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1866 ~ Ferruccio Busoni, Italian pianist and composer
Read quotes by and about Busoni
More information about Busoni
1873 ~ Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian-born
American composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Rachmaninoff
More information about Rachmaninoff
• 1895 ~ Alberta Hunter, American blues singer
• 1909 ~ Eddie Duchin, Bandleader
• 1917 ~ Scott Joplin, U.S. jazz musician famous for his ragtime pieces notably
The Entertainer, died.
• 1932 ~ Jane Powell, Singer
• 1932 ~ Debbie Reynolds, Entertainer
• 1984 ~ Marvin (Pentz) Gaye, Jr. passed away.
• 1985 ~ The long-awaited album, We Are the World, was finally released. Eight rock
stars donated previously unreleased material for the LP. Three-million
copies of the award-winning single of the same name had already been sold.
The song, We Are the World, was number five, and moving up, on the Billboard
magazine pop single’s chart this day.
• 1991 ~ Martha Graham passed away
• 2001 ~ Eva Heinitz, who fled Nazi Germany in the prime of her career as a cello
performer and was one of the first professional viola da gamba players in
modern times, died at the age of 94.
Heinitz, a native of Berlin, soared to prominence as a brilliant,
temperamental soloist with the greatest orchestras of Europe in her 20s.
Initially instructed on the cello, Heinitz taught herself to play the smaller
instrument and performed the Bach Passions under the direction of Wilhelm
Furtwängler and Otto Klemperer, who called her the world's best viola da
Heinitz, who once described herself as "51 percent" Jewish, fled Germany in 1933.
She lived in Paris and London, moved to New York in 1939 and was hired by
Fritz Reiner as a section cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
She came to Seattle in 1948 and was hired as faculty cellist at the
University of Washington.
During her 28-year tenure, she became one of the founders of the early-music
revival, which brought a renewed interest in music and instruments of the 17th and 18th centuries.
In 1991, her international colleagues gathered in Indiana and accorded her
the title "Grande Dame du Violoncelle" - great lady of the cello.
• 2001 ~ Trinh Cong Son, Vietnam's most beloved singer-songwriter who opposed the
Vietnam War and sought postwar reconciliation, died after a long battle
with diabetes at the age of 62.
Dubbed the "Bob Dylan of Vietnam" by American folk singer Joan Baez for his
anti-war songs, his music is still widely performed in Vietnam and in
overseas Vietnamese communities.
Son, who was persecuted by the South Vietnamese government in the late 1960s
and early '70s, wrote more than 600 songs.
His pacifist songs about the futility of war were banned at the time, but
bootleg copies circulated throughout South Vietnam and overseas.
When the war ended, most of Son's family fled overseas but he stayed. He was
equally unpopular with the new Communist government for his songs about
reconciliation and spent 10 years in forced labor "re-education camps."
But by the late '80s, he regained popularity, and his songs are still
performed by some of Vietnam's biggest pop artists.
• 2001 ~ Theodore M. "Ted" McCarty, a key figure in the development of the
electric guitar and former president of Gibson Guitar Co., died at the age
In his 18 years as president at Gibson, McCarty transformed the Kalamazoo,
Mich.-based maker of acoustic musical instruments into the purveyor of
guitars to the stars.
The solid-body electric guitar was considered something of a gimmick when
McCarty left the Wurlitzer Co. to join Gibson in 1948. He had a degree in
commercial engineering and had been an engineering designer for the
military during World War II. Despite not being musically inclined, McCarty
saw possibilities in the electric guitar.
At Gibson, he helped bring to life the Les Paul series, named for the blues
guitarist who endorsed it, the Explorer series, widely used by both rock
and country guitarists, and the radical Flying V.
McCarty later bought the Bigsby Co., which manufactures vibratos for guitars.
He sold the company and retired in 1999.
2 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.
• 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.
• 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.
3 Christina J.
• 1859 ~ Reginald De Koven, Composer
• 1895 ~ Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Italian-born American composer
• 1897 ~ Johannes Brahms, German composer and pianist, died. He wrote four
symphonies as well as concerti for piano and violin and highly-esteemed
• 1924 ~ Doris Day, Singer
• 1942 ~ Wayne Newton, American singer of popular music
• 1944 ~ Tony Orlando, Singer, Tony Orlando and Dawn
• 1948 ~ Garrick Ohlsson, American pianist, winner of Poland's Frederic Chopin
piano competition in 1970.
More about this competition.
• 1949 ~ Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis debuted on radio in an NBC program that ran
• 1950 ~ Kurt Weil, German composer, died, best known for his "Threepenny Opera"
and for his collaboration with actress and singer Lotte Lenya whom he
married in 1926.
• 1952 ~ Harry Belafonte recorded his first songs for RCA Victor at Manhattan
Center in New York City.
• 1952 ~ Hugo Winterhalter backed up the singer with an 18-piece orchestra. Among
the sides recorded were Dogs A-Roving and Chimney Smoke.
• 1955 ~ Fred Astaire appeared on television for the first time on The Toast of
the Town, with host, Ed Sullivan. Already an established dancer in films,
Astaire was quick to become a TV sensation as well.
• 1965 ~ Bob Dylan appeared on the pop music charts for the first time.
Subterranean Homesick Blues entered the Top 40 at number 39. The song
stayed on the charts for eight weeks. Dylan would chart a total of 12
singles on the pop charts between 1965 and 1979. He appeared in the films
Don’t Look Back, Eat the Document and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. He
made the film Renaldo and Clara in 1978. Dylan co-starred in the film
Hearts of Fire in 1987. He became a member of the Traveling Wilburys and
was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Dylan won the
Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
• 1986 ~ For the first time in six years, major record companies decided to raise
prices - between three and five percent.
• 1986 ~ Peter Pears, British operatic tenor, died. He was a collaborator with
composer Benjamin Britten and first interpreter of many of Britten's
works, notably "Peter Grimes."
• 1990 ~ Sarah Vaughan passed away
• 1999 ~ Lionel Bart, British composer of the musical "Oliver!," died aged 68.
• 2001 ~ Lester "Big Daddy" Kinsey, a blues singer-guitarist known for his croaky
voice, died of prostate cancer. He was 74.
Kinsey and his sons, Kenneth, Donald and Ralph, became known as "Big Daddy"
Kinsey and His Fabulous Sons.
The sons now form the Gary-based Kinsey Report and record for Alligator
Records, a Chicago blues label. The Kinsey Report has toured with the likes
of the Allman Brothers Band.
In the early '90s, the elder Kinsey experienced one of his career highlights
with I Am the Blues, a major-label release on Polygram. The album boasted a
host of blues standouts backing up Kinsey, including Buddy Guy, James
Cotton, Sugar Blue and Pinetop Perkins.
4 1843 ~ Hans Richter, Hungarian conductor
• 1859 ~ Daniel Emmett introduced I Wish I was in Dixie’s Land (later named Dixie)
in New York City. Just two years later, the song became the Civil War song
of the Confederacy.
• 1875 ~ Pierre Monteux, French conductor, famed for his interpretation of early
• 20th century music, he conducted the first peformances of Stravinsky's
"Rite of Spring" and Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe."
• 1891 ~ Distinguished American actor Edwin Booth made his final stage appearance
in a production of Hamlet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
• 1895 ~ Arthur Murray Dancer
• 1915 ~ "Muddy" Waters, American blues singer and guitarist
• 1922 ~ Elmer Bernstein, Composer of Academy Award-winning film scores: Thoroughly
Modern Millie (1967); Sudden Fear, The Man with the Golden Arm, Ten
Commandments, Sweet Smell of Success, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Walk on the
Wild Side and The Magnificent Seven
• 1938 ~ After seven years of singing on the radio, Kate Smith began a new
noontime talk show.
• 1939 ~ Glenn Miller recorded his theme song, Moonlight Serenade, for Bluebird
Records. Previously, the Miller theme had been Gone with the Dawn and,
before then, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.
• 1939 ~ Hugh Masakela, Trumpeter
• 1946 ~ Serge Leiferkus, Russian baritone
• 1954 ~ Maestro Arturo Toscanini conducted his last concert with the NBC Symphony
Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Toscanini ended a 17-year
association with the orchestra.
• 1964 ~ The Beatles set an all-time record on the Top 100 chart of Billboard
magazine this day. All five of the top songs were by the British rock
group. In addition, The Beatles also had the number one album as Meet the
Beatles continued to lead all others. The LP was the top album from
February 15 through May 2, when it was replaced by The Beatles Second
Album. It was estimated at the time that The Beatles accounted for 60
percent of the entire singles record business during the first three months
of 1964. The top five singles by The Beatles this day were:
1) Can’t Buy Me Love
2) Twist and Shout
3) She Loves You
4) I Want to Hold Your Hand
5) Please Please Me
• 1968 ~ Bobby Goldsboro received a gold record for the single, Honey. The
poignantly sad song charted for 13 weeks, spending five weeks at number
one. Goldsboro produced a total of 11 hits on the pop charts in the
• 1960s and 1970s. Honey was his only million seller and only number one hit.
• 1994 ~ Ginny Simms passed away
• 2000 ~ Blues singer Mary Smith McClain, better known to fans as "Diamond Teeth
Mary," died in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was believed to have been 97 or 98.
McClain was a teen-ager posing as a boy when she hopped a train in her
native West Virginia to begin a new life as a traveling blues musician more
than 80 years earlier.
She went from singing at carnivals with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels to the
Chicago Blues Festival, New York City's Carnegie Hall and Europe. She sang
with such music greats as B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and
McClain, who once had diamonds set in her teeth, was considered the world's
oldest-performing true blues musician, appearing at local clubs until two
weeks before her death.
5 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
6 1895 ~ Waltzing Matilda, one of Australia's
best-known tunes written by bush poet Banjo Paterson, was first
publicly performed at a hotel in the remote northern town of Winton.
• 1913 ~ ‘Pappy’ Wade Ray, Country entertainer/musician with the
Grand Ole Opry
• 1917 ~ George M. Cohan wrote Over There,
which became the chief marching song for World War I
• 1924 ~ Mimi (Miriam) Benzell, Opera singer, mezzo-soprano
• 1924 ~ Dorothy Donegan, Jazz pianist
• 1925 ~ Eddie Cantor recorded the standard, If You Knew Susie, for Columbia
Records. There was none classier.
• 1927 ~ Gerry Mulligan, Jazz musician, composer
• 1929 ~ Edison Denisov, Soviet composer
1929 ~ André Previn, German-born American pianist, composer and conductor, Known
as a classical orchestral conductor, notably of Shostakovich, he also
conducted and scored film music and arrangements, Oscar-winning film scores:
Gigi, Porgy and Bess, Irma La Douce, My Fair Lady
Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Domingo, Berry, 2000
More information about Previn
• 1931 ~ Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip character developed by Harold Gray,
came to life on the NBC Blue network. About 5 decades later, the comic
strip inspired a Broadway play and a movie, both titled, Annie.
• 1937 ~ Merle Haggard, American country-music singer, songwriter, fiddler and
guitarist, CMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year (1970)
• 1944 ~ Michelle Phillips (Holly Michelle Gilliam), Singer with The Mamas and the Papas
• 1956 ~ Capitol Tower, the home of Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA, was
dedicated. The building was the first circular office tower designed in
America. It is 13 stories tall and 92 feet in diameter. At night, a light
at the tip of the tower blinks the letters "H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D" in Morse Code.
• 1971 ~ Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer, died in New York. One of the 20th Century's leading musical figures and most famous for his ballets "The
Rite of Spring" and "Petrushka."
• 1971 ~ Rolling Stone Records was formed to promote the hits of The Rolling
Stones. The famous Stones trademark, the lips logo, became widely used.
Brown Sugar was the first hit by the Rolling Stones on the new label,
followed by Wild Horses, Tumbling Dice and Start Me Up.
• 1973 ~ The Stylistics received a gold record for their ballad hit, Break Up to
Make Up. The Philadelphia soul group placed 10 hits on the pop charts in
the 1970s. More of their gold record winners include: You Are Everything,
Betcha By Golly Wow, I’m Stone in Love With You and You Make Me Feel Brand New.
• 1974 ~ The first concert film featuring a soundtrack in quadraphonic sound
opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre.
• 1985 ~ The country group, Alabama, went five-for-five as the album 40 Hour Week
grabbed the top spot on the Billboard country chart. The group had a number
one album for each of the previous five years. The popularity of the
quartet (three are cousins from Fort Payne, AL) continues today.
• 1994 ~ Dick Cary passed away
• 1998 ~ Tammy Wynette, known as "The First Lady of Country Music" and world-
renowned for her hit Stand by Your Man, died aged 55.
• 2001 ~ Daniel J. "Danny" Gaither, the original tenor voice of the former Bill
Gaither Trio, died after a five-year battle with lymphoma. He was 62.
He joined the Bill Gaither trio when he turned 18. His brother, Bill, led the
group, and his younger sister, Mary Ann, was the group's original female
Danny Gaither traveled with the family trio for about 10 years until the early
• 1980s, when he started doing solo work. Problems with his vocal chords
forced him to give up his solo career about 10 years later.
Danny Gaither won several Grammy and Dove awards for his work. He was inducted
into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in April 1999.
7 1899 ~ Robert Casadesus, French pianist and composer
• 1908 ~ Percy Faith, Grammy Award-winning orchestra leader, composer
• 1915 ~ Billie Holiday, American jazz singer, born as Eleanora Fagan. She sang
with all the American big band leaders of her day while developing her own
• 1919 ~ Ralph Flanagan, Bandleader
• 1920 ~ Ravi Shankar, Indian sitarist and composer
• 1925 ~ David Carr Glover, Piano Educator
• 1949 ~ Opening day of Rogers and Hammerstein's
Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "South Pacific". It was a musical classic
of love and war, and it unfolded on a lush tropical island swarming with
Seabees, nurses, natives and coconut trees on this night in 1949. Actually,
it was not a tropical island, but the stage of the Majestic Theatre in New
Ezio Pinza starred as the suave French plantation owner with a shady past
and Mary Martin portrayed the bubbly, pretty, but naive Navy nurse. Mary
Martin washed her hair a zillion times as she sang, I’m Gonna Wash that Man
Right Out of My Hair in 1,925 performances.
• 1950 Tony Awards went to the show and its producers, performers, director
(Joshua Logan) and composers nine statuettes. It also earned a Pulitzer
Prize in the same year and in 1958 was made into a movie.
More about Mary Martin
• 1951 ~ Janis Ian, Singer-songwriter
• 1954 ~ Gee, by The Crows, became the first rhythm and blues single to gain
attention on pop music charts.
• 1973 ~ Vicki Lawrence got her number one single as The Night the Lights Went Out
in Georgia made it to the top of the pop charts on this day.
• 1987 ~ Maxine Sullivan (Marietta Williams) passed away
8 Buddha's Birthday
• 1848 ~ Gaetano Donizetti (born in 1797), died in Bergamo.
• 1889 ~ Sir Adrian Boult, British conductor. In 1918 Gustav Holst asked him to
conduct the first performance of "The Planets."
• 1922 ~ Carmen McRae, Singer
• 1923 ~ Franco Corelli, Italian tenor, debut: Spoleto (Italy) as Don José in
Bizet’s Carmen in 1951; in films: Great Moments in Opera, Franco
Corelli in Tosca, The Great Tenors - Voice of Firestone Classic
• 1929 ~ Jacques Brel, Belgian-born French singer and songwriter
• 1941 ~ Peggy Lennon, Singer with The Lennon Sisters
• 1950 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, legendary Russian ballet dancer, died. He is generally
regarded as the 20th century's greatest male dancer.
• 1963 ~ Julian Lennon, Singer, son of John and Cynthia Lennon
• 1968 ~ The Beatles went gold again, receiving a gold record for the single, Lady Madonna.
• 1971 ~ Chicago became the first rock group to play Carnegie Hall in New York City.
• 1986 ~ It took 18 years of singing the U.S. national anthem, but on this day, at
long last, baritone Robert Merrill of the Metropolitan Opera became the
first person to both sing the anthem and throw out the first ball at Yankee
Stadium for the Yanks home opener.
• 2001 ~ Van Stephenson, a hit Nashville songwriter who also earned onstage success
as a member of the trio BlackHawk, died after suffering from cancer at the
age of 47.
Stephenson released two albums as a solo pop artist in the 1980s, and scored
the hit Modern Day Delilah in 1984.
Moving back to Nashville from Los Angeles, Stephenson partnered with
songwriter Dave Robbins to write a string of hits for Restless Heart, Dan
Seals, and others.
Stephenson and Robbins teamed up with former Outlaws singer Henry Paul at the
suggestion of record executive Tim DuBois. The trio has had a string of hits
since 1993, including Goodbye Says it All and Down in Flames.
9 1888 ~ Sol Hurok, Impresario
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
• 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
• 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 theatre 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.
10 10 1864 ~ Eugène d'Albert, British-born German pianist and composer
• 1885 ~ Sigmund Spaeth, American music scholar
• 1921 ~ Martin Denny, Composer, arranger, pianist
1930 ~ Claude Bolling, French jazz pianist and composer
More information about Bolling
• 1927 ~ Ballet Macanique was presented for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New
York City. This was the first symphonic work that called for an airplane
propeller and other mechanical contraptions not normally associated with the ballet.
• 1953 ~ Eddie Fisher was discharged from the Army and arrived home to a nice
paycheck of $330,000 in record royalties. Fisher sold 7 million records for
RCA Victor while on furloughs. Anytime was just one of several hits recorded
during his stint in the Army.
• 1970 ~ Officially resigning from The Beatles, Paul McCartney disbanded the most
influential rock group in history at a public news conference. The Beatles
hit, Let It Be, was riding high on the pop charts. The last recording for
the group, The Long and Winding Road (also from the documentary film Let It
Be), would be number one for two weeks beginning on June 13, bringing to a
close one of contemporary music’s greatest dynasties.
11 1819 ~ Sir Charles Hallé, German-born British pianist and conductor
He settled in Manchester after being driven to England by the 1848
Revolution and in 1858 founded the famous Halle Orchestra.
• 1916 ~ Alberto Ginastera, Argentinian composer
• 1932 ~ Joel Grey, Entertainer
• 1938 ~ Kurt Moll, German bass
• 1938 ~ O.C. Cash founded SPEBSQS
(The Society for the Preservation of Barbershop-Quartet Singing)
• 1956 ~ Elvis Presley reached the top spot on the Billboard music chart with his
first double-sided hit. The disk featured Heartbreak Hotel and I Was the
One. The RCA Victor record stayed at number one for eight weeks. Elvis also
made the country and R&B charts, as well.
• 1961 ~ Bob Dylan made his professional singing debut in Greenwich Village's
Gerde's Folk City. He sang Blowin’ in the Wind.
12 1684 ~ Niccolo Amati, member of a family of violin
makers in Cremona, Italy, died.
• 1904 ~ Lily (Alice) Pons, Singer
• 1905 ~ The Hippodrome opened in New York City with the gala musical revue, A
Yankee Circus on Mars.
• 1913 ~ Lionel Hampton, American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, drummer and bandleader;
played with Benny Goodman and recorded with Louis Armstrong. He was
responsible for introducing the vibraphone into jazz.
• 1914 ~ George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" opened in London with Mrs.
Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle and Sir Herbert Tree as Professor
Higgins. This would later become the musical My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe.
• 1916 ~ Russ Garcia, Musician, composer, orchestra leader
• 1931 ~ Billy (Richard) Vaughn, Musician, orchestra leader, music director
• 1932 ~ Tiny Tim (aka Darry Dover, Larry Love) (Herbert Khaury), Ukulele playing,
falsetto singer, best known for Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Monserrat Caballé (1933) Spanish opera singer and a leading Verdi and Donizetti soprano
• 1938 ~ Fedor Chaliapin, foremost Russian operatic bass singer and one of opera's
greatest performers, died.
• 1939 ~ One of the classic theme songs of the Big Band era was recorded for Decca.
Woody Herman’s orchestra recorded Woodchopper’s Ball.
• 1940 ~ Herbie Hancock, Oscar-winning American jazz/fusion musician, pianist and
• 1950 ~ David Cassidy, Singer
1954 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets recorded Rock Around the Clock
for Decca Records. The song was recorded at the Pythian Temple, "a big,
barnlike building with great echo," in New York City. "Rock Around the
Clock" was formally released a month later. It sold an estimated 25 million
copies worldwide, making it the second biggest-selling single at the time
behind Bing Crosby White Christmas
More information about Rock Around the Clock
• 1999 ~ BoxCar Willie, Country singing star, who blended a mellow voice with a rough-
hewn hobo persona, died. He was 67.
13 1377 ~ Guillaume de Machaut died. French poet and musician.
Composer of monophonic and polyphonic music.
Leading representative of the Ars nova tradition
More information about Machaut
• 1742 ~ Handel's Messiah premier in Dublin
• 1810 ~ Félicien David, French composer
• 1816 ~ Sir William Sterndale Bennett, British pianist, conductor and composer
• 1906 ~ Bud (Lawrence) Freeman, Jazz musician, tenor sax
• 1917 ~ Howard Keel, American singer and actor, born as Harold Clifford Leek. He
appeared in singing and acting roles in films from 1948-68 and also appeared on
TV in "Dallas."
• 1928 ~ Teddy Charles, Vibraphonist, songwriter
• 1940 ~ Lester Chambers, Singer, musician, played harmonica
• 1941 ~ Margaret Price, British soprano
• 1944 ~ Jack Casady, Musician, KBC Band, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane
• 1946 ~ Al Green, Singer, songwriter
• 1951 ~ Peabo Bryson, Singer
• 1958 ~ Van Cliburn of Kilgore, TX earned first prize in the Soviet Union’s
Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow.
• 1961 ~ Carnival opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in New York City.
Anna Maria Alberghetti starred in the musical which ran for 719
• 1963 ~ Jack Cassidy and Barbara Cook starred in She Loves Me, which opened at
the O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The Broadway musical ran for 189
• 1980 ~ Broadway’s longest-running musical closed after eight years. Grease
ran for 3,388 performances and earned $8 million. Though the-longest
running musical on the Great White Way at the time, Grease was
also the third longest-running Broadway show. Other shows in the top
five included: The Defiant Ones and Life with Father, Oh! Calcutta, A
Chorus Line and Fiddler on the Roof.
• 1985 ~ The Grand Ole Opry, a radio staple from Nashville for 60 years, came
to TV. The Nashville Network presented the country music jamboree to
some 22-million homes across the U.S.
14 Fairfax County Student Holiday
• 1759 ~ Georg 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,
• 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
• 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
• 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
popularise American folk music, died. He played powerful dramatic roles in
movies including "The Big Country," for which he won an Acadamy Award for
best supporting actor, and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
15 Fairfax County Student Holiday
• 1452 ~ Leonardo da Vinci, Italian musician, painter, sculptor,
engineer, mathematician, scientist and what-not
• 1651 ~ Domenico Gabrieli, Italian composer and cellist
1894 ~ Bessie Smith, American blues, jazz and vaudeville singer
More information about Smith
• 1920 ~ Jim Timmens, Grammy Award-winning composer: Aren’t You Glad You’re You in
• 1995, Best Recording For Children, jazz musician, musical director of New
York’s Radio City Music Hall
• 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest’s Phonofilm, the first sound-on-sound film, motion picture,
was demonstrated for a by-invitation-only audience at the Rivoli Theatre in New
York City. The guests saw The Gavotte, a man and woman dancing to old-time
music and The Serenade, four musicians who played on wind, percussion and
1924 ~ Neville Marriner, British violinist and conductor
• 1927 ~ Serge Koussevitsky directed the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the first
performance of Frederick Converse’s symphony, Flivver Ten Million,
a salute to the ‘Tin Lizzie’ automobile.
• 1930 ~ Herb Pomeroy, Musician: trumpet, teacher at Berklee in Boston, bandleader,
directed radio Malaysia Orchestra
• 1933 ~ Roy Clark, Musician, guitar, banjo, CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1973,
country singer, Comedian of the Year in 1970, 1971 and 1972
16 Fairfax County Student Holiday
• 1919 ~ Merce Cunningham, Dancer, choreographer
• 1923 ~ Bennie Green, Trombonist, lyricist
1924 ~ Henry Mancini, American arranger, composer, conductor and pianist
More information about Mancini
• 1929 ~ Roy Hamilton, Singer
• 1930 ~ Herbie Mann, American jazz flutist
• 1935 ~ Bobby Vinton (Stanley Vintulla), Singer
• 1939 ~ Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien), Singer, inducted
into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999
• 1944 ~ Dennis Russell Davies, American conductor
• 1947 ~ Gerry Rafferty, Singer, songwriter
• 1949 ~ Bill Spooner, Musician, guitarist with The Tubes
• 1963 ~ Jimmy Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds, he is the youngest Osmond
• 1973 ~ Former Beatle, Paul McCartney, leading the group, Wings, starred in his first
TV special titled, James Paul McCartney. The show featured the new group,
including Paul’s wife, Linda on keyboards and backing vocals.
• 2001 ~ Walter Stanton, who invented an easily replaceable phonograph stylus that
helped create a consumer market for audio equipment, died at the age of 86.
Stanton invented the slide-in stylus in the 1940s. The design enabled users to
replace a needle assembly by themselves instead of having to send it back to
the factory when it wore out. The invention became one of the basics in
phonograph cartridge design.
He also prodded major manufacturers to arrive at a standard mounting system
for cartridges and the type of recording on records, that enabled record
players and styluses to be sold separately.
He also helped found the Institute of High Fidelity, whose annual trade shows
in New York attracted thousands of gadget lovers.
17 Fairfax County Student Holiday
1882 ~ Artur Schnabel, Austrian-born American pianist
Read quotes by and about Schnabel
More information about Schnabel
1903 ~ Gregor Piatigorsky, Russian-born American cellist and composer
More information about Piatigorsky
Read quotes by and about Piatigorsky
• 1930 ~ Chris Barber, Musician, trombone, bandleader
• 1933 ~ Backed by the On the Trail portion of the magnificent Grand Canyon Suite by
Ferde Grofe, Johnny Rovetini, pillbox hat and all, uttered the words "Call for
Philip Morris" for the first time on radio. The famous phrase was said in
perfect B flat pitch and tone to perfectly match the accompanying music.
• 1934 ~ Warren Chiasson, Jazz musician, vibes
• 1934 ~ Don Kirshner, American pop-music entrepreneur
• 1960 ~ American rock star Eddie(Ray Edward) Cochran died in a car crash while on tour with
Gene Vincent in Britain.
• 1970 ~ The breakup of the most influential rock group in music history was official
when Paul McCartney's solo LP, McCartney, was released. Paul played all the
instruments himself on this Apple album.
• 1971 ~ Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night, made it to the top of the pop music
charts on this day. The song was number one for six weeks. Now that’s a hit!
1972 ~ Betcha by Golly, Wow, by The Stylistics from Philadelphia, earned a gold
record for the group. The Stylistics also scored million sellers with You Are
Everything, I’m Stone in Love with You, Break Up to Make Up and You Make Me Feel
• 1998 ~ Linda McCartney, photographer and wife of former Beatle Paul, died from cancer.
18 1796 ~ The Archers, the first opera written by Benjamin Carr, an American
composer, was performed in New York City.
1819 ~ Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer and conductor
More information about von Suppé
1882 ~ Leopold Stokowski, British-born American conductor
More information about Stokowski
• 1918 ~ Tony Mottola, Composer, guitarist: played with Al Caiola, George Hall’s
orchestra, CBS radio studio orchestra, worked with Raymond Scott backing up
young Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, arranger for Como’s TV variety show
• 1929 ~ Red Nichols and his Five Pennies recorded the Glenn Miller arrangement of
Indiana for Brunswick Records. Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Jack Teagarden
were all part of the recording session that took place in New York City.
• 1936 ~ Ottorino Respighi, Italian composer, died. Best known for his orchestral
pieces including the "Pines of Rome."
More information about Respighi
• 1938 ~ Catherine Malfitano, American soprano
• 1938 ~ Hal Galper, Jazz pianist
• 1941 ~ Mike Vickers, Musician: guitar, reeds played with the group Manfred Mann
• 1946 ~ Hayley Mills, Singer, actress
• 1946 ~ Alexander Spence, Musician: guitarist and singerwith the group Moby Grape
• 1965 ~ Contralto Marian Anderson ended her 30-year singing career with a concert
at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
• 1974 ~ James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, received a gold record this day for
the single, The Payback. Of the 44 hits that Brown would put on the charts
over three decades, he received only one other gold record - for Get on the
Good Foot - Part 1 in 1972. His biggest pop hits include: I Got You (I Feel
Good) at number three in 1965, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag at number eight in
• 1965, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World at number eight in 1966, I Got The
Feelin’ at number six in 1968 and Living in America at number four in 1986.
This song was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film, Rocky IV.
• 1984 ~ Michael Jackson faced surgery in Los Angeles. Doctors performed scalp
surgery to repair damage done after the megastar’s hair caught fire during
the filming of a Pepsi commercial on January 27. Jackson was hospitalized
and recuperated for months before he could return to work. His single
recording of Thriller had been certified platinum in February, 1984.
• 1985 ~ The sequined ‘King of Show Business’, Liberace, broke his own record for
ticket sales at Radio City Music Hall. Liberace grossed more than $2,000,000
for his engagement in the historic New York City venue. His previous record
was set in 1984 ($1.6 million in tickets sold).
• 2001 ~ Billy Mitchell died at the age of 74. He was a saxophonist who played with
jazz greats Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman.
19 1836 ~ Augustus D. Julliard, American music
patron; responsible for founding
The Julliard School of Music
More information about Julliard
• 1892 ~ Germaine Tailleferre, French composer
• 1905 ~ Tommy Benford, Drummer with Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers
Frank Fontaine (1920) Comedian, actor, singer
• 1924 ~ A new show joined the airwaves. The Chicago Barn Dance aired on WLS radio
in the Windy City. Later, the famous program would be renamed The National
Barn Dance. This program was the first country music jamboree on radio. (The
Grand Ole Opry on WSM Radio in Nashville, TN began in 1925.) National Barn
Dance continued for many years on the radio station that was owned by
retailer, Sears Roebuck & Co. WLS, in fact, stood for ‘World’s Largest
Store’. Though the Barn Dance gave way to rock music and now, talk radio,
The Grand Ole Opry continues each weekend in Nashville.
• 1927 ~ Don Barbour, Singer with the group, The Four Freshmen
• 1928 ~ Alexis Korner, Musician: guitar, singer
• 1942 ~ Alan Price, Musician: keyboards, singer: groups: Alan Price Combo, The
Animals. Some favorites were House of the Rising Sun, We Gotta Get
Out of This Place
• 1942 ~ Larry (Hilario) Ramos, Jr., Musician, guitar, singer with the group: The
• 1943 ~ Eve Graham, Singer with The New Seekers
• 1943 ~ Czeslaw Bartkowski, Jazz musician, drums
• 1945 ~ The musical Carousel, based on Molnar’s Liliom, opened at the Majestic
Theatre in New York City. John Raitt and Jan Clayton starred in the show
which ran for 890 performances. Music was by the team of Richard Rodgers and
• 1947 ~ Murray Perahia, American pianist and conductor
• 1947 ~ Mark Volman, Saxophonist, singer
• 1959 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte appeared in the first of two benefit concerts for
charity at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
• 1967 ~ Nancy Sinatra and her dad, Frank, received a gold record award for their
collaboration on the hit single, Something Stupid.
• 2000 ~ Richard L. Campbell, a classical music announcer on WCPE-FM died during his
on-the-air shift, apparently of a massive heart attack. He was 67. On the air,
Campbell catered to his audience by using his warm baritone voice to soothing
effect. Before coming to WCPE about 10 years ago, he was a computer programmer
and helped design the station's traffic system.
20 1881 ~ Nicolai Miaskovsky, Russian composer
• 1925 ~ Tito (Ernest) Puente, Jazz musician, bandleader
• 1925 ~ Henri Renaud, French pianist
• 1931 ~ Louis Armstrong recorded the classic, When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,
for Okeh Records. Satchmo would use the tune as his theme song for decades.
The song was waxed in Chicago, IL.
• 1934 ~ One of America’s most beloved child stars made her debut. Shirley Temple
debuted in Stand Up and Cheer, which opened in New York City. Moviegoers
would rave about her song and dance routine, Baby, Take a Bow, for many
• 1935 ~ Your Hit Parade, starring Kay Thompson, Charles Carlyle, Gogo DeLys and
Johnny Hanser, was first broadcast on radio in 1935. A youngster named Frank
Sinatra would later be part of the program as a featured vocalist. Your Hit
Parade stayed on the radio airwaves for 24 years.
Snooky Lanson would later host the program when it made the transition from
radio to TV. Other long-time regulars on the TV version were: Russell Arms,
Gisele MacKenzie and Dorothy Collins. They were the lucky ones who got to
present the top seven songs each week.
Since many songs stayed on the list for weeks on end, these vocalists had to
invent new ways to present the hit parade. On April 24, 1959, Your Hit
Parade died. The regulars just didn’t fit with the new rock ’n’ roll hits.
Imagine, if you can, Snooky Lanson singing Hound Dog.
The original title of the radio show was, Lucky Strike Hit Parade, sponsored
by, you guessed it, Lucky Strike cigarettes. The cigarette company continued
to sponsor the TV show (those were the days when cigarette companies
sponsored lots of TV shows); and the opening theme song was Be Happy, Go Lucky.
• 1943 ~ John Eliot Gardiner, British conductor
• 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, British rock singer and guitarist
• 1968 ~ Hair opened on Broadway
• 1985 ~ The British pop music group Wham!, featuring George Michael, became the
first to release cassettes in the People’s Republic of China. Selections
from two of the group’s albums were packaged and sold on the tape.
• 1986 ~ Pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave his first concert in the Soviet Union in
61 years. He had emigrated in 1925.
• 1987 ~ Starlight Express posted the largest week’s gross in Broadway history. The
roller-skating musical earned $606,081 at the box office. The revival of The
King and I starring Yul Brynner had been the previous leader (1985).
• 2000 ~ Canadian composer Louis Applebaum, long associated with the prestigious
classical repertory company the Stratford Festival, died of cancer. He was 82.
• 2001 ~ Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor, collapsed at the podium while conducting
a performance of Verdi’s Aida in Berlin. He was rushed to the hospital, but
doctors could not revive him. Sinopoli, 54, was the music director of the
Dresden Staatskapelle and was a controversial figure in classical music. An avid
scholar, Sinopoli had a medical degree and was also studying archaeology.
• 2003 ~ Nina Simone, whose deep, raspy, forceful voice made her a unique figure
in jazz and later helped define the civil rights movement, died.
She was 70.
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933 in North Carolina, Simone was the sixth
of seven children in a poor family. She began playing the piano at age 4.
In the late 1950s Simone recorded her first tracks, including Plain Gold Ring
and Don't Smoke In Bed. But she gained fame in 1959 with her recording
of I Loves You Porgy, from the opera "Porgy & Bess."
But she later wove the turbulent times of the 1960s into her music. In
• 1963, after the church bombing that killed four young black girls in
Birmingham, Ala., and the slaying of Medgar Evers, she wrote
Mississippi Goddam, and after the killing of Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., she recorded Why? The King of Love is Dead. One of
her most famous songs was the black pride anthem, To Be Young, Gifted
Simone enjoyed perhaps her greatest success in the 1960s and 70s, with
songs like I Want A Little Sugar in My Bowl, and Four
Women — the song with the famous line "they call me PEACHES."
She recorded songs from artists as diverse as Bob Dylan,
Leonard Cohen and Bee Gees and made them her own. Perhaps one of her
more popular covers was her version of House of the Rising Sun.
While she had a regal presence onstage, she could often be temperamental.
She had a reputation for chewing out audience members who interrupted
her performances in clubs with conversation or loud drinking or talking.
In 1999 she received a lifetime achievement award in Dublin and an award
for excellence in music from the Association of African American Music
21 1880 ~ Estelle Liebling, American soprano
• 1899 ~ Randall Thompson, American composer
1904 ~ Count Basie, American jazz pianist and bandleader
More information about Count Basie
• 1920 ~ Bruno Maderna, Italian-born German conductor and composer
• 1924 ~ Don Cornell (Louis Varlaro), Singer
• 1924 ~ Clara Ward, Gospel singer, Clara Ward Gospel Troupe
• 1931 ~ Carl Belew, Country singer
• 1947 ~ Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterburg), Singer, songwriter, with the Psychedelic
• 1963 ~ The Beatles and The Rolling Stones met for the first time together, at the
Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England. The Stones opened show.
• 1977 ~ Annie opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre. Andrea McArdle
was a shining star in the title role. Annie continued on the Great White Way
until January 2, 1983.
22 1858 ~ Dame Ethel Smyth, British composer
• 1912 ~ Kathleen Ferrier, British contralto singer, born. Best known for her
emotional performances of Gustav Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" ("Song of
1916 ~ Yehudi Menuhin, American violinist
Read quotes by and about Menuhin
More information about Menuhin
• 1921 ~ Candido (Camero), Musician: bongos, congas, tres, bass: over 100 recording
credits with famous jazz, Latin and R&B artists
• 1922 ~ Charles Mingus, American jazz double-bass player, pianist, composer and bandleader
• 1936 ~ Glen Campbell, Grammy Award-winning singer
• 1940 ~ The first all-Chinese commercial radio program was broadcast over KSAN
radio in San Francisco, CA. Later, KSAN would become a pioneer in playing
‘underground rock’ music.
• 1943 ~ Mel Carter, Singer
• 1950 ~ Peter Frampton, Singer, guitarist
• 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut on this night at the Frontier
Hotel. With Heartbreak Hotel at the top of the pop charts, one can imagine
the excitement generated by the new ‘King of rock and roll’. Even with a
number one hit, Elvis was not yet well-received by the middle-aged audience.
Management of the Frontier was so unimpressed, they gave Elvis his walking
papers after one week of a two-week engagement.
• 2001 ~ Jazz pianist-composer Isaac Cole, brother of the late singer Nat King Cole who
worked on his niece Natalie's multiple Grammy-winning 1991 album, died of cancer.
He was 73.
Ike Cole said he may have benefited from being compared with his more famous
brother, who died in 1965 of lung cancer at 45, but that he disliked being
accused of "trying to live off the name."
Ike Cole said he decided against changing his name because, shortly before dying,
Nat asked him not to.
He and brother Freddy toured in 1990 with a show saluting their famous brother.
Ike Cole had played a bass drum in an Army band but in 1957, he formed the Ike Cole
Trio in Chicago, where he was born, and went on the road.
Winning major TV exposure, he soon was booked steadily for Las Vegas shows. His
trio also regularly toured Japan, Australia and Europe as well as the United
Though he often sang a medley of his older brother's hits, Ike primarily was a
He played keyboard when Natalie Cole recorded her late father's songs for a 1991
album that won three Grammys.
23 Chris H.
Chris performed, with her brother, a duo-piano recital at the
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center.
• 1882 ~ Albert Coates, British conductor and composer
1891 ~ Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer
More information about Prokofiev
• 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!
• 1985 ~ The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was Sunday in
the Park with George.
• 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
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 form 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
Ito also wrote 15 compositions for the Ubu Repertory.
24 1706 ~ Giovanni Battista Martini, Italian
music scholar and composer
• 1792 ~ La Marseillaise composed by French army officer Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
• 1913 ~ Violet Archer, Canadian pianist and composer
• 1916 ~ Stanley Kauffmann, Theatre critic for the New York Times
• 1922 ~ (Samuel) Aaron Bell, Jazz musician, bass, composer
• 1923 ~ Freddy Scott, Singer
• 1928 ~ Johnny Griffin, Jazz musician, tenor sax
• 1934 ~ Shirley Boone (Foley), Singer, married to singer Pat Boone since 1953
• 1934 ~ Shirley MacLaine, Entertainer, Academy Award-winning actress, sister of
actor Warren Beatty
• 1934 ~ Laurens Hammond,in Chicago, IL, announced news that would be favored by
many churches across the United States. The news was the development of the
pipeless organ -- and a granting of a U.S. patent for same.
Read more about the Hammond Organ
• 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his trio recorded China Boy for Victor Records. Gene
Krupa, Teddy Wilson and Goodman recorded the session in Chicago.
• 1937 ~ Joe Henderson, Musician, composer. He played live in sextet at San
Francisco’s Keystone Korner and also played with Blood Sweat and Tears
• 1942 ~ John Williams, Guitarist
• 1942 ~ Barbra Streisand, American actress and singer of popular music, Grammy
Award-winning Best Female Pop Vocalist (1963-1965, 1977, 1986), Best
Songwriter in 1977, Academy Award-winning Best Actress, Oscar for Best Song
(Evergreen in 1976)
Read a newsitem about Barbra Streisand
• 1943 ~ Richard Sterban, Musician: bass, singer with The Oak Ridge Boys
• 1945 ~ Doug Clifford, Drummer with Creedence Clearwater Revival
• 1954 ~ Billboard magazine, the music industry trade publication, headlined a
change to come about in the music biz. The headline read, "Teenagers Demand
Music with a Beat -- Spur Rhythm and Blues" ... a sign of times to come.
Within a year, R&B music by both black and white artists became popular.
• 1959 ~ Your Hit Parade ended after a nine-year run on television and many more
years on radio. The show debuted in 1935. On the final show, these were the
top five songs on Your Hit Parade:
1 Come Softly to Me
2 Pink Shoelaces
3 Never Be Anyone Else but You
4 It’s Just a Matter of Time
5 I Need Your Love Tonight
• 1965 ~ Game of Love, by Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, made it to the top
spot on the Billboard music chart. Game of Love stayed for a short visit of
one week, before Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits took over the top spot
with Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.
• 1968 ~ Climaxing his birthday celebration, the Who's drummer, Keith Moon,
accidentally drove a Lincoln Continental into a hotel swimming pool in
• 1969 ~ The singing family, The Cowsills, received a gold record for their hit
single, Hair, from the Broadway show of the same name.
• 2000 ~ Singer and pianist George Paoa, whose smooth voice and mellow style
introduced generations of tourists to Hawaiian music, died. He was 65.
For more than 40 years, Paoa entertained vacationers at isle hotels with a
repertoire of old Hawaiian standards, light jazz and hapa-haole music, a
tourist favorite with its blend of English lyrics and Hawaiian melodies.
Paoa played with the jazz recording star Martin Denny in the 1960s and two of his
children sang on his 1994 album, "Walking in the Sand."
• 2001 ~ Jazz singer Al Hibbler, who was known for his rich baritone and exaggerated
phrasing, died at the age of 85.
Hibbler is best remembered as one of Duke Ellington's most colorful vocalists.
Hibbler went solo in the 1950s, and enjoyed his biggest hit, Unchained Melody.
Another of his hit songs was After the Lights Go Down Low.
The Mississippi native, who was blind from birth, joined Ellington's band in 1943
and became popular for singing tunes with the band that included Do Nothing
Till You Hear From Me and I'm Just a Lucky So and So. Hibbler's penchant for
distorted vocal effects were described by Ellington as "tonal pantomime."
Hibbler started his professional singing career in the 1930s, after vocal studies
at the Conservatory for the Blind in Little Rock, Ark. After winning amateur
concerts in Memphis, Tenn., he led a group in Texas and toured with Kansas City
bandleader Jay McShann in 1942.
Hibbler went on to record with Ellington's son, Mercer Ellington, Billy Taylor,
Count Basie, Gerald Wilson and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He sang When the Saints Go
Marching In at Louis Armstrong's funeral.
25 1906 ~ John Knowles Paine died
• 1913 ~ Earl Bostic, Saxophonist, bandleader
• 1915 ~ Italo Tajo, Italian bass
• 1915 ~ Sal Franzella, Jazz musician, alto sax, clarinet
• 1918 ~ Ella Fitzgerald, American Grammy Award-winning singer (12), jazz and
popular music. She was discovered at age 16 at an amateur night at the
Apollo Theater in Harlem, and went on to work with Louis Armstrong,
Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
• 1923 ~ Albert King, American blues singer and guitarist
• 1923 ~ Melissa Hayden (Mildred Herman), Ballerina with the New York City Ballet
• 1926 ~ Arturo Toscanini conducted the first performance of Giacomo Puccini's
opera "Turandot" at La Scala, Milan.
• 1932 ~ Gator (Willis) Jackson, Composer, tenor sax, invented the gator horn
• 1933 ~ Jerry Leiber, Record producer with Mike Stoller
• 1945 ~ Stu Cook, Bass with Creedence Clearwater Revival
• 1945 ~ Bjorn Ulvaeus, Musician, guitar, singer with Abba
• 1946 ~ The popular Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra recorded Cement Mixer for Majestic
records, tapes and CDs this day. Well, not tapes and CDs. We were still
listening to 78s back then ... thick, heavy ones, at that.
• 1956 ~ The rock 'n roll legend, Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel went No.1.
• 1970 ~ DJs around the U.S. played the new number one song, ABC, quite often, as
the Jackson 5 reached the number one spot in pop music for two weeks. ABC
was the second of four number one songs in a row for the group from Gary,
IN. I Want You Back was their first. ABC was one of 23 hits for Michael,
Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Marlon. ABC was knocked out of first place by The
Guess Who and their hit, American Woman.
• 1973 ~ The group, The Sweet, received a gold record for the hit Little Willy. The
English rocker band recorded four hits in addition to their first million-
seller, Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run, Action and Love is like Oxygen.
Little Willy was a top-three hit, while the group’s other gold record
winner, Fox on the Run made it to the top five.
• 2000 ~ David Merrick, one of Broadway's most flamboyant and successful
theatrical producers who created "Gypsy," "Hello, Dolly!" and "42nd Street,"
died in London at the age of 88.
During his long career as arguably Broadway's most successful producer, Merrick
won all the major theatrical awards, including 10 Tony Awards just for "Hello,
Dolly!" He was best-known for his musicals but he produced many non-musicals as well.
26 1813 ~ Fredrich von Flotow, German composer
More information about von Flotow
• 1886 ~ Gertrude "Ma" Rainey (Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett),
American blues, jazz and vaudeville singer
• 1900 ~ Joseph Fuchs, American violinist
• 1924 ~ Teddy Edwards (Theodore Marcus), Jazz musician, tenor sax
• 1936 ~ Carol Burnett, Entertainer
• 1938 ~ Duane Eddy, Singer
• 1938 ~ Maurice Williams, Singer, songwriter
• 1941 ~ Claudine Clark, Singer
• 1942 ~ Bobby Rydell, American rock-and-roll singer and drummer
• 1970 ~ The musical, Company, opened on Broadway. It ran for 705 performances at
the Alvin Theatre in New York City. Company starred Elaine Stritch.
• 1975 ~ On top of the Billboard popular music chart was B.J. Thomas, with the
longest title ever for a number one song. (Hey Won’t You Play) Another
Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song was number one for one week, though it
took that long just to say the title.
• 1978 ~ An updated version of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper appeared on
television. In the lead role (his first TV special), was former Beatle,
Ringo Starr. He sang new versions of Act Naturally, Yellow Submarine and
With a Little Help from My Friends.
• 1984 ~ Count Basie (William Basie), U.S. jazz pianist and big band leader who led his
orchestra from 1937, died.
27 Maria P.
• 1867 ~ Charles Gounod's opera "Romeo et Juliette" was first performed, in Paris.
• 1894 ~ Nicholas Slonimsky, Russian-born American musicologist, musical lexicographer
• 1871 ~ Sigismond Thalberg died
• 1931 ~ Igor Oistrakh, Violinist
• 1932 ~ Maxine (Ella) Brown, Singer
• 1933 ~ Calvin Newborn, Jazz/blues guitarist, brother of piano wizard Phineas Newborn Jr.
• 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded I Hadn’t Anyone ’til You for Victor
Records. Jack Leonard was featured as vocalist.
• 1941 ~ Judith Blegan, American soprano
• 1944 ~ Cuba Gooding, Singer
• 1947 ~ Pete Ham, Musician, guitar, piano, singer
• 1948 ~ Kate Pierson, Musician, organ, singer with the B-52s
• 1959 ~ Sheena Easton, Singer
• 1959 ~ Lloyd Price’s song, Personality, was released. Price had 10 songs that made it
on the nation’s pop music charts in the 1950s through early 1960s.
• 1970 ~ Mariah Carey, Singer
• 1976 ~ Maxine Nightingale received a gold record for the single, Right Back Where We
Started From. Nightingale was in the productions of Hair, Jesus Christ
Superstar, Godspell and Savages in the early ’70s. Right Back Where We Started
From was a number two hit for two weeks in 1976.
• 1981 ~ Former Beatle Ringo Starr married Barbara Bach at the Marylebone Registry
Office in London. Paul McCartney and wife Linda, George Harrison and Harry
Nilsson were in attendance.
• 1999 ~ Jazz trumpet great Al Hirt died
• 2002 ~ Classical violinist Guila Bustabo died at the age of 86.
Bustabo, born in Manitowoc, Wis., in 1916, toured Europe and Asia, performing
under such conductors as Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwangler.
Bustabo studied at the Juilliard School in New York before moving to Paris. During
her career, she recorded concertos by Beethoven and Bruch
with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
Bustabo was arrested in Paris after World War II, accused of being a Nazi sympathizer
because she played under conductor Willem Mengelberg. Mengelberg had been affiliated
with musical associations sanctioned by the Nazi Party.
The accusation against Bustabo was eventually dropped.
28 Mary B.
• 1870 ~ Hermann Suter, Swiss composer and conductor
• 1871 ~ Louise Homer, American opera singer, contralto at the NY Metropolitan Opera House
• 1892 ~ John Jacob Niles, Composer
• 1917 ~ "Papa" John Creach, Singer
• 1920 ~ Nan Merriman, American mezzo-soprano
• 1940 ~ Pennsylvania 6-5000, the classic Glenn Miller signature song, was
recorded on Bluebird Records.
• 1940 ~ Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian soprano, died.
• 1941 ~ Ann-Margaret, Entertainer
• 1950 ~ Jay Leno, TV personality
• 1987 ~ For the first time, a compact disc of an album was released before
its vinyl counterpart. The Art of Excellence by Tony Bennett, his first
recorded work in a decade, went on sale.
• 2001 ~ Evelyn Kuenneke, a Berlin singer and cabaret artist whose tune Sing Nightingale
Sing was a hit among German soldiers during World War II, died of lung cancer at
the age of 79.
Kuenneke started out as a dancer at Berlin's State Opera in the late 1930s. When
the Nazis banned her from appearing in cabaret shows under her artist name Evelyn
King in 1939, she turned to movies and pop songs that also took her on the
wartime military entertainment circuit.
With the war started by Adolf Hitler in full fury, Kuenneke scored her biggest
success in 1941 with Sing Nightingale Sing, a nostalgia-laced ditty set to a
slow swing beat.
She continued her career after the war with pop recordings and films, dropping out
of the public eye in the 1960s but staging a comeback in the 1970s. Since then,
she regularly appeared on stage in small productions or variety shows until a few
Born Dec. 15, 1921 in Berlin, Kuenneke was the daughter of German operetta composer
Eduard Kuenneke and the opera singer Katarina Krapotkin.
• 2002 ~ Noel Da Costa, a composer and professor at Rutgers University, died. He was 82.
Da Costa also wrote music that drew from African folk music.
His piece, Primal Rites, was performed in 1983 by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under
John Williams, with Max Roach as the soloist.
Born in Nigeria, Da Costa's family moved to Harlem as a young boy. He attended
Queens College and Columbia University. He won a Fulbright Scholarship to study
music with Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence, Italy.
Da Costa joined the faculty of Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J. in 1970 after teaching
for the city universities of New York. He retired from Rutgers last year.
29 1879 ~ Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor. Founded the
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947 and did much to promote the works of
Delius, Sibelius and Richard Strauss.
Read quotes by and about Beecham
• 1895 ~ Sir Malcolm Sargent, English conductor, born. He was in charge of the
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 1942 until 1948 and of the BBC
Symphony Orchestra from 1950 until 1957.
1899 ~ Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist,
bandleader and composer
Read quotes by and about Ellington
More information about Ellington
• 1913 ~ Donald Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers.
• 1925 ~ Danny Davis (George Nowland), Grammy Award-winning bandleader with
Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1969,
Country Music Awards Instrumental Group of the Year 1969 to 1974
• 1927 ~ Carl Gardner, Singer with The Coasters
• 1931 ~ (Anthony James) Lonnie Donegan, Folk singer, musician: guitar, banjo
• 1933 ~ Rod McKuen, Singer, poet-song writer
• 1936 ~ Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist
• 1936 ~ April Stevens (Carol Lo Tempio), Singer
• 1943 ~ Duane Allen, Singer with the Oak Ridge Boys
• 1947 ~ Tommy James (Jackson), Singer with Tommy James and The Shondells
• 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Musician, guitar and singer with Status Quo
• 1968 ~ Hair made its way from Greenwich Village to Broadway. The show certainly
opened eyes. It was the first time that actors appeared nude in a Broadway
musical. Hair ran for 1,844 shows on and off Broadway. It was even more
successful in its London run later. Big songs from the show: Hair (The
Cowsills) and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The 5th Dimension).
• 1969 ~ Sir Duke, Duke Ellington, celebrated his 70th birthday. He was honored with
the presentation of the Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government’s highest
• 2001 ~ Opera diva Rita Nellie Hunter, a powerful soprano celebrated for her fine
Wagnerian performances, died at the age of 67.
Hunter, originally from Wallasey, England, was best remembered as the
quintessential Brunnhilde of Wagner's "Ring" cycle,
which she performed in London, New York, Germany and Sydney.
Hunter's agile voice led her through performances of Verdi's "Aida," and
"Macbeth," Puccini's "Turandot" and Strauss' challenging "Elektra."
Despite her remarkable voice, Hunter did not reach international stardom. Her
physical size, at a time when the opera was seeking slimmer performers, and the
fact that she sang roles primarily in English, kept her from achieving global
Hunter married tenor John Darnley Thomas in 1960, and after his death in 1994,
took over management of his Singing Academy in Sydney.
20 1717 ~ Guillaume Gommaire Kennis, composer
• 1792 ~ Johann Friedrich Schwencke, composer
• 1837 ~ Alfred Gaul, composer
• 1852 ~ Anton Rubinstein's opera "Dmitri Donskoi", premiered in St Petersburg
1870 ~ Franz Lehár, Austrian composer
of operettas. He achieved worldwide recognition for "The Merry Widow".
More information about Lehár
• 1883 ~ David John de Lloyd, composer
• 1884 ~ Albert Israel Elkus, composer
• 1885 ~ The Boston Pops Orchestra forms
• 1885 ~ Luigi Russolo, composer
• 1886 ~ Frank Merrik, composer
• 1900 ~ Train engineer Casey Jones was killed when trying to save the Cannonball
Express as it highballed its way through Vaughn, MS. The famous song about
Jones is based on this train accident.
• 1903 ~ Victor Records made its first Red Seal recording this day. The premiere disk
featured Ada Crossley, an opera contralto.
• 1916 ~ Robert Shaw, American conductor, Robert Shaw Chorale; music director of
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
• 1923 ~ Percy Heath, Jazz musician: bass: founder of Modern Jazz Quartet, The Heath
• 1933 ~ Willie Nelson, American country-music singer, songwriter and guitarist
• 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his band recorded the bandleader’s signature song,
Contrasts, for Decca Records. The song went on to become one of the most
familiar big band themes of the era.
• 1941 ~ Johnny Farina, Musician: rhythm guitar with Santo & Johnny
• 1943 ~ Bobby Vee (Velline), Singer
• 1944 ~ Richard Schoff, Singer with The Sandpipers
• 1953 ~ Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle became a team this day at Capitol Records in
Hollywood. Sinatra’s new musical style, under Riddle’s direction, brought the
crooner to the top of the record world for the second time in his illustrious
• 1953 ~ Merrill Osmond, Singer with The Osmonds: Alan, Donny, Jay, Marie, Wayne, Jimmy
• 1954 ~ Darius Milhaud's Fourth Concerto for piano and orchestra premiered in Haifa
• 1956 ~ Richard Farina, folk singer: Reflections in a Crystal Wind
• 1983 ~ Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) passed away
• 1987 ~ Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first
time. The discs were Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver. All became hits again for
the Fab Four.
• 2000 ~ Bill Woods, a band leader who helped Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and other
country music stars launch their careers, died. He was 76.
In the 1950s, Woods ran The Blackboard country music club in Bakersfield. The
club attracted many country music stars and helped develop what became known
as the Bakersfield Sound.
Woods also could play many instruments, including piano, guitar, fiddle,
drums, and the banjo.
• 2000 ~ Jonah Jones, a Grammy award-winning jazz trumpet player who began his
career on a Mississippi riverboat and became a star playing with Cab
Calloway, died at the age of 90.
• 2001 ~ Herman "Rock" Johnston, a musician known for his innovative work on steel
drums, died of prostate cancer. He was 63.
Johnston gained acclaim in the early 1960s with an innovation that stretched the
musical range of the instrument from 24 to 36 notes.
During his career, the Trinidad native appeared at the United Nations, Lincoln
Center and Radio City Musical Hall in New York City, and with the Boston
Symphony at its summer festival in Tanglewood. His repertoire spanned rock,
spiritual, classical, show tunes and Caribbean folk music.
• 2003 ~ Bill Napier, a clarinetist who rose to prominence with the premier San
Francisco jazz bands of the 1940s and 50s, died. He was 76.
Napier helped create a catchy West Coast style with a Dixieland sound and a San
Francisco vibe. He played with jazz stars including trombonist Turk Murphy, Lu
Watters and Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band.
Though he took some lessons, Napier essentially taught himself to play. His
talent, and his love of music, brought him to an eclectic mix of venues -
from cable car turnabouts to halftime of Harlem Globetrotters' games to
Silicon Valley soirees at the height of the dot-com boom. His last show was
December 30, 2002.
Some Composer Birthdays excerpted from
"The Music-Lovers Birthday Book"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1987)
Others from various sources, including
Those were the Days
Many thanks to
Dearest for everything!
O'Connor Music Studio
in Fairfax, Virginia
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