. 1717 ~ Guillaume Gommaire Kennis, composer
. 1792 ~ Johann Friedrich Schwencke, composer
. 1837 ~ Alfred Gaul, composer
. 1852 ~ Anton Rubinstein’s opera “Dmitri Donskoi”, premiered in St Petersburg
1870 ~ Franz Lehar, Austrian composer of operettas. He achieved worldwide recognition for “The Merry Widow”.
More information about Lehar
. 1883 ~ David John de Lloyd, composer
. 1884 ~ Albert Israel Elkus, composer
. 1885 ~ The Boston Pops Orchestra forms
. 1885 ~ Luigi Russolo, composer
. 1886 ~ Frank Merrik, composer
. 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 band leader 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.
. 2000 ~ Jonah Jones, a Grammy award-winning jazz trumpet player who began his career on a Mississippi riverboat and became a star playing with Cab Calloway, died at the age of 90.
. 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.