• 1891 ~ New York City was the site of the dedication of a building called the Music Hall. It was quite a celebration. A festival was held for five days, featuring guest conductor Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky. The structure is not called the Music Hall anymore. It’s called Carnegie Hall, named in honor of Andrew Carnegie.
• 1900 ~ The Billboard, a magazine for the music and entertainment industries, began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. The name was later shortened to Billboard.
• 1910 ~ Giulietta Simionato, Italian contralto
• 1927 ~ Charles Rosen, American pianist, musicologist, and writer
• 1934 ~ Ace Cannon, Saxophonist
• 1935 ~ The radio program, Rhythm at Eight, made its debut. The star of the show was 24-year-old Ethel Merman. Though Merman would become a legend years later, she didn’t fare so well on radio. Her show was taken off the air after 13 weeks and Miss Merman returned to her first love, Broadway. Tammy Wynette (1942) (Pugh) Grammy Award-winning country singer and songwriter
• 1948 ~ Bill Ward, Musician, drummer
• 1955 ~ The musical, Damn Yankees, opened in New York City for a successful run of 1,019 performances. The show at the 42nd Street Theatre mixed both baseball and ballet. It is an adaptation of the book, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant. Gwen Verdon starred in the role of Lola. Whatever Lola wants Lola gets including the Tony for Best Actress in a musical for her performance.
• 1973 ~ 56,800 fans paid $309,000 to see Led Zeppelin at Tampa Stadium. This was the largest, paid crowd ever assembled in the U.S. to see a single musical act. The concert topped The Beatles 55,000-person audience at Shea Stadium in New York ($301,000) on August 15, 1965.
. 1988 ~ Adele (Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, English singer-songwriter, With sales of over 120 million records, Adele is one of the world’s best-selling music artists
• 2000 ~ Hugh N. Pruett, the wardrobe director for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, died at 68. Pruett worked with countless international opera singers, directors and designers on 329 productions in his more than 40 years with the Lyric Opera.
• 2002 ~ Veteran movie director George Sidney, famed for such musicals as “Anchors Aweigh,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Annie Get Your Gun,” died at his Las Vegas home. Born into a show business family, the Long Island, New York, native shot 28 features in 27 years, and worked with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Tony Curtis, Lana Turner, Dick Van Dyke, Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret. He once defined a star as “someone who attracts your attention even when he or she isn’t doing anything.” After making his mark in short films, Sidney moved to features in 1941 with “Thousands Cheer,” a hit musical starring Kathryn Grayson and Gene Kelly. “Anchors Aweigh” (1945), which starred Sinatra and Gene Kelly as sailors on liberty, received five Oscar nominations including best picture. In 1950, Sidney took over the troubled production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” which was a major success — as was his 1951 remake of “Show Boat” and his 1953 film version of Cole Porter’s musical “Kiss Me Kate.” In 1963, he directed Presley and Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas,” considered one of the better entries in the rock legend’s woeful Hollywood career. Sidney’s last film was the 1968 British musical “Half a Sixpence,” starring Tommy Steele. Sidney served two stints as president of the Directors Guild of America, and helped animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera set up what would become a cartoon powerhouse.
• 1951 ~ In Britain, the King and Queen inaugurated the Festival of Britain on London’s South Bank and also opened the Festival Hall.
• 1956 ~ Most Happy Fella, a musical by Frank Loesser, opened at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. The show, an adaptation of They Knew What They Wanted by Sidney Howard, ran for 676 performances on Broadway.
• 1960 ~ The play, The Fantasticks, opened at the Sullivan Playhouse in New York City. It would later become the longest-running off-Broadway play.
• 1971 ~ NPR, National Public Radio, the U.S. national, non-commercial radio network, was born.
• 1997 ~ Narciso Yepes, famous Spanish classical guitarist, died.
• 2001 ~ Legendary jazz drummer Billy Higgins died at the age of 64. Higgins was one of the most recorded figures in the history of jazz, performing with John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Milt Jackson, Charles Lloyd, Pat Metheny, Lee Morgan, Art Pepper and Joshua Redman, among others. He played with pianist Cedar Walton and was involved with the first edition of bassist Charlie Haden’s innovative Quartet West. Higgins came to prominence in the 1950s with saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s free jazz group, which included Haden and trumpeter Don Cherry. Higgins’ drumming laid the foundation for the group’s free jazz flights of fancy. That group sparked a decade of innovation in jazz that was carried on by the Coleman Quartet, Coltrane, George Russell, Charles Mingus and Albert Ayler, among others. Higgins’ ability to adapt his sense of swing to any genre made him one of the most in-demand drummers of the past four decades. Higgins helped found World Stage, a storefront performance space and teaching venue in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park. He was also on the jazz faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles. Higgins was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master’s Fellowship in 1997.
• 2002 ~ Yevgeny Svetlanov, a renowned Russian pianist, composer and former chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theater, died. He was 73. He was born in Moscow in 1928. He graduated from the Gnesinykh Musical- Pedagogical Institute and from the Moscow Conservatory. For several years he was conductor and chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre. From 1965 on he was artistic director and chief conductor of the State Symphonic Orchestra of USSR. He composed several symphonies, symphonic poems, chamber music works, and vocal-instrumental works. Svetlanov was the chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theater from 1963 to 1965, when he was named artistic director and chief conductor of the Soviet State Symphony. He was named a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1968 and was awarded the Lenin prize in 1972 and the Order of Lenin 1978. He was given the Soviet State prize for creative achievement in 1983. Svetlanov was born in the Soviet Union in 1928. In 1951, he graduated from the Gnesin Institute of Music. Svetlanov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1955 as a pianist, composer and conductor.
. 1900 ~ Train engineer Casey Jones was killed when trying to save the Cannonball Express as it highballed its way through Vaughn, MS. The famous song about Jones is based on this train accident.
. 1903 ~ Victor Records made its first Red Seal recording this day. The premiere disk featured Ada Crossley, an opera contralto.
. 1916 ~ Robert Shaw, American conductor, Robert Shaw Chorale; music director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
. 1923 ~ Percy Heath, Jazz musician: bass: founder of Modern Jazz Quartet, The Heath Brothers
. 1933 ~ Willie Nelson, American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist
. 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his band recorded the bandleader’s signature song, Contrasts, for Decca Records. The song went on to become one of the most familiar big band themes of the era.
. 1941 ~ Johnny Farina, Musician: rhythm guitar with Santo & Johnny
. 1943 ~ Bobby Vee (Velline), Singer
. 1944 ~ Richard Schoff, Singer with The Sandpipers
. 1953 ~ Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle became a team this day at Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra’s new musical style, under Riddle’s direction, brought the crooner to the top of the record world for the second time in his illustrious career.
. 1953 ~ Merrill Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds: Alan, Donny, Jay, Marie, Wayne, Jimmy
. 1954 ~ Darius Milhaud’s Fourth Concerto for piano and orchestra premiered in Haifa
. 1956 ~ Richard Farina, folk singer: Reflections in a Crystal Wind
. 1983 ~ Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) passed away. He was an American blues musician.
. 1987 ~ Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first time. The discs were Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver. All became hits again for the Fab Four.
. 2000 ~ Bill Woods, a bandleader who helped Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and other country music stars launch their careers, died. He was 76. In the 1950s, Woods ran The Blackboard country music club in Bakersfield. The club attracted many country music stars and helped develop what became known as the Bakersfield Sound. Woods also could play many instruments, including piano, guitar, fiddle, drums, and the banjo.
. 2001 ~ Herman “Rock” Johnston, a musician known for his innovative work on steel drums, died of prostate cancer. He was 63. Johnston gained acclaim in the early 1960s with an innovation that stretched the musical range of the instrument from 24 to 36 notes. During his career, the Trinidad native appeared at the United Nations, Lincoln Center and Radio City Musical Hall in New York City, and with the Boston Symphony at its summer festival in Tanglewood. His repertoire spanned rock, spiritual, classical, show tunes and Caribbean folk music.
. 2003 ~ Bill Napier, a clarinetist who rose to prominence with the premier San Francisco jazz bands of the 1940s and 50s, died. He was 76. Napier helped create a catchy West Coast style with a Dixieland sound and a San Francisco vibe. He played with jazz stars including trombonist Turk Murphy, Lu Watters and Bob Scobey’s Frisco Jazz Band. Though he took some lessons, Napier essentially taught himself to play. His talent, and his love of music brought him to an eclectic mix of venues – from cable car turnabouts to halftime of Harlem Globetrotters’ games to Silicon Valley soirees at the height of the dot-com boom. His last show was December 30, 2002.
. 2015 ~ Ben E. King [Benjamin Earl Nelson], American soul singer (Stand by Me), died at the age of 76
.2016 ~ Phil Ryan, Welsh keyboardist and composer (Man, Pete Brown), died at the age of 69
1879 ~ Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor. Founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947 and did much to promote the works of Delius, Sibelius and Richard Strauss.
Read quotes by and about Beecham
. 1895 ~ Sir Malcolm Sargent, English conductor, born. He was in charge of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 1942 until 1948 and of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1950 until 1957.
. 1913 ~ Donald Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers.
. 1925 ~ Danny Davis (George Nowland), Grammy Award-winning bandleader with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1969, Country Music Awards Instrumental Group of the Year 1969 to 1974
. 1936 ~ Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist
. 1936 ~ April Stevens (Carol Lo Tempio), Singer
. 1943 ~ Duane Allen, Singer with the Oak Ridge Boys
. 1947 ~ Tommy James (Jackson), Singer with Tommy James and The Shondells
. 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Musician, guitar and singer with Status Quo
. 1958 ~ The Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” opens for its first night in London, with Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins, and Julie Andrews playing Eliza Doolittle. Tickets for the show cost just over £1, the first month is sold out before opening night.
. 1968 ~ Hair made its way from Greenwich Village to Broadway. The show certainly opened eyes. It was the first time that actors appeared nude in a Broadway musical. Hair ran for 1,844 shows on and off Broadway. It was even more successful in its London run later. Big songs from the show: Hair (The Cowsills) and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The 5th Dimension).
. 1969 ~ Sir Duke, Duke Ellington, celebrated his 70th birthday. He was honored with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government’s highest civilian honor.
. 2001 ~ Opera diva Rita Nellie Hunter, a powerful soprano celebrated for her fine Wagnerian performances, died at the age of 67. Hunter, originally from Wallasey, England, was best remembered as the quintessential Brunnhilde of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, which she performed in London, New York, Germany and Sydney. Hunter’s agile voice led her through performances of Verdi’s “Aida,” and “Macbeth,” Puccini’s “Turandot” and Strauss’ challenging “Elektra.” Despite her remarkable voice, Hunter did not reach international stardom. Her physical size, at a time when the opera was seeking slimmer performers, and the fact that she sang roles primarily in English, kept her from achieving global fame. Hunter married tenor John Darnley Thomas in 1960, and after his death in 1994, took over management of his Singing Academy in Sydney.
. 1870 ~ Hermann Suter, Swiss composer and conductor
. 1871 ~ Louise Homer, American opera singer, contralto at the NY Metropolitan Opera House
. 1873 ~ Harold Bauer, English/US pianist
. 1892 ~ John Jacob Niles, Composer
. 1917 ~ “Papa” John Creach, Singer
. 1920 ~ Nan Merriman, American mezzo-soprano
. 1940 ~ Pennsylvania 6-5000, the classic Glenn Miller signature song, was recorded on Bluebird Records. The song’s title refers to the oldest existing New York City phone number at the time belonging to the Hotel Pennsylvania. Many prominent acts played at this venue, including the Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington and the Glenn Miller Orchestra as well.
. 1940 ~ Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian soprano, died.
. 1941 ~ Ann-Margaret, Entertainer
. 1950 ~ Jay Leno, TV personality
. 1987 ~ For the first time, a compact disc of an album was released before its vinyl counterpart. The Art of Excellence by Tony Bennett, his first recorded work in a decade, went on sale.
. 2001 ~ Evelyn Kuenneke, a Berlin singer and cabaret artist whose tune Sing Nightingale Sing was a hit among German soldiers during World War II, died of lung cancer at the age of 79. Kuenneke started out as a dancer at Berlin’s State Opera in the late 1930s. When the Nazis banned her from appearing in cabaret shows under her artist name Evelyn King in 1939, she turned to movies and pop songs that also took her on the wartime military entertainment circuit. With the war started by Adolf Hitler in full fury, Kuenneke scored her biggest success in 1941 with Sing Nightingale Sing, a nostalgia-laced ditty set to a slow swing beat. She continued her career after the war with pop recordings and films, dropping out of the public eye in the 1960s but staging a comeback in the 1970s. Since then, she regularly appeared on stage in small productions or variety shows until a few months ago. Born Dec. 15, 1921 in Berlin, Kuenneke was the daughter of German operetta composer Eduard Kuenneke and the opera singer Katarina Krapotkin.
. 2002 ~ Noel Da Costa, a composer and professor at Rutgers University, died. He was 82. Da Costa also wrote music that drew from African folk music. His piece, Primal Rites, was performed in 1983 by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under John Williams, with Max Roach as the soloist. Born in Nigeria, Da Costa’s family moved to Harlem as a young boy. He attended Queens College and Columbia University. He won a Fulbright Scholarship to study music with Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence, Italy. Da Costa joined the faculty of Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J. in 1970 after teaching for the city universities of New York. He retired from Rutgers last year.
. 2007 ~ Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist and bandleader (Tonight Show), died at the age of 78
. 1867 ~ Charles Gounod’s opera “Romeo et Juliette” was first performed, in Paris.
. 1894 ~ Nicholas Slonimsky, Russian-born American musicologist, musical lexicographer and composer
. 1871 ~ Sigismond Thalberg died. He was a composer and one of the most famous virtuoso pianists of the 19th century.
. 1915 ~ Alexander Scriabin, Russian composer (Prometheus) and pianist, died at the age of 43
. 1931 ~ Igor Oistrakh, Violinist
. 1932 ~ Maxine (Ella) Brown, Singer
. 1933 ~ Calvin Newborn, Jazz/blues guitarist, brother of piano wizard Phineas Newborn Jr.
. 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded I Hadn’t Anyone ’til You for Victor Records. Jack Leonard was featured as vocalist.
. 1941 ~ Judith Blegan, American soprano
. 1944 ~ Cuba Gooding, Singer
. 1947 ~ Pete Ham, Musician, guitar, piano, singer
. 1948 ~ Kate Pierson, Musician, organ, singer with the B-52s
. 1954 ~ The Movie White Christmas featuring the songs of Irving Berlin, including the Title Song White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, opens at Radio City Music Hall. The original song “White Christmas” was originally heard for the first time in the 1942 film Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
. 1959 ~ Sheena Easton, Singer
. 1959 ~ Lloyd Price’s song, Personality, was released. Price had 10 songs that made it on the nation’s pop music charts in the 1950s through early 1960s.
. 1959 ~ Louis Lortie, French Canadian concert pianist
. 1970 ~ Mariah Carey, Singer
. 1976 ~ Maxine Nightingale received a gold record for the single, Right Back Where We Started From. Nightingale was in the productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and Savages in the early ’70s. Right Back Where We Started From was a number two hit for two weeks in 1976.
. 1981 ~ Former Beatle Ringo Starr married Barbara Bach at the Marylebone Registry Office in London. Paul McCartney and wife Linda, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson were in attendance.
. 2002 ~ Classical violinist Guila Bustabo died at the age of 86. Bustabo, born in Manitowoc, Wis., in 1916, toured Europe and Asia, performing under such conductors as Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwangler. Bustabo studied at the Juilliard School in New York before moving to Paris. During her career, she recorded concertos by Beethoven and Bruch with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Bustabo was arrested in Paris after World War II, accused of being a Nazi sympathizer because she played under conductor Willem Mengelberg. Mengelberg had been affiliated with musical associations sanctioned by the Nazi Party. The accusation against Bustabo was eventually dropped.
. 1942 ~ Bobby Rydell, American rock-and-roll singer and drummer
. 1970 ~ The musical, Company, opened on Broadway. It ran for 705 performances at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. Company starred Elaine Stritch.
. 1975 ~ On top of the Billboard popular music chart was B.J. Thomas, with the longest title ever for a number one song. (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song was number one for one week, though it took that long just to say the title.
. 1978 ~ An updated version of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper appeared on television. In the lead role (his first TV special), was former Beatle, Ringo Starr. He sang new versions of Act Naturally, Yellow Submarine and With a Little Help from My Friends.
. 1984 ~ Count Basie (William Basie), U.S. jazz pianist and big band leader who led his orchestra from 1937, died.
. 1991 ~ Carmine Coppola, American composer and conductor (The Godfather Part II), and father of Francis Ford Coppola, died at the age of 80
. 1991 ~ Leo Arnaud, French-American composer (Bugler’s Dream), died at the age of 86
. 1997 ~ Gene [Eugene] Ames, singer (Ames Brothers), died of cancer at the age of 73
. 2013 ~ Country singer George Jones died at the age of eighty-one. Jones had several hit songs between the 1950s and 1990s and was known for being married to Tammy Wynette and struggling with drugs and alcohol.
. 2018 ~ Charles Neville, American vocalist and saxophonist (Neville Brothers), died of pancreatic cancer died at the age of 79
. 1934 ~ Shirley Boone (Foley), Singer, married to singer Pat Boone since 1953
. 1934 ~ Shirley MacLaine, Entertainer, Academy Award-winning actress, sister of actor Warren Beatty
. 1934 ~ Laurens Hammond, in Chicago, IL, announced the news that would be favored by many churches across the United States. The news was the development of the pipeless organ — and a granting of a U.S. patent for same.
Read more about the Hammond Organ
. 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his trio recorded China Boy for Victor Records. Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson and Goodman recorded the session in Chicago.
. 1937 ~ Joe Henderson, Musician, composer. He played live in sextet at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner and also played with Blood Sweat and Tears
. 1942 ~ John Williams, Guitarist
. 1942 ~ Barbra Streisand, American actress and singer of popular music, Grammy Award-winning Best Female Pop Vocalist (1963-1965, 1977, 1986), Best Songwriter in 1977, Academy Award-winning Best Actress, Oscar for Best Song (Evergreen in 1976)
Read a news item about Barbra Streisand
. 1943 ~ Richard Sterban, Musician: bass, singer with The Oak Ridge Boys
. 1945 ~ Doug Clifford, Drummer with Creedence Clearwater Revival
. 1954 ~ Billboard magazine, the music industry trade publication, headlined a change to come about in the music biz. The headline read, “Teenagers Demand Music with a Beat — Spur Rhythm and Blues” … a sign of times to come. Within a year, R&B music by both black and white artists became popular.
. 1959 ~ Your Hit Parade ended after a nine-year run on television and many more years on radio. The show debuted in 1935. On the final show, these were the top five songs on Your Hit Parade:
1 Come Softly to Me
2 Pink Shoelaces
3 Never Be Anyone Else but You
4 It’s Just a Matter of Time
5 I Need Your Love Tonight
. 1965 ~ Game of Love, by Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, made it to the top spot on the Billboard music chart. Game of Love stayed for a short visit of one week, before Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits took over the top spot with Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.
. 1968 ~ Climaxing his birthday celebration, the Who’s drummer, Keith Moon, accidentally drove a Lincoln Continental into a hotel swimming pool in Flint, Mich.
. 1969 ~ The singing family, The Cowsills, received a gold record for their hit single, Hair, from the Broadway show of the same name.
. 2000 ~ Singer and pianist George Paoa, whose smooth voice and mellow style introduced generations of tourists to Hawaiian music, died. He was 65. For more than 40 years, Paoa entertained vacationers at isle hotels with a repertoire of old Hawaiian standards, light jazz and hapa-haole music, a tourist favorite with its blend of English lyrics and Hawaiian melodies. Paoa played with the jazz recording star Martin Denny in the 1960s and two of his children sang on his 1994 album, “Walking in the Sand.”
. 2001 ~ Jazz singer Al Hibbler, who was known for his rich baritone and exaggerated phrasing, died at the age of 85. Hibbler is best remembered as one of Duke Ellington’s most colorful vocalists. Hibbler went solo in the 1950s and enjoyed his biggest hit, Unchained Melody. Another of his hit songs was After the Lights Go Down Low. The Mississippi native, who was blind from birth, joined Ellington’s band in 1943 and became popular for singing tunes with the band that included Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me and I’m Just a Lucky So and So. Hibbler’s penchant for distorted vocal effects were described by Ellington as “tonal pantomime.” Hibbler started his professional singing career in the 1930s, after vocal studies at the Conservatory for the Blind in Little Rock, Ark. After winning amateur concerts in Memphis, Tenn., he led a group in Texas and toured with Kansas City bandleader Jay McShann in 1942. Hibbler went on to record with Ellington’s son, Mercer Ellington, Billy Taylor, Count Basie, Gerald Wilson and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He sang When the Saints Go Marching In at Louis Armstrong’s funeral.
. 2016 ~ Billy Paul [Paul Williams], American singer (Me & Mrs Jones), died at the age of 81
. 1928 ~ Shirley Temple, American actress best known for her parts as a child actress / singer / Tap Dancer. Possibly her best known part was as Shirley Blake in the movie Bright Eyes when she first performed the song that would become one of her trademarks, “On the Good Ship Lollipop”. She won an Academy Award for best Juvenile Performer in 1935. She went on to star in Stand Up and Cheer!, The Littlest Rebel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Just Around the Corner. She was cast alongside some of the great actors of the time including John Wayne, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda and Ronald Reagan to name just a few. After ending her acting career she became a successful diplomat including a delegate to the United Nations (1969), United States Ambassador to Ghana (1974), United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the velvet revolution (1989–92). She was also one of the celebrities featured in the cover of the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper.
. 1936 ~ Roy Orbison, American rock-and-roll singer, songwriter and guitarist
. 1939 ~ Ray Peterson, Singer
. 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Drummer for the rock band The Who
. 1952 ~ Narada Michael Walden, Musician: drums with the group Mahavishnu Orchestra, record producer, singer, songwriter
. 1952 ~ Elisabeth Schumann, German soprano, died. Best known for her roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi Fan Tutte,” she was also a popular recitalist
. 1985 ~ This was a big day for the flamboyant Liberace. Lee, as he was called by those close to him, first appeared on the TV soap opera, Another World. The sequined and well-furred pianist appeared as a fan of Felicia Gallant, a romance novelist. Later in the day, Liberace was a guest video jockey on MTV!
. 1985 ~ The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was Sunday in the Park with George.
. 1986 ~ Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer of Over the Rainbow died at the age of 81
. 2001 ~ Genji Ito, the resident composer for the experimental theater club La MaMa E.T.C. and a music collaborator with many other groups, died of cancer at the age of 54. Ito composed scores for more than 25 theatrical productions at La MaMa. He received an Obie Award in 1986 for sustained excellence. Working closely with Ellen Stewart, La MaMa’s founder, Ito produced scores notable for their stylistic variation and diversity. For 1986’s “Orfei,” a retelling of the Orpheus myth, Ito composed a score that mixed traditional folk instruments with modern electronic ones. For 1993’s “Ghosts: Live from Galilee,” the story of a group of black men accused of raping a white woman in 1931, Ito composed a score that combined blues with country and vaudeville. Ito also wrote 15 compositions for the Ubu Repertory.