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October 31st, Today in Music History


Philippe de Vitry was a French composer from the Medieval Period. He also called Philippus De Vitriaco. He was Prelate and a music theorist. Vitry was known as a poet and composer and was considered one of the leading intellectuals of his time. His scholarship and dedication were warmly praised by Petrarch, who regarded him as “the unparalleled poet of France.” Vitry was known as a poet and composer and was considered one of the leading intellectuals of his time. His scholarship and dedication were warmly praised by Petrarch, who regarded him as “the unparalleled poet of France.”


Ignaz Spangler, Austrian singer and composer, born in Vienna.


Premiered Don Giovanni, K. 527 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1787.


Ferdinand Huber, Swiss composer, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland.


November 1937: Organist Harold Vincent Milligan playing specially-built organ w. 129 stops of his own design during service at Riverside Church. (Photo by Margaret Bourke-White/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Harold Vincent Milligan, American musician and composer, born in Astoria, Oregon. At 12 he was organist in churches where his father was minister. He moved to New York City in 1907 to study with William Crane Carl, organist of the Old First Presbyterian Church, and at the Guilmant Organ School. His teachers included T. Tertius Noble, Clement R. Gale, and Arthur E. Johnstone. After one year as organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Orange, New Jersey, Milligan played five years at Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York, and two years at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn. In 1915 he became organist at the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church (later Riverside Church) in New York until his retirement in 1940 York.

For many years Milligan wrote criticism for The Diapason and The New Music Review, and was a columnist for The American Organist and Woman’s Home Companion. He wrote Stories of Famous Operas (1950), and edited The Best Known Hymns and Prayers of the American People (1942), and (with Geraldine Souvaine) The Opera Quiz Book (1948). Milligan also authored short fiction, lectured on opera at Columbia University, and was associate director of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts.


Olof Thiel

Olof Thiel, Swedish film score composer, under the pseudonym of Jacques Armand, born in Stockholm.


Ethel Waters born in Chester, PA.  American blues and jazz singer and dramatic actress whose singing, based in the blues tradition, featured her full-bodied voice, wide range, and slow vibrato.

Ethel Waters

At 17, billing herself as “Sweet Mama Stringbean,” Waters was singing professionally in Baltimore, Maryland. It was there that she became the first woman to sing the W.C. Handy classic “St. Louis Blues” on the stage. Her professional rise was rapid, and she moved to New York City. In 1925 she appeared at the Plantation Club in Harlem, and her performance there led to Broadway.


Louise Talma, American composer (Summer Sounds), born in Arcachon, France.

Louise Talma

She studied at the Institute of Musical Art, New York (1922–30); at the Fontainebleau School of Music (1926–39), where her teachers included Isidore Philipp (piano) and Nadia Boulanger (composition); and at New York (BMus 1931) and Columbia (MA 1933) universities. She taught at Hunter College, CUNY (1928–79), and was the first American faculty member at the Fontainebleau School. She became a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony in 1943. Her many awards include two Guggenheim fellowships (1946, 1947); a Senior Fulbright Fellowship (1955–6); the Sibelius Medal for Composition from the Harriet Cohen International Awards, London (1963); and election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1963, she was the first woman to be so honoured). One of her most famous compositions it’s her opera, The Alcestiad premiered on March 1962 and is based on to a libretto written for her by Thornton Wilder.


Dale Evans, actress & singing cowgirl was born (Frances Butts) in Uvalde Texas. She was Roy Rogers’ partner in life, the movies, radio & TV.  Dale wrote Roy’s theme song, Happy Trails to You. She died at age 88 on Feb 7, 2001 of congestive heart failure.

Joseph Gelineau



Joseph Gelineau, French Catholic Jesuit priest and composer, born in Maine-et-Loire, France.  Composer of the first psalms for use in the reformed liturgy in France, spent his life working to promote the place of quality music in the liturgy.  Father Gelineau wrote Growing in Church Music and Liturgical Assembly, Liturgical Song, a summary of his life’s work. An interview with him appears in the acclaimed book Voices from the Council on pages 219-233.


Illinois Jacquet, American jazz saxophonist, born in Broussard, Louisiana. He played the honking tenor sax on Lionel Hampton’s Flying Home.  He also played with the big bands of Cab Calloway & Count Basie.  He died of a heart attack July 22 2004 at the age of 81.


(Moisés) “Mario” Abramovich, Argentinian tango and classical violinist (Sexteto Major, 1974-2014), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina


William ‘Count’ Basie recorded perhaps his only vocal, singing Somebody Stole My Gal with Bennie Moten’s orchestra, on Victor.

Ray Crane, English trumpeter, born in Skegness, Lincolnshire.

Booker Ervin [Booker Telleferro Ervin II], American saxophonist (Charles Mingus), born in Denison, Texas.


David Lumsdaine, Australian composer ( Annotations of Auschwitz), born in Sydney, Australia.


Walter Steffens, German composer, born in Burtscheid, Aachen, Germany.


Tom Paxton, American folk singer and songwriter (Forest Lawn), born in Chicago, Illinois.


Ali Farka Touré, Malian musician, born in Timbuktu Region, Mali.


White Christmas” by Bing Crosby hit #1 for 11 weeks on Billboard’s Pop music chart.  It would reach #1 again for 2 weeks at Christmas, 1945 and for 1 week at Christmas, 1946.  It would continuously chart for many Christmases and be the most charted song of all time.

CBS radio debuted Thanks to the Yanks, a wartime themed game show starring Bob Hawk, the quizmaster who had introduced Take it Or Leave It to radio, the original $64 Question show.


Rik Kenton, British musician (Roxy Music, Woody Kern), born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

John “Moon” Martin, American rockabilly singer-songwriter and guitarist (Bad Case Of Loving You), born in Altus, Oklahoma


Russ Ballard, English rocker (Argent), born in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, England


Bob Siebenberg, American rock drummer (Supertramp – Crime Of The Century), born in Glendale, California.


Odaline de la Martinez, Cuban-American composer, born in Matanzas, Cuba.


Bernard Edwards, bassist (Chicago-Addicted to Love), born in Greenville, North Carolin

Pianist Johnnie Johnson hired 26 year old Chuck Berry as a guitarist in his band. While playing evening gigs in the St. Louis area, Berry kept his day job as a hairdresser for the next three years.


The No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “This Ole House” by Rosemary Clooney.


Premiered Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77 by Dmitri Shostakovich


Robert Pollard, American rock singer-songwriter (Guided by Voices), born in Dayton, Ohio.

Brian Stokes Mitchell, American Broadway singer and actor, born in Seattle, Washington.


The Flamingos were in New York to record what would become their biggest selling hit, the Harry Warren/Al Dubin standard “I Only Have Eyes For You.”


The Quarry Men decided to change their name to Johnny and the Moondogs, as they auditioned for the BBC’s Carrol Levis show. The Quarry Men featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.


Larry Mullen, Jr, Irish rock drummer (U2 – “I Will Follow”), born in Dublin, Ireland

Kate Campbell, American musician, born in New Orleans, Louisiana.


 Johnny Marr, British guitarist and songwriter (The Smiths – “This Charming Man”; “Ask”), born in Ardwick, Manchester, England.

Mikkey Dee [Micael Kiriakos Delaoglou], Swedish rock musician and drummer [Motörhead, Scorpions], born in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Beatles returned to London from Sweden to be greeted by hundreds of screaming fans and a mob of photographers. Ed Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow, and was struck by the sight of Beatlemania in full swing. This was the day he determined to have the Fab Four appear on his Sunday night CBS TV variety show, thus introducing The Beatles to North America.


Baby Love’ by The Supremes was the number one single (for four weeks), while Barbra Streisand’s People was #1 on U.S. album charts (for five weeks).

Ray Charles was arrested by customs officials at the Boston airport and charged with possession of heroin. This was his third drug charge. He avoided prison after kicking the habit in a clinic in Los Angeles, but spent a year on parole in 1966.


Colm Ó Cíosóig, Irish drummer (My Bloody Valentine, Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions), born in Dublin, Ireland.


Darryl Worley, American country singer (Hard Rain Don’t Last), born in Memphis, Tennessee.


Lead singer Wayne Fontana quit his group, the Mindbenders.

The Rolling Stones played Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.


Ad-Rock [Adam Horovitz], American rocker (Beastie Boys), born in NYC, New York.

Annabella Lwin [Myant Myant Aye], Anglo-Burmese singer (Bow Wow Wow – “I Want Candy”), born in Rangoon, Burma.

Anabella Lwin

At the tender age of fourteen, was one of the most photographed, talked about and popular vocalists in the early 80’s with her band, BOW WOW WOW, who enjoyed success with massive hits such as ‘I Want Candy’, ’Do U wanna Hold Me?’,  ‘Go Wild in the Country’ and ‘C30, C60, C90, Go!’ Her unique vocals — which swung between sweet fourteen and Balinese banshee squeals — defined the sound of a new and energetic pop culture; her memorable performances influencing and inspiring a brand new wave of up‐and‐coming artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day amongst others.


The album “Sweet Baby James,” featuring the James Taylor hit single “Fire & Rain,” was certified as a Gold Record. Two weeks earlier Taylor had performed live at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

Mitch Harris, American guitarist (Napalm Death, among others), born in Queens, New York.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s ‘Our House’  peaked at #30 on the Billboard pop singles chart.

Linn Berggren, Swedish pop singer (Ace of Base), born in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Linn Berggren

Rogers Stevens, American guitarist (Blind Melon), born in West Point, Mississippi

Johnny Moeller, American blues guitarist, born in Fort Worth, Texas.


Natasja Saad, Danish hip hop and reggae artist, born in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Rolling Stones earned a gold record for their album “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll.”


Rocker Bob Geldof (below) made his first appearance with the Boomtown Rats.


Séverine Ferrer, French pop singer, born in Montpellier, France. She has performed in many successful plays such as My mother drives me crazy and Hell and against everything . 

Severine Ferrer


Alondra de la Parra, Mexican-American conductor (Queensland Symphony, 2015-present), and founder and artistic director of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (2004-11), born in NYC, New York.

Alondra de la Parra

From January 2017 until November 2019, she was Music Director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, making her the first ever Music Director of an Australian orchestra. She is an official Cultural Ambassador of Mexico, where she saw platinum-level sales of her first album “Mi Alma Mexicana” and, in March 2017, was named international brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz. Since July 2017, Deutsche Welle broadcasts ‘Musica Maestra’, a new classical format featuring Alondra de la Parra as both protagonist and reporter in a series of several web videos and television shows.


Frank Lero

Frank Iero, American musician (My Chemical Romance, Leathermouth, Pencey Prep; founder of Skeleton Crew), was born in Belleville, New Jersey.


The Cheeky Girls [Gabriela and Monica Irimia], British-Romanian pop singers, born in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania


Paul McCartney released his “Pipes of Peace” album.


‘Caribbean Queen’ became a gold record for Trinidad’s Billy Ocean.  It was Ocean’s second hit song and the only one of his 11 hits to become a million-seller. He would have two other #1 songs and a pair of #2 hits, but none as big as Caribbean Queen.

The No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder. The song hit the top spot 22 years and three months after Wonder’s first No. 1, the longest span to date.


Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters filed suit in London to dissolve Pink Floyd and retain the rights to the name. The other members of the band were granted temporary rights to the name and later full rights.


The very first MTV Unplugged show was taped in New York, featuring UK band Squeeze. The program aired on Nov. 26th.


Guitarist Slash announced his departure from Guns N’ Roses to help found the supergroup Velvet Revolver.


KISS kicked off its Psycho-Circus tour with a Halloween extravaganza in Los Angeles that dazzled thousands of fans, many of whom arrived in costumes. Appropriately enough, the Smashing Pumpkins opened the show.


Alice Cooper hosted The Monstrous Munster Mash, an eight-hour marathon of the ’60s sitcom on the WGN Chicago cable station. “I grew up on The Munsters,” said Cooper. And at midnight, WGN premiered Alice Cooper’s Along Came A Spider, a 30-minute special featuring music videos and clips from the album of the same name.

Smashing Pumpkins kicked off their 20th anniversary North American tour in Columbus, OH.


UK-born Ian Fraser, whose 11 Emmy Awards and 32 nominations for outstanding music direction made him the most honoured composer/conductor in the history of television, succumbed to cancer at age 81.

Most of the information on this post comes from the following sources:

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