May 11 in Music History

today

• 1885 ~ Joseph “King” Oliver, American jazz cornetist and bandleader

• 1887 ~ Paul Wittgenstein, an Austrian concert pianist notable for commissioning new piano concerti for the left hand alone, following the amputation of his right arm during the First World War. He devised novel techniques, including pedal and hand-movement combinations, that allowed him to play chords previously regarded as impossible for a five-fingered pianist.

• 1888 ~ Irving Berlin, Russian-born American songwriter and lyricist
More information about Berlin
Grammy winner

 

• 1894 ~ Martha Graham, Modern dancer: Denishawn dance school and performing troupe, Graham company, established school of modern dance at Bennington College; choreographer

• 1895 ~ William Grant Still, American composer
More information about Still

• 1916 ~ Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), died at the age of 43

• 1927 ~ The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded; although the first Oscars were not presented for several years after its founding.

• 1931 ~ Dick Garcia, Guitarist

• 1941 ~ Eric Burdon, Singer with The Animals

• 1943 ~ Les (John) Chadwick, Bass with Gerry & The Pacemakers

• 1965 ~ Liza Minnelli opened in Flora the Red Menace. The musical ran for only 87 performances at the Alvin Theatre.

• 1970 ~ The Chairmen of the Board received a gold record for the hit, Give Me Just a Little More Time. The Detroit group recorded three other songs in 1970, with moderate success.

• 1979 ~ Lester Flatt passed away.  He was a bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his collaboration with banjo picker Earl Scruggs in The Foggy Mountain Boys.

• 2000 ~ Zydeco trumpeter Warren Ceasar, who recorded three solo albums and performed with the legendary Clifton Chenier, died of a brain aneurysm. He was 48. Ceasar, who was born and raised in Basile, was the nephew of the late internationally known fiddler, Canray Fontenot. In addition to his role as frontman for Warren Ceasar and the Zydeco Snap Band, Ceasar also played with Clifton Chenier, who is known as “The Grandfather of Zydeco.” Ceasar also performed with soul greats Isaac Hayes and Al Green.