1701 ~ Johann Joachim Agrell, Composer
More information about Agrell
. 1735 ~ Paul Revere, American patriot and music engraver
. 1764 ~ In a stunning demonstration of prodigious talent, the Royal Family at Versailles
in France was treated to a brilliant recital by an eight year old musician.
His name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
. 1878 ~ Edwin Franko Goldman, Composer
1900 ~ Xavier Cugat.
Spanish violinist, composer and band leader, married to Abbe Lane and Charo More information about Cugat
. 1925 ~ Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack of the famous Metropolitan Opera in New
York City made their singing debuts on radio this day. The broadcast over
what was WEAF Radio (now WABC) encouraged others to sing on radio. Some of
those were Hootie and the Blowfish, and Barry Manilow.
. 1928 ~ Frank Pourcel, Composer, violinist
. 1942 ~ Country Joe McDonald, Singer with Country Joe & the Fish
. 1953 ~ A sad day in country music, as the legendary Hank Williams died at the
young age of 29. Undisputedly, the biggest star in the history of country
music, Hank Williams' legacy is being carried on by his son, Hank Williams, Jr.
. 1955 ~ Elvis Presley appeared at The Eagles Hall in Houston Texas. Presley went on to play over 250 shows in 1955.
. 1968 ~ A group known as The Blue Velvets decided to change its name this day and
it's a good thing they did. The new name soon became a national pop music
favorite as Creedence Clearwater Revival climbed to stardom.
. 1972 ~ Maurice Chevalier passed away. Chevalier was a French actor, Cabaret singer and entertainer.
. 1984 ~ Alexis Korner passed away. Korner was a British blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as "a founding father of British blues"
. 2000 ~ Ray Walston, who found commercial success playing a comical devil in the
play "Damn Yankees" and an extraterrestrial on the sitcom "My Favorite
Martian," of natural causes at the age of 86.
Walston caught the biggest break of his career when he won a Tony in 1955 for
his performance in Broadway's "Damn Yankees." The smash musical told the
story of a frustrated baseball fan who sells his soul.
His screen debut came in the 1957 movie "Kiss Them For Me" with Cary Grant,
and the next year he played the devil again in the film version of "Damn
Walston snagged the role that would stick with him for a lifetime - that of a
lovable alien on the TV show "My Favorite Martian" in 1963.
The show was immensely popular, but Walston felt so typecast that he tried to
highlight his dramatic abilities by returning to the stage when the TV
comedy went off the air in 1966.
He stayed in theater for several years before re-emerging with a succession of
solid supporting roles in movies and television.
Nearly 30 years after the end of the lighthearted "My Favorite Martian,"
Walston's role on "Picket Fences" as acerbic Judge Henry Bone earned Walston
successive Emmys in 1995-96.
. 2016 ~ Chart-topping R&B singer Natalie Cole, who followed her famous father in the music business with hits like “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) and “Unforgettable,” died at age 65.
1905 ~ Sir Michael Tippett, British Composer and librettist
More information about Tippett
. 1917 ~ Vera Zorina (Eva Hartwig), Dancer, actress
. 1922 ~ Renata (Ersilia Clotilde) Tebaldi, Opera diva, lyric soprano.
She debuted as Elena in Boito's Mefistofele in 1944 and at the MetropolitanOpera in Verdi'sOtello in 1955
More information about Tebaldi
Anniversary of Tebaldi's death
. 1930 ~ Julius LaRosa, Singer
. 1932 ~ Freddy Martin formed a new band and was hired to play the Roosevelt Grill
in New York City. Martin became one of the big names in the music business.
Merv Griffin later became Martin's lead vocalist.
. 1936 ~ Roger Miller. American country-music singer, guitarist and
songwriter, 11 Grammys in 1964-65
. 1941 ~ The Andrews Sisters recorded BoogieWoogie Bugle Boy on Decca Records.
LaVerne, Maxine and Patti Andrews recorded in Los Angeles and the song was
heard in the movie, "Buck Privates", starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
. 1949 ~ Chick Churchill, Keyboards with Ten Years After
. 1958 ~ Leonard Bernstein conducted his first concert as Joint Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, a title he shared with Dimitri Mitropoulos during the 1957-58 season.
At this concert, Bernstein conducted a program similar to that of his November 1943 New York Philharmonic debut: Schumann's "Manfred" Overture and #Strauss's "Don Quixote." Additionally, Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic from the piano in the U.S. premiere of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2.
. 1971 ~The George Harrison album 'All Things Must Pass' started a seven week run at No.1 on the US album chart, making Harrison the first solo Beatle to score a US No.1 album. The triple album included the hit singles 'My Sweet Lord' and 'What Is Life', as well as songs such as 'Isn't It a Pity' and the title track that were turned down by The Beatles.
. 1974 ~ Singing cowboy Tex Ritter died of a heart attack at the age of 67. His
son, John, became a significant television star in "Three's Company", and in
movies, including "Problem Child".
. 1977 ~ Erroll Garner passed away. He was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads.
. 1980 ~ Officials of the Miss America Pageant announced that Bert Parks would not
return as host of the annual beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Parks sang There she is, Miss America for 25 years. He was replaced by
. 1983 ~ The smash musical, "Annie", closed on Broadway at the Uris Theatre after 2,377 performances: the sixth longest-running show on the Great White Way.
The five longest-running shows at the time were: "Fiddler on the Roof",
"Life With Father", "Tobacco Road", "Hello Dolly" and "Music Man".
. 2003 ~ Bluegrass music veteran James McReynolds, who with his mandolin-playing
brother Jesse formed the legendary "Jim & Jesse" duo honored in the Country
Music Hall of Fame, has died.
Backed by their band, "The Virginia Boys," their first single The Flame of
Love, backed by Gosh I Miss You All the Time, spent weeks on the national
charts. Other songs regarded as Jim & Jesse classics are Cotton Mill Man,Diesel on My Tail,Are You Missing Me and Paradise.
Jim's enhanced high tenor and guitar playing combined with Jesse's deep-voiced
singing and unique mandolin style to produce their distinctive sound. Jesse
developed a cross-picking technique and "split-string" style few could
The brothers' performing career was interrupted by service in both World War II
and the Korean War.
They joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1964, and their numerous honors
included induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame's "Walkway of Stars" and
the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor.
. 2004 ~ Pioneering black actress and singer Etta Moten Barnett, who sang at the
White House and appeared with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in FlyingDown to Rio, died. She was 102.
Barnett was unique because of the romantic, sexy figures she portrayed - as
opposed to the motherly nannies and maids that most black actresses were
cast as in early Hollywood films.
Barnett moved to New York City in her 30s and quickly landed a spot singing
with the Eva Jessye Choir. The lead in the Broadway show Zombie followed.
She later dubbed songs for actresses and was cast in the Busby Berkeley film
Gold Diggers of 1933.
In the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio, Barnett was cast as a Brazilian
entertainer who sang The Carioca while Astaire and Rogers danced. The
song was nominated for an Academy Award as best song.
Her voice caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who invited
her to sing at his White House birthday party.
In 1942, she appeared as Bess in Porgy and Bess on Broadway and then
toured with the show until 1945. Suffering from a strained voice, she gave
her last formal concert in 1952.
3 1898 ~ Zasu Pitts, Actress in Busby Berkeley's 1933 musical, Dames
. 1940 ~ The Southland Shuffle was recorded on Bluebird Records by Charlie Barnet
and his orchestra. A young trumpet player named Billy May was featured.
. 1945 ~ Stephen Stills born, American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter for
Buffalo Springfield and also Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
. 1946 ~ John Paul Jones (Baldwin), Bass with Led Zeppelin
. 1969 ~ 30,000 copies of the John Lennon, Yoko Ono album, "Two Virgins", were
confiscated by police in Newark, NJ. John and Yoko were nude on the cover.
. 1972 ~ Don McLean received a gold record for his 8-minute-plus hit, American Pie.
. 1974 ~ Following eight years of inactivity, Bob Dylan toured for 39 dates in 25
cities. His first stop was in Chicago, IL. The tour was recorded and later
released as a double-LP set titled, "Before the Flood".
. 1981 ~ John Lennon's(Just Like) Starting Over and the album "Double Fantasy"
topped the pop music charts just weeks after the death of the former Beatle.
. 1985 ~ Soprano Leontyne Price bid adieu to the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
She sang the title role of "Aida". Price had been part of the Met since 1961.
. 1809 ~ Louis Braille, Inventor of the Braille system which enables the blind to
read words and music.
When he was only 3, Louise Braille, was permanently blinded in an
accident with a leatherworking awl in his father's saddlemaking shop
in Coupvray, France. Several years later, he was admitted to a
school for the blind, the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles.
Later, as a teacher at the school, he worked at adapting Charles
Barbier's system of writing with points. Ironically, his method
centered around using an awl-like stylus to punch marks in paper that
could be felt and interpreted by the blind, allowing them to "read"
with their fingertips.
Braille's work went unnoticed until after his death, in poverty, in 1852.
. 1874 ~ Josef Suk, Czech violinist and composer
More information about Suk
. 1928 ~ NBC radio debuted one of radio's first variety shows. "The Dodge Victory
Hour" starred Will Rogers, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra and singer AlJolson. The cost to produce this one show was $67,600.
. 1932 ~ NBC Red presented "The Carnation Contented Hour". The show continued on
network radio for 19 years as a showcase for top singers and musicians.
. 1935 ~ Bert Ambrose and his orchestra recorded the song that became the group's
theme song. It was titled Hors d'oeuvres and was cut in London for Decca
. 1935 ~ Bob Hope was first heard on network radio as part of "The Intimate Revue"
with Jane Froman, James Melton and the Al Goodman Orchestra.
. 1936 ~ The first pop music chart based on national sales was published by
"Billboard" magazine this day. Joe Venuti, jazz violinist, was at the top of
the chart with a little ditty called Stop! Look! Listen!.
1937 ~ Grace Bumbry, American mezzo-soprano
More information about Bumbry
. 1950 ~ RCA Victor announced that it would manufacture long-playing (LP) records.
This news came two years after Columbia Records debuted the 'album'.
. 1954 ~ Elvis Presley strolled into the Memphis Recording Service and put $4 on
the counter. He recorded Casual Love and I'll Never Stand in Your Way,
two songs that so impressed record executive Sam Phillips that he had Elvis
record his first professional sides for Sun Records the following August.
. 2001 ~ Les Brown, whose Band of Renown scored a No. 1 hit with SentimentalJourney during America's big band era of the 1930s and '40s, died of lung
cancer at the age of 88.
A conductor-clarinetist whose smooth arrangements of swing melodies
transcended changes in musical tastes, Brown was cited in 1996 by the
Guinness Book of Records recognized him as the leader of the longest lasting
musical organization in pop music history.
He started his professional career in 1936, and his Band of Renown was still
performing about 60 dates a year as recently as five months ago, often
conducted by son Les Brown Jr.
Brown formed his Band of Renown in 1936.
In the 1940s heyday of swing, Brown never achieved the greatness of TommyDorsey, Glenn Miller or Benny Goodman. But the band scored two hit records -
Sentimental Journey, with Doris Day as vocalist, and the instrumental
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.
Sentimental Journey, co-written with Ben Homer and Bud Green, became a
theme for soldiers returning home from World War II.
"The happiest times in my life were the days when I was traveling with Les and
his band," Day said. "I loved Les very much, I am going to miss his phone
Brown's career included a close association with Bob Hope. In 1950, he joined
Hope for the first of 18 Christmas tours to entertain American troops at
military bases around the world. Day also participated.
"The world has lost a great musician," Hope said. "I have lost my music man,
my sideman, my straight man and a special friend."
As the first president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Academy of Recording
Arts and Sciences, Brown helped make the Grammy Awards a televised event. He
convinced Hope, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to participate in the first
. 2004 ~ Jake Hess, a four-time Grammy winner who sang with some of the premier
quartets in gospel music and influenced the career of Elvis Presley, died. He
Hess, whose career spanned more than 60 years, is best known to contemporary
audiences as a regular member of Bill Gaither's Homecoming Friends, on
various Christian and country music cable channels, including TBN and TNN.
Hess joined The John Daniel Quartet in 1943 and reached stardom with The
Statesmen Quartet. He was founder of The Imperials and sang with The Masters V.
Each of these groups is enshrined in the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame, as
is Hess. He is also a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
As a teen, Elvis Presley was a regular at Statesmen concerts. Later, Hess was a
backup singer on several of Presley's Grammy-winning albums.
When Presley died in 1977, Hess sang at his funeral, as he had at the funeral of
country legend Hank Williams in 1953.
Peter Guralnick, author of a two-volume biography of Presley, said the rock star
always wanted to emulate the voices of Hess and crooner Roy Hamilton. 5 1880 ~ Nicolai Karlovich Medtner, Russian composer and pianist
. 1941 ~ Decca record #23210 was recorded. The title was Chica Chica Boom Chic by
the lovely Carmen Miranda. She sang the song in the film, "That Night in Rio".
. 1942 ~ Maurizio Pollini, Italian pianist
. 1949 ~ George 'Funky' Brown, Drummer with Kool and The Gang
. 1950 ~ Chris Stein, Guitarist with Blondie
. 1955 ~ A tune used in a "Studio One" production became the #1 song on the pop
music charts this day. Joan Weber's song, Let Me Go, Lover, rode the hit
parade as the most popular record in the U.S. for four weeks straight.
Before being aired on television, the song had only been heard on a limited
basis. In fact, the title was even different. It used to be known as Let MeGo, Devil.
. 1972 ~ John Denver received a gold record for the album, "Aerie", this day.
. 1979 ~ Charles Mingus passed away. He was an American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader.
. 1979 ~ John Travolta probably remembers that the soundtrack LP of "Saturday
Night Fever" reached $25 million in sales.
. 1984 ~ The group, The Police, planned a farewell concert for March 2 in
Australia. After nine years together, band members decided to go their
. 1997 ~ Burton Lane passed away. He was an American composer and lyricist. His most popular and successful works include Finian's Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
. 2000 ~ Mejla Hlavsa, a Czech rock performer and friend of President Vaclav Havel,
died of cancer at the age of 49. He was a bass player and singer with the
band Plastic People of the Universe.
Hlavsa, whose group was banned in the 1970s, was imprisoned in 1976 for
unauthorized performances, deemed political protests under the former
At the time, the band had been performing at private gatherings, including
parties at Havel's summer house in Hradecek, northern Bohemia. Now the
country's president, Havel was Czechoslovakia's best known anti-communist
dissident at the time.
After the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the band resumed public
Hlavsa also performed at the White House in September 1998, at a dinner
organized by President Clinton during an official visit by the Czech
One of Hlavsa's influences, Lou Reed, also performed during Havel's visit.
Reed was a founding member of the rock group Velvet Underground, which
helped inspire Havel's leadership of the "Velvet Revolution" that brought
democracy to the Czech Republic.
Havel had called the musicians "two legends from our two nations who both, in
one way or another, are bound with the ideal of freedom."
. 2016 ~ Pierre Boulez, classical music's maverick, died aged 90. As well as composing, Boulez was a prolific writer and pianist and an inspiration for generations of young musicians. 6 1695 ~ Giuseppe Sammartini
. 1838 ~ Max Bruch, German Composer
More information about Bruch
. 1850 ~ Franz Xaver Scharwenka More information about Scharwenka
. 1852 ~ Giuseppe Martucci. He was an Italian composer, conductor, pianist and teacher influential in reviving Italian interest in non-operatic music.
. 1863 ~ First performance of Johannes Brahms' Piano Sonata No. 3 in f, in Vienna.
. 1872 ~ Alexander Scriabin, Russian composer
Recommended Books and CD's by Scriabin
. 1938 ~ Trummy Young played trombone and sang with the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra
in New York City as Margie became Decca record number 1617.
. 1946 ~ Roger Keith, Lead guitarist, Pink Floyd
. 1946 ~ Syd (Roger) Barrett, Guitarist, singer with Pink Floyd
. 1959 ~ Kathy Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge
. 1964 ~ Premier of "Hello Dolly"
. 1966 ~ Duke Ellington's concert of sacred music, recorded at 5th Avenue
Presbyterian Church in New York City, was broadcast on CBS-TV.
. 1975 ~ The Broadway premiere of "The Wiz" opened, receiving enthusiastic reviews.
The show, a black version of "The Wizard of Oz", ran for 1,672 shows at the
Majestic Theatre. Moviegoers, however, gave a thumbs down to the later
cinema version of the musical that starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
One memorable song from the show is Ease on Down the Road.
. 1899 ~ Francis Poulenc, French composer
More information about Poulenc
. 1922 ~ Jean-Pierre Rampal, French flutist
More information about Rampal
. 1924 ~ George Gershwin completed the incomparable score of Rhapsody in Blue.
Incidentally, George was only 26 years old at the time. George didn't
even have an interest in music until his family got him a piano when he was
twelve. Nine years later he had his first hit, Swanee, with lyrics written
by Irving Caesar.
Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned in 1924 by Paul Whiteman and then
orchestrated by Ferde Grofe of Grand Canyon Suite fame. This first
orchestration of Gershwin's score was never quite right. Grofe's style
didn't gel with Gershwin's. Several other artists attempted to do justice
to Rhapsody in Blue, never quite making the grade. Some thirty years later,
orchestra leader Hugo Winterhalter with Byron Janis at the piano did a
jazzed up version; pretty close to the way Gershwin had described his piece.
However, it wasn't until Gershwin's original solo piano was accompanied by a
jazz band led by Michael Tilson Thomas, that the true arrangement of
Rhapsody in Blue was heard.
No matter how you hear it, Rhapsody in Blue will remain the signature
of one of the most influential of composers, songwriters and pianists in
American music history.
. 1926 ~ A famous marriage that endured for many years is remembered this day. It's
the wedding anniversary of George Burns and Gracie Allen who were married by
a Justice of the Peace in Cleveland, Ohio.
. 1930 ~ Jack Greene, The Green Giant, CMA Male Vocalist, Album, Single and Song of
. 1940 ~ The gate to Gene Autry's Melody Ranch opened. The 'singing cowboy' would
entertain on CBS radio for the next 16 years.
. 1941 ~ Good-for-Nothin' Joe was recorded by the sultry Lena Horne. She sang the
classic song with Charlie Barnet and his orchestra on Bluebird Records.
. 1942 ~ Paul Revere, Singer, keyboards with Paul Revere and The Raiders
. 1946 ~ Jann Wenner, Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine
. 1950 ~ Ernest Tubb made his first appearance at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville,
TN. Ernest also did a 15-minute radio program each day that became very
popular in West Texas. So popular, in fact, that he bought the radio station
that had aired the program for years and years: KGKL in San Angelo, Texas.
. 1955 ~ The first black singer at the Metropolitan Opera was Marian Anderson, who
appeared as Ulrica in Verdi's"The Masked Ball".
. 1958 ~ The Flying V guitar, which is a favorite of rock musicians, was patented
this day by the Gibson Guitar Company.
. 1985 ~ Yul Brynner returned to the Broadway stage this night as "The King and I"
returned to where Yul first began his reign, 33 years before. Through his
career to that date, Brynner appeared in 4,434 shows without missing a
. 2002 ~ Jon Lee, drummer for the Welsh rock band Feeder, died at the age of 33.
The trio's biggest hit single was the 2001 single Buck Rogers, which
reached No. 5 on the British charts.
Feeder released its first full-length album, "Polythene," in England in 1997; it
was released in the United States in early 1998.
The band released its third album, "Echo Park," last year, which debuted at No. 5
in Britain and swiftly sold more than 100,000 copies.
. 2002 ~ Nauman Steele Scott III, co-owner of Black Top Records which gained an
international reputation for its blues, rhythm-and-blues and zydeco recordings,
died. Scott suffered from heart disease. He was 56.
Scott owned Black Top Records with his brother, Hammond. The label featured such
artists as Earl King, Snooks Eaglin and the Neville Brothers.
Black Top releases picked up two Grammy nominations and have won more than 30
W.C. Handy Blues Awards. 8 . 1713 ~ Death of Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli in Rome age 59
1830 ~ Hans von Bulow, German pianist and conductor
More information about von Bulow
. 1906 ~ Arthur Rubinstein made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The
concert received only a few favorable reviews.
. 1925 ~ Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, appeared in his first American concert,
as he conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of his own
. 1935 ~ Elvis Presley, American rock-and-roll singer and guitarist. He had 90 top-20 hits.
. 1937 ~ Shirley Bassey, Singer
. 1940 ~ Anthony Gourdine, Singer with Little Anthony and The Imperials
. 1940 ~ Vincent Lopez and his orchestra recorded the third version of Lopez' theme
song titled Nola. This version, recorded in Hollywood on Bluebird Records,
is recognized as his best rendition of the classic song.
. 1946 ~ Robbie Krieger, Guitarist with The Doors
. 1947 ~ David Bowie, British rock singer and actor
. 1947 ~ Terry Sylvester, Musician with the groups Swinging Blue Jeans and the
. 1952 ~ Vladimir Feltsman, Pianist
. 1961 ~ Robert Goulet made his national TV debut this night on "The Ed SullivanShow" on CBS.
. 1965 ~ The TV dance show, "Hullabaloo", debuted on NBC~TV. The show, a weekly
trip into the world of rock and roll, featured plenty of mini-skirted go~go
girls; which didn't hurt ratings any. ABC countered with "Shindig", a
similar show, similar concept, similar everything.
. 1966 ~ The Beatles LP, "Rubber Soul", began a 6-week reign
at the top of the album chart. This was the seventh Beatles LP to reach the
#1 position since February, 1964. "Rubber Soul" stayed on the charts for 56
weeks. The other #1 albums for the Fab Four to that date were:
"Meet The Beatles", "The Beatles Second Album",
"A Hard Day's Night", "Beatles '65", "Beatles VI" and "Help!".
. 1973 ~ Carly Simon received a gold record for the single, You're So Vain.
. 1997 ~ George Handy died. Handy was a jazz music arranger, composer and pianist whose musical beginnings were fostered under the tutelage of pianist Aaron Copland.
. 1998 ~ Sir Michael Tippett, British Composer and librettist, died
More information about Tippett
. 2000 ~ Pianist Jeffrey Biegel appeared on Good Morning America. He discussed
his performance of the New York Premiere with Maestro Vakhtang Jordania
and the American Symphony Orchestra and performed selections from the
manuscript edition of Rhapsody in Blue, with more than 50 bars restored that
hadn't been heard in New York since the famous 1924 premiere concert at
The concert that evening was at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.
The Rhapsody was be the feature piece in an evening of premieres by American
composers and Russian orchestral masterpieces.
Works on the program included Variations on The Wayfaring Stranger (New
York Premiere) by James Cohn; Peanuts Gallery for Piano and Orchestra by
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich; the Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin; Islamey by Balakirev
(World Premiere-transcription for piano and orchestra by Jeffrey Biegel),
and Mussorgsky'sPictures at an Exhibition.
9 1839 ~ John Knowles Paine, first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music.
. 1947 ~ "Finian's Rainbow" opened on the Great White Way in New York City. The
musical played for 725 performances. Years later, Petula Clark would star
and sing in the movie version.
. 1948 ~ Donald Fagen, Keyboard with Steely Dan
. 1948 ~ Cyril Neville, Percussion, singer with The Neville Brothers
. 1949 ~ The Radio Corporation of America, sometimes known as RCA, announced a new
7-inch, 45 rpm phonograph record. Soon, the 45, the record with the big hole
in the middle, would change the pop music business. RCA even manufactured a
record player that played only 45s - with a fat spindle that made "stacking
wax" real simple and automatic.
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley recorded his first tunes as an RCA Victor artist. Recording
in Nashville, Elvis sang Heartbreak Hotel, I Was the One,
I'm Counting On You, I Got a Woman and Money Honey.
Heartbreak Hotel was #1 by April 11, 1956 and stayed there for eight
weeks. It was #1 on the pop and rhythm and blues charts and number five on
the country music list.
. 1960 ~ Marty Robbins' hit tune, El Paso, held the record for the longest #1
song to that time. The song ran 5 minutes and 19 seconds, giving many radio
station Program Directors fits; because the average record length at that
time was around 2 minutes, and formats didn't allow for records much longer
than that, (e.g., 2-minute record, 3 minutes for commercials, 60 seconds for
promo, 2-minute record, etc.). DJs got used to the longer length quickly,
however, realizing it gave them time, before the record ended, to actually
think of something to say next.
. 1969 ~ Elvis Presley's single, Don't Cry Daddy, entered the Top 10 on the pop
charts this day. If you listened to this song carefully, you'd hear a vocal
duet with country artist Ronnie Milsap.
. 1976 ~ Howlin' Wolf passed away. Chester Arthur Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf, was an African-American Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, from Mississippi. With a booming voice and looming physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists.
. 1984 ~ Cyndi Lauper became the first female recording artist since Bobbie Gentry
in 1967 to be nominated for five Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best New
Artist, Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female), Record of the Year and Song of
. 1986 ~ The uncut version of Jerome Kern's musical, "Showboat", opened at the
Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. It marked the first time in almost 60
years that the four-hour version of the classic production had played before
a mostly awake audience.
. 2000 ~ Gospel singer Willie Neal "The Country Boy" Johnson died of a stroke at
the age of 65.
Johnson was a longtime member of the Gospel Keynotes, which produced more than 20 albums, including Ain't No Stopping Us Now, and signature song That'sMy Son. Ain't No Stopping Us Now received a Grammy nomination in 1981.
The group signed with Malaco Records in 1985 and changed its name to Willie
Neal Johnson and the New Keynotes.
The group received a Stellar Award for Lord Take Us Through, The CountryBoy Goes Home and a Stellar nomination for The Country Boy Goes Home II.
Johnson's group was inducted into The American Gospel Quartet Hall of Fame in
Birmingham, Ala., and The Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Detroit in 1999.
. 2002 ~ Moe Foner, a labor official who brought art, theater and music to the largest
health care workers union in New York City, died at the age of 86.
As an executive secretary for New York's Health and Human Service Union, Foner
worked as a lobbyist, strategist and slogan writer for the city's hospital
workers for several decades.
Foner was also the founder of Bread and Roses, a cultural program which organized
art exhibitions and performances for union members, often during workers' lunch
Under his direction, Bread and Roses recruited performers from folksingers PeteSeeger and Woody Guthrie to the ventriloquist Shari Lewis. He hired rising
stars like Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier to put on annual shows
about civil rights for hospital workers. Foner also installed the only art
gallery at a union headquarters.
Born in Brooklyn, Foner graduated from Brooklyn College in 1936 and was employed
by several other unions, including the now-defunct Department Store Local 1250,
before going to work for the health care workers union.
. 2016 ~ David Bowie died after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor. 11 1837 ~ Death of Irish pianist and composer John Field in Moscow, while on tour
. 1875 ~ Reinhold Moritsevich Gliere, Russian composer
More information about Gliere
. 1901 ~ Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov died. Kalinnikov was a Russian composer of two symphonies, several additional orchestral works and numerous songs, all of them imbued with characteristics of folksong
. 1902 ~ Maurice DuruflÈ, French organist and composer
. 1924 ~ Don Cherry, Singer with Band of Gold
. 1928 ~ Ol' Man River was recorded on Victor Records by Paul Whiteman and his
orchestra. Bing Crosby crooned as the song's featured vocalist. The tune
came from the Broadway musical, "Showboat".
. 1930 ~ Jack Nimitz, Jazz 'reed' musician, toured with Supersax
. 1933 ~ Goldie Hill, Country entertainer, married to country singer, Carl Smith
. 1946 ~ Naomi (Diane) Judd, Grammy Award-winning singer in the duo, The Judds,
mother of singers Wynonna and Ashley
. 1949 ~ Dennis (Frederick) Greene, Singer with Sha-Na-Na
. 1958 ~ Vicki Peterson, Guitarist, singer with The Bangles
. 1980 ~ Rupert Holmes was at the top of the pop music charts, with Escape (ThePina Colada Song).
. 1981 ~ Leonard Bernstein began conducting the BR - Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra in Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" in Munich's Hercules Hall. Performed one act at a time, in January, April, and November of 1981, respectively, Bernstein's "Tristan und Isolde" was telecast live and later released as an audio recording by Philips--to some controversy.
Karl Böhm remarked, with regards to Bernstein's exaggeratedly slow tempi, "For the first time, someone dares to perform this music as Wagner wrote it." Böhm's own recording of the Prelude was four minutes faster.
Upon completion of the project, Bernstein declared, "My life is complete... I don't care what happens after this. It is the finest thing I've ever done."
. 2003 ~ Mickey Finn, bongo player with 1970s band T.Rex, died at the
age of 55.
Formed by flamboyant lead singer Marc Bolan in 1967,
T.Rex shot to fame with hits such as Get it On, Hot Love and Children
of the Revolution in the early 1970s.
The band was originally called Tyrannosaurus Rex but the name was
shortened to T.Rex in 1970 after Finn joined, replacing original member
The band achieved a huge following in Britain -- sparking a period of
"T.Rextacy" among devoted fans -- but achieved more limited popularity
in the United States and elsewhere.
Credited with introducing the phenomenon of "glam rock" to pop music and
influencing artists such as David Bowie, the band
played to crowds of up to 100,000 and sold 39 million albums, according
to Rolling Stone music magazine.
. 2004 ~ Randy VanWarmer, who recorded the pop hit Just When I Needed You Most
and then had a successful career as a songwriter, died. He was 48.
Just When I Needed You Most reached No. 4 on Billboard's pop chart
in 1979. VanWarmer, also a guitarist, had written it when he was 18.
More recently, VanWarmer wrote I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why), a
No. 1 hit by the country group Alabama in 1992, and I Guess It Never
Hurts to Hurt Sometimes, No. 1 by the Oak Ridge Boys in 1984.
VanWarmer was born March 30, 1955, in Indian Hills, Colo., and spent much of
his childhood in Cornwall, England, after his father died. As a young man
he lived in New York City and then Los Angeles before moving to Nashville
VanWarmer had recently recorded a duet with country singer Razzy Bailey,
. 2005 ~ Spencer Dryden, drummer for the San Francisco rock band the Jefferson Airplane,
died. He was 66.
. 2005 ~ Jimmy Griffin, an Academy Award-winning songwriter and former guitarist for
the 1970s pop group Bread, died. He was 61. 12 1715 ~ Jacques Duphly, French harpsichordist and composer.
. 1782 ~ On this day Mozart wrote a letter to his father about Muzio Clementi. He said: "Clementi plays well, as far as execution with the right hand goes. His greatest strength lies in his passages in 3rds. Apart from that, he has not a kreuzer’s worth of taste or feeling – in short he is a mere mechanicus."
. 1921 ~ The opening of Town Hall in New York City, an important new concert hall
. 1926 ~ Ray Price, Singer
. 1928 ~ Vladimir Horowitz debuted as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic at
Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the very same night that Sir ThomasBeecham gave his first public performance in the United States.
. 1930 ~ Glenn Yarbrough, Singer with The Limeliters
. 1939 ~ William Lee Golden, Singer with The Oak Ridge Boys
. 1939 ~ The Ink Spots gained national attention after five years together, as they
recorded If I Didn't Care. Many other standards by the group soon
. 1946 ~ Cynthia Robinson, Singer, trumpeter with Sly and the Family Stone
. 1949 - Arthur Godfrey and His Friends was first seen on CBS-TV this day. The
program stayed on the network for seven years.
. 1959 ~ Per Gessle, Guitarist, singer with Roxette
. 1963 ~ Songwriter Bob Dylan sang Blowin' In the Wind on the BBC radio
presentation of "The Madhouse on Castle Street". The song soon became one of
the classics of the 1960s protest movement.
. 1985 ~ After a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince (now known
as The Artist Previously Known as Prince) slipped to the #2 spot with
Purple Rain. Replacing Prince at the top spot: 'The Boss' BruceSpringsteen'sBorn In the USA, which spent 24 weeks waiting for PurpleRain to fall.
. 2001 ~ Luis Floriano Bonfa, the master guitarist and composer who helped found
Bossa Nova music, died of cancer at the age of 78.
Bonfa, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in Oct. 17, 1922, began composing in the
. 1940s and launched his career as a solo artist in 1952.
Better known abroad than at home, Bonfa became internationally famous for his
contributions to the soundtrack of Marcel Camus' 1959 classic film "Black
The film introduced an international audience to Bossa Nova - a more
sophisticated and less percussive samba style - and made Bonfa and fellow
composer Antonio Carlos Jobim stars.
"Bonfa plays the guitar like no other, in a very personal, charismatic style.
His guitar is a little orchestra," the late composer Jobim once said.
His reputation grew further when he was a featured performer at the Bossa Nova
festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1962.
He was even more famous for his more than 500 compositions especially Manhade Carnaval and Samba de Orpheu.
Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley recorded
songs written by Bonfa.
In recent years, his productivity slowed. His last major label release "The
Bonfa Magic," was record in 1991.
. 2001 ~ Opera singer Kyra Vayne, a star of the 1940s and 1950s whose talents were
rediscovered in the 1990s, died at age 84.
The Russian-born soprano was born in St. Petersburg. Vayne fled the 1917
Bolshevik Revolution with her family and was eight years old when her family
settled in London.
She began a successful opera career in the 1940s, and sang for allied troops
during World War II. She later joined the Russian Opera Company, then based
at London's Savoy Theater.
Her career collapsed in 1957 when her agent, Eugene Iskoldoff, committed
suicide, and for the next 35 years she worked as a secretary for the British
In the early 1990s, a music company released four recordings of her voice,
leading the U.S. music magazine "Fanfare" to ask, "How is it possible that
such a singer has not come down to us as one of the century's
most celebrated sopranos?"
Soon afterward, Arcadia Books published her autobiography, "A Voice Reborn,"
which tenor Placido Domingo described as having "all the elements of an opera."
At the end of 1999, nearly 80 years after she fled Russia, Vayne was invited
to perform at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater to mark the new millennium - her
first public performance in 40 years.
"For me to sing at the Bolshoi is beyond any fairy tale," she said at the
time. "I am not worried about singing in public again after so long, but I
am fearful of the emotional impact."
Vayne never married and had no children.
. 2003 ~ Maurice Gibb, a member of the famed disco band the Bee Gees, died at a
Miami Beach hospital. He was 53.
Gibb, joined with his older brother and his twin to harmonize their way to
becoming one of the best selling musical groups ever. Gibb played bass and
keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb.
In a 1978 interview with TG Magazine, Gibb lamented the perception that the Bee
Gees were only a disco band.
"People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now," Gibb said. "But
they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records,
you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like More
Than A Woman. And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too."
The Bee Gees - twins Maurice and Robin, and their older brother Barry - have
lived in South Florida since the late 1970s. Their younger brother, Andy, who
had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment.
Chris Hutchins, a writer and former press agent for the Bee Gees, said Maurice
was "very much a tormented soul."
"He was not the star (of the Bee Gees), and he knew it, he felt it," Hutchins
told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.
Known for their close harmonies and original sound, the Bee Gees are members of
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their 1977 contributions to the "Saturday
Night Fever" album made it the best selling movie soundtrack ever with more
than 40 million copies sold.
Among their disco hits on that album are Stayin' Alive, More Than a Woman
and How Deep Is Your Love and Night Fever.
The group won seven Grammy Awards. The Bee Gees last album was in 2001,
entitled "This Is Where I Came In."
The family emigrated from England to Australia in 1958, and the brothers soon
gained fame as a teen pop group.
They returned to England in the 1960s, and their first four albums contained
hits such as 1941 New York Mining Disaster, To Love Somebody and their
first U.S. number one song, 1971's How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.
The Bee Gees followed "Saturday Night Fever" with the 1978 album "Spirits
Having Flown" which sold 20 million copies.
The brothers wrote and produced songs for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and
Dionne Warwicke in the 1980s. They also wrote the Kenny Rogers and DollyParton hit Islands in the Stream.
The Bee Gees released three studio albums and went on a world tour in the
. 1990s. The live album from the tour "One Night Only," sold more than 1
million albums in the United States.
The Bee Gees run a music production company in Miami called Middle Ear Studios.
Gibb's first wife was British singer Lulu. He and his second wife, Yvonne, were
married for more than 20 years and had two children. 13 1683 ~ Johann Christoph Graupner, German harpsichordist and composer of high Baroque music who was a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel.
. 1930 ~ Robert 'Squirrel' Lester, Singer with The Chi-Lites
. 1938 ~ Singer Allan Jones recorded The Donkey Serenade for Victor Records. The
song became the one most often associated with the singer. Allan sang and
acted in several Marx Brothers films: "A Night at the Opera", "A Day at theRaces", but the film that catapulted him to stardom was the operetta,
"Firefly", with Jeanette MacDonald. Singer JackJones Singer JackJones is the son of Allan
and wife, actress Irene Hervey.
. 1941 ~ The four Modernaires joined to sing with the Glenn Miller Band on a
permanent basis beginning this day. They had a 'solo' hit in 1946 with ToEach His Own.
. 1957 ~ Elvis Presley recorded All Shook Up and That's When Your HeartachesBegin for Victor Records in Hollywood. The former tune became Elvis' ninth
consecutive gold record.
. 1961 ~ Wayne Marshall, English pianist, organist and conductor
. 1962 ~ Singer Chubby Checker set a record, literally, with the hit, The Twist.
The song reached the #1 position for an unprecedented second time - in two
years. The Twist was also number one on September 26, 1960.
. 2001 ~ Kenneth Haas, the former general manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and
the Cleveland Orchestra, died after a long illness at the age of 57.
Haas was general manager of the Boston orchestra from 1987 to 1996 and was
instrumental in appointing Keith Lockhart conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Haas was general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1976 to 1987 after
performing the same job for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1975.
In Cleveland he established the orchestra's chamber music and recital series.
. 2001 ~ Michael Cuccione, youngest of the five-member spoof boy band 2gether, died at
age 16 from complications from Hodgkin's disease.
The teen played Jason "Q.T." McKnight on the MTV show "2gether," which poked fun
at the boy band craze. His character had a fictional illness, "biliary
thrombosis," but Cuccione really had suffered from Hodgkin's disease as a child
and underwent five months of chemotherapy.
The singer-actor set up a cancer research foundation, co-wrote a book with his
grandmother and appeared on "Baywatch" as a cancer victim. 14 1690 ~ Announcement of the invention of the clarinet.
. 1812 ~ Sigismond Thalberg, composer and one of the most famous virtuoso pianists of the 19th century.
. 1780 ~ FranÁois-Joseph Dizi Flemish harpist and composer. He died sometime in 1840
. 1800 ~ Ludwig von Kochel, Austrian musicographer;
compiler of the Mozart catalogue
More information about von Kochel
. 1875 ~ Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian humanitarian, physician,
Bach scholar and organist, winner of NobelPeace Prize in 1952
. 1900 ~ The Giacomo Puccini opera "Tosca" had its world premiere in Rome. The opera made its U.S. debut on February 4, 1901.
. 1956 ~ Rock 'n' roller, Little Richard, was singing the newly released Tutti-Frutti. The Pat Boone version became even more popular as a cover record.
. 1964 ~ A hootenanny was held for the first time at the White House, as the NewChristy Minstrels entertained President and Lady Bird Johnson, as well as
. 1965 ~ Jeanette (Anna) MacDonald passed away. She was an American singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy.
. 1968 ~ LL Cool J (James Todd Smith), Rap singer 15 1890 ~ Premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, ballet by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky.
After the less-than-promising 1877 debut of Swan Lake,
marred by a largely amateur production, over a decade lapsed before the
composer was commissioned by the Director of the Imperial Theatres in
St. Petersburg to supply music for a ballet on the Perrault fairy tale,
The Sleeping Beauty.
Tchaikovsky threw himself arms-deep into the project. Not only was the
composer again on happy turf, he was currently in a state of delight by
the occasional presence of a three-year old little girl; children seemed
to tap a joyful vein in Tchaikovsky. The little girl's proximity fed a
spirit of fantasy which transmitted to this most lighthearted of the
composer's scores. Most musicologists and historians concede that
Sleeping Beauty is the most perfectly wrought of Tchaikovsky's three
ballet scores, classic in its restraint, yet possessing the right amount
of color and panache to render it pure Tchaikovsky; its waltz remains a
. 1896 ~ Alexander Scriabin made his European debut as a pianist at the Salle Erard in Paris
. 1951 ~ Charo (Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza), 'The Hootchy Cootchy
Girl', actress, singer, wife of Xavier Cugat
. 1951 ~ Martha Davis, Singer with The Motels
. 1959 ~ Peter Trewavas, Bass with Marillion
. 1964 ~ The soundtrack album of the musical, "The King and I", starring YulBrynner, earned a gold record.
. 1967 ~ Ed Sullivan told the Rolling Stones to change the lyrics and the title to
the song, Let's Spend the Night Together, so it became Let's Spend SomeTime Together.
. 1972 ~ Elvis Presley, who was also censored from the waist down by Ed Sullivan,
reportedly drew the largest audience for a single TV show to that time.
Elvis presented a live, worldwide concert from Honolulu on this day.
. 1987 ~ Ray Bolger died. He was an American entertainer of vaudeville, stage and actor, singer and dancer best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
. 1993 ~ Sammy Cahn passed away. He was was an American lyricist, songwriter and musician. 16 1875 ~ First American performance of Johannes Brahms'"Hungarian Dances"
. 1905 ~ Ernesto Halffter, Spanish composer and conductor
. 1908 ~ Ethel Merman (Zimmerman), American singer of popular music,
Tony Award-winning actress (musical), Musical Theater Hall of Fame. She is most
famous for Call Me Madam in 1951, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, There's NoBusiness Like Show Business and Alexander's Ragtime Band
. 1934 ~ Bob Bogle (Robert Lenard Bogle), Guitarist, bass with The Ventures
. 1938 ~ Béla Bartók and his wife, Ditta performed their first public concert featuring his Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
. 1938 ~ Benny Goodman and his band, plus a quartet, brought the sound of jazz to
Carnegie Hall in New York City. When asked how long an intermission he
wanted, he quipped, "I don't know. How much does Toscanini get?"
. 1942 ~ Bill Francis, Keyboard, singer with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
. 1942 ~ Kay Kyser and the band recorded A Zoot Suit for Columbia Records. The
tune is about the problems associated with wearing this garish, exaggerated
. 1946 ~ Katia Ricciarelli, Italian soprano
. 1946 ~ Ronnie Milsap, Grammy Award-winning singer in 1976, CMA Male Vocalist of the
Year (1974, 1976, 1977), CMA Entertainer of the Year (1977), blind since birth,
he learned to play several instruments by age 12
. 1957 ~ The Cavern Club opened for business in Liverpool, England. The rock club
was just a hangout for commoners. Then, things changed -- big time. It all
started in the early 1960s when four kids from the neighborhood popped in to
jam. They, of course, turned out to be The Beatles.
. 1962 ~ Paul Webb, Bass with Talk Talk
. 1964 ~ "Hello Dolly!" opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City. CarolChanning starred in the role of Mrs. Dolly Levi. The musical was an
adaptation of Thornton Wilder's play, "The Matchmaker". The show, with an
unforgettable title song, was hailed by critics as the "...possible hit of
the season." It was possible, all right. "Hello Dolly!" played for 2,844
performances. And, it returned to Broadway in the 1990s, again starring
. 1972 ~ David Seville died on this day in Beverly Hills, CA. Born Ross Bagdasarian,
the musician was the force, and artist, behind the Alvin and the Chipmunks
novelty songs of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
. 1973 ~ Clara Ward passed away. Ward was an American gospel artist who achieved great artistic and commercial success in the 1940s and 1950s.
. 1976 ~ The album, "Frampton Comes Alive", was released by Herb Alpert's A&M
Records. The double LP soon reached the top spot of the album charts and
stayed perched there for 17 weeks. It sold 19 million copies in its first year.
. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson received eight awards at the 11th annual American Music
Awards this night.
. 2001 ~ Eleanor Lawrence, a flutist who played often in chamber music performances
and with several orchestras in New York City, died of brain cancer at the
age of 64.
She is credited with transforming a simple newsletter into an important source
Lawrence studied the flute at the New England Conservatory with the principal
flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Pappoutsakis. She later
studied with flutists from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan
She joined the American Symphony Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic after
moving to New York in the 1960s. She played periodically with the New York
Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera.
Besides performing, Lawrence taught at the Manhattan School of Music. She
served three times as the president of the New York Flute Club.
She edited The National Flute Association Newsletter, now The Flutist
Quarterly, from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, expanding it from a brief
information sheet to a publication with regular interviews. 17
. 1922 ~ Betty White, Emmy Award-winning actress on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, singer
. 1926 ~ Moira Shearer, Ballerina
. 1927 ~ Eartha Kitt, Singer. Kitt's birth certificate listing her actual birthdate
as 1/17/27 was found in 1997. She has celebrated her birthday as Jan. 26
(1928) all of her life and says, "It's been the 26th of January since the
beginning of time and I'm not going to change it and confuse my fans."
. 1941 ~ Gene Krupa and his band recorded the standard, Drum Boogie, on Okeh
Records. The lady singing with the boys in the band during the song's chorus
was Irene Daye.
. 1944 ~ Chris Montez, Singer
. 1948 ~ Mick Taylor, Singer, rhythm guitar with The Rolling Stones
. 1955 ~ Steve Earle, Songwriter, singer, guitar
. 1956 ~ Paul Young, Singer
. 1959 ~ Susanna Hoffs, Singer, guitar with The Bangles
. 1960 ~ John Crawford, Singer, bass with Berlin
. 1969 ~ Lady Samantha, one of the very first recordings by Reginald Kenneth
Dwight (aka Elton John), was released in England on Philips records. The
song floundered, then bombed. The rock group, Three Dog Night, however,
recorded it for an album.
. 2001 ~ Pianist and singer Emma Kelly, the "Lady of 6,000 Songs" made famous by the
book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," died from a liver ailment at the
age of 82.
Kelly's nightclub act, in which she tapped her vast repertoire of American popular
standards five nights a week until she became ill a month ago, was a must-see
for Savannah tourists itching to meet a real-life character from author John
Berendt's Southern Gothic best seller.
Though the book helped her book performances from New York to Switzerland, Kelly
continued to crisscross south Georgia to play church socials and high school
graduations, Kiwanis luncheons and wedding receptions.
Berendt devoted an entire chapter to Kelly in the 1994 book, describing her as a
teetotaling Baptist who would play smoky cocktail lounges Saturday nights and
Sunday school classes the next morning.
Kelly performed at her own nightclub, Emma's, in Savannah, for five years in the
late 1980s. She then bounced between lounges near the downtown riverfront. She
also independently recorded three albums, the last of which were released
posthumously, her son said.
. 2001 ~ Jazz musician, composer and conductor Norris Turney, who played alto sax and
flute with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and led the Norris Turney Quartet, died
of kidney failure at the age of 79.
Turney recorded with a number of bands over the years, and toured with BillyEckstine, Ray Charles and others. He was an original member of the LincolnCenterJazz Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis.
Turney's lone CD as a band leader, "Big, Sweet 'N Blue," was warmly received by
. 2002 ~ Edouard Nies-Berger, the veteran organist and protege of AlbertSchweitzer, died at the age of 98.
Nies-Berger, who played with the New York Philharmonic, was a native of
Strasbourg in Alsace.
His father, a church organist, was an associate of Schweitzer. The doctor,
philosopher and Nobel laureate was pastor of a nearby church where the teen-
age Nies-Berger played occasionally.
Nies-Berger moved to New York in 1922 and for the next 15 years played the
organ in houses of worship across the country. By the mid-'30s he settled in
Los Angeles and performed in the soundtracks of several films, including
"The Bride of Frankenstein" and "San Francisco."
He returned to Europe in 1937 to study conducting with Bruno Walter in
Salzburg, Austria. After conducting for two years in Latvia and Belgium he
returned to the United States.
He was named organist of the New York Philharmonic, where he played under the
direction of such conductors as Walter, George Szell and Leonard Bernstein.
Nies-Berger was reunited with Schweitzer in 1949, when the humanitarian
visited the United States. For six years they collaborated on the completion
of Schweitzer's edition of the organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
After serving at St. Paul's in Richmond, Nies-Berger returned to Europe for
several years to perform as a recitalist and write several books, including
a memoir of Schweitzer.
In 1991 he was awarded the gold medal of the Art Institute of Alsace, and in 1993 was named a knight of the arts and letters by the French Ministry of
Education and Culture. 18 1835 ~ CÈsar Cui, Russian composer and music critic
. 1948 ~ Ted Mack came to television as "The Original Amateur Hour" debuted on the
DuMont network. The program continued on different networks for a 22-year
run on the tube. Teresa Brewer and Pat Boone got their start on this
. 1953 ~ Brett Hudson, Singer, comedian with Hudson Brothers
. 1958 ~ Leonard Bernstein began presenting his television series What does music mean? The series ran for 53 programs.
. 1968 ~ Singer Eartha Kitt made headlines, as she got into a now-famous
confrontation with Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, wife of the President of the
United States, at a White House luncheon to discuss urban crime. Ms. Kitt
told Lady Bird (the First Lady) that American youth were rebelling against
the war in Vietnam, linking the crime rate with the war escalation. She had
a lot to say and it definitely was not "C'est Si Bon".
. 1986 ~ Dionne Warwick's single for AID's research, That's What Friends are For,
became her second #1 song on the music charts. Although Dionne had many hits
in the 1960s, singing Burt Bacharach tunes like I Say a Little Prayer and
Do You Know the Way to San Jose. 19 1908 ~ Merwyn Bogue, Comic singer, sang and played trumpet with
Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge, big bandleader
. 1939 ~ Phil Everly, American rock-and-roll singer
and guitarist, The Everly Brothers with his brother Don
. 1942 ~ Michael Crawford, Singer. Some of his best known roles have been in ThePhantom of the Opera, Condorman, Hello, Dolly!, A Funny Thing Happened onthe Way to the Forum, The Knack
. 1943 ~ Janis Joplin, American blues-rock singer and songwriter with Big Brother
and The Holding Company and formed Kozmic Blues Band
. 1946 ~ Dolly Parton, American country-music singer and songwriter, ACM Entertainer
of the Year in 1977 and CMA Entertainer of the year, 1978
. 1949 ~ Robert Palmer, Singer, guitarist
. 1952 ~ Dewey Bunnell, Singer, guitarist with America
. 1953 ~ Sixty-eight percent of all TV sets in the U.S. were tuned to CBS-TV this day,
as Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy gave birth to a baby boy, just as she actually
did in real life , following the script to the letter! The audience for the
program was greater than that watching the inauguration of President Dwight D.
Eisenhower the following day. The baby was Desi Arnaz, Jr., entertainer and
singer with Dino, Desi and Billy
. 1970 ~ The soundtrack of the film, "Easy Rider", the movie that made a star of
Peter Fonda, became a gold record. It was the first pop-culture, film
soundtrack to earn the gold award.
. 1971 ~ Ruby Keeler made her comeback in the play, "No, No Nanette", which opened
at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City. Keeler played the role of Sue
Smith in the revival of the 1925 hit musical. The show played for 861
. 1976 ~ The Beatles turned down an offer of $30 million to play
together again on the same stage. Rock promoter Bill Sargent still doesn't
understand why the group turned down his generous offer. 20. 1586 ~ Johann Hermann Schein, German composer
. 1942 ~ Harry Babbitt sang as Kay Kyser and his orchestra recorded, Who Wouldn'tLove You, on Columbia Records. The record went on to be a big hit for Kyser.
. 1947 ~ George Grantham, Drummer with Poco
. 1958 ~ The rock 'n' roll classic, Get a Job, by The Silhouettes, was released.
. 1958 ~ Elvis Presley got a little U.S. mail this day with greetings from Uncle
Sam. The draft board in Memphis, TN ordered the King to report for duty; but
allowed a 60-day deferment for him to finish the film, "King Creole".
. 1964, The Beatles, a British rock group, released its first
LP album, "Meet The Beatles", in the US record
stores. The album turned out to be a super hit and
reached #1 position on music charts by early February.
. 1965 ~ John Michael Montgomery, Country singer
. 1965 ~ Alan Freed, the 'Father of Rock 'n' Roll', died in Palm Springs, CA. Freed
was one of the first radio disc jockeys to program black music, or race
music, as it was termed, for white audiences. In the 1950s, Freed, at
WJW Radio in Cleveland, coined the phrase, "rock 'n' roll," before moving to
WABC in New York. He was fired by WABC for allegedly accepting payola (being
paid to play records by certain artists and record companies). The 1959-1960
congressional investigation into payola made Freed the scapegoat for what
was a wide spread practice. Freed, not so incidentally, died nearly
penniless after the scandal was exposed.
. 2002 ~ Actress, writer and musician Carrie Hamilton, daughter of actress CarolBurnett, died of cancer. She was 38.
Hamilton, whose father was the late producer Joe Hamilton, appeared in the
television series "Fame" and had guest roles on other shows, including
"Murder She Wrote," "Beverly Hills 90210" and "thirtysomething." She also
starred in television movies.
She and her mother collaborated on a stage version of Burnett's best-selling
memoir "One More Time." The resulting play, "Hollywood Arms," will have its
world premiere in Chicago in April, said Burnett's publicist, Deborah
Hamilton spoke publicly in the '80s about her struggles with addiction and her
decision to go drug-free.
She starred as Maureen in the first national touring version of the musical
"Rent" and wrote and directed short films through the profit-sharing
production company Namethkuf.
She won "The Women in Film Award" at the 2001 Latino Film Festival for her
short film "Lunchtime Thomas."
. 2002 ~ John Jackson, who went from gravedigger to one of the pre-eminent blues
musicians in the country, died from kidney failure. He was 77.
During his long career, Jackson played for presidents and in 68 countries.
Jackson earned a living as a cook, a butler, a chauffeur and a gravedigger
before his music career took off. He was playing guitar for some friends at
a gas station in Fairfax in 1964 when Charles L. Perdue, who teaches
folklore at the University of Virginia, pulled in to get some gas. He
listened as Jackson taught a song to a mailman he knew. He and Jackson
became friends, and Perdue eventually helped launch Jackson's career by
introducing him to people in the music business.
The seventh son of 14 children, Jackson had just three months' education at
the first-grade level. But he earned the admiration of fans from all walks
of life around the world.
B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger are among the
performers he has played with and befriended.
Among his numerous awards is the National Endowment for the Arts' Heritage
Fellowship Award, which he received in 1986.
. 2014 ~ Death of Italian conductor Claudio Abbado 21 1903 ~ First performance of "The Wizard of Oz" as a Broadway musical
. 1917 ~ Billy Maxted, Pianist, songwriter, arranger and bandleader
. 1927 ~ The first opera to be broadcast over a national radio network was
presented in Chicago, IL. Listeners heard selections from "Faust" by Charles Gounod.
. 1932 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani gave a memorable concert at Queen's Hall in
England to 'glowing notices'. This was the beginning of the musician's
successful recording career that provided beautiful music to radio stations
for nearly five decades. Better known as just Mantovani, his music still
entertains us with hits like, Red Sails in the Sunset, Serenade in theNight, Song from Moulin Rouge and Charmaine.
. 1939 ~ Wolfman Jack (Robert Smith), Disc jockey, icon of '60s radio, broadcasting from
XERF, then XERB in Mexico and heard throughout a major part of the U.S.; TV
announcer: The Midnight Special; actor: American Graffiti; author: Have Mercy!
Confessions of the Original Rock 'n' Roll Animal
. 1942 ~ Mac (Scott) Davis, Singer, actor, host of The Mac Davis Show, songwriter, ACM
Entertainer of the Year in 1975
. 1942 ~ Nostalgia buffs will want to grab the greatest hits CD of Count Basie (on
Verve) and crank up One O'Clock Jump. Just one of the many signature
tunes by Bill Basie; the tune was originally recorded on Okeh Records this day.
. 1950 ~ Billy Ocean, Grammy Award-winning R&B Male Vocal in 1984
. 1957 ~ Singer Patsy Cline appeared on Arthur Godfrey's nighttime TV show. She
sang the classic, Walking After Midnight, which quickly launched her
. 1959 ~ The Kingston Trio (Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard) received a
gold record for Tom Dooley. The Kingston Trio recorded many hits,
including: Greenback Dollar, M.T.A., Reverend Mr. Black, TijuanaJail, and the war protest song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?.
. 1966 ~ George Harrison of The Beatles married Patricia (Patty) Anne Boyd
in Surrey, England. The two met on the set of the movie, "A Hard Day'sNight".
. 1970 ~ ABC-TV presented "The Johnny Cash Show" in prime time. Previously, the
show had been a summer replacement. The regular season series was a big
boost for country music. Johnny wore black in the all-color show, however,
like he still does today.
. 1978 ~ The soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever" reached #1 on the album charts --
a position it held for the next six months.
. 1987 ~ Thirty years after its release, Jackie Wilson's single, Reet Petite
(written by Motown founder Berry Gordy), ended a month at the top of
England's music charts. Three years earlier, on this same date, Jackie
Wilson died after being in a coma (following a heart attack) for eight and a
. 2002 ~ Peggy Lee, the singer-composer whose smoky voice in such songs as Is
That All There Is? and Fever made her a jazz and pop legend, died
of a heart attack. She was 81.
Lee battled injury and ill health, including heart trouble, throughout a
spectacular career that brought her a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and sold-
out houses worldwide.
In more than 50 years in show business, which began during a troubled
childhood and endured through four broken marriages, Lee recorded hit songs
with the Benny Goodman band, wrote songs for a Disney movie and starred on
Broadway in a short-lived autobiographical show, Peg.
A string of hits, notably Why Don't You Do Right?, made her a star.
Then she fell in love with Goodman's guitarist, Dave Barbour, and withdrew
from the music world to be his wife and raise their daughter, Nicki. She
returned to singing when the marriage fell apart.
Lee's other notable recordings included Why Don't You Do Right?I'm
a Woman,Lover,Pass Me By,Where or When, The
Way You Look Tonight,I'm Gonna Go Fishin' and Big
The hit Is That All There Is? won her a Grammy for best contemporary
female vocal performance in 1969.
She collaborated with Sonny Burke on the songs for Disney's The Lady and
the Tramp, and was the voice for the wayward canine who sang He's a
Tramp (But I Love Him). 22 . 1886 ~ John J. Becker, American composer
. 1889 ~ The Columbia Phonograph Company was formed in Washington, DC.
. 1907 ~ The Richard Strauss opera, "Salome", was featured with the Dance of theSeven Veils. It was copied by vaudeville performers. Soon, performances of
the opera were banned at the Metropolitan Opera House.
. 2002 ~ Pete Bardens, a keyboardist who played alongside such pop stars as MickFleetwood, Ray Davies, Rod Stewart and Van Morrison, died of lung cancer. He
He was known for his progressive and New Age rock style on synthesizer,
electric piano and organ.
In the 1960s, the London-born Bardens played in the Blues Messengers with
Davies, who later went on to form The Kinks; Shotgun Express with Stewart;
Them with Morrison; and the group Cheynes with Fleetwood and Peter Green, who
went on to form Fleetwood Mac.
In 1972, Bardens formed the progressive rock band Camel and stayed with it
through the late 1970s.
In 1978, he began a successful solo career, releasing several well-received
records, including "Speed of Light", and also played on Morrison's album
"Wavelength" and accompanied him on a world tour.
Barden continued to compose, produce and perform music through the 1990s,
appearing in Europe with his group Mirage.
. 2004 ~ Milt Bernhart, a big band trombonist known for his solo on FrankSinatra'sI've Got You Under My Skin, died. He was 77.
During his three-decade career, Bernhart played in bands led by BennyGoodman, Henry Mancini and others.
He was performing in Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars when MarlonBrando arranged for the band to play in the 1954 film The WildOne.
Bernhart then became an in-studio musician for Columbia and other
film and television studios, and in 1956 added a memorable solo to
Sinatra's I've Got You Under My Skin.
Born in Valparaiso, Ind., Bernhart was drafted into the Army and was
to be sent overseas during World War II before he was transferred
to the service's band.
After his music career wound down in 1973, he bought Kelly Travel
Service in Los Angeles. He created the Big Band Academy of America
in 1986 and planned to retire as the organization's founding
president in March.
. 2004 ~ Ann Miller, a childhood dance prodigy who fast-tapped her way to movie
stardom that peaked in 1940s musicals like "On the Town", "EasterParade" and "Kiss Me Kate", died of lung cancer. She was 81.
Miller's film career peaked at MGM in the late 1940s and early '50s, but
she honed her chops into her 60s, earning millions for "Sugar Babies", a
razzmatazz tribute to the era of burlesque featuring Mickey Rooney.
Miller's legs, pretty face and fast tapping (she claimed the record of 500
taps a minute) earned her jobs in vaudeville and night clubs when she
first came to Hollywood. Her early film career included working as a child
extra in films and as a chorus girl in a minor musical, "The Devil onHorseback".
An appearance at the popular Bal Tabarin in San Francisco won a contract at
RKO studio, where her name was shortened to Ann.
Her first film at RKO, "New Faces of 1937", featured her dancing. She next
played an acting hopeful in "Stage Door", with Katharine Hepburn, GingerRogers, Lucille Ball and Eve Arden.
When Cyd Charisse broke a leg before starting "Easter Parade" at MGM with
Fred Astaire, Miller replaced her. That led to an MGM contract and her
most enduring work.
She was teamed with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in "On the Town", RedSkelton in "Watch the Birdie", and Bob Fosse in "Kiss Me Kate".
Other MGM films included: "Texas Carnival", "Lovely to Look At", "Small
Town Girl", "Deep in My Heart", "Hit the Deck" and "The Opposite Sex."
The popularity of musicals declined in the 1950s, and her film career ended
in 1956. Miller remained active in television and the theater, dancing and
belting songs on Broadway in "Hello, Dolly" and "Mame".
In later years, she astounded audiences in New York, Las Vegas and on the
road with her dynamic tapping in "Sugar Babies." The show opened on
Broadway in 1979 and toured for years. In 1990, she commented that "Sugar
Babies" had made her financially independent.
While her career in Hollywood prospered, Miller became a regular figure in
the town's night life, and she caught the eye of Louis B. Mayer, all-
powerful head of MGM. After dating, she declined to marry him because her
mother would not allow it. She later married and divorced steel heir Reese
Milner and oilmen William Moss and Arthur Cameron.
. 2004 ~ Dick Rodgers, an insurance salesman known as the "Polka King" when he
hosted a regional television show from the 1950s to the 1970s, died. He was
Rodgers' television show was on the air from 1955-78, starting on WMBV in
Marinette, which later moved to Green Bay and became WLUK-TV. The program
was shown on 17 Midwestern stations at its height.
Rodgers' accomplishments included membership in the International Polka MusicHall of Fame (1976) and in the World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame
(1996). He also was named Orchestra Leader of the Year by the Wisconsin
Orchestra Leaders Association in 1967. 23 1752 ~ Muzio Clementi, Italian pianist and composer
More information about Clementi
. 1837 ~ John Field died. Field was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher.
. 2002 ~ Alfred Glasser, a former director of education for the Lyric Opera of
Chicago, died of cancer. He was 70.
Glasser held the education post for 30 years before his retirement in 1996.
Since 1997, Glasser served as chairman of the board and commentator for
Chicago's concert opera company, da Corneto Opera.
For the past decade, he served on the board of Alliance Francaise of Chicago,
a French cultural group.
Glasser also founded the Lyric Opera Lecture Corps, a community service
. 2003 ~ Nell Carter, actress-singer, died at the age of 54. She was best known for
her role as the housekeeper in the TV sitcom "Gimme a Break!".
Carter, who was born September 13, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, first rose to
stardom on the New York stage. After a series of roles on- and off-Broadway --
and a short-lived part in the soap opera "Ryan's Hope" -- in 1977 she starred
in the show "Ain't Misbehavin'!", a revue of the works of composer Fats Waller.
She was rewarded for her performance with an Obie Award, and later with a Tony
Award when the show moved to Broadway.
Several years later, she earned an Emmy for her performance on a television
presentation of the musical.
Despite her Broadway success, Carter would have preferred to sing opera. "When I
was growing up, it was not something you aspired to," she said in 1988. "I was
a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or
"Gimme a Break!" ran from 1981 to 1987. Carter was nominated for two Emmys for
her role as housekeeper Nell Harper, who helped run the household of police
chief Carl Kanisky, played by Dolph Sweet. She also garnered two Golden Globe
nominations for the role.
. 2003 ~ For Sale: One of London's most famous music venues, which in its heyday in
the 1960s played host to The Who, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, is
for sale, its administrators said.
The Marquee Club, which in the 1970s was the epicenter of the punk explosion, ran
into financial difficulties after its high-profile relaunch last fall, said a
spokeswoman for administrator BDO Stoy Hayward.
"We're looking for someone in the music business who can capitalize on the Marquee
brand and keep running it as a live venue," she said. The price tag is at
least $200 million.
The club opened in London's Soho district in 1958 and was so cramped and sweaty
that, according to legend, Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats blacked out on stage.
In 1988, it moved to a new location in nearby Charing Cross, but within eight
years it had closed down.
A high-profile relaunch at a new venue in Islington, north London September 2002
was headlined by the controversial electro-rockers Primal Scream, but according
to the club's administrators, huge start-up costs quickly led to its downfall. 24 1776 ~ Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, composer
. 1913 ~ Norman Dello Joio, American composer
More information about Dello Joio
. 1919 ~ Leon Kirchner, American composer and pianist
. 1925 ~ Maria (Betty Marie) Tallchief, Prima ballerina: Ballet Russe de Monte
Carlo, New York City Ballet; formed ballet troupe and school (1974) which
became Chicago City Ballet in 1980, wife of choreographer George Balanchine
. 1936 ~ Jack Scott (Scafone), Singer
. 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded one of the all-time greats,
Stompin' at the Savoy, on Victor Records. The song became such a
standard, that, literally, hundreds of artists have recorded it, including a
vocal version by Barry Manilow. The 'King of Swing' recorded the song in a
session at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.
. 1941 ~ Neil Diamond, American pop-rock singer and songwriter
. 1941 ~ Ray Stevens, Singer and entertainer
. 1942 ~ Abie's Irish Rose was first heard on NBC radio this day as part of
"Knickerbocker Playhouse". The program was a takeoff on the smash play from
Broadway that ran for nearly 2,000 performances. Sydney Smith played the
part of Abie. Rosemary Murphy was played by Betty Winkler.
. 1973 ~ 'Little' Donny Osmond, of the famed Osmond Brothers/Family, received a
gold record for his album, "Too Young". When he played the gold-plated disc
on his Mickey Mouse phonograph, all he heard was Ben by 'little' MichaelJackson, a competitor in the 'Kids Who Sing Really High Awards' battle.
25 1858 ~ Felix Mendelssohn's overture to "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
was first used as a wedding march.
The bride was Queen Victoria's daughter, the groom was the Crown Prince of
. 1886 ~ Wilhelm Furtw‰ngler, German conductor and composer
1913 ~ Witold Lutoslawski, Polish composer
More information about Lutoslawski
. 1940 ~ Mary Martin recorded My Heart Belongs to Daddy -- for Decca Records. The
song was her signature song until she starred in "South Pacific" in 1949.
Then, Larry Hagman's mother had a new trademark: "I'm gonna wash that man
right out of my hair..."
More about Mary Martin
. 1945 ~ Richard Tucker debuted at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in
the production of "La Gioconda".
. 1964 ~ The Beatles reached the #1 spot on the music charts,
as their hit single, I Want to Hold Your Hand, grabbed the top position in
"Cash Box" magazine, as well as on the list of hits on scores of radio
stations. It was the first #1 hit for The Beatles.
"Billboard" listed the song as #1 on February 1. The group's second #1 hit
song, She Loves You, was also released this day - but not on Capitol
Records. It was on Swan Records. Other songs by The Beatles were released on
Vee Jay (Please, Please Me), M-G-M (My Bonnie with Tony Sheridan),
Tollie (Twist and Shout), Atco (Ain't She Sweet) and the group's own
label, Apple Records, as well as Capitol.
. 1999 ~ Robert Shaw passed away. Shaw was an American conductor most famous for his work with his namesake Chorale, with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Shaw received 14 Grammy awards, four ASCAP awards for service to contemporary music, the first Guggenheim Fellowship ever awarded to a conductor, the Alice M. Ditson Conductor's Award for Service to American Music; the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League for "distinguished service to music and the arts," the American National Medal of Arts, France's Officier des Arts et des Lettres, England's Gramophone Award, and was a 1991 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
. 2004 ~ Ronald Fredianelli, a co-founder of the 1950s pop vocal
group the Gaylords, died in Las Vegas. He was 73.
Fredianelli, who performed as Ronnie Gaylord teamed with
Bonaldo Bonaldi and Don Rea in the early 1950s. Bonaldi
performed as Burt Holiday.
Their debut song, Tell Me You're Mine, was a Top 10 hit
in 1953. Other hits included From the Vine Came the
Grape and The Little Shoemaker.
Although the Gaylords formed in Detroit, Fredianelli and
Bonaldi became a staple in Nevada showrooms, where they
performed for decades as Gaylord and Holiday. Bonaldi and
Rea live in Reno.
One of Fredianelli's sons, Anthony, is guitarist for the
rock group Third Eye Blind.
. 2014 ~ Artemios "Demis" Ventouris Roussos (June 15 1946-January 25, 2015) was a Greek singer and performer who had international hit records as a solo performer in the 1970s after having been a member of Aphrodite's Child, a progressive rock group that also included Vangelis. He has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.
. 1908 ~ StÈphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist
. 1913 ~ Jimmy Van Heusen (Edward Chester Babcock), American songwriter and Academy
Award-winning composer. He wrote Swinging on a Star in 1944, All the Way
in 1957, High Hopes in 1959 and Call Me Irresponsible in 1963. He also
wrote the music to over 75 songs for Frank Sinatra with lyricists Johnny
Burke and Sammy Cahn... My Kind of Town and Second Time Around
. 1928 ~ Eartha Kitt, American singer of popular music. See January 17 for
Ms. Kitt's real birthday.
. 1934 ~ The Apollo Theatre opened in New York City as a 'Negro vaudeville
theatre'. It became the showplace for many of the great black entertainers,
singers, groups and instrumentalists in the country.
. 1945 ~ Jacqueline DuPrÈ, British cellist
. 1956 ~ Buddy Holly had his first of three 1956 recording sessions for Decca
Records and producer, Owen Bradley, in Nashville. Nothing much came out of
those sessions. He formed the group, The Three Tunes (changed later to The
Crickets), and went on to find fame and fortune when he hooked up with
producer Norman Petty in New Mexico. Holly died in a plane crash near Mason
City, IA, February 3, 1959 ("the day the music died"). He was 22. Holly was
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
. 1979 ~ The Gizmo guitar synthesizer was first demonstrated.
. 1992 ~ Jose Ferrer, Puerto Rican actor, theater, and film director, died
. 1885 ~ Jerome Kern, American songwriter and composer of musical
comedies He was known as the father of the American musical, composing Show
Boat, Ol' Man River, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lovely to Look At, The Way YouLook Tonight and The Last Time I Saw Paris
. 1895 ~ Harry Ruby (Rubinstein), Musician and composer
. 1905 ~ John Schaum, Pianist, composer and music educator. Schaum began his career as a piano teacher in the late 1920s. In 1933 he founded the Schaum Piano School in Milwaukee. About the same time he began to compose piano music for teaching purposes. He also founded the first company to produce award stickers specifically for music students. Always on the lookout for better materials for his students, Schaum eventually decided to create his own books, beginning in 1941 with Piano Fun for Boys and Girls, which he later revised as the first in a series of nine piano method books that became the Schaum Piano Course, completed in 1945. These books are still widely used today.
. 1961 ~ Leontyne Price made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York
City. She sang in the role of Leonora in "Il Trovatore". Price was only the
seventh black singer to make a debut at the Met. Marian Anderson was the
. 1968 ~ The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned
$50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This is
identical to what The Beatles were paid to perform at
the Hollywood Bowl a few years earlier.
. 1968 ~ Otis Redding's(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay was released on this
day, seven weeks after the singer's death. It became #1 on March 16, 1968
and remained at the top spot for a month. Redding began his recording career
in 1960 with Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers (on Confederate Records). He
sang duet with Carla Thomas and had 11 chart hits. Redding of Dawson, GA
was killed in a plane crash at Lake Monona near Madison, WI. Four members of
the Bar-Kays were also killed in the crash. The Dock of the Bay, his only
number one song, was recorded just three days before his death.
. 1984 ~ Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi
commercial in Los Angeles. Pyrotechnics did not operate on cue, injuring the
singer. Jackson was hospitalized for a few days and fans from around the
world sent messages of concern. 28 1722 ~ Johann Ernst Bach, German composer of the Bach family
. 1927 ~ Twenty years before the famous record by Art Mooney was recorded, JeanGoldkette and his dancing orchestra recorded, I'm Looking Over a Four-LeafClover. Though the name of the bandleader may not be so famous, two of his
sidemen on this Victor recording session certainly were: Big band fans know
Bix Beiderbecke and Joe Venuti.
. 1940 ~ "Beat the Band" made its debut on NBC radio. The band was that of TedWeems and his 14-piece orchestra, who were joined by Elmo 'The WhistlingTroubadour' Tanner, Harry Soskind and Country Washington. One other star of
the show was a barber from Pittsburgh, PA (nearby Canonsburg, actually),
who would record many hits for RCA Victor from 1943 right through the dawn
of the 1970s. His name was Perry Como.
Beat the Band was a funky show where listeners' questions were selected in the
hopes of stumping the band. If a listener's question was chosen, he or she
The questions were posed as riddles: What song title tells you what Cinderella
might have said if she awoke one morning and found that her foot had grown
too large for her glass slipper? If the band played the correct musical
answer, Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?, the listener lost.
. 1943 ~ Dick Taylor, Bass, guitar with The Pretty Things
1944 ~ John Tavener, British avant-garde composer
More information about Tavener
. 1944 ~ Brian Keenan, Drummer with groups Manfred Mann and The Chambers Brothers
. 1956 ~ Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television. No, he
didn't appear on some teenage dance show; but rather, "The Dorsey BrothersShow", starring Tommy and Jimmy. Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes and
Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed by the instruments of the Dorsey band.
. 1968 ~ Sarah McLauchlan, Singer
. 1985 ~ 45 of the world's top recording artists were invited to an all-night
recording session at the A&M studios in Los Angeles. As each of the artists
walked through the studio door, they were greeted by a hand-lettered sign --
put there by Lionel Richie. It simply said, "Check your ego at the door."
The session started at 10 p.m. with producer Quincy Jones conducting. At 8
o'clock the following morning, the project, "USA for Africa", spearheaded by
promoter, Ken Kragen, was recorded and mixed. The resulting song, We Arethe World, featuring Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton,
Sting, Harry Belafonte, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many others
became the top song in the U.S. on April 13, 1985.
. 2002 ~ Michael Hammond, who became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
just a week earlier, died apparently of natural causes. He was 69.
A native of Kenosha, Wis., the conductor and composer had been dean of the
School of Music at Rice University in Houston when President Bush nominated
him to lead the federal agency that decides grants for the arts. After being
confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 20, 2001, Hammond had assumed the post Jan. 22, 2002, and was still in the process of moving to Washington.
A student of music and medicine, Hammond's interests included music from
Southeast Asia, the Renaissance and medieval times and the intersection
between music and neuroscience.
He received a Rhodes scholarship to study philosophy, psychology and physiology
at Oxford University. He also studied Indian philosophy and music at Dehli
University in India.
In 1968, he left his post as director of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in
Milwaukee to become the founding dean of music at the State University of New
York at Purchase. He later served as president of the school, until he left
for Rice's Shepherd School of Music in 1986.
All the while, he retained his interest in medicine, teaching neuroanatomy and
physiology at Marquette Medical School and at the University of Wisconsin.
Hammond also served as the founding rector of the Prague Mozart Academy in the
Czech Republic, now the European Mozart Academy, was on the board of the
Houston Symphony, and was vice chairman of the board of Interlochen Center
for the Arts in Michigan.
. 2002 ~ Steve Caldwell, who sang and played saxophone for the Swingin' Medallions at the time
of the band's 1966 hit Double Shot (of My Baby's Love), died of pancreatic cancer. He was
Caldwell was with the group from 1963 to 1969.
After getting his master's degree in chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he
returned to his native Atlanta and ran the Norell temporary staffing agency until
starting his own company in 1976.
His wife, Lynn Caldwell, said he raised $1 million for charity through
World Methodist Evangelism. 29 1715 ~ Georg Christoph Wagenseil, Austrian composer
. 1962 ~ Fritz Kreisler died. He was an Austrian-born violinist and composer
. 1966 ~ "Sweet Charity", with Gwen Verdon, opened at the Palace Theatre in New
York City. The musical, by Neil Simon, was an adaptation of the FedericoFellini film, "Notti di Cabiria". The play ran for 608 performances. In 1969, Hollywood produced a big-budget version of the Broadway musical
starring Shirley MacLaine.
. 1973 ~ Johnny Rivers received a gold record for the hit single, Rockin'Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu. As is tradition, Rivers removed the
fragile gold disk from the wooden frame and, as he was putting it on his
stereo, had a ferocious sneezing fit and never did find out how his song
sounded in solid gold.
. 1977 ~ From the One-Hit Wonder File, this note: Rose Royce earned the #1 spot on
the music charts with Car Wash, from the movie of the same name. The song
stayed at the peak of the pop charts for one week, then faded away.
. 2001 ~ Suzanne Bloch, a concert chamber musician and teacher at the Juilliard School, died
at her home. She was 94.
Bloch played and taught ancient instruments, in particular the lute, a guitar-
like instrument common in 18th-century Europe. Mostly self-taught, she also
played the recorder and the virginal, a tiny relative of the harpsichord.
Beginning in the late 1930s, she performed frequently in concert, often dressed
in Renaissance costume. She taught classes at Juilliard from 1942 to 1985.
After marrying Paul Smith, a mathematician who became chairman of Columbia
University's mathematics department, Bloch played chamber music with well-known
scientists, including Albert Einstein.
Born in Geneva, Bloch moved to New York with her family in 1916, when her
musician father, Ernest Bloch, began teaching and conducting in the United
Bloch promoted her father's music throughout her life, collecting clippings,
writing program notes and founding the Ernest Bloch Society in 1967. 30 1566 ~ Alessandro Piccinini born. He was an Italian lutenist and composer who died sometime in 1638
. 1969 ~ The Beatles made their last public
appearance. It was at a free concert at their Apple corporate headquarters
in London. The group recorded Get Back and also filmed the movie "Let It Be".
. 2004 ~ Jazz bassist Malachi Favors, who played with such bandleaders as
Dizzy Gillespie and Freddy Hubbard before beginning a 35-year
association with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, died.
After service in the Army during the Korean War, he studied with the
bassists Wilbur Ware and Israel Crosby, and worked with the pianists
Andrew Hill and King Fleming. After playing with Gillespie, Hubbard,
and other members of the bebop revolution, Favors joined the band of
Chicago saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and played a major part on
Mitchell's influential free-jazz album, "Sound", in 1966.
Mitchell's band soon evolved into the Art Ensemble of Chicago, which
combined traditional elements of jazz and blues, West African music,
chanting, ritual, abstract sound and silence. Although founded in
Chicago, the group was based in Europe until 1971.
In addition to his distinctive bass sound, Favors also added vocals and
such folk instruments as banjo, zither and harmonica to group's
He also recorded a solo bass album, "Natural and the Spiritual". 31 1759 ~ Francois Devienne, French composer and professor of flute
1797 ~ Franz Peter Schubert, Austrian composer
Read quotes by and about Schubert More information about Schubert
. 1921 ~ Mario Lanza, Opera singer. Some of his non-operatic songs were Be My Love,
The Loveliest Night of the Year and Because You're Mine
. 1923 ~ Carol Channing, Broadway entertainer and Tony Award-winning actress in
shows such as Hello, Dolly! (1964) and Thoroughly Modern Millie
. 1936 ~ "The Green Hornet" was introduced by its famous theme song, The Flight ofthe Bumble Bee, originally by Rachmaninoff.
The radio show was first heard on WXYZ radio in Detroit, MI
on this day. The show stayed on the air for 16 years. "The Green Hornet"
originated from the same radio station where "The Lone Ranger" was
1937 ~ Phillip Glass, American composer of minimalist music
More information about Glass
. 1976 ~ ABBA knocked Queen from the UK No.1 position on the UK singles chart with 'Mamma Mia.' Queen's single 'Bohemian Rhapsody' had enjoyed a nine week run at the top of the charts, by coincidence, Queen's single contains the famous "mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go" line.
. 1981~ Justin Timberlake, singer with *NSYNC who had the 2000 US No.1 single 'It's Gonna Be Me' and the 1999 UK No.5 single 'I Want You Back'. As a solo artist scored the 2003 UK No.2 & US No.3 single 'Cry Me A River'. His second solo album 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' was released in 2006 with the US No.1 hit singles 'SexyBack', 'My Love' and 'What Goes Around... Comes Around.' With his first two albums, Timberlake has sold over fourteen million albums worldwide. Timberlake has his own record label called Tennman Records. He also has an acting career, having starred in films such as The Social Network, Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits.
. 1982 ~ Sandy Duncan of Tyler, Texas gave her final performance as Peter Pan in
Los Angeles, CA. The actress completed 956 performances without missing a
show. She flew a total of 261.5 miles while on stage.
. 1985 ~ John Fogerty, former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, returned to
the A&M recording studios in Hollywood, CA to give his first 'live'
performance in 14 years. Actually, Fogerty performed in a video called Rock
and Roll Girls.
. 1987 ~ Madonna's record, Open Your Heart, moved to the #2 spot on the pop charts
(right behind At This Moment by Billy Vera and The Beaters). A week later,
Open Your Heart became Madonna's fifth #1 hit since 1983. She had 11
consecutive singles in the Top 10, the most for any female artist of the
. 2002 ~ Evelyn Scott, the city's first female disc jockey who later played a tough-
talking tavern keeper on the television soap opera "Peyton Place," died at the
age of 86.
Born in Brockton, Mass., Scott moved to Los Angeles and landed a job as a disc
jockey on radio station KMPC. She later was hired as a singing DJ on KHJ's
"Rise and Shine" morning show.
She began acting in theater companies and eventually landed small roles in films
such as "Wicked Woman," "The Green-Eyed Blonde" and "I Want to Live."
She may be best remembered as saloon keeper Ada Jacks in the soap "Peyton Place,"
which showed the extramarital affairs and other dark secrets of the residents
of a small New England town.
Scott played the role from 1965 to 1969, and then reprised the role on "Return to
Peyton Place" from 1972 to 1974. She also came back for the 1985 television
movie "Peyton Place: The Next Generation."
Scott appeared in episodes of other TV shows including "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke" and
After she retired from acting, she dedicated her time to helping the homeless and
served as a board member of Portals House Inc., a center for mentally ill
. 2004 ~ Roberto Ocasio, a versatile musician and band leader of Latin Jazz Project,
died in a car accident. He was 49.
Ocasio performed more than 250 times last year, mostly in Cleveland. He has
shared stages with such other Latino musicians as Eddie Palmieri and NestorTorres. His band played venues from street festivals to Cleveland's Severance
Ocasio played the piano and six other instruments. He earned a degree in
composition and arranging from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
He formed Latin Jazz Project in 1997. Ocasio composed and arranged the band's
music, a repertoire ranging from original pieces to rock tunes and American
standards with his own twist. He performed songs in Spanish and