On this day in 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in North America. The release featured several games, including Super Mario Brothers, whose soundtrack, by Koji Kondo, remains a landmark in video game music. On today's "A Day in the Life" explore the 8-bit soundscape of the 1980's.
It was on this day in 1888, that Thomas Edison filed a patent for the Optical Phonograph, later known as the kinetoscope. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Edison's contributions to the art of audio recording.
On this day in 1931, notorious gangster Al Capone was sentenced to prison for tax evasion. Think you know Al Capone? His musical tastes may surprise you. Learn all about it on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".
On this day in 1911, star soprano Dame Emma Albani gave her farewell concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the career of the transatlantic opera star.
Whose chopper is this? Today in 1994 the film Pulp Fiction was released in the United States. It revived acting careers and musical genres alike, including "surf rock." Today's "A Day in the Life" features music by The Tornadoes, The Lively Ones, and Dick Dale.
On this day in 1836, Le Postillon de Lonjumeau — the most celebrated opera by the French composer Adolphe Adam — had its world premiere. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we encounter a comically extreme use of a tenor's "high D" and learn of Adam's nearly universally-known Christmas composition.
Today is the birthday of Margaret Thatcher, born in 1925, who would become the longest serving British Prime Minster of the 20th Century. Today we explore how this “Iron Lady,” for better or worse, gave her constituents something to sing about, including Pink Floyd, Morrissey, and Elvis Costello.
What's the Buzz? Tell me what's happening! Today in 1971 Jesus Christ Superstar made its debut on the Broadway stage. Today's "A Day in the Life" introduces the music for this well-known narrative, with just a touch of musicological inquiry into Andrew Lloyd Webber's time signature choices.
On this date in 1896, the Black Patti Troubadours performed their first show. The all-black vaudeville troupe toured the United States until 1915. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", learn about the the Troubadours' star headline performer, opera singer Sissieretta Jones.
It was on this day in 1988 that American R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Brown released his hit song, "My Prerogative". On today's "A Day in the Life", we revisit Brown's beginnings in New Edition and explore how the following of his prerogative led to a troubled personal life.
It was on this day in 1917 that pianist, composer, and jazz visionary Thelonious Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. On today's "A Day in the Life" explore Monk's career and his central role in the creation of a style of jazz called bebop.
Today in 1982, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Cats opened its Broadway run in the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. What do Mr. Mistoffelees, The Rum Tum Tugger, and Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat have to do with T.S. Eliot? Find out on today's installment of "A Classical Day in the Life". You'll love it, it'll be much better than "Cats", you'll want to listen again and again...
Today in 1849 American poet and Edgar Allan Poe died under mysterious circumstances. Destined for Philadelphia, he never arrived - found in Baltimore instead. Was the cause of death suicide, murder, cholera, rabies, syphilis, or influenza? And what does his cat have to do with all of this? Find out on today’s “A Day in the Life.”
Today in 1871, the Fisk Jubilee Singers began their first tour of the United States, bringing black spiritual music to a broad audience. Why did the group form and how did their performances influence the course of American music? Find out today on "A Day in the Life
Today in 1938 Sir Henry Wood conducted the world premiere of the Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams--a piece of music almost to gorgeous for words. How does this connect to the world-famous BBC Proms? Find out on this episode of "A Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1962 that the James Bond film, Dr. No, opened in movie theaters across the world. On today's "A Day in the Life", we revisit the first James Bond film and explore its iconic theme song.
On this day in 1989, Secretariat — perhaps the greatest racehorse in history — died at the age of 19. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we remember Secretariat's glory while exploring equine themes in the compositions of Rossini, Berlioz, and Beethoven.
It was on this day in 1970 that American singer Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in Los Angeles, California. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Joplin's life in music and take a listen to the audio birthday card she recorded for John Lennon just three days before her death.
Today in 1936, American composer Steve Reich was born in New York City. He is closely associate with the minimalist school of composition and is known for works that manipulate recorded sounds--or what we might now call “samples.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn more of Reich's utilization of phase shifting techniques in his works.
It was on this day in 1992, during her debut performance on Saturday Night Live, that Sinead O'Connor tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore O'Connor's motives and relive the backlash her actions garnered.
It was on this day in 1983 that Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" reached the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100. On today's "A Day in the Life" find out who songwriter Jim Steinman originally wrote the song for.
Today in 1863 composer Georges Bizet's opera The Pearl Fishers had its debut at the Lyric Theatre in Paris. This precursor to Carmen shows off Bizet's early ability to author memorable music and to depict exotic subjects. How did this opera secure its position in the canon of classical music? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
For several countries around the world, today is National Coffee Day--a day to celebrate the consumption and culture of this caffeinated beverage. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we trace the history of Coffee and its influence on such luminaries as Bach and Strauss.
Today in 1980, rapper Kurtis Blow released his self-titled debut album on the Mercury label--the first rapper to sign a major-label record deal. Today we breakdown his early career, his rise to stardom, and the impact of his music on the trajectory of hip-hip history.
Today in 1829, composer Fanny Mendelssohn wrote her first piece for organ, a prelude in F-major to be played at her wedding just six days later. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we learn about the surprisingly prolific "other Mendelssohn".