October 27 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1782 ~ Niccolò Paganini, Italian violin virtuoso and composer
Read quotes by and about Paganini
More information about Paganini

• 1796 ~ Anton Thadäus Johann Nepomuk Stamitz, German composer

• 1908 ~ George Feyer, Pianist and entertainer, born in Budapest More about George Feyer

• 1917 ~ Jascha Heifetz made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Heifetz was a 16-year-old sensation who had played the violin since age 5.

• 1927 ~ Dominick Argento, American composer

• 1933 ~ Floyd Cramer, Pianist

• 1941 ~ Edda Moser, German soprano

• 1941 ~ Everything I Love, by Buddy Clark, was recorded this day, number 6469 on the Okeh label.

• 1943 ~ Lee (Melvin) Greenwood, CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, 1983 and 1984, sax, piano, bandleader

• 1957 ~ The Crickets started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘That’ll Be The Day’. It was also a No.3 hit in the US where it went on to sell over a million. The song was inspired by a trip to the movies by Holly, Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis in June 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing and Wayne’s frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, “that’ll be the day” inspired the young musicians.

• 1958 ~ Simon LeBon, Singer with Duran Duran

• 1975 ~ Rocker Bruce Springsteen appeared on the cover of both TIME and Newsweek. Things were certainly going well for ‘The Boss’ that week.

• 2000 ~ Walter Berry, a bass-baritone who won acclaim for his interpretations of Mozart and Strauss and was beloved by Austrians for his renditions of Schubert, died of a heart attack at the age of 71. Known for the powerful timbre of his voice, Berry was a prolific performer who sang 100 different roles in more than 1,280 appearances at the Vienna State Opera. His U.S. debut was a 1963 performance with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. His interpretations of classical lieder by fellow Austrian Franz Schubert won him his most loyal following. Austrians who rarely went to the opera loved Berry for his renditions of popular Viennese songs performed as they believed only a native- born son could. In 1989, he became a professor at the Vienna University for Music and Performing Arts.

• 2001 ~ John Roberts, a promoter of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, died of cancer. He was 56. Roberts produced the festival concert with three others, almost by accident. The idea originally was a pitch for a television comedy show about two young venture capitalists with money but no business plans. Roberts and his partners funded the festival with Roberts’ inheritance and ticket sales. They lost $2.3 million but recovered their loss with royalties from film and album spinoffs, and held on to the profitable name and trademark symbol of a dove on the neck of a guitar. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Roberts later invested in other companies, avoiding the music business. Roberts also was a championship bridge player.

• 2006 ~ Amy Winehouse released her second and final studio album Back to Black. The album spawned five singles: ‘Rehab’, ‘You Know I’m No Good’, ‘Back to Black’, ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ and ‘Love Is a Losing Game’ and won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Back to Black sold 3.58 million copies in the UK alone, becoming the UK’s second best-selling album of the 21st century. Worldwide, the album has sold over 20 million copies.

October 24 ~ This Day in Music History

today

1788 ~ Sarah Hale, Poet, magazine editor, wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb

• 1904 ~ Moss Hart, Tony Award-winning director of My Fair Lady (1957), playwright, married to actress Kitty Carlisle

• 1911 ~ “Sonny” Terry (Saunders Terrell), American blues singer and harmonica player

OCMS 1925 ~ Luciano Berio, Italian composer
More information about Berio

• 1929 ~ George Crumb, American composer and teacher

• 1929 ~ The Rudy Vallee Show was broadcast for the first time over NBC radio. Actually, the Rudy Vallee show had several different titles over the years, all of which were referred to by the public as The Rudy Vallee Show. Megaphone-toting Rudy and his Connecticut Yankees band were mainstays on radio into the late 1940s.

• 1930 ~ J.P. (Jiles Perry) Richardson (The Big Bopper), singer, songwriter More about The Big Bopper

• 1936 ~ David Nelson, Actor, son of entertainers Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, brother of singer Ricky Nelson

• 1936 ~ Bill Wyman, Musician with The Rolling Stones, songwriter, London restaurant owner of Sticky Fingers

• 1937 ~ Santo Farina, Steel guitar with Santo & Johnny

• 1939 ~ F. Murray Abraham, Academy Award-winning actor for his portrayal of Salieri in “Amadeus” (about Mozart), 1984.

• 1939 ~ Let’s Dance was recorded on Columbia Records. It became the theme song for the band that recorded it, the Benny Goodman Band.

• 1946 ~ Jerry Edmonton, Drummer with Steppenwolf

• 1960 ~ Brenda Lee hit #1 for the second time in the year with I Want to Be Wanted. 1960 was a very good year for the young (age 15) songstress. In addition to her first #1 smash, I’m Sorry (July 18), Lee had two other songs on the charts: SweetNothin’s (#4, April 18) and That’s All You Gotta Do (#6, July 4).

• 1975 ~ Looking to name your own greatest hits album something other than Greatest Hits? Do what former Beatle John Lennon did, with his package of the best. Lennon called it, “Shaved Fish”.

• 1977 ~ Gary Busey began filming The Buddy Holly Story. The star was a ringer for the rock idol.

• 1999 ~ Phillip Glass’ “Dracula” score makes news.

• 2001 ~ Kim Gardner, a bassist who played with several bands, including the British rock group Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, died. He was 53. Gardner, born in London, joined fellow teen-age musicians Ron Wood, Ali McKenzie, Tony Munroe and Pete McDaniels to form the Thunderbirds. Shortening their name to the Birds, the band released four singles, including Leaving Here and No Good Without You Baby, both in 1965. Gardner’s next group was Ashton, Gardner & Dyke with Tony Ashton and Roy Dyke in 1968. The trio, whose albums featured a light, jazz-rock style, scored a top-three hit in Britain with Resurrection Shuffle in 1971. The group broke up a year later. Gardner also toured with Pacific Gas and Electric and other bands in the 1970s. He played bass with everyone from Eric Clapton to Bo Didley, and worked on 27 albums. Gardner also was a successful pub master and restaurateur. Gardner toured the United States regularly before settling in Los Angeles in 1973. In 1982, he started the original, 50-seat Cat & Fiddle Restaurant and Pub. Over the years, Cat & Fiddle has been a favorite destination for British rockers such as Keith Moon, Robert Plant and Rod Stewart, as well as Hollywood celebrities.

Piano Puzzlers!

puzzlers

 

The Piano Puzzlers book is available in the O’Connor Music Studio library if you’d like to give any a try.  Piano Puzzlers as heard on American Public Media’s “Performance Today.” Includes 32 tunes with songs by Gershwin, Berlin, Arlen, Porter, Rodgers, Fats Waller, Lennon & McCartney, and others disguised in the styles of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Janacek, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Copland.

Includes an introduction by Fred Child, host of “Performance Today” as well as background info by Bruce Adolphe. “Bruce Adolphe has taken a common musician’s party game and elevated it to high art and truly funny musical slapsticks. The Piano Puzzlers are a unique combination of extraordinary insight into the styles of many composers subtle, expert workmanship and great, great fun!”

From http://jasonmorris.blogsome.com/2008/08/08/piano-puzzlers/

If you’re a music geek (like me), I have a program for you. Now, let me be clear, to fully qualify as a music geek…you must have a fond appreciation for classical music (no, Poison, Quiet Riot, and Zepplin do not count as classical music). So, if you’re a “music geek” without an appreciation for classical music…well, I hate to burst your bubble…but, you’re not truly a music geek. Instead, you’re a music appreciator, but not a geek. So, if you just listen to indie music and scowl at anything on a label larger than Matador…don’t bother following the link I’ll provide…the fun will be lost on you…And, you probably won’t have a chance.

Every Wednesday night, on my way home from WNL, I turn on my local NPR station to listen to Piano Puzzlers on Performance Today. It’s absolutely incredible. A pianist/composer (Bruce Adolphe) takes a familiar folk or pop tune and sets it inside a classical masterpiece (or in the style of a particular composer). Sometimes it’s easy…sometimes it’s ridiculously difficult. There are days when I say, “got it” on the first pass. Then there are days when I say, “what the heck?” And, more often than not, I’m able to get either the popular/folk tune or the composer.

This is sad to admit, but there are nights when I’ll slow down on the drive home or sit in the car in the driveway to finish an episode. In fact, I get a little worked up if someone stops me after WNL…as I might miss the beginning of Piano Puzzlers (it usually hits around 8:20pm on our local station).

Take a listen to some of the archives and see if you can figure it out! It’s really cool…but probably only appreciated by music geeks (the kind of people that listen to NPR for their musical programs and not just the snipets of cool indie rock between segments on All Things Considered…which is a great show too).

Play Piano Puzzlers HERE!

July 16 ~ This Day in Music History

ice-cream-day

It’s National Ice Cream Day!

 

• 1698 ~ Cristoph Kaldenbach, Composer, died at the age of 84

• 1725 ~ Georg Simon Lohlein, Composer

• 1728 ~ Henri Moreau, Composer

• 1729 ~ Johann David Heinichen, Composer, died at the age of 46

• 1762 ~ Jacques Hotteterre, Composer, died at the age of 87

• 1782 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Das Entführung aus dem Serail,” premiered in Vienna

• 1822 ~ Luigi Arditi, Violinist and composer

• 1834 ~ Carlo Angeloni, Composer

• 1855 ~ Charles Francis Abdy Williams, Composer

• 1858 ~ Eugène Ysaÿe, Belgian violinist, conductor and composer. He taught fellow violinist Yehudi Menuhin for a short period.

• 1868 ~ Louis-Francois Dauprat, Composer, died at the age of 87

• 1901 ~ Fritz Mahler, Composer

• 1909 ~ John Edward “Teddy” Buckner, Trumpeter

• 1911 ~ Ginger Rogers, Dancer

 

Ginger and Fred Astaire

 

Ginger Rogers at 92 years old, dancing with her 29 year old great-grandson. The first minute or so is a bit of a slow intro.. but stick it out, she is incredible. Most of us would love to be able to move like this at 22, let alone 92! (You do have to wonder whether she has bionic knees).

• 1912 ~ Ray Barr, American pianist on the Vincent Lopez Show

• 1916 ~ Ludwig P Scharwenka, German Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1925 ~ Cal Tjader, Vibraharpist

• 1928 ~ Bella Davidovich, Soviet-born American pianist

• 1930 ~ John Everett Watts, Composer

• 1932 ~ John Chilton, Jazz trumpeter

• 1933 ~ Sollie McElroy ~ Rhythm and Blues singer

• 1934 ~ The NBC Red radio network premiered the musical drama, Dreams Come True. It was a show about baritone singer Barry McKinley and his novelist sweetheart.

• 1936 ~ Buddy Merrill, American guitarist on the Lawrence Welk Show

• 1939 ~ William Bell, American singer

• 1940 ~ Tony Jackson, British rock bassist, vocalist with the Searchers

• 1947 ~ Tom Boggs ~ rock drummer (Box Tops)

• 1948 ~ Pinchas Zuckerman, Israeli violinist, violist and conductor

• 1948 ~ Ruben Blades, Singer

• 1949 ~ Alan “Fitz” Fitzgerald, Rock keyboardist, vocalist

• 1949 ~ Ray Major, Rock guitarist

• 1952 ~ Stewart Copeland, Drummer

• 1956 ~ Ian Curtis ~ English rock vocalist (Joy Division-Transmission)

• 1972 ~ Giorgio Nataletti, Composer, died at the age of 65

• 1972 ~ Max Zehnder, Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1981 ~ Harry Chapin, Folk vocalist, died in a car crash in New York. Chapin was 38. His hit songs included Taxi, W-O-L-D and the million seller, Cat’s in the Cradle. He was a champion of the hungry and homeless and organized a massive effort to provide food for the needy. This was his legacy to the world; his work continues by other performers.

• 1984 ~ Billy Williams, Singer in Your Show of Shows, died at the age of 73

• 1985 ~ Wayne King, Orchestra leader, Wayne King Show, died at the age of 84

• 1986 ~ Columbia Records announced that after 28 years with the label, the contract of country star Johnny Cash would not be renewed. Cash recorded 13 hits on the pop music charts from 1956 to 1976, all but four on Columbia. The others were on Sam Phillips’Memphis-based label, Sun. Cash’s biggest hit for Columbia was A Boy Named Sue in 1969.

• 1989 ~ Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor, died at the age of 81. He was one of the great conductors of the 20th century, dominating the post- war world of music in the concert hall, opera house and recording studio.

• 1994 ~ 3 Tenors, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, perform in LA

• 1995 ~ Charles Bruck, Hungarian-French-American conductor, died at the age of 83

• 1996 ~ John Panozzo, Drummer, died at the age of 48

June 26 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

• 1284 ~ The Pied Piper exacted his revenge upon the German town of Hamelin this day. The townspeople had promised to pay the piper a large fee if he could rid their town the nasty rats running all over the place. He had played his trusty pipe and the rats had followed him out of town and into the River Weser. But once the rodents were eliminated, the local folks decided not to pay after all. The piper was not pleased and repaid the townspeople by playing his pipe for the children of Hamelin, just like he had done for the rats. And just like the rats, the children followed him out of town.

 

• 1582 ~ Johannes Schultz, Composer

• 1657 ~ Tobias Michael, Composer, died at the age of 65

• 1661 ~ Lazaro Valvasensi, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1747 ~ Leopold Jan Antonin Kozeluh, Composer

• 1778 ~ Angelo Antonio Caroli, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1798 ~ Eugene Godecharle, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1823 ~ Frederick Bowen Jewson, Composer

• 1824 ~ Moritz Furstenau, Composer

• 1836 ~ Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, author and composer of the Marseillaise, died

• 1870 ~ Wagner’s opera “Valkyrie” premiered in Munich

• 1874 ~ Mikhail Vladimirovich Ivanov-Boretsky, Composer

• 1875 ~ Camille Zeckwer, Composer

• 1878 ~ Albert Siklos, Composer

• 1891 ~ Heinrich Lemacher, Composer

• 1893 ~ “Big Bill” Broonzy, American blues singer and guitarist

• 1894 ~ Bill Wirges, American orchestra leader

• 1901 ~ William Busch, Composer

• 1902 ~ Antonia Brico, Conductor and pianist. Because there were so few opportunities for female conductors, she organized the Woman’s Symphony Orchestra in 1935.

• 1909 ~ “Col Tom” Parker (Dries Van Kruijk), Elvis Presley’s manager

• 1912 ~ Gustav Mahler’s 9th Symphony premiered in Vienna

• 1914 ~ Richard Maltby, Bandleader

• 1914 ~ Wolfgang Windgassen, German tenor with the Stuttgart Opera

• 1916 ~ Guiseppe Taddei, Italian baritone

• 1924 ~ Syd Lawrence, Bandleader

• 1924 ~ Ziegfeld Follies opened on Broadway

• 1928 ~ Jacob Druckman, American composer

• 1931 ~ Lucien Goethals, Composer

• 1933 ~ Claudio Abbado, Italian conductor
More information about Abbado

• 1933 ~ The Kraft Music Hall debuted. It turned out to be one of radio’s longest- running hits. The first program presented Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. SingerAl Jolson became the host of the show shortly thereafter. Several years later, crooner Bing Crosby was named the host. The Kraft Music Hall continued on NBC radio until 1949 and then on TV for many more years; the first year as Milton Berle Starring in the Kraft Music Hall, then Kraft Music Hall Presents: The Dave King Show followed by Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall for four seasons. From 1967 on, The Kraft Music Hall featured a different host.

• 1934 ~ Dave Grusin, Composer of film scores

• 1934 ~ Luis Felipe Pires, Composer

• 1940 ~ Billy Davis, Jr., Singer with The 5th Dimension

• 1942 ~ Larry Taylor, Musician, bass with Canned Heat

• 1943 ~ John Allen Strang, Composer

• 1943 ~ Georgie Fame (Clive Powell), Singer

• 1945 ~ Barry Schrader, Composer

• 1945 ~ Erno Rapee, Composer, died at the age of 54

• 1945 ~ Nikolay Nikolayevich Tcherepnin, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1953 ~ Ralph Ezell, American singer

• 1954 ~ Robert Davi, American opera singer/actor

• 1956 ~ Clifford Brown, American jazz trumpeter, died at the age of 25

• 1964 ~ A Hard Day’s Night was released by United Artists Records. The album featured all original material by The Beatles and became the top album in the country by July 25, 1964.

• 1965 ~ Mr. Tambourine Man, by The Byrds, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts. The song was considered by many to be the first folk-rock hit. The tune was written by Bob Dylan, as were two other hits for the group: All I Really Want to Do and My Back Pages. The group of James Roger McGinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Mike Clarke charted seven hits. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

• 1966 ~ “Time for Singing” closed at Broadway Theater New York City after 41 performances

• 1971 ~ Inia Te Wiata, opera singer, died

• 1971 ~ Juan Manen, Composer, died at the age of 88

• 1971 ~ “Man of La Mancha” closed at ANTA Washington Square Theater New York City after 2329 performances

• 1972 ~ David Lichine (Lichtenstein), Russian/American choreographer, died at the age of 61

• 1973 ~ Arnold Richardson, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1973 ~ London production of “Grease” premiered

• 1977 ~ Lou Reizner, Rock vocalist/producer, died at the age of 43

• 1977 ~ Elvis Presley sang the last performance of his career, in Indianapolis. He died two months later.

• 1981 ~ Peter Kreuder, German composer, died

• 1982 ~ André Tchaikowsy, Pianist and composer, died

• 1983 ~ Walter O’Keefe, Songwriter and TV host, died at the age of 82

• 1983 ~ “Show Boat” closed at Uris Theater New York City after 73 performances

• 1984 ~ Barbra Streisand recorded Here We Are at Last

• 1991 ~ Carmine Coppola, Composer and conductor (Godfather II), died at the age of 80

• 1994 ~ Thomas Henry Wait Armstrong, Organist, died at the age of 96

• 2001 ~ French soprano Gina Cigna, famed for singing Puccini’s “Turandot”, died at the age of 101. Born in Paris in 1900, Cigna made her stage debut at Milan’s La Scala opera house at age 27 under the name Ginette Sens. Her breakthrough came two years later when she performed in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at La Scala under her own name. Arturo Toscanini, the conductor, was particularly fond of Cigna’s expressive voice, which received widespread acclaim. An auto accident ended Cigna’s performing career in 1947. Until 1965, she coached opera singers in Milan, Siena and Canada.

Daily Listening Assignment ~ June 5

 

Happy Birthday is a song that I like to have each of my students learn at various levels appropriate to their level. When a friend or family member has a birthday, it’s great to be able to sit down and play.

 

It’s only been fairly recently that piano students could have this music in their books.

“Happy Birthday to You”, more commonly known as simply “Happy Birthday”, is a song that is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person’s birth. According to the 1998 Guinness World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.

The melody, or part you sing, of “Happy Birthday to You” comes from the song “Good Morning to All”, which has traditionally been attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893, although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed.

Patty Hill was a kindergarten principal and her sister Mildred was a pianist and composer.  The sisters used “Good Morning to All” as a song that young children would find easy to sing.  The combination of melody and lyrics in “Happy Birthday to You” first appeared in print in 1912, and probably existed even earlier.

“Happy Birthday” in the style of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Dvorak, and Stravinsky.  Find the melody!

 

Lots of legal stuff below which you can skip…

None of the early appearances of the “Happy Birthday to You” lyrics included credits or copyright notices. The Summy Company registered a copyright in 1935, crediting authors Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R. R. Forman. In 1988, Warner/Chappell Music purchased the company owning the copyright for US$25 million, with the value of “Happy Birthday” estimated at US$5 million. Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claimed that the United States copyright will not expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are illegal unless royalties are paid to Warner. In one specific instance in February 2010, these royalties were said to amount to US$700. By one estimate, the song is the highest-earning single song in history, with estimated earnings since its creation of US$50 million.In the European Union, the copyright for the song expired on January 1, 2017.

The American copyright status of “Happy Birthday to You” began to draw more attention with the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act in 1998. When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Act in Eldred v. Ashcroft in 2003, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer specifically mentioned “Happy Birthday to You” in his dissenting opinion. American law professor Robert Brauneis, who extensively researched the song, concluded in 2010 that “It is almost certainly no longer under copyright.”

In 2013, based in large part on Brauneis’s research, Good Morning to You Productions, a company producing a documentary about “Good Morning to All”, sued Warner/Chappell for falsely claiming copyright to the song.  In September 2015, a federal judge declared that the Warner/Chappell copyright claim was invalid, ruling that the copyright registration applied only to a specific piano arrangement of the song, and not to its lyrics and melody.

In 2016, Warner/Chappell settled for US $14 million, and the court declared that “Happy Birthday to You” was in the public domain.

Legal stuff is finished and people can now sing and play “Happy Birthday to You” whenever and wherever they want.

One of my all-time versions of Happy Birthday, in duet form – and I have the music if you want to tackle it.

 

 

Daily Listening Assignment ~ June 4

 

I’m sure many have you have learned Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by now.  Did you know its’ the same melody as the ABC Song?  You know…

Don’t believe it? Sing them both in your head or out loud.

The French melody first appeared in 1761, and has been used for many children’s songs, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and the “Alphabet Song”.

This is one of the first pieces a student learns in piano methods, since it has them reach just a bit outside their accustomed hand position on the word “little”.

 

Twinkle

 

I try to remember to let students know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed a set of twelve variations on the theme “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman” for the piano and it started as the same basic Twinkle tune.

The sheet music is available at the O’Connor Music Studio if you want to borrow it or download it here about 1/3 of the way down the page under “Scores”.

I always enjoy these graphical scores.  Watch the colors as the melody gets more and more complex:

Who knew?  There’s an accordion version.

Have a great day!