Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Robert Moog

Music History Monday: Where is the “Sin” in “Synthesizer?: Robert Moog and “Synthetic” Sound

August 21st, 2023
Robert Moog (1934-2005) We mark the death on August 21, 2005 – 18 years ago today – of the American engineer and electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.  Born in New York City on May 23, 1934, he died of a brain tumor in Asheville, North Carolina, at the age of 71. First things first: let…

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The Beatles in 1964

Dr. Bob Prescribes: The Beatles 1

August 15th, 2023
In Six, Short Years! The Beatles in 1964 (if you need me to tell you their names, you’re too darn young!) Yesterday’s Music History monday post concluded by observing that in the six short years between 1964 and 1970, the Beatles amassed a total of 20 number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart,…

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Pete Best circa 1962

Music History Monday: Worst. Timing. Ever

August 14th, 2023
If physical appearance had been the criterion, and not the ability to play the drums . . . On August 14, 1962 – 61 years ago today – the manager of the Beatles Brian Epstein made a phone call to the drummer Ringo Starr, inviting him to join the band.  As I suspect we are…

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Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) in 1892

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”

August 8th, 2023
Yesterday’s Music History Monday post was all about auctions; specifically, auctions of Elvis Presley memorabilia. As we observed yesterday, the most expensive piece of Elvis memorabilia sold to date that isn’t a gold Rolex watch is Presley’s 1942 Martin D-18 guitar, Serial Number 80221, which was auctioned off for $1,320,000 August 1, 2020. As I…

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Elvis Presley (1935-1977) wearing his peacock jumpsuit in concert, circa 1974

Music History Monday: All Hail The King!

August 7th, 2023
Elvis Presley (1935-1977) wearing his peacock jumpsuit in concert, circa 1974 We mark an online auction that concluded on August 7, 2008 – 15 years ago today – at which Elvis Presley’s white, sweat-stained, high-collared, plunging V-necked jumpsuit, decorated with a dazzling, hand-embroidered blue and gold peacock – sold for $300,000.  (Because I know you…

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Bernard “Buddy” Rich (1917-1987) in 1969

Dr. Bob Prescribes The Buddy Rich Big Band

August 1st, 2023
Yesterday’s Music History Monday was generally about nepo (as in “nepotism”) babies: “the children of celebrities who have succeeded in the same or adjacent career as their celebrity parents or other esteemed relatives. The implication is that, because their parents already had connections to an industry, the child was able to use those connections to…

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Sophia Coppola (born 1971), smiling (sneering?), with Al Pacino in G3

Music History Monday: Nepo Babies

July 31st, 2023
Before we get to the actual date-related topic for today, I beg your indulgence, as I need to tell you a story.  It’s a story that most of you know, at least in part. Again, indulge me. A partial reunion of the stars of The Godfather films I and II in 2017, on the 45th…

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Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) at the age of 37 in 1917

Dr. Bob Prescribes Ernest Bloch: Sacred Service

July 25th, 2023
Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) at the age of 37 in 1917 The composer, conductor, pianist, violinist, watercolorist, photographer, and teacher Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) was born 143 years ago yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland.  He grew up in a middle-class household; his father Maurice Bloch was a merchant and his mother Sophie (née Brunschwig) was a highly cultured,…

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Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) circa 1950

Music History Monday: Ernest Bloch

July 24th, 2023
Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) circa 1950 We mark the birth on July 24, 1880 – 143 years ago today – of the Swiss-born American composer and educator Ernest Bloch, who was born in Geneva, Switzerland.  He died in Portland, Oregon, on July 15, 1959, at the age of 78. Establishing a Genealogy People trace their family…

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Elaine Stritch (1925-2014), circa 2005

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Elaine Stritch (1925-2014)

July 18th, 2023
Elaine Stritch (1925-2014), circa 2005 Today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post is a bit different from any other I’ve done to date.  Instead of offering up a recommended recording, or a video, or a book, I’m prescribing a person: the indomitable Elaine Stritch (1924-2014).  Love her or not, she was like a gorilla in your boudoir:…

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