. 1940 ~ The first all-Chinese commercial radio program was broadcast over KSAN radio in San Francisco, CA. Later, KSAN would become a pioneer in playing ‘underground rock’ music.
. 1943 ~ Mel Carter, Singer
. 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, Singer, guitarist
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut on this night at the Frontier Hotel. With Heartbreak Hotel at the top of the pop charts, one can imagine the excitement generated by the new ‘King of rock and roll’. Even with a number one hit, Elvis was not yet well-received by the middle-aged audience. Management of the Frontier was so unimpressed, they gave Elvis his walking papers after one week of a two-week engagement.
. 1983 ~ Earl “Fatha” Hines, American jazz pianist and bandleader, died at the age of 79
. 2001 ~ Jazz pianist-composer Isaac Cole, brother of the late singer Nat King Cole who worked on his niece Natalie’s multiple Grammy-winning 1991 album, died of cancer. He was 73. Ike Cole said he may have benefited from being compared with his more famous brother, who died in 1965 of lung cancer at 45, but that he disliked being accused of “trying to live off the name.” Ike Cole said he decided against changing his name because, shortly before dying, Nat asked him not to. He and brother Freddy toured in 1990 with a show saluting their famous brother. Ike Cole had played the bass drum in an Army band but in 1957, he formed the Ike Cole Trio in Chicago, where he was born, and went on the road. Winning major TV exposure, he soon was booked steadily for Las Vegas shows. His trio also regularly toured Japan, Australia and Europe as well as the United States. Though he often sang a medley of his older brother’s hits, Ike primarily was a jazzman. He played keyboard when Natalie Cole recorded her late father’s songs for a 1991 album that won three Grammys.
. 2013 ~ Richie Havens, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, died from a heart attack at the age of 72
. 1920 ~ Bruno Maderna, Italian-born German conductor and composer
. 1924 ~ Don Cornell (Louis Varlaro), Singer
. 1924 ~ Clara Ward, Gospel singer, Clara Ward Gospel Troupe
. 1931 ~ Carl Belew, Country singer
. 1947 ~ Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterburg), Singer, songwriter, with the Psychedelic Stooges
. 1963 ~ The Beatles and The Rolling Stones met for the first time together, at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England. The Stones opened the show.
. 1977 ~ Annie opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre. Andrea McArdle was a shining star in the title role. Annie continued on the Great White Way until January 2, 1983.
. 2016 ~ Prince Rogers Nelson died. He was known by the mononym Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range.
. 1925 ~ Tito (Ernest) Puente, Jazz musician, bandleader
. 1925 ~ Henri Renaud, French pianist
. 1931 ~ Louis Armstrong recorded the classic, When It’s Sleepy Time Down South, for Okeh Records. Satchmo would use the tune as his theme song for decades. The song was waxed in Chicago, IL.
. 1934 ~ One of America’s most beloved child stars made her debut. Shirley Temple debuted in Stand Up and Cheer, which opened in New York City. Moviegoers would rave about her song and dance routine, Baby, Take a Bow, for many years.
. 1935 ~ Your Hit Parade, starring Kay Thompson, Charles Carlyle, Gogo DeLys and Johnny Hanser, was first broadcast on radio in 1935. A youngster named Frank Sinatra would later be part of the program as a featured vocalist. Your Hit Parade stayed on the radio airwaves for 24 years. Snooky Lanson would later host the program when it made the transition from radio to TV. Other long-time regulars on the TV version were: Russell Arms, Gisele MacKenzie and Dorothy Collins. They were the lucky ones who got to present the top seven songs each week. Since many songs stayed on the list for weeks on end, these vocalists had to invent new ways to present the hit parade. On April 24, 1959, Your Hit Parade died. The regulars just didn’t fit with the new rock ‘n’ roll hits. Imagine, if you can, Snooky Lanson singing Hound Dog. The original title of the radio show was, Lucky Strike Hit Parade, sponsored by, you guessed it, Lucky Strike cigarettes. The cigarette company continued to sponsor the TV show (those were the days when cigarette companies sponsored lots of TV shows), and the opening theme song was Be Happy, Go Lucky.
. 1943 ~ John Eliot Gardiner, British conductor
. 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, British rock singer and guitarist
. 1951 ~ Luther Vandross, soul singer, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Never Too Much’, first released 1983, US N0.10 and UK No.2 single with Janet Jackson ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’). Also worked with David Bowie, Mariah Carey. Vandross died on 1st July 2005 aged 54 two years after suffering a major stroke.
. 1968 ~ Hair opened on Broadway
. 1985 ~ The British pop music group Wham!, featuring George Michael, became the first to release cassettes in the People’s Republic of China. Selections from two of the group’s albums were packaged and sold on the tape.
. 1986 ~ Pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave his first concert in the Soviet Union in 61 years. He had emigrated in 1925.
. 1987 ~ Starlight Express posted the largest week’s gross in Broadway history. The roller-skating musical earned $606,081 at the box office. The revival of The King and I starring Yul Brynner had been the previous leader (1985).
. 2000 ~ Canadian composer Louis Applebaum, long associated with the prestigious classical repertory company the Stratford Festival, died of cancer. He was 82.
. 2001 ~ Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor, collapsed at the podium while conducting a performance of Verdi’s Aida in Berlin. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors could not revive him. Sinopoli, 54, was the music director of the Dresden Staatskapelle and was a controversial figure in classical music. An avid scholar, Sinopoli had a medical degree and was also studying archaeology.
. 2003 ~ Nina Simone, whose deep, raspy, forceful voice made her a unique figure in jazz and later helped define the civil rights movement, died. She was 70. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933 in North Carolina, Simone was the sixth of seven children in a poor family. She began playing the piano at age 4. In the late 1950s Simone recorded her first tracks, including Plain Gold Ring and Don’t Smoke In Bed. But she gained fame in 1959 with her recording of I Loves You Porgy, from the opera “Porgy & Bess.” But she later wove the turbulent times of the 1960s into her music. In 1963, after the church bombing that killed four young black girls in Birmingham, Ala., and the slaying of Medgar Evers, she wrote Mississippi Goddam, and after the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she recorded Why? The King of Love is Dead. One of her most famous songs was the black pride anthem, To Be Young, Gifted and Black.
Simone enjoyed perhaps her greatest success in the 1960s and 70s, with songs like I Want A Little Sugar in My Bowl, and Four Women, the song with the famous line “they call me PEACHES.” She recorded songs from artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bee Gees and made them her own. Perhaps one of her more popular covers was her version of House of the Rising Sun. While she had a regal presence onstage, she could often be temperamental. She had a reputation for chewing out audience members who interrupted her performances in clubs with conversation or loud drinking or talking. In 1999 she received a lifetime achievement award in Dublin and an award for excellence in music from the Association of African American Music in Philadelphia.
. 2017 ~ Cuba Gooding Sr., American singer (Everybody Plays the Fool), died at the age of 72
. 1924 ~ A new show joined the airwaves. The Chicago Barn Dance aired on WLS radio in the Windy City. Later, the famous program would be renamed The National Barn Dance. This program was the first country music jamboree on radio. (The Grand Ole Opry on WSM Radio in Nashville, TN began in 1925.) National Barn Dance continued for many years on the radio station that was owned by the retailer, Sears Roebuck & Co. WLS, in fact, stood for ‘World’s Largest Store’. Though the Barn Dance gave way to rock music and now, talk radio, The Grand Ole Opry continues each weekend in Nashville.
. 1927 ~ Don Barbour, Singer with the group, The Four Freshmen
. 1928 ~ Alexis Korner, Musician: guitar, singer
. 1935 ~ Dudley Moore, English pianist and actor
. 1942 ~ Alan Price, Musician: keyboards, singer: groups: Alan Price Combo, The Animals. Some favorites were House of the Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out of This Place
. 1942 ~ Larry (Hilario) Ramos, Jr., Musician, guitar, singer with the group: The Association
. 1945 ~ The musical Carousel, based on Molnar’s Liliom, opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. John Raitt and Jan Clayton starred in the show which ran for 890 performances. Music was by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
. 1947 ~ Murray Perahia, American pianist and conductor
. 1947 ~ Mark Volman, Saxophonist, singer
. 1959 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte appeared in the first of two benefit concerts for charity at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
. 1967 ~ Nancy Sinatra and her dad, Frank, received a gold record award for their collaboration on the hit single, Something Stupid.
1987 ~ The Simpsons TV show was born
John Brunning celebrates tonight with Danny Elfman’s theme to the series
. 2000 ~ Richard L. Campbell, a classical music announcer on WCPE-FM died during his on-the-air shift, apparently of a massive heart attack. He was 67. On the air, Campbell catered to his audience by using his warm baritone voice to soothing effect. Before coming to WCPE about 10 years ago, he was a computer programmer and helped design the station’s traffic system.
. 2012 ~ Greg Ham, Australian rock saxophonist and flutist (Men At Work), died at the age of 58
. 1796 ~ The Archers, the first opera composed by Benjamin Carr, an American composer, was performed in New York City.
1819 ~ Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer and conductor
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1882 ~ Leopold Stokowski, British-born American conductor
More information about Stokowski
. 1918 ~ Tony Mottola, composer, guitarist: played with Al Caiola, George Hall’s orchestra, CBS radio studio orchestra, worked with Raymond Scott backing up young Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, arranger for Como’s TV variety show
. 1929 ~ Red Nichols and his Five Pennies recorded the Glenn Miller arrangement of Indiana for Brunswick Records. Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Jack Teagarden were all part of the recording session that took place in New York City.
. 1936 ~ Ottorino Respighi, Italian composer, died. Best known for his orchestral pieces including the “Pines of Rome.”
More information about Respighi
. 1941 ~ Mike Vickers, Musician: guitar, reeds played with the group Manfred Mann
. 1946 ~ Hayley Mills, Singer, actress
. 1946 ~ Alexander Spence, Musician: guitarist and singer with the group Moby Grape
. 1965 ~ Contralto Marian Anderson ended her 30-year singing career with a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
. 1974 ~ James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, received a gold record this day for the single, The Payback. Of the 44 hits that Brown would put on the charts over three decades, he received only one other gold record – for Get on the Good Foot – Part 1 in 1972. His biggest pop hits include: I Got You (I Feel Good) at number three in 1965, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag at number eight in 1965, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World at number eight in 1966, I Got The Feelin’ at number six in 1968 and Living in America at number four in 1986. This song was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film, Rocky IV.
. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson faced surgery in Los Angeles. Doctors performed scalp surgery to repair the damage done after the megastar’s hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial on January 27. Jackson was hospitalized and recuperated for months before he could return to work. His single recording of Thriller had been certified platinum in February 1984.
. 1985 ~ The sequined ‘King of Show Business’, Liberace, broke his own record for ticket sales at Radio City Music Hall. Liberace grossed more than $2,000,000 for his engagement in the historic New York City venue. His previous record was set in 1984 ($1.6 million in tickets sold).
. 2001 ~ Billy Mitchell died at the age of 74. He was a saxophonist who played with jazz greats Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman.
1882 ~ Artur Schnabel, Austrian-born American pianist
Read quotes by and about Schnabel
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1903 ~ Gregor Piatigorsky, Russian-born American cellist and composer
More information about Piatigorsky
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. 1930 ~ Chris Barber, Musician, trombone, bandleader
. 1933 ~ Backed by the On the Trail portion of the magnificent Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe, Johnny Rovetini, pillbox hat and all, uttered the words “Call for Philip Morris” for the first time on the radio. The famous phrase was said in perfect B flat pitch and tone to perfectly match the accompanying music.
. 1934 ~ Don Kirshner, American pop-music entrepreneur
. 1960 ~ American rock star Eddie (Ray Edward) Cochran died in a car crash while on tour with Gene Vincent in Britain.
. 1970 ~ The breakup of the most influential rock group in music history was official when Paul McCartney’s solo LP, McCartney, was released. Paul played all the instruments himself on this Apple album.
. 1971 ~ Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night, made it to the top of the pop music charts on this day. The song was number one for six weeks. Now that’s a hit! 1972 ~Betcha by Golly, Wow, by The Stylistics from Philadelphia, earned a gold record for the group. The Stylistics also scored million sellers with You AreEverything, I’m Stone in Love with You, Break Up to Make Up and You Make Me Feel Brand New.
. 1998 ~ Linda McCartney, photographer and wife of former Beatle Paul, died from cancer.
. 2013 ~ Deanna Durbin [Edna Mae Durbin], Canadian actress and vocalist (Every Sunday, Three Smart Girls, 100 Men & a Girl), died at the age of 91
. 1897 Milton J. Cross, American TV announcer. He was best known as the voice of the Metropolitan Opera, hosting its Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts for 43 years, from the time of their inception on December 25, 1931 until his death in 1975.
. 1919 ~ Merce Cunningham, Dancer, choreographer
. 1923 ~ Bennie Green, Trombonist, lyricist
1924 ~ Henry Mancini, American arranger, composer, conductor and pianist
More information about Mancini
. 1939 ~ Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien), Singer, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999
. 1944 ~ Dennis Russell Davies, American conductor
. 1947 ~ Gerry Rafferty, Singer, songwriter
. 1949 ~ Bill Spooner, Musician, guitarist with The Tubes
. 1963 ~ Jimmy Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds, he is the youngest Osmond
. 1973 ~ Former Beatle, Paul McCartney, leading the group, Wings, starred in his first TV special titled, James Paul McCartney. The show featured the new group, including Paul’s wife, Linda on keyboards and backing vocals.
. 1996 ~ Lucille Bremer, American actress and dancer (Meet Me in St. Louis, Ziegfeld Follies), died at the age of 79
. 2001 ~ Walter Stanton, who invented an easily replaceable phonograph stylus that helped create a consumer market for audio equipment, died at the age of 86. Stanton invented the slide-in stylus in the 1940s. The design enabled users to replace a needle assembly by themselves instead of having to send it back to the factory when it wore out. The invention became one of the basics in phonograph cartridge design. He also prodded major manufacturers to arrive at a standard mounting system for cartridges and the type of recording on records, that enabled record players and styluses to be sold separately. He also helped found the Institute of High Fidelity, whose annual trade shows in New York attracted thousands of gadget lovers.
. 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest’s Phonofilm, the first sound-on-sound film, motion picture, was demonstrated for a by-invitation-only audience at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. The guests saw The Gavotte, a man and woman dancing to old-time music and The Serenade, four musicians who played on wind, percussion and string instruments.
. 1930 ~ Herb Pomeroy, Musician: trumpet, teacher at Berklee in Boston, bandleader, directed radio Malaysia Orchestra
. 1933 ~ Roy Clark, Musician, guitar, banjo, CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1973, country singer, Comedian of the Year in 1970, 1971 and 1972
. 1972 ~ Roberta Flack started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. Written in 1957 by political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who was later to become his wife. At the time the couple were lovers, although MacColl was married to someone else. MacColl is the father of singer/songwriter Kirsty MacColl. The song was featured in the Clint Eastwood film ‘Play Misty For Me.’
. 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’sCatch 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.”
. 1999 ~ Anthony Newley, British actor and singer-songwriter (Doctor Dolittle; Goldfinger theme; Willy Wonka score), died at the age of 67
. 2007 ~ Don Ho, American musician (b. 1930)
. 2013 ~ Sir Colin Davis, English conductor (NY Met 1967-71), died at the age of 85
. 2015 ~ Percy Sledge, American soul singer (When A Man Loves A Woman), died at the age of 73
. 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.