December 12 ~ in Music History

Christmas Countdown: Still, Still, Still

• 1887 ~ Kurt Atterberg, Swedish composer

• 1889 ~ Václav Štěpán, Czech pianist and composer

• 1900 ~ Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice & Sing”, composed. It was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) in 1900 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954) in 1905.

• 1915 ~ Frank (Francis Albert) Sinatra, American actor and singer of popular music

• 1918 ~ Joe Williams (Joseph Goreed), Jazz singer, sang with Count Basie, actor on The Bill Cosby Show

• 1938 ~ Connie Francis (Concetta Franconero), American singer and actress

• 1941 ~ Terry Kirkman, Wind instruments, keyboards with The Association

• 1941 ~ Dionne Warwick, American Grammy Award-winning of popular music

• 1942 ~ Mike Pindar, Keyboards with The Moody Blues

• 1943 ~ Dickie Betts, Guitar with The Allman Brothers and also Great Southern

• 1943 ~ Mike Smith, Organs, singer with The Dave Clark Five

• 1943 ~ Grover Washington, Jr., American jazz saxophonist

• 1946 ~ Clive Bunker, Drummer with Jethro Tull

• 1949 ~ Paul Rodgers, Piano, vocals with Free, Bad Company, The Firm

• 1959 ~ Sheila E. (Escovedo), Drummer, singer

• 1959 ~ Paul Rutherford, Singer with Frankie Goes to Hollywood

• 1984 ~ The group known as Band Aid, 38 of Britain’s top rock musicians, recorded Do They Know This is Christmas? for Ethiopian famine victims. Despite the best of intentions, much of the food raised never got to the starving Ethiopians. In fact, much of it was found rotting on docks, not fit for human consumption. More than a Band-Aid was needed to fix that political mess.

• 1989 ~ Lindsay Crosby, son of crooner Bing Crosby, died

• 2002 ~ Actor Brad Dexter, who rode with Yul Brynner as one of the “Magnificent Seven” and became a confidant of both Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, died. He was 85. Burly and handsome, he was often cast as a tough guy in supporting roles, which included 1958’s “Run Silent, Run Deep,” starring Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable, and 1965’s “None but the Brave,” starring Sinatra. He made his film debut in the “The Asphalt Jungle” in 1950, but his most prominent role came in 1960’s “The Magnificent Seven,” in which he starred with Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn. Born Boris Milanovich in Goldfield, Nev., Dexter made guest appearances on the 1950s television shows “Zane Gray Theater,” “Death Valley Days” and “Wagon Train.” In January 1953, he married singer Peggy Lee, but they divorced eight months later. Soon after his divorce, Dexter befriended Monroe. In 1954, he tried unsuccessfully to persuade her to stay with her husband, Joe DiMaggio. His friendship with Sinatra took on legendary proportions during the filming of “None but the Brave” in 1964. On location in Hawaii, Sinatra nearly drowned and Dexter saved his life.

• 2002 ~ Marvin O. Herzog, who traveled the world with his for 58 years, died of pancreatic cancer. He was 70. Herzog was a polka celebrity who regularly booked 170 appearances a year. He and his band would travel more than 75,000 miles a year in a converted Greyhound bus. For years, Herzog was the star and co-sponsor of Frankenmuth’s Summer Music Fest, which drew about 25,000 visitors annually to the town known for its Bavarian events and shopping. Born in Frankenmuth, Herzog lived there his entire life. He quit his job at Star of the West Milling in 1973 to concentrate full-time on polka music. He played a Cordovox – a mix of organ and accordion. Herzog recorded 32 albums, including his Schnitzelbank and Octoberfestrecords in German as well as Polish, Italian and English polkas. He had a radio show and co-hosted a television show. Herzog was inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in 1979.

December 2 ~ in Music History

today

 

Christmas Countdown: Joy To The World

• 1774 ~ Johann Friedrich Agricola, German composer, organist, singer, pedagogue, and writer on music.

• 1856 ~ Robert Kajanus, Finnish conductor and composer

• 1899 ~ Sir John Barbirolli, British conductor and cellist

• 1914 ~ Eddie Sauter, Drummer, trumpeter, composer, orchestra leader of the Sauter- Finegan Orchestra, arranger for Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw

• 1916 ~ Charlie Ventura, Tenor sax, played with Gene Krupa, Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, band leader

• 1917 ~ Sylvia Syms, Singer, ‘world’s greatest saloon singer’

• 1918 ~ Milton DeLugg, Bandleader on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; Milton DeLugg and His Orchestra: Abe Burrows’ Almanac, The Chuck Barris Rah Rah Show, Dagmar’s Canteen, Doodles Weaver, The Gong Show, Judge for Yourself, Your Hit Parade; played accordion in The Milton DeLugg Quartet and songwriter

• 1928 ~ Jörg Demus, Austrian pianist

• 1934 ~ Billy Paul (Paul Williams), Singer

• 1941 ~ Tom McGuinness, Bass, guitar with Manfred Mann; McGuinness Flint; and Blues Band

• 1942 ~ Ted Bluechel, Jr., Singer, drummer with The Association

• 1944 ~ Eric Bloom, Singer, guitarist

• 1945 ~ John Densmore, Musician with The Doors

• 1950 ~ Dino Lipatti, classical pianist and composer whose career was cut short from causes related to Hodgkin’s disease, died at the age of 33

• 1952 ~ Michael McDonald, Singer, songwriter, keyboard with The Doobie Brothers

• 1960 ~ Rick Savage, Bass with Def Leppard

• 1972 ~ Motown’s Temptations reached the #1 spot on the top 40 charts with Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone. It was the fourth #1 hit for the Temptations, joining My Girl, I Can’t Get Next to You and Just My Imagination.

• 1981 Hershy Kay, composer, died at the age of 62. Union Jack is a ballet made by New York City Ballet co-founder and founding choreographer George Balanchine to traditional British tunes, hornpipe melodies and music-hall songs, ca. 1890–1914, adapted by Hershy Kay. The premiere took place on 13 May 1976, at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, to honor British heritage in the United States its bicentennial with costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, original lighting by Ronald Bates and current lighting by Mark Stanley. At the finale, the ensemble spells out “God Save the Queen” in semaphore code and the Union Jack unfurls. Principal dancer Jock Soto included an excerpt from Union Jack in his farewell performance in June 2005.

November 25 ~ in Music History

today

. 1787 ~ Franz Gruber, composer of Silent Night. The song was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in present-day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had written the lyrics of the song “Stille Nacht” in 1816.

The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass. It is unknown what inspired Mohr to write the lyrics, or what prompted him to create a new carol.

1896 ~ Virgil Thomson, American composer, conductor and music critic
Read quotes by and about Thomson
More information about Thomson

. 1924 ~ Paul Desmond, was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer, best known for the work he did in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for composing that group’s greatest hit, “Take Five”.

. 1925 ~ Derroll Adams, Country singer, played with Jack Elliott

. 1931 ~ Nat Adderley, Musician, cornet, mellophone, French horn, trumpet, brother of Cannonball Adderley

. 1941 ~ Percy Sledge, Singer

. 1949 ~ Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Johnnie Marks, appeared on the music charts and became THE musical hit of the Christmas season. Although Gene Autry’s rendition is the most popular, 80 different versions of the song have been recorded, with nearly 20,000,000 copies sold.

. 1955 ~ Following a summer at the top of the American pop charts, Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets became the #1 song in Great Britain.

. 1959 ~ Steve Rothery, Guitarist with Marillion

. 1960 ~ Amy Grant, Singer

. 1965 ~ Dame Myra Hess, British pianist died

. 1966 ~ Stacey Lattisaw, Singer

November 21 ~ in Music History

today

• 1695 ~ Henry Purcell, English composer (Indian Queen), died at the age of 36

. 1710 ~ Bernardo Pasquini died.  He was an Italian composer of operas, oratorios, cantatas and keyboard music. A renowned virtuoso keyboard player in his day, he was one of the most important Italian composers for harpsichord between Girolamo Frescobaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, having also made substantial contributions to the opera and oratorio.

. 1877 ~ Thomas A. Edison, who really enjoyed the jazz he heard coming from his newest invention, told those gathered that he just invented the ‘talking machine’ (phonograph). On February 19, 1878, Edison received a patent for the device.

. 1904 ~ Coleman Hawkins, American jazz tenor saxophonist, solo with the Fletcher Henderson band, jazz bandleader

• 1912 ~ Eleanor Powell, American actress and tap dancer (Born to Dance, Born to Dance)

. 1931 ~ Malcolm Williamson, Australian composer

. 1933 ~ Jean Shepard, Country singer

. 1934 ~ Cole Porter’s Anything Goes opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 420 performances.

. 1936 ~ James DePreist, Orchestra leader with the Oregon Symphony

OCMS 1937 ~ Following Carnegie Hall performances in both 1906 and 1919, Arthur Rubinstein presented another historic and highly acclaimed performance at the arts center this day.
More information about Rubinstein

• 1938 ~ Leopold Godowsky, pianist/composer, died at the age of 68

. 1940 ~ Dr. John (‘Mac’ Malcolm John Rebennack), Organ, guitar, singer, songwriter

. 1940 ~ Natalia Makarova, Ballerina with the Kirov Ballet (now Saint Petersburg Ballet) from 1959 until 1970

. 1944 ~ Happy trails to you, until we meet again…. The Roy Rogers Show was first heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Singing along with Roy (‘The King of the Cowboys’), were the Whippoorwills and The Sons of the Pioneers.

. 1944 ~ I’m Beginning to See the Light, the song that would become the theme song for Harry James and his orchestra, was recorded this day. The song featured the lovely voice of Kitty Kallen (Little Things Mean a Lot).

. 1948 ~ Lonnie (LeRoy) Jordan, Keyboards, singer

. 1950 ~ Livingston Taylor, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, brother of singer James Taylor

. 1952 ~ Lorna Luft, Singer, actress, daughter of singer-actress Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft; sister of singer-actress Liza Minnelli

. 1955 ~ The first lady of the American stage, Helen Hayes, was honored for her many remarkable years in show business, as the Fulton Theatre in New York City was renamed the Helen Hayes Theatre.

. 1959 ~ Following his firing from WABC Radio in New York the day before, Alan Freed refused “on principle” to sign a statement that he never received money or gifts (payola) for plugging records. Incidentally, few may remember, but Freed left WABC while he was on the air. He was replaced in mid~record by Fred Robbins, who later became a nationally~known entertainment reporter for Mutual Radio.

. 1962 ~ Leonard Bernstein broadcast his Young People’s Concert “Sound of a Hall” from the New York Philharmonic’s new home at Lincoln Center (now David Geffen Hall). He spoke about the science of sound; acoustics, vibration, sound waves, echo and reverberation. ÒWell, the best test of dynamic range I can think of is that great piece of fireworks – Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812, because it begins as softly as possible with only 6 solo strings, and runs the whole dynamic range to a full orchestra, plus at the end, an extra brass band…plus the deafening roar of cannon plus the jangle of church bells…” We share with you this excerpt of Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic performing the 1812 Overture.

. 1981 ~ Olivia Newton-John started the first of 10 weeks at the top of the pop music charts when Physical became the music world’s top tune.

. 1990 ~ Instrument lovers have paid some pretty awesome prices for violins made by Antonio Stradivari. But a red Strad owned by the family of composer Felix Mendelssohn sold on this day for an all-time high of $1,700,00.

. 2001 ~ Ralph Burns, who won Academy Awards, an Emmy and a Tony as a music arranger after making a name for himself in jazz as a piano player in the Woody Herman band, died at the age of 79. Burns collected his first Academy Award for adapting the musical score of the 1972 movie “Cabaret.” He won another Oscar for adapting the musical score for “All That Jazz,” an Emmy for television’s “Baryshnikov on Broadway” and a Tony in 1999 for the Broadway musical “Fosse.” His other film credits included “Lenny,” “In The Mood,” “Urban Cowboy,” “Annie,” “My Favorite Year” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” He also collaborated with Jule Styne on “Funny Girl” and Richard Rodgers on “No Strings.” The Massachusetts native, who took up piano as a child, was playing in dance bands in Boston when he was 12, graduating to jazz orchestras by his teens. He worked with Herman band’s for 15 years as both a writer and piano player, composing some of the group’s biggest hits. Among them were “Apple Honey,” “Bijou” and the three-part “Summer Sequence.” “Early Autumn,” written later as a fourth movement for “Summer Sequence,” became a hit with singers after Johnny Mercer supplied words for it. Later, Burns worked in the studio with such popular singers as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole.

. 2003 ~ Teddy Randazzo, co-author of more than 600 songs for acts including The Temptations and Frank Sinatra, died at the age of 68. With co-author Bobby Weinstein and others, Randazzo wrote hits such as Goin’ Out of My Head, Hurt So Bad and It’s Gonna Take a Miracle for acts such as Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Lettermen, Linda Ronstadt, The Temptations and Sinatra. Randazzo began his career at age 15 as lead singer of the group The Three Chuckles. The group’s first hit, Runaround, rose to No. 20 on the Billboard charts and sold more than 1 million copies. Randazzo started a solo career in 1957 and found modest success over the next seven years before meeting Weinstein. The duo’s songs have been recorded by more than 350 artists, including Gloria Gaynor, Queen Latifah and Luther Vandross. They parted ways in 1970 and Weinstein became an executive for Broadcast Music Inc. and Randazzo became a producer for Motown Records.

November 9 ~ in Music History

today

OCMS 1881 ~ Johannes Brahms gave the first performance of his Piano Concerto No.2 in Budapest.

.1899 ~ “Mezz” Mezzrow, American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist

.1929 ~ Piero Cappuccili, Italian baritone

.1930 ~ Ivan Moravec, Czech pianist

.1938 ~ 24-year-old Mary Martin made her Broadway stage debut in the musical comedy “Leave It to Me”. She brought down the house as she sang My Heart Belongs to Daddy. And the critics raved about New York’s bright new star. The following year brought Martin a top-ten hit with the same song. Martin suddenly found herself singing duets with Bing Crosby; starring on “Broadway in One Touch of Venus” in 1943; “Lute Song” in 1946; touring in “Annie Get Your Gun”; and then taking on what would become her immortal role, that of Nellie in “South Pacific”. South Pacific was one of Broadway’s biggest hits and the cast album was one of the first of its kind, also a big seller. Then came Mary’s stage and TV performances as Peter Pan. This would become her signature role, a memorable moment as the petite actress flew through the air with Tinkerbell and fought the dangerous Captain Hook. Broadway called to Mary Martin again in 1959 for “The Sound of Music” and once more in 1966 for “I Do, I Do”. Back in 1951, Mary Martin recorded a duet with a young man who was also destined for instant and long-term stardom. The song they sang together was Get Out Those Old Records. The twenty-year-old was her son, Larry Hagman, who later played J.R. Ewing. This is one man that Mary Martin didn’t want to wash out of her hair!

.1955 ~ Harry Belafonte recorded Jamaica Farewell and Come Back Liza for RCA Victor. The two tunes completed the Calypso album which led to Belafonte’s nickname, ‘Calypso King’.

.1967 ~ The first issue of Rolling Stone was published. John Lennon was on the cover. The magazine said it was not simply a music magazine but was also about “…the things and attitudes that music embraces.”

.1969 ~ Simon and Garfunkel recorded what would become their signature tune, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with a future member of Bread, Larry Knechtel on piano. Art wanted Paul to sing the song, but Paul insisted that Art’s voice was better suited for it. It was a decision that Paul would later say he regretted. The song won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

.1974 ~ Bachman Turner Overdrive went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’. Randy Bachman stuttered through the lyrics of the demo recording as a private joke about his brother Gary, who had a speech impediment. The record company liked that take better than the non-stammering version and released it.

.2003 ~ Saxophonist Buddy Arnold, who performed with such jazz greats as Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich and Tommy Dorsey and co-founded a program to help musicians suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, died at the age of age 77. Born Arnold Buddy Grishaver, he began playing the saxophone at age 9. And by the time he was 16, he was touring as a professional sideman and performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem with bandleader George Auld. After serving in the Army during World War II, Arnold joined the band of super-drummer Buddy Rich on a West Coast tour. Arnold earned his first recording credits in 1949 on the Mercury Records release of Gene Williams and the Junior Thornhill Band, and he toured with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco’s orchestra in 1951. But he soon descended into a decades-long struggle with drug addiction. Although he landed a recording contract with ABC Paramount in 1956 following an 18-month hospitalization, he was sentenced to prison in 1958 on an attempted burglary conviction. Pardoned two years later, he played with the Dorsey Band and toured with Stan Kenton. He later settled in Los Angeles and recorded four albums for Capitol Records. Arnold took a job in a drug treatment program after his early release from prison and went on to establish the Musician’s Assistance Program with his wife, Carole Fields, in 1992. The organization, dedicated to helping needy musicians obtain treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, has served more than 1,500 individuals during the past decade.

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 4 ~ in Music History

today

.1783 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. 36” premiered in Linz, Austria

.1841 ~ Carl Tausig, Polish pianist

OCMS 1847 ~ Felix Mendelssohn died
More information about Mendelssohn

.1876 ~ Johannes Brahms’ 1st Symphony in c minor, Op. 68 premiered in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden

.1922 ~ Paul Rovsing Olsen, Danish composer, ethnomusicologist and music critic

.1922 ~ Anthony Vazzana, American composer

.1938 ~ Harry Elston, Musician with Friends of Distinction

.1938 ~ You’re a Sweet Little Headache, from the movie “Paris Honeymoon”, was recorded by Bing Crosby on Decca.

.1940 ~ Delbert McClinton, Songwriter, singer

.1947 ~ Mike Smith, Musician, saxophone

.1954 ~ Florence Henderson, who was all of 20 years old, joined with Ezio Pinza and Walter Slezak in “Fanny”. The show lit up Broadway 888 times.

.1962 ~ Bob Dylan gave his first major concert outside of Greenwich Village. The Carnegie Hall solo appearance was not well attended.

.1963 ~ The Beatles played a Royal Command Performance as part of an evening of entertainment for Queen Elizabeth at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. David Frost was the emcee.

.1984 ~ The Artist Formerly Known as Prince kicked off his fall tour in Detroit. He broke the record for sold-out performances at the 20,000-seat Joe Louis Arena. The previous record-holder was The Artist Still Known as Neil Diamond, in 1983.

.2000 ~ Vernel Fournier, who was a drummer for premier jazz acts such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, passed away after suffering an aneurysm. He was 72. Fournier, a New Orleans native, took lessons from a Bourbon Street drummer and as a teen played in New Orleans. He performed with jazz singers including Nancy Wilson and Billy Eckstine. He moved from New York City, where he lived for more than 30 years, to Madison County in 1998.