April 14 in Music History

today

. 1759 ~ George Frideric Handel, organist, violinist and composer, died. Among his best known oratorios are “Saul,” “Israel in Egypt” and the “Messiah”.

. 1900 ~ Salvatore Baccaloni, Opera singer

. 1922 ~ Soprano Jeanette Vreeland sang the first radio concert from an airplane as she flew over New York City.

. 1922 ~ Ali Akbar Khan, Indian composer and maestro sarod player

. 1924 ~ Shorty Rogers (Milton Rajonsky), Musician: trumpet, bandleader, songwriter, composer, arranger

. 1933 ~ Buddy Knox, Singer

. 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’s Catch 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.”

April 9 in Music History

today

. 1886 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish pianist and composer, performed his debut piano concert in Barcelona.

. 1888 ~ Sol Hurok, Impresario

OCMS 1890 ~ Efram Zimbalist, Russian-born American violinist and composer
More information about Zimbalist

. 1898 ~ Paul Robeson, American bass. Known for his sympathy for Russia he had his passport revoked for many years. The song Ole Man River, whose words he changed to fit his views, became his signature song.

. 1906 ~ Antal Dorati, Hungarian-born American conductor and composer. He was the first conductor to record all of Haydn’s symphonies.

. 1916 ~ Julian Dash, Jazz musician, tenor sax

. 1928 ~ Tom Lehrer, Songwriter

. 1932 ~ Carl Perkins, early American rock ‘n’ roll figure who originally recorded Blue Suede Shoes. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987

. 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra, along with singer Helen O’Connell, recorded Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga for Decca Records.

. 1950 ~ Bob Hope hosted a Star-Spangled Review on NBC-TV. Hope became the highest- paid performer for a single show on TV. The Star-Spangled Review was a musical special.

. 1970 ~ Paul McCartney sought a High Court writ to wind up the Beatles business partnership, effectively ending the group’s career.

. 1977 ~ The Swedish pop group Abba made its debut at number one on the American pop charts, as Dancing Queen became the most popular record in the U.S.

. 1988 ~ Brook Benton passed away.  He was an American singer and songwriter who was popular with rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop music audiences.

. 2001 ~ Graziella Sciutti, an Italian soprano and opera director best known for her interpretations of Mozart, died at the age of 68. Born in Turin, northern Italy, in 1932, Sciutti made her first operatic appearance at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France in 1951. She went on to perform under Herbert von Karajan at Milan’s La Scala. She was lead soprano at a smaller theater at La Scala called La Piccola Scala for eight years from its inception in 1955. She became a member of the Vienna State Opera in 1960 and the following year made her debut in San Francisco in one of her most celebrated roles, as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. She began her directing career at Covent Garden in London and at the Glyndebourne Festival in England, where she directed and performed in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine in 1977. She then went on to direct in Canada and for the opera companies in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Miami, as well as in Britain, Germany and Italy. She joined London’s Royal College of Music in the mid 1980s and continued to teach there until shortly before her death.

April 5 in Music History

today

. 1724 ~ Giovanni Jacopo Casanova de Seingalt, Italian violinist During his life he was also a seminarian, a secretary to a cardinal, a Venetian ensign, an abbe, a gambler, an alchemist, a spy, a lover, adventurer, and a librarian.

. 1784 ~ Ludwig Spohr, German violinist, composer and conductor

. 1839 ~ Stanislaw Pilinski, French pianist and composer

. 1869 ~ Albert Roussel, French composer

. 1908 ~ Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor

. 1922 ~ Gale Storm (Josephine Cottle), Singer

. 1925 ~ Stan Levey, Musician, composer, drummer in band with Charlie Parker

. 1928 ~ Tony Williams, Singer with The Platters

. 1932 ~ Billy Bland, Singer

. 1934 ~ Stanley Turrentine, Jazz musician – tenor sax
More about Turrentine

. 1940 ~ Tommy Cash, Songwriter, Johnny Cash’s brother

. 1946 ~ Vincent Youmans passed away.  He was an American Broadway composer and Broadway producer.

. 1958 ~ Johnny Mathis’ album, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, on Columbia Records, made it to the pop music charts for the first time. The LP remained on the charts for a record 490 weeks (nearly 9~1/2 years!) The record began its stay at number one (three weeks) on June 9, 1958. Mathis studied opera from age 13 and earned a track and field scholarship at San Francisco State College. He was invited to Olympic try-outs and chose a singing career instead. He was originally a jazz-style singer when Columbia switched Mathis to singing pop ballads. Johnny would chart over 60 albums in 30 years.

. 1982 ~ After eight years of publication to the radio and recording industry, Record World magazine ceased publication and filed for bankruptcy protection.

. 1985 ~ Broadcasters banded together to play the single, We Are the World, at 10:50 a.m. E.S.T. Stations in the United States were joined by hundreds of others around the world in a sign of unification for the African relief cause. Even Muzak made the song only the second vocal selection it has ever played in elevators and offices since its inception.

. 2018 ~ Cecil Taylor, jazz pianist died.

April 2 in Music History

today

. 1826 ~ Charles-Valentin Alkan made his public performance debut at the piano, in Paris

. 1851 ~ Adolph Brodsky, Russian Empire violinist

. 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

. 1977 ~ Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Duke Ellington, Sir Duke, was released.

. 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 tumour. 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 organised 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.

March 30 in Music History

. 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 fox trot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.

. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahm’s 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, Thank God 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.

March 21 in Music History

. 1685 ~ Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer birthday (Old Style)
Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor was featured in the Walt Disney movie Fantasia and the new Fantasia 2000
Listen to Bach’s music
Read quotes by and about Bach
More information about Bach
Grammy winner

. 1839 ~ Modeste Mussorgsky, Russian composer
More information about Mussorgsky

. 1869 ~ Florenz Ziegfeld, Producer, Ziegfeld Follies ~ annual variety shows famous for the Ziegfeld Girls from 1907 to the 1930s
More information about Ziegfeld

. 1882 ~ Bascom (Lamar) Lunsford, Appalachian folk songwriter, started the first folk music festival in 1928 ~ annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at Asheville, N.C. He was responsible for the formation of the National Clogging and Hoedown Council.

. 1921 ~ Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist

. 1921 ~ Astor Piazzolla, Argentinian composer
More information about Piazzolla

. 1934 ~ Franz Schreker, Austrian composer and conductor, died

. 1935 ~ Erich Kunzel, American orchestra conductor. Called the “Prince of Pops” by the Chicago Tribune, he performed with a number of leading pops and symphony orchestras, especially the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, which he led for 32 years.

. 1936 ~ Alexander Glazunov died.  He was a Russian composer of the late Russian Romantic period, music teacher and conductor.

. 1939 ~ God Bless America, written by Irving Berlin back in 1918 as a tribute by a successful immigrant to his adopted country, was recorded by Kate Smith for Victor Records on this day in 1939. Ms. Smith first introduced the song on Armistice Day, November 11, 1938, at the New York World’s Fair. It was a fitting tribute to its composer, who gave all royalties from the very popular and emotional song to the Boy Scouts. The song became Kate Smith’s second signature after When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain and the second national anthem of the United States of America. On several occasions, it has even been suggested that the U.S. Congress enact a bill changing the national anthem to God Bless America.

. 1941 ~ Singer Paula Kelly joined Glenn Miller’s band. Her husband, also a part of the Miller organization, was one of the four singing Modernaires.

. 1955 ~ NBC-TV presented the first “Colgate Comedy Hour”. The show was designed to stop the Sunday popularity of Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” on CBS.  Gordon MacRae, the Gabor sisters and Mama Gabor, in addition to a host of singers and dancers were in the opening program with the gangway of the nation’s biggest ship, the “S.S. United States” as the stage. In addition to MacRae, other hosts of the “Colgate Comedy Hour” included: Fred Allen, Donald O’Connor, Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante.

. 1961 ~ The Beatles made their debut in an appearance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, where they became regulars in a matter of months.

. 1963 ~ A year after opening in the Broadway show, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand tied the matrimonial knot.

. 1964 ~ Singer Judy Collins made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City and established herself “in the front rank of American balladeers.” She would first hit the Top 40 in 1968 with Both Sides Now, a Joni Mitchell song. Her versions of Amazing Grace and Send In the Clowns also became classics.

. 1970 ~ The Beatles established a new record. Let It Be entered the Billboard chart at number six. This was the highest debuting position ever for a record. Let It Be reached number two a week later and made it to the top spot on April 11, overshadowing Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water.

. 1991 ~ Leo Fender, the inventor of The Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars died from Parkinson’s disease. He started mass producing solid body electric guitars in the late 40s and when he sold his guitar company in 1965, sales were in excess of $40 million a year.

. 1998 ~ Galina Ulanova, the leading ballerina at the Bolshoi Theater for nearly two decades, died aged 88.

. 2000 ~ Jean Howard, a Ziegfeld girl-turned-starlet who became known as a legendary Hollywood hostess and photographer, died at the age of 89. She wasn’t interested in becoming a film star. Instead, she came to wield power as favorite Hollywood hostess and photographer, turning her portraits into the books “Jean Howard’s Hollywood” in 1989 and “Travels With Cole Porter” in 1991.

. 2005 ~ Legendary cabaret singer Bobby Short, an icon of old-world style who played for more than three decades at New York’s Carlyle Hotel, died at the age of 80.

March 16 in Music History

today

. 1736 ~ Giovanni Battista Pergolesi died.  He was an Italian composer, violinist and organist.

. 1894 ~ Jules Massenet’s opera “Thaïs” premiered in Paris

. 1905 ~ Nadia Boulanger made her public concert debut at the piano.

. 1924 ~ Christa Ludwig, German mezzo-soprano

. 1935 ~ Theresa Berganza, Spanish mezzo-soprano

. 1937 ~ David Del Tredici, American composer

. 1942 ~ Fats Waller recorded The Jitterbug Waltz in New York for Bluebird Records.  The Jitterbug Waltz was inspired by some piano exercises that Waller’s son Maurice had been practicing on the piano.

. 1955 ~ The Ballad of Davy Crockett, by Bill Hayes, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts and stayed for five weeks beginning this day. The smash hit song sold more than 7,000,000 records on more than 20 different labels. Everyone seemed to be singing the song that saluted the frontier hero who was “Born on a mountain top in Tennessee…” Coonskin caps were seen everywhere as the Crockett craze spread like a frontier fire.

. 1963 ~ Peter, Paul and Mary released the single, Puff The Magic Dragon.

. 1971 ~ Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water LP and single won six Grammys including Record, Song and Album of the Year. Aretha Franklin won the Best Female R&B Performance Grammy for Don’t Play That Song. B.B. King won the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for The Thrill Is Gone.

. 1983 ~ Arthur Godfrey passed away

. 1985 ~ A Chorus Line played performance number 4,000 this night at New York’s famed Shubert Theatre. The show originally opened in July, 1975, and became the longest-running show to light up the Great White Way in September, 1983.

. 1999 ~ Honoring a roster of music artists that range from The Beatles to the Backstreet Boys, the Recording Industry Association of America presented the first Diamond Awards, given in recognition of albums and singles that have sold a million copies or more.

. 1999 ~ Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and the late Roosevelt Sykes were inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.

. 2014 ~ Mitch Leigh, American musical composer (Man of La Mancha), died at the age of 86

. 2017 ~ James Cotton, American blues vocalist and harmonica player, died at the age of 81