Today in 1993, Barbra Streisand stepped onto the stage of a brand new arena in the brand new MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for her first public concert performance in twenty-seven years. On today's "A Day in the Life," dive into the music and find out who of the who's who were in attendance for the historic event.
It was on this day in 1935 that French writer, poet, and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, crashed his plane in the Sahara. He would survive the crash and use the experience as inspiration for his memoir "Wind, Sand and Stars." It would also serve as inspiration for his best known work, "The Little Prince." On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we relive the crash and explore the music of "The Little Prince."
It was on this day in 1994 that the American jam band, Phish, made its network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. Later that night they would take the stage for their first performance at Madison Square Garden, beginning the tradition of their nearly annual New Years shows there. On today's "Day in the Life" we explore the soundscape of Phish and learn the different types of Phish jams.
Today in 1963, the influential American folk music group, The Weavers, gave their farewell concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. On today's "A Day in the Life," we learn why Mary Travers of "Peter, Paul, and Mary" credits The Weavers with the very existence of her group and we learn what happens to a group when its two founding members, Pete Seeger and Lee Hays are accused of being Communists.
On this day in 1829, the German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer signed a contract with the Paris opera house -- marking the beginning of the brief golden age of French Grand Opera. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," journey along with us as we explore "The Huguenots," "The African Woman," and more!
Today in 1065, Westminster Abbey was consecrated. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we visit upon those luminaries who are buried or otherwise memorialized in the Abbey from Henry Purcell to Noel Coward.
It was on this day in 1974 that Barry Manilow scored his first number one hit with "Mandy." Is the song really about Manilow's dog? Is Mandy any relation to Brandy? On this installment of "A Day in the Life," we get to the bottom of the origin of the song.
It was on this day in 1993 that Mr. Blobby, one of the most annoying songs ever recorded, regained the number one spot on the UK charts. On today's "A Day in the Life," hear this musical abomination and learn who perpetrated such awfulness upon the world.
Today in 1955, Santa Claus's annual trek around the globe was first tracked by the Continental Air Defense Command, or CONAD, the predecessor to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD. On today's "A Day in the Life," discover how this annual holiday tradition began and how it continues today.
Today in 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" was broadcast live across the United States from NBC Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center. The opera tells the story Amahl, a young boy living in Bethlehem around the time of the birth of Jesus. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," learn more about the televised opera that became a bit of a holiday tradition in the middle part of the 20th century.
On this day in 1938, music impresario John Hammond hosted the first of two concerts at Carnegie Hall titled "From Spirituals to Swing." On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we hop from the holy roller hymns of Mitchell's Christian Singers to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Count Basie Orchestra.
It was on this day in 1814 that Andrew Jackson led a group of soldiers in the Night Attack of December 23rd, a prelude to the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. Nearly 150 years later, a high school history teacher commemorated the events of the battle in a song that would eventually become a worldwide hit.
In this episode of Critical Karaoke we explore the confluence of Music and Literature with Novelist and Said the Gramophone music blogger Sean Michaels and Novelist Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. We talk about playlists, nightcaps, Magnetic Fields and, of course, accordions.
Today in 1789 the Viennese Society of Musicians premiered Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major. Tour the four movements of the piece and learn more about Anton Stadler, the clarinetist who played the premiere and for whom Mozart originally composed the work on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
It was on this day in the year 2000 that Joel and Ethan Coen's "O Brother Where Art Thou" opened in theaters across North America. In today's "A Day in the Life," we explore the role that the distinctive soundtrack played in the film.
Today in 1937, Walt Disney's first feature length film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. Explore the music and the people behind the music in today's "Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1990 that Stephen Sondheim's musical, "Assassins" debuted off-Broadway. The musical, a sort of murderous carnival game, explores the lives of the men and women who attempted, with varying measures of success, to assassinated the President of the United States. But a ticket and take a ride along with us on today's "Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1976 that novelist Walker Percy sat down to write a letter to Thelma Toole in response to a manuscript she had given him a week prior. The manuscript would become the Pulitzer Prize winning novel "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. Learn more on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1893, the New York Philharmonic debuted the 9th Symphony by composer Antonín Dvořák at Carnegie Hall. Why is it known as the "New World Symphony" and what inspired the Czech composer living in the United States to create it? Find out the answers to these questions and more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today in 1977, the film, Saturday Night Fever opened in theaters. The movie that made everyone want to dance like John Travolta, except perhaps John Lydon. The soundtrack featured several tunes by the Bee Gees in addition to other staples of the 70's including KC and the Sunshine Band, The Trammps, and Kool and the Gang. Jump back to those tribal rites of old Saturday nights on today's "A Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1970 that the Venera 7 spacecraft landed on Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to reach the surface of another planet. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the musical side of Venus; from Frankie Avalon to Richard Wagner, and Gustav Holst to Bjork.
It was on this day in 1828 that the 6th Symphony of Austrian composer Franz Schubert had its first performance. Not to be confused with Schubert's other C Major symphony, the 9th, in today's "A Classical Day in the Life" find out what makes one "great" and the other "little".
On this day in 1979, English punk band, The Clash released their third album. The album and its lead single were titled "London Calling." On today's "A Day in the Life" find out the inspiration for the title and learn more about the social and cultural currents in the music.
Today in 1926, blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton was born. Thornton recorded "Hound Dog" 3 years before Elvis and she wrote "Ball and Chain", which Janis Joplin would make famous at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Thornton's legacy.
Today in 1907, Belgian composer and sometime confectioner, Norbert Rosseau was born in Ghent. Rosseau was a violin prodigy as a child who transitioned to compositional pursuits following a wound he received while fighting in World War I. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore Rosseau's interest in early electronic music and dodecaphonics.