|Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
|Did You Guess? Calloway sang Minnie the Moocher in The Blues Brothers.|
|Can You Guess?
I We read below of Cab Calloway's recording St. James Infirmary. Another of his standards was Minnie the Moocher, which he performed in a 1980 comedy. Can You Guess what film it was in?
Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
|Musical humorist Victor Borge premiered on the NBC radio network July 3, 1945.
He was born Børge Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 3, 1909. His father played the violin in the Danish Symphony Orchestra, and his mother began giving him piano lessons when he was 3. He made his concert debut in Copenhagen at the age of eight, and later studied at the Copenhagen Music Conservatory, as well as in Vienna and Berlin.
|1848 - Theodore Presser, US music publisher, was born. He also published the magazine, The Etude.
1860 - William Wallace, Scottish composer and writer, was born. He was first to use the term 'Symphonic Poem'
1941 - Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded the standard, St. James Infirmary.
1959 - Lawrence Dillon, US composer, was born.
1976 - Premiere of Alan Hovhaness' Violin Concerto Ode to Freedom Yehudi Menuhin was soloist and André Kostelanetz conductor, at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA.
1998 - George Lloyd, English romantic composer, died in London.
2004 - Premieres:
• Dr. Phillip Smith's War Between the States - Music of the American Civil War
• Les Marsden's 'American' Symphony on New and Old Tunes at Yosemite National Park.
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|Borge made his professional debut in 1926, and within 10 years was one of the best known stage and film stars in all of Scandinavia. His performances, combining music and comedy, were frequently satirical.
Borge was a Jew, and as the power of the Nazis grew, Borge regularly mocked Hitler from the stage. When German armed forces invaded Denmark in April, 1940 Borge was in Stockholm, and remained there. He was briefly blacklisted before fleeing to the United States aboard the S. S. American Legion, the last American passenger ship to leave Northern Europe prior to World War II.
When Borge arrived in New York, he was almost penniless and unable to speak English. For the next year he spent much of his time at the movies, listening intently to the dialogue to teach himself English.
After entertaining guests at a private party he was invited to appear on the Bing Crosby radio show - and remained on it for 56 weeks.
After a triumphant tour of American cities, he took his one-man show to Broadway, where his Comedy in Music chalked up 849 performances - the longest solo run in Broadway history.
Borge's act consisted of jokes, sight gags and musical pranks. He used music to play off the snooty opinion people had of classical music, and at the same time introduce them to the great works of the past.
I learned to play on my mother's knee, we didn't have a piano."
"When most opera singers sing their heads off they improve their appearance."
He frequently "accidentally" played his music upside down. He constantly "fell" from the piano bench. He invented a system of phonetic punctuation so that you could hear every comma, period, exclamation point and question mark.
Borge was actually a gifted pianist, and appeared with many of the world's most renowned orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic. Victor Borge's albums have been extremely popular. He also authored two books, My Favorite Intermissions and My Favorite Comedies in Music. He continued performing past his 90th birthday. He died at home on December 23, 2000
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