March 25 in Music History

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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the church year. At the other end of Holy Week is Easter, the most important day of the church year.

. 1699 ~ Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music.

. 1784 ~ François-Joseph Fetis, Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and influential music critic.

. 1851 ~ The Playel piano factory in Paris was destroyed by fire.  Playel was the favorite of Chopin in the 19th century, and it was identified with French composers known as the impressionist musicians of the early 20th century — like Ravel and Debussy.

Pleyel was founded in 1807 by Ignaz Pleyel, a composer and music publisher who studied with Franz Joseph Haydn.

. 1867 ~ Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor and musical director. Famed for his temper in rehearsals, he was director of La Scala and the Metropolitan opera houses. He also conducted the NBC symphony orchestra. With a career spanned 68 years, he was a cellist at age 19
Read quotes by and about Toscanini
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. 1881 ~ Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer and pianist, born. His knowledge of western musical techniques allied to the inspiration he derived from Hungarian peasant songs enabled him to become a unique musical force.
More information about Bartók

. 1903 ~ Grammy winner Frankie Carle (Carlone), Pianist and bandleader
More about Carle

. 1913 ~ The Palace Theatre opened its doors in New York City. Ed Wynn was first on the vaudeville bill. Some 20 years later, Wynn would be named as radio’s top entertainer. He later became popular on television, as well.

. 1918 ~ Claude Debussy, French composer, died. His music, described as “musical Impressionism”, explored original avenues of expression.

. 1931 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis, for Brunswick Records. Both Kemp and Ennis sang in the Dorsey Brothers Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Eugene Ormandy (later, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra). The pair were part of the orchestra vocal quartet that also featured Nye Mayhew and Saxey Dowell in 1928.

. 1934 ~ Johnny Burnette, ‘The Master’, singer, brother of singer Dorsey Burnette

. 1938 ~ Hoyt Axton, Singer, musician and songwriter. Axton’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, wrote Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel

. 1940 ~ Anita Bryant, Singer

. 1942 ~ Aretha Franklin, American soul singer, known as the “Queen of Soul” and “Lady Soul”, she won 15 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987)

. 1947 ~ Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Entertainer
More information about John

. 1948 ~ Kelly Garrett, Actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Neil Jones, Musician with Amen Corner

. 1951 ~ Maizie Williams, Singer with Boney M

. 1961 ~ “Gypsy” closed at the Broadway Theater in New York City after 702 performances

. 1966 ~ Jeff Healey, Guitarist, singer, songwriter with the Jeff Healey Band, CBC radio show: My Kind of Jazz

. 1971 ~ Tom Jones went gold with his single, She’s a Lady.

. 1972 ~ The group, America, rode to the top of the pop music charts with their LP, America, and the single (included on the LP), A Horse with No Name. A Horse With No Name would be the group’s only gold record.

. 1991 ~ Eileen Joyce, pianist, died at the age of 78

March 20 in Music History

. 1812 ~ Jan Ladislav Dussek died.  He was a Czech composer and pianist.

. 1828 ~ Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright. He wrote Peer Gynt, which Grieg later set to music.

. 1873 ~ Sergei V Rachmaninov, Russian/US pianist/composer born (Old Style)

. 1890 ~ Lauritz Melchior, Danish-born American tenor
More information about Melchior

. 1890 ~ Beniamino Gigli, Italian operatic tenor, born; with a repertory of over 60 roles, he retired in 1955 after over 40 years singing.

. 1907 ~ Ozzie Nelson, Bandleader, actor in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He was married to actress, Harriet Nelson and they were the parents of David and Ricky Nelson.

. 1915 ~ Sviatoslav Richter, Russian pianist
More information about Richter

. 1917 ~ Dame Vera Lynn, English singer and sweetheart of British forces during World War Two

. 1920 ~ Marian McPartland, British jazz pianist
More information about McPartland

. 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded Christopher Columbus on Victor Records in Chicago, IL.

. 1948 ~ Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra were featured in the first televised symphonic concert. CBS-TV, with help from its then Philadelphia television station, WCAU-TV 10, carried the program from the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the home of the world- famous orchestra. The concert was televised live, at 5 p.m.

Ninety minutes later, NBC-TV carried TV’s second symphonic concert. This one was from Carnegie Hall in New York City. Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra was featured in a presentation of Wagner compositions.

. 1969 ~ Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono at the Rock of Gibraltar on this day. Lennon called the location, “quiet, friendly and British.” He was the second Beatle to marry in eight days. Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman were wed a week earlier.

March 12 in Music History

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. 1563 ~ John Bull, English composer, musician and organ builder, credited with composing Britain’s national anthem “God Save The King/Queen” (debated), died about the age of 68

. 1710 ~ Thomas Arne, English composer
More information about Arne

. 1890 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, Ukrainian ballet dancer

. 1891 ~ Clara Schumann gave her final piano performance.

. 1921 ~ Gordon MacRae, Singer

. 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated his putting sound on motion picture film. One of the pioneers of radio in the early 1900s, DeForest came up with a snappy name for his invention; he called it phonofilm. Today, we call it a soundtrack.

. 1937 ~ Charles-Marie Widor died.  He was a was a French organist, composer and teacher.

. 1939 ~ Artie Shaw and his band recorded the standard, Deep Purple, in New York for the Bluebird label. Listening carefully after the first minute or so, one can hear Helen Forrest sing the vocal refrain. Larry Clinton and his orchestra had a number one song with a similar arrangement of the same tune that same year. It later was a hit for saxophonist, Nino Tempo and his sister, April Stevens in 1963. Hundreds of versions of this song have been recorded through the years, making it one of the most popular standards of all time.

. 1940 ~ Al Jarreau, Singer

. 1946 ~ Liza Minnelli, American actress and singer of popular music
More information about Minnelli

 

. 1948 ~ James Taylor, American folk-rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist

. 1955 ~ Charlie “Bird” Parker, influential U.S. jazz saxophonist, died.

. 1955 ~ One of the great groups of jazz appeared for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Dave Brubeck Quartet presented a magnificent concert for jazz fans.

. 1969 ~ Wedding bells rang in London for singer, Paul McCartney and his new bride, photographer, Linda Eastman.

. 1985 ~ Eugene Ormandy, U.S. conductor, died. He directed the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1936-1980 and was especially noted for his performances of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovitch.

. 1987 ~ The famous musical play “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo opened on Broadway in New York.

. 1991 ~ Jimmy McPartland passed away

. 1993 ~ June Valli passed away

. 1999 ~ World-famous violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin died in Berlin.

February 22 in Music History

today

. 1817 ~ Niels Wilhelm Gade, Danish composer

. 1834 ~ Albert Heinrich Zabel, harpist and composer

. 1857 ~ Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts

. 1923 ~ Frederick A. Julliard set up a million-dollar fund to establish a music school. Today, Juilliard is one of the world’s leading music and dance schools.

. 1927 ~ David Ahlstrom, American composer

. 1931 ~ Maurice Chevalier recorded Walkin’ My Baby Back Home for Victor Records in New York City. The same tune was recorded 21 years later by Nat ‘King’ Cole and Johnny Ray. It became a major hit for both artists.

. 1945 ~ Oliver (Swofford), Singer

. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley entered the music charts for the first time. Heartbreak Hotel began its climb to the number one spot on the pop listing, reaching the top on April 11, 1956. It stayed at the top for eight weeks.

. 1958 ~ Roy Hamilton’s record, Don’t Let Go, became #13 in its first week on the record charts. The song was the first stereo record to make the pop music charts. 1958 was the year for several stereo recordings, including Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes by Chuck Willis, Yakety Yak by the Coasters, Born Too Late by The Poni-Tails, It’s All in the Game by Tommy Edwards and What Am I Living For by Chuck Willis.

. 1965 ~ Filming began for The Beatles’ second movie, “HELP!”, in the Bahamas.

. 1976 ~ Florence Ballard passed away.  She was an American vocalist, one of the founding members of the popular Motown vocal group the Supremes. Ballard sang on sixteen top forty singles with the group, including ten number-one hits.

. 1985 ~ Efrem A Zimbalist, Russian/US composer/violinist, died at the age of 95

. 2001 ~ Ray Hendricks, a singer of the Big Band era who performed with Benny Goodman and Betty Grable, died at the age of 88. His career took him to Hollywood and across the country with stars including Goodman, Grable, Hoagy Carmichael, Ben Bernie, Ray Noble and Sid Lippman. His earliest performances were on Spokane radio station KFPY. He soon set out for California with Bob Crosby, brother of Bing Crosby. After serving as a flying instructor in the Air Force during World War II, he returned to Spokane and formed his own orchestra. He continued playing local venues for several decades, but said he regretted not pushing his career after the war.

. 2001 ~ Herbert Kupferberg, a music critic and a senior editor of Parade magazine, died at the age of 83. For more than 20 years, Kupferberg was an editor and critic for The New York Herald Tribune. After it folded in 1966, he joined Parade. He also wrote reviews for The Atlantic Monthly, and The National Observer. Kupferberg, born in New York in 1918, published several books including Amadeus: A Mozart Mosaic and Those Fabulous Philadelphians: The Life and Times of a Great Orchestra, a history of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

. 2013 ~ Wolfgang Sawallisch, German conductor and pianist died at the age of 89

January 16 in Music History

 

. 1864 ~ Anton Schindler, German violinist and Beethoven’s biographer, died at the age of 68

. 1875 ~ First American performance of Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances”

. 1886 ~ Death of Italian opera composer Amilcare Ponchielli, in Milan

. 1891 ~ French Composer Leo Delibes died in Paris

. 1905 ~ Ernesto Halffter, Spanish composer and conductor

. 1908 ~ Ethel Merman (Zimmerman), American singer of popular music, Tony Award-winning actress (musical), Musical Theater Hall of Fame. She is most famous for Call Me Madam in 1951, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, There’s No Business Like Show Business and Alexander’s Ragtime Band

. 1929 ~ Marilyn Horne, American mezzo-soprano

. 1929 ~ G.T. (Granville) Hogan, Jazz drummer who played with Elmo Hope, Earl Bostic

. 1934 ~ Bob Bogle (Robert Lenard Bogle), Guitarist, bass with The Ventures

. 1938 ~ Béla Bartók and his wife, Ditta performed their first public concert featuring his Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion

. 1938 ~ Benny Goodman and his band, plus a quartet, brought the sound of jazz to Carnegie Hall in New York City. When asked how long an intermission he wanted, he quipped, “I don’t know. How much does Toscanini get?”

. 1942 ~ Bill Francis, Keyboard, singer with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

. 1942 ~ Kay Kyser and the band recorded A Zoot Suit for Columbia Records. The tune is about the problems associated with wearing this garish, exaggerated ‘hep’ fashion.

. 1946 ~ Katia Ricciarelli, Italian soprano

. 1946 ~ Ronnie Milsap, Grammy Award-winning singer in 1976, CMA Male Vocalist of the Year (1974, 1976, 1977), CMA Entertainer of the Year (1977), blind since birth, he learned to play several instruments by age 12

. 1950 ~ Debbie Allen, Dancer, actress, choreographer, sister of actress Phylicia Rashad

. 1957 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini died in New York

. 1957 ~ The Cavern Club opened for business in Liverpool, England. The rock club was just a hangout for commoners. Then, things changed — big time. It all started in the early 1960s when four kids from the neighborhood popped in to jam. They, of course, turned out to be The Beatles.

. 1962 ~ Paul Webb, Bass with Talk Talk

. 1964 ~ “Hello Dolly!” opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Carol Channing starred in the role of Mrs. Dolly Levi. The musical was an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s play, “The Matchmaker”. The show, with an unforgettable title song, was hailed by critics as the “…possible hit of the season.” It was possible, all right. “Hello Dolly!” played for 2,844 performances. And, it returned to Broadway in the 1990s, again starring Carol Channing.

. 1972 ~ David Seville died on this day in Beverly Hills, CA. Born Ross Bagdasarian, the musician was the force, and artist, behind the Alvin and the Chipmunks novelty songs of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

. 1973 ~ Clara Ward passed away. Ward was an American gospel artist who achieved great artistic and commercial success in the 1940s and 1950s.

. 1976 ~ The album, “Frampton Comes Alive”, was released by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records. The double LP soon reached the top spot of the album charts and stayed perched there for 17 weeks. It sold 19 million copies in its first year.

. 1980 ~ Lin Manuel Miranda, American actor, composer, lyricist (Hamilton)

. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson received eight awards at the 11th annual American Music Awards this night.

. 2001 ~ Eleanor Lawrence, a flutist who played often in chamber music performances and with several orchestras in New York City, died of brain cancer at the age of 64. She is credited with transforming a simple newsletter into an important source for flutists. Lawrence studied the flute at the New England Conservatory with the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Pappoutsakis. She later studied with flutists from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera orchestra. She joined the American Symphony Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic after moving to New York in the 1960s. She played periodically with the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. Besides performing, Lawrence taught at the Manhattan School of Music. She served three times as the president of the New York Flute Club. She edited The National Flute Association Newsletter, now The Flutist Quarterly, from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, expanding it from a brief information sheet to a publication with regular interviews.

October 22 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1811 ~ Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Franz Liszt
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• 1885 ~ Giovanni Martinelli, Opera singer, tenor with Metropolitan Opera for 30 seasons

• 1904 ~ Paul Arma, Hungarian composer and theorist

• 1917 ~ Leopold Stokowski led the Philadelphia Orchestra in its first recording session, for Victor Records.

• 1930 ~ Dory Previn, Songwriter with André Previn

• 1939 ~ Ray Jones, Bass with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

• 1943 ~ Paul Zukofsky, American violinist

• 1943 ~ Bobby Fuller, Singer, guitarist with Bobby Fuller Four

• 1945 ~ Leslie West (Weinstein), Singer, musician, guitarist with Mountain

• 1945 ~ Eddie Brigati, Singer, musician with The (Young) Rascals

• 1959 ~ “Take Me Along” opened on Broadway and quickly became an American classic. Walter Pidgeon starred along with Jackie Gleason.

• 1966 ~ The Supremes rocketed to the top of the pop album charts with “Supremes A’ Go-Go”. They were the first all-female vocal group to hit the top of the LP chart.

• 1969 ~ Giovanni Martinelli passed away

• 1969 ~ Michael Tilson Thomas, the 25-year-old assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, took over for ailing conductor William Steinberg in the symphony’s appearance in New York City.

• 1971 ~ Folk singer Joan Baez received a gold record for her hit, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. It turned out to be her biggest hit, peaking at #3 on the charts on October 2, 1971.

• 1983 ~ Celebrating its 100th anniversary, New York’s Metropolitan Opera featured a daylong concert with some of the world’s greatest opera stars. On stage at the Met were Dame Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

• 2001 ~ Tom Baker, one of Australia’s most respected jazz musicians, died of a heart attack while touring in the Netherlands. He was 49. Baker, a native of California, took up residence in Australia 30 years ago. He was a regular at Sydney’s famous jazz club, The Basement. Willie Qua, drummer and co-founder of one of Australia’s best-known jazz bands, Galapagos Duck, said Baker had often played as “a part-time member” of the band and was an icon of the Sydney jazz scene. Baker formed his first band, Tom Baker’s San Francisco Jazz Band, in 1975, earning himself a reputation as one of Australia’s very best jazz musicians. Recently he toured extensively through Europe and America.

September 13 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1819 ~ Clara Wieck Schumann, German pianist and composer
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OCMS 1874 ~ Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian-born American composer
Read quotes by and about Schoenberg
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• 1894 ~ Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer, died
More information on Chabrier

• 1911 ~ Bill Monroe, ‘Father of Bluegrass Music’, Country Music Hall of Fame, singer with The Bluegrass Band, songwriter

• 1916 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes, Singer

• 1917 ~ Robert Ward, American composer

• 1925 ~ Mel Torme,‘The Velvet Fog’, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of  The Christmas Song

• 1931 ~ Vaudeville star Eddie Cantor was heard for the first time – on NBC radio.
The Chase and Sanborn Hour became one of the most popular radio shows of the 1930s.

• 1941 ~ David Clayton-Thomas, Singer with Blood Sweat and Tears

• 1944 ~ Peter Cetera, Bass guitar, singer with Chicago

• 1952 ~ Randy Jones, Singer with The Village People

• 1954 ~ The cover of LIFE magazine was adorned with Judy Garland’s picture, with the caption, “Judy Garland takes off after an Oscar.” Garland had been nominated for her role in A Star is Born.

• 1956 ~ Joni Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge

• 1968 ~ Clarence Carter received a gold record for his million-selling hit Slip Away. Carter earned two other gold records for Too Weak to Fight and Patches. The singer from Montgomery, Alabama had been blind since age one and taught himself to play guitar by age 11.

• 1969 ~ John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, presented the Plastic Ono Band in concert for the first time. The appearance at the Toronto Peace Festival was Lennon’s first in four years. The first hit by the new group, Give Peace a Chance, made it to number 14 on the charts.

• 1977 ~ Leopold Stokowski conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, passed away
More information about Stokowski

• 1986 ~ Captain EO, a 17-minute, three-dimensional, musical, science-fiction flick starring Michael Jackson, made its gala premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, FL this day. The innovative movie cost approximately $1,000,000 a minute to produce.

• 2001 ~ Barbara Matera, who made costumes for Broadway shows, the New York City ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 72. With her husband, Matera founded Barbara Matera Ltd. in 1968, which produced costumes seen in the current Broadway productions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Kiss Me, Kate and 42nd Street. As the costumer for the American Ballet Theater, Matera outfitted performers in productions including Swan Lake and Othello. Her film credits include The Great Gatsby, The Addams Family, Moonstruck, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Age of Innocence and Death on the Nile. Matera also created the purple crystal-encrusted gown that Hillary Rodham Clinton wore at her husband’s first presidential inauguration.