Today in 1939, the film musical The Wizard of Oz had its Hollywood premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. This classic American story about Dorothy and Toto’s journey from Kansas to Oz and back, and all the characters they encounter along the way, has its origins in the books authored by L. Frank Baum.
It was on this day in 1969 that a music festival opened up on the grounds of Max Yasgur's dairy farm in the town of Bethel, just outside of White Lake, New York. On today's "A Day in the Life" learn how Woodstock came to be and its connection to Bob Dylan and The Band.
Today in 2012, the games of the 30th Olympiad, better known as the London Summer Olympics, came to a triumphant AND musical close. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the musical tributes to The Beatles, Edward Elgar, and more.
English poet William Blake passed away on this day in 1827. What was he working on at the time of his death? And what was his influence on the music of Monty Python and U2? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1942, the actress Hedy Lamarr and the composer George Antheil were granted a patent for a frequency hopping torpedo. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", find out more about this seemingly improbable reality.
Today in 1973, DJ Kool Herc threw the first ever hip-hop party. The venue was his sister's high-rise apartment in the Bronx. What was the price of admission, what music did he play, and what innovative techniques did he introduce? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life.
Today in 1793, The Louvre Museum opened in Paris. The structure itself was built some 250 years earlier for King Francis the First, who was an avid art collector. Following the relocation of the royal family to Versailles during the enlightenment period, a movement got underway to place the courtly collections on public display. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the music of the Louvre.
Isaac Hayes passed away today in 2008. On today's "A Day in the Life", we look at the wide-reaching impact of his career as a songwriter, performer, producer, and voice-actor. From "Shaft" to "Soul Man" to Public Enemy and South Park, Hayes was one bad mother--shut your mouth!
Today in 1854, author Henry David Thoreau published Walden. This famous transcendentalist text emerged from his time living on Walden Pond, in a cabin in the woods near Concord, Massachusetts. He was there for two years, two months, and two days. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn how Walden inspired the work of composer Charles Ives.
Today in 1995, founding member of the Grateful Dead--Jerry Garcia--passed away at the age of 53. He stood at the helm of this eclectic American rock band for three decades, serving as lead guitar player and one of the primary vocalists for more than 2300 tour dates. On today's "A Day in the Life", find out what emergent jam band paid tribute to Garcia on the night of his death.
On this day in 1885, the funeral procession of Ulysses S. Grant took place New York City. The New York Times reported a million and a half people in the streets before 8 a.m. to remember the president and Civil War general who had died about two weeks before. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", find out what the 18th president really thought about music.
It was on this day in 1986 that She’s Gotta Have it The first film by Spike Lee was released in theaters. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore Lee's ascendancy in pop culture as a result of the film and the character he played, Mars Blackmon.
Today in 1962, American actress and model Marilyn Monroe passed away from a barbiturate overdose in Los Angeles, California. Although she was only thirty-six years old at the time of her passing, she had achieved the status of a Hollywood icon due in large part to her highly provocative persona on screen. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the music of one of her most iconic films, The Seven Year Itch.
Today in 1957, American Bandstand had its national broadcast debut. Find out how Dick Clark's dance-oriented program spawned the phrase: "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it" on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1730, at age 18 Frederick the crown prince of Prussia and later to be known as Frederick the Great — took a chance at escape to England from Prussia and from the high-handed, tyrannical behavior of his father Frederick William I. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the musical legacy of the King of Prussia.
Today in 1944, the Gestapo discovered the family of Otto Frank in Amsterdam, including his daughter Anne. Find out how The Diary of Anne Frank connects to the band Neutral Milk Hotel and the comedian Stephen Colbert on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1778, La Scala Opera House opened in Milan, Italy. This famous venue replaced the Royal Ducal Theatre which had been destroyed by a fire two years earlier. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the luminaries who are most associated with La Scala, from Verdi to Toscanini.
The great American writer Flannery O'Connor passed away on this day in 1964. Find out how her writings influenced U2, PJ Harvey, and Bruce Springsteen on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1939, a letter was dated from the physicist Albert Einstein to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Einstein told Roosevelt that physicists had figured out how to make nuclear chain reactions. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the music inspired by the nuke.
It was on this day in 1929 that Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'" was first performed at the premiere of "Connie's Hot Chocolates" in Harlem. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the ascendance of the tune and the several versions recorded in its debut year.
Today in 1969, an opera titled Help, Help, the Globolinks! had its United States premiere at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. In the opera, creatures from another planet - called Globolinks - are invading earth. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we discover the power of music over marauding space invaders.
It was on this day in 1981 at 12:01 AM that MTV played its first music video. The song was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the intersection between music and video.
Today in 1900, Don Redman was born in Piedmont, West Virginia. As a composer, arranger, bandleader, and woodwind player, Redman shaped the sound of jazz as we know it today. Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".
Billy Joel’s 10th studio album, The Bridge, debuted on this date in 1986, which features guest appearances by Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles, and Steve Winwood. What do these musicians have to do with the title of the album? Find out today on “A Day in the Life.”
On this day in 1750, Johann Sebastian Bach died in Leipzig, where he spent the last 27 years of his life. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Bach's role as a central figure of the Baroque.