One Day like Today, in Music…
Every day, all year round, a lot of important events happen in the world, and many of them are related to music. Let’s take any date and we’ll find many interesting events that changed music history, or at least are worth telling! Today is August 25th. One day like today, many things happened in music. Here are some of them!
Happy birthday to you!
Many famous personalities were born on August 25th. Some of them are long gone and will not be blowing any candles today, yet we can remember them. For example, Austrian organist and orchestral and chamber music composer Franz Teyber was born in 1758 and lived until 1810. If you like classical music you may have heard about Carlo Acton, Italian pianist, and composer (born in 1829). Already in the 20th century, one August 25th Canadian-American actress, singer, and dancer Ruby Keeler and American pianist, composer, and conductor Leonard Bernstein were also born one day like today. In 1947 Keith Tippett, British jazz pianist and composer was born. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year at age 72.
Some renowned musicians are still alive and today may be celebrating their birthdays, hopefully, surrounded by their beloved ones and listening to great songs! For example, American saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter is turning 87 today. Hawaiian artist Ledward Kaapana, who plays the slack key guitar style, steel guitar, ukulele, autoharp, and bass guitar, and sings, is turning 72. Gene Simmons “The Demon”, bassist and singer from Kiss, is turning 71. British singer and songwriter Elvis Costello is turning 66 today, and multi-awarded American singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor Billy Ray Cyrus is turning 59. Other musicians born on August 25th include Willy DeVille, Charles Fambrough, Rob Halford, Ruth Ann Swenson, Shock G, Terminator X, Takeshi Ueda, and China Anne McClain.
August 25th is also a death anniversary to many American musicians, such as pianist, composer and bandleader Stan Kenton; dancer and choreographer Gower Champion; pianist, composer, and producer Jack Nitzsche; and American bass player and songwriter Allen Woody.
However, two deaths were particularly noticeable a day like today. On August 25th, 1995, Doug Stegmeyer shot himself when he was only 43 years old. He was a bassist and singer who had worked with artists such as Billy Joel, Hall and Oates, and The Carpenters. Another tragedy stroke the music industry in 2001, when American singer and actress Aaliyah, only 22 years old and at the peak of her career, found her death in a tragic plane crash in the Bahamas, where she had been filming a music video. The Cessna plane crashed only minutes after taking off, and everyone on board died as a result.
Was it a hard day’s night?
When researching this date, I bumped into a bunch of fun facts about The Beatles (I love them, don’t you?). For instance, on August 25th, 1961, they played a lunchtime gig at The Cavern, a club in their home town Liverpool. Later, they played as a support band for Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band. Who would imagine where the next years would take them? In 1963, a day like today, Paul McCartney was fined with 31 pounds of weed and suspended for speeding! There was no hurry, Paul, if you consider two years later they’d be as famous as to get two fans to jump from a helicopter to their swimming pool in California! One year later, on August 25th, 1966, they played two shows at the Coliseum in Seattle, Washington. It was during their last US tour. And exactly 365 days later, in 1967, The Beatles would be in Bangor in Wales, on their way to study Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before taking their famous trip to India.
I guess back in the 60s, everything John, Paul, George, and Ringo did was in the news, and that’s why they are so easy to track!
Releases and first appearances
50 years ago, on August 25th, 1970, British artist Elton John made his first US appearance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. He had just entered the US Chart with his single “Border song”. That very same day, in New York City, there was a party taking place, celebrating the official opening of 'Electric Ladyland' studios. Later, artists such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Guns N’ Roses or AC/DC would record at the studio.
45 years ago, one day like today, Bruce Springsteen released his third album, “Born to Run”, which turned him into a superstar known worldwide! Many music critics consider it among the top 20 music albums of all time.
And 22 years ago, Lauryn Hill released her debut album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill", which would award her 5 Grammys, including Album of the Year.
Other music events
Before they became one of the most famous alternative rock bands, REM featured at The Scorpio, Charlotte, North Carolina. True to their ideals, the guys from Athens, Georgia, collaborated through their show with many LGBT charities. The year was 1981 and the community hadn’t as much visibility (or rights!) as they gained later, although the cause is still a struggle in some parts of the world.
One day like today, in 1987, Madonna was singing in Rotterdam, Netherlands, during her “Who’s that girl” world tour.
Seven years ago, on August 25th, 2013, the 30th MTV Video Music Awards were given to artists such as Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift.
And last but not least, one day like today in the UK, 2015, listeners of BBC Radio 2 voted for Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' as the greatest guitar riff of all time, beating other famous riffs such as Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine”.
Which of these fun facts about August 25th in music do you find most interesting, and why? Is there a special date in your life when it comes to music? For instance, the day you sign up for your first music lesson? Please, tell us in the comments below!