Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Music History Monday Podcast

Music History Monday: Der Bingle

We mark the death on October 14, 1977 – 42 years ago today – of the American singer and actor Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby of a so-called “widow maker”: a massive, dead-before-he-hit-the-ground heart attack. We sense that he went out the way he would have chosen to go out.

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Music History Monday: The Bombs Bursting in Air: Bombing The Star-Spangled Banner

On October 7, 1968 – 51 years ago today – the Puerto Rican-born singer and songwriter José Feliciano (b. 1945) performed the Star-Spangled Banner in Detroit, before the fifth game of the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals. His rendition caused a firestorm of controversy, one that did serious damage to his career.

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Music History Monday: Magic

It was on September 30, 1791 – 228 years ago today – that Wolfgang Mozart’s opera-slash-singspiel, The Magic Flute, received its premiere at the Freihaustheater auf der Wieden in Vienna, conducted by Mozart himself.

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Music History Monday: Melding with the Geldings, or Balls to the Wall

We note the death on September 16, 1782 – 237 years ago today – of one of the greatest opera singers to have ever lived, the celebrated Italian castrato Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, who went by the stage name of “Farinelli”

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Music History Monday: Elvis and the Tube

On September 9, 1956 – 63 years ago today – Elvis Presley made his first appearance, live, on The Ed Sullivan Show. (The show was indeed broadcast live in the Eastern and Central time zones, though delayed for the Mountain and Pacific time zones.) It has been suggested that this appearance on that evening 63 years ago marked the ascendance of rock ‘n’ roll as the dominant musical genre in the Western world.

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Music History Monday: Light My Fire

Robert Greenberg reminds us of how basic fire is to our existence, and appreciates how often fire has been memorialized in music in this Music History Monday.

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Music History Monday: The Gig of a Lifetime!

On August 19, 1613 – 406 years ago today – Claudio Monteverdi was appointed Maestro di Capella di San Marco: the director of music at Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica. It was the gig of a lifetime!

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Music History Monday: John Cage, we miss you

On August 12, 1992 – 27 years ago today – the American composer, inventor, philosopher, facilitator, agent provocateur, shaman, clown, and guru, John Cage died in New York City at the age of 79.

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