Browsing: Music

A Brief History On November 28, 1925, a one hour “barn dance” radio show began in Nashville, Tennessee broadcast on WSM that became known as The Grand Ole Opry.  The show is the longest running radio show in history, although it has changed networks over the years.  A most American of radio shows, the Opry features country, western, folk, bluegrass, Gospel and Americana music forms, as well as comedy skits and other entertainment. Digging Deeper Created by George D. Hay, known as “Judge” Hay, a Chicago radio personality that had been hosting his own National Barn Dance on radio station…

A Brief History On October 31, 1941, the United States Navy destroyer, USS Reuben James was sunk by a German U-boat with torpedoes, the first US Navy ship sunk in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, and over a month before the US was even in the war.  Today we will tell you a little about the namesake of the fateful ship, and about 10 ships well known for having songs about them.  What other ships would you put on this list?  (Apologies to “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island” and the SS Minnow!) Digging Deeper 1. USS Reuben…

A Brief History On October 20, 1803, Ludwig van Beethoven, one of history’s greatest composers (and a favorite here at History and Headlines!) was hard at work on his vastly important “Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major,” better known as “Sinfonia Eroica” (“Heroic Symphony”). This musical work is important to Beethoven personally because it marks the beginning of his “middle period” and marks the transition from Classical to Romantic musical style. Digging Deeper Beethoven’s other major works, such as “Ode to Joy,” “Fur Elise,” and his momentous “Symphony No. 5” (colloquially called, “Beethoven’s Fifth”) are familiar musical works, and…

A Brief History In October 1934, state prisoners at the Cummins State Farm in Lincoln County, Arkansas recorded a folk song, “The Rock Island Line.”  The song is about a train engineer that sneaks a load of pig iron on his train past the toll collectors by claiming his train is carrying only produce, a cargo not levied.  Since this is the only song I know of about pig iron, it will be the inspiration for today’s subject! Digging Deeper Many notable artists, Black and White, have recorded the song originally written and recorded by African Americans.  Some of those…

A Brief History On October 17, 2001, Jay Livingston, American composer of famous songs for movies and television, died at the age of 86.  Livingston is one of several famous musicians that died on October 17th, and today we honor these wonderful writers and singers by telling you a little about them.  Even if you do not know the people, you almost assuredly know the music.  (Okay, some are before your time.)  Any other musicians that died on October 17th that we missed?  If so, let us know. Digging Deeper 1. Jay Livingston, composer, 2001. Born Jacob Levison in Pennsylvania in…

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