. 1949 ~ Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis debuted on radio in an NBC program that ran until 1952.
. 1950 ~ Kurt Weil, German composer, died, best known for his “Threepenny Opera” and for his collaboration with actress and singer Lotte Lenya whom he married in 1926.
. 1952 ~ Harry Belafonte recorded his first songs for RCA Victor at Manhattan Center in New York City.
. 1952 ~ Hugo Winterhalter backed up the singer with an 18-piece orchestra. Among the sides recorded were Dogs A-Roving and Chimney Smoke.
. 1955 ~ Fred Astaire appeared on television for the first time on The Toast of the Town, with host, Ed Sullivan. Already an established dancer in films, Astaire was quick to become a TV sensation as well.
. 1965 ~ Bob Dylan appeared on the pop music charts for the first time. Subterranean Homesick Blues entered the Top 40 at number 39. The song stayed on the charts for eight weeks. Dylan would chart a total of 12 singles on the pop charts between 1965 and 1979. He appeared in the films Don’t Look Back, Eat the Document and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. He made the film Renaldo and Clara in 1978. Dylan co-starred in the film Hearts of Fire in 1987. He became a member of the Traveling Wilburys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Dylan won the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
. 1972 ~ Ferde Grofe, US composer (Grand Canyon Suite), died at the age of 80
More about Grofe
. 1986 ~ For the first time in six years, major record companies decided to raise prices – between three and five percent.
. 1986 ~ Peter Pears, British operatic tenor, died. He was a collaborator with composer Benjamin Britten and first interpreter of many of Britten’s works, notably “Peter Grimes.”
. 1990 ~ Sarah Vaughan passed away
. 1999 ~ Lionel Bart, British composer of the musical “Oliver!,” died aged 68.
. 2001 ~ Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey, a blues singer-guitarist known for his croaky voice, died of prostate cancer. He was 74. Kinsey and his sons, Kenneth, Donald and Ralph, became known as “Big Daddy” Kinsey and His Fabulous Sons. The sons now form the Gary-based Kinsey Report and record for Alligator Records, a Chicago blues label. The Kinsey Report has toured with the likes of the Allman Brothers Band. In the early ’90s, the elder Kinsey experienced one of his career highlights with I Am the Blues, a major-label release on Polygram. The album boasted a host of blues standouts backing up Kinsey, including Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Sugar Blue and Pinetop Perkins.
. 2015 ~ Andrew Porter died. He was a renowned music critic and scholar and translator of opera.
. 1905 ~ Kurt Herbert Adler, Austrian-born American conductor and opera director
. 1912 ~ Herbert Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers
. 1939 ~ Marvin Gaye, American soul singer and songwriter, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987
. 1941 ~ Leon Russell, American rock singer-songwriter and instrumentalist
. 1942 ~ Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded American Patrol for Victor Records. The jitterbug tune became one of Miller’s most requested hits.
. 1947 ~ Emmylou Harris, Grammy Award-winning singer for Elite Hotel in 1976 and Blue Kentucky Girl in 1978.
. 1951 ~ Simon Barere, pianist, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage during a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall, with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. Barere subsequently collapsed and died backstage shortly thereafter.
. 1963 ~ Best Foot Forward opened in New York City. Liza Minnelli was the lead actress in this off-Broadway revival of the show which enjoyed a run of 224 performances.
. 1964 ~ The Beach Boys recorded their next single ‘I Get Around’, which became their first US No.1 in the summer of this year. The song begins with a multi-part a cappella introduction that quickly shifts into rock-style verses sung by Mike Love and a pop chorus sung in falsetto by Brian Wilson
. 1985 ~ A day after its release, the album, We are the World, was certified gold with sales in excess of 500,000 copies.
. 1987 ~ One of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, Buddy Rich died aged 69 due to complications caused by a brain tumor. Rich worked with many acts including, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey’s band, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson. Rush’s Neil Peart organized a pair of 90s tribute albums (titled Burning for Buddy), which also featured the work of Kenny Aronoff, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Max Roach, Steve Smith and Matt Sorum.
. 1985 ~ The long-awaited album, We Are the World, was finally released. Eight rock stars donated previously unreleased material for the LP. Three million copies of the award-winning single of the same name had already been sold. The song, We Are the World, was number five, and moving up, on the Billboard magazine pop single’s chart this day.
. 1991 ~ Martha Graham passed away. She was an American modern dancer and choreographer.
. 2001 ~ Eva Heinitz, who fled Nazi Germany in the prime of her career as a cello performer and was one of the first professional viola da gamba players in modern times, died at the age of 94. Heinitz, a native of Berlin, soared to prominence as a brilliant, temperamental soloist with the greatest orchestras of Europe in her 20s. Initially instructed on the cello, Heinitz taught herself to play the smaller instrument and performed the Bach Passions under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwangler and Otto Klemperer, who called her the world’s best viola da gamba player. Heinitz, who once described herself as “51 percent” Jewish, fled Germany in 1933. She lived in Paris and London, moved to New York in 1939 and was hired by Fritz Reiner as a section cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. She came to Seattle in 1948 and was hired as faculty cellist at the University of Washington. During her 28-year tenure, she became one of the founders of the early-music revival, which brought a renewed interest in music and instruments of the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1991, her international colleagues gathered in Indiana and accorded her the title “Grande Dame du Violoncelle” – great lady of the cello.
. 2001 ~ Trinh Cong Son, Vietnam’s most beloved singer-songwriter who opposed the Vietnam War and sought postwar reconciliation, died after a long battle with diabetes at the age of 62. Dubbed the “Bob Dylan of Vietnam” by American folk singer Joan Baez for his anti-war songs, his music is still widely performed in Vietnam and in overseas Vietnamese communities. Son, who was persecuted by the South Vietnamese government in the late 1960s and early ’70s, wrote more than 600 songs. His pacifist songs about the futility of war were banned at the time, but bootleg copies circulated throughout South Vietnam and overseas. When the war ended, most of Son’s family fled overseas but he stayed. He was equally unpopular with the new Communist government for his songs about reconciliation and spent 10 years in forced labor “re-education camps.” But by the late ’80s, he regained popularity, and his songs are still performed by some of Vietnam’s biggest pop artists.
. 2001 ~ Theodore M. “Ted” McCarty, a key figure in the development of the electric guitar and former president of Gibson Guitar Co., died at the age of 91. In his 18 years as president at Gibson, McCarty transformed the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based maker of acoustic musical instruments into the purveyor of guitars to the stars. The solid-body electric guitar was considered something of a gimmick when McCarty left the Wurlitzer Co. to join Gibson in 1948. He had a degree in commercial engineering and had been an engineering designer for the military during World War II. Despite not being musically inclined, McCarty saw possibilities in the electric guitar. At Gibson, he helped bring to life the Les Paul series, named for the blues guitarist who endorsed it, the Explorer series, widely used by both rock and country guitarists, and the radical Flying V. McCarty later bought the Bigsby Co., which manufactures vibratos for guitars. He sold the company and retired in 1999.
. 2015 ~ Cynthia Lennon, the late John Lennon’s wife from 1962-1968, has died at age 75.
. 1732 ~ Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
Listen to Haydn’s music
More information about Haydn
. 1872 ~ Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev. He was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes.
. 1880 ~ Henryk Wieniawski, Polish violist/composer, died at the age of 44
. 1901 ~ John Stainer died. He was an English composer and organist whose music, though not generally much performed today, was very popular during his lifetime.
. 1922 ~ Richard Kiley, American actor and singer (Kismet, Man of La Mancha, Endless Love)
. 1928 ~ Lefty (William Orville) Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Famer
. 1934 ~ Shirley Jones, Singer, actress
. 1935 ~ Herb Alpert, American trumpeter, bandleader (Tijuana Brass), composer, record company executive: the “A” of A&M Records
. 1937 ~ Phil Harris recorded one of his best-known songs in Los Angeles, CA. That’s What I Like About the South was recorded on a 78 RPM disk. Harris would move to TV stardom and continue as a popular vocalist during the 1950s with such hit songs as The Thing.
. 1943 ~ The show, Away We Go, was renamed. The show opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City and, thanks to the talents of stars like Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts and Howard DeSilva, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances, until 1948. The musical, which has grossed millions of dollars on stage and as a blockbuster movie was initially produced for the sum of $75,000. It is still legendary among musical productions – especially after it was retitled Oklahoma!
. 1944 ~ Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge), Bass, singer with The Fortunes
. 1944 ~ Mick Ralphs, Guitarist
. 1945 ~ Al Nichol, Guitarist, keyboards with The Turtles
. 1953 ~ Sean Hopper, Keyboards with Clover and Huey Lewis and The News
. 1959 ~ Angus Young, Guitarist with AC/DC
. 1967 ~ Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time in a public performance at Finsbury Park in London.
. 1985 ~ Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, long a favorite of country music stars, closed its doors in Nashville, TN.
. 1674 ~ Pietro Antonio Locatelli died. He was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.
. 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer
. 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s
. 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer
. 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon. Alma Cummings danced the foxtrot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.
. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahms’ Rhapsody in G Minor. He was 13.
. 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music
. 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drummer with The Moody Blues
. 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack country duo
. 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; songwriter, Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990
. 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist
. 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as their hit single, He’s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I Will Follow Him on April 27th.
. 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter
. 1964 ~ Willem Andriessen, Dutch composer and pianist (Beethoven), died at the age of 76
. 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer
. 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics called Bacall “a sensation.” The play, at the Palace Theatre, was an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances. A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.
. 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, “Hey, this sounds like disco!” and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history…
. 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshine on My Shoulders. It was the singer’s first number one song. Three other singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie’s Song, ThankGod I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10 at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.
Piano Day, an annual worldwide event founded by a group of like-minded people, takes place on the 88th day of the year – in 2021 it’s the 29th March – because of the number of keys on the instrument being celebrated.
. 1788 ~ Charles Wesley, writer of over 5,500 hymns and, with his brother John, the founder of Methodism, died.
. 1871 ~ The Royal Albert Hall in London opened
. 1878 ~ Albert Von Tilzer, Composer. He was the composer of “Take Me out to the Ball Game” among other old favorites.
More information about Von Tilzer
. 1879 ~ “Eugene Onegin”, best-known opera by Russian composer Tchaikovsky, was first performed at the Maliy Theatre in Moscow
. 1947 ~ Bobby Kimball (Toteaux), Singer with Toto
. 1949 ~ Michael Brecker, Jazz musician, reeds with The Brecker Brothers
. 1951 ~ The King and I, the wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on Margaret Langdon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam, opened this night in 1951 on Broadway. The King and I starred Yul Brynner in the role of the King of Siam. The king who, along with his subjects, valued tradition above all else. From this day forward, the role of the King of Siam belonged to Yul Brynner and no other. Brynner appeared in this part in more than 4,000 performances on both stage and screen (the Broadway show was adapted for Hollywood in 1956). Anna, the English governess hired to teach the King’s dozens of children, was portrayed by Gertrude Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Brynner acted, danced and sang their way into our hearts with such memorable tunes as Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance, Hello, Young Lovers, I Whistle a HappyTune, We Kiss in a Shadow, I Have Dreamed, Something Wonderful, A Puzzlement and March of the Siamese Children. The King and I ran for a total of 1,246 outstanding performances at New York’s St. James Theatre.
. 1952 ~ Roy Henderson’s last singing performance was on this date in the role of Christus in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at Southwark Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral on the south bank of the Thames in London.
. 1973 ~ Hommy, the Puerto Rican version of the rock opera Tommy, opened in New York City. The production was staged at Carnegie Hall.
. 1973 ~ After recording On the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’, Dr. Hook finally got a group shot on the cover of Jann Wenner’s popular rock magazine. Inside, a Rolling Stone writer confirmed that members of the group (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) bought five copies of the magazine for their moms – just like in the song’s lyrics!
. 1980 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, Anglo-Italian conductor and arranger, died. Created the “Mantovani sound” that made him a highly successful recording artist and concert attraction.
. 1982 ~ Carl Orff, German composer of “Carmina Burana,” died.
. 1982 ~ Ray Bloch passed away
. 1999 ~ Legendary U.S. jazz and blues singer Joe Williams died aged 80.
. 2001 ~ John Lewis, a pianist who masterminded one of the most famous ensembles in jazz, the Modern Jazz Quartet, died at the age of 80. The M.J.Q., as the quartet was known, remained mostly unchanged from the mid-1950’s to the 90’s. It began recording in 1952 with Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke. When Clarke moved to Paris in 1955, Connie Kay replaced him and the quartet continued until Kay’s death in 1994. Lewis contributed the bulk of the group’s compositions and arrangements, including Django and Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West, and he insisted members wear tuxedos to dignify jazz as an art. He was born in LaGrange, Ill., in 1920, and grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. His entree to the jazz world came during World War II, when he met Kenny Clarke, an established drummer in the nascent bebop movement. At Clarke’s urging, Lewis moved to New York after his discharge and eventually replaced Thelonious Monk as Dizzy Gillespie’s pianist. He also performed or recorded with Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1952 he formed the M.J.Q. with Clarke, Jackson and Heath. The quartet was a steady seller of records and concert tickets well into the 1970’s. Lewis also taught music at Harvard and the City College of New York, and in the late 1950’s helped found the Lenox School of Jazz in Massachusetts.
. 2009 ~ Maurice Jarre, French composer (Doctor Zhivago-Acadamy Award winner in 1966), died at the age of 84
When it comes to tuning, every piano is different, even two pianos of the same style and make are different, and the humidity of the room makes a big difference, he said.
High humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect.
In Minnesota, humidity can easily range from 80 percent in the summertime to 10-15 percent in the winter, if the home doesn’t have a humidifier. Wood-heated homes tend to be especially dry, he said.
“Pianos like it between 40 and 50 percent humidity in the house,” he said.
Even places that are supposedly “climate-controlled,” aren’t always. The heat might get turned down substantially evenings and weekends, for example.
A new piano needs a few weeks to settle into its new home before tuning, Fry said.
“If they get a new piano, generally they call us the day before it gets in the house,” he said. “It should sit in the house a couple weeks just to acclimatize it to its new surroundings … brand new pianos stretch for a while. They go out of tune quicker. The wire stretches and they settle into themselves.”
Some people think they have to let a new, or recently moved older piano, sit six months or a year before it gets tuned. That’s not true, Fry said, but it does need a few weeks.
He recommends that pianos be tuned at least once a year (he tunes his own piano once a year, even though he no longer gives lessons) and the busiest time for him is before the holidays — September through December.
“Piano-tuning is something people can put off,” he said. “We noticed a real drop in tuning when gas got over $3 a gallon. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it did.”
Fry said he is looking for some kind of work to do in the summertime when his other businesses are slow.
He doesn’t give piano or guitar lessons anymore, but does enjoy tuning all types of pianos.
“It takes me a couple of hours. I have time,” Fry said. “I’m going to do the job that I like to do, and do it right.”
. 1881 ~ Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, died from alcoholism. Best known for his “Pictures from an Exhibition” and the opera “Boris Godunov.”
. 1890 ~ Paul Whiteman, Bandleader, Washboard Blues, Ol’ Man River, Felix the Cat, Heartache and Ain’t Misbehavin’
. 1903 ~ Rudolph Serkin, Austrian concert pianist: “An artist of unusual and impressive talents in possession of a crystalline technique, plenty of power, delicacy, and tone pure and full.”
“A masterly musician … a scholar of profound art without pedantry, with the loftiest conceptions of beauty, whose every thought and emotion is for the glory of his art.”
. 1939 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Three Little Fishies for Victor Records.
. 1942 ~ Samuel Ramey, American bass
. 1943 ~ Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer and virtuoso pianist, died in California; best known for his piano concertos and his Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”.
. 1944 ~ WQXR radio in New York City, owned by The New York Times newspaper, banned singing commercials from its airwaves as of this day. Understandable, since the station has always been the classical music voice of Manhattan and there aren’t many classical singing commercials.
. 1945 ~ Chuck Portz, Bass with The Turtles
. 1947 ~ Barry Miles, Musician: keyboardist
. 1949 ~ Milan Williams, Keyboards, drums, trombone, guitar with Commodores
. 1963 ~ Alec A Templeton, composer/pianist (Alec Templeton Time), died at the age of 52
. 1964 ~ Radio Caroline debuted as the first pirate radio station to broadcast off the coast of England. On this day in 1964, the combination of rock music and lively disk jockey patter played to a huge audience in Great Britain; but well out of reach of British authorities. However, that didn’t stop them from trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station ship. Radio Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually dull British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Today, all that is different, as there is licensed radio competition throughout Great Britain. The BBC and the giant, government-owned network has caught up with the times by offering five different services to appeal to wide audiences. They are simply known as ‘Radio 1′ through ‘Radio 5′ … No ‘Zees’, ‘Qs’ or ‘Bees’, just numbers that include a rock channel, a talk channel, a nostalgia/easy listening channel, a classical/fine arts channel and a news channel.
. 1969 ~ Joe Cocker played his first American concert. He entertained fans at Billy Graham’s Fillmore East in New York City.
. 1974 ~ The group, Blue Swede, received a gold record for the single, Hooked on a Feeling.
. 1974 ~ Dorothy Fields passed away
. 1980 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes passed away. He was an Argentine actor and singer. He was one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, an actor, television host, and songwriter
. 1981 ~ The group, Blondie, featuring Debbie Harry, received a gold record for the tune, Rapture. At the time, the pop~rock hit was perched at the top of the pop music charts. Blondie had eight charted hits. Four of them were million sellers, beginning with their first release, Heart of Glass in 1979. Four of the eight hits were number one on the charts, as well.
. 1985 ~ Roger Waters of Pink Floyd made radio history. His Radio City Music Hall concert in New York was broadcast live using a new high-tech sound system called ‘holophonics’. It is said to have recreated the stage experience in amazing detail.
. 1986 ~ More than 6,000 radio stations of all format varieties (even Muzak) played We are the World simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST. The promotion became part of the biggest participatory event in history by linking a human chain of millions of people from sea to sea. Ken Kragen was the promotion genius behind the plan that raised millions of dollars and created awareness for the African famine relief project.
USA for Africa musicians
Soloists (in order of appearance)
Ray Charles (Also playing Piano and Keyboards)
La Toya Jackson
David Paich – synthesizers, musician
Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming
Paulinho da Costa – percussion
Louis Johnson – bass
Michael Omartian – keyboards
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
John Robinson – drums
. 2001 ~ Moe Koffman, one of Canada’s best-known jazz musicians, died of cancer at the age of 72. Koffman, whose best known for his flute piece, Swinging Shepherd Blues, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. He was for decades a regular fixture at the modest Toronto jazz club, George’s Spaghetti House. Koffman, who also played saxophone and clarinet, composed and arranged many of his own pieces. A formidable break in his career came in 1948 after he won a record deal with New York’s Mainstream Records from a magazine contest. He recorded two records with the music house before moving back to Toronto. He received the Order of Canada in 1993 for his outstanding work and service to the arts.
. 2012 ~ Earl Scruggs, American bluegrass musician, died from natural causes at the age of 88
Every Palm Sunday, without fail, my father’s church choir in Connecticut sang this. I still know it nearly by heart.
This hymn for Palm Sunday was originally written in French as “Les rameaux” originally published in 1864 by French art collector, operatic baritone and composer Jean-Baptiste Fauré (1830–1914).
Jean-Baptiste Fauré should not be confused with French composer, organist, pianist and teacher Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) who composed a world-famous Requiem and other works.
An early English translation “Palm-Branches” was published by Oliver Ditson Co., Boston in “Gems of English Song” 1875. A number of other English translations have been made, and it has proved surprisingly difficult to identify the translators. One version is sometimes credited to Harrison Millard (1830-1895) – but other sources say he was simply an arranger.
I think, as a choir, we didn’t sound quite this good
Other Palm Sunday Music:
We are singing this at the Pender Contemporary Service this morning at 11:15:
We are singing this at Pender this year at the 9:00 traditional service, but without quite as much ceremony, and in English
This looks like fun – “Jerusalem, lift up your gates and sing!” Hosanna in the Highest to your King! Note that one person is playing a duet with himself.