Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - Jan. 13

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - Jan. 13

Article excerpt

Today in Music History - Jan. 13


Today in Music History for Jan. 13:

In 1501, Christianity's first vernacular hymnal was printed in Prague, capital of the present-day Czech Republic. It contained 89 hymns in the Czech language.

In 1854, a patent for the accordion was issued to Anthony Faax of Philadelphia.

In 1864, Stephen Foster, one of the first composers of pop music, died in a New York City hospital after falling over a wash basin in a drunken stupor. In his pocket when he died was the manuscript for what became one of his most famous songs, "Beautiful Dreamer." Many of his songs -- including "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races" and "Old Black Joe" -- are written in black dialect. Foster gained much of his knowledge of blacks through his early experience in travelling minstrel shows. But he became embarrassed by his songs, primarily because of a contemporary review which called them "only skin deep, hummed and whistled without musical emotion." Stephen Foster also had little aptitude for business. Extreme poverty, coupled with excessive drinking, ruined his last years.

In 1885, renowned Canadian organist Lynnwood Farnam was born in Sutton, Que. He was considered one of the great interpreters of organ music during the 1920s, attracting both musicians and the general public to his recitals. He often performed in Europe on some of the world's greatest organs. He died of liver cancer in New York on Nov. 23, 1930.

In 1925, actress-singer-dancer Gwen Verdon was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City. Forced in childhood to wear corrective boots because of badly bent legs, she took dance lessons to strengthen her legs. Verdon made her Broadway debut in 1950 and won four Tony awards over the next 25 years, starring in such classic musicals as "Can-Can," "Damn Yankees," "Sweet Charity" and "Chicago." Her best work was done with director-choreographer Bob Fosse, whom she married in 1960. She died on Oct. 18, 2000.

In 1964, Capitol Records released the first "Beatles" record in the U.S. "to see how it goes." "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became the group's fastest-selling single ever, with one million copies sold in the first three weeks. It stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks.

In 1968, Johnny Cash recorded a live album at Folsom Prison. The LP was on the Billboard pop chart for 122 weeks, and from it came the chart-topping country single "Folsom Prison Blues."

In 1973, Eric Clapton came back from his three-year heroin addiction problem with a concert at the Rainbow club in London. His backing band included Pete Townshend, Ron Wood and Steve Winwood.

In 1973, "Aerosmith" released its self-titled debut album.

In 1974, Raoul Jobin, considered one of the greatest French tradition tenors of the 1930s and '40s, died in Quebec City at the age of 67.

In 1974, 37 people were injured in a melee outside the Tower Records store in Los Angeles after the crowd discovered that singer Steve Miller was not going to be at a post-concert party at the store. The organizers forgot to invite him.

In 1979, singer Donny Hathaway died in a fall from a hotel window in New York City. He was 33. His death was ruled a suicide. Hathaway was best-known for his duets with Roberta Flack, including "Where is the Love" and "The Closer I Get To You."

In 1980, conductor and arranger Andre Kostelanetz died at age 78. He backed Perry Como on some of his recordings for RCA in the 1940s, including the No. 1 "Prisoner of Love" in 1946.

In 1986, former members of the defunct punk band the "Sex Pistols" sued manager Malcolm McLaren for $1 million pounds. The suit was settled out of court.

In 1988, plans to erect a four-metre-tall statue of pop star Madonna in a bikini in the Italian village where her grandparents had lived, were dropped after strenuous opposition from the local mayor.

In 1992, Bryan Adams opened the North American leg of his "Waking Up the World" tour in Sydney, N. …

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