cancer. He was 49. “He was like a teacher for everyone,” said mandolinist Roland White. “He was like our guru. He just helped everybody in music. … There was no ego ever – ever – and that’s hard to find.” Wooten, a native of Franklinton, N.C., attended Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where he began his career in music. He moved to Nashville in 1977 and was hired by Cooper. Wooten played on the Mountain Soul album by Loveless this year. He was voted best dobro player three times by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America.

.2004 ~ Howard Keel, American actor, singer and president of the Screen Actors Guild (7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Kiss Me Kate), died at the age of 87

.2016 ~ Leonard Cohen, Canadian writer and singer-songwriter (Death of Ladies Man), died at the age of 82

.2018 ~ Francis Lai, the French composer best known for his themes for the movies “Love Story” and “A Man and a Woman,” died at the age of 86.

October 26 ~ in Music History

today

OCMS 1685 ~ Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer and harpsichordist
More information about Scarlatti

• 1898 ~ Beryl Rubinstein, American pianist and composer

• 1911 ~ Mahalia Jackson, American soul and gospel singer

• 1913 ~ Charlie Barnet, Saxophonist, bandleader, his autobiography is Those Swinging Years

• 1934 ~ Cole Porter recorded his own composition titled, You’re the Top, from the show “Anything Goes”, on Victor.

• 1935 ~ A talented twelve-year-old sang on Wallace Beery’s NBC radio show on NBC.  Judy Garland delighted the appreciative audience. The young girl would soon be in pictures and at the top of stardom. It would be only four years before Ms. Garland (George Jessel gave her the name, thinking it would be better than her own, Frances Gumm) captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere with her performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”.

• 1944 ~ Michael Piano, Singer with The Sandpipers

• 1946 ~ Keith Hopwood, Singer, guitarist with Herman’s Hermits

• 1952 ~ NBC~TV premiered Victory at Sea. The show was the first documentary film series to gain wide acceptance. Richard Rodgers wrote the score and Robert Russell Bennett orchestrated it. No Other Love, adapted from one of the songs in the score, became a hit for Perry Como in the summer of 1953.

• 1953 ~ Keith Strickland, Drummer with The B-52s

• 1956 ~ Walter Gieseking, German pianist/composer, died at the age of 60

• 1962 ~ The Rolling Stones consisting of Keith Richard, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart and drummer Tony Chapman recorded their first demo tape at Curly Clayton Studios in Highbury, London. They recorded three songs, Jimmy Reed’s ‘Close Together’, Bo Diddley’s ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘Soon Forgotten.’

• 1965 ~ The Beatles received MBE medals from the Queen of England, as they became Members of the British Empire. Ceremonies were held at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon returned his medal four years later in protest of Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian Civil War.

• 1971 ~ Memphis minister Al Green received a gold record for his single, Tired of Being Alone.

• 1984 ~ Barbra Streisand won multiplatinum certification for three albums that reached the four-million-dollar sales mark. “Greatest Hits, Vol. II”, “Guilty”, and “A Star is Born” (with Kris Kristofferson) were honored.

• 2001 ~ Laszlo Halasz, the first music director of the New York City Opera, died at the age of 96. Halasz became the opera’s first director in 1943. During his eight-year tenure, the New York City Opera became an important training ground for young singers. The company also became an important venue for new works. Born in Hungary, Halasz studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, where his teachers included Béla Bartók, Ernst von Dohnanyi, Leo Weiner and Zoltán Kodály. He made his professional debut as a pianist in 1928, but in 1931 decided to focus on conducting. He came to New York in 1936, and when the New York City Opera was formed in the fall of 1943, Halasz was appointed its music director. The company’s first season included productions of Puccini’s “Tosca,” Flotow’s “Martha” and Bizet’s “Carmen”  Halasz conducted the company’s first American premiere, Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” in 1946, and the opera’s first world premiere, of  William Grant Still’s “Troubled Island,” with a libretto by Langston Hughes. But the opera’s board was uneasy with Halasz’s ventures into modern opera. When the board insisted in 1951 that Halasz submit his repertory plans for approval, he resigned. The board ultimately relented, but when Halasz became involved in union disputes later that year, the board fired him. After leaving City Opera, Halasz began a second career as a record producer. He also conducted opera at houses in Frankfurt, Barcelona, Budapest, London and South America. As a teacher, he was on the conducting faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, in Baltimore, and the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y.

• 2001 ~ Herbert Weissenstein, a consultant who specialized in classical music, died at the age of 56. Weissenstein began his career in 1970 as public relations director for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He moved on to the New York Philharmonic and in 1979 became director of development and strategic planning at Carnegie Hall. In 1984, he founded H.F. Weissenstein & Co., which specialized in consulting, directing seminars, and publishing articles in the fields of management and development. His clients included the Electronic Media Forum, the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater, the Manhattan Theater Club, the International Organization for the Transition of Professional dancers and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

October 19 ~ in Music History

• 1911 ~ George Cates, Musician, worked with Steve Allen, musical director of the Lawrence Welk Show for 25 years

• 1916 ~ Karl-Birger Blomdahl, Swedish opera composer

• 1916 ~ Emil Gilels, Russian pianist

• 1938 ~ The Bob Crosby Orchestra recorded I’m Free for Decca. Billy Butterfield was featured on trumpet. A few years later, the song would be retitled, What’s New.

• 1939 ~ Benita Valiente, American soprano

• 1944 ~ Peter Tosh (Winston McIntosh), Singer, baritone and musician. He uses homemade instruments and performed reggae with Bob Marley

• 1944 ~ An actor who would become legend in scores of tough guy roles made his stage debut in New York. Marlon Brando appeared in the Broadway hit, “I Remember Mama”.

• 1945 ~ Jeannie C. Riley (Stephenson), Grammy Award-winning singer

• 1953 ~ Julius LaRosa, popular singer of the time, was unceremoniously fired on the air by Arthur Godfrey. “Julie lacks humility,” Godfrey told the stunned audience, while putting his arm around LaRosa. He said, “So, Julie, to teach you a lesson, you’re fired!”

• 1956 ~ Nino DeFranco, Singer with The DeFranco Family

• 1957 ~ Karl Wallinger, Musician, keyboards, guitarist with World Party

• 1959 ~ Twelve-year-old Patty Duke made her first Broadway appearance, in “The Miracle Worker”. The play would last for 700 performances and become a classic motion picture, launching Patty to fame and fortune.

• 1973 ~ Elvis and Priscilla Presley were divorced after six years and one child (Lisa Marie).

• 1987 ~ Jacqueline du Pre, British cellist, died at the age of 42

October 15 ~ in Music History

today

• 1818 ~ Alexander Dreyschock, Bohemian pianist

• 1844 ~ Friedrich Niedzsche, German philosopher and composer

• 1886 ~ Modest Mussorgsky’s musical fantasy “Night on Bald Mountain” premiered in St. Petersburg’s Kononov Hall, Russia

• 1900 ~ Boston Symphony Hall’s first concert took place

• 1906 ~ American premièr of Puccini’s opera, “Madama Butterfly”, Washington, D.C.

• 1913 ~ David Carroll, Conductor, arranger, record producer for The Diamonds and The Platters

• 1925 ~ Mickey (McHouston) Baker, Guitarist, singer in the duo, Mickey and Sylvia

• 1925 ~ Grand Ole Opry started on radio in Nashville, Tennessee (where it still originates). It was first heard on network radio in 1939. The show finally made it to TV on this day in 1955.

• 1926 ~ Karl Richter, German organist and conductor

• 1931 ~ The production of “Cat and the Fiddle” opened in New York. It played for 395 performances.

• 1932 ~ The first city-owned opera house, the War Memorial Opera House of San Francisco, opened this day. “Tosca” was the first opera presented.

• 1937 ~ Barry McGuire, Singer, songwriter with The New Christy Minstrels

• 1938 ~ Marv Johnson, Singer

• 1942 ~ Don Stevenson, Drummer, singer with Moby Grape

• 1946 ~ Richard Carpenter, Composer, singer, Grammy Award-winning group, the Carpenters

• 1948 ~ Chris De Burgh (Davidson), Singer, songwriter

• 1951 ~ I Love Lucy debuted on CBS-TV. For the next 20 years, Lucille Ball would be a TV regular. She did take 1956 off. Why? No, having little Ricky had nothing to do with it. She starred in “Damn Yankees” on Broadway that year.

• 1953 ~ Tito (Toriano) Jackson, Singer with The Jackson Five, brother of Michael, Janet, Jermaine, LaToya

• 1953 ~ “Teahouse of the August Moon” opened on Broadway to begin a long and successful run of 1,027 performances.

• 1955 ~ The Grand Ole Opry started on TV

• 1964 ~ An American treasure passed away. Cole Porter, the renowned lyricist and composer, died at age 73. I’ve Got You Under My Skin and hundreds of other classics crossed all musical style and format boundaries throughout his long and rich career.
More information about Porter

• 2001 ~ Etta James, the prolific jazz vocalist whose soulful, blues-influenced recordings over more than a half-century won her acclaim and two Grammy nominations, died of complications from a bout with cancer. She was 72. Jones’ style was described as a cross between Billie Holiday, her idol, and Dinah Washington. She died the same day her last recording, Etta Jones Sings Lady Day, hit music stores. Born in Aiken, S.C., Jones was a teenager when she was discovered while competing in a contest at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Jones collaborated with such greats as Oliver Nelson, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Kenny Burrell and Cedar Walton, both in concert and on recordings. She recorded prolifically for RCA, Prestige, Muse and more recently Highnote Records. Jones earned a gold record for her 1960 recording Don’t Go to Strangers, and received a Grammy nomination in 1981 for Save Your Love For Me. She got a second Grammy nomination in 1999 for a collection of songs: My Buddy – Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson. Jones was the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Eubie Blake Jazz Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women in Jazz Foundation.

Singer Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence-Foster-Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability. The historian Stephen Pile ranked her “the world’s worst opera singer … No one, before or since, has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.”

Despite (or perhaps because of) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Cole Porter, Gian Carlo Menotti, Lily Pons, Sir Thomas Beecham, and other celebrities were fans. Enrico Caruso is said to have “regarded her with affection and respect”.

In 2016 Meryl Streep made Jenkins famous (again)

In the 1940s, New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) dreams of becoming a great opera singer. Unfortunately, her ambition far exceeds her talent. The voice Florence hears in her head is beautiful, but to everyone else it is quite lousy. Her husband St. Clair goes to extreme lengths to make sure his wife never finds out how awful she truly is. When Florence announces her plans for a concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair soon realizes that he’s facing his greatest challenge yet.

 

August 28 ~ in Music History

• 1826 ~ Walter Cecil Macfarren, English pianist and composer, born in London

• 1850 ~ Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin, was performed for the first time.

• 1894 ~ Karl Böhm, Austrian conductor

OCMS   1913 ~ Richard Tucker, American tenor
More information about Tucker

• 1924 ~ Dinah Washington, American rhythm-and-blues singer. She popularized many, many great songs, including What a Diff’rence a Day Makes, Unforgettable, and several hits with Brook Benton.

• 1925 ~ Billy (William Wayne) Grammer, Singer

• 1931 ~ You Rascal You was recorded by Henry Allen, with the Luis Russell Band, for the Victor label.

• 1939 ~ Clem Cattini, Drummer with Tornados

• 1948 ~ Daniel Seraphine, Drummer with Chicago

• 1951 ~ Wayne Osmond, Singer with The Osmond Brothers

• 1964 ~ The Beatles appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine.

• 1965 ~ Shania Twain (Eilleen Regina Edwards), Grammy Award-winning singer

• 1984 ~ The Jacksons’ Victory Tour broke the record for concert ticket sales. The group surpassed the 1.1 million mark in only two months.

• 2002 ~ Kay Gardner, whose last musical work with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra memorialized the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, died of a heart attack. She was in her early 60s.
On hearing of her death, symphony officials scheduled Gardner’s work, “Lament for Thousand,” for the orchestra’s season-opening concert Oct. 13 at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono.
Gardner was a pianist, flutist and conductor who performed in 46 states and several countries.
More than 20 years ago, she sued the Bangor Symphony, unsuccessfully, for sex discrimination after she had applied for a conducting position and learned that orchestra members had been asked how they felt about working with a female conductor.
In 2000, she was the guest conductor for a 40-member orchestra of women from the Bangor Symphony, playing a repertoire written by women.
Gardner studied music at the University of Michigan and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1972, she helped found a feminist and openly lesbian women’s band, Lavender Jane.