Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - March 12

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - March 12

Article excerpt

Today in Music History - March 12

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Today in Music History for March 12:

In 1946, singer-dancer-actress Liza Minnelli was born to actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli. She made her professional debut at the age of three in a toddle-on role in the film "In the Good Old Summertime," directed by her father and starring her mother. But Liza soon dispelled notions that she was coasting on her parents' reputations. When she was 19, she became the youngest performer to win a Tony Award for her role in the Broadway musical "Flora, the Red Menace." Six years later, she was a star of the first magnitude, capturing an Oscar for her singing, dancing and acting in "Cabaret."

In 1950, the First Symposium of Canadian Contemporary Music opened in Vancouver. The works of 33 Canadian composers were presented during the the four-day event, the largest festival of Canadian music prior to that at Expo '67.

In 1955, alto saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker died in the New York City apartment of Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter, worn out by the excesses of drugs and alcohol. He was only 35. Parker was the key figure of the bebop movement in jazz in the 1940s, and is considered by many to rank with Louis Armstrong as the greatest jazz soloist. Parker's innovations are still heard in much of the jazz being played today. But in the beginning, his experiments provoked mockery and abuse among many older musicians. Parker introduced harmonic and rhythmic changes, as well as a harder edge to jazz, that made his sound on alto sax unforgettable. With such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, he developed the bebop style in such New York after-hours clubs as Minton's Playhouse and Monroe's. The bebop style moved jazz from the pop field into the realm of art. But this movement had an unfortunate side effect -- it alienated much of the jazz audience and it was years before the music again enjoyed a substantial following.

In 1958, singer Billie Holiday was sentenced to a year's probation in Philadelphia on a narcotics charge dating from two years earlier. She died in 1959.

In 1966, the Los Angeles band "Love" released their self-titled debut album. It was hailed as a classic in the new folk-rock style, and sold 150,000 copies. A single from it, "My Little Red Book," written by Burt Bacharch and Hal David, was a hit.

In 1969, "Mrs. Robinson" by "Simon and Garfunkel" was named Song and Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards, beating out "Hey Jude" by "The Beatles."

In 1969, George and Patti Harrison were charged with possession of 120 marijuana cigarettes following a raid on their home.

In 1969, Paul McCartney married American photographer Linda Eastman in a civil ceremony in London. Until Linda McCartney's death from cancer in 1998, the couple spent just one night apart.

In 1985, Eugene Ormandy, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 42 years, died in Philadelphia at age 85. He became the orchestra's principal conductor in 1938 and remained in the position until he retired in 1980. Ormandy developed the orchestra's lush, velvety sound, which made it one of the most popular orchestras in the world.

In 1987, A&M Records presented Special Olympics International with a cheque for $5 million. It was the first proceeds from the sale of "A Very Special Christmas," a collection of yuletide songs by such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, "U2," "Bon Jovi" and "Run-D. …

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