• 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.”
• 1957 ~ West Side Story opened in New York. The musical ran for 734 performances. The loose adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet produced several hit songs, including Maria and Tonight. Leonard Bernstein was the composer.
• 1962 ~ Tracey Thorn, Singer
• 1962 ~ “Come and listen to the story ’bout a man named Jed…” The Beverly Hillbillies aired on CBS-TV. U.S. audiences were enchanted with Jed, Ellie Mae, Granny, Jethro, Miss Jane and that banker feller. Enchanted, as in a trance, in fact, for 216 shows. Bluegrass stars Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs had the honor of composing and recording the theme song and hit record, The Ballad of Jed Clampett.
• 1969 ~ The Beatles walked the road toward a hit LP for the last time, as Abbey Road was released in London. The 13th and last album for the ‘fab four’ zoomed quickly to the #1 spot on the charts and stayed there for 11 weeks. 1984 ~ History was made at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Neil Shicoff, lead tenor in The Tales of Hoffmann, was unable to perform due to illness. His understudy, a chap named William Lewis, was a bit under the weather as well, and his voice began to falter during the performance. So, Kenneth Riegel was called in to sing the part from the orchestra pit while Mr. Lewis lip-synced the part on stage.
• 2003 ~ Yi Sung-chun, one of the most outstanding musicians of contemporary Korean classics, died at the age of 67. Born in what is now North Korea, Yi moved south during the 1950-53 Korean War and became a pioneer of Korean classics, called Gukak, or national music. Yi first entered a medical college but switched to study Korean classics two years later at the Seoul National University. He earned his doctorate and served his alma mater as a professor for 30 years. Students called him “a real model of Seonbi,” or the disciplined and well-mannered intellectual class of the old royal Korean Joseon Dynasty. Yi produced about 300 pieces of music, and helped reshape the “gayageum,” a traditional Korean instrument with nine strings, into the one with 21 strings to broaden its tones. His name was put on record in 2001 along with 30 other Korean musicians in the New Grove Dictionary of Music, an encyclopedia named after British musician Sir George Grove that lists 3,000 important music figures worldwide.
George Gershwin lived between September 26, 1898 and July 11, 1937. He is considered to be a twentieth century composer.
If you hate homework but like roller skating, you have something in common with American composer George Gershwin. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Russian immigrant parents, George loved to play street hockey, ‘cat’, and punch ball. He didn’t even have an interest in music until his family got him a piano when he was twelve. Nine years later he had his first hit, “Swanee”, with lyrics written by Irving Caesar. No one else in the Gershwin family was musical, but George was fascinated by music. When he heard a schoolmate play the violin, George struck up a friendship with the boy who introduced him to the world of concert music.
Gershwin’s American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue (featured in Disney’s newly released Fantasia 2000) proved that jazz was powerful enough to combine will with symphonic music. Gershwin was only 26 years old at the time when he composed Rhapsody in Blue. No matter how you hear it, “Rhapsody in Blue” will remain the signature of one of the most influential of composers, songwriters and pianists in American music history.
His play Porgy and Bess has been produced as both a film and an opera.
• 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
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 BeatlePaul 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.
• 1880 ~ Ildebrando Pizzetti, Italian composer and educator
1885 ~ “Jelly Roll” Morton, American jazz pianist and composer
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• 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
• 1781 ~ Vincent Novello, English music publisher, organist and composer
• 1882 ~ John Powell, American pianist and composer
• 1899 ~ Billy Rose (Rosenberg), producer, author, songwriter
• 1923 ~ William Kraft, American percussionist, composer and conductor
• 1928 ~ Evgeny Svetlanov, Russian conductor and composer
• 1937 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded “Sugar Foot Stomp” on Victor Records. The tune was a Fletcher Henderson arrangement.
• 1944 ~ Roger Waters, Musician: bass, songwriter with Pink Floyd
• 1948 ~ Claydes (Charles) Smith, Guitarist with Kool & The Gang
• 1954 ~ Banner Thomas, Bass with Molly Hatchet
• 1958 ~ Georgia Gibbs sang “The Hula-Hoop Song” on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. It was the first national exposure for the Hula-Hoop craze. Many people recorded the song to capitalize on the fad, including Teresa Brewer and Betty Johnson. Like sometimes happens with fads, these songs didn’t become very popular. The Hula-Hoop craze lasted a bit longer…
• 1961 ~ Paul Waaktaar, Guitarist, singer with a-ha
• 1975 ~ Glen Campbell hit #1 on the “Billboard” pop music chart with “Rhinestone Cowboy”. It had reached the top position on the country chart on August 23rd.
• 1976 ~ Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were reunited by Frank Sinatra – after 20 years of going their separate ways. The former comedy team warmly met each other again during a surprise visit by Martin to Lewis’s annual “Labor Day Telethon” for Muscular Dystrophy.
• 1984 ~ Country-music star Ernest Tubb died this day, at the age of 70. Tubb was from Crisp, Texas and was known as the ‘Texas Troubadour’. He patterned his unique style after Jimmie Rodgers. Tubb recorded “I’m Walking the Floor Over You” and sold more than three million copies of the tune. “Blue Christmas”, “I Love You Because”, “Missing In Action” and “Thanks a Lot” were also classics made famous by Tubb. Other recording artists as diverse as The Andrews Sisters, Loretta Lynn and Red Foley recorded with Tubb. His 1979 album, “The Legend and the Legacy”, was a top-ten hit. Tubb was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1943 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1965.
• 1984 ~ Ginger Rogers was in Buffalo, NY for a homecoming at Shea’s Theatre. The star of so many great motion pictures, Rogers had played the Shea 55 years earlier.
• 1986 ~ Bananarama hit the top spot on the pop music charts with “Venus”. The tune had also been a number one hit for the Dutch group, The Shocking Blue (2/07/70).
• 1997 ~ The Westminster Abbey funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales, was an extraordinary event, marked by numerous poignant moments: The people sobbing and throwing flowers at the funeral cortege winding through the streets of London. Her sons, walking behind her casket with their heads bowed. And Diana’s brother, who during his funeral oration took aim at the media, who he said made the princess “the most hunted person of the modern age.” Elton John sang a rewritten version of “Candle in the Wind” to “England’s rose”. The song was originally a tribute to film legend Marilyn Monroe, whose own tragic life, like Diana’s, ended at the age of just 36.
• 2002 ~ Rafael Druian, a violinist and conductor who served as concertmaster of four American orchestras, died at the age of 80. Druian’s lengthy career spanned many roles – performer, conductor and teacher. He was the concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Born in Vologda, Russia, Druian grew up in Havana, Cuba and began his musical training at an early age. He came to Philadelphia when he was 10 to audition for Leopold Stokowski, who recommended him for a scholarship at the Curtis School of Music. He graduated from Curtis in 1942 and served in the United States Army for four years and played in the army band. During his career, Druian appeared on some groundbreaking recordings of lesser-known violin works. In the 1950s he made recordings of Block, Janácek and Enesco. After working with orchestras around the country, his final concertmaster position was at the Philharmonic from 1971 to 1974. When he finished there he taught at Boston University and the Curtis Institute of Music.
• 2007 ~ Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor, died at the age of 71
1653 ~ Johann Pachelbel, German composer and organist
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• 1887 ~ Emile Berliner filed for a patent for his invention of the lateral-cut, flat-disk gramophone. We know it better as the record player. Emile got the patent, but Thomas Edison got the notoriety for making it work and making music with his invention.
1854 ~ Engelbert Humperdinck, German opera composer
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• 1933 ~ Conway Twitty (Harold Lloyd Jenkins), Songwriter, CMA Male Vocalist of the
Year in 1975, Grammy Award-winner with Loretta Lynn, owns booking agency, music publishing company, Twitty Burgers, Twitty City theme park
1935 ~ Seiji Ozawa, Japanese conductor
More information about Ozawa
• 1940 ~ Dave White (Tricker), Singer, songwriter with Danny & The Juniors
• 1944 ~ Leonard Slatkin, Grammy Award-winning orchestra director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra
• 1946 ~ Barry Gibb, Musician, rhythm guitar, songwriter, singer with The Bee Gees
• 1946 ~ Greg Errico, Drummer with Sly and The Family Stone
• 1955 ~ Bruce Foxton, Guitar with 100 Men and The Jam
• 1957 ~ Gloria Estefan (Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo), ‘Queen of Latin Pop’, Grammy Award-winning singer
• 1960 ~ When Oscar Hammerstein II died, the musical theater lost an outstanding composer. To honor the man and his music, every New York theater turned off its lights on this night in 1960.
• 1972 ~ The O’Jays received a gold record for Back Stabbers. It was the first hit for the group from Canton, OH. The O’Jays would place nine more hits on the pop and R&B charts. Five of them were gold record winners: Love Train, I Love Music, Use ta Be My Girl, For the Love of Money and Put Your Hands Together.
• 1977 ~ Singer Debbie Harry (of Blondie) signed a recording deal with Chrysalis Records. Chrysalis bought the group’s private stock label for $500,000. With the high visibility of the former Playboy Bunny, it was difficult to think of Blondie as a band, and not just Debbie Harry.
• 1982 ~ Clifford M Curzon, England, pianist, died at the age of 75
• 2001 ~ Sil Austin, a jazz artist who recorded more than 30 albums and the Top 40 hits Slow Walk, My Mother’s Eyes, and his signature song, Danny Boy, died of prostate cancer. He was 71. Austin taught himself how to play the tenor saxophone when he was 12. Four years later, he played Danny Boy on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, a performance that caught the attention of Mercury Records. Austin performed all over Europe and Asia, usually traveling with his wife, the Rev. Vernice Austin.
• 1521 ~ Josquin Desprez, French/Franco-Flemish composer, died. Generally acknowledged as the greatest composer of the High Renaissance.
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1886 ~ Eric Coates, British composer and violist
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• 1889 ~ Charles G. Conn of Elkhart, IN patented the metal clarinet. More than 100 years later the name, Conn, still represents one of the most popular musical instrument names, especially for clarinets.
• 1909 ~ Lester Willis “Prez” Young, American jazz tenor and saxophonist
• 1927 ~ Jimmy ‘Cajun’ Newman, Singer
• 1937 ~ Tommy (Adrian) Sands, Singer
• 1939 ~ Singer Allan Jones recorded I’m Falling in Love with Someone on Victor Records.
• 1942 ~ Daryl Dragon, Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter, duo in The Captain and Tennille
• 1944 ~ Barry Conyngham, Australian composer
• 1944 ~ Tim Bogert, Bass with these groups: Showmen, Cactus, Vanilla Fudge
• 1949 ~ Jeff Cook, Singer, guitar with Alabama
• 1953 ~ Alex Lifeson, Guitarist with Rush
• 1970 ~ The Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA was the venue of singer Elton John’s first concert appearance in America and a record company executive for UNI records (a division of MCA) signed Elton to a recording contract.
• 1984 ~ The Menetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village opened. It was the first new off-Broadway theatre to be built in 50 years in New York City. The ribbon cutting was done by “America’s First Lady of the Stage”, Helen Hayes.
• 1990 ~ Stevie Ray Vaughan, killed in helicopter crash
• 1961 ~ Roy Hay, Musician, guitar with Culture Club
• 1966 ~ The last tour for The Beatles began at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, and John Lennon apologized for boasting that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. London’s Catholic Herald said Lennon’s comment was “arrogant … but probably true.”
• 1967 ~ Fleetwood Mac made their stage debut at the National Blues and Jazz Festival in Great Britain.
• 1992 ~ John Cage, American composer (Imaginary Landscape No 1/O’O), died of a stroke at the age of 79