Today in Music History - June 21

The Canadian Press, June 6, 2014 | Go to article overview

Today in Music History - June 21


Today in Music History - June 21

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Today in Music History for June 21:

In 1821, Henry Baker, compiler of "Hymns Ancient and Modern," the unofficial Anglican Church hymnal, was born.

In 1908, the nationalist Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov died at age 64. His most important works were his operas, such as "The Snow Maiden" and "Le Coq d'Or." The best known of Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral works is the exotic and colourful "Scheherezade."

In 1948, Edward Wallerstein, the president of Columbia Records, demonstrated the 33 1/3 long-playing record developed by Peter Goldmark of CBS Laboratories. The microgroove record played at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute, in contrast to the standard 78 RPM, and could contain a maximum of 23 minutes of music a side, versus the approximately three minutes that could be squeezed onto a 78. Columbia offered to share its technology with its main competitor, RCA Victor, but RCA opted to market its own version of the microgroove record -- one that played at 45 RPM. But the battle of the speeds ended in 1950, when RCA announced it also would produce 33-and-a-third rpm long-playing records. Soon, all major record companies were producing both 45s and 33s, spelling the end of the 78 RPM record.

In 1955, Johnny Cash's first record -- "Hey Porter," backed with "Cry, Cry, Cry" -- was released on the Sun label. It was a moderate hit, selling about 100,000 copies.

In 1958, Bobby Darin recorded his first hit, "Splish Splash."

In 1965, "The Charlatans," a band from the Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco, played their first gig at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nev.

In 1966, "The Rolling Stones" sued 14 New York City hotels that had banned them. They claimed the move hurt their careers.

In 1970, Pete Townshend's use of the British slang term "bomb" to describe the success of "The Who's" rock opera "Tommy" caused him to be detained at the Memphis airport. FBI agents thought it was a bomb threat.

In 1973, "Bread" played their final concert before more than 13,000 people at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. A truck accident earlier in the day had destroyed the soft-rock band's equipment, so they had to play with borrowed instruments and amps.

In 1979, guitarist Mick Taylor released his first solo album, four years after leaving "The Rolling Stones."

In 1980, German bandleader and composer Bert Kaempfert died on the Mediterranean island of Majorca at age 56. His recordings featured muted trumpet and electric bass in front of a large orchestra. Among Kaempfert's hits, many of which he composed, were "Wonderland by Night" -- a No. 1 record in 1960 -- and "Red Roses for a Blue Lady." Kaempfert also wrote "Strangers in the Night" and "Spanish Eyes." He also produced the first recording session of "The Beatles."

In 1981, just after signing a multi-album contract with Warner Brothers, the pop group "Steely Dan" announced they were breaking up. Donald Fagan and Walter Becker, the driving forces behind the band, said their 14-year musical partnership was over. "Steely Dan's" hits included "Reeling in the Years" and "Peg." Donald Fagen and Walter Becker reunited in the early 1990s to record and tour.

In 1987, Madonna performed for the first time in Japan at a concert in Tokyo, where 35,000 fans paid the equivalent of $45 to $60 each, but scalpers were asking as much as $900 for a ticket. Madonna was the best-selling foreign rock star in Japan in 1986.

In 1989, "The Who" launched their reunion tour with a warm-up concert before 5,000 fans in Glen Falls, N.Y. The tour's official opening was two nights later in Toronto, the same city where they wound up their so-called farewell tour in 1982. …

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