March 6 – Edgard Varèse, Missy Elliott


French-born composer Edgar Varese blows minds with the raucous premiere in NYC’s Steinway Hall of a piece for 37 percussion instruments called Ionisation.
He’d moved to NYC’s Greenwich Village in 1915 with $32 in his pocket.

I long for instruments obedient to my thought and whim, with their contribution of a whole new world of unsuspected sounds, which will lend themselves to the exigencies of my inner rhythm. — 1917

Some other better-known works include Hyperprism (1924) , Deserts (1954) and Poeme Electronique (1958, Brussels) — a taped work requiring hundreds of speakers.   MP3: PE recording 
Frank Zappa cites Ionisation as the source of his musical career.

I didn’t know what timbre was. I never heard of polyphony. I just liked the music because it sounded good to me. I would force anybody who came over to listen to it.

Edgar Varese ▷Father of Electronic Music▹ ▷Virtual electronic poem▹ ▷Conductor’s guide▹


Rapper, songwriter dancer actress Missy Elliott releases single Get Ur Freak On (US#7,UK#4).
Her third studio album Miss E… So Addictive is released May 15. It includes One Minute Man (US#15,UK#10) and international club hit 4 My People (NL#2,UK#5).
In the years since she’s won many awards including 5 Grammies.

March 5 – Rocket 88, Morrison warrant, Sullivan vanishes, The Power


Delta Cats (Brenston upper left, Turner center)

Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm record the song Rocket 88 at 28 year-old Sam Phillips‘ Memphis Recording Service.

Some consider it the first true rock and roll record. When released on Chess 1458 — named for a flashy new Oldsmobile model — it’s credited to singer-saxophonist Jackie Brenston (who sang the vocal) and his Delta Cats. Whatever you callem, it climbs to USR&B#1 and sells a reported half-million copies. In another year, Phillips would start up Sun Records.

▷Jackie Brenston & Ike Turner, Delta Rhythm Kings▹

See also: Origins of rock and roll


A warrant is issued in Miami, FL for The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison … for supposedly exposing himself at a March 1 concert.

He turns himself in on April 4. In 1970 he’s sentenced to eight months of hard labor, and for some reason decides to tour Europe.

See also: Mysterious Death of Jim Morrison

 Welcome to the Motel Santa Rosa 

On the way to Nashville, LA country singer Jim Sullivan checks into a motel in Santa Rosa, NM.

Two days later his VW Bug, with his guitar inside, is found in the desert 20 miles SE of Santa Rosa . Two years of search parties turn up nothing. (*) (*)

Reportedly Sullivan was in the commune scene of the late 60s classic film Easy Rider. Spooky. His 1969 first album ‘UFO’, (*) backed up by The Wrecking Crew (heard on The Byrds classic Mr. Tambourine Man), has been re-released.


German eurodance project Snap! has a European Hot 100 Singles (USDance,UK,NL, CH#1, international top-5) hit with The Power.

It’s definitely the only #1 single to start with a line recorded from a Russian shortwave transmission.

March 4 – Vivaldi, Swan Lake, Ruby Tuesday, The Zappas


Birth of Antonio Vivaldi, destined to become a baroque composer, a priest, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist, in the Republic of Venice.

He’s an unmatched baroque standout composer whose works sparkle with wit, personality and spunk; among his best known is The Four Seasons, a popular series of four violin concerti,
e.g. Winter 


At the Bolshoi in 1901

‘World’ premiere of Russian composer Tchaikovsky‘s ballet The Lake of the Swans at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

It is not well-received, but by 1883 has received 41 performances. Of course, it eventually becomes one of the most famous and popular ballets.

In 1981, a reportedly faithful anime (75m) based on the ballet is released in Japan on Mar. 14.

Maryinsky 2007:Dance of 4 swans  Maryinsky:Entire ballet (130m) 

See also: 10 most popular classical ballets, List of compositions by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The Rolling Stones get their fourth of five 60s US#1s with Ruby Tuesday.

Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you.

Having Let’s Spend the Night Together on the flipside didn’t hurt!. The band would quit live concerts in June.
▷Songfacts▹  ( Website


The Zappas

Rolling Stone reports that Moon Unit Zappa and Dweezil Zappa are forming a band called Fred Zeppelin.

The announced first single is My Mother Is a Space Cadet. It appears but credited to Dweezil alone.

14 year-old Moon sings on her father Frank‘s song Valley Girl instead, using Valspeak phrases. Released on Barking Pumpkin Records, it makes it to US#32, Frank’s only US top-40.

An English Fred Zeppelin forms in 1993.
 ( Dweezil site  ( English FZ site

March in music history #1 – Creem, Trouser Press, Ambient


Crumb cover

The first issue of Creem magazine, “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” comes from Detroit, MI.
▷Can’t Forget the Motor City▹

Famous critic Les Bangs

Published for 20 years, it was the home of several notable rock critics – among them Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus – and many more.

▷20 Top Music Magazine Histories▹ ▷Sour Creem▹ ▷Creemed▹


The first issue

First issue of Trouser Press fanzine is created.

Originally about Brit bands and artists, it grew to cover transAtlantic punk, alt and underground.

Publication ceased in April 1984, but the gang has since excelled at record guides … AND SHARES its database .


British composer/synthesist Brian Eno — credited with coining the term ambient music — releases classic electronic music/ambient music album Ambient 1: Music for Airports.
It’s the first of four similar ‘Ambient’ albums which Eno collaborates in or produces. Earlier Eno ambient works include 1975’s Evening Star (with Robert Fripp) and Discreet Music.
 ( Eno site  ( Fansite ▷Ambient 1 liner notes▹

See also: Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, Ambient 4: On Land

March 2 – Wild life of Mozart librettist – Leiber, Stoller & Smokey Joe – Oasis

 Mozarts Librettists 
 unusual life 

Former court librettist Lorenzo da Ponte discovers that he is facing English debtor’s prison.
Ordained a Catholic priest, he had been banned from Venice for abduction. After moving to Austria, he wrote librettos for 28 operas, including several of Mozart‘s best (e.g. Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni). Don G. Act 1  He had moved to London after the death of Emperor Joseph II in 1790.
He soon sails for New York to join his wife, who left six months earlier. Arriving on June 4, he spends the rest of his life there, opening a bookstore and becoming a professor of Italian literature at Columbia University.


Broadway opening of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, a jukebox musical of 39 hit songs written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
It closes January 16, 2000 after 2036 performances. The original cast recording wins the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in 1996.
The duo got together in L.A. in 1950; in 1952 they wrote Hound Dog, a first US#1 for Big Mama Thornton in 1953. They’re inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock HoF in 1987. ▷Rolling Stone 1990 interview▹
▷SF:28 song writeups▹  ( Leiber, Stoller site

See also: List of L&S songs


English rock band Oasis has a second UK#1 single with Don’t Look Back in Anger.
It’s from their 2nd and most-enduring Britpop studio album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which spends 10 weeks at UK#1 (UK#4, international #1). Another of 4 singles from the album, Wonderwall, is a US#8 hit (AU,CA,NZ#1). It’s also the name of a well-known 1968 film, for which George Harrison wrote his album.
 ( Website  ( Live4ever fansite

See also: UK best-selling albums

March 1 – Chopin, Carlos S.O.B., Willie Nelson, The Cranberries


Birthday of composer, pianist Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin.

Imagine Mikolaj and Tekla’s surprise when this 6-year-old started piano lessons. In 4 years they had to move to Warsaw!

As anyone who’s taken piano lessons, or known someone who has knows (?!), we’re talkin Poland‘s answer to Liberace here. How about that Nocturne #9 ? 6 million views on Youtube is what. Or that Polonaise ? Brings the pollen count down right now!

If you’ve listened to music, you know a Chopin tune. Wistful? what’s lovelier than the Tristesse ? What’s scarier than the sheet music for the stormy Revolutionary Etude ?

This man is so mad about music he becomes friends with famed cat Felix Mendelssohn and famed weirdo Hector Berlioz! And then he falls under the spell of pipe smoker George Sand — oh my. He dies aged only 39.

Still popular? This man’s music has made it into over 40 movies or TV shows in just the past five years.


Composer Walter Carlos‘ 1968 album

Switched -On Bach

gets the rare distinction of being an all-instrumental album that climbs into the Billboard Top 40.

The letters are big because this album is the electronic music atom bomb. It changes everything.

There is no MIDI at the time, no computers, no sequencers. To create the recording, Carlos painstakingly programs and plays onto tape each note on the monophonic Moog synthesizer. (Her console Moog has no timbre or ‘patch’ storage; each ‘voice’ has to be individually hand-created.)

The record is so successful that it spawns literally hundreds of copycats. And it sells a lot of Moogs, making the name synonymous with electronic music until the 80s. Carlos releases a new version in 2000.
 ( Website


US national treasure, singer, songwriter Willie Nelson scores the first of a gabillion Grammy awards for his vocals on Fred Rose song Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (US#21,USC&W#1,CAC&W#2).

First recorded in 1945 by ‘King of Country’ Roy Acuff, Willie’s version is from his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger; its arrangements are so sparse they scare the record company, but its a blockbuster. It had been 13 years since the man who wrote Crazy had a top-10 hit.

The album inspires 1986 film by the same name; it’s not a blockbuster.


Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan

Limerick, Ireland rock band The Cranberries release debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (UK#1,NZ,IE#9).

It produces no hit singles, although a re-release of 1993 single Linger gets some attention (CA#4,IE#3,USMod#4). But Sep. 1994 followup album No Need to Argue makes up for that by becoming an international smash (top-5) hit — including their still-most popular single, Zombie.

On Feb. 27, 2012 they release their first album after 11 years, Roses. The lead single is Tomorrow.

February 28 – Troubled Water, Jezebel, Frozen Gibbons?


Simon and Garfunkel(*) get their third US#1 (for 6 weeks) and an international top-5 hit with the song Bridge Over Troubled Water. Live, 1969 
The album, their last, also charts US#1, UK#1, as did previous album Bookends. Bridge sells 25M copies worldwide. The duo splits in 1970 due to creative differences.
Simon’s latest album is 2011’s So Beautiful or So What, produced in collaboration with Phil Ramone. Released Apr. 8, 2011 it debuts at US#4 (UK#6,AT#13). Afterlife 


Eleven-year-old Hamburg, Germany industrial rock group KMFDM releases Juke Joint Jezebel.
The group’s most widely-known song has sold over 3M copies. It’s from their 8th studio album Nihil and is heard in 1995 film Bad Boys.
Their 17th studio album WTF?!, released Apr. 4, 2011, leads off with Krank .
 ( Website


For the third year, Sheffield, England indie rock band Arctic Monkeys wins the NME Awards(*) nod for Best Band.
Their single Fluorescent Adolescent (UK#5,DK#9) — from 2007 second studio album Favourite Worst Nightmare, an international top-10 (UK#1,US#7) —  is named best track. Their first charting hit single was Oct. 17, 2005’s I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (UK#1,IE#12).
The band was one of the first to build a large fanbase via the Internet. The NME awards began in the 1950s as the ‘Pollwinners Concert’.
 ( Website

See also: List of NME Award winners


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