24 November

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2017 Mitch Margo of The Tokens, who had a #1 hit in 1961 with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," dies at age 70.

2014 Eminem releases the two-disc compilation album Shady XV.

2014 Iggy Azalea reissues her debut album, The New Classic, as Reclassified. The re-release features five newly recorded songs.

2003 Glen Campbell is arrested for drunk driving and hit-and-run charges in Phoenix, Arizona, after crashing his BMW into another car at another intersection and continuing on. The 67-year-old Campbell, who is sentenced to ten days in jail, allegedly knees an officer's groin during the arrest.

2001 Pop singer Melanie Thornton (lead singer for La Bouche) dies in a plane crash (Crossair Flight 3597) near Zurich, Switzerland, at age 34.

1998 The Metallica compilation of cover tunes, Garage, Inc., is released.

1997 Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of Judge Judy. The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.

1994 Oasis is named Best UK Band at the first annual MTV European Music Awards.

1993 Albert Collins, electric blues guitarist and singer, dies of cancer in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age 61. The "Master of the Telecaster" can be seen in a cameo appearance in the 1987 comedy Adventures in Babysitting (performing "Babysitting Blues" with the cast).

1991 Eric Carr of Kiss dies of heart cancer at age 41.

1985 Bluesman Big Joe Turner, real name Joseph Vernon Turner Jr., dies of heart failure after a series of illnesses in Inglewood, California, at age 74.

1978 In a clear prelude to his coming "Christian" direction, the Jewish-born Bob Dylan plays tonight's gig in Fort Worth, Texas, wearing a large gold cross around his neck.

1974 In the midst of his infamous "Lost Weekend," John Lennon rehearses with Elton John for Elton's upcoming Madison Square Garden performance, where Lennon makes a surprise appearance.

1973 Ringo Starr's "Photograph" hits #1.

1972 Produced by Don Kirshner, the TV series In Concert debuts on ABC as a competitor to NBC's Midnight Special. Guests on the first episode include Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Allman Brothers Band, and Poco.

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Scott Joplin, King Of Ragtime, Is Born


Scott Joplin, Ragtime composer and pianist, is born in Northeast Texas.

Near the turn of the 20th century when Joplin publishes his seminal ragtime tune "Maple Leaf Rag," the genre is already sweeping the nation with its ragged rhythms and offbeat melodies, often banged out on barroom pianos. But Joplin, who cultivates his style as a traveling musician throughout the Midwest, seeks to elevate ragtime as a classical style. Shortly after issuing his first rag, "Original Rags," in 1899, Joplin presents "Maple Leaf Rag" to Missouri publisher John Stark, who offers the composer a contract with a one-cent royalty for each copy sold. Although lofty claims are made about the rag's sales - supposedly it's the first instrumental to sell a million copies - Joplin's biographer Edward Berlin asserts the initial run of 400 takes a year to sell and maybe hits half a million by 1909. Nevertheless, the tune becomes the archetypal rag that every pianist tries to play and every ragtime composer tries to recreate. Hailed as the King of Ragtime, Joplin continues to release famous rags like "The Entertainer," "March Majestic" and the concert waltz "Bethena," but the composer's focus shifts to opera. After a disappointing first turn with the doomed A Guest of Honor, which closes after the theft of its box office receipts, Joplin becomes obsessed with his next opera, Treemonisha. Unfortunately, Joplin never gets to see a full staging of the show; he dies of syphilitic dementia in 1917 at age 48. As ragtime falls out of favor, so does Joplin. By the 1970s, only ragtime enthusiasts remember the composer until a series of unrelated events thrusts the genre and its king back into the spotlight: Musicologist Joshua Rifkin releases an album of Joplin's rags, which becomes a surprise best-seller; the renowned New England Conservatory of Music presents a Joplin-themed concert; Georgia's Morehouse College gives Treemonisha its first full staging; and the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film The Sting (1973) borrows "The Entertainer" as its theme and spawns a #1 hit soundtrack with Marvin Hamlisch's adaptations of Joplin's rags. The posthumous fame wouldn't be a surprise to the late composer, who often claimed he wouldn't get his due until his death. In 1976 - nearly 60 years after his passing - Joplin is awarded with a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to American music.



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