Music

The Beatles

History of The Beatles: Coming to America February 7, 1964

By billpetro / February 7, 2023 /

HISTORY OF THE BEATLES On February 7, 1964, The Beatles landed at JFK Airport in New York. The airport was recently 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 crowd,…

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Peter Pan

History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the 70-Year-Old Disney Classic

By billpetro / February 5, 2023 /

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 70 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, 2023 /

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: today’s his birthday

By billpetro / January 27, 2023 /

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, 2022 /

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 over a century that no one even notices…

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Carol of the Bells

History of Carol of the Bells: from a Ukrainian folk song

By billpetro / December 7, 2022 /

HISTORY OF CAROL OF THE BELLS: FROM A UKRAINIAN FOLK SONG The favorite Christmas song, Carol of the Bells, is based on a Ukrainian folk song that originally had nothing to do with Christmas and was, in fact, popular in pre-Christian Ukraine. How did this folk song become such a popular American Christmas carol, and…

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Christmas Music

History of Christmas Music: More than just Carols?

By billpetro / December 2, 2022 /

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 saw the rise of the carol written in the vernacular. The word carol comes from…

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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 1, 2022 /

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…

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The Who

Concert Review: The Who Hits Back – Denver

By billpetro / October 18, 2022 /

CONCERT REVIEW: THE WHO HITS BACK AT DENVER’S BALL ARENA “The Who Hits Back,” last night at Ball Arena in Denver, is the rescheduling of a concert that was to occur over two years ago but was postponed. I’ve been asked: “Aren’t they mostly dead?” No, I answered, that’s the Grateful Dead, who, ironically, I…

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Woodstock

History of Woodstock: Over 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / August 15, 2022 /

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, despite thundershowers, gave voice to the counterculture youth generation of its time.…

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James Taylor World Arena

Concert Review: James Taylor at Broadmoor World Arena

By billpetro / July 20, 2022 /

Concert Review: James Taylor at the Broadmoor World Arena, Colorado Springs I’ve seen James Taylor perform perhaps a dozen times over the last 43 years in venues large and small. While I’ve previously seen him at the Broadmoor World Arena, it was back when it was just the World Arena, an ice rink in Colorado…

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AH

History of Alexander Hamilton

By billpetro / July 3, 2022 /

HISTORY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton has gained new popularity in recent years, in large part due to the 2015 Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. What’s the real story behind this enigmatic Founding Father?

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