September 29: On This Day in Music

today

 

• 1863 ~ Opera “The Pearl Fishers” (Les Pêcheurs de Perles) by Bizet was first produced at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris

• 1907 ~ (Orvon) Gene Autry, ‘The Singing Cowboy’, actor in over 100 cowboy westerns, singer, CMA Hall of Fame and the only person to have 5 Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. They were for film, radio, TV, stage and records.

• 1930 ~ Richard Bonynge, Australian conductor

• 1930 ~ “Ba, ba, ba, boo. I will, ba ba ba boo … marry you!” ‘Der Bingle’, better known as Bing Crosby, America’s premier crooner for decades, married Dixie Lee.

OCMS 1935 ~ Jerry Lee Lewis, American rock-and-roll singer and pianist
More information about Lewis

• 1942 ~ Jean-Luc Ponty, French jazz pianist

• 1947 ~ Dizzy Gillespie presented his first Carnegie Hall concert in New York, adding a sophisticated jazz touch to the famous concert emporium. Diz would become one of the jazz greats of all time. His trademark: Two cheeks pushed out until it looked like his face would explode. But, as the hepcats said, “Man, that guy can blow!”

 

• 1948 ~ Mark Farner, Guitar: singer with Grand Funk Railroad

• 1953 ~ Danny Thomas, who many now remember as Marlo’s dad and Phil Donahue’s father-in-law, is also remembered for many things that influenced television. At the suggestion of his friend, Desi Arnaz, Thomas negotiated a deal that would allow him to retain ownership rights to his programs, like Make Room for Daddy, which debuted this day on ABC-TV. Later, in 1957, the show would move to CBS under the Desilu/Danny Thomas Productions banner. The rest is, literally, TV history. His success allowed him to give something back to the world, in the form of his philanthropic efforts to build St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. “All I prayed for was a break,” he once told an interviewer, “and I said I would do anything, anything, to pay back the prayer if it could be answered. All I needed was a sign of what to do and I would do it.” And so it was.

• 1962 ~ My Fair Lady closed on this day after a run of 6½ years. At the time, the show held the Broadway record for longest-running musical of all time. 3,750,000 people watched the wonderful show and heard tunes like Wouldn’t it Be Loverly, Show Me, Get Me to the Church on Time, I’m an Ordinary Man, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face and the Vic Damone/Robert Goulet standard, On the Street Where You Live. The team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe turned George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, into a colorful, musical production. They gave a new life to the rough-around-the-edges, cockney, flower girl; the subject of a bet between Professor Higgins (Just You Wait, ’Enry ’Iggins) and a colleague. The Professor bet that he could turn Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady (The Rain in Spain). With a Little Bit of Luck he did it. Eliza, looking and acting very much like a princess, sang I Could Have Danced All Night. After its Broadway success, My Fair Lady was made into a motion picture (1964) and won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.

• 1983 ~ On the Great White Way, A Chorus Line became the longest-running show on Broadway, with performance number 3,389. Grease, the rock ’n’ roll production, had been the previous box-office champ since 1980.

• 2001 ~ Dan Cushman, a prolific fiction writer whose 1953 novel “Stay Away, Joe” was made into a movie starring Elvis Presley, died of heart failure. He was 92. The former New York Times book critic wrote dozens of books and was best known for “Stay Away, Joe.” The book’s portrayal of American Indians stirred controversy in Montana, and Indian novelist James Welch vetoed an excerpt for inclusion in “The Last Best Place,” a Montana anthology. In 1998 Cushman received the H.G. Merriam Award for Distinguished Contributions to Montana Literature, joining such notables as Richard Hugo, A.B. Guthrie Jr. and Norman Maclean. Cushman was first paid for his writing when he received $5 a week for reporting news for a newspaper in Big Sandy, Mont. “It was in Big Sandy where I learned all the trouble you can cause by printing all the news of a small town,” Cushman said. He wrote books set in the South Pacific, the Congo and the Yukon, and drew on his colorful life for much of his fiction. Cushman worked as a cowboy, printer, prospector, geologist’s assistant, advertising writer and radio announcer.

 

September 28: On This Day in Music

today

1598 ~ The first patent to print songbooks was issued on this day to Thomas Morley, a composer of madrigal songs.

OCMS 1902 ~ Donald Jay Grout, American musicologist
A History of Western Music.  An older version of this book is available for loan in the O’Connor Music Studio
More information about Grout

• 1927 ~ Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, Mexican composer

• 1928 ~ Glen Gray’s orchestra recorded Under a Blanket of Blue, with Kenny Sargeant on vocals.

• 1930 ~ Tommy Collins (Leonard Sipes), Singer, songwriter

• 1938 ~ Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson), Singer, songwriter

• 1946 ~ Helen Shapiro, Singer, actress

• 1968 ~ The Beatles rode the nearly seven-minute-long Hey Jude to the top of the charts for a nine week-run starting this day. Talk about your microgroove recording! Copies of this Apple release were shipped by the dozen to radio stations because the platters wore out after just a few plays.

• 1984 ~ Saluting his 34 years in television, Bob “If There’s an Honor I’ll Be There” Hope showed outtakes of his years in television on (where else?) NBC. When he began in television’s infancy, back in 1950, Hope said he got into the new medium “…because the contract was so delicious, I couldn’t turn it down.”

• 1991 ~ Miles Davis III passed away

• 1994 ~ “Cats” 5,000th Broadway performance (joined A Chorus Line & Oh! Calcutta!)

• 2010 ~ Dolores Wilson, American opera singer

• 2015 ~ Frankie Ford, American rock vocalist (Sea Cruise), died at the age of 76

Singer Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence-Foster-Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability. The historian Stephen Pile ranked her “the world’s worst opera singer … No one, before or since, has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.”

Despite (or perhaps because of) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Cole Porter, Gian Carlo Menotti, Lily Pons, Sir Thomas Beecham, and other celebrities were fans. Enrico Caruso is said to have “regarded her with affection and respect”.

In 2016 Meryl Streep made Jenkins famous (again)

In the 1940s, New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) dreams of becoming a great opera singer. Unfortunately, her ambition far exceeds her talent. The voice Florence hears in her head is beautiful, but to everyone else it is quite lousy. Her husband St. Clair goes to extreme lengths to make sure his wife never finds out how awful she truly is. When Florence announces her plans for a concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair soon realizes that he’s facing his greatest challenge yet.

 

September 24: On This Day in Music

today

• 1806 ~ George Alexander Osborne, Irish pianist and composer (La Pluie de perles),

• 1922 ~ Cornell MacNeil, American baritone

• 1927 ~ Alfredo Kraus, Spanish tenor

• 1936 ~ Jim (James Maury) Henson, Creator of vocalist, Kermit the Frog.

There’s a fictional neighborhood where some of the residents are named Kermit, Big Bird, Bert & Ernie, Miss Piggy, and Oscar the Grouch. It’s called Sesame Street. The creator of the lifelike characters, Jim Henson, was born on this day. The puppeteer first named his puppets, Muppets, in 1954 when he was working as a producer of the Washington, D.C. TV show, Sam and Friends. Henson moved his Muppets to network TV in 1969. Children of all ages were able to enjoy the Muppets’ antics on the educational, yet entertaining Sesame Street. The Muppets then got their own show, The Muppet Show; which generated The Muppet Movie and other films, like The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Great Muppet Caper. And Jim Henson got the awards: 18 Emmys, 17 Grammys, 4 Peabody Awards and 5 Ace Awards (National Cable Television Association). The premier muppeteer, and voice of Kermit the Frog, died suddenly in May of 1990. Jim Henson lives on through his Muppets.

• 1938 ~ Pablo Elvira, Puerto Rican baritone

• 1940 ~ Barbara Allbut, Singer with Angels

• 1940 ~ Mamie “Galore” Davis, Blues singer

• 1941 ~ Linda McCartney (Eastman), Photographer for Rolling Stone magazine, singer with Wings with husband Paul McCartney

• 1942 ~ Gerry Marsden, Singer with Gerry & The Pacemakers

• 1942 ~ Glenn Miller ended his CBS radio broadcasts for Chesterfield Cigarettes. It was time for Miller to go to war. The show had aired three times a week for three years.

• 1955 ~ Millions of Americans tuned in to watch Judy Garland make her TV debut on the Ford Star Jubilee. The CBS show received the highest television ratings to that time.

• 1968 ~ The Vogues received a gold record for Turn Around Look at Me on the Reprise label.

• 2002 ~ Tim Rose, a raw-voiced folk-rocker who recorded memorable versions of Hey Joe and Morning Dew, died shortly after surgery for bowel cancer. He was 62. Rose started his music career in his hometown of Washington, D.C., in a duo billed as Michael & Timothy. Rose then worked with Cass Elliot, a future member of the Mamas and the Papas, in a group called The Triumvirate. When James Hendricks – who later married Elliot – joined the group, it was renamed The Big Three. Rose signed a recording contract with Columbia in 1966, and his album, “Tim Rose,” debuted a year later. In 1968, Rose toured in Britain with a band including John Bonham, the drummer for Led Zeppelin. Rose’s musical career stalled in the 1980s. In 1996, he returned to live performing in London with a show that featured reminiscences of his career’s ups and downs.

September 23: On This Day in Music

today

• 1870 ~ John Lomax, American folk-song collector and founder of the American Folklore Society at the Library of Congress

• 1923 ~ Jan Savitt and his orchestra recorded 720 in the Books on Decca Records.

• 1926 ~ John (William) Coltrane, American jazz tenor and soprano sax, composer

OCMS 1930 ~ Ray Charles, American soul singer, pianist and songwriter
More information about Charles

• 1935 ~ Les McCann, Singer

• 1940 ~ Paul Williams, Academy Award-winning songwriter

• 1943 ~ Steve Boone, Bass, singer with The Lovin’ Spoonful

• 1943 ~ Julio Iglesias, Singer, Guinness Book of Records for sales of more than 100 million copies of 60 LPs in five languages

• 1945 ~ Ronald Bushy, Drummer with Iron Butterfly

• 1949 ~ Bruce Springsteen ‘The Boss’, American rock singer and songwriter, inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999

• 1959 ~ Lita Ford, Guitarist with The Runaways

• 1967 ~ The Box Tops from Memphis hit #1 with The Letter. Though the song was #1 for four weeks and remained on the charts for 13 weeks. The Box Tops reorganized right after that first hit and never made it to #1 again.

• 1969 ~ The London Daily Mirror became a rumormonger. It printed a story saying that Beatle Paul McCartney was dead. It was the first, but not the last, time that rumor would make the rounds.

• 1971 ~ The Honey Cone scored their second gold record with Stick-Up on the Hot Wax label. It was a follow~up to their #1 smash, Want Ads on June 12, 1971.

• 1972 ~ Mac Davis earned one of the 1970s’ most head-scratching #1 hits with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me”.

• 1987 ~ Bob Fosse passed away. He was an American dancer, musical theatre choreographer, director, screenwriter, film director and actor.

• 2003 ~ Rex Robbins, a Broadway actor who traveled nationally with “Gypsy,” “Hello Dolly!” and “Into the Woods,” died of a subdural aneurysm while visiting relatives. He was 68. Robbins, who lived in Manhattan, had roles in 18 Broadway shows between 1963 and 2000, including Herbie in the 1974 revival of “Gypsy” with Angela Lansbury and Buckingham in “Richard II” with Al Pacino in 1979. He also appeared in films including the original “Shaft,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “1776,” and was in more than 300 television commercials.

• 2006 ~ Sir Malcolm Arnold, English composer and professional trumpeter died. His output of works features music in many genres, including a cycle of nine symphonies, numerous concertos, concert works, chamber music, choral music and music for brass band and wind band. He wrote extensively for the theatre, with five ballets specially commissioned by the Royal Ballet, as well as two operas and a musical. He also produced scores for more than a hundred films, among these The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won an Oscar.

Happy Birthday, Ray Charles!

Ray Charles (Robinson) was a singer, pianist, composer who was born in Albany, Ga in 1930. He lost his sight (from glaucoma) when he was six and attended a school for the blind where he learned to read and write music in braille and play piano and organ.

Orphaned at age 15, he left school and began playing music to earn a living, moving to Seattle, Wash., in 1947. Dropping his last name, he performed at clubs in the smooth lounge-swing style of Nat “King” Cole.

After some hits on Swing Time Records, he switched to Atlantic Records in 1952 and began to develop a rougher blues and gospel style. For New Orleans bluesman, Guitar Slim, he arranged and played piano on “The Things I Used To Do” (1953); the record sold a million copies. He went on to record his own “I’ve Got a Woman” in 1955 with an arrangement of horns, gospel-style piano, and impassioned vocals that led to the gospel-pop and soul music of the 1960s and to his hit “What’d I Say” (1959).

Possessing a multifaceted talent, he recorded with jazz vibist Milt Jackson, made a country and western album that sold 3 million copies (1962), and continued to release a variety of pop hits, Broadway standards, and blues, gospel, and jazz albums. A major influence on popular black music during his early years, he gradually reached out to influence both white musicians and audiences. And although he had been convicted of using drugs in the 1950s, he lived to see the day when he was so acceptable to mainstream Americans that he became virtually the chief image for promoting Pepsi-Cola and he was asked to perform at many national patriotic and political events.

 

September 22: On This Day in Music

 

OCMS MrsO’s birthday OCMS

 

 

 

• 1918 ~ Henryk Szeryng, Polish-born Mexican violinist

• 1926 ~ William O. Smith, American composer and jazz clarinetist

• 1930 ~ Joni James (Joan Carmello Babbo), Singer

• 1937 ~ Red Norvo and his orchestra recorded the Russian Lullaby on the Brunswick label. Norvo did more famous work at a later date, recording with a singer named Dinah Shore.

• 1941 ~ Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Bulgarian soprano

• 1943 ~ Singer Kate Smith finished her War Bond radio appeal. For 13 continuous hours Smith had stayed on the air, collecting a whopping $39 million dollars in bond pledges.

• 1951 ~ David Coverdale, Singer with Deep Purple

• 1954 ~ Shari Belafonte, Actress, TV co-host, singer Harry Belafonte’s daughter

• 1956 ~ Debby Boone, Grammy Award-winning singer: Best New Artist in 1977, sang with The Boone Family; daughter of singers Pat and Shirley Boone

• 1962 ~ It was a hootenanny of a good time in, of all places, New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. The cast included newcomer Bob Dylan making his first appearance at Carnegie Hall.

• 1964 ~ In the tradition of the Broadway stage, the lights lowered, the curtain rose and Zero Mostel stepped into the spotlight as the fiddler played. “Tra-a–a- dition”, he sang, as he began the first of 3,242 performances of Fiddler on the Roof. The musical opened on Broadway this day. The story of Tevye (brilliantly played by Mostel), a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, takes place in a small Russian village in the late 1890s. He sings and dances his way through the tragedies and comedies of a father fighting for tradition in a changing world. “To life”, he sang, as the music of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick made the stories by Sholem Aleichem come alive. And he brought tears to audiences eyes with the poignant, Sunrise, Sunset, and laughter, too, with the memorable, If I were a Rich Man — which surely made Zero Mostel a wealthy man.

• 1980 ~ John Lennon signed with Geffen Records. The Lennon LP, Double Fantasy, was released on Geffen. (Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980.)

• 1985 ~ The poor of America’s Heartland … the financially troubled farmers of Middle America … got help from their friends in the music biz. Singing stars Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Cougar Mellencamp held a benefit concert to raise funds. The stars came out and so did the money. The Farm Aid concert raised ten million dollars.

• 1987 ~ Norman Luboff passed away

• 1989 ~ Irving Berlin passed away

• 2001 ~ Isaac Stern, the master violinist who saved Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball, died at the age of 81. Stern, one of the last great violinists of his generation, helped advance the careers of a new generation, including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma. He played well over 175 performances at Carnegie Hall, America’s musical temple renown for its acoustics. The hall opened in 1891. As the city was planning Lincoln Center in the 1950s, a builder proposed an office building to replace Carnegie Hall. Using his prestige and his contacts among fellow artists and benefactors, Stern rallied the opposition, eventually securing legislation that enabled the city to acquire the building in 1960 for $5 million. On Jan. 8, 1943, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in a recital produced by the impresario Sol Hurok. Performing with pianist Alexander Zakin, who became his longtime accompanist, Stern played Mozart, Bach, Szymanowski, Johannes Brahms and Wieniawski. The performance attracted the attention of composer-critic Virgil Thomson. Writing in the New York Herald Tribune, Thomson proclaimed him “one of the world’s master fiddle players.” At his peak, Stern would perform more than 200 concerts a year. Stern boycotted Germany for years because of the Holocaust, but taught a nine-day seminar there in 1999.

September 21: On This Day in Music

today

 

• 1737 ~ Francis Hopkinson, American statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, first native-born American composer and writer

OCMS 1874 ~ Gustav (Theodore) Holst, British composer and conductor
Read quotes by and about Holst
More information about Holst

• 1912 ~ György Sándor, Hungarian pianist

• 1934 ~ Leonard Cohen, Canadian folk singer, songwriter and poet

• 1941 ~ Dickey Lee (Lipscomb), Singer, songwriter

• 1947 ~ Donald Felder, Guitarist, singer with The Eagles

• 1953 ~ Roger Quilter, British composer, died at the age of 75

• 1956 ~ Robert Mills Delaney, American composer, died at the age of 53

• 1987 ~ Jaco Pastorius, American jazz musician and bass guitarist (Weather Report), died at the age of 35

• 2007 ~ Alice Ghostley, American singer and actress (Bewitched, Designing Women), died at the age of 84

• 2016 ~ John D. Loudermilk, American country singer and songwriter (Tobacco Road), died at the age of 82

September 20: On This Day in Music

today

 

• 1880 ~ Ildebrando Pizzetti, Italian composer and educator

OCMS 1885 ~ “Jelly Roll” Morton, American jazz pianist and composer
Read quotes by and about Morton
More information about Morton

• 1911 ~ Frank DeVol, Bandleader, songwriter

• 1924 ~ Gogi Grant (Audrey Brown), Singer, dubbed vocals for Ann Blythe in The Helen Morgan Story

• 1927 ~ Johnny Dankworth, Alto sax, bandleader, composer

• 1945 ~ Laurie Spiegel, American composer

• 1946 ~ WNBT~TV, New York became the first station to promote a motion picture. It showed scenes from The (Al) Jolson Story.

• 1948 ~ One of the most popular singing groups of the 1950s got their professional start on this day. The Four Freshmen did their first gig in Fort Wayne, Indiana and went on to major success with Capitol Records. Hits included It’s a Blue World, Charmaine and Love is Just Around the Corner.

• 1957 ~ Leontyne Price made her operatic stage debut singing Madame Lidoine in the US premiere of “Dialogues of the Carmelites” in San Francisco

• 1969 ~ Sugar, Sugar, by the Archies, hit number one in Billboard. The Archies sat at the top of the hit heap for four weeks.

• 1973 ~ The in place for radio and record types to see, and be seen, opened in Los Angeles, to a sold-out crowd. On the opening bill at the Roxy Theatre: Elton John, Carole King and Jackson Browne.

• 1973 ~ Singer Jim Croce, his lead guitarist, Maury Muehleisen, and four others died when their plane crashed into a tree while taking off for a concert in Sherman, Texas.

• 1978 ~”Eubie!” opened at Ambassador Theater NYC for 439 performances

• 1989 ~ Musical “Miss Saigon,” premiered in London

• 1994 ~ Jule Styne, Broadway composer (Gypsy, Funny Girl), died at the age of 88

September 19: On This Day in Music

today

• 1829 ~ Gustav Schirmer, German music publisher.  He founded G. Schirmer Inc., a classical music publishing company based in New York City, founded in 1861.

• 1818 ~ Blanche Thebom, American mezzo-soprano

• 1921 ~ Billy Ward, Singer, musician: piano with Billy Ward and the Dominoes

• 1931 ~ Brook (Benjamin Franklin) Benton (Peay), Singer

• 1934 ~ Brian Epstein, Talent manager for The Beatles

• 1935 ~ Nick Massi (Macioci), Bass, singer with The Four Seasons

• 1936 ~ The classic, Indian Love Call, was recorded by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, on Victor Records.

• 1940 ~ Bill Medley, Singer with The Righteous Brothers

• 1941 ~ “Mama” Cass Elliott (Ellen Naomi Cohen), American folk-pop singer with The Mamas & The Papas

• 1945 ~ Freda Payne, Singer with Duke Ellington

• 1946 ~ John Coghlan, Drummer with Status Quo

• 1947 ~ Lol Creme, Guitarist, singer with 10cc

• 1952 ~ Nile Rogers, Musician with Honeydrippers

• 1953 ~ Gisele MacKenzie took over as host on NBC-TV’s Your Hit Parade. Her biggest hit during that stint, 1953 to 1957, was Hard to Get in June of 1955. Ironically, the song was first sung by Gisele in an episode of the NBC-TV show, Justice. It became a hit and she performed it again on Your Hit Parade.

• 1955 ~ Eva Marie Saint, Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman starred in the Producer’s Showcase presentation of Our Town on NBC~TV.

• 1974 ~ Eric Clapton received a gold record for I Shot the Sheriff. The song reached #1 on the pop charts on September 14th.

• 1968 ~ Red (Clyde Julian) Foley passed away

• 1981 ~ For their first concert in years, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited for a free concert to benefit New York City parks. The concert attracted a crowd of 500,000 people in Central Park and was broadcast to a TV audience in the millions.

• 2009 ~ Arthur Ferrante, American pianist and composer (Ferrante & Teicher – Exodus), died at the age of 88