July 12 ~ This Day in Music History

today
• 1633 ~ Simon Besler, Composer, died at the age of 49

• 1757 ~ Christian Danner, Composer

• 1773 ~ Johann Joachim Quantz, German royal flautist and composer, died at the age of 76

• 1801 ~ John Hill Hewitt, Composer

• 1802 ~ Charles-Louis Hanssens, Composer

• 1821 ~ Cesare Dominiceti, Composer

• 1839 ~ Christian Traugott Tag, Composer, died at the age of 62

• 1882 ~ Alfred Humphreys Pease, Composer, died at the age of 44

• 1883 ~ Hermann Zopff, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1885 ~ George Sainton Kaye Butterworth, Composer

• 1895 ~ Kirsten Flagstad, Norwegian soprano, famed for her performances of Wagner and noted for her noble and easy delivery

• 1895 ~ Oscar (Greeley Clendenning) Hammerstein II, American lyricist for the musical theater
More information about Hammerstein

• 1897 ~ Felix Godefroid, Composer, died at the age of 78

• 1906 ~ Henrique Alves de Mesquita, Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1908 ~ Johan Franco, Composer

• 1920 ~ Paul Foster, Singer

• 1926 ~ Charles Wood, Composer, died at the age of 40

• 1927 ~ Conte (Secondo) Candoli, Trumpeter, bandleader; toured with Stan Kenton

• 1934 ~ Van Cliburn (Harvey Lavan), American piano virtuoso, won the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958

• 1942 ~ Richard Stolzman, clarinet soloist

• 1943 ~ Christine (Perfect) McVie, Singer with Fleetwood Mac

• 1946 ~ Benjamin Britten’s “Rape of Lucretia,” premiered at Glyndebourne

• 1947 ~ James Melvin Lunceford, American jazz dance-band leader, passed away
More information about Lunceford

• 1949 ~ John Wetton, Bassist, singer with Asia

• 1952 ~ Liz Mitchell, Singer

• 1953 ~ Marie-Alphonse-Nicolas-Joseph Jongen, Belgian composer, died at the age of 79

• 1956 ~ Sandi Patti, Gospel Singer

• 1958 ~ “Li’l Abner” closed at St James Theater New York City after 693 performances

• 1958 ~ Yakety Yak, by The Coasters, became the number one song in America according to Billboard magazine. It was the first stereo record to reach the top of the chart.

• 1962 ~ The Rolling Stones first performance, at the Marquee Club, London. The lineup featured Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, bass player Dick Taylor and drummer Mick Avory. Taylor and Avory were soon replaced.

• 1970 ~ Blues-Rock singer Janis Joplin’s debut, in Kentucky

• 1979 ~ Kalervo Tuukkanen, Composer, died at the age of 69

• 1979 ~ Minnie Ripperton (Andrea Davis) Singer, died at the age of 30

• 1985 ~ “Singin’ in the Rain” opened at Gershwin Theater New York City for 367 performances

• 1990 ~ Les Miserables opened at National Theatre, Washington

• 1993 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Sunset Promenade” opened in London

• 1995 ~ Alan David Marks, Pianist and composer, died at the age of 49

• 1995 ~ Earl Coleman, Singer, died at the age of 69

• 1995 ~ Ernie Furtado, Bassist, died at the age of 72

• 1996 ~ Gottfried von Einem, Composer, died at the age of 78

• 1996 ~ Jonathan Melvoin, Keyboardist with Smashing Pumpkins, died

• 2000 ~ Ras Shorty I, who fused calypso with an up-tempo beat that he said represented the true soul of calypso, died of bone cancer. He was 59. He was born Garfield Blackman and started singing calypso as Lord Shorty. Dozens of musicians later adopted his up-tempo “soca” beat, which he called the “Indianization of calypso,” bringing together the music of his Caribbean nation’s two major ethnic groups, descendants of African slaves and of indentured laborers from India.

• 2001 ~ James Bernard, who composed the eerie musical scores for some of Britain’s most famous horror films, died at the age of 75. The British composer was best known for his work with Hammer Film studios, which made low-budget gothic horror films featuring actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. During his nearly 40-year career, Bernard composed scores for “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), “Dracula” (1958) and “The Devil Rides Out” (1968). He won an Academy Award, but not for his music. Bernard shared an Oscar in 1951 with Paul Dehn for best motion picture story for “Seven Days to Noon.” His last work was the score for “Universal Horror” in 1998, a documentary of Universal Studios’ horror films of the 1930s and 1940s.

May 7 ~ This Day in Music History

today

•  1833 ~ Johannes Brahms, German composer
More information about Brahms

• 1840 ~ Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer
Listen to Tchaikovsky’s music
Read about Tchaikovsky
Read quotes by and about Tchaikovsky
More information about Tchaikovsky

• 1919 ~ Eva (Evita) Peron, Argentina’s spiritual leader and wife of Argentina’s President, Juan Peron; actress on stage, film and radio; subject of the Broadway musical and film Evita

• 1927 ~ Elisabeth Söderström, Swedish soprano

• 1931 ~ Teresa Brewer (Breuer), Singer

• 1941 ~ Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded one of the great American music standards, Chattanooga Choo Choo
More information about Chattanooga Choo Choo

• 1942 ~ Felix Weingartner, Austrian conductor and composer, died; best known for his interpretations of Wagner and Beethoven.

• 1958 ~ Pianist Van Cliburn signed an artist’s contract with RCA Victor Records.

• 1966 ~ The Mamas & The Papas made the climb to the top of the Billboard pop music chart with Monday, Monday.

• 1977 ~ The Eagles went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Hotel California’, the group’s fourth US No.1, a No.8 hit in the UK. The Eagles also won the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year for ‘Hotel California’ at the 20th Annual Grammy Awards in 1978. The song’s guitar solo is ranked 8th on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Solos and was voted the best solo of all time by readers of Guitarist magazine.

• 1995 ~ Ray McKinley passed away.  He was an American jazz drummer, singer, and bandleader.

• 2002 ~ Buster Brown, a tap star and choreographer who danced on stage, in films and on television, died. He was 88. Brown was one of the last surviving members of the Copasetics, a legendary group of veteran dancers who performed together. Known for his quick rhythms and charm, Brown was a mentor and teacher for a younger generation of dancers. Brown, who was born James Brown in Baltimore, began his dancing career with a trio called the Three Aces and Speed Kings. He eventually began a solo career, appearing in the Hollywood musical “Something to Shout About” in 1943. Brown toured with the bands of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington, and was a featured dancer in Ellington’s concerts in the 1960s. He danced in the films “The Cotton Club” and “Tap” and on two public television specials. He also performed with the original casts of the Broadway musicals “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “Black and Blue.” Brown toured South America with the Cab Calloway Orchestra and was commissioned by the State Department to perform in several African countries. He also taught master classes throughout Europe. Beginning in 1997, Brown was master of ceremonies at a weekly Sunday tap jam at the Manhattan club Swing 46, where young and old dancers stopped by to perform. He recently received an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma City University.

April 13 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1377 ~ Guillaume de Machaut died. French poet and musician. Composer of monophonic and polyphonic music. Leading representative of the Ars nova tradition
More information about Machaut

. 1742 ~ Handel’s Messiah premier in Dublin

. 1810 ~Félicien-César David, French composer

. 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.

February 27 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

. 1848 ~ Hubert Parry, English composer, teacher and historian of music.

. 1873 ~ Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor, sang nearly 70 roles; appeared in nearly every country of Europe and North and South America
Read quotes by and about Caruso
More information about Caruso

. 1883 ~ Oscar Hammerstein of New York City patented the first practical cigar- rolling machine. If Oscar’s name sounds familiar, it should. Hammerstein’s grandson later made his mark by writing some of the best- known music in the world, teaming up frequently with Richard Rodgers.

. 1887 ~ Lotte Lehman, Singer

. 1897 ~ Marian Anderson, Opera diva

. 1923 ~ Dexter Gordon, American jazz tenor saxophonist

. 1927 ~ Guy Mitchell (Al Cernick), Singer, actor

. 1935 ~ Mirella Freni, Italian soprano

. 1936 ~ Chuck Glaser, Singer with Glaser Brothers

. 1948 ~ Eddie Gray, Guitarist with Tommy James & The Shondells

. 1951 ~ Steve Harley (Nice), Singer with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

. 1954 ~ Neal Schon, Guitarist with Santana; Journey

. 1955 ~ Garry Christian, Singer with The Christians

. 1970 ~ Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

. 2003 ~ Tom Glazer, 88, the balladeer, guitarist and songwriter who, along with Burl Ives, Josh White, Pete Seeger and others, helped spark national interest in folk music in the 1940s, died. Mr. Glazer wrote songs for children, including a hit 1963 parody, On Top of Spaghetti, that won him National Critics’ and Parent Magazine awards. He also acted, sang and wrote for movies and TV. He was singer-narrator for the film, Sweet Land of Liberty, and composed the score for the Andy Griffith film A Face in the Crowd. Mr. Glazer was a native of Philadelphia who attended the City College of New York. As a young man, he played tuba and bass in military and jazz bands and worked at the Library of Congress. He began singing with a group while living in Washington, and was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to perform at the White House. Mr. Glazer became a full-time musician in 1943 and, over the years, hosted three radio series. He also wrote books about music, including a number of songbooks. His song Because All Men Are Brothers, based on the Passion Chorale by J. S. Bach, was recorded by the Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary. Other hits included, Old Soldiers Never Die for Vaughn Monroe, More for Perry Como, Til We Two Are Onefor Georgie Shaw, and A Worried Man, recorded by the Kingston Trio. His song, The Musicians was used on the “Barney” television show for children; Bob Dylan recorded his Talking Inflation Blues.

. 2003 ~ Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for more than 30 years, died. He was 74. From 1968 to 2000, Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced the show at Pittsburgh public television station WQED. The final new episode, which was taped in December 2000, aired in August 2001, though PBS affiliates continued to air back episodes. Rogers composed his own songs for the show and began each episode in a set made to look like a comfortable living room, singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”, as he donned sneakers and a zip-up cardigan. His message remained simple: telling his viewers to love themselves and others. On each show, he would take his audience on a magical trolley ride into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where his puppet creations would interact with each other and adults. Rogers did much of the puppet work and voices himself. He also studied early childhood development at the University of Pittsburgh and consulted with an expert there over the years. Rogers’ show won four Emmy Awards, plus one for lifetime achievement. He was given a George Foster Peabody Award in 1993, “in recognition of 25 years of beautiful days in the neighborhood.” One of Rogers’ red sweaters hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.

. 2003 ~ Jean Sullivan, a musician, dancer and actress who starred opposite Errol Flynn in the 1944 film “Uncertain Glory,” died of cardiac arrest. She was 79. Sullivan was the leading lady Marianne in “Uncertain Glory” and also has a starring role in the 1945 movie “Escape in the Desert.” The young actress also played the daughter of Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson in the motion picture comedy “Roughly Speaking.” Despite a budding acting career, Sullivan relocated to New York and began studying ballet and dancing professionally. While practicing flamenco steps during a Carnegie Hall rehearsal, Sullivan was discovered by choreographer Anthony Tudor and was a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She enhanced her flamenco by playing Spanish guitar and became a popular entertainer at Latin nightclubs throughout New York City. Sullivan also played cello and piano. Despite her career change, Sullivan performed flamenco on TV variety shows, including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Jackie Gleason Show.” She also was a meteorologist on local New York television stations.

. 2013 ~ Van Cliburn died.  He was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of 23, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.

December 13, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

 

Christmas Music, Parts 13 ~ The Alfred Burt Carols

• 1761 ~ Johann Andreas Streicher, German piano maker

• 1835 ~ Phillips Brooks, Lyricist, O Little Town of Bethlehem

• 1838 ~ Alexis Vicomte De Castillon

• 1843 ~ Charles Dickens published his play “A Christmas Carol”

• 1874 ~ Josef Lhévinne, Russian pianist, teacher. After gaining fame as a soloists in Russia and Europe, he and Rosa came to the U.S.A. in 1919. While they continued to concertize, they both taught at Juilliard; although he had the more prominent concert career, she lived on to become legendary for teaching an endless succession of prominent pianists including Van Cliburn.

• 1903 ~ Carlos Montoya, Spanish Flamenco guitarist

• 1925 ~ Wayne Walker, Songwriter

• 1925 ~ Dick Van Dyke, American Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian

• 1928 ~ Audiences at Carnegie Hall heard the first performance of George Gershwin’s composition, An American in Paris. The debut was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch. Advertised as “a tone poem with jazz and sound effects”, it was used as a ballet for Gene Kelly’s 1951 performance in the movie of the same name. Unfortunately, George Gershwin did not live to see his composition being danced to in the Academy Award-winning An American in Paris. It won six Oscars: Best Art Direction/Set Direction [Color], Best Color Cinematography, Best Costume Design [Color], Best Story and Screenplay, Best Picture … and Best Score.

• 1929 ~ Christopher Plummer (Orme), Actor, Sound of Music, Doll’s House

• 1929 ~ Hoagy Carmichael recorded with Louis Armstrong. They did Rockin’ Chair on Columbia records and cylinders.

• 1940 ~ The two-sided jump tune, The Anvil Chorus, was recorded by Glenn Miller and his orchestra for Bluebird Records in New York. The 10-inch, 78 rpm record ran six minutes (including flipping).

• 1941 ~ John Davidson, Actor, singer, TV game show host of the Hollywood Squares

• 1948 ~ Jeff  ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Guitarist with Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers

• 1948 ~ Ted Nugent, Guitarist, singer with Amboy Dukes

• 1948 ~ The American Federation of Musicians went back to work after an 11½-month strike. During the strike, there was an 11½-month ban on phonograph records as well.

• 1949 ~ Randy Owen, Guitarist, singer with Alabama

• 1949 ~ Tom Verlaine (Miller), Guitarist, singer with Television

• 1974 ~ Former George Harrison was greeted at the White House. President Gerald R. Ford invited Harrison to lunch. The two exchanged buttons, Ford giving George a WIN (Whip Inflation Now) pin and Harrison gave the President an OM (Hindu mantra word expressing creation) button.

• 2000 ~ Cellist Yo-Yo Ma made a special guest appearance on NBC television’s West Wing. No, he did’t play a partisan leader, but he was featured in some of the music of Bach.

• 2002 ~ Maria Bjornson, a set and costume designer whose work on the hit musical The Phantom of the Opera won critical acclaim, was found dead at her London home. She was 53. Bjornson was born in Paris in 1949 and grew up in London, the daughter of a Romanian woman and a Norwegian father. She went to the French Lycee in London and then studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. Bjornson worked as a theater designer from 1969, and designed 13 productions at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theater. She worked for the Welsh National Opera and its English and Scottish counterparts, and was involved with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Ballet. Her colorful and grand design for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theater in London in 1986 won her international acclaim. In 1988, Bjornson’s work on Phantom won two Tony Awards, one for sets and the other for costumes. After Phantom she collaborated with Lloyd Webber again on Aspects of Love, and worked on the Royal Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden in London in 1994 and on Cosi Fan Tutte at Glyndebourne in 1991.

• 2002 ~ Former Lovin’ Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky, who traded in the wild rock star life for a quiet existence as a restaurant owner in Canada, died. The Toronto native died of a heart attack at his home in Kingston, Ontario, six days before his 58th birthday. Famed for such hits as Do You Believe in Magic and Summer in the City, the Lovin’ Spoonful enjoyed a brief reign in the mid 1960s as America’s answer to the Beatles. The quartet, led by singer/guitarist John Sebastian, racked up seven consecutive top 10 singles in 16 months. Yanovsky, a tall Russian Jew who resembled Ringo Starr, joined forces with Sebastian in New York City in 1964. The pair shared a love of folk music, and both had played in the Mugwumps, a short-lived combo that also included future Mamas and Papas members “Mama” Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty. The Lovin’ Spoonful, named after a Mississippi John Hurt song, took shape in 1965 when Yanovsky and Sebastian teamed up with drummer Joe Butler and bass player Steve Boone. The group’s first single, Do You Believe In Magic reached the top 10 that year. Its followup, You Don’t Have To Be So Nice also went top 10 in early 1966. Summer in the City was their sole No. 1. Besides recording five albums, the band also did the soundtracks to Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily? and Francis Ford Coppola You’re A Big Boy Now. Yanovsky was the zany member of the group. He was the focal point during live performances, but his biting humor often rubbed his colleagues the wrong way, especially when one of his girlfriends ended up with Sebastian. In 1966, the group’s banner year, Yanovsky was faced with deportation after he and Boone were arrested for marijuana possession in San Francisco. They turned in their dealer, which damaged the band’s hipster credentials. Amid rising tensions, Yanovsky was voted out of the band in 1967, but remained on amicable terms with his colleagues. He recorded a solo album, Alive and Well in Argentina, in 1968. Sebastian, the band’s creative force, left that year, and the band soon broke up. The original members reunited in 1980 to appear in the Paul Simon film One-Trick Pony and then in 2000 when it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yanovsky dabbled in TV before going into the restaurant business. He ran Chez Piggy, an acclaimed eatery in Kingston.

• 2003 ~ Jazz trumpeter Webster Young, who played with greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane in the 1950s, died of a brain tumor. He was 71. Young’s career got an early boost when Louis Armstrong took him as a student when he was 10 years old. As a teenager, Young jammed with Dizzy Gillespie, earning the nickname “Little Diz” in Washington D.C.-area clubs for a style that resembled Gillespie’s. Young broke into the modern jazz scene in New York City in the late 1950s, recording several albums. He returned to Washington D.C. in the 1970s to raise his family. He toured in Europe in the 1980s and performed regularly at jazz clubs until eight months before his death. Young’s career peaked in 1957, when he played cornet with John Coltrane for the album “Interplay for Two Trumpets and Two Tenors” for the Prestige record label.

July 12, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today
• 1633 ~ Simon Besler, Composer, died at the age of 49

• 1757 ~ Christian Danner, Composer

• 1773 ~ Johann Joachim Quantz, German royal flautist and composer, died at the age of 76

• 1801 ~ John Hill Hewitt, Composer

• 1802 ~ Charles-Louis Hanssens, Composer

• 1821 ~ Cesare Dominiceti, Composer

• 1839 ~ Christian Traugott Tag, Composer, died at the age of 62

• 1882 ~ Alfred Humphreys Pease, Composer, died at the age of 44

• 1883 ~ Hermann Zopff, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1885 ~ George Sainton Kaye Butterworth, Composer

• 1895 ~ Kirsten Flagstad, Norwegian soprano, famed for her performances of Wagner and noted for her noble and easy delivery

• 1895 ~ Oscar (Greeley Clendenning) Hammerstein II, American lyricist for the musical theater
More information about Hammerstein

• 1897 ~ Felix Godefroid, Composer, died at the age of 78

• 1906 ~ Henrique Alves de Mesquita, Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1908 ~ Johan Franco, Composer

• 1920 ~ Paul Foster, Singer

• 1926 ~ Charles Wood, Composer, died at the age of 40

• 1927 ~ Conte (Secondo) Candoli, Trumpeter, bandleader; toured with Stan Kenton

• 1934 ~ Van Cliburn (Harvey Lavan), American piano virtuoso, won the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958

• 1942 ~ Richard Stolzman, clarinet soloist

• 1943 ~ Christine (Perfect) McVie, Singer with Fleetwood Mac

• 1946 ~ Benjamin Britten’s “Rape of Lucretia,” premiered at Glyndebourne

• 1947 ~ James Melvin Lunceford, American jazz dance-band leader, passed away
More information about Lunceford

• 1949 ~ John Wetton, Bassist, singer with Asia

• 1952 ~ Liz Mitchell, Singer

• 1953 ~ Marie-Alphonse-Nicolas-Joseph Jongen, Belgian composer, died at the age of 79

• 1956 ~ Sandi Patti, Gospel Singer

• 1958 ~ “Li’l Abner” closed at St James Theater New York City after 693 performances

• 1958 ~ Yakety Yak, by The Coasters, became the number one song in America according to Billboard magazine. It was the first stereo record to reach the top of the chart.

• 1962 ~ The Rolling Stones first performance, at the Marquee Club, London. The lineup featured Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, bass player Dick Taylor and drummer Mick Avory. Taylor and Avory were soon replaced.

• 1970 ~ Blues-Rock singer Janis Joplin’s debut, in Kentucky

• 1979 ~ Kalervo Tuukkanen, Composer, died at the age of 69

• 1979 ~ Minnie Ripperton (Andrea Davis) Singer, died at the age of 30

• 1985 ~ “Singin’ in the Rain” opened at Gershwin Theater New York City for 367 performances

• 1990 ~ Les Miserables opened at National Theatre, Washington

• 1993 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Sunset Promenade” opened in London

• 1995 ~ Alan David Marks, Pianist and composer, died at the age of 49

• 1995 ~ Earl Coleman, Singer, died at the age of 69

• 1995 ~ Ernie Furtado, Bassist, died at the age of 72

• 1996 ~ Gottfried von Einem, Composer, died at the age of 78

• 1996 ~ Jonathan Melvoin, Keyboardist with Smashing Pumpkins, died

• 2000 ~ Ras Shorty I, who fused calypso with an up-tempo beat that he said represented the true soul of calypso, died of bone cancer. He was 59. He was born Garfield Blackman and started singing calypso as Lord Shorty. Dozens of musicians later adopted his up-tempo “soca” beat, which he called the “Indianization of calypso,” bringing together the music of his Caribbean nation’s two major ethnic groups, descendants of African slaves and of indentured laborers from India.

• 2001 ~ James Bernard, who composed the eerie musical scores for some of Britain’s most famous horror films, died at the age of 75. The British composer was best known for his work with Hammer Film studios, which made low-budget gothic horror films featuring actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. During his nearly 40-year career, Bernard composed scores for “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), “Dracula” (1958) and “The Devil Rides Out” (1968). He won an Academy Award, but not for his music. Bernard shared an Oscar in 1951 with Paul Dehn for best motion picture story for “Seven Days to Noon.” His last work was the score for “Universal Horror” in 1998, a documentary of Universal Studios’ horror films of the 1930s and 1940s.

May 7 in Music History

today

•  1833 ~ Johannes Brahms, German composer
More information about Brahms

• 1840 ~ Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer
Listen to Tchaikovsky’s music
Read about Tchaikovsky
Read quotes by and about Tchaikovsky
More information about Tchaikovsky

• 1919 ~ Eva (Evita) Peron, Argentina’s spiritual leader and wife of Argentina’s President, Juan Peron; actress on stage, film and radio; subject of the Broadway musical and film Evita

• 1927 ~ Elisabeth Söderström, Swedish soprano

• 1931 ~ Teresa Brewer (Breuer), Singer

• 1941 ~ Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded one of the great American music standards, Chattanooga Choo Choo
More information about Chattanooga Choo Choo

• 1942 ~ Felix Weingartner, Austrian conductor and composer, died; best known for his interpretations of Wagner and Beethoven.

• 1958 ~ Pianist Van Cliburn signed an artist’s contract with RCA Victor Records.

• 1966 ~ The Mamas & The Papas made the climb to the top of the Billboard pop music chart with Monday, Monday.

• 1977 ~ The Eagles went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Hotel California’, the group’s fourth US No.1, a No.8 hit in the UK. The Eagles also won the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year for ‘Hotel California’ at the 20th Annual Grammy Awards in 1978. The song’s guitar solo is ranked 8th on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Solos and was voted the best solo of all time by readers of Guitarist magazine.

• 1995 ~ Ray McKinley passed away.  He was an American jazz drummer, singer, and bandleader.

• 2002 ~ Buster Brown, a tap star and choreographer who danced on stage, in films and on television, died. He was 88. Brown was one of the last surviving members of the Copasetics, a legendary group of veteran dancers who performed together. Known for his quick rhythms and charm, Brown was a mentor and teacher for a younger generation of dancers. Brown, who was born James Brown in Baltimore, began his dancing career with a trio called the Three Aces and Speed Kings. He eventually began a solo career, appearing in the Hollywood musical “Something to Shout About” in 1943. Brown toured with the bands of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington, and was a featured dancer in Ellington’s concerts in the 1960s. He danced in the films “The Cotton Club” and “Tap” and on two public television specials. He also performed with the original casts of the Broadway musicals “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “Black and Blue.” Brown toured South America with the Cab Calloway Orchestra and was commissioned by the State Department to perform in several African countries. He also taught master classes throughout Europe. Beginning in 1997, Brown was master of ceremonies at a weekly Sunday tap jam at the Manhattan club Swing 46, where young and old dancers stopped by to perform. He recently received an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma City University.