On May 18 in Music History

today

• 1799 ~ Pierre Beaumarchais, French playwright, died. Famed for his two comedies “The Marriage of Figaro” (Mozart used this for an opera) and “The Barber of Seville” Rossini used this for an opera).

• 1830 ~ Karl Goldmark, composer

• 1876 ~ The first issue of the first music magazine in America, Musical America, was published

• 1892 ~ Ezio Pinza, Italian bass and actor

• 1902 ~ Meredith Willson, American composer, flutist, arranger and orchestrator
More information about Willson

• 1909 ~ Isaac Albéniz, Spanish pianist and composer (Suite española, Tango in D), died from nephritis at the age of 48

• 1911 ~ Gustav Mahler, Czech-born Austrian composer, died. His last word was “Mozart”.  He completed nine symphonies and several song-cycles notably “Das Lied von der Erde.”
More information about Gustav Mahler

• 1911 ~ Big Joe (Joseph Vernon) Turner, Rhythm & blues singer

• 1913 ~ Perry (Pierino Roland) Como, Grammy Award-winning American singer of popular music, 15 gold records
More information about Como

• 1919 ~ Dame Margot Fonteyne, British prima ballerina. She started her career with the London Sadler’s Wells company in 1934 and in 1962 began a legendary partnership with Rudolph Nureyev.

• 1922 ~ Kai Winding, Jazz musician: trombone

• 1948 ~ Joe Bonsall, Singer with The Oak Ridge Boys

• 1968 ~ Tiny Tim’s warbly Tiptoe Through the Tulips was released. An eventual top twenty hit, Tiptoe was a remake of a number one hit for Nick Lucas in 1929.

• 1970 ~ Opening this night in New York City was The Me Nobody Knows at the Orpheum Theatre. The musical had a run of 586 performances.

• 2002 ~ Wolfgang Schneiderhan, a violinist who began performing as a child, became a concertmaster at 17 and played with orchestras across Europe, died. He was 86. A child prodigy, Schneiderhan quickly rose to international fame, performing with leading ensembles, including the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic. A regular at Europe’s most important music festivals, Schneiderhan played with Wilhelm Backhaus and other well-known pianists and gave violin concerts under such legendary conductors as Bruno Walter and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Later, Schneiderhan was a teacher at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at the Vienna Academy of Music. At age 11, Schneiderhan played in Copenhagen, Denmark – his first major concert abroad. Already a distinguished interpreter of the music of Mozart and Beethoven, Schneiderhan became concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at age 17, a job he also held with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1937.

• 2003 ~ Broadway’s ‘Les Miserables’ Ended After 16 Years. The pop opera based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 novel closed after 16 years, making it the second longest-running show ever on the Great White Way. The show played 6,680 performances since opening at the Broadway Theater in 1987. Only “Cats” has played more performances on Broadway with 7,485. The last performance at the Imperial Theater included a finale featuring 300 alumni of the Broadway run. Although it is now gone from the New York stage, the show is performed around the world by touring companies and is a fixture in London’s West End.

• 2012 ~ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, German baritone, died at the age of 86

• 2014 ~ Jerry Vale, American singer, died at the age of 83

On May 16 in Music History

today

• 1892 ~ Richard Tauber (Ernst Seiffert), Austrian-born British tenor. He sang a wide range of music and was as equally at home in opera, notably Mozart, as in Austrian operetta.

• 1913 ~ Woody (Woodrow Charles) Herman, American jazz clarinetist, bandleader and composer

• 1919 ~ (Walter) (Wladziu Valentino) Liberace, American concert pianist and showman. His trademark was a candelabra on his piano.
More information about Liberace

• 1922 ~ Eddie Bert, Jazz musician, trombone

• 1929 ~ The first Academy Awards were presented on this night, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. de Mille. This first awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It attracted an audience of 200 people.

• 1929 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra backed Bing Crosby for the tune, Sposin’, which ‘Der Bingle’ recorded for Columbia Records. Betty Carter (Lillie Mae Jones) (1930) Jazz singer: toured with Lionel Hampton & Miles Davis

• 1930 ~ Friedrich Gulda, Austrian pianist/composer

• 1946 ~ The Irving Berlin musical, Annie Get Your Gun, at New York’s Imperial Theatre. One of the most successful shows presented on a Broadway stage, the show ran for 1,147 performances.

• 1947 ~ Barbara Lee, Singer with The Chiffons

• 1947 ~ Darrel Sweet, Drummer, singer

• 1953 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets made it to the Billboard music charts for the first time with Crazy Man Crazy. The tune went to number six and became the first rock ’n’ roll record to make the pop music chart.

• 1965 ~ The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, a Broadway musical starring Anthony Newley, made its premiere at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Cyril Ritchard appeared in the production which entertained audiences for 231 performances.

• 1966 ~ Janet Jackson, Singer

• 1990 ~ Jim Henson, the famous creator who of the Muppets, a cast of puppets including Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie and Bert, died at the age of 54.

• 1990 ~ The entertainer who could do it all, Sammy Davis, Jr., died this day, in Beverly Hills, California, USA. From vaudeville at age three (with his father and uncle) to the star of Broadway’s “Mr. Wonderful”, from Las Vegas nightclubs to hit records, the actor, singer, dancer, impersonator, and musician performed his way into the hearts of young and old everywhere. The world mourned the passing of Sammy Davis, Jr. at age 64 of throat cancer.

• 1993 ~ Marv Johnson passed away.  He was an American R&B and soul singer.

• 1995 ~ Lola Flores, fiery Spanish dancer and singer, died. She made many films but was best known for her flamenco movements and passionate songs.

• 2010 ~ Hank Jones, American jazz pianist and composer, died at the age of 91

On April 23 in Music History

today

. 1756 ~ Alexander Reinagle, English-American composer, born

. 1882 ~ Albert Coates, British conductor and composer

OCMS 1891 ~ Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer and pianist
More information about Prokofiev
Grammy winner

. 1924 ~ Arthur Frackenpohl, American composer

. 1928 ~ Shirley Temple, Entertainer

. 1936 ~ Roy Orbison, American rock-and-roll singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1939 ~ Ray Peterson, Singer

. 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Drummer for the rock band The Who

. 1952 ~ Narada Michael Walden, Musician: drums with the group Mahavishnu Orchestra, record producer, singer, songwriter

. 1952 ~ Elisabeth Schumann, German soprano, died. Best known for her roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi Fan Tutte,” she was also a popular recitalist

. 1985 ~ This was a big day for the flamboyant Liberace. Lee, as he was called by those close to him, first appeared on the TV soap opera, Another World. The sequined and well-furred pianist appeared as a fan of Felicia Gallant, a romance novelist. Later in the day, Liberace was a guest video jockey on MTV!

and

. 1985 ~ The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was Sunday in the Park with George.

. 1986 ~ Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer of Over the Rainbow died at the age of 81

. 2001 ~ Genji Ito, the resident composer for the experimental theater club La MaMa E.T.C. and a music collaborator with many other groups, died of cancer at the age of 54. Ito composed scores for more than 25 theatrical productions at La MaMa. He received an Obie Award in 1986 for sustained excellence. Working closely with Ellen Stewart, La MaMa’s founder, Ito produced scores notable for their stylistic variation and diversity. For 1986’s “Orfei,” a retelling of the Orpheus myth, Ito composed a score that mixed traditional folk instruments with modern electronic ones. For 1993’s “Ghosts: Live from Galilee,” the story of a group of black men accused of raping a white woman in 1931, Ito composed a score that combined blues with country and vaudeville. Ito also wrote 15 compositions for the Ubu Repertory.

On 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.

On March 27 in Music History

today

. 1771 ~ A review of a concert in Venice given today by 15 year old Mozart read: “He worked out (a fugue theme) for more than an hour with such science, dexterity, harmony and proper attention to rhythm that even the greatest connoisseurs were astounded.

. 1851 ~ (Paul-Marie-Theodore) Vincent d’Indy, French composer and conductor
More information about d’Indy

. 1868 ~ Patty Smith Hill, songwriter, with Mildred Hill, composers of Happy Birthday To You. It’s first title was Good Morning to All

. 1892 ~ Ferde Grofe, Composer
More information about Grofe

. 1914 ~ Snooky Lanson (Roy Landman), Singer, vocalist on Your Hit Parade on radio and TV

. 1920 ~ Richard Hayman, Musician, house conductor for Mercury Records, harmonica player

. 1921 ~ Harold Nicholas, American dancer known as one of the world’s greatest dancers (Nicholas Brothers)

Children: don’t try this at home – never, ever dance on a piano!

 

 

. 1924 ~ Sarah Vaughan, ‘The Divine One’, American jazz singer, pianist, she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989

. 1927 ~ Mstislav Rostropovich, Soviet cellist and conductor
More information about Rostropovich

. 1931 ~ Burt Collins, Jazz musician, trumpet, flugel horn, played with Jess Roden Band, Lalo Schifrin, T. Rex

. 1945 ~ Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded the classic, It’s Only a Paper Moon for Decca Records.

. 1947 ~ Tom Sullivan, Singer, composer

. 1950 ~ Tony Banks, Keyboards with Genesis

. 1950 ~ Jazz pianist Erroll Garner became one of the first jazz instrumentalists to give a solo concert. He played the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH. In 1954, Garner would gain international applause for writing and recording a standard that has been presented many times since: Misty. Johnny Mathis and Sarah Vaughan are but two of many recording artists to offer vocal renditions of this renowned Garner composition. Play Misty for me.

. 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded I’m a Fool to Want You for Columbia.

. 1952 ~ “Singin’ in the Rain”, a musical comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

. 1958 ~ CBS Laboratories announced a new stereophonic record that was playable on ordinary LP phonographs, meaning, monaural. In stereo, on the proper equipment, a new rich and fuller sound was heard. It eventually became a standard for record and equipment buyers.

. 1959 ~ Andrew Farriss, Keyboards with INXS

. 1967 ~ Pop hit Happy Together by The Turtles became the No. 1 song in America.

. 1970 ~ Mariah Carey. Grammy Award-winning singer. She has sold more than 120 million albums and singles since her debut in 1990, only artist with a #1 single in every year of the 1990s. She has spent more weeks at #1 than any other artist

. 1971 ~ Janis Joplin started her second (and final) week at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson.

. 1975 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, English composer and Master of the Queen’s Music, died. Master of the Queen’s Music (or Master of the King’s Music) is a post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. The holder of the post originally served the monarch of England.

The post is roughly comparable to that of Poet Laureate. It is given to people eminent in the field of classical music; they have almost always been composers (George Frederick Anderson was one exception; he was a violinist who is not known to have ever composed any music). Duties are not clearly stated, though it is generally expected the holder of the post will write music to commemorate important royal events, such as coronations, birthdays, anniversaries, marriages and deaths, and to accompany other ceremonial occasions. The individual may also act as the Sovereign’s adviser in musical matters.

. 2015 ~ Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, died at the age of 83.
His poems, translated into 60 languages, have been set to music by some of Sweden’s foremost composers.

A passionate pianist, Tomas Tranströmer had to relearn how to play after a stroke in 1990 left him paralyzed down his right side. He said that playing the piano every day was the key to saving his life.

. 2017 ~ Arthur Blythe, American jazz saxophonist, died at the age of 76

On March 24 in Music History

today

. 1784 ~ Mozart‘s Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450 in B flat, K. 450 was first performed.  Mozart was the soloist.

It is a concertante work for piano, or pianoforte, and orchestra.  Mozart composed the concerto for performance at a series of concerts at the Vienna venues of the Trattnerhof and the Burgtheater. In a letter to his father, Mozart compared this concerto with the 16th concerto in D:

“I consider them both to be concertos which make one sweat, but the B flat one beats the one in D for difficulty.” Indeed, many pianists consider this to be the most difficult of all of Mozart’s piano concertos. The concerto is primarily difficult from its many quick scale patterns which must be played perfectly and also from its many fast chord patterns moving up and down.

Beginning with this concerto, Mozart began to use the term “grand” to describe his concerti such as K.450 which feature a prominent and required wind section for the ensemble. The work is orchestrated for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings.

The concerto is in three movements:
1. Allegro
2. Andante in E-flat major
3. Allegro

. 1808 ~ María Felicità Malibran, Spanish contralto

. 1895 ~ Arthur Murray, dancer

. 1900 ~ June (Algeria Junius) Clark, Musician, trumpeter

. 1916 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish composer, died in the English Channel. Best known for his piano suite “Goyescas” after paintings by Goya.

. 1920 ~ Gene Nelson (Eugene Leander Berg), Actor, dancer in Lullaby of Broadway, Oklahoma, Tea for Two, The West Point Story

. 1922 ~ Dave Appell, Arranger for big bands: Benny Carter, Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines; TV music director, record producer, singer, songwriter, musician with Dave Appell and the Applejacks

. 1928 ~ Byron Janis (Yanks), American pianist, NBC Symphony Orchestra; well-known piano performance on Hugo Winterhalter’s Rhapsody in Blue recording, composed by George Gershwin.

. 1935 ~ After a year as a local show from New York City, “Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour” was heard on the entire NBC radio network. The show stayed on the air for 17 years. Later, Ted Mack took over for Bowes and made the move from radio to television.

. 1937 ~ Benjamin Luxon, British baritone

. 1941 ~ Glenn Miller began work on his first motion picture for 20th Century Fox. The film was Sun Valley Serenade.

. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley reported to local draft board 86 in Memphis, TN. He became US 53310761. Oddly, since Elvis was now ‘government property’ serving his time in the Army, Uncle Sam stood to lose an estimated $500,000 in lost taxes each year that Private Presley was in the Army.

. 1980 ~ Capitol Records released some rare Beatles tracks. Included in the album were stereo versions of Penny Lane and She Loves You, sung by the group in German, under the title, Sie Liebt Dich. Also included was a German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand or, in the Teutonic tongue, Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.

. 2000 ~ French Quarter pianist and chanteuse Lily Simha Hood, whose fans included Tennessee Williams, died of kidney failure. She was cagey about revealing her age, and her husband asked that the secret remain with her death. Her musical career began on a whim. After dinner one night in 1976, the Hoods and a friend stopped at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a Bourbon Street bar across from their house. Mrs. Hood played a few tunes on the piano for her friend and was hired on the spot, even though she wasn’t looking for a job. Soon, “Miss Lily” had a crowd of regulars including Tennessee Williams, who would bring in a songbook for her to sing from. Mrs. Hood never formally studied the piano and never learned to read music. She was self-taught and learned by listening. She performed at Lafitte’s for 16 years, but health problems ended her career about 1993.

On March 7 in Music History

today

. 1809 ~ Johann Georg Albrechtsberger passed away.  He was was an Austrian musician.

. 1824 ~ “I am convinced that the soul and spirit of Mozart have passed into the body of young Liszt” ~ Review of a concert given on this day by Franz List in Paris.

. 1875 ~ Maurice Ravel, French composer
More information on Ravel

. 1907 ~ Victor Alphonse Duvernoy, French piano virtuoso,  composer and professor of piano at the Conservatoire de Paris, died at the age of 64

. 1917 ~ In the United States, RCA released the first jazz record ever: The Dixie Jazz Band One Step by Nick LaRocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

. 1917 ~ Robert Erickson, American composer

. 1939 ~ Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians recorded one of the most popular songs of the century. The standard, “Auld Lang Syne”, was recorded for Decca Records.

. 1955 ~ “Peter Pan”, with Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook, was presented as a television special for the first time.

. 1969 ~ The Apollo astronauts began this day of their space voyage by singing Happy Birthday.

. 1985 ~ The song We Are the World, from the album of the same name, was played on the radio for the first time. Forty-five of pop music’s top stars gathered together to combine their talents to record the music of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. Richie and Jackson sang, too, while Quincy Jones did the producing of the USA for Africa record. The proceeds of the multimillion-selling recording went to aid African famine victims. The project, coordinated by Ken Kragen, was deemed a huge success.

. 2001 ~ Frankie Carle, a big-band leader best known for Sunrise Serenade, at the age of 97. Carle, who died in Mesa, Ariz., reached the high point of his popularity during World War II, when he was the focus of a bidding war among bands. His repertory was wide, ranging from classics like a revival of Stephen Foster’s Swanee River, to a World War II release that anticipated the Allied victory called I’m Going to See My Baby. Although Carle’s music did not rank high on record industry charts after the 1940s, he still toured and played concerts into the 1980s, some 70 years after he began his musical career.

. 2015 ~ Steve Zegree died.  He was a legendary jazz educator and former Western Michigan University Gold Company director.