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1810 ~ Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Chopin
More information about Chopin
• 1826 ~ John Thomas
• 1904 ~ Glenn Miller, American trombonist and bandleader
More information about Miller
• 1922 ~ Michael Flanders, Songwriter, comedian with the duo: Flanders and [Donald]
Swann, made humorous mockery of English and American failings, died in 1975
• 1927 ~ Harry Belafonte, American calypso and folk singer, UNICEF goodwill
ambassador, father of Shari Belafonte
• 1928 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded Ol´ Man River for Victor
Records. The featured vocalist on the track was 29-year-old Paul Robeson.
The song became an American classic.
• 1930 ~ Benny Powell, Jazz musician, trombone with the Ernie Fields band,
Lionel Hampton, Count Basie veteran
• 1941 ~ FM Radio began in the U.S. when station W47NV in Nashville, TN started
operations on this day. W47NV was the first commercial FM radio station to
receive a license, some 20 years after its AM radio counterpart, KDKA in
Pittsburgh. FM stands for frequency modulation´ as opposed to amplitude modulation´.
• 1941 ~ Downbeat magazine scooped the entertainment world with news that Glenn
Miller´s renewed contract with Chesterfield Cigarettes was worth $4,850 a
week (for three 15-minute programs).
• 1944 ~ Roger Daltrey, Singer with The Who
• 1968 ~ Country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter got married on this day.
Johnny walked down the aisle knowing that his 1956 hit, Folsom Prison
Blues, was about to be redone for a June release. Cash has a daughter,
Rosanne, (previous marriage) who became a country star in her own right in the 1980s.
• 1968 ~ Elton John´s first record, I´ve Been Loving You, was released by Philips
Records in England. Philips, not realizing the potential of the soon-to-be
superstar, released him in 1969, just prior to his teaming with lyricist
Bernie Taupin. Elton then signed a contract with Uni Records and began to
turn out what would become a string of more than 50 hits over the next 25 years.
• 1973 ~ The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opened with a unique presentation in New
York City. The show featured music of the Beach Boys in "Deuce Coupe
Ballet". A clever show, even if it didn´t do much to bring the masses to ballet.
• 1985 ~ A Beatles song was used for the first time in a U.S. TV commercial. The
rights for Lincoln-Mercury to use the song, HELP!, cost $100,000, helping
boost the fortunes of the Ford Motor Company.
March has been designated as the "Music In Our Schools" month.
Visit the National Association for Music Education website
for exciting programmatic information.
• 2003 ~ Nadine Conner, a soprano who performed for nearly two decades at the Metropolitan Opera
after singing on national radio, died. She was 96.
Conner debuted at the Met in 1941 as Pamina in Mozart's "The Magic Flute," conducted by
Bruno Walter. She performed there 249 times over 18 seasons. She won acclaim not only for
her Mozart roles, including Zerlina in "Don Giovanni" and Susanna in "The Marriage of
Figaro," but also for her portrayals of Violetta in Verdi's "La Traviata," Mimi in
Puccini's "La Boheme," Gilda in Verdi's "Rigoletto," and Rosina in Rossini's "The Barber
Conner began her career singing on national radio from Los Angeles, and appeared with such
stars as Bing Crosby and Gordon MacRae and toured with film star Nelson Eddy.
She joined a fledgling opera troupe in Los Angeles, making her debut as Marguerite in
Gounod's "Faust." Her Met farewell, in 1960, also was in "Faust."
2 1824 ~ Bedrich Smetana, Bohemian composer
More information about Smetana
• 1900 ~ Kurt Weill, German-born American composer of operas
and other music
More information about Weill
• 1905 ~ Marc Blitzstein, American composer
• 1917 ~ Desi Arnaz (Desiderio Alberto Arnez y De Acha III), Bandleader, singer,
actor, married to Lucille Ball, co-owner of Desilu Productions, introduced
3-camera sitcom technique
• 1921 ~ Robert Simpson
• 1923 ~ (Arthel Lane) Doc Watson, Grammy Award-winning singer, flat-picking
• 1934 ~ Doug Watkins, Jazz musician, bass with these groups: Pepper-Knepper
Quintet, Hank Mobley Quartet, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers
• 1942 ~ Lou Reed (Lewis Alan Reed), Singer, songwriter, guitarist with Velvet
• 1949 ~ Eddie Money (Mahoney), Singer
• 1950 ~ Karen Carpenter, Drummer, singer with Grammy Award-winning group, The
• 1955 ~ Jay Osmond, Singer with The Osmond Brothers
• 1956 ~ John Cowsill, Singer with The Cowsills
• 1956 ~ Mark Evans, Bass with AC/DC
• 1962 ~ Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi), American rock singer, songwriter
• 1963 ~ Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and singer, Patsy Cline, killed in plane crash
• 1974 ~ Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, Innervisions and his
hit songs, You Are The Sunshine of My Life and Superstition.
• 1985 ~ Country singer Gary Morris hit #1 on the country charts for the first time
with Baby Bye Bye, from his album, Faded Blue.
• 2003 ~ Hank Ballard, 75, the singer and songwriter whose hit The Twist ushered in a
nationwide dance craze in the 1960s, died.
He wrote and recorded The Twist in 1958, but it was released only on the B-side
of a record. In 1959, Chubby Checker debuted his own version of the song on Dick Clark's Philadelphia television show.
It soon topped the charts and launched a dance craze that prompted the creation of
other Twist songs, including Twist and Shout by the Isley Brothers and
Twistin' the Night Away by Sam Cooke.
Mr. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Mr. Ballard was discovered in the early 1950s by writer-producer Johnny Otis. He
was lead singer for the Royals, which changed its name to the Midnighters.
Mr. Ballard, who was born John H. Kendricks in Detroit, grew up singing in church
in Bessemer, Ala. At 15, he returned to Detroit and set out to form a doo-wop
group while working on a Ford Motor Co. assembly line.
4 1930 ~ Bert Lahr (The Wizard of Oz) and Kate Smith (God Bless America) starred in
Flying High as it opened at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. The show
had a run of 45 weeks at what is now the most famous black
entertainment theatre in America.
• 1931 ~ The US Congress recognized Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key, as
the official national anthem.
Despite the fact that millions sing (in a manner of speaking) the anthem
before sporting events, civic club meetings and other public gatherings, it
is still ranked as the most difficult national anthem on earth to sing.
While´s Key´s lyrics reflected an enduring sentiment of America during war
time of 1812, with its "rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air" over
Fort McHenry at Baltimore, MD; the melody goes against most everything
musical and the words themselves are quite difficult to remember --
especially those following the first verse.
Originally an English drinking song, To Anacreon in Heaven, the melody is next
to impossible for most people to sing. Amateur singers embarrass themselves
as they attempt to hit the high notes at the end of the song. They do this
in the shower and at community events; while professional opera singers and
pop music stars go flat, or forget the words, in front of national
television audiences. Performers such as Robert Morley, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin
Gaye, Jose Feliciano, Ray Charles and others have had difficulties in
musically translating the nation´s anthem.
Almost from the moment the song was adopted officially, there has been
movement to bring about change. Many would like to see America the
Beautiful become the U.S. national anthem.
• 1931 ~ Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded Minnie the Moocher on Brunswick
Records. It was the first recording of the famous bandleader´s theme song.
The song was featured prominently in the motion picture, "The Blues
Brothers" (1980), starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.
• 1933 ~ Paul Clayton, Folk singer, songwriter. Bob Dylan said: "Paul was just an
incredible songwriter and singer. He must have known a thousand songs." He
died in 1968
• 1938 ~ Douglas Leedy, American composer, pianist and conductor
• 1938 ~ Willie Chambers, Guitarist, singer with The Chambers Brothers
• 1942 ~ Mike Pender (Michael John Prendergast), Guitarist, singer with The
• 1944 ~ Florence Quivar, American mezzo-soprano
More information about Quivar
• 1944 ~ Jance Garfat, Bass, singer with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
• 1947 ~ Dave Mount, Drummer, singer with Mud
• 1949 ~ David Pritchard, Jazz/classical guitarist with Contraband, author of Music
for the Contemporary Guitarist, composer
• 1955 ~ A truck driver from Tupelo, MS made his first TV appearance. Elvis Aron
Presley was featured on "Louisiana Hayride". This prompted promoters to send
Elvis to New York City to audition for Arthur Godfrey's immensely popular
and career-making "Talent Scouts" program. Talent coordinators and Godfrey
are said to have passed on Elvis appearing on the show. Not much later, he
was tossed out of the Grand Ole Opry as well, and told to "go back to
driving a truck." In a little over a year, however, the nation was caught up
• 1965 ~ Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker starred in the film
adaptation of the popular Broadway hit, "The Sound of Music". The musical,
about the Trapp Family, was a hit on the Great White Way for over three
years and one of the most popular motion pictures of all time. The movie
brought instant stardom for Miss Andrews, who went on to star in other
singing roles in the theatre, on television, in movies and as a popular
• 1966 ~ Lou Christie struck gold for his hit Lightnin´ Strikes. Christie was born
Lugee Sacco and joined a group called The Classics before making his first
recording in 1960. In 1961, he recorded under the name Lugee & The Lions
until changing to Lou Christie for a string of hits beginning in 1963. Other
notable tunes from Christie´s top 40 appearances include: The Gypsy Cried,
Two Faces Have I, Rhapsody in the Rain and I´m Gonna Make You Mine, all
displaying his trademark falsetto voice, similar to that of Frankie Valli of
The Four Seasons. Lightnin´ Strikes was Christie´s only million seller.
• 1987 ~ Actor, singer, dancer, comedian, broadcaster and American entertainment
icon, Danny Kaye, died in Los Angeles at the age of 74.
• 1991 ~ Arthur Murray (Moses Teichman) died
• 2003 ~ Col. Truman W. Crawford, 68, commander of the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle
Corps from 1973 until retiring in 1998, died. He had ALS (amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Charismatic and exacting, Col. Crawford was credited with transforming "The
Commandant's Own," based at the historic Marine barracks into a professional
organization and a spectacular recruiting tool that blasted audiences the world
over with a rousing wall of sound.
"We were pretty much a bunch of hack musicians before he came around," said the
bugle corps' current commander, Maj. Brent Harrison.
Col. Crawford's influence extended well beyond the Marines. At points in the 1960s
and 1970s, virtually every championship drum and bugle corps in the country was
playing one of the hundreds of arrangements he made.
"For a drum and bugle corps, he was our John Philip Sousa," said Michael H.
Gardner, who had been the corps' drum major under Col. Crawford.
Drum and bugle corps gained in popularity after World War I, when veterans began
using bugles as musical instruments instead of for their primary purpose, to
signal troops. The Marine version was formed in 1934.
Col. Crawford became enamored of the form as a high school student in his native
Endicott, N.Y., where he heard a performance of the U.S. Air Force Drum and
Bugle Corps. Shortly after graduation in 1953, he auditioned for the group and
was accepted as a baritone bugler.
In short order, he became the corps' musical director and senior noncommissioned
officer. But the unit was disbanded in 1963, and he moved to Chicago to run a
He continued to arrange and consult with civilian drum and bugle corps. Based on
his reputation, he was asked to join the Marines in 1967 as a chief music
During his tenure there, he jazzed up the playlist with show tunes and other
popular music, and instituted a "slide-and-glide" style of marching that was a
cool display of military efficiency. He also was influential in persuading
manufacturers to produce bugles with two valves instead of one, allowing a
greater range of notes.
4 1875 ~ Bizet's Carmen premier, Paris
• 1918 ~ Frank Wigglesworth, American composer
• 1925 ~ Enzo Stuarti, Opera singer
• 193 1678 ~ Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Italian baroque composer. The creator of hundreds of
spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Vivaldi is widely recognized as the
master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized
perhaps more than any of his contemporaries. A group of four violin concerti
from Vivaldi's Op. 8, better known as "The Four Seasons", may well be the most
universally recognizable musical work from the Baroque period. Perhaps the most
prolific of all the great European composers, he once boasted that he could
compose a concerto faster than a copyist could ready the individual parts for
the players in the orchestra.
More information about Vivaldi
• 1801 ~ The U.S. Marine Band performed for the first time at a
presidential nomination. That president was Thomas Jefferson.
• 1877 ~ The ballet of Swan Lake, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,
was performed for the first time in the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia
• 1915 ~ Carlos Surinac
• 1928 ~ Samuel Adler, German-born American composer
• 1929 ~ Bernard Haitink, Dutch conductor
• 1932 ~ Miriam (Zensile) Makeba, South African born singer who was the first black
South African to attain international stardom.
• 1934 ~ Barbara McNair, Singer, TV hostess of The Barbara McNair Show, actress
• 1942 ~ Dick Jurgen´s orchestra recorded One Dozen Roses on Okeh Records in
• 1942 ~ The Stage Door Canteen opened on West 44th Street in New York City. The
canteen became widely known as a service club for men in the armed forces
and a much welcomed place to spend what would otherwise have been lonely
hours. The USO, the United Service Organization, grew out of the canteen´
operation, to provide entertainment for American troops around the world.
• 1943 ~ Irving Berlin picked up the Best Song Oscar for a little ditty he had
written for the film, Holiday Inn: White Christmas at the 15th Academy
• 1944 ~ Bobby Womack, Songwriter, singer
• 1948 ~ Chris Squire, Bass with Yes
• 1948 ~ Shakin´ Stevens (Michael Barratt), Singer, actor
• 1951 ~ Chris Rea, Guitarist with these groups Chris Rea Band and Ambrosia;
• 1969 ~ Chastity Bono, Singer, daughter of Sonny & Cher
• 1978 ~ Andy Gibb reached the top of the music charts as (Love is) Thicker Than
Water reached #1 for a two-week stay. The Bee Gees also set a record on
this day as their single, How Deep Is Your Love, from the Saturday Night
Fever soundtrack stayed in the top 10 for an unprecedented 17 weeks.
• 1981 ~ Lyricist E.Y. Yip´ Harburg died in an auto accident in Hollywood, CA at
the age of 82. Two of his most successful hits were Over the Rainbow from
The Wizard of Oz and It´s Only a Paper Moon, popularized by Nat King
Cole and many others.
• 2001 ~ Glenn Hughes, a singer who performed as the mustachioed, leather-clad
biker in the disco band the Village People, died at the age of 50.
The group, which was the brainchild of producer Jacques Morali, featured
men dressed as an Indian, a soldier, a construction worker, a police
officer, a cowboy and Hughes' character, a biker.
The band released its first single, San Francisco (You've Got Me), in
• 1977. It followed the next year with its first hit, Macho Man. The
band then produced a string of hits, including Y.M.C.A., In the
Navy and Go West.
Collectively the Village People sold 65 million albums and singles.
Although disco fell out of fashion in the 1980s, Hughes stayed with the
band until 1996, when he left to sing in Manhattan cabarets.
• 2003 ~ Fedora Barbieri, a mezzo-soprano whose passionate singing sometimes stole the
scene from opera diva Maria Callas, died. She was 82.
Born in Trieste in 1920, Barbieri performed on stages ranging from Milan's La Scala
to New York's Metropolitan Opera House to London's Covent Garden.
Barbieri's career started in 1940 and for her 80th birthday, she sang the role of
Mamma Lucia in Pietro Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" in Florence.
Her repertoire included roles in operas by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.
Barbieri died in Florence, which she had adopted as her home and where she gave many
• 2003 ~ Emilio Estefan Sr., father of the Latin music mogul, died at the age of 83.
Estefan Sr. played the plump and comical ambassador in a music video for the Miami
Sound Machine's hit song Conga, which featured singer Gloria Estefan, wife
of Estefan Jr.
The Miami Sound Machine's office was once located in Estefan Sr.'s garage. His son
later built a home for his parents on his Star Island compound.
Estefan Sr. was born in Santiago de Cuba and moved to Spain with Estefan Jr. in
• 1966. His wife and another son stayed in Cuba because the boy was of military
draft age and couldn't leave until 1980.
Estefan Sr. came to Miami in 1968, a year after Estefan Jr., and opened a clothing
business in Hialeah.
5 1853 ~ Arthur William Foote, American composer
• 1887 ~ Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer and collector of
Brazilian folk songs
More information about Villa-Lobos
• 1917 ~ The first jazz recording for Victor Records was released. The Original
Dixieland Jass´ Band performed on the tune The Dixie Jass Band One Step.
The word Jass´ was later changed to Jazz´.
• 1928 ~ Lou Levy, Pianist with Supersax; recorded with Sinatra, Peggy Lee,
Nancy Wilson and Anita O´Day
• 1931 ~ Barry Tuckwell, Austrian French-horn player
• 1931 ~ Without a Song was recorded by Lawrence Tibbett for Victor Records. This
wonderful melody came from the film, "The Southerner" and has been a hit for
many, including Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
• 1947 ~ Eddie Hodges, Singer, actor
• 1948 ~ Eddy Grant, Singer, songwriter
• 1950 ~ Eugene Fodor, Violinist,
made solo debut at age 10 with the Denver Symphony, won first national
competition at age 12, won first prize in International Paganini Competition,
won highest prize in International Tchaikovsky Competition
More information about Fodor
• 1952 ~ Alan Clark, Keyboards with Dire Straits
• 1953 ~ Sergei Prokofiev passed away
More information about Prokofiev
• 1958 ~ Andy (Andrew Roy) Gibb, Singer with the Bee Gees, host of TV´s Solid Gold
• 1960 ~ Elvis Presley returned to civilian life after a two-year hitch in the U.S.
Army. Not since General Douglas MacArthur returned from battle has a soldier
received such publicity. Elvis said he probably would not be growing his
famous and long sideburns back, though he did relent in later years.
• 1963 ~ Patsy Cline, Cowboy (Lloyd) Copas and Hankshaw Hawkins
were killed in a plane crash at Camden, TN, near Nashville. The famous
country music stars were returning from a benefit performance. Cline, the
Queen of Country Music´ was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in
• 1973. Jessica Lange played Patsy in the 1985 biographical film, Sweet
Dreams, named after one of Cline´s hugely popular songs. Willie Nelson wrote
her biggest hit, Crazy, which become a number one country hit and a top 10
pop song in November, 1961.
• 1969 ~ The rock magazine, Creem, was published for the first time this day.
• 1973 ~ Roberta Flack, riding at #1 on the pop music charts with, Killing Me
Softly with His Song, could hardly wait to rip into the fancy frame
containing her brand new gold record. She flew to the stereo machine and set
the needle down on the shiny surface, only to hear Come Softly to Me. She
was so impressed by this unexpected turn of the table that she wound up
humming the old Fleetwoods song for three days.
6 1808 ~ The first college orchestra ever, organized at Harvard College.
• 1925 ~ Wes Montgomery, American jazz guitarist
• 1930 ~ Lorin Maazel, American conductor
More information on Maazel
• 1941 ~ Les Hite and his orchestra recorded The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
on Bluebird Records. The instrumental became Hite´s most popular work. A
decade later, Les Paul and Mary Ford added a vocal to the tune, making it
one of their biggest-selling hit songs.
• 1944 ~ Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand soprano
More information on Te Kanawa
• 1962 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded his final session for Capitol Records in Hollywood.
Sinatra had been recording for his own record label, Reprise, for two years.
His final side on Capitol was I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues, with Skip
• 1967 ~ Nelson Eddy passed away
• 1985 ~ Yul Brynner played his famous role as the king in "The King and I" in his
4,500th performance in the musical. The actor, age 64, opened the successful
production on Broadway in 1951.
• 2001 ~ Michael Smith, the drummer for the 1960s rock band Paul Revere and the
Raiders, died in Kona, Hawaii, of natural causes at the age of 58.
Smith, who played the part of the madcap jokester on stage, joined the band in
• 1962. The Raiders were known for their tri-cornered hats, colonial costumes
and wild stage act.
The Raiders were signed by CBS' Columbia Records in 1963, and in 1965 they
were hired to host "Where the Action Is," a daily afternoon television show
on ABC produced by Dick Clark Productions.
The Raiders' hit singles included Just Like Me, Kicks, Good Thing
and Indian Reservation.
7 1809 ~ Johann Georg Albrechtsberger passed away
• 1875 ~ Maurice Ravel, French composer
More information on Ravel
• 1917 ~ In the United States, RCA released the first jazz record ever:
The Dixie Jazz Band One Step
by Nick LaRocca's Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
• 1917 ~ Robert Erickson, American composer
• 1939 ~ Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians recorded one of the most popular
songs of the century. The standard, "Auld Lang Syne", was recorded for Decca
• 1955 ~ "Peter Pan", with Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook,
was presented as a television special for the first time.
More about Mary Martin
• 1969 ~ The Apollo astronauts began this day of their space voyage by singing Happy Birthday.
• 1985 ~ The song We Are the World, from the album of the same name, was played
on the radio for the first time. Forty-five of pop music´s top stars
gathered together to combine their talents to record the music of Lionel
Richie and Michael Jackson. Richie and Jackson sang, too, while Quincy Jones did the producing of the USA for Africa record. The proceeds of the
multimillion-selling recording went to aid African famine victims. The
project, coordinated by Ken Kragen, was deemed a huge success.
• 2001 ~ Frankie Carle, a big-band leader best known for Sunrise Serenade, at
the age of 97.
Carle, who died in Mesa, Ariz., reached the high point of his popularity
during World War II, when he was the focus of a bidding war among bands.
His repertory was wide, ranging from classics like a revival of Stephen
Foster's Swanee River, to a World War II release that anticipated the
Allied victory called I'm Going to See My Baby.
Although Carle's music did not rank high on record industry charts after the 1940s, he still toured and played concerts into the 1980s, some 70 years
after he began his musical career.
8 1714 ~ Carl Phillip Emanuel (C.P.E.) Bach, German composer
More information on C. P. E. Bach
• 1857 ~ Ruggero Leoncavallo, Italian composer
More information about Leoncavallo
• 1889 ~ John Thompson, Piano educator
• 1911 ~ Alan Hovhaness, American composer
More information about Hovhaness
• 1923 ~ Cyd Charisse, Dancer
• 1927 ~ Dick Hyman, Pianist and music director for Arthur Godfrey
• 1961 ~ Conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham died at the age of 81.
• 1962 ~ The Beatles performed for the first time on the BBC in Great Britain.
John, Paul, George and ... Pete Best sang Dream Baby on the show,
"Teenager´s Turn" on 'Auntie Beeb' (as the BBC was known).
• 1993 ~ Billy Eckstine passed away
• 2001 ~ Ballet Legend Dame Ninette De Valois died at the age of 102. She was the
founder of Britain's Royal Ballet who launched dancer Margot Fonteyn on
the road to stardom.
De Valois, a strict and demanding disciplinarian with her pupils, was a gifted
and theatrical choreographer who almost single-handedly put British ballet
on the international stage.
The doyenne of dance helped to nurture the talents of unknowns like Fonteyn
and courted controversy in the 1960's at the height of the Cold War when she
invited Russian dancer Rudolph Nureyev to appear with her company.
De Valois always gave credit to Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev for
teaching her all she knew. "Everything," she once said of the Ballet Russe
legend. "Diaghilev just managed the whole company. He knew all about the
different teachers. He knew the types of teachers he wanted, he knew the
type of ballet he wanted. He was a musician."
Born Edris Stannus in 1898 in the Irish county of Wicklow, she graduated from
Irish jig to the ballet, worked with the writer W.B. Yeats at Dublin's Abbey
Theater and then, almost single-handedly, brought ballet to the fore in
The famed diva, who adopted her professional name from an ancestor who had
married into a French family, was first inspired at the age of 11 when she
watched Anna Pavlova dancing The Dying Swan.
In 1923, she joined Diaghilev's troupe in Monte Carlo and began to lay the
foundations of her own ballet empire.
She gave up dancing herself after discovering that she had been suffering for
years from polio. "It was no tragedy. I wasn't that great," she once said.
In 1926, she opened her own ballet school in London.
From the tiniest beginnings, she built up the Sadlers Wells Ballet in less
than a decade. At the end of World War II, the company moved triumphantly
into the Royal Opera House. A ballet dynasty was born.
De Valois retired in 1963 but remained intimately involved in the ballet
school, forever the sharp-tongued martinet who could strike terror in
tomorrow's ballet hopefuls.
• 2001 ~ Maude Rutherford, a singer and dancer in the glory days of black theater during
the 1920s, died. She was believed to have been 104.
Rutherford was billed as the Slim Princess when she worked with entertainers such
as Fats Waller, Josephine Baker and Pearl Bailey. She was a featured performer
and favorite at Harlem's Cotton Club.
Rutherford's theater credits include: "Dixie to Broadway," (1924), "Chocolate
Sandals," (1927), and "Keep Shufflin"' (1928).
She retired from show business in 1950 and worked as a switchboard operator at an
Atlantic City hotel.
• 2003 ~ Adam Faith, a square-jawed British singer who was briefly a Cockney challenger
to Elvis Presley's rock 'n' roll crown, died of a heart attack. He was 62.
Born Terry Nelhams in west London in 1940, Faith was a handsome teenager who was
playing with a skiffle music group - a mixture of jug band, acoustic, folk,
blues and country and western styles - when he was spotted by producers of a
British Broadcasting Corp. music program.
Adopting the stage name Adam Faith, he became - alongside Cliff Richard, Tommy
Steele and Billy Fury - a pop star of the pre-Beatles era.
Developing a hiccuping delivery reminiscent of Buddy Holly, Faith had more than 20
British hits, including the chart-topping What Do You Want? and Poor
Faith also was a versatile actor, appearing in films like Beat Girl, Mix
Me A Person and 1975's Stardust opposite David Essex. In the 1970s he
played a Cockney ex-con in the TV series Budgie.
9 1745 ~ The first carillon was shipped from England to Boston, MA.
• 1910 ~ Samuel Barber, Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer
Read quotes by and about Barber
More information about Barber
• 1925 ~ Billy Ford, Singer with Billy & Lillie
• 1927 ~ John Beckwith, Canadian composer and music critic
• 1930 ~ Thomas Schippers, American conductor
• 1932 ~ Keely Smith (Dorothy Keely), Singer, was married to Louis Prima
• 1942 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded Well, Git It! for Victor
Records. Ziggy Elman was featured on the session which was recorded in
Hollywood. Sy Oliver arranged the Dorsey classic.
• 1974 ~ Many new musical faces were on the scene, including Terry Jacks, who was
starting week two of a three-week stay at the top of the pop charts with his
uplifting ditty, Seasons in the Sun. Other newcomers: Jefferson Starship,
Billy Joel, Kiss, Olivia Newton-John, Kool & the Gang and The Steve Miller Band.
• 1985 ~ The most requested movie in history, "Gone With The Wind", went on sale in
video stores across the U.S. for the first time. The tape cost buyers
$89.95. The film, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, cost $4.5 million
to produce and has earned over $400 million, making it one of the biggest
money-makers in motion picture history. "GWTW" is now the cornerstone of the
massive MGM film library owned by Ted Turner.
• 1986 ~ Bill Cosby broke Liberace´s long-standing record and earned the biggest
box-office gross in the 54-year history of Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
• 1993 ~ Bob Crosby passed away
• 2001 ~ Richard Stone, whose musical compositions for such popular cartoon shows
as "Animaniacs" and "Freakazoid" won him more than a half-dozen Emmys, died
Friday at the age of 47.
Stone grew up watching Warner Bros. "Looney Tunes" cartoons in the 1950s and '60s
before going on to study cello and music composition in college.
He not only emulated the style of Carl Stalling, who composed hundreds of musical
scores for classic Warner Bros. cartoons in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, but also
incorporated elements of jazz, Broadway, country and rock music into his work.
Stone also carved out his own style on modern-day shows, winning seven Emmys since
• 1994 for such cartoons as "Animaniacs," "Freakazoid" and "Histeria!"
He also worked on the cartoons "Pinky & the Brain," "Taz-Mania," "Road Rovers" and
"The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries" and scored several movies, including the cult
classics "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" and "Pumpkinhead."
10 1844 ~ Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist
• 1892 ~ Arthur Honegger, French composer
Read quotes by and about Honegger
More information about Honegger
1903 ~ "Bix" Beiderbecke, American jazz cornetist
More information about Beiderbecke
• 1935 ~ Nelson Eddy recorded Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life for Victor Records. The
song came from the film, "Naughty Marietta". Later, Eddy recorded the
classic tune with Jeanette MacDonald.
• 1937 ~ An audience of 21,000 jitterbuggers jammed the Paramount Theatre in New
York City to see a young clarinetist whom they would crown, King of Swing´
on this night. The popular musician was Benny Goodman.
• 1940 ~ W2XBS-TV in New York City originated the first televised opera as members
of the Metropolitan Opera Company presented scenes from "I Pagliacci".
• 1956 ~ Julie Andrews was 23 years old this night when she made her TV debut. She
appeared with Bing Crosby and Nancy Olson in the musical adaptation of
Maxwell Anderson´s play, "High Tor".
• 2003 ~ Lionel Dakers, who directed the Royal School of Church Music for 16 years,
died at age 79.
Dakers was a stickler for high musical standards and opposed some of the
modernizing trends in English church music.
Dakers was organist at Ripon Cathedral from 1954 to 1957, then moved to Exeter
Cathedral before his appointment as director of the Royal School of Church
Music in 1972. In 1976, he was appointed a director of Hymns Ancient & Modern,
publisher of some of the most widely used Anglican hymnals.
11 1851 ~ The first performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Rigoletto" was given in Venice.
• 1876 ~ Carl Ruggles, American composer
• 1897 ~ Henry Dixon Cowell, American composer
More information about Cowell
• 1903 ~ Lawrence Welk, American accordionist and conductor of "champagne" music
More information about Welk
• 1919 ~ Mercer Ellington, Trumpeter, bandleader, songwriter, only son of Duke Ellington.
He led the Duke´s band after he died.
• 1942 ~ Vaughn Monroe and his orchestra recorded the classic, Sleepy Lagoon. It
was the last song Monroe would record for Bluebird Records. Vaughn sang on
the track while Ray Conniff played trombone. Both later moved to different
record companies. Monroe went with RCA and Conniff to Columbia. The big-
voiced baritone of Monroe was regularly heard on radio and he was featured
in several movies in the 1950s. He died in May, 1973. Racing With the Moon
and Ghost Riders in the Sky were two of his greatest contributions to
• 1950 ~ Bobby McFerrin, Singer, pianist, jazz musician, songwriter, improvisational
solo, McFerrin can sing all vocal parts and imitate instruments.
• 1968 ~ Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for the single, (Sittin´
on) The Dock of the Bay. Redding was killed in a plane crash in Lake Monona
in Madison, WI on December 10, 1967. The song was recorded just three days
before his untimely death. He recorded 11 charted hit songs between 1965 and 1969.
Otis Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
• 1985 ~ DJs around the U.S. began questioning listeners to see which ones could
name the 46 pop music stars who appeared on the hit, We Are the World. The
song, airing first on this day as a single, contains a "Who´s Who" of
contemporary pop music.
• 2000 ~ Roy Henderson, a baritone famed for his performances of Frederick Delius'
works and a teacher of Kathleen Ferrier, died. He was 100.
• 2003 ~ Sidney Lippman, a songwriter who helped compose hits for Nat King Cole and
other artists, died. He was 89.
Lippman, who studied musical composition at the Juilliard School in New York,
wrote or co-wrote several well-known songs, including Too Young, a song Cole
took to the top of the charts in 1951.
That hit, co-written by longtime collaborator Sylvia Dee, came two years after
he teamed up with Buddy Kaye and Fred Wise on 'A' You're Adorable (The
Alphabet Song), a No. 1 hit performed by Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters.
12 1710 ~ Thomas Arne, English composer
More information about Arne
• 1890 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, Ukrainian ballet dancer
• 1921 ~ Gordon MacRae, Singer
• 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated his putting sound on motion picture film.
One of the pioneers of radio in the early 1900s, DeForest came up with a
snappy name for his invention; he called it phonofilm. Today, we call it a
• 1939 ~ Artie Shaw and his band recorded the standard, Deep Purple, in New York
for the Bluebird label. Listening carefully after the first minute or so,
one can hear Helen Forrest sing the vocal refrain. Larry Clinton and his
orchestra had a number one song with a similar arrangement of the same tune
that same year. It later was a hit for saxophonist, Nino Tempo and his
sister, April Stevens in 1963. Hundreds of versions of this song have been
recorded through the years, making it one of the most popular standards of
• 1940 ~ Al Jarreau, Singer
• 1946 ~ Liza Minnelli, American actress and singer of
More information about Minnelli
• 1948 ~ James Taylor, American folk-rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist
• 1955 ~ Charlie Parker, influential U.S. jazz saxophonist, died.
• 1955 ~ One of the great groups of jazz appeared for the first time at Carnegie
Hall in New York City. The Dave Brubeck Quartet presented a magnificent
concert for jazz fans.
1969 ~ Wedding bells rang in London for singer, Paul McCartney and his new bride,
photographer, Linda Eastman.
• 1985 ~ Eugene Ormandy, U.S. conductor, died.
He directed the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1936-1980 and was especially
noted for his performances of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovitch.
• 1987 ~ The famous musical play "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo opened on Broadway in New York.
• 1991 ~ Jimmy McPartland passed away
• 1993 ~ June Valli passed away
• 1999 ~ World-famous violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin died in Berlin.
13 1860 ~ Hugo Wolf, Austrian composer
Read quotes by and about Wolf
More information about Wolf
• 1890 ~ Fritz Busch, German composer
• 1910 ~ Sammy Kaye, Bandleader, Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye
• 1914 ~ Bobby Haggart, Bass with these groups: Bob Cats; Peanuts Hucko´s Pied
Piper Quintet, Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band, composer
• 1916 ~ Ina Ray Hutton (Odessa Cowan), Tap dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies,
pianist, bandleader, singer and actress
• 1918 ~ Tessie O´Shea, Singer, actress
• 1923 ~ Red Garland, Jazz musician, reeds, pianist
• 1926 ~ Roy Haynes, Modern jazz drummer, bandleader
• 1930 ~ Liz Anderson (Haaby), Country singer, songwriter, mother of country/pop singer
• 1932 ~ Jan Howard, Country singer, toured with Carter sisters
• 1933 ~ Mike Stoller, Record producer, songwriter with Jerry Leiber
• 1934 ~ Dick Katz, Pianist, composer with the Tony Scott Quartet, J.J. Johnson & Kai
• 1939 ~ Neil Sedaka, American songwriter and singer of popular music
• 1942 ~ Bing Crosby and Mary Martin were heard having a bit of fun as they joined
together to record Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie for Decca Records.
More about Mary Martin
• 1946 ~ Thomas Frederick Dunhill passed away
• 1947 ~ The musical "Brigadoon" opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City.
The show ran for 581 performances and was later staged in London (1949).
Memorable melodies from "Brigadoon" include I´ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean,
The Heather on the Hill, Come to Me, Bend to Me, Almost Like Being in
Love and There but for You Go I.
• 1949 ~ Donald York, Singer with Sha Na Na
• 1960 ~ Adam Clayton, Musician with U2
• 1968 ~ The Byrds received a gold record for the album, "Greatest Hits", which
featured Turn! Turn! Turn!, written by Pete Seeger (excerpted from the
Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible).
The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
• 1972 ~ The Merv Griffin Show, starring perennial game show and late-night TV
host, singer and pianist, Merv Griffin, debuted in syndication for
Metromedia Television. Joining Merv were sidekick, Arthur Treacher and Mort
Lindsey and his orchestra. Griffin had a number one song with the Freddy
Martin Orchestra in the 1940s. I´ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts launched
him to fame and fortune.
• 1976 ~ The Four Seasons, featuring the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli, returned
to the pop charts after a 10-year absence. The group scored with December,
1963 (Oh, What A Night), which became the top song in the country.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
14 1681 ~ Georg Philipp Telemann, German composer
One of the leading composers of the German Baroque, Georg Philipp Telemann was
immensely prolific and highly influential. He wrote an opera at age 12, produced
it at school, and sang the lead. His mother put all his instruments away and
forbade further music. However, he continued to study and write in secret. He
led a remarkably busy life in Hamburg, teaching, composing two cantatas for each
Sunday, leading a collegium, and writing immense amounts of additional music.
For two centuries musical scholars tended to look down on him by comparison with
Bach, but from the midpoint of the twentieth century his reputation soared as
musicologists began cataloging his immense output, uncovering masterpiece after
More information about Telemann
• 1727 ~ Johann Gottlieb Goldberg
• 1804 ~ Johann Strauss, Sr., Austrian composer; "The Father of the Waltz"
Read quotes by and about Strauss
More information about Strauss
• 1864 ~ (John Luther) Casey Jones, railroad engineer, subject of The Ballad of
Casey Jones, killed in train crash Apr 30, 1900
• 1879 ~ Albert Einstein, Mathematician and enthusiastic amateur violininst
Read quotes by and about Einstein
• 1885 ~ "The Mikado,' the comic operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, premiered at
the Savoy Theater, London.
• 1912 ~ Les Brown, Bandleader, Les Brown and His Band of Renown
• 1922 ~ Les Baxter, Bandleader
• 1931 ~ Phil Phillips (Baptiste), Singer
• 1933 ~ Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., American jazz composer, trumpeter,
band leader and pianist. He composed film scores, TV show themes; record
producer; arranger; 25 Grammys, Grammy´s Trustees Award in 1989, Grammy´s
Legends Award in 1990; Musical Director for Mercury Records, then VP;
established Qwest Records
• 1934 ~ Shirley Scott, Swinging, blues-oriented organist, recorded mostly with
former husband Stanley Turrentine
• 1941 ~ Years before Desi Arnaz would make the song Babalu popular on the I Love
Lucy TV show, Xavier Cugat and his orchestra recorded it with Miguelito
Valdes doing the vocal. The song was on Columbia Records, as was the
Arnaz version years later.
• 1945 ~ Walter Parazaider, Reeds with Chicago
• 1955 ~ Boon Gould, Guitarist with Level 42
• 1958 ~ The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the first
gold record. It was Perry Como's Catch A Falling Star on RCA Victor Records.
The tune became the first to win million-seller certification, though other
songs dating as far back as the 1920s may have sold a million records or
More. Due to lack of a certification organization like the RIAA, they
weren´t awarded the golden platter.
The next three gold records that were certified after Perry Como´s million
seller were the 45 rpm recordings of He´s Got the Whole World in His Hands
by Laurie London, Patricia, an instrumental by the Mambo King´, Perez Prado
and Hard Headed Woman by Elvis Presley. The first gold-album certification
went to the soundtrack of the motion picture, Oklahoma!, featuring Gordon
Is there really a gold record inside the wooden frame presented to winners?
Those who know say, No. Its a gold-leaf veneer of maybe 18 kt. gold and/or
it is a record painted gold. Yes, the song earning the award is supposed
to be the one making up the gold record, but this is not always the case,
according to several artists who have tried to play theirs.
• 1959 ~ Elvis Presley made the album charts, but no one would have known by the
title of the disk. For LP Fans Only was the first LP ever issued without the
artist´s name to be found anywhere on the cover -- front or back.
• 1976 ~ Busby Berkeley, U.S. director and choreographer, died. He was best known
for his lavish mass choreography in the films "42nd Street," "Gold Diggers
of 1933" and "Roman Scandals."
• 1985 ~ Bill Cosby captured four People´s Choice Awards for The Cosby Show. The
awards were earned from results of a nationwide Gallup Poll. Barbara
Mandrell stunned the audience by announcing that she was pregnant while
accepting her second award on the show. Bob Hope won the award as All-Time
Entertainer beating Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra for the honor.
15 1873 ~ Lee Shubert, Broadway producer
theatres in NY and LA named after him. He died in 1953
• 1907 ~ Jimmy McPartland, Jazz musician: cornetist; played for the
Wolverine Orchestra, Embassy Four; bandleader; played at Newport Jazz
Festival with wife, Marian
• 1916 ~ Harry James, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader,
married to Betty Grable (second of four wives)
• 1933 ~ Cecil Taylor, American jazz pianist and composer
• 1944 ~ Sly Stone, American soul-rock singer and instrumentalist
• 1959 ~ The musical, No Strings, opened on Broadway at the 54th Street Theatre.
Richard Kiley and Diahann Carroll starred in the show. Also featured was
the show´s composer in an acting role, singing his own lyrics. The
composer was Richard Rodgers.
• 1968 ~ LIFE magazine called Jimi Hendrix, "the most spectacular guitarist in the world."
• 1987 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Starlight Express" opened on Broadway.
This was the first ever roller-skating musical.
• 1964 ~ My Fair Lady, by Lerner and Loewe,
opened on Broadway. It ran for 6-1/2 years before 2,717 audiences. It became,
thanks to Rex Harrison and an outstanding cast, the longest-running musical to that time.
• 1970 ~ The musical, Purlie, opened a run of 680 continuous performances on Broadway.
• 2001 ~ Ann Sothern died at the age of 92. She was an actress who starred as
the saucy, liberated showgirl in MGM's "Masie" movies during the 1940s and
played single working women on TV in "Private Secretary" and "The Ann
16 1736 ~ Giovanni Battista Pergolesi died
• 1924 ~ Christa Ludwig, German mezzo-soprano
• 1935 ~ Theresa Berganza, Spanish mezzo-soprano
• 1937 ~ David Del Tredici, American composer
• 1942 ~ Fats Waller recorded The Jitterbug Waltz in New York for Bluebird Records.
• 1955 ~ The Ballad of Davy Crockett, by Bill Hayes, reached the number one
spot on the pop music charts and stayed for five weeks beginning this
day. The smash hit song sold more than 7,000,000 records on more than
• 20 different labels. Everyone seemed to be singing the song that saluted
the frontier hero who was "Born on a mountain top in Tennessee..."
Coonskin caps were seen everywhere as the Crockett craze spread like a
• 1963 ~ Peter, Paul and Mary released the single, Puff The Magic Dragon.
• 1971 ~ Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water LP and single won six
Grammys including Record, Song and Album of the Year.
Aretha Franklin won the Best Female R&B Performance Grammy for Don't Play That Song.
B.B. King won the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for The Thrill Is Gone.
• 1983 ~ Arthur Godfrey passed away
• 1985 ~ A Chorus Line played performance number 4,000 this night at New York´s
famed Shubert Theatre. The show originally opened in July, 1975, and
became the longest-running show to light up the Great White Way
in September, 1983.
• 1999 ~ Honoring a roster of music artists that range from The Beatles to the
Backstreet Boys, the Recording Industry Association of America presented the
first Diamond Awards, given in recognition of albums and singles that have
sold a million copies or more.
• 1999 ~ Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and the late Roosevelt Sykes were inducted into
the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.
17 Happy Saint Patrick's Day
• 1901 ~ Alfred Newman, Conductor
More information about Newman
• 1917 ~ Nat "King" Cole, American jazz singer and pianist
More information about Cole
• 1930 ~ Paul Horn, American jazz flutist, saxophonist, clarinetist
More information about Horn
• 1938 ~ Rudolf Nureyev, Dancer
More information about Nureyev
• 1944 ~ John Sebastian, American pop-rock singer songwriter and
guitarist, His group, The Lovin´ Spoonful performed Do You Believe
In Magic, Summer In The City, Daydream, You Didn´t Have to be So
Nice, Nashville Cats
His solos include Darling Be Home Soon and Welcome Back
18 1842 ~ Stephane Mallarme, French Symbolist poet, born.
His "L'Apres-midi d'un Faune" inspired composer Claude Debussy to
write an orchestral prelude of the same name.
• 1844 ~ Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer
More information about Rimsky-Korsakov
• 1882 ~ Gian Francesco Malipiero, Italian composer and musicologist
• 1902 ~ Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company.
The recording session took place in Milan, Italy and Caruso
walked away with $500 for his effort.
• 1910 ~ Hold on to your hats! The opera, Pipe of Desire, was
first performed this day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New
York City. Frederick Sheperd Converse wrote the work that turned
out to be the first opera by an American composer to be performed at the Met.
• 1940 ~ Glen Gray and his orchestra recorded No Name Jive on Decca Records.
• 1941 ~ Wilson Pickett, American soul singer and songwriter;
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
• 1959 ~ Irene Cara, Singer and actress
• 1963 ~ Vanessa Williams, Singer and actress
• 1967 ~ The day The Beatles, Penny Lane went gold
• 1970 ~ Brook Benton received a gold record for the hit single, Rainy Night in Georgia.
It was Benton´s first hit since 1963´s Hotel Happiness.
• 1978 ~ The Bee Gees started an eight-week stay at the top of the pop
music charts with Night Fever from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
• 2001 ~ John Phillips died at the age of 65. He was the singer-songwriter who
founded the 1960s pop act the Mamas the Papas.
19 1872 ~ Sergei Diaghilev, Russian impresario;
founder of the Ballets Russes
More information about Diaghilev
• 1873 ~ Max Reger, German composer
Read quotes by and about Reger
More information about Reger
• 1917 ~ Dinu Lipatti, Rumanian pianist and composer
More information about Lipatti
• 1930 ~ Ornette Coleman, American jazz alto saxophonist and composer
More information about Coleman
• 1941 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded one of their biggest musical successes.
It became one of Decca Records´ all-time greats. Green Eyes featured
vocalists Helen O´Connell and Bob Eberly.
• 1946 ~ Ruth Pointer, Singer from The Pointer Sisters
• 2001 ~ Cuba-born entertainer Tony Alvarez of "El Show de Olga y Tony" died at age
Alvarez was best known for the television and radio programs he hosted with
his wife, singer Olga Chorens.
He began his career in Cuba in the 1940s as a singer and model, starring in a
tango program on Channel Azul.
In the 1960s, Alvarez and Chorens moved to Puerto Rico, where they began "El
Show de Olga y Tony." They later moved to New York, where they performed on
WABC-TV, WPIX-TV and WNJU-TV from 1965 to 1972.
• 2001 ~ Elena Del Rubio, whose 60-year singing career with her sisters as the Del Rubio
Triplets got a boost with campy covers of 1980s tunes, died of cancer. She was
believed to be in her 70s.
"It was a terrible blow to me," said Milly, the only surviving sister. "Now I'm
Another triplet, Eadie, died in 1996. The sisters lived together in a mobile home
overlooking the ocean.
The trio that promoted itself as "3 Gals 3 Guitars 1 Birthday" performed for six
decades in showcases ranging from television comedy to retirement homes.
The three were in their 60s when they hit the Hollywood scene, dressed in identical
miniskirts, go-go boots and big blonde hairdos.
Calling themselves "song stylists," the sisters' diverse acts included mariachi
strolling, country western music, Hawaiian-Calypso and holiday theme music.
• 2001 ~ Randall Hylton, a bluegrass performer who wrote Room at the Top of the Stairs,
died in St. Thomas Hospital after suffering an aneurysm. He was 55.
Hylton, who played guitar in the fingerpicking style of Chet Atkins and Merle
Travis, was known for his ability to instantly write songs to fit any
occasion. The 6-foot-6-inch performer also told jokes, did impersonations
and could do guitar tricks, such as playing a song backward or two songs at
Hylton's songs were performed by more than 150 singers, including Ralph
Stanley, Vern Gosdin, Mac Wiseman, Leo Kottke and Lester Flatt.
• 2001 ~ Herbie Jones, a jazz musician who worked with Duke Ellington and
Billy Strayhorn, died of complications from diabetes. He was 74.
Jones, a jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator, toured five continents
with the Ellington band. His recorded arrangements for the band were El Busto,
Cootie's Caravan, The Prowling Cat and The Opener, and he contributed
to Ellington's first and second Sacred Concerts.
After leaving the Ellington band, Jones became the first director of Arts and
Culture Inc., a New York City alternative school, and as a volunteer directed the
Bugle Corps of the Police Athletic League in Harlem.
In Ellington's 1973 memoir, "Music Is My Mistress," he called Jones "a great
asset" to his orchestra in the 1960s. Jones often played first trumpet but
20 1828 ~ Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright. He wrote Peer Gynt,
which Grieg later set to music.
• 1890 ~ Lauritz Melchior, Danish-born American tenor
More information about Melchior
• 1890 ~ Beniamino Gigli, Italian operatic tenor, born; with a repertory of over 60
roles, he retired in 1955 after over 40 years singing.
• 1907 ~ Ozzie Nelson, Bandleader, actor in The Adventures of Ozzie and
Harriet. He was married to actress, Harriet Nelson and they were
the parents of David and Ricky Nelson.
• 1915 ~ Sviatoslav Richter, Russian pianist
More information about Richter
• 1917 ~ Dame Vera Lynn, English singer and sweetheart of British forces during World War Two
• 1920 ~ Marian McPartland, British jazz pianist
More information about McPartland
• 1936 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded Christopher Columbus on
Victor Records in Chicago, IL.
• 1948 ~ Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
were featured in the first televised symphonic concert. CBS-TV, with help
from its then Philadelphia television station, WCAU-TV 10, carried the
program from the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the home of the world-
famous orchestra. The concert was televised live, at 5 p.m. Ninety minutes
later, NBC-TV carried TV´s second symphonic concert. This one was from
Carnegie Hall in New York City. Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony
Orchestra was featured in a presentation of Wagner compositions.
• 1969 ~ Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono
at the Rock of Gibraltar on this day. Lennon called the location,
"quiet, friendly and British." He was the second Beatle to marry in
eight days. Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman were wed a week earlier.
21 1685 ~ Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer
Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor (listen to
it in the Listening Center)
was featured in the Walt Disney movie Fantasia
and the new Fantasia 2000
Listen to Bach's music
Read quotes by and about Bach
More information about Bach
• 1839 ~ Modeste Mussorgsky, Russian composer
More information about Mussorgsky
• 1869 ~ Florenz Ziegfeld, Producer, Ziegfeld Follies ~ annual variety shows famous
for the Ziegfeld Girls from 1907 to the 1930s
More information about Ziegfeld
• 1882 ~ Bascom (Lamar) Lunsford, Appalachian folk song writer, started first folk
music festival in 1928 ~ annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at
Asheville, N.C. He was responsible for formation of the National Clogging
and Hoedown Council.
• 1921 ~ Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist
• 1934 ~ Franz Schreker, Austrian composer and conductor, died
• 1939 ~ God Bless America, written by Irving Berlin back in 1918 as a tribute by a
successful immigrant to his adopted country, was recorded by Kate Smith
for Victor Records on this day in 1939.
Ms. Smith first introduced the song on Armistice Day, November 11, 1938,
at the New York World´s Fair. It was a fitting tribute to its composer, who
gave all royalties from the very popular and emotional song to the Boy
Scouts. The song became Kate Smith's second signature after When the
Moon Comes Over the Mountain and the second national anthem of the
United States of America.
On several occasions, it has even been suggested that the U.S. Congress
enact a bill changing the national anthem to God Bless America.
• 1941 ~ Singer Paula Kelly joined Glenn Miller's band. Her husband, also a part of
the Miller organization, was one of the four singing Modernaires.
• 1955 ~ NBC-TV presented the first "Colgate Comedy Hour". The show was designed to
stop the Sunday popularity of Ed Sullivan’s "Toast of the Town" on CBS.
Gordon MacRae, the Gabor sisters and Mama Gabor, in addition to a host of
singers and dancers were in the opening program with the gangway of the
nation’s biggest ship, the "S.S. United States" as the stage. In addition to
MacRae, other hosts of the "Colgate Comedy Hour" included: Fred Allen, Donald
O’Connor, Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante.
• 1961 ~ The Beatles made their debut in an appearance at Liverpool´s Cavern Club,
where they became regulars in a matter of months.
• 1963 ~ A year after opening in the Broadway show, I Can Get It for You
Wholesale, Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand tied the matrimonial knot.
• 1964 ~ Singer Judy Collins made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City and
established herself "in the front rank of American balladeers." She would
first hit the Top 40 in 1968 with Both Sides Now, a Joni Mitchell song. Her
versions of Amazing Grace and Send In the Clowns also became classics.
• 1970 ~ The Beatles established a new record. Let It Be entered the
Billboard chart at number six. This was the highest debuting position
ever for a record. Let It Be reached number two a week later and made
it to the top spot on April 11, overshadowing Simon & Garfunkel's
Bridge over Troubled Water.
• 1998 ~ Galina Ulanova, the leading ballerina at the Bolshoi Theater for nearly
two decades, died aged 88.
• 2000 ~ Jean Howard, a Ziegfeld girl-turned-starlet who
became known as a legendary Hollywood hostess and photographer, died at the
age of 89.
She wasn't interested in becoming a film star. Instead, she came to
wield power as favorite Hollywood hostess and photographer, turning her
portraits into the books "Jean Howard's Hollywood" in 1989 and "Travels With
Cole Porter" in 1991.
• 2005 ~ Legendary cabaret singer Bobby Short, an icon of old-world style who
played for more than three decades at New York's Carlyle Hotel, died
at the age of 80.
22 1687 ~ Jean Baptiste Lully, French composer, died.
• 1842 ~ Carl August Nicolas Rosa, German violinist and composer. In 1873 he
founded the Carl Rosa Opera Company.
• 1865 ~ Theophile Ysaye
• 1868 ~ Hamish Maccunn
• 1911 ~ Herman Jadlowker became the first opera singer to
perform two major roles in the same day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
• 1925 ~ The first Japanese radio station, Tokyo Shibaura, began broadcasting.
• 1930 ~ Stephen Sondheim, American composer
and lyricist of musicals
More information about Sondheim
• 1936 ~ Glen Campbell, Singer and studio guitarist
• 1937 ~ Johnny Ferguson, Singer
• 1943 ~ Keith Relf,Recording artist of The Yardbirds
• 1943 ~ George Benson, American jazz and pop guitarist and singer
• 1944 ~ Jeremy Clyde, Singer with Chad & Jeremy
• 1947 ~ Harry Vanda, Guitarist with The Easybeats
• 1948 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer
More information about Lloyd Webber
• 1948 ~ Randy Hobbs, Bass with The McCoys
• 1948 ~ The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be
carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.
• 1956 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the play, Mr. Wonderful, in New York City. The
critics were unkind, saying that they didn´t care for the production.
Audiences, however, gave it 'thumbs up' and the show went on to
be one of Broadway´s more popular musicals -- catapulting Davis into the
limelight. His father had already launched him into the vaudeville spotlight
when Sammy was just three years old. By the time he was Mr. Wonderful, Sammy
Davis, Jr. had played vaudeville and the nightclub circuit singing and
dancing his way to the top over a twenty-eight-year period. He entertained
us for sixty-two years!
1956 ~ Perry Como became the first major TV variety-show host to book a rock and
roll act on his program. The 'Incomparable Mr. C.' booked Carl Perkins for
the show and Perkins sang Blue Suede Shoes.
1962 ~ The play, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, opened on Broadway. It featured a
• 19-year-old named Barbra Streisand. She stopped the show at the famed
Shubert Theatre in New York City. Streisand starred as Miss Marmelstein.
Audiences kept coming back for more of Barbra for 300 performances.
• 1980 ~ Pink Floyd started a 4-week run in the #1 slot on the pop charts with their
smash, Another Brick in the Wall. When the boys popped open their gold record
and threw it on the stereo, they heard Flowers on the Wall by the Statler
23 1743 ~ It was the first London performance of Handel´s
"Messiah", and King King George II was in the audience. In the middle of the
"Hallelujah Chorus, the King rose to his feet in appreciation of the great piece!
The entire audience followed suit out of respect for the King. And so began the
custom of standing during the singing of the "Hallelujah Chorus".
More about Handel's Messiah
• 1750 ~ Johann Matthias Sperger
• 1878 ~ Franz Schreker, Austrian composer and conductor
• 1887 ~ Anthony von Hoboken, Dutch music bibliographer; cataloguer of
the works of Haydn
• 1917 ~ Johnny Guarnieri, Pianist, played with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw; played at
the Tail O´ The Cock in LA for a decade
• 1926 ~ Martha Wright (Wiederrecht), Singer on The Martha Wright Show
• 1927 ~ Régine Crespin, French soprano
• 1949 ~ Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek), Guitarist, singer with The Cars
• 1953 ~ Chaka Khan (Yvette Marie Stevens), Singer
• 1966 ~ Marti Pellow (Mark McLoughlin), Singer with Wet, Wet, Wet
• 1974 ~ Cher reached the top of the music charts as Dark Lady reached the #1 spot
for a one-week stay. Other artists who shared the pop music spotlight during
that time included: Terry Jacks, John Denver, Blue Swede, Elton John and MFSB.
• 1985 ~ Singer Billy Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley in private ceremonies
held in New York City.
• 1985 ~ Zoot (John Haley) Sims passed away
• 1985 ~ We Are the World, by USA for Africa, a group of 46 pop stars, entered the
music charts for the first time at number 21.
• 2000 ~ Ed McCurdy, a leading 1950s folk music figure whose songs were recorded
by Johnny Cash, Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez, in Halifax, Novia Scotia. He
24 1808 ~ María Felicità Malibran, Spanish contralto
• 1900 ~ June (Algeria Junius) Clark, Musician, trumpeter
• 1916 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish composer, died in the English Channel.
Best known for his piano suite "Goyescas" after paintings by Goya.
• 1920 ~ Gene Nelson (Eugene Leander Berg), Actor, dancer in Lullaby of Broadway,
Oklahoma, Tea for Two, The West Point Story
• 1922 ~ Dave Appell, Arranger for big bands: Benny Carter, Earl Fatha´ Hines; TV music
director, record producer, singer, songwriter, musician with Dave Appell and the
• 1928 ~ Byron Janis (Yanks), American pianist, NBC Symphony Orchestra; well-known piano
performance on Hugo Winterhalter's Rhapsody in Blue
recording, composed by George Gershwin.
• 1935 ~ After a year as a local show from New York City, "Major Bowes´ Original Amateur
Hour" was heard on the entire NBC radio network. The show stayed on the air for
• 17 years. Later, Ted Mack took over for Bowes and made the move from radio to
• 1937 ~ Benjamin Luxon, British baritone
• 1941 ~ Glenn Miller began work on his first motion picture for 20th
Century Fox. The film was Sun Valley Serenade.
• 1958 ~ Elvis Presley reported to local draft board 86 in Memphis, TN. He
became US 53310761. Oddly, since Elvis was now 'government property'
serving his time in the Army, Uncle Sam stood to lose an estimated
$500,000 in lost taxes each year that Private Presley was in the Army.
• 1980 ~ Capitol Records released some rare Beatles tracks. Included in the
album were stereo versions of Penny Lane and She Loves You, sung by
the group in German, under the title, Sie Liebt Dich. Also included
was a German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand or, in the Teutonic
tongue, Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.
• 2000 ~ French Quarter pianist and chanteuse Lily Simha Hood, whose fans included
Tennessee Williams, died of kidney failure. She was cagey about revealing
her age, and her husband asked that the secret remain with her death.
Her musical career began on a whim. After dinner one night in 1976, the
Hoods and a friend stopped at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, a Bourbon Street
bar across from their house. Mrs. Hood played a few tunes on the piano for
her friend and was hired on the spot, even though she wasn't looking for a
Soon, "Miss Lily" had a crowd of regulars including Tennessee Williams,
who would bring in a songbook for her to sing from.
Mrs. Hood never formally studied the piano and never learned to read
music. She was self-taught and learned by listening. She performed at
Lafitte's for 16 years, but health problems ended her career about 1993.
25 1699 ~ Johann Adolph Hasse
• 1784 ~ François-Joseph Fetis
• 1867 ~ Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor and musical director. Famed
for his temper in rehearsals, he was director of La Scala and the
Metropolitan opera houses. He also conducted the NBC symphony orchestra.
With a career spanned 68 years, he was a cellist at age 19
Read quotes by and about Toscanini
More information on Toscanini
• 1881 ~ Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer and pianist, born. His knowledge of western musical
techniques allied to the inspiration he derived from Hungarian peasant songs
enabled him to become a unique musical force.
More information about Bartók
• 1903 ~ Grammy winner
Frankie Carle (Carlone), Pianist and bandleader
More about Carle
• 1913 ~ The Palace Theatre opened its doors in New York City.
Ed Wynn was first on the vaudeville bill. Some 20 years later, Wynn
would be named as radio´s top entertainer. He later became popular on television, as well.
• 1918 ~ Claude Debussy, French composer, died. His music, described as "musical
Impressionism", explored original avenues of expression.
• 1931 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis, for
Brunswick Records. Both Kemp and Ennis sang in the Dorsey Brothers
Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Eugene Ormandy
(later, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra).
The pair were part of the orchestra vocal quartet that also featured Nye Mayhew and
Saxey Dowell in 1928.
• 1934 ~ Johnny Burnette, The Master´, singer, brother of singer Dorsey Burnette
• 1938 ~ Hoyt Axton, Singer, musician and songwriter. Axton´s mother, Mae Boren
Axton, wrote Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel
• 1940 ~ Anita Bryant, Singer
• 1942 ~ Aretha Franklin, American soul singer, known as the "Queen of Soul" and "Lady
Soul", she won 15 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame (1987)
• 1947 ~ Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Entertainer
More information about John
• 1948 ~ Kelly Garrett, Actress, singer
• 1949 ~ Neil Jones, Musician with Amen Corner
• 1951 ~ Maizie Williams, Singer with Boney M
• 1965 ~ Sarah Jessica Parker, Actress, dancer (Cincinnati Ballet Theatre,
American Ballet Theatre) and opera singer. She appeard in Hansel and
Gretel, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci and Parade.
• 1966 ~ Jeff Healey, Guitarist, singer, songwriter with the Jeff Healey Band, CBC radio
show: My Kind of Jazz
• 1971 ~ Tom Jones went gold with his single, She´s a Lady.
• 1972 ~ The group, America, rode to the top of the pop music charts with
their LP, America, and the single (included on the LP), A Horse with No
Name. A Horse With No Name would be the group´s only gold record.
26 1827 ~ Germany, German composer Ludwig van Beethoven
died in Vienna. Beethoven is considered one of the greatest
western composers ever. He composed many of his finest works after he had
become totally deaf.
• 1828 ~ Austria, Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, performed his one
and only public concert in the capital city of Vienna.
• 1871 ~ François-Joseph Fetis died
• 1918 ~ Cesar Cui, Composer, died
More information about Cui
• 1925 ~ Pierre Boulez, French composer and conductor. His later work,
notably "Le Marteau sans maitre," gained him a worldwide reputation.
More information on Boulez
• 1921 ~ Joe Loco (Jose Esteves, Jr.), Jazz musician, arranger, credited with
introducing the mambo (1951) and cha-cha-cha (1953) to the US
• 1925 ~ Pierre Boulez, Conductor of Pierre Boulez and his Ensemble Intercontemporain,
played for Frank Zappa
• 1929 ~ Maurice Simon, Jazz musician, tenor sax
• 1940 ~ Rod Lauren, Singer
• 1941 ~ Jimmy Lunceford and his orchestra recorded the tune, Battle Axe, for Decca
Records. Lunceford began with the Chickasaw Syncopaters, a 10-piece band, in the
late 1920s. By 1934, he would add names like Sy Oliver, Willie Smith, Earl
Caruthers, Joe Thomas, Al Norris, Moses Allen, and James Crawford to form
orchestras that would entertain through the mid-1940s.
• 1944 ~ Diana Ross (Diane Earle), American pop soul singer with The Supremes
• 1948 ~ Richard Tandy, Bass with Electric Light Orchestra
• 1948 ~ Steven Tyler (Tallarico), Singer with Aerosmith
• 1949 ~ Vicki Lawrence, Emmy Award-winning actress, singer
• 1949 ~ Fran Sheehan, Bass with Boston
• 1950 ~ Teddy Pendergrass, American soul singer, songwriter and drummer
• 1974 ~ David Essex received a gold record for the hit, Rock On. Though a million
seller, Rock On never made it to number one on the pop-rock charts -
stalling at number five. It was on the charts for a total of 14 weeks. Essex
portrayed the role of Christ in the London production of Godspell. He
starred in several British films in 1970.
1975 ~ Tommy, the film based on the rock opera by the group, The Who, premiered in London.
27 1851 ~ (Paul-Marie-Theodore) Vincent d'Indy, French composer and conductor
More information about d'Indy
• 1868 ~ Patty Smith Hill, songwriter, with Mildred Hill, composers of
Happy Birthday To You. It's first title was Good Morning to All
• 1892 ~ Ferde Grofe, Composer
More information about Grofe
• 1914 ~ Snooky Lanson (Roy Landman), Singer, vocalist on Your Hit Parade on radio and TV
• 1920 ~ Richard Hayman, Musician, house conductor for Mercury Records, harmonica player
• 1924 ~ Sarah Vaughan, The Divine One´, American jazz singer,
pianist, she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989
• 1927 ~ Mstislav Rostropovich, Soviet cellist and conductor
More information about Rostropovich
• 1931 ~ Burt Collins, Jazz musician, trumpet, flugel horn, played with Jess Roden Band,
Lalo Schifrin, T. Rex
• 1945 ~ Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded the classic, It´s Only
a Paper Moon for Decca Records.
• 1947 ~ Tom Sullivan, Singer, composer
• 1950 ~ Tony Banks, Keyboards with Genesis
• 1950 ~ Jazz pianist Erroll Garner became one of the first jazz instrumentalists to
give a solo concert. He played the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH. In 1954,
Garner would gain international applause for writing and recording a
standard that has been presented many times since: Misty. Johnny Mathis and
Sarah Vaughan are but two of many recording artists to offer vocal
renditions of this renowned Garner composition. Play Misty for me.
• 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded I´m a Fool to Want You for Columbia.
• 1958 ~ CBS Laboratories announced a new stereophonic record that was playable on
ordinary LP phonographs, meaning, monaural. In stereo, on the proper
equipment, a new rich and fuller sound was heard. It eventually became a
standard for record and equipment buyers.
• 1959 ~ Andrew Farriss, Keyboards with INXS
• 1967 ~ Pop hit Happy Together by The Turtles became the No. 1 song in America.
• 1970 ~ Mariah Carey. Grammy Award-winning singer. She has sold more than 120
million albums and singles since her debut in 1990, only artist with a #1
single in every year of the 1990s. She has spent more weeks at #1 than any
• 1971 ~ Janis Joplin started her second (and final) week at the top of the pop
music charts with the hit, Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson.
• 1975 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, English composer and Master of the Queen's Music, died.
28 1880 ~ Rosina Lhevinne, Piano Teacher
• 1881 ~ Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, died from alcoholism. Best
known for his "Pictures from an Exhibition" and the opera "Boris Godunov."
1890 ~ Paul Whiteman, Bandleader, Washboard Blues, Ol´ Man River, Felix
the Cat, Heartache and Ain´t Misbehavin´
• 1903 ~ Rudolph Serkin, Austrian concert pianist: "An artist of unusual
and impressive talents in possession of a crystalline technique,
plenty of power, delicacy, and tone pure and full."
"A masterly musician ... a scholar of profound art without
pedantry, with the loftiest conceptions of beauty, whose every
thought and emotion is for the glory of his art."
• 1905 ~ Frances Clark, Music Educator
• 1915 ~ Jay Livingston, Composer
More about Jay Livingston
• 1923 ~ Thad Jones (Thaddeus Joseph Jones), Trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, played with
Count Basie, Thelonious Monk; bandleader for Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra,
• 1930 ~ Robert Ashley, American composer
• 1930 ~ Eric Dixon, Saxophonist/flutist with the Count Basie orchestra
• 1930 ~ Bill Anthony, Jazz musician, bass
• 1939 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Three Little Fishies for
• 1942 ~ Samuel Ramey, American bass
• 1943 ~ Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer and virtuoso pianist, died in
California; best known for his piano concertos and his Rhapsody on a theme
• 1944 ~ WQXR radio in New York City, owned by The New York Times
newspaper, banned singing commercials from its airwaves as of
this day. Understandable, since the station has always been the
classical music voice of Manhattan and there aren´t many
classical singing commercials.
• 1945 ~ Chuck Portz, Bass with the The Turtles
• 1947 ~ Barry Miles, Musician: keyboardist
• 1949 ~ Milan Williams, Keyboards, drums, trombone, guitar with Commodores
• 1955 ~ Reba (Nell) McEntire, Multi Grammy, CMA, ACM Award-winning singer
• 1964 ~ Radio Caroline debuted as the first pirate radio station to
broadcast off the coast of England. On this day in 1964, the
combination of rock music and lively disk jockey patter played to
a huge audience in Great Britain; but well out of reach of
British authorities. However, that didn´t stop them from trying,
albeit unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station ship. Radio
Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually dull
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Today, all that is different, as there is licensed radio
competition throughout Great Britain. The BBC and the giant,
government-owned network has caught up with the times by offering
five different services to appeal to wide audiences. They are
simply known as Radio 1´ through Radio 5´ ... No Zees´, Qs´
or Bees´, just numbers that include a rock channel, a talk
channel, a nostalgia/easy listening channel, a classical/fine
arts channel and a news channel.
• 1969 ~ Joe Cocker played his first American concert. He entertained
fans at Billy Graham´s Fillmore East in New York City.
• 1974 ~ The group, Blue Swede, received a gold record for the single,
Hooked on a Feeling.
• 1974 ~ Dorothy Fields passed away
• 1980 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes passed away
• 1981 ~ The group, Blondie, featuring Debbie Harry, received a gold
record for the tune, Rapture. At the time, the pop~rock hit was
perched at the top of the pop music charts. Blondie had eight
charted hits. Four of them were million sellers, beginning with
their first release, Heart of Glass in 1979. Four of the eight
hits were number one on the charts, as well.
• 1985 ~ Roger Waters of Pink Floyd made radio history. His Radio City
Music Hall concert in New York was broadcast live using a new
high-tech sound system called holophonics´. It is said to have
recreated the stage experience in amazing detail.
• 1986 ~ More than 6,000 radio stations of all format varieties (even
Muzak) played We are the World simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST.
The promotion became part of the biggest participatory event in
history by linking a human chain of millions of people from sea
to sea. Ken Kragen was the promotion genius behind the plan that
raised millions of dollars and created awareness for the African
famine relief project.
• 2001 ~ Moe Koffman, one of Canada's best known jazz musicians, died of cancer at
the age of 72.
Koffman, whose best known for his flute piece, Swinging Shepherd Blues, was
inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
He was for decades a regular fixture at the modest Toronto jazz club,
George's Spaghetti House.
Koffman, who also played saxophone and clarinet, composed and arranged many
of his own pieces.
A formidable break in his career came in 1948 after he won a record deal with
New York's Mainstream Records from a magazine contest. He recorded two
records with the music house before moving back to Toronto.
He received the Order of Canada in 1993 for his outstanding work and service
to the arts.
29 1788 ~ Charles Wesley, writer of over 5,500 hymns and, with his brother John, the
founder of Methodism, died.
• 1871 ~ The Royal Albert Hall in London opened
• 1878 ~ Albert Von Tilzer, Composer
More information about Von Tilzer
• 1879 ~ "Eugene Onegin", best-known opera by Russian composer Tchaikovsky, was
first performed at the Maliy Theatre in Moscow
• 1902 ~ Sir William Walton, British composer
More information about Walton
• 1906 ~ E. Power Biggs, English Organist
• 1918 ~ Pearl Mae Bailey, American jazz singer, lead in black cast of Hello Dolly
• 1936 ~ Richard Rodney Bennett, British composer
• 1947 ~ Bobby Kimball (Toteaux), Singer with Toto
• 1949 ~ Michael Brecker, Jazz musician, reeds with The Brecker Brothers
• 1951 ~ The King and I, the wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on Margaret
Langdon´s novel, Anna and the King of Siam, opened this night in 1951 on
Broadway. The King and I starred Yul Brynner in the role of the King of
Siam. The king who, along with his subjects, valued tradition above all
else. From this day forward, the role of the King of Siam belonged to Yul
Brynner and no other.
Brynner appeared in this part in more than 4,000 performances on both stage
and screen (the Broadway show was adapted for Hollywood in 1956).
Anna, the English governess hired to teach the King´s dozens of children,
was portrayed by Gertrude Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Brynner acted,
danced and sang their way into our hearts with such memorable tunes as
Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance, Hello, Young Lovers, I Whistle a Happy
Tune, We Kiss in a Shadow, I Have Dreamed, Something Wonderful, A Puzzlement
and March of the Siamese Children.
The King and I ran for a total of 1,246 outstanding performances at New
York´s St. James Theatre.
• 1952 ~ Roy Henderson's last singing performance was on this date in the role of
Christus in Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" at Southwark Cathedral,
the Anglican cathedral on the south bank of the Thames in London.
• 1958 ~ W.C. (William Christopher) Handy, Composer passed away
More information about Handy
• 1963 ~ M.C. Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell), Grammy Award-winning singer
• 1973 ~ Hommy, the Puerto Rican version of the rock opera Tommy, opened in New
York City. The production was staged at Carnegie Hall.
• 1973 ~ After recording On the Cover of Rolling Stone´, Dr. Hook finally got a group
shot on the cover of Jann Wenner´s popular rock magazine. Inside, a Rolling Stone
writer confirmed that members of the group (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show)
bought five copies of the magazine for their moms - just like in the song´s
• 1980 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, Anglo-Italian conductor and arranger, died.
Created the "Mantovani sound" that made him a highly successful recording
artist and concert attraction.
• 1982 ~ Carl Orff, German composer of "Carmina Burana," died.
• 1982 ~ Ray Bloch passed away
• 1999 ~ Legendary U.S. jazz and blues singer Joe Williams died aged 80.
• 2001 ~ John Lewis, a pianist who masterminded one of the most famous ensembles
in jazz, the Modern Jazz Quartet, died at the age of 80.
The M.J.Q., as the quartet was known, remained mostly unchanged from the mid-1950's to the 90's.
It began recording in 1952 with Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist
Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke. When Clarke moved to Paris in 1955,
Connie Kay replaced him and the quartet continued until Kay's death in 1994.
Lewis contributed the bulk of the group's compositions and arrangements,
including Django and Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West, and he
insisted members wear tuxedos to dignify jazz as an art.
He was born in LaGrange, Ill., in 1920, and grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. His
entree to the jazz world came during World War II, when he met Kenny
Clarke, an established drummer in the nascent bebop movement.
At Clarke's urging, Lewis moved to New York after his discharge and
eventually replaced Thelonious Monk as Dizzy Gillespie's pianist. He also
performed or recorded with Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Ella
In 1952 he formed the M.J.Q. with Clarke, Jackson and Heath. The quartet was
a steady seller of records and concert tickets well into the 1970's.
Lewis also taught music at Harvard and the City College of New York, and in
the late 1950's helped found the Lenox School of Jazz in Massachusetts.
30 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer
• 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band
concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s
• 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer
• 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance
marathon. Alma Cummings danced the fox trot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen
• 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music
• 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drumer with The Moody Blues
• 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack
• 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; song writer,
Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990
• 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist
• 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as
their hit single, He´s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the
top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I
Will Follow Him on April 27th.
• 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter
• 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer
• 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show
became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics
called Bacall "a sensation." The play, at the Palace Theatre, was
an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances.
A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.
• 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When
playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, "Hey, this
sounds like disco!" and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history...
• 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshine
on My Shoulders. It was the singer´s first number one song. Three other
singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie´s Song, Thank
God I´m a Country Boy and I´m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to
the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10
at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary
and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.
31 IMG SRC="images/notes1.gif"width="30" height="16" ALT="OCMS" TITLE="Music!"> 1732 ~ Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
Listen to Haydn's music
More information about Haydn
• 1928 ~ Lefty (William Orville) Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Famer
• 1934 ~ Shirley Jones, Singer, actress
• 1935 ~ Herb Alpert, American trumpeter, bandleader (Tijuana Brass), composer,record
company executive: the "A" of A&M Records
• 1937 ~ Phil Harris recorded one of his best-known songs in Los Angeles, CA.
That´s What I Like About the South was recorded on a 78 RPM disk. Harris
would move to TV stardom and continue as a popular vocalist during the 1950s
with such hit songs as The Thing.
• 1943 ~ The show, Away We Go, was renamed. The show opened at the St. James
Theatre in New York City and, thanks to the talents of stars like Alfred
Drake, Joan Roberts and Howard DeSilva, it became an instant hit. The show
ran for 2,248 performances, until 1948. The musical, which has grossed
millions of dollars on stage and as a blockbuster movie was initially
produced for the sum of $75,000. It is still legendary among musical
productions - especially after it was retitled Oklahoma!
• 1944 ~ Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge), Bass, singer with The Fortunes
• 1944 ~ Mick Ralphs, Guitarist
• 1945 ~ Al Nichol, Guitarist, keyboards with The Turtles
• 1953 ~ Sean Hopper, Keyboards with Clover and Huey Lewis and The News
• 1959 ~ Angus Young, Guitarist with AC/DC
• 1967 ~ Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time in a public performance
at Finsbury Park in London.
• 1985 ~ Tootsie´s Orchid Lounge, long a favorite of country music stars, closed its
doors in Nashville, TN.
Some Composer Birthdays excerpted from
"The Music-Lovers Birthday Book"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1987)
Others from various sources, including
Those were the Days
Many thanks to
Dearest for everything!
O'Connor Music Studio
in Fairfax, Virginia
Now in our 30th year
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