Today in Music History - July 25

The Canadian Press, July 10, 2015 | Go to article overview

Today in Music History - July 25


Today in Music History - July 25

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Today in Music History for July 25:

In 1874, "The Maple Leaf Forever," one of Canada's most famous patriotic songs, was said to have been performed for the first time during the laying of the foundation stone for the Christian Baptist Church in Newmarket, Ont. The song's composer, Alexander Muir, conducted a choir of schoolchildren. But the song likely had its first public performance years earlier. An 1871 sheet music edition said it had been "sung with great applause by J.F. Hardy, Esquire, in his popular entertainments."

In 1899, Stuart Hine was born. While an English missionary to Ukraine, Hine penned the English words to an oft-sung Swedish hymn, known today as "How Great Thou Art. "

In 1899, Theodore August Heintzman, the founder of Canada's most famous piano manufacturer, Heintzman and Co., died in Toronto at age 82.

In 1930, Maureen Forrester, one of the world's leading contraltos, was born in Montreal. In a career that began in church choirs and peaked on all the world's best stages, she was usually described in superlatives for roles that spanned the classics, opera, musicals, burlesque and even pop songs. She sang with nearly every major orchestra in North American and Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Along the way, she performed under the baton of conductors Eugene Ormandy, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Davis and Seiji Ozawa. Her specialties were German lieder, oratorios and especially Mahler. In Canada, from 1965-74, she sang with soprano Lois Marshall in the Bach Aria Group. She did not make her opera debut in New York until 1966, but went on to sing at La Scala in Italy in 1990 just weeks before her 60th birthday. She was a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame and the Juno Hall of Fame. She was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967, received the Molson Prize in 1971 and the Toronto Arts Award in 1988, and had 29 honorary university doctorates. She was also chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University from 1986-90. In 2000 she was awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, and Opera Canada's first 'Ruby' award in the creative artist category. She died on June 16, 2010.

In 1943, "The Yardbirds" drummer Jim McCarty was born in Liverpool, England. They were one of the most important groups of the early to mid-'60s, laying the groundwork for many following guitar-oriented groups.

In 1965, Bob Dylan, backed by "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band," horrified the audience at the Newport Folk Festival with his new electric sound. He was booed off stage after three tunes but returned with his acoustic guitar to play two songs -- "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Mr. Tambourine Man."

In 1966, guitarist Brian Jones played his last U.S. concert with "The Rolling Stones," in San Francisco. Jones died in 1969.

In 1967, Tommy Duncan, for many years the vocalist with Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, died at age 56. His bluesy baritone was featured on Wills' 1940 million-seller "New San Antonio Rose."

In 1967, "The Beatles" and other British rock bands signed an ad in a London newspaper urging the legalization of marijuana.

In 1969, John Sinclair, manager of the Detroit-based hard-rock band "MC5," was sentenced to nine-and-a-half to 10 years in jail on a marijuana possession charge. Sinclair was also head of the radical White Panther Party. Some record stores had refused to stock "MC5's" 1968 debut album, "Kick Out the Jams," because of obscenities in the title cut.

In 1969, Toronto native Neil Young joined "Crosby, Stills and Nash" for the first time at a concert at the Fillmore East in New York. Young had worked with Stephen Stills in "Buffalo Springfield." "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's" second appearance was at the Woodstock Festival a month later. The quartet broke up in 1971 but re-formed a number of times in later years.

In 1975, the musical "A Chorus Line" opened at the Shubert Theatre in New York after a two-month run at a small theatre in the New York Shakespeare Festival complex in the East Village. …

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