8 Feb, 2024

February 8 in Music History

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February 8 in Music History

Today's birthdays:

John Williams, 92.

John Towner Williams is an American composer and conductor. In a career that has spanned seven decades, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable and critically acclaimed film scores in cinema history. He has a very distinct sound that mixes romanticism, impressionism and atonal music with complex orchestration. He is most known for his collaborations with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and has received numerous accolades including 26 Grammy Awards, five Academy Awards, seven BAFTA Awards, three Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. With 54 Academy Award nominations, he is the second-most nominated person, after Walt Disney, and is the oldest Oscar nominee in any category, at 91 years old.

Williams' early work as a film composer include Valley of the Dolls (1967), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Images (1972) and The Long Goodbye (1973). He has collaborated with Spielberg since his 1974 film The Sugarland Express, composing music for all but five of his feature films. He received five Academy Awards for Best Original Score for Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), and Schindler's List (1993). Other memorable collaborations with Spielberg include Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), the Indiana Jones franchise (1981–2023), Jurassic Park (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Catch Me If You Can (2002), War Horse (2011), Lincoln (2012), and The Fabelmans (2022). He also scored Superman (1978), the first two Home Alone films (1990–1992), and the first three Harry Potter films (2001–2004).

Williams has also composed numerous classical concertos and other works for orchestral ensembles and solo instruments. He served as the Boston Pops' principal conductor from 1980 to 1993 and is its laureate conductor.[10] Other works by Williams include theme music for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, "The Mission" theme used by NBC News and Seven News in Australia, the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants, and the incidental music for the first season of Gilligan's Island. Williams announced but then rescinded his intention to retire from film score composing after the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in 2023.

In 2022, Williams was appointed an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II, "for services to film music". He has received numerous honors including the Kennedy Center Honor in 2004, the National Medal of the Arts in 2009, and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998, the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame in 2000, and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2004. He has composed the score for nine of the top 25 highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office. In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams's score to Star Wars as the greatest film score of all time. The Library of Congress entered the Star Wars soundtrack into the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, 50.

French musician, record producer, singer, songwriter, DJ and composer. He is known as one half of the former French house music duo Daft Punk, along with Thomas Bangalter. He has produced several works from his now defunct record label Crydamoure with label co-owner Eric Chedeville.

On this day today:

1956 - Buddy Holley becomes "Buddy Holly" when he signs a recording contract with Decca Records that leaves out the "e" in his last name.
1961 - Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil is born in Los Angeles.
1964 - With "Louie Louie" under FBI investigation for obscene lyrics, the song's publisher offers $1,000 to anyone who can definitively distinguish the dirty words.
1965 - The Supremes release "Stop In The Name Of Love."
1971 - Bob Dylan's documentary Eat the Document, chronicling his 1966 tour of the UK, premieres at New York's Academy of Music. The ABC television network will buy the rights to the film, although they refuse to air it after deciding it doesn't contain enough concert footage.
1972 - Frank Zappa's concert at London's Royal Albert Hall is canceled when promoters discover "obscene" lyrics in Zappa's 200 Motels score.
1977 - Television release their debut album, Marquee Moon. It doesn't chart in the US but is later hailed by many critics as landmark, with a guitar sound that influences a number of New Wave and rock acts.
1982 - Cher makes her Broadway debut in Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
1986 - Anderson Paak is born in Oxnard, California.
1988 - The three remaining members of The Who reunite at Royal Albert Hall for the British Phonographic Industry awards, leading to a full-fledged 25th anniversary tour the next year.
1989 - Anthrax earn their first Gold album when their fourth album, State of Euphoria, is certified for sales of 500,000 copies.
1990 - Del Shannon, struggling with depression, commits suicide at age 55.
1993 - Tom Jones guest stars on Will Smith's TV show The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, where he sings a variation of "It's Not Unusual" with Alfonso Ribeiro, whose character Carlton often dances to the song.
2001 - Katy Perry, 16, releases her self-titled debut gospel album under her real name, Katy Hudson.
2003 - The Faux-lesbian duo t.A.T.u. hits #1 in the UK with "All The Things She Said," becoming the only Russian act ever to top the chart.
2004 - At the Grammy Awards, OutKast is the first hip-hop act to win Album of the Year, for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and Evanescence takes Best New Artist, beating out 50 Cent, who comes on stage anyway.
2004 - Justin Timberlake wins the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Cry Me A River" (inspired by his breakup with Britney Spears) and takes Best Pop Vocal Album for Justified. The prizes are the first Grammy wins for the former *NSYNC singer.
2004 - Pink wins her first solo Grammy Award when her Try This single "Trouble" is named Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. She previously earned a trophy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals in 2002 alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Mýa for their rendition of "Lady Marmalade."
2005 - Tori Amos releases Piece By Piece, a Q&A-style autobiography co-authored by rock journalist Ann Powers.
2006 - David Bowie is awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
2009 - Chris Brown and his girlfriend Rihanna miss the Grammy Awards, where they are scheduled to perform, after he assaults her.
2009 - About four months after the plane crash that nearly killed their drummer, Travis Barker, Blink-182 announce that they are getting back together during the Grammy Awards.
2009 - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are the big winners at the Grammy Awards, taking Album Of The Year for their collaboration Raising Sand and Record Of The Year for "Please Read the Letter." Lil Wayne wins four awards, and Adele takes Best New Artist, banishing any curse associated with that award.
2009 - Ne-Yo wins the Grammy awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for the Year of the Gentleman single "Miss Independent."
2015 - Sam Smith is the big winner at the Grammy Awards, taking Best New Artist and also Record of the Year and Song of the Year ("Stay With Me").

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