June 11 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 1672 ~ Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Composer

• 1678 ~ Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer
More information about Vivaldi

• 1697 ~ Francesco A Vallotti, Italian organist, composer and theorist

• 1704 ~ Jose Antonio Carlos de Seixas, Composer

• 1740 ~ Luigi Gatti, Composer

• 1764 ~ Christoph Stoltzenberg, Composer, died at the age of 74

• 1775 ~ Egidio Romoaldo Duni, Italian Composer, died at the age of 67

• 1808 ~ Giovanni Battista Cirri, Composer, died at the age of 83

• 1861 ~ Sigismund Vladislavovich Zaremba, Composer

• 1864 ~ Richard Strauss, German composer and conductor.  Strauss wrote in nearly every genre, but is best known for his tone poems and operas.
Read quotes by and about Strauss
More information about Richard Strauss

• 1874 ~ Richard Stohr, Composer

• 1896 ~ Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1899 ~ George Frederick McKay, Composer

• 1900 ~ Charles Swinnerton Heap, Composer, died at the age of 53

• 1904 ~ Emil Frantisek Burian, Composer

• 1904 ~ Clarence “Pinetop” Smith, Jazz pianist and singer of Boogie Woogie Piano

• 1910 ~ Carmine Coppola, Composer and conductor

• 1912 ~ Mukhtar Ashrafi, Composer

• 1913 ~ Risë Stevens (Steenberg), American mezzo-soprano at the New York Metropolitan Opera

• 1920 ~ Shelly Manne, Composer, musician, drummer

• 1920 ~ Hazel Scott, Trinidad singer and pianist

• 1924 ~ Théodore Dubois, French organist and composer, died at the age of 86

• 1926 ~ Carlisle Floyd, American opera composer

• 1927 ~ Josef Anton Reidl, Composer

• 1928 ~ King Oliver and his band recorded Tin Roof Blues for Vocalion Records.

• 1939 ~ Wilma Burgess, Country singer

• 1940 ~ Joey Dee (Joseph DiNicola), Singer with Joey Dee and The Starliters

• 1940 ~ The Ink Spots recorded Maybe on Decca Records. By September, 1940, the song had climbed to the number two position on the nation’s pop music charts.

• 1946 ~ John Lawton, Singer

• 1949 ~ Hank Williams sang a show-stopper on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He sang the classic Lovesick Blues, one of his most beloved songs.

• 1951 ~ Bonnie Pointer, Grammy Award-winning singer (with sister Anita) in the Pointer Sisters

• 1955 ~ Marcel Louis Auguste Samuel-Rousseau, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1961 ~ Roy Orbison was wrapping up a week at number one on the Billboard record chart with Running Scared, his first number one hit. Orbison recorded 23 hits for the pop charts, but only one other song made it to number one: Oh Pretty Woman in  1964. He came close with a number two effort, Crying, number four with Dream Baby and number five with Mean Woman Blues. Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, but suffered a fatal heart attack just one year later.

• 1964 ~ The group, Manfred Mann, recorded Do Wah Diddy Diddy

• 1966 ~ Janis Joplin made her first onstage appearance — at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. She began her professional career at the age of 23 with Big Brother and The Holding Company. The group was a sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Piece of My Heart was the only hit to chart for the group in 1968. Big Brother and The Holding Company disbanded in 1972, though Joplin continued in a solo career with hits such as Down on Me and Me and Bobby McGee. Janis ‘Pearl’ Joplin died of a heroin overdose in Hollywood in October, 1970. The movie The Rose, starring Bette Midler, was inspired by the life of the rock star.

• 1966 ~ (I’m A) Road Runner by Jr Walker & The All-Stars peaked at #20

• 1966 ~ I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel peaks at #3

• 1966 ~ “On A Clear Day You…” closed at Mark Hellinger NYC after 280 performances

• 1966 ~ Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones peaked at #1

• 1966 ~ “Skyscraper” closed at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 248 performances

• 1966 ~ Sloop John B by The Beach Boys hit #1 in the United Kingdom

• 1969 ~ “The Ballad Of John & Yoko” by The Beatles hit #1 in the United Kingdom

• 1969 ~ David Bowie released Space Oddity

• 1975 ~ Floro Manuel Ugarte, Composer, died at the age of 90

• 1976 ~ Australian band AC/DC began their first headline tour of Britain

• 1976 ~ The Beatles “Rock & Roll Music” LP was released in America

• 1977 ~ Dance & Shake Your Tambourine by Universal Robot Band peaked at #93

• 1977 ~ I Need A Man by Grace Jones peaked at #83

• 1977 ~ I’m Your Boogie Man by KC & Sunshine Band peaked at #1

• 1977 ~ Lonely Boy by Andrew Gold peaked at #7

• 1977 ~ The Pretender by Jackson Browne peaked at #58

• 1990 ~ Clyde McCoy, Jazz trumpeter, died at the age of 86

• 1995 ~ Lovelace Watkins, Singer, died at the age of 58

• 2001 ~ Amalia Mendoza, one of Mexico’s most famous singers of mariachi and ranchera music, died at the age of 78. She was famous for songs such as Echame a mi la Culpa (Put the Blame on Me) and Amarga Navidad (Bitter Christmas). Born in the Michoacan town of San Juan Huetamo in 1923, she was part of a family of noted musicians. Ranchera music is a kind of Mexican country music that overlaps with Mariachi music.

• 2001 ~ Ponn Yinn, a flutist of traditional Cambodian music and dance who survived the Khmer Rouge purge and helped preserve his country’s culture, died of a stroke at the age of 82. Yinn was working under Prince Norodom Sihanouk, then Gen. Lon Nol, for the Classical Symphony of the Army for the Royal Ballet, when the Khmer Rouge overthrew Cambodia’s government in 1975. Khmer Rouge forces found Yinn during their campaign to uncover and eliminate Cambodia’s intellectuals and artists. He begged for his life and claimed to be a steel worker who enjoyed playing the flute. He was allowed to live, but was forced to play a makeshift flute nightly into loudspeakers to drown out the screams of people being slaughtered in fields nearby. In 1979, Yinn crossed through minefields and escaped to Thailand. In a border refugee camp, Yinn headed the Khmer Classical Dance Troupe. At a time when Cambodian culture was believed to have been almost eradicated – a result of the Khmer Rouge’s genocide of 1 million to 2 million people, the troupe was discovered by Western visitors. Yinn settled in Long Beach in 1984, where he taught music for more than 20 years and continued to perform.

• 2015 ~ Ornette Coleman died.  He was an American jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer. He was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s.

May 30 ~ This Day in Music History

 

• 1578 ~ Valentin Dretzel, Composer

• 1746 ~ Giovanni Antonio Pollarolo, Composer, died at the age of 69

• 1778 ~ Voltaire, (François-Marie Arouet), French writer of Candide, died at the age of 42 Candide was later set to music by Leonard Bernstein

• 1791 ~ Ildephons Haas, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1797 ~ Johann Christian Lobe, Composer

• 1797 ~ Carl Ludwig Junker, Composer, died at the age of 48

• 1794 ~ Ignaz Moschelles, Composer

• 1808 ~ Joaquim Casimiro Jr, Composer

• 1833 ~ Josef Slavik, Composer, died at the age of 27

• 1844 ~ Louis Varney, Composer

• 1853 ~ Karl Fritjof Valentin, Composer

• 1866 ~ Opera “Die Verkaufte Braut” premiered in Prague

• 1870 ~ Gustave Vogt, Composer, died at the age of 89

• 1883 ~ Riccardo Zandonai, Composer

• 1887 ~ Gino Tagliapietra, Composer

• 1906 ~ William Yeates Hurlstone, Composer, died at the age of 30

• 1909 ~ Benny Goodman, American jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader. He became a leading player with his own bands during the 1930’s and also commissioned works from classical composers including Bartok and Copland.
More information on Goodman

• 1913 ~ Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Trumpet with Tommy Dorsey Band and Isham Jones Band

• 1913 ~ Cedric Thorpe Davie, Composer

• 1920 ~ George London, Baritone singer with Bel canto Trio (with Frances Yeend and Mario Lanza); member: Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera; Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Director: National Opera Institute; head of the Washington Opera and established the George London Foundation for Singers in 1971.

• 1922 ~ ‘Smilin’ Ed McConnell debuted on radio, smiling and playing his banjo. McConnell quickly became a legend in the medium.

• 1923 ~ Howard Hanson’s 1st Symphony “Nordic,” premiered

• 1923 ~ Camille Chevillard, Composer, died at the age of 63

• 1925 ~ Claude Prey, Composer

• 1928 ~ Gustav Leonhardt, Dutch organist and harpsichordist

• 1935 ~ Lothar Windsperger, Composer, died at the age of 49

• 1936 ~ Galina Shostakovitch, daughter of Russian Composer Shostakovitch

• 1940 ~ Olivia Stapp, American soprano

• 1944 ~ Lenny Davidson, Musician with The Dave Clark Five

• 1947 ~ Sidney Hugo Nicholson, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1952 ~ Zoltan Kocsis, Composer

• 1952 ~ Darius Milhaud’s “West Point Suite,” premiered

• 1954 ~ Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Odisseia de Uma Raca,” premiered

• 1959 ~ Thomas Carl Whitmer, Composer, died at the age of 85

• 1962 ~ Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem,” premiered

• 1962 ~ The King of Swing, Benny Goodman, turned 53 and led the first American jazz band to play in the Soviet Union. Goodman and his band played six concerts in the U.S.S.R.

• 1964 ~ The Beatles 1961 record of Cry for a Shadow was #1 in Australia

• 1964 ~ The Beatles’ Love Me Do, single was #1

• 1968 ~ The Beatles begin work on their only double album “Beatles”

• 1969 ~ Gaston Brenta, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1971 ~ Marcel Dupré, French organist and composer, died at the age of 85. He was organist of St. Sulpice from 1934 until 1971.

• 1972 ~ Margaret Ruthven Lang, Composer, died at the age of 104

• 1973 ~ Hal Hastings, Orchestra leader for Chevrolet on Broadway, died at the age of 66

• 1975 ~ Wings released “Venus and Mars” album

• 1977 ~ Paul Desmond, American jazz saxophonist, died at the age of 52

• 1980 ~ Carl Radle, bassist with Derek and the Dominoes, died of a kidney ailment

• 1986 ~ Hank Mobley, American jazz saxophonist, died at the age of 55

• 1987 ~ Turk Murphy, Jazz trombonist, died at the age of 71

• 1989 ~ Zinka Milanov, Metropolitan Opera Diva, died at the age of a stroke at 83

• 1992 ~ Paul Simon married Edie Brickell

• 1993 ~ Sun Ra, Blues pianist/orchestra leader, died of a stroke at the age of 79

• 1996 ~ Bob Stroup, trombonist, died at the age of 57

• 1996 ~ John Kahn, bassist, died at the age of 47

March 25 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1699 ~ Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music.

. 1784 ~ François-Joseph Fetis, Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and influential music critic.

. 1851 ~ The Playel piano factory in Paris was destroyed by fire.  Playel was the favorite of Chopin in the 19th century, and it was identified with French composers known as the impressionist musicians of the early 20th century — like Ravel and Debussy.

Pleyel was founded in 1807 by Ignaz Pleyel, a composer and music publisher who studied with Franz Joseph Haydn.

. 1867 ~ Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor and musical director. Famed for his temper in rehearsals, he was director of La Scala and the Metropolitan opera houses. He also conducted the NBC symphony orchestra. With a career spanned 68 years, he was a cellist at age 19
Read quotes by and about Toscanini
More information on Toscanini

. 1881 ~ Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer and pianist, born. His knowledge of western musical techniques allied to the inspiration he derived from Hungarian peasant songs enabled him to become a unique musical force.
More information about Bartók

. 1903 ~ Grammy winner Frankie Carle (Carlone), Pianist and bandleader
More about Carle

. 1913 ~ The Palace Theatre opened its doors in New York City. Ed Wynn was first on the vaudeville bill. Some 20 years later, Wynn would be named as radio’s top entertainer. He later became popular on television, as well.

. 1918 ~ Claude Debussy, French composer, died. His music, described as “musical Impressionism”, explored original avenues of expression.

. 1931 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis, for Brunswick Records. Both Kemp and Ennis sang in the Dorsey Brothers Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Eugene Ormandy (later, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra). The pair were part of the orchestra vocal quartet that also featured Nye Mayhew and Saxey Dowell in 1928.

. 1934 ~ Johnny Burnette, ‘The Master’, singer, brother of singer Dorsey Burnette

. 1938 ~ Hoyt Axton, Singer, musician and songwriter. Axton’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, wrote Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel

. 1940 ~ Anita Bryant, Singer

. 1942 ~ Aretha Franklin, American soul singer, known as the “Queen of Soul” and “Lady Soul”, she won 15 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987)

. 1947 ~ Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Entertainer
More information about John

. 1948 ~ Kelly Garrett, Actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Neil Jones, Musician with Amen Corner

. 1951 ~ Maizie Williams, Singer with Boney M

. 1966 ~ Jeff Healey, Guitarist, singer, songwriter with the Jeff Healey Band, CBC radio show: My Kind of Jazz

. 1971 ~ Tom Jones went gold with his single, She’s a Lady.

. 1972 ~ The group, America, rode to the top of the pop music charts with their LP, America, and the single (included on the LP), A Horse with No Name. A Horse With No Name would be the group’s only gold record.

March 18 ~ This Day 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.

. 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.

. 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.

. 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.

March 10 ~ This Day in Music History

mario-day

National Mario Day is observed each year on March 10th and honors Mario from the popular Nintendo game.
It is celebrated on March 10th because of the way the date appears, when abbreviated (Mar.10),  it looks just like the name Mario.

. 1832 ~ Muzio Clementi died.  He was an Italian-born English composer, pianist, pedagogue, conductor, music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer.  He is also the subject of this month’s Piano Explorer, which is enjoyed by my students.

. 1844 ~ Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist

. 1879 ~ Ignaz Moscheles died.  He was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso

. 1892 ~ Arthur Honegger, French composer
Read quotes by and about Honegger
More information about Honegger

1903 ~ “Bix” Beiderbecke, American jazz cornetist
More information about Beiderbecke

. 1935 ~ Nelson Eddy recorded Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life for Victor Records. The song came from the film, “Naughty Marietta”. Later, Eddy recorded the classic tune with Jeanette MacDonald.

. 1937 ~ An audience of 21,000 jitterbuggers jammed the Paramount Theatre in New York City to see a young clarinetist whom they would crown, ‘King of Swing’ on this night. The popular musician was Benny Goodman.

. 1940 ~ W2XBS-TV in New York City originated the first televised opera as members of the Metropolitan Opera Company presented scenes from “I Pagliacci”.

. 1956 ~ Julie Andrews was 23 years old this night when she made her TV debut. She appeared with Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson in the musical adaptation of Maxwell Anderson’s play, “High Tor”.

. 2003 ~ Lionel Dakers, who directed the Royal School of Church Music for 16 years, died at age 79. Dakers was a stickler for high musical standards and opposed some of the modernizing trends in English church music. Dakers was organist at Ripon Cathedral from 1954 to 1957, then moved to Exeter Cathedral before his appointment as director of the Royal School of Church Music in 1972. In 1976, he was appointed a director of Hymns Ancient & Modern, publisher of some of the most widely used Anglican hymnals.

. 2016 ~ Keith Emerson died.  He was an English keyboardist and composer.

March 1 ~ This Day in Music History

goodbye-february-hello-march

 

 

. 1810 ~ Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Chopin
More information about Chopin
Grammy winner

. 1826 ~ John Thomas, Welsh composer and harpist

. 1904 ~ Glenn Miller, American trombonist and bandleader
More information about Miller

. 1922 ~ Michael Flanders, Songwriter, comedian with the duo: Flanders and [Donald] Swann, made humorous mockery of English and American failings, died in 1975

. 1927 ~ Harry Belafonte, American calypso and folk singer, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, father of Shari Belafonte

. 1928 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded Ol´ Man River for Victor Records. The featured vocalist on the track was 29-year-old Paul Robeson. The song became an American classic.

. 1930 ~ Benny Powell, Jazz musician, trombone with the Ernie Fields band, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie veteran

. 1941 ~ FM Radio began in the U.S. when station W47NV in Nashville, TN started operations on this day. W47NV was the first commercial FM radio station to receive a license, some 20 years after its AM radio counterpart, KDKA in Pittsburgh. FM stands for ‘frequency modulation´ as opposed to ‘amplitude modulation´.

. 1941 ~ Downbeat magazine scooped the entertainment world with news that Glenn Miller’s renewed contract with Chesterfield Cigarettes was worth $4,850 a week (for three 15-minute programs).

. 1944 ~ Roger Daltrey, Singer with The Who

. 1968 ~ Country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter got married on this day. Johnny walked down the aisle knowing that his 1956 hit, Folsom Prison Blues, was about to be redone for a June release. Cash has a daughter, Rosanne, (previous marriage) who became a country star in her own right in the 1980s.

. 1968 ~ Elton John’s first record, I’ve Been Loving You, was released by Philips Records in England. Philips, not realizing the potential of the soon-to-be superstar, released him in 1969, just prior to his teaming with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Elton then signed a contract with Uni Records and began to turn out what would become a string of more than 50 hits over the next 25 years.

. 1973 ~ The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opened with a unique presentation in New York City. The show featured music of the Beach Boys in “Deuce Coupe Ballet”. A clever show, even if it didn’t do much to bring the masses to ballet.

. 1985 ~ A Beatles song was used for the first time in a U.S. TV commercial. The rights for Lincoln-Mercury to use the song, HELP!, cost $100,000, helping boost the fortunes of the Ford Motor Company.

. 2003 ~ Nadine Conner, a soprano who performed for nearly two decades at the Metropolitan Opera after singing on national radio, died. She was 96. Conner debuted at the Met in 1941 as Pamina in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” conducted by Bruno Walter. She performed there 249 times over 18 seasons. She won acclaim not only for her Mozart roles, including Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” and Susanna in “The Marriage of Figaro,” but also for her portrayals of Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Mimi inPuccini’s “La Boheme,” Gilda in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” and Rosina in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” Conner began her career singing on national radio from Los Angeles, and appeared with such stars as Bing Crosby and Gordon MacRae and toured with film star Nelson Eddy. She joined a fledgling opera troupe in Los Angeles, making her debut as Marguerite in Gounod’s “Faust.” Her Met farewell, in 1960, also was in “Faust.”

February 13 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

. 1660 ~ Johann Sigismund Kusser (or Cousser),  composer of Hungarian parentage active in Germany, France, and Ireland

. 1778 ~ Fernando Sor, Guitar composer
More information about Sor

. 1867 ~ Johann Strauss’ magnificent Blue Danube Waltz was played for the first time at a public concert in Vienna, Austria.

. 1870 ~ Leopold Godowsky, Polish American pianist, composer, and teacher

. 1873 ~ Feodor Chaliapin, Russian Bass

. 1883 ~ (Wilhelm) Richard Wagner passed away
More information about Wagner

. 1895 ~ France, There’s no business like show business, right? Well, this is where it all started. A patent for a machine “to film and view phronopotographic proofs” (in simpler words, a projector) was assigned to the Lumiere brothers of Paris.

. 1904 ~ Wingy (Joseph Matthews) Manone, Trumpeter, singer, bandleader

. 1914 ~ The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

. 1918 ~ Oliver Smith, Scenic designer for Broadway Musicals such as On the Town, Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Camelot, The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly! and films Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Porgy and Bess, The Band Wagon

. 1919 ~ “Tennessee” Ernie Ford, American country-music singer and songwriter

. 1920 ~ Eileen Farrell, American soprano, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera. Also successful in singing and recording popular music and jazz

. 1940 ~ Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines and his orchestra recorded the classic Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues on the famous Bluebird record label.

. 1925 ~ Gene Ames, Singer with The Ames Brothers

. 1929 ~ Jesse McReynolds, Guitarist, folk singer with Jim & Jesse

. 1930 ~ Dotty McGuire, Singer with McGuire Sisters

. 1944 ~ Peter Tork (Peter Halsten Thorkelson), Bassist, singer with The Monkees

. 1950 ~ Roger Christian, Singer with The Christians

. 1956 ~ Peter Hook. Bass with Joy Division

. 1957 ~ Tony Butler, Bass with Big Country

. 1971 ~ The Osmonds, a family singing group from Ogden, Utah, began a five-week stay at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, “One Bad Apple”. The song, featuring the voice of little Donny Osmond, also showcased the talent of Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay Osmond. The brothers were regulars on Andy Williams’ TV show from 1962 to 1967. The group began as a religious and barbershop quartet in 1959. Together, the Osmonds scored with 10 singles in four years — four of them were top ten hits.

. 1976 ~ Lily (Alice) Pons passed away

. 1990 ~ Musical highlight of glasnost when cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich returned to Russia after a 16 year absence. Russian listeners cheered wildly when he played American favorite march, “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillip Sousa

. 2001 ~ Music critic George T. Simon, the original Glenn Miller Band drummer who swapped his sticks for a pen and eventually earned a Grammy for his acclaimed liner notes, died of pneumonia following a battle with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 88. In 1937 Simon sat in with the fledgling Glenn Miller Band. But he opted for writing over drumming, and became editor-in-chief of Metronome magazine in 1939. As a writer, Simon worked for the New York Post and the now-defunct New York Herald-Tribune. He also served as executive director of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Grammy Awards. In 1977, Simon won his Grammy Award for best album notes – his contribution to the collection “Bing Crosby: A Legendary Performer.” Simon was hand-picked by Crosby to write the liner notes for the release.

. 2002 ~ Waylon Jennings, whose rebellious songs and brash attitude defined the outlaw movement in country music, died peacefully at his Arizona home after a long battle with diabetes-related health problems. He was 64. Jennings’ list of hits spans four decades and includes country music standards like Good-Hearted Woman andMammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, both duets with Willie Nelson. Jennings made 60 albums and had 16 country singles that reached No. 1. His “Greatest Hits” album in 1979 sold 4 million – a rare accomplishment in country music for that era. Jennings won two Grammy awards and four Country Music Association awards. Other hits include I’m a Ramblin’ Man, Amanda, Lucille, I’ve Always Been Crazy, and Rose in Paradise. Jennings’ deep, sonorous voice narrated the popular TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard” and sang its theme song, which was a million seller. Jennings had been plagued with health problems in recent years that made it difficult for him to walk. In December 2002, his left foot was amputated. He traditionally wore a black cowboy hat and ebony attire that accented his black beard and mustache. Often reclusive when not on stage, he played earthy music with a spirited, hard edge. Some of Jennings’ album titles nourished his brash persona: “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean,” “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” “Nashville Rebel,” “Ladies Love Outlaws” and “Wanted: The Outlaws.” He often refused to attend music awards shows on the grounds that performers shouldn’t compete against each other. He didn’t show up at his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year. He made occasional forays into TV movies, including “Stagecoach” and “Oklahoma City Dolls,” plus the Sesame Street movie “Follow That Bird” and the B-movie “Nashville Rebel.”

. 2015 ~ John McCabe died.  He was an English composer and pianist.  He was a prolific composer from an early age but first became known as a pianist. He created works in many different forms, including symphonies, ballets, and solo works for the piano.