9 April

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2021 Hardcore rapper DMX dies at age 50 a week after suffering a massive heart attack. His first five albums all went to #1 in America.

2009 Following a contentious interview where he insults Canadian audiences, Billy Bob Thornton's music career hits a roadblock when he and his band the Boxmasters are booed at their show in Toronto opening for Willie Nelson. The Boxmasters cancel their remaining Canadian dates the next day.More

2009 Philadelphia soul singer Randy Cain (of The Delfonics) dies at age 63.

2008 Elton John plays a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, bringing in about $2.5 million. In 2013, Clinton is honored by the Elton John AIDS Foundation for her support of gay rights.

2004 Weird Al Yankovic's parents, Nick and Mary Yankovic, are found dead of accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning in their Fallbrook, California. The tragedy was caused by using their fireplace with the flue closed.

1999 Faith Hill begins her first headlining tour ("This Kiss") in Minneapolis.

1999 Bruce Springsteen begins his first tour with the E Street Band since 1988 with a concert in Barcelona. The European leg ends in June, with the first American show in their home turf of New Jersey on July 15. The tour lasts until July 2000, a total of 132 shows.

1997 Amidst personal tensions between its band members, Soundgarden announce their breakup, which lasts for 13 years.

1997 Nashville songwriter Mae Axton, co-writer of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel," dies at age 82 when she has a heart attack and drowns in her hot tub.

1996 Bluegrass duo Gillian Welch and David Rawlings release their debut album, Revival.More

1994 Wayne Newton marries his second wife, Kathleen.

1992 "Deep Cover" by Dr. Dre, written for the movie of the same name, is released. It marks the first appearance of Snoop Doggy Dogg, recently signed to Dre's Death Row Records, on a major release.

1988 Billy Ocean's "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car," from the movie License To Drive, hits #1 in the US.

1988 Soul singer Dave Prater (of Sam & Dave) dies at age 50 in a single-car accident in Sycamore, Georgia.

1988 R&B singer Brook Benton dies of pneumonia at age 56, two years after contracting spinal meningitis.

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"Au Claire De La Lune" Is First Recorded Song


An anonymous vocalist sings "Au Claire De La Lune" to Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, who makes the first known and oldest surviving recording of the human voice.

In 1857, a Parisian typesetter named Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville patented the phonautograph, a barrel-shaped, hand-cranked device used to transcribe sound in wave lines on soot-blackened paper. Unlike Thomas Edison, who was dubbed the father of recorded sound for his feat with the phonograph nearly two decades later, Leon Scott never intended to reproduce sound but to study it from a visual perspective. "That was his idea - was to build an artificial ear," audio historian Patrick Feaster explains in an NPR interview. "That it would record not just the words, like stenography or shorthand, but you get all these special details, anything that made a musical performance great or a great speech great." That all changed in 2008 when a group of scientists, including Feaster, embarked on an expedition to locate Leon Scott's lost phonautograms and bring them to life with the magic of modern technology. Among other pieces, a 10-second snippet of "Au Claire De La Lune" was found tucked away in the archives of the French Academy of Sciences. By scanning high-resolution images of the piece and using virtual stylus technology from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, the First Sounds collaborative was able to extract sound from squiggles of smoke. A haunting voice emerged from behind a cacophony of noise and made history as the first-known recording of the human voice. "That was just a stunning thing, feeling like a ghost is trying to sing to me through that static," Feaster recalls. Due to a miscalculation of the playback speed, the original version sounds like the trill of a mysterious female singer, but the 2010 revision channels the slow, deliberate crooning of a male vocalist, perhaps Leon Scott, himself.



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