• 1971 ~ Folk singer Joan Baez received a gold record for her hit, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. It turned out to be her biggest hit, peaking at #3 on the charts on October 2, 1971.
• 1979 ~ Nadia Boulanger, French composer and conductor (1st woman to conduct Boston Symphony), died at the age of 92
• 1983 ~ Celebrating its 100th anniversary, New York’s Metropolitan Opera featured a daylong concert with some of the world’s greatest opera stars. On stage at the Met were Dame Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
• 2001 ~ Tom Baker, one of Australia’s most respected jazz musicians, died of a heart attack while touring in the Netherlands. He was 49. Baker, a native of California, took up residence in Australia 30 years ago. He was a regular at Sydney’s famous jazz club, The Basement. Willie Qua, drummer and co-founder of one of Australia’s best-known jazz bands, Galapagos Duck, said Baker had often played as “a part-time member” of the band and was an icon of the Sydney jazz scene. Baker formed his first band, Tom Baker’s San Francisco Jazz Band, in 1975, earning himself a reputation as one of Australia’s very best jazz musicians. Recently he toured extensively through Europe and America.
• 1979 ~ Following extensive renovation to return Radio City Music Hall to the look and feel of its 1931 art deco glory, the venerable New York City theatre reopened. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first live presentation.
• 1983 ~ Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton received a gold record to add to their collections for their smash, Islands in the Stream.
• 2000 ~ Julie London, American singer and actress (Nurse McCall-Emergency), died at the age of 74
• 2000 ~ Gwyneth “Gwen” Verdon, American actress, singer and dancer (Cotton Club, Sweet Charity), died at the age of 75
• 2006 ~ Anna Russell, English music satirist and composer, died at the age of 94
• 1894 ~ Albert Stoessel, American conductor and composer
• 1918 ~ Jerome Robbins (Rabinowitz), Academy Award-winning director of “West Side Story” in 1961, Tony Award-winning choreographer of “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1965, West Side Story in 1958, “High Button Shoes” in 1948, Tony Award-winning director of “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1965, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway in 1989.
• 1919 ~ Art Blakely, American jazz drummer, bandleader, composer
• 1932 ~ Dottie West (Dorothy Marie Marsh), Grammy Award-winning singer
• 1939 ~ One of the classics was recorded this day. Body and Soul, by jazz great Coleman Hawkins, was waxed on Bluebird Records. It’s still around on CD compilations.
• 1940 ~ Glenn Miller recorded Make Believe Ballroom Time for Bluebird Records at the Victor studios in New York City. It would become the theme song for Make Believe Ballroom on WNEW, New York, with host Martin Block. Block created the aura of doing a ‘live’ radio program, complete with performers (on records) like Harry James or Frank Sinatra, from the ‘Crystal Studios’ at WNEW. His daily program was known to everyone who grew up in the NYC/NJ/Philadelphia area in the 1940s and 1950s. Miller had been so taken with the show’s concept that he actually paid for the Make Believe Ballroom Time recording session himself and hired the Modernaires to join in.
• 1943 ~ Gene Watson, Singer
• 1946 ~ Viktor Tretyakov, Russian violinist
• 1948 ~ Starting this night and for 792 performances, the musical, “Where’s Charley?”, played on Broadway. It included the show-stopping hit song: Once in Love with Amy.
• 1949 ~ Daryl Hall (Hohl), Singer
• 1950 ~ Andre Woolfolk, Reeds with Earth, Wind and Fire
• 1955 ~ Lindy (Linda) Boone, Singer with The Boone Family, singer Pat Boone’s daughter
• 1967 ~ The Doors appeared at Danbury High School, Danbury, Connecticut. Before the group came on stage an announcer told the audience not to leave their seats during the performance or they would be escorted out of the venue. There was also a beauty pageant just prior to The Doors coming on stage.
• 1969 ~ One hit wonders Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Je t’aime… Moi non plus.’ Banned by many radio stations for its sexual content and sounds and for first time in the history of the show, the BBC’s Top Of The Pops producers refused to air the No. 1 song.
• 1996 ~ Johnny Costa, jazz pianist (Mr. Rogers), died at the age of 74
• 2001 ~ Beni Montresor, a Tony award-winning set and costume designer who was also known for his plays and children’s books, died at age 75. Montresor worked as a set designer at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios. In 1960, he moved to New York, where he designed sets and costumes for both Italian and New York theatrical and operatic productions and began to write and illustrate children’s books. In 1986, he won a Tony, Broadway’s highest award, for scenic design in The Marriage of Figaro.
• 1933 ~ The theme song was Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here and it opened the National Barn Dance. The half-hour country music and comedy show, originally heard on WLS, Chicago since 1924, moved to the NBC Blue network this night. National Barn Dance was broadcast from the Eighth Street Theater in Chicago, where the stage was transformed into a hayloft every Saturday night. The host was Joe Kelly. Uncle Ezra was played by Pat Barrett who was known to say, “Give me a toot on the tooter, Tommy,” as he started dancing. A few of the other Barn Dance characters were Arkie, the Arkansas Woodchopper; Pokey Martin; the Hoosier Hotshots; the Prairie Ramblers; cowgirl, Patsy Montana; Pat Buttram; Lulu Belle and the Cumberland Road Runners. Gene Autry and Red Foley were heard early in their careers on National Barn Dance. Although there were plenty of sponsors (Alka Seltzer, One-A-Day vitamins, Phillips Milk of Magnesia), the National Barn Dance was one of the few radio shows to charge admission!
• 1935 ~ Jill Corey (Norma Jean Speranza), Singer
• 1935 ~ Johnny Mathis, American singer of popular music
• 1935 ~ “Summertime … and the livin’ is easy.” Porgy and Bess was presented for the first time, at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. It was a flop! It was revived in 1942. It wasn’t a flop that time. It ran longer than any revival in the history of U.S. musical theater.
• 1941 ~ The Larry Clinton Orchestra recorded their version of That Solid Old Man, on Bluebird Records.
• 1942 ~ Frankie Lymon, Singer: recorded at age 14
• 1942 ~ Dewey Martin, Drummer, singer with Buffalo Springfield
• 1943 ~ Marilyn McCoo (Davis), Singer with The Fifth Dimension, TV hostess of Solid Gold from 1981 to 1984 and 1986 to 1988, TV music reporter
• 1946 ~ Sylvia Peterson, Singer with The Chiffons
• 1953 ~ Deborah Allen (Thurmond), Singer
• 1954 ~ Julie Andrews, who would later become a household name in movies, TV and on records, opened on Broadway for the first time. The future star of The Sound of Music appeared in The Boy Friend this night.
• 1976 ~ Mary Ford passed away
• 1977 ~ President Jimmy Carter designated October as the official country music month.
• 1979 ~ Clio-Danae Othoneou, Greek actress, musician and pianist
• 1989 ~ Virgil Thomson, US composer/critic (4 saints in 3 acts), died at the age of 92
• 2003 ~ Ronnie Dawson, the rock singer known as the “Blonde Bomber,” died. He was 64. Dawson was diagnosed in 2002 with throat cancer but continued to perform. One of his last gigs was an emotional performance at the Rockabilly Rave festival in England in February. He enthralled fans at the Big D Jamboree in the 1950s and at Carnegie Hall in the 1990s. Among Dawson’s songs as a teenager in the 1950s were Action Packed and I Make the Love. He was famous for live performances where he would jump from the stage, run through the audience and play his guitar while standing on a table. In the late 1950s, Dawson recast himself as an R&B artist named Snake Monroe, signed briefly with Columbia Records, and then joined the local Western swing pioneers the Light Crust Doughboys. In the 1960s, he packed the Levee Club with the Levee Singers, a folk act that appeared nationally on “The Danny Kaye Show” and “The Jimmy Dean Show.” After the Levee Singers broke up, he formed a country band, Steel Rail, and later sang television and radio jingles.
• 2003 ~ Robert LaMarchina, conductor of the Honolulu Symphony from 1967 to 1978, died. He was 75. Born in New York City, Robert LaMarchina began studying the cello at the age of 7. At 8, he made his first appearance as a solo cellist with the St. Louis Symphony. LaMarchina was 15 when famed conductor Arturo Toscanini hired him to perform with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. LaMarchina made is first appearance as a conductor in 1951 in Japan in the Fujiwara Opera’s production of “Madame Butterfly”. He later taught music at Indiana University, traveled with the Ambassadors of Opera and conducted operas on the West Coast.
• 1918 ~ Henryk Szeryng, Polish-born Mexican violinist
• 1926 ~ William O. Smith, American composer and jazz clarinetist
• 1930 ~ Joni James (Joan Carmello Babbo), Singer
• 1937 ~ Red Norvo and his orchestra recorded the Russian Lullaby on the Brunswick label. Norvo did more famous work at a later date, recording with a singer named Dinah Shore.
• 1941 ~ Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Bulgarian soprano
• 1943 ~ Singer Kate Smith finished her War Bond radio appeal. For 13 continuous hours Smith had stayed on the air, collecting a whopping $39 million dollars in bond pledges.
• 1951 ~ David Coverdale, Singer with Deep Purple
• 1954 ~ Shari Belafonte, Actress, TV co-host, singer Harry Belafonte’s daughter
• 1956 ~ Debby Boone, Grammy Award-winning singer: Best New Artist in 1977, sang with The Boone Family; daughter of singers Pat and Shirley Boone
• 1962 ~ It was a hootenanny of a good time in, of all places, New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. The cast included newcomer Bob Dylan making his first appearance at Carnegie Hall.
• 1964 ~ In the tradition of the Broadway stage, the lights lowered, the curtain rose and Zero Mostel stepped into the spotlight as the fiddler played. “Tra-a–a- dition”, he sang, as he began the first of 3,242 performances of Fiddler on the Roof. The musical opened on Broadway this day. The story of Tevye (brilliantly played by Mostel), a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, takes place in a small Russian village in the late 1890s. He sings and dances his way through the tragedies and comedies of a father fighting for tradition in a changing world. “To life”, he sang, as the music of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick made the stories by Sholem Aleichem come alive. And he brought tears to audiences eyes with the poignant, Sunrise, Sunset, and laughter, too, with the memorable, If I were a Rich Man — which surely made Zero Mostel a wealthy man.
• 1980 ~ John Lennon signed with Geffen Records. The Lennon LP, Double Fantasy, was released on Geffen. (Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980.)
• 1985 ~ The poor of America’s Heartland … the financially troubled farmers of Middle America … got help from their friends in the music biz. Singing stars Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Cougar Mellencamp held a benefit concert to raise funds. The stars came out and so did the money. The Farm Aid concert raised ten million dollars.
• 2001 ~ Isaac Stern, the master violinist who saved Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball, died at the age of 81. Stern, one of the last great violinists of his generation, helped advance the careers of a new generation, including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma. He played well over 175 performances at Carnegie Hall, America’s musical temple renown for its acoustics. The hall opened in 1891. As the city was planning Lincoln Center in the 1950s, a builder proposed an office building to replace Carnegie Hall. Using his prestige and his contacts among fellow artists and benefactors, Stern rallied the opposition, eventually securing legislation that enabled the city to acquire the building in 1960 for $5 million. On Jan. 8, 1943, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in a recital produced by the impresario Sol Hurok. Performing with pianist Alexander Zakin, who became his longtime accompanist, Stern played Mozart, Bach, Szymanowski, Johannes Brahms and Wieniawski. The performance attracted the attention of composer-critic Virgil Thomson. Writing in the New York Herald Tribune, Thomson proclaimed him “one of the world’s master fiddle players.” At his peak, Stern would perform more than 200 concerts a year. Stern boycotted Germany for years because of the Holocaust, but taught a nine-day seminar there in 1999.
1789 ~ Franz Xaver Richter died. He was an Austro-Moravian singer, violinist, composer, conductor and music theoretician who spent most of his life first in Austria and later in Mannheim and in Strasbourg, where he was music director of the cathedral.
• 1888 ~ Maurice (Auguste) Chevalier, French chanteur and actor
• 1891 ~ Adolph Weiss, American composer and bassoonist
• 1924 ~ Ella Mae Morse, Singer, first artist to record for Capitol Records
• 1931 ~ George Jones, ‘The Possum’, singer
• 1940 ~ Tony Bellamy, Guitarist with The Tornados
• 1940 ~ Johnny Long’s orchestra recorded the classic A Shanty in Old Shanty Town for Decca Records.
• 1943 ~ Maria Muldaur (d’Amato), Singer
• 1944 ~ Booker T. Jones, American rock-and-roll musician
• 1944 ~ Barry White, Singer, played piano on Jesse Belvin’s Goodnight My Love in 1955
• 1966 ~ “Hey, hey we’re the Monkees — and we don’t monkey around…” The theme song from the NBC-TV show, The Monkees, kicked off a fun-filled weekly series on this day in 1966. Some 400 aspiring actors had auditioned for the Columbia television series by producer Don Kirschner. Davy Jones, a former English horse racing jockey; Michael Nesmith, a session guitarist; Peter Tork of the Phoenix Singers; and Micky Dolenz, who had appeared in the TV series Circus Boy were picked to be America’s answer to The Beatles. The four were picked to become the fabricated music group – not because they could sing, act or play musical instruments – but because they looked the parts. Dolenz and Jones were actors, Tork and Nesmith had some musical experience. The Monkees were the first made-for-TV rock group. Ironically – or maybe not – The Monkees TV show won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series of 1967.
• 1966 ~ The Beatles received a gold record this day for Yellow Submarine.
• 1970 ~ James Taylor’s first single, Fire and Rain, was released. Taylor scored 14 hits on the music charts in the 1970s and 1980s.
• 1980 ~ An in-depth report on the death of Elvis Presley aired on ABC-TV’s 20/20. It raised so many unanswered questions that the official case concerning Elvis’ death was reopened.
• 1993 ~ Herman Nieland, organist/pianist/composer, died at the age of 82
• 2000 ~ Stanley Turrentine, a jazz saxophonist whose hit “Sugar” established him in the popular mainstream and influenced musicians in many other genres, died after suffering a stroke. He was 66. Turrentine played tenor saxophone, and mixed jazz with blues, rock, pop and rhythm and blues. He lived in Fort Washington, Md., outside Washington, D.C. “His impact on jazz was just astonishing,” said his agent, Robin Burgess. “He had a large impact on fusion, electric jazz and organ trio music.” Turrentine grew up in Pittsburgh, surrounded by music. His brother Tommy played trumpet, and the two played together in Pittsburgh while they were still in high school. Turrentine started his professional career playing with Ray Charles and Max Roach. He went solo in the 1960s and scored his biggest hit in 1970 with “Sugar,” which became something of a jazz standard. His blues-influenced riffs brought him commercial success with albums including “Stan ‘The Man’ Turrentine,” “Up at Minton’s,” and “Never Let Me Go.”
• 2003 ~ Johnny Cash, “The Man in Black”, died at the age of 71.
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• 1834 ~ Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian composer
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• 1903 ~ Arthur (Morton) Godfrey, Ukulele playing, TV/radio entertainer
1918 ~ Alan Jay Lerner, American lyricist for the musical theater
Read quotes by and about Lerner
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• 1930 ~ Dudley “Big Tiny” Little Jr, American pianist on the Lawrence Welk Show
• 1939 ~ Jerry Allison, Drummer with The Crickets
• 1939 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded All or Nothing at All with the Harry James Band. The tune failed to become a hit until four years later – after Ol’ Blue Eyes had joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
• 1945 ~ Itzhak Perlman, Israeli-born American violinist, recorded with André Previn and Scott Joplin
• 1945 ~ Van Morrison, Songwriter, singer with Them
• 1955 ~ Anthony Thistlethwaite, Saxophone with The Waterboys
• 1957 ~ Glenn Tilbrook, Guitar, singer, songwriter with Squeeze
• 1959 ~ Tony DeFranco, Singer with The DeFranco Family
• 1970 ~ Debbie Gibson, Singer
• 1976 ~ A judge ruled that George Harrison was guilty of copying from the songHe’sSo Fine (a 1963 Chiffons hit). The judge said that the chorus to Harrison’s My Sweet Lord was identical to He’s So Fine and it eventually (appeals went on for about five years) cost the former Beatle over half a million dollars.
• 1987 ~ This day saw the largest preorder of albums in the history of CBS Records. 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson’s Bad album were shipped to record stores. The LP followed in the tracks of the Jackson album, Thriller, the biggest Jackson-seller of all time (35 million copies sold). The Bad album was successful but sold only 13 million copies.
• 2002 ~ Lionel Hampton, American Jazz vibraphone player and actor, died at the age of 94
• 2016 ~ Jacques Leduc, Belgian composer, died at the age of 84
• 1521 ~ Josquin Desprez, French/Franco-Flemish composer, died. Generally acknowledged as the greatest composer of the High Renaissance.
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1886 ~ Eric Coates, British composer and violist
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• 1889 ~ Charles G. Conn of Elkhart, IN patented the metal clarinet. More than 100 years later the name, Conn, still represents one of the most popular musical instrument names, especially for clarinets.
• 1909 ~ Lester Willis “Prez” Young, American jazz tenor and saxophonist
• 1927 ~ Jimmy ‘Cajun’ Newman, Singer
• 1937 ~ Tommy (Adrian) Sands, Singer
• 1939 ~ Singer Allan Jones recorded I’m Falling in Love with Someone on Victor Records.
• 1942 ~ Daryl Dragon, Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter, duo in The Captain and Tennille
• 1944 ~ Barry Conyngham, Australian composer
• 1944 ~ Tim Bogert, Bass with these groups: Showmen, Cactus, Vanilla Fudge
• 1949 ~ Jeff Cook, Singer, guitar with Alabama
• 1953 ~ Alex Lifeson, Guitarist with Rush
• 1970 ~ The Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA was the venue of singer Elton John’s first concert appearance in America and a record company executive for UNI records (a division of MCA) signed Elton to a recording contract.
• 1984 ~ The Menetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village opened. It was the first new off-Broadway theatre to be built in 50 years in New York City. The ribbon cutting was done by “America’s First Lady of the Stage”, Helen Hayes.
• 1990 ~ Stevie Ray Vaughan, killed in helicopter crash
• 1881 ~ Georges Enesco, Rumanian composer, violinist and conductor
• 1918 ~ Sgt. Irving Berlin’s musical about army life in World War I opened at the Century Theatre in New York City. Yip Yip Yaphank included songs, such as Mandy and Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.
• 1939 ~ Ginger (Peter) Baker, Trumpeter, drummer with Cream
• 1939 ~ The Dick Jurgens Orchestra recorded Day Dreams Come True at Night on Okeh Records. Eddy Howard was the vocalist on the piece. It became Jurgens’ theme song.
• 1940 ~ Johnny Nash, American pop-reggae singer, songwriter and guitarist
• 1943 ~ Billy J. Kramer (William Ashton), Singer with The Dakotas
• 1945 ~ Ian Gillan, Singer with Deep Purple
• 1947 ~ Gerard Schwarz, American trumpeter and conductor
• 1951 ~ John Deacon, Bass with Queen, score of Flash Gordon
• 1964 ~ The Beatles began their first North American concert tour. They would visit 26 cities.
• 1972 ~ NBC-TV presented The Midnight Special for the first time. John Denver was the host for the first show. Wolfman Jack was the show’s announcer. The Midnight Special proved to be a ratings success.
• 1991 ~ Richard Maltby passed away. He was an American musician, conductor, arranger and bandleader.
• 2001 ~ Singer Betty Everett, whose recording of The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) made Billboard’s Top 10 in 1964, died Sunday. She was 61.
Everett is remembered primarily for one huge hit song in the 1960s, but she also recorded many other songs and was recognized as one of the top soul singers of her time.
Starting at age 9, Everett played the piano and sang in church. She continued to sing in gospel choirs before moving to Chicago in 1957, where she recorded a string of hits on local record labels such as C.J. Cobra and OneDerful that included I’ll Be There and I’ve Got a Claim On You.
Everett signed a contract in the early 1960s with VeeJay, a record label that was then issuing recordings by The Beatles.
Everett recorded The Shoop Shoop Song in the spring of 1964, and it soared to Billboard’s Top 10.
The song was later recorded by Cher in the soundtrack for the 1990 movie Mermaids and more recently by Vonda Shepard of the Fox television show Ally McBeal.
• 2017 ~ Bea Wain, American singer and radio host (Deep Purple, Heart and Soul), died at the age of 100
• 1961 ~ Roy Hay, Musician, guitar with Culture Club
• 1966 ~ The last tour for The Beatles began at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, and John Lennon apologized for boasting that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. London’s Catholic Herald said Lennon’s comment was “arrogant … but probably true.”
• 1967 ~ Fleetwood Mac made their stage debut at the National Blues and Jazz Festival in Great Britain.
• 1992 ~ John Cage, American composer (Imaginary Landscape No 1/O’O), died of a stroke at the age of 79