A star was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. Singer, songwriter,
dancer, actor Michael Joe Jackson started on the road to stardom while at
Garnett Elementary School in Gary. Michael performed for his class by singing
Climb Every Mountain. Within just a few years, he took his act to the stage
joining his brothers as The Jackson Five. They were entertaining at Mr.
Lucky’s, also in Gary, Indiana. Michael was only 8. By the time he was 11,
Michael, the youngest of the five brothers, was the lead singer of the group.
And their hits were hitting the top of the charts: I Want You Back, ABC, The
Love You Save, I’ll Be There. Then young Michael started recording solo hits
like Ben, also #1.
And the hits just kept on coming ... and the awards came with them: A Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal in
1979 for Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough, 5 Grammy Awards in 1983 -- Best Male Pop Vocal and Album of
the Year (Thriller), Best Male R & B vocal and Best R & B song (Billie Jean), and Best Recording for
Children: E.T., the Extraterrestrial; 2 in 1984 -- Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal (Beat It);
another in 1985 with Lionel Richie for Song of the Year (We are the World); a Best Music Video/Short Form
Grammy in 1989 for Leave Me Alone; and finally, The Legend Award Grammy -- for the living legend in the
music industry, Michael Jackson.
Whether Michael sings with his brothers, his sisters, alone or in duets with fellow performers, the results are hit,
after hit, after hit ... The Girl is Mine and Stay, Stay, Stay with Paul McCartney; I Jusr Can’t Stop Loving You
with Siedah Garrett; Rock with You, Bad, Smooth Criminal ... Ease on Down the Road with Diana Ross (from
Broadway’s The Wiz in which Michael played the scarecrow). Michael, the actor, was also seen as a hologram,
Captain Eo in Epcot Center’s multimedia show.
A celebrity for most of his life, he is both magic and tragic ... the gloved one’s fame and infamy well-known
throughout the world: he made $70 million from Thriller; he paid $50 million for the rights to the Beatles’ 251
songs; his Bad album was number one in 23 countries; he has an amusement park and zoo at his California estate;
he married and divorced Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of the King of Rock.
He remarried, became a father ... and the rest of the story is still being written .... To date, Michael Jackson
remains the King of Pop.
Leos Janácek lived from 1854 until 1928.
It was relatively late in life that the Moravian composer
Janácek won more than local recognition. He made his early
career in the capital of his native province, Brno, coupling an
interest in regional folk music with a study of speech
intonations, echoed in his instrumental as well as vocal writing.
His opera Jenufa was first staged in Brno in 1904, but it was
the performance in Prague in 1915 that brought the work of the composer a much wider public.
The seven operas that followed have formed a very idiosyncratic part of current operatic
repertoire, culminating in From the House of the Dead, completed in 1928, the year of Janácek's
death, and based on the novel by Dostoyevsky.
The best known of Janácek's music for orchestra is
the Sinfonietta, derived from an original festival
piece of 1926. To this may be added the rhapsody
based on the work of Gogol, Taras Bulba, and the
Lachian Dances, based on folk-dances.
Joseph Joachim lived from 1831 until 1907. He was a Hungarian violinist, conductor and composer whose exceptional talent was recognized by Mendelssohn. He was also a close friend of Brahms. His music had much in common with the music of Schumann.
Elton Dwight John was born in 1947 and is a rock singer and pianist. He was born in Pinner, NW Greater London, England. He played the piano by
ear from age four, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music at 11. From 1967, he and Bernie
Taupin began writing songs such as "Rocket Man' (1972), "Honky Cat' (1972), and "Goodbye
Yellow Brick Road' (1973). Their publisher pressed John to perform them, for which he obscured his
short, plump, myopic physique in a clownish garb that included huge glasses, sequinned and fringed
jump suits, and ermine boots. The top pop star of the 1970s, he later became chairman (1976 to 1990)
and then honorary life president in 1990 of the Watford Football Club and a stock-market
speculator. Despite health problems in 1993 brought about by his stressful lifestyle he continues to
perform live across the world.
André Jolivet lived from 1905 until 1974.
Versatile in the arts, André Jolivet was a pupil of Le Flem and later of
Varčse and was, with Olivier Messiaen, Daniel Lesur and Yves
Baudrier, a member of the composers grouped together as Jeune
France. As director of music for the Comédie française he wrote a
quantity of incidental music and elsewhere based his work on
principles that stemmed from his interest in the magical and incantatory
element fundamental to human music.
Jolivet wrote a number of concertos, all demanding considerable virtuosity from the soloist.
These include a concerto for the ondes Martenot, an electronic instrument developed in France
in the 1920s, and concertos for trumpet and piano, for flute, for piano, for harp, for bassoon
and harp, for percussion, for cello and for violin.
In addition to his varied incidental music, whether for Moličre, Claudel, Corneille or Plautus,
Jolivet wrote music for the ballet and for marionette plays.
Jolivet made an early impression on Messiaen with the six piano pieces that constitute Mana.
Chamber music includes music involving the flute, an instrument he particularly favoured for its
primitive human associations.
Scott Joplin (1868-1919) was the most influential and famous composer of the ragtime era, and one of the most daring pioneers in the history
of American music. He was known as the Father of Ragtime. At first, the musical
establishment absolutely refused to acknowledge ragtime as a worthy means of musical expression, dismissing it as catastrophic
noise that had little musical meaning at all. Only within the last few decades has his work finally been truly appreciated and
accepted as a truly great form of art, and as a unique and substantial contribution to music.
Ragtime, which first emerged in the 1890's, is a style of piano playing with an up-and-down "ragged time" rhythm. Joplin made ragtime an international dance craze with "Maple Leaf Rag". "The Maple Leaf Rag",
became the first song to sell over one million copies of sheet music.
The remarkable part of his success as a musician was the
fact that he was African American. His success paved the way for all black musicians who would come after him, breaking a
long-standing race barrier: acceptance as a performer.
Joplin's music enjoyed renewed popularity with the use of "Solace" in the 1973 movie The Sting. Solace was not a typical rag, although it does have similar rhythmic elements.
Treemonisha was an opera composed by Joplin, although it was not produced until 1975, 58 years after his death.