Today in 1957, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius passed away at the age of 91. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the life and career of Finland's greatest composer.
Today in 1985 the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) Senate hearings began, ultimately implementing the addition of "explicit content" warning labels to the covers of albums and singles. In what ways did the music of Prince, Twisted Sister, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper inspire this? And how did Frank Zappa, Dee Snider, and John Denver join forces to rally against such actions? Find out on today "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1908, Gustav Mahler's Seventh Symphony had its world premiere in Prague. Through its five movements, the Seventh is one of Mahler's most colorful and evocative works. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the movements of the 7th and discover why it satisfies Christopher Walken's hankering for a certain percussive instrument.
Today in 1970, CBS premiered the Mary Tyler Moore Show. What were the exceptions the show had to meet, both dramatically and musically? And how did the theme song "Love is All Around" change from the first season to the next? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1972 Billboard magazine ran a cover story about a "new sound" emerging from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The "Muscle Shoals" sound--largely the result of a rhythm section later known as "The Swampers"--would have an incredible influence on the sound of popular music from that moment forward. Learn more on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1965, Duke Ellington first Concert of Sacred Music took place at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Today's "A Classical Day in the Life" looks back on this event--its music, is musicians, and its legacy.
Today in 1963 a horrific bombing prompted Nina Simone's recording "Mississippi Goddamn." The song was one of the first to directly address the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, that Simone called a show tune for a "show that hasn't been written for it yet." Find out more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today in 1987, Tiffany released her self-titled debut album featuring her hit cover of "I Think We're Alone Now." How do malls, intergenerational listening, and Billy Idol fit into the story? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1814, during the war of 1812, Francis Scott Key authored the words for what would eventually become the national anthem for the United States of America. Today's "A Day in the Life" considers the various musical interpretations of the song from Marvin Gaye to Whitney Houston to Roseanne Barr.
Today in 1973, Nasir Jones--better known as Nas--was born in Brooklyn, New York. Learn about his early career and dynamic collaborations with his father and others that bridge the intergenerational gaps.
Today in 1985 the video game Super Mario Brothers was released. Who composed the music and how has it made its way into the classical concert hall--as well as your own cel phone? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today in 2009, hip hop artist Kanye West interrupted up-and-coming country singer Taylor Swift--he was gonna let her finish--at VMA MTV awards. Why did West take the mic just as Taylor was getting going? And why was this only the beginning of an ongoing, public rivalry between the two? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life"
It was on this day in 1944, that Barry Eugene Carter, later known as Barry White, was born in Galveston, Texas. On today's "A Day in the Life", learn which Elvis Presley song inspired White to leave a life of petty crime and embrace music.
Today in 1932, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Rio De Janeiro premiered a new work by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos -- Bachianas Brasileiras [number 1]. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", learn how Villa-Lobos struck a sonic balance between the influences of his homeland and those of Europe.
It was on this day in 1956 that Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. On today's "A Day in the Life", learn why Ed Sullivan didn't introduce Elvis.
The Kennedy Center's concert hall opened in Washington, D.C. on this day in 1971. It featured a multifaceted performance by the National Symphony Orchestra. What music was heard that evening and who was in attendance? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1971, Leonard Bernstein's MASS had its premiere in Washington, D.C., at the brand new Kennedy Center for the performing arts. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the tradition of the musical representation of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church and Bernstein's unique take on the form.
Rap pioneer Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins passed away on this day in 1989. How did he help define standard tropes and techniques we associate with the genre, including the term "hip hop" itself? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 2008 the final curtain went down on Rent--the 10th longest running musical in Broadway history. How and why does the theme of "No day but today" run throughout this Pulitzer Prize winning show? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 2008, Scottish composer Thea Musgrave’s Rainbow had its London premiere. Originally composed for the opening of the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow in 1990, this London performance at the BBC Proms was in honor of Musgrave’s 80th birthday year.
It was on this day in 1997 that Princess Diana was buried. At the service Elton John premiered his reworked version of "Candle in the Wind" in honor of the late Princess. On today's "A Day in the Life" we learn how John re-imagined his tribute to Marilyn Monroe as a fitting elegy to "England's Rose".
It was on this day in 1964 that the song "The House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the song's provenance in the blues.
Today in 1932, Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos had its debut at the International Society for Contemporary Music in Venice. Commissioned and dedicated to the Princess Edmond de Polignac, the piece was written in three months over the course of the summer of 1932. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we break down the movements of the concerto and explore some of its surprising influences.
Today in 1838, Queen Lili‘uokalani -- the last royal leader of the Hawaiian Kingdom -- was born. Queen Lili‘u was part of a highly musical family, and she and three siblings became known as the “Royal Fours.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the musical legacy of the queen.
Today in 1901 Theodore Roosevelt spoke the famous line "Speak softly and carry a big stick." How has music spoken of Teddy over the course of time? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."