April 14 in Music History

today

. 1759 ~ George Frideric Handel, organist, violinist and composer, died. Among his best known oratorios are “Saul,” “Israel in Egypt” and the “Messiah”.

. 1900 ~ Salvatore Baccaloni, Opera singer

. 1922 ~ Soprano Jeanette Vreeland sang the first radio concert from an airplane as she flew over New York City.

. 1922 ~ Ali Akbar Khan, Indian composer and maestro sarod player

. 1924 ~ Shorty Rogers (Milton Rajonsky), Musician: trumpet, bandleader, songwriter, composer, arranger

. 1933 ~ Buddy Knox, Singer

. 1933 ~ Morton Subotnick, American composer of experimental music

. 1935 ~ Loretta Lynn, American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist, first woman to earn the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award; named ACM Artist of the Decade in 1979

. 1941 ~ Hildegarde recorded the standard Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup on Decca Records. Hildegarde was the elegant singer with the long white gloves who was accompanied by the Harry Sosnik Orchestra. It took another 14 years, but Nat ‘King’ Cole turned the song into an even bigger hit, landing at number 7 on the pop music charts.

. 1951 ~ Julian Lloyd Webber, British cellist

. 1958 ~ Pianist Van Cliburn was presented on national TV for the first time on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jack Paar.

. 1958 ~ Laurie London reached the top spot on the music charts with He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, knocking Perry Como’s Catch a Falling Star down a peg or two.

. 1960 ~ The musical Bye Bye Birdie opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City. Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke starred in the Broadway show which ran for 607 performances.

. 1967 ~ Herman’s Hermits, featuring lead singer Peter Noone, went gold with the single, There’s a Kind of Hush. It was a two-sided hit, with the flip-side, No Milk Today, also receiving considerable play. Hush, however, was a top five song, while the ‘B’ side just made it into the top 40 at number 35.

. 1995 ~ Burl Ives, Oscar-winning actor and singer whose gentle voice helped popularize American folk music, died. He played powerful dramatic roles in movies including “The Big Country,” for which he won an Academy Award for best-supporting actor, and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

April 13 in Music History

today

. 1377 ~ Guillaume de Machaut died. French poet and musician. Composer of monophonic and polyphonic music. Leading representative of the Ars nova tradition
More information about Machaut

. 1742 ~ Handel’s Messiah premier in Dublin

. 1810 ~Félicien-César David, French composer

. 1816 ~ Sir William Sterndale Bennett, British pianist, conductor and composer

. 1906 ~ Bud (Lawrence) Freeman, Jazz musician, tenor sax

. 1917 ~ Howard Keel, American singer and actor, born as Harold Clifford Leek. He appeared in singing and acting roles in films from 1948-68 and also appeared on TV in “Dallas.”

. 1928 ~ Teddy Charles, Vibraphonist, songwriter

. 1940 ~ Lester Chambers, Singer, musician, played harmonica

. 1941 ~ Margaret Price, British soprano

. 1944 ~ Jack Casady, Musician, KBC Band, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane

. 1946 ~ Al Green, Singer, songwriter

. 1951 ~ Peabo Bryson, Singer

. 1958 ~ Van Cliburn of Kilgore, TX earned first prize in the Soviet Union’s Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow.

. 1961 ~ Carnival opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. Anna Maria Alberghetti starred in the musical which ran for 719 performances.

. 1963 ~ Jack Cassidy and Barbara Cook starred in She Loves Me, which opened at the O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The Broadway musical ran for 189 performances.

. 1980 ~ Broadway’s longest-running musical closed after eight years. Grease ran for 3,388 performances and earned $8 million. Though the longest running musical on the Great White Way at the time, Grease was also the third longest-running Broadway show. Other shows in the top five included: The Defiant Ones and Life with Father, Oh! Calcutta, A Chorus Line and Fiddler on the Roof.

. 1985 ~ The Grand Ole Opry, a radio staple from Nashville for 60 years, came to TV. The Nashville Network presented the country music jamboree to some 22-million homes across the U.S.

April 8 in Music History

today

Buddha’s Birthday

. 1692 ~ Giuseppe Tartini, Venetian Baroque composer and violinist (Trillo del Diavolo)

. 1848 ~ Gaetano Donizetti (born in 1797), died in Bergamo. He was an Italian composer.

. 1889 ~ Sir Adrian Boult, British conductor. In 1918 Gustav Holst asked him to conduct the first performance of “The Planets.”

. 1920 ~ Charles Tomlinson Griffes, US composer (White Peacock), died at the age of 35

. 1922 ~ Carmen McRae, US jazz singer/pianist

. 1923 ~ Franco Corelli, Italian tenor, debut: Spoleto (Italy) as Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen in 1951; in films: Great Moments in Opera, Franco Corelli in Tosca, The Great Tenors – Voice of Firestone Classic Performances

. 1929 ~ Jacques Brel, Belgian-born French singer and songwriter

. 1941 ~ Peggy Lennon, Singer with The Lennon Sisters

. 1950 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, legendary Russian ballet dancer, died. He is generally regarded as the 20th century’s greatest male dancer.

. 1963 ~ Julian Lennon, Singer, son of John and Cynthia Lennon

. 1968 ~ The Beatles went gold again, receiving a gold record for the single, Lady Madonna.

. 1971 ~ Chicago became the first rock group to play Carnegie Hall in New York City.

. 1986 ~ It took 18 years of singing the U.S. national anthem, but on this day, at long last, baritone Robert Merrill of the Metropolitan Opera became the first person to both sing the anthem and throw out the first ball at Yankee Stadium for the Yanks home opener.

. 2001 ~ Van Stephenson, a hit Nashville songwriter who also earned onstage success as a member of the trio BlackHawk, died after suffering from cancer at the age of 47. Stephenson released two albums as a solo pop artist in the 1980s, and scored the hit Modern Day Delilah in 1984. Moving back to Nashville from Los Angeles, Stephenson partnered with songwriter Dave Robbins to write a string of hits for Restless Heart, Dan Seals, and others. Stephenson and Robbins teamed up with former Outlaws singer Henry Paul at the suggestion of record executive Tim DuBois. The trio has had a string of hits since 1993, including Goodbye Says it All and Down in Flames.

April 6 in Music History

today

. 1660 ~ Johann Kuhnau, German composer and writer

. 1895 ~ Waltzing Matilda, one of Australia’s best-known tunes written by bush poet Banjo Paterson, was first publicly performed at a hotel in the remote northern town of Winton.

. 1913 ~ ‘Pappy’ Wade Ray, Country entertainer/musician with the Grand Ole Opry

. 1917 ~ George M. Cohan wrote Over There, which became the chief marching song for World War I

. 1924 ~ Mimi (Miriam) Benzell, Opera singer, mezzo-soprano

. 1924 ~ Dorothy Donegan, Jazz pianist

. 1925 ~ Eddie Cantor recorded the standard, If You Knew Susie, for Columbia Records. There was none classier.

. 1927 ~ Gerry Mulligan, Jazz musician, composer

. 1929 ~ Edison Denisov, Soviet composer

OCMS 1929 ~ André Previn, German-born American pianist, composer and conductor, Known as a classical orchestral conductor, notably of Shostakovich, he also conducted and scored film music and arrangements, Oscar-winning film scores: Gigi, Porgy and Bess, Irma La Douce, My Fair Lady, Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Domingo, Berry, 2000
More information about Previn

. 1931 ~ Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip character developed by Harold Gray, came to life on the NBC Blue network. About 5 decades later, the comic strip inspired a Broadway play and a movie, both titled, Annie.

. 1937 ~ Merle Haggard, American ccountry musicsinger, songwriter, fiddler and guitarist, CMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year (1970)

. 1944 ~ Michelle Phillips (Holly Michelle Gilliam), Singer with The Mamas and the Papas

. 1956 ~ Capitol Tower, the home of Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA, was dedicated. The building was the first circular office tower designed in America. It is 13 stories tall and 92 feet in diameter. At night, a light at the tip of the tower blinks the letters “H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D” in Morse Code.

. 1971 ~ Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer, died in New York. One of the 20th Century’s leading musical figures and most famous for his ballets “The Rite of Spring” and “Petrushka.”

. 1971 ~ Rolling Stone Records was formed to promote the hits of The Rolling Stones. The famous Stones trademark, the lips logo, became widely used. Brown Sugar was the first hit by the Rolling Stones on the new label, followed by Wild Horses, Tumbling Diceand Start Me Up.

. 1973 ~ The Stylistics received a gold record for their ballad hit, Break Up to Make Up. The Philadelphia soul group placed 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s. More of their gold record winners include: You Are Everything, Betcha By Golly Wow, I’m Stone in Love With You and You Make Me Feel Brand New.

. 1974 ~ The first concert film featuring a soundtrack in quadraphonic sound opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

. 1974 ~ ABBA for Sweden won the 19th Eurovision Song Contest singing “Waterloo”

. 1985 ~ The country group, Alabama, went five-for-five as the album 40 Hour Week grabbed the top spot on the Billboard country chart. The group had a number one album for each of the previous five years. The popularity of the quartet (three are cousins from Fort Payne, AL) continues today.

. 1994 ~ Dick Cary passed away.  He was an American jazz pianist, trumpet and alto horn player, and prolific arranger and composer.

. 1998 ~ Tammy Wynette, known as “The First Lady of Country Music” and world- renowned for her hit Stand by Your Man, died aged 55.

. 2001 ~ Daniel J. “Danny” Gaither, the original tenor voice of the former Bill Gaither Trio, died after a five-year battle with lymphoma. He was 62. He joined the Bill Gaither trio when he turned 18. His brother, Bill, led the group, and his younger sister, Mary Ann, was the group’s original female singer. Danny Gaither traveled with the family trio for about 10 years until the early 1980s, when he started doing solo work. Problems with his vocal chords forced him to give up his solo career about 10 years later. Danny Gaither won several Grammy and Dove awards for his work. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in April 1999.

. 2016 ~ Merle Ronald Haggard died.  He was an American country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist

April 2 in Music History

today

. 1826 ~ Charles-Valentin Alkan made his public performance debut at the piano, in Paris

. 1851 ~ Adolph Brodsky, Russian Empire violinist

. 1905 ~ Kurt Herbert Adler, Austrian-born American conductor and opera director

. 1912 ~ Herbert Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers

. 1939 ~ Marvin Gaye, American soul singer and songwriter, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987

. 1941 ~ Leon Russell, American rock singer-songwriter and instrumentalist

. 1942 ~ Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded American Patrol for Victor Records. The jitterbug tune became one of Miller’s most requested hits.

. 1947 ~ Emmylou Harris, Grammy Award-winning singer for Elite Hotel in 1976 and Blue Kentucky Girl in 1978.

. 1951 ~ Simon Barere, pianist, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage during a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall, with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. Barere subsequently collapsed and died backstage shortly thereafter.

. 1963 ~ Best Foot Forward opened in New York City. Liza Minnelli was the lead actress in this off-Broadway revival of the show which enjoyed a run of 224 performances.

. 1964 ~ The Beach Boys recorded their next single ‘I Get Around’, which became their first US No.1 in the summer of this year. The song begins with a multi-part a cappella introduction that quickly shifts into rock-style verses sung by Mike Love and a pop chorus sung in falsetto by Brian Wilson

. 1977 ~ Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Duke Ellington, Sir Duke, was released.

. 1985 ~ A day after its release, the album, We are the World, was certified gold with sales in excess of 500,000 copies.

. 1987 ~ One of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, Buddy Rich died aged 69 due to complications caused by a brain tumour. Rich worked with many acts including, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey’s band, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson. Rush’s Neil Peart organised a pair of 90s tribute albums (titled Burning for Buddy), which also featured the work of Kenny Aronoff, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Max Roach, Steve Smith and Matt Sorum.

March 24 in Music History

today

. 1784 ~ Mozart‘s Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450 in B flat, K. 450 was first performed.  Mozart was the soloist.

It is a concertante work for piano, or pianoforte, and orchestra.  Mozart composed the concerto for performance at a series of concerts at the Vienna venues of the Trattnerhof and the Burgtheater. In a letter to his father, Mozart compared this concerto with the 16th concerto in D:

“I consider them both to be concertos which make one sweat, but the B flat one beats the one in D for difficulty.” Indeed, many pianists consider this to be the most difficult of all of Mozart’s piano concertos. The concerto is primarily difficult from its many quick scale patterns which must be played perfectly and also from its many fast chord patterns moving up and down.

Beginning with this concerto, Mozart began to use the term “grand” to describe his concerti such as K.450 which feature a prominent and required wind section for the ensemble. The work is orchestrated for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings.

The concerto is in three movements:
1. Allegro
2. Andante in E-flat major
3. Allegro

. 1808 ~ María Felicità Malibran, Spanish contralto

. 1895 ~ Arthur Murray, dancer

. 1900 ~ June (Algeria Junius) Clark, Musician, trumpeter

. 1916 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish composer, died in the English Channel. Best known for his piano suite “Goyescas” after paintings by Goya.

. 1920 ~ Gene Nelson (Eugene Leander Berg), Actor, dancer in Lullaby of Broadway, Oklahoma, Tea for Two, The West Point Story

. 1922 ~ Dave Appell, Arranger for big bands: Benny Carter, Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines; TV music director, record producer, singer, songwriter, musician with Dave Appell and the Applejacks

. 1928 ~ Byron Janis (Yanks), American pianist, NBC Symphony Orchestra; well-known piano performance on Hugo Winterhalter’s Rhapsody in Blue recording, composed by George Gershwin.

. 1935 ~ After a year as a local show from New York City, “Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour” was heard on the entire NBC radio network. The show stayed on the air for 17 years. Later, Ted Mack took over for Bowes and made the move from radio to television.

. 1937 ~ Benjamin Luxon, British baritone

. 1941 ~ Glenn Miller began work on his first motion picture for 20th Century Fox. The film was Sun Valley Serenade.

. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley reported to local draft board 86 in Memphis, TN. He became US 53310761. Oddly, since Elvis was now ‘government property’ serving his time in the Army, Uncle Sam stood to lose an estimated $500,000 in lost taxes each year that Private Presley was in the Army.

. 1980 ~ Capitol Records released some rare Beatles tracks. Included in the album were stereo versions of Penny Lane and She Loves You, sung by the group in German, under the title, Sie Liebt Dich. Also included was a German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand or, in the Teutonic tongue, Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.

. 2000 ~ French Quarter pianist and chanteuse Lily Simha Hood, whose fans included Tennessee Williams, died of kidney failure. She was cagey about revealing her age, and her husband asked that the secret remain with her death. Her musical career began on a whim. After dinner one night in 1976, the Hoods and a friend stopped at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a Bourbon Street bar across from their house. Mrs. Hood played a few tunes on the piano for her friend and was hired on the spot, even though she wasn’t looking for a job. Soon, “Miss Lily” had a crowd of regulars including Tennessee Williams, who would bring in a songbook for her to sing from. Mrs. Hood never formally studied the piano and never learned to read music. She was self-taught and learned by listening. She performed at Lafitte’s for 16 years, but health problems ended her career about 1993.

March 18 in Music History

today

. 1842 ~ Stephane Mallarme, French Symbolist poet, born. His “L’Apres-midi d’un Faune” inspired composer Claude Debussy to write an orchestral prelude of the same name.

. 1844 ~ Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer
More information about Rimsky-Korsakov

. 1882 ~ Gian Francesco Malipiero, Italian composer and musicologist

. 1902 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company. The recording session took place in Milan, Italy and Caruso walked away with $500 for his effort.

. 1905 ~ John Kirkpatrick, American pianist (Concord Sonata)

. 1910 ~ Hold on to your hats! The opera, Pipe of Desire, was first performed this day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Frederick Sheperd Converse wrote the work that turned out to be the first opera by an American composer to be performed at the Met.

. 1927 ~ John Kander, composer (Cabaret, Chicago, Funny Lady, Kramer vs Kramer)

. 1940 ~ Glen Gray and his orchestra recorded No Name Jive on Decca Records.

. 1941 ~ Wilson Pickett, American soul singer and songwriter; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

. 1959 ~ Irene Cara, Singer and actress

. 1963 ~ Vanessa Williams, Singer and actress

. 1967 ~ The day The Beatles, Penny Lane went gold

. 1970 ~ Brook Benton received a gold record for the hit single, Rainy Night in Georgia. It was Benton’s first hit since 1963’s Hotel Happiness.

. 1970 ~ Queen Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens), American rapper, songwriter, singer, actress, and producer

. 1978 ~ The Bee Gees started an eight-week stay at the top of the pop music charts with Night Fever from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

. 2001 ~ John Phillips died at the age of 65. He was the singer-songwriter who founded the 1960s pop act the Mamas the Papas.

. 2017 ~ Trisha Brown, American choreographer and dancer, died at the age of 80