January 23 ~ This Day in Music History

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. 1752 ~ Muzio Clementi, Italian pianist and composer
More information about Clementi

. 1837 ~ John Field died.  Field was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher.

. 1878 ~ Rutland Boughton, English composer

. 1888 ~ Richard Strauss made his conducting debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

. 1893 ~ Phillips Brooks passed away.  Brooks was the lyricist of the Christmas hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

. 1920 ~ Ray Abrams, Jazz/be-bop tenor saxophonist

. 1925 ~ Marty Paich, Pianist, composer, arranger with/for: Peggy Lee, Shorty Rogers’ Giants, Dorothy Dandridge, Shelley Manne, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, Dave Pell, Mel Torme, Ray Brown, Anita O’Day, Stan Kenton, Terry Gibbs, Ella Fitzgerald, and Buddy Rich

. 1928 ~ Ken Errair, Singer with The Four Freshmen

. 1933 ~ Chita Rivera (Conchita del Rivero), Singer, dancer, actress

. 1938 ~ Eugene Church, Singer

. 1941 ~ Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded Moonglow on Victor Records. In the band were such sidemen as Johnny Guarnieri, Jack Jenney, Billy Butterfield and Ray Conniff on trombone.

. 1943 ~ Duke Ellington and the band played for a black-tie crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first of what was to become an annual series of concerts featuring the the Duke.

. 1948 ~ Anita Pointer, Singer with The Pointer Sisters

. 1950 ~ Bill Cunningham, Bass, piano with The Box Tops

. 1950 ~ Patrick Simmons, Singer, guitarist with The Doobie Brothers

. 1974 ~ Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells opened the credits of the movie, “The Exorcist”, based on the book by William Peter Blatty. The song received a gold record this day.

. 1977 ~ Carole King’s landmark album, “Tapestry”, became the longest-running album to hit the charts, as it reached its 302nd week on the album lists.

. 1978 ~ Vic Ames killed in car crash

. 2002 ~ Alfred Glasser, a former director of education for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, died of cancer. He was 70. Glasser held the education post for 30 years before his retirement in 1996. Since 1997, Glasser served as chairman of the board and commentator for Chicago’s concert opera company, da Corneto Opera. For the past decade, he served on the board of Alliance Francaise of Chicago, a French cultural group. Glasser also founded the Lyric Opera Lecture Corps, a community service project.

. 2003 ~ Nell Carter, actress-singer, died at the age of 54. She was best known for her role as the housekeeper in the TV sitcom “Gimme a Break!”. Carter, who was born September 13, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, first rose to stardom on the New York stage. After a series of roles on- and off-Broadway — and a short-lived part in the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” — in 1977 she starred in the show “Ain’t Misbehavin’!”, a revue of the works of composer Fats Waller. She was rewarded for her performance with an Obie Award, and later with a Tony Award when the show moved to Broadway. Several years later, she earned an Emmy for her performance on a television presentation of the musical. Despite her Broadway success, Carter would have preferred to sing opera. “When I was growing up, it was not something you aspired to,” she said in 1988. “I was a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or nurses.” “Gimme a Break!” ran from 1981 to 1987. Carter was nominated for two Emmys for her role as housekeeper Nell Harper, who helped run the household of police chief Carl Kanisky, played by Dolph Sweet. She also garnered two Golden Globe nominations for the role.

. 2003 ~ For Sale: One of London’s most famous music venues, which in its heyday in the 1960s played host to The Who, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, is for sale, its administrators said. The Marquee Club, which in the 1970s was the epicenter of the punk explosion, ran into financial difficulties after its high-profile relaunch last fall, said a spokeswoman for administrator BDO Stoy Hayward. “We’re looking for someone in the music business who can capitalize on the Marquee brand and keep running it as a live venue,” she said. The price tag is at least $200 million. The club opened in London’s Soho district in 1958 and was so cramped and sweaty that, according to legend, Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats blacked out on stage. In 1988, it moved to a new location in nearby Charing Cross, but within eight years it had closed down. A high-profile relaunch at a new venue in Islington, north London September 2002 was headlined by the controversial electro-rockers Primal Scream, but according to the club’s administrators, huge start-up costs quickly led to its downfall.

October 27, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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OCMS 1782 ~ Niccolò Paganini, Italian violin virtuoso and composer
Read quotes by and about Paganini
More information about Paganini

• 1796 ~ Anton Thadäus Johann Nepomuk Stamitz, German composer

• 1908 ~ George Feyer, Pianist and entertainer, born in Budapest More about George Feyer

• 1917 ~ Jascha Heifetz made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Heifetz was a 16-year-old sensation who had played the violin since age 5.

• 1927 ~ Dominick Argento, American composer

• 1933 ~ Floyd Cramer, Pianist

• 1941 ~ Edda Moser, German soprano

• 1941 ~ Everything I Love, by Buddy Clark, was recorded this day, number 6469 on the Okeh label.

• 1943 ~ Lee (Melvin) Greenwood, CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, 1983 and 1984, sax, piano, band leader

• 1957 ~ The Crickets started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘That’ll Be The Day’. It was also a No.3 hit in the US where it went on to sell over a million. The song was inspired by a trip to the movies by Holly, Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis in June 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing and Wayne’s frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, “that’ll be the day” inspired the young musicians.

• 1958 ~ Simon LeBon, Singer with Duran Duran

• 1975 ~ Rocker Bruce Springsteen appeared on the cover of both TIME and Newsweek. Things were certainly going well for ‘The Boss’ that week.

• 2000 ~ Walter Berry, a bass baritone who won acclaim for his interpretations of Mozart and Strauss and was beloved by Austrians for his renditions of Schubert, died of a heart attack at the age of 71. Known for the powerful timbre of his voice, Berry was a prolific performer who sang 100 different roles in more than 1,280 appearances at the Vienna State Opera. His U.S. debut was a 1963 performance with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. His interpretations of classical lieder by fellow Austrian Franz Schubert won him his most loyal following. Austrians who rarely went to the opera loved Berry for his renditions of popular Viennese songs performed as they believed only a native- born son could. In 1989, he became a professor at the Vienna University for Music and Performing Arts.

• 2001 ~ John Roberts, a promoter of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, died of cancer. He was 56. Roberts produced the festival concert with three others, almost by accident. The idea originally was a pitch for a television comedy show about two young venture capitalists with money but no business plans. Roberts and his partners funded the festival with Roberts’ inheritance and ticket sales. They lost $2.3 million but recovered their loss with royalties from film and album spinoffs, and held on to the profitable name and trademark symbol of a dove on the neck of a guitar. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Roberts later invested in other companies, avoiding the music business. Roberts also was a championship bridge player.

• 2006 ~ Amy Winehouse released her second and final studio album Back to Black. The album spawned five singles: ‘Rehab’, ‘You Know I’m No Good’, ‘Back to Black’, ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ and ‘Love Is a Losing Game’ and won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Back to Black sold 3.58 million copies in the UK alone, becoming the UK’s second best-selling album of the 21st century. Worldwide, the album has sold over 20 million copies.

October 26, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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

• 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

• 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 Cant 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.

Happy Birthday to Franz Liszt!

liszt-quote

Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, near Ödenburg, October 22, 1811 and died in Bayreuth, July 31, 1886. He was a Hungarian composer and pianist who was a major influence during the romantic period. Liszt was an outstanding pianist at seven, composed at eight and made concert appearances at nine. In addition to being a piano virtuoso, he was also a critic, conductor, city music director, literary writer and transcriber of the works of other composers. He transcribed Beethoven’s Symphonies for the piano.

Franz Liszt began his career as the outstanding concert pianist of the century, who, along with the prodigious violinist Niccoló Paganini (1782-1840), created the cult of the modern instrumental virtuoso. To show off his phenomenal and unprecedented technique, Liszt composed a great deal of music designed specifically for this purpose, resulting in a vast amount of piano literature laden with dazzling, and other technical marvels. In this vein, Liszt composed a series of virtuosic rhapsodies on Hungarian gypsy melodies, the best-known being the all too familiar Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2. Liszt developed the rhapsody as a form of serious music. This kind of music is worlds apart from the generally more introspective, poetic music of pianist-composer Frédéric Chopin.

Liszt was wildly handsome and hugely talented. He was extremely popular in Paris during the 1830’s. It is said that women actually fainted at his piano recitals. He was the first to position the piano so that its lid reflected the sound and the audience could see his profile as he performed.

Liszt was the first to write a tone poem, which is an extended, single-movement work for orchestra, inspired by paintings, plays, poems or other literary or visual works, and attempting to convey the ideas expressed in those media through music. Such a work is Les Préludes, based on a poem in which life is expressed as a series of struggles, passions, and mysteries, all serving as a mere prelude to . . .what? The Romantic genre of the symphonic poem, as well as its cousin the concert overture, became very attractive to many later composers, including Saint-Saëns, TchaikovskyDvorák, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss.


     Liszt’s birthday

     anniversary of Liszt’s death

    Listen to Liszt’s transcription of Meyerbeer’s Hellish Waltz from Robert du Diable, which probably caused more public commotion than any other piano piece in history.


     Read quotes by and about Liszt

     Liszt was the first recitalist

     In Praise of Pianos and the Artists Who Play Them

     History of the Piano

     Franz Liszt

September 8, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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OCMS 1841 ~ Antonin Dvorák, Czech composer
More information about Dvorák

• 1849 ~ Richard Strauss, German composer and conductor, died. Strauss wrote in nearly every genre, but is best known for his tone poems and operas.
More information about Strauss

• 1897 ~ Jimmie (James Charles) Rodgers,‘The Blue Yodeler’, Country Music Hall of Famer, First country singer to be in a film

• 1932 ~ Patsy Cline (Virginia Petterson Hensley), Country Music Hall of Famer, American country-music singer

• 1934 ~ Peter Maxwell Davies, British composer

• 1935 ~ The Hoboken Four, featuring Frank Sinatra as lead singer, appeared on Major Bowes Amateur Hour on WOR radio. The group won the competition held at the Capitol Theatre in New York City.

• 1941 ~ Dante Drowty, Singer with Dante and The Evergreens

• 1941 ~ Harry James and his orchestra recorded Misirlou for Columbia Records.

• 1942 ~ Brian Cole, Bass, singer with The Association

July 31, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1828 ~ François Auguste Gevaert, Belgian composer, musicologist, conductor and organist

• 1845 ~ The French Army introduced the saxophone to its military band. The musical instrument was the invention of Adolphe Sax of Belgium.

• 1847 ~ Ignacio Cervantes, Pianist

• 1886 ~ Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist died. Originator of the symphonic poem, he was a prolific teacher and a huge influence on Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
More information about Liszt

• 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.

• 2016 ~Gloria DeHaven, a singer and actress known for starring in several MGM musicals, died at the age of 91.

July 1, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

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• 1586 ~ Claudio Saracini, Composer

• 1592 ~ Marc A Ingegneri, Italian violinist and composer, died

• 1662 ~ Simon Ives, Composer, died at the age of 61

• 1663 ~ Franz Xaver Murschhauser, Composer

• 1688 ~ Johann Ludwig Steiner, Composer

• 1691 ~ Marc’Antonio Pasqualini, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1735 ~ James Lyon, Composer

• 1742 ~ Bohuslav Matej Czernohorsky, Czech monk and composer, died at the age of 58

• 1764 ~ Georg Christoph Grosheim, Composer

• 1784 ~ Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, composer, son of J.S. Bach, died
More information about Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

• 1805 ~ Georg Ritschel, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1883 ~ Manuel Gregorio Tavarez, Composer, died at the age of 39

• 1899 ~ Cavan O’Connor, Singer

• 1908 ~ Peter Anders, German opera singer

• 1910 ~ Marius Petipa, French ballet dancer and choreographer, died

• 1914 ~ Earle Warren, Alto sax player

• 1915 ~ Willie Dixon, Blues Musician

• 1917 ~ William Gillock, Educational Music Composer

• 1925 ~ Erik Alfred Leslie Satie, French composer, died at the age of 59
More information about Satie

• 1926 ~ Hans Werner Henze, German composer

• 1927 ~ Hans Eklund, Composer

• 1928 ~ Volker Wangenheim, Composer

• 1930 ~ Leslie Caron, Dancer

• 1933 ~ Strauss and von Hofmannsthal’s opera “Arabella,” premiered in Dresden
More information about Strauss

• 1935 ~ James Cotton, blues vocalist

• 1939 ~ Louis Davids (Simon David), Cabaret performer/chorus performer, died

• 1941 ~ Twila Tharp, Choreographer

• 1941 ~ John Gould, British composer and musical comic

• 1942 ~ Andrae Crouch, Gospel Singer

• 1945 ~ Debbie Harry, American singer

• 1946 ~ June Montiero, American vocalist

• 1947 ~ Clarence Lucas, Composer, died at the age of 80

• 1950 ~ Edward Faber Schneider, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1954 ~ Fred Schneider, Singer for pop-punk band the B-52s

• 1956 ~ Elvis Presley appeared wearing a tuxedo on the Steve Allen Show

• 1960 ~ Benjamin Britten’s cantata “Carmen Baseliense,” premiered in Basel
More information about Britten

• 1963 ~ The Beatles recorded She Loves You & I’ll Get You

• 1964 ~ Pierre Monteux, French/American conductor, died at the age of 89

• 1965 ~ Claude Thornhill, Composer, died at the age of 55

• 1967 ~ “Funny Girl”, the story of Fanny Brice, closed at Winter Garden Theater New York City after 1348 performances
More information about Fanny Brice

• 1967 ~ The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, went #1 for 15 weeks

• 1968 ~ John Lennon’s first full art exhibition (You are Here)

• 1969 ~ John & Yoko were hospitalized after a car crash

• 1969 ~ Shelby Singleton bought Sun Records from Sam Phillips

• 1970 ~ Jimi Hendrix first recording session (New York City)

• 1972 ~ “Follies” closed at Winter Garden Theater New York City after 524 performances

• 1972 ~ “Hair” closesd at Biltmore Theater New York City after 1750 performances

• 1973 ~ Mario La Broca, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1973 ~ “Jesus Christ Superstar”, by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice, closed at Mark Hellinger New York City after 711 performances

• 1978 ~ “Act” closed at Majestic Theater New York City after 233 performances

• 1982 ~ John Everett Watts, Composer, died at the age of 51

• 1982 ~ Shon Coco Palm, (Jacobo JM Palm), Curaçan Composer, died

• 1982 ~ ABC national music radio network scheduled premiere, but it never happened

• 1988 ~ Hellmuth Christian Wolff, Composer, died at the age of 82

• 1988 ~ Lex van Delden, Dutch Composer and writer, died at the age of 68

• 1995 ~ “Kiss of the Spider Woman” closed at Broadhurst New York City after 906 performances

• 1996 ~ Placido Domingo became art director of Washington Opera

• 2015 ~ Val Doonican, Irish singer and entertainer, died at the age of 88