Music

Tommy album

History of The Who’s Tommy: 53 Years Ago

By billpetro / May 23, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE WHO’s TOMMY Fifty-three years ago today, on May 23, 1969, the British rock group The Who released the double-album rock opera, Tommy. Commercially the record went Gold in the UK and Double Platinum in the US. Several of the songs were released as singles that charted in the Top 20 in both…

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Amazing Grace

History of Amazing Grace, part 1

By billpetro / February 23, 2022 /

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passed a bill banning the nation’s slave trade. In these two articles, we’ll explore the lives of two men and one song that played a significant role in that effort. John Newton‘s devoted Christian mother dreamed that her only son would grow…

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The Beatles

History of The Beatles

By billpetro / February 7, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE BEATLES On February 7, 1964, The Beatles landed at JFK Airport in New York. The airport had recently been renamed by a mourning country in honor of President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just 77 days earlier. The airport was now full of 4,000 greeters. Not realizing why there was such a…

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Peter Pan

History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the Disney Classic

By billpetro / February 5, 2022 /

HISTORY OF PETER PAN All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.   So begins my favorite Walt Disney animated movie, Peter Pan, which debuted 69 years ago today on February 5, 1953. The original movie poster said: “It will live in your heart forever” …and indeed it has. Why was…

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American Pie

History of The Day The Music Died

By billpetro / February 3, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED On February 3, 1959, a plane crash occurred in Iowa during a snowstorm shortly after 1:00 AM, killing three young rock and roll singers who would go down in history: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Their story would later be captured as “long,…

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Mozart

History of Mozart

By billpetro / January 27, 2022 /

HISTORY OF MOZART Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, but he was baptized under the name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.   What’s In A Name When he was an adult, he referred to himself as “Wolfgang Amadè Mozart,” signing his marriage certificate that way. His baptismal name was Latinized, as was…

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TheNutcracker

History of The Nutcracker: the Ballet That’s a Christmas Tradition

By billpetro / December 18, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE NUTCRACKER: THE BALLET THAT’S A CHRISTMAS TRADITION On December 18, 1892, The Nutcracker premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, a week before Christmas.   Nutcracker Popularity The Nutcracker has had such an enduring influence on the celebration of Christmas for more than a century that no one even…

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Christmas Music

History of Christmas Music: More than just Carols?

By billpetro / December 3, 2021 /

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC Music early became a marked feature of the Christmas season. But the first chants, litanies, and hymns were in Latin and deemed too theological for popular use. Under Francis of Assisi‘s influence in the 13th century, we began to see the rise of the carol written in the vernacular. The word carol comes…

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Covent Garden Theatre inside

History of A Sacred Oratorio: How was popular Christmas music considered scandalous and profane?

By billpetro / December 2, 2021 /

HISTORY OF A SACRED ORATORIO The genteel reception accorded the original debut performance stood in marked contrast to the savage hostility which greeted the work less than a year later in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, London. The English aristocracy and churchmen began an unrelenting campaign against the work and its creator. They labeled…

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Woodstock

History of Woodstock: Over 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / August 14, 2021 /

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3 Days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. This outdoor music event, in spite of thundershowers, gave voice to the counterculture youth generation of…

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AH

History of Alexander Hamilton

By billpetro / July 4, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton has gained new popularity recently, in large part due to the 2015 Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.   Birth of Alexander Hamilton Hamilton was born in Charlestown, Nevis, in the Caribbean, out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette, of British & French Huguenot descent. She…

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Rock & Roll

History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 4, Rock & Roll

By billpetro / June 29, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: PART 4, ROCK & ROLL It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play They’ve been going in and out of style But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile   Rock & Roll in the late ’60s was exemplified when The Beatles released…

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