August 2: Today in Music History

today

• 1891 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, British composer
Read quotes by and about Bliss

• 1900 ~ Helen Morgan (Riggins), Pop Singer

• 1905 ~ Karl Amadeus Hartmann, German composer

• 1924 ~ Joe Harnell, Conductor and arranger

• 1925 ~ John Dexter, Opera director, Mid-America Chorale

• 1921 ~ Enrico Caruso, Italian operatic tenor, died in Naples.

• 1926 ~ The first demonstration of the Vitaphone system, that combined picture and sound for movies, was held at the Warner Theatre in New York City. John Barrymore and Mary Astor starred in the demonstration film for the new moving picture projector.

• 1935 ~ Hank Cochran, Pop Singer and songwriter

• 1937 ~ Garth Hudson, Musician, keyboard with The Band

• 1937 ~ Benny Goodman and his quartet recorded Smiles for Victor Records. Playing with Goodman’s clarinet on the famous song were Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa.

• 1939 ~ Edwin Patten, Singer with Gladys Knight & The Pips

• 1941 ~ Doris Kenner-Jackson (Coley), Singer with The Shirelles

• 1943 ~ Kathy Lennon, Singer with The Lennon Sisters

• 1951 ~ Andrew Gold, Singer, son of composer Ernest Gold

• 1991 ~ Jeri Southern passed away

• 1997 – Nigeria’s musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who popularized the Afro-music beat globally, died of AIDS aged 58.

• 2000 ~ Helen Quinn, who for more than 30 years presided over the Metropolitan Opera patrons who lined up to buy standing-room tickets, died at the age of 76. Often called the Queen of Standees by those who allowed her to take charge of the ticket queue, Quinn was herself a veteran of standing-room lines at the Met, and attended five or six performances a week, almost always as a standee. In 1966, on her own initiative, she imposed a system on the standee process that the throng of regulars was apparently happy to abide by, and to which the Met gave tacit approval.

• 2001 ~ Ron Townson, the portly centerpiece singer for the Grammy-winning pop group  The 5th Dimension, died of renal failure after a four-year battle with kidney disease. He was 68.  Other members of the reconstituted group – known for such 1960s hits as Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In, Wedding Bell Blues and Stoned Soul Picnic – performed at the Capitol Fourth music and fireworks show on July 4 in Washington, D.C.   Declining health had forced Townson to retire from The 5th Dimension in 1997, bringing to an end a career that saw him tour with such music legends as Nat King’ Cole and Dorothy Dandridge, appear in operas and direct choirs. He helped front The 5th Dimension when the group’s smooth mixture of pop, jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues won it four Grammys in 1968 for the Jimmy Webb song Up Up and Away. Other hits included One Less Bell to Answer and Sweet Blindness. As various members left The 5th Dimension in the 1970s to pursue solo projects, Townson formed the group Ron Townson and Wild Honey. Later, he reunited with McLemore and LaRue in a new version of The 5th Dimension that included Phyllis Battle and Greg Walker. He also appeared on television and in films, including the 1992 movie The Mambo Kings.

• 2002 ~ Freidann Parker, co-founder of the Colorado Ballet, died at the age of 77.  Colorado Ballet co-founder Lillian Covillo met Parker in the late 1940s in a dance class taught by Martha Wilcox. The two began the Covillo-Parker School of Dance, and then a fledgling ballet company. After an ambitious double bill in 1961, they created Colorado Concert Ballet, which presented Denver’s first Nutcracker the following season. Every performance sold out. By 1978, the board of directors more than doubled its budget to $100,000, and Colorado Ballet was born. Today its budget has grown to $7 million with a roster of 40 dancers. Parker’s first dance lessons were with Iris Potter. She later trained with modern-dance pioneer Hanya Holm.

 

• 2020 ~ Leon Fleisher, American pianist and conductor, died at the age of 92. He was one of the most renowned pianists and pedagogues in the world. Music correspondent Elijah Ho has called him “one of the most refined and transcendent musicians the United States has ever produced”.

In 1964, Fleisher lost the use of his right hand, due to a condition that was eventually diagnosed as focal dystonia. Fleisher commenced performing and recording the left-handed repertoire while searching for a cure for his condition. In addition, he undertook conducting during this time, serving at one time as Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Maryland. In the 1990s, Fleisher was able to ameliorate his focal dystonia symptoms after experimental botox injections to the point where he could play with both hands again.

 

July 22: On This Day in Music

today

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

 

 

 

• 1597 ~ Virgilio Mazzocchi, Composer

• 1635 ~ Pietro Antonio Tamburini, Composer, died at the age of 45

• 1642 ~ Johann Quirsfeld, Composer

• 1651 ~ Ferdinand Tobias Richter, Composer

• 1721 ~ François-Joseph Krafft, Composer

• 1786 ~ Vaclav Kalous, Composer ~ died at the age of 71

• 1794 ~ Jean-Benjamin de La Borde, Composer ~ died at the age of 59

• 1830 ~ Herbert Stanley Oakeley, Composer

• 1833 ~ Benjamin Hanby, Composer

• 1848 ~ Lucien Fugère, French baritone

• 1871 ~ Akos Buttykai, Composer

• 1873 ~ Ettore Pozzoli, Composer

• 1878 ~ Ernest R. Ball, Composer

• 1879 ~ Gustaf Heintze, Composer

• 1889 ~ Frederick Preston Search, Composer

• 1893 ~ Katherine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful in Colorado

• 1913 ~ Licia Albanese, Italian-born American soprano. She is best remembered for her roles at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and for her recording of La Boheme conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

• 1919 ~ De Falla and Massine’s “Three-cornered Hat”, premiered in London

• 1924 ~ Margaret Whiting, Pop Singer

• 1932 ~ Florenz Ziegfeld, U.S. theatrical producer and impresario, died. He was famed for his “Follies” spectacular revues which ran every year from 1907 to 1931.

• 1933 ~ Caterina Jarboro became the first black prima donna of an opera company. The singer performed Verdi’s “Aida” with the Chicago Opera Company at the Hippodrome in New York City.

• 1937 ~ Chuck Jackson, Singer

• 1937 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded the now-standard tune, Got a Date with an Angel, for Victor Records in Hollywood, California. The distinctive vocal on the tune is provided by Skinnay Ennis.

• 1940 ~ George Clinton, Singer

• 1941 ~ Thomas Wayne (Perkins), Singer

• 1944 ~ Estelle Bennett, Singer with The Ronettes

• 1944 ~ Richard Davies, Keyboards, singer with Supertramp

• 1945 ~ Bobby Sherman, Singer, actor and founder of TAC-5, a paramedics group

• 1947 ~ Don Henley, Drummer, singer with Shiloh; The Eagles, songwriter

• 1959 ~ Benjamin Britten’s “Missa Brevis” in D premiered

• 1963 ~ The Beatles released “Introducing the Beatles”

• 1967 ~ The Billboard singles chart showed that Windy, by The Association, was the most popular record in the U.S. for the fourth straight week. The Los Angeles~based sextet would make way for Jim Morrison and The Doors a week later when Light My Fire became the hottest record of the mid~summer.

• 1977 ~ Tony Orlando announced his retirement from show business. Orlando was performing in Cohasset, MA when he said that he had finally decided to call it quits. Orlando had two solo hits in 1961 (Halfway to Paradise and Bless You) and 14 hits with his backup singers, Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent, (known as Dawn) through the mid~1970s. He also hosted a weekly TV variety show with Dawn from 1974~1976.

• 1985 ~ Bruce Springsteen became the hottest ticket in the rock concert biz as 70,000 Cleveland fans lined up (in less than three hours) to grab tickets to see the ‘Boss’.

• 2001 ~ Bob Ferguson, who wrote the standard Wings of a Dove and produced records for Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner and other country music stars, died at the age of 73. Ferguson, a native of Willow Springs, Mo., was hired in 1955 to produce films for the Tennessee Game & Fish Commission. He worked there until 1960, when he wrote and produced the No. 1 hit Wings of a Dove for Ferlin Husky. As a staff producer at RCA Records in the 1960s and early ’70s, Ferguson worked with artists like Parton, Connie Smith, Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass, Jim Ed Brown, George Hamilton IV and Archie Campbell. He wrote The Carroll County Accident, a No. 2 hit for Wagoner. It was named the best country song of 1969 by the Country Music Association.

• 2002 ~ Jazz singer Marion Montgomery, who frequently performed on British television and was known for her smooth, versatile voice, died. She was 67. Montgomery was born in Natchez, Miss., and lived in England for more than 30 years. She was well-known to television audiences as a resident singer on the British Broadcasting Corp. talk show “Parkinson” through the 1970s and was widely praised for her smooth voice and intimate, relaxed singing style. Montgomery worked as a cabaret singer in Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles before moving to Britain. She starred in the West End production of “Anything Goes” in 1969 and recorded a one-woman show for the BBC in 1975. Her albums included “Swings for Winners and Losers” (1963), “Let There Be Marion Montgomery,” (1963) and “Sometimes in the Night” (1989).

July 7: Today’s Music History

today

 

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

 

• 1860 ~ Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer and conductor
More information about Mahler
Grammy winner

• 1911 ~ Gian Carlo Menotti, Italian composer and conductor
More information about Menotti

• 1962 ~ Mary Ford (Iris Colleen Summers), Singer with Les Paul

• 1927 ~ Doc (Carl) Severinsen, Bandleader, trumpeter, The Tonight Show Band, The Doc Severinsen Band, played with Charlie Barnet and Tommy Dorsey Orchestras, owner of a trumpet factory

• 1927 ~ Charlie Louvin (Loudermilk), Country singer, joined Grand Ole Opry in 1955

• 1940 ~ Ringo Starr, British rock drummer and singer with The Beatles

• 1944 ~ Warren Entner, Musician, guitarist and singer with The Grass Roots

• 1950 ~ David Hodo, Singer with The Village People

• 1954 ~ Cherry Boone, Singer; daughter of singer Pat Boone, sister of singer Debby Boone

• 1962 ~ Mark White, Rock Musician

• 1962 ~ Orchestra leader David Rose reached the top spot on the popular music charts. The Stripper stayed at the pinnacle of musicdom for one week. Rose’s previous musical success on the charts was in 1944 with Holiday for Strings.

• 2001 ~ Folk singer Fred Neil, who had such hits as Everybody’s Talking, and Candyman, died at the age of 64. Neil started his music career in 1955 when he moved from St. Petersburg to Memphis, Tenn. He released his first single, You Ain’t Treatin’ Me Right/Don’t Put the Blame On Me, two years later. The singer became a cult favorite in New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene after Roy Orbison released a blues recording of Neil’s Candyman in 1960. Neil released his first solo album, Bleecker & MacDougal, in 1965. After moving back to Florida, Neil took an interest in protecting dolphins. He frequently visited Kathy, the star of the television show Flipper, and wrote a song called The Dolphins, which was released on his 1967 album Fred Neil. In 1970, Neil co-founded the Dolphin Research Project to help curb the capture and exploitation of dolphins worldwide. His last big hit came in 1969 when the film Midnight Cowboy featured singer Harry Nilsson’s version of Neil’s Everybody’s Talking.

• 2002 ~ Dorle Jarmel Soria, a writer and co-founder of the music label Angel Records, died. She was 101. Soria and her husband, Dario Soria, together founded Angel Records, which distributed some of the labels of EMI, a British company. The label released some 500 recordings, including the work of singer Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, pianist Walter Gieseking and conductor Herbert von Karajan. The company was eventually sold by EMI, and the Sorias went on to help found Gian Carlo Menotti’s Festival of Two Worlds in Italy. Before founding Angel, Soria had a career in journalism and worked for Arthur Judson, who was a concert manager for the New York Philharmonic. Soria wrote regularly for several music magazines and had a weekly column for the Carnegie Hall program in the 1960s. She also published a book about the history of the Metropolitan Opera.

May 30: Today’s 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

• 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

• 1917 ~ The jazz standard “Dark Town Strutters Ball” by Original Dixieland Jass Band was first recorded

• 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 Shostakovich, daughter of Russian Composer Shostakovich

• 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

• 2019 ~ Leon Redbone [Dickran Gobalian], American blues and jazz musician (Seduced, Theme to Mr. Belvedere), died at the age of 69

 

March 25: Today’s Music History

. 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

. 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). English singer-songwriter, composer and pianist who has had hits in the charts since 1970 with his first hit “Your Song”, Over the next 40 years he had a large number of hits with the last being in 2009 “Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer)” (Ironik featuring Elton John). Possibly his best known top ten singles over the 40 year period include “Rocket Man”, “Crocodile Rock”, “Daniel”, “Candle in the Wind”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Pinball Wizard”, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (with Kiki Dee), “I’m Still Standing” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. It does not matter which generation you are from you have more than likely grown up listening to his music . Billboard magazine ranked him as the most successful male solo artist on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists” (Third overall, behind only The Beatles and Madonna). The awards he has gained during these years is also a testament to his music and include Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony Award and multiple Grammys. From humble beginnings as a Pub Pianist to one of the music superstars of the modern era shows not only his talent but his commitment to his art.
More information about John

. 1948 ~ Kelly Garrett, Actress, singer

. 1949 ~ Neil Jones, Musician with Amen Corner

. 1951 ~ Maizie Williams, Singer with Boney M

. 1961 ~ “Gypsy” closed at the Broadway Theater in New York City after 702 performances

. 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.

. 1971 ~ Louis Armstrong, the famous trumpet player, underwent a temporary tracheotomy after being admitted to a New York hospital. Armstrong had this throat operation after treatment for heart trouble.

. 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.

. 1991 ~ Eileen Joyce, pianist, died at the age of 78

March 18: Today’s 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 actress, rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, TV Personality and author. Her music, TV and Movie Acting has bought her a large number of awards including Golden Globe and a Grammy Award plus numbers of nominations including Emmy and Academy Award. She began her career as a Rapper in the group Ladies Fresh and the Flavor Unit before embarking on a solo career gaining considerable success including headlining at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in a live jazz concert. Queen Latifah is one of the few rappers who has not only continued with a successful music career but has also enjoyed major success and critical acclaim in both the movie industry and on Television. Her roles have included starring role on the TV Sitcom “Living Single” and her own show “The Queen Latifah Show” and as Matron “Mama” Morton in the Oscar-winning musical Chicago plus a number of starring and supporting roles in Scary Movie 3, Last Holiday, Mad Money, Back in Business, Taxi and Hairspray.

. 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

March 10: Today’s Music History

international-bagpipe

 

and

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

. 1910 ~ Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke, composer, died at the age of 85

. 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”.

. 1977 ~ E Power Biggs, English organist/composer (CBS), died at the age of 70

. 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 with English rock musician Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

. 2017 ~(Joan) Joni Sledge, vocalist (Sister Sledge “We are Family”), died at the age of 60

March 1: Today’s Music History

goodbye-february-hello-march

. 1643 ~ Girolamo Frescobaldi, Italian composer/organist, died at the age of 59
More about Frescobaldi

. 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. Some of his memorable songs included In the Mood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Tuxedo Junction, Moonlight Serenade and Pennsylvania 6-5000.  The Glenn Miller Orchestra sound was a mix between jazz and swing and now more than 60 years later his music is unique and recognized by young and old the world over.
More information about Miller

. 1907 ~ Albert Clifton Ammons was born in Chicago, Illinois. He developed an interest in boogie-woogie and his 1936 recording of “Boogie Woogie Stomp” has been described as “the first 12-bar piano-based boogie-woogie.”

 

 

. 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, a 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.

. 1985 ~ Eugene List, American concert pianist and teacher (Eastman School of Music), died at the age of 66. List performed internationally during the mid-to-late 1900s. He championed the works of the American pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869). Gottschalk played this piece, with all its fanfares and flourishes reminiscent of an imaginary band concert, at all his concerts.

. 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 in Puccini’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: On This Day in Music

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

. 1940 ~ “Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues” was recorded by Earl “Fatha” Hines and his orchestra. The song eventually became a classic and is still popular among big band fans today.

. 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

. 1967 ~ The Beatles released the double A-sided single in the United Kingdom with Penny Lane (Paul McCartney) and “Strawberry Fields Forever” (John Lennon) on the other side.  Penny Lane was  where Lennon and McCartney would meet to go into Liverpool.

Strawberry Fields was named after a Salvation Army house where Lennon would play as a child.

 

. 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 and Mammas 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.

February 10: On This Day in Music

today

. 1735 ~ Johann Christoph Kuhnau, composer

. 1878 ~ Peter Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony in F premiered

. 1881 ~ Jacques Offenbach’s opera “Les Contes d’Hoffman” premiered in Paris

. 1914 ~ Larry Adler, Composer of movie scores such as A Cry from the Streets, Genevieve, Great Chase

. 1927 ~ Leontyne Price, American soprano, Metropolitan Opera
More information about Price

. 1929 ~ Jerry Goldsmith, pianist and composer (Twilight Zone)

. 1933 ~ The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.

 

. 1937 ~ Roberta Flack, American pop-soul singer

. 1942 ~ Glenn Miller was awarded the first-ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of “Chattanooga Choo Choo”

 

. 1944 ~ Peter Allen, Australian pop singer, songwriter and pianist

. 1942 ~ Ted Fio Rito’s orchestra recorded Rio Rita for Decca Records in Los Angeles. Bob Carroll sang on the disc that became the group’s theme song.

. 1946 ~ Donovan (Leitch), Singer

. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley wiggled his way through Heartbreak Hotel this day for RCA Records in Nashville, TN. The record received two gold records, one for each side. The hit on the other side was I Was the One.

. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley’s ballad “Don’t” reached #1 on music charts. This was his ninth #1 hit single since he had produced “Heartbreak Hotel”. In all, Elvis had recorded a total of 17 #1 hits.

 

. 1960 ~ “Unsinkable Molly Brown” closed at the Winter Garden in New York City after 532 performances.  Molly Brown was based on the true story of a Titanic survivor.

. 1964 ~ The Beatles, British super rock group, made their first American appearance on the Ed Sullivan TV show

. 1964 ~ Bob Dylan released “The Times They Are a-Changin” his 3rd album, by Columbia Records. The album was seen as a protest album featuring songs about issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track was one of Dylan’s most famous capturing the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.

. 1966 ~ Billy Rose passed away.  Rose was an American impresario, theatrical showman and lyricist.

. 2002 ~ Dave Van Ronk, a New York-born guitarist and singer who was at the forefront of the Greenwich Village folk boom, died at the age of 65. A prolific musician who was nominated for a Grammy, Van Ronk offered his home as a hangout for fellow musicians in the 1960s. Among them was a young Bob Dylan. “People were always stopping by,” said Mitch Greenhill, his longtime manager. “He (Van Ronk) was one of the few guys who was working at a pretty high level who went out of his way to be friendly.” Born in Brooklyn, Van Ronk started living in Greenwich Village by the time he was a teenager. His first album, “Ballads, Blues and a Spiritual” was released in 1957. He opened his home to Dylan when the artist arrived in New York in the 1960s. Inspired by a haunting version of House of the Rising Sun, released by Van Ronk, Dylan performed it on his debut album. They also appeared together in 1974 with other singers at a benefit for Chilean political prisoners. Asked over the years about his relationship with Dylan, Van Ronk always played down his influence on Dylan by saying, “He was as big an influence on me as I was on him,” said Greenhill, who knew Van Ronk for more than 40 years. Van Ronk spent 40 years on tour, and made at least 26 albums. His most recent was last year’s “Sweet and Lowdown,” a return to his jazz roots. He received a Grammy nomination in 1996 for his record “From … Another Time and Place.” He was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

. 2006 ~ At the XX Winter Olympic Games open in Turin, Italy, Luciano Pavarotti sang “Nessun Dorma” in his last ever performance.