Tag Archives: music

Frank Sinatra’s Birthday

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”

Frank Sinatra

December 12 is Frank Sinatra’s Birthday!

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, aka Ol’ Blue Eyes, was born on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey to Sicilian immigrants. Upon seeing Bing Crosby perform, Sinatra dropped out of high school and decided to become a singer. He had jobs singing in local nightclubs until he caught the attention of bandleader Harry James. The two began working together with much success, and with the help of James, Sinatra recorded his first album, “From the Bottom of My Heart.”

In 1939, Sinatra joined forces with bandleader Tommy Dorsey, whose group was one of the hottest at the time. This union further exposed Sinatra to the American public, and more specifically, to teenaged bobby soxers. By the time Frank was out as a solo artist in the early 1940s, Sinatramania had already begun.

Frank Sinatra’s career and personal life had many ups and downs, but he will always be remembered as one of the greatest voices of all time. Throughout his career, Sinatra had a whopping 209 hits on the Billboards pop singles chart, 55 top 20 albums, and earned multiple film awards for his roles in various feature films.

Fun Fact: Every year on December 12, the Empire State Building lights up blue in honor of “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, Frank Sinatra.

Sources: Biography.com, The Biography Channel, Wikipedia

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Woodstock Opens in New York

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair opened in Bethel, New York on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm on August 15, 1969. The festival, billed as “3 Days of Peace & Music”, lasted until Monday, August 18.

Considered one of the most pivotal moments in Rock and Roll, and in music history in general, the Woodstock Festival saw 32 acts perform in front of over 400,000 attendees. Some of the lineup highlights include: Jefferson Airplane, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Jimi Hendrix.

Sources: History Channel, Wikipedia

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Buy a Musical Instrument Day

May 22 is Buy a Musical Instrument Day!

If you are currently a musician, today is the day to treat yourself to a brand new instrument. If you don’t know how to play an instrument, it’s never too late to learn! Figure out what type of instrument you’d want to play, and start taking lessons; no one is too young or too old to begin playing music.

If you don’t want to spend the money on a fancy new instrument, consider purchasing a recorder, maracas, or a harmonica to get in the spirit.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Yahoo

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International Tuba Day

International Tuba Day is celebrated each year on the first Friday in May. In 2013, International Tuba Day falls on May 3.

International Tuba Day was founded in 1979 by Joel Day, a tuba player in a marching band at Lower Merion High School near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He noticed a lack of appreciation for tuba players from other musicians who looked down upon them, and thus International Tuba Day was born.

Did you know that a tuba can weigh up to 50 pounds? German musicians Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz patented the tuba in 1835. Since then, modern tuba players have had to deal with the hassle of handling the large and heavy tuba, and the stigma attached to being a tuba player. However, the reality is musical organizations would be incomplete without the “oomph” that a tuba provides.

Happy International Tuba Day!

Sources: Tuba Day, Holiday Insights, Wikipedia

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Eight Track Tape Day

April 11 is Eight Track Tape Day!

The eight-track was a magnetic tape that had the capacity to record sounds, specifically music. This technology was popular in the United States and the United Kingdom from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, until the cassette tape came along.

Once the cassette tape was invented, the eight track tape became obsolete. If you still have an eight track player, take a trip down memory lane today and listen to some nostalgic tunes.

Sources: Examiner, Holiday Insights

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Kurt Cobain Dies at 27

Kurt Cobain, front man of Seattle grunge band Nirvana, died on April 5, 1994 at the age of 27.

Kurt Donald Cobain was born on February 20, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington to a waitress mother and a mechanic father. From a young age, it became evident that Kurt was highly sensitive to the world around him and enjoyed expressing himself artistically. The news of his parents’ divorce came as a tremendous blow for Cobain, and he became withdrawn and apathetic. The silver lining during this dark period in his adolescence was that he began playing the guitar, which was gift from his uncle.

In high school, Cobain began listening to local punk rock bands and experimenting with drugs. He assembled Nirvana in 1988, which was so named because Cobain “wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk rock name.” Nirvana released its debut album Bleach in 1989. Marked by punk and heavy metal influences, Bleach sold 40,000 copies during its initial release.

Nirvana’s sophomore album Nevermind brought the band great success and overnight fame with the breakout single “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Throughout the final years of his life and career, Cobain struggled with depression, drug addiction (specifically heroin), fame, and public scrutiny about his relationship with fellow musician Courtney Love. The couple had a daughter, Frances Bean on August 18, 1992. In Utero, released in 1993, would be the last album Cobain would ever record.

Upon his return from a European tour, Kurt became a recluse and spent most of his time high and by himself. Courtney Love held an intervention for Kurt and with the help of friends, she convinced him to go to rehab. Less than two days later, Kurt checked himself out of rehab and flew back to Seattle, unbeknownst to any of his family and friends. Kurt took his own life on April 5, 1994 in the guesthouse of his Seattle home, leaving a suicide note addressed to his wife and his daughter.

His death marked his entrance into the 27 Club, a group of musical artists that died at the age of 27 (usually due to alcohol and drugs) that includes the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Amy Winehouse. Kurt Cobain will forever live on as one of the greatest rock and roll musicians of all time.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Adam Levine’s Birthday

March 18 is Adam Levine’s birthday!

Born Adam Noah Levine in Los Angeles, California in 1979, singer-songwriter Adam Levine turns 34 years old today. Levine attendedBrentwoodSchoolin LA where he met future band mates Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and Ryan Dusick whom together formed the band Kara’s Flowers.

The band achieved very little success upon release of its first album, and when they broke up, Adam and fellow musician Jesse Carmichael moved to New York to attend Five Towns College, a performing arts school. Levine credits his time spent in New York as a major influence on him musically.

In 2000, the members of Kara’s Flowers reunited in Los Angeles with the addition of guitarist James Valentine to form the band Maroon 5. Their debut album, Songs About Jane, went platinum, and Maroon 5 received a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2004. Follow-up albums It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, Hands All Over, and Overexposed have also achieved great commercial success.

Aside from his thriving music career, Adam Levine has made appearances on Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central’s “A Night of Too Many Stars.” In 2012, Levine landed a recurring role on the television series American Horror Story and he is currently coach on the NBC’s singing contest show, The Voice. He is an avid supporter of causes that advance the awareness of testicular cancer, ADHD, and gay rights.

Happy Birthday Adam!

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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Bill Haley Dies at 55

Bill Haley, known as “The Father of Rock and Roll”, died of a heart attack on February 9, 1981.

Haley was born William John Clifton Haley on July 6, 1925. He is known as one of the very first rock and roll musicians and is credited with popularizing the genre in the 1950s and beyond. His band, Bill Haley & His Comets, released the first rock and roll song to hit American charts and “Crazy Man, Crazy” peaked at #15 on Billboard.

In 1957, Haley toured Europe, making him the first major American rock and roll singer to do so. Haley is also responsible for such groundbreaking hits as “See You Later Alligator,” “Shake Rattle and Roll,” and “Rock Around the Clock” which sold 25 Million copies worldwide.

We put country and western together with rhythm & blues, and that was rock.

– Bill Haley

Sources: Rock Hall, Wikipedia

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Harry Styles’ Birthday

February 1 is Harry Styles’ Birthday!

Born on February 1, 1994, Harry Styles is the youngest member of the British-Irish boy band One Direction. Upon auditioning for The X Factor in 2010, Simon Cowell placed Styles with other solo acts Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik to create the pop group One Direction. Although they finished third in The X Factor competition, One Direction signed with Cowell’s label Syco Records and have gone on to be a great success.

Prior to The X Factor, Harry was in a band called White Eskimo with a few classmates. He credits the singing competition for providing him with a lot of confidence. One Direction has since become an international sensation, with their two albums (Up All Night and Take Me Home) selling well over 15 million records.

Happy Birthday Harry!

Source: Wikipedia

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The Beatles’ Last Performance

On January 30, 1969, legendary rock and roll band, The Beatles, performed for the last time ever as a group.

The Beatles were filming a documentary titled Let It Be, which captured their exchanges with one another and their recording sessions in the Apple Studios building in London, England. During filming, the high tensions between band mates John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were made apparent.

At one point, they decided that their creativity was being stifled inside of the studio. They decided to move all of their equipment up five stories to the roof of Apple Studios and give an impromptu concert to the Central London lunch hour crowd. They hadn’t performed together live since their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966, and this rooftop performance would be their last.

The songs they performed are as follows: “Get Back” (5 versions), “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” “Don’t Let Me Down” (2 versions), “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “One After 909,” “Danny Boy,” “Dig a Pony” (2 versions), “God Save the Queen,” and “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody.”

Upon being shut down by police, John Lennon addressed the crowd:

I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.

Sources: Beatles Bible, Wikipedia

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