January 26 – Richard Strauss, Apollo Theatre, Fly Me

1911


Richard Strauss

Premiere of comic opera Der Rosenkavalier by German romantic composer Richard Strauss(*). Overture 

The 32-year-old princess Marschallin has spent a passionate night with 17-year-old Octavian. She then hooks him up with someone his own age. Tad racy, nicht wahr?

In 1968, Strauss’s tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra provides the main theme for Stanley Kubrick‘s Academy Award-winning sci-fi film 2001. As a result ‘Also’ becomes the best-known of Strauss’ works.

BTW, Richard was not related to ‘waltz king’ Johann Strauss.  ~ Classical music 

1934


Ella

The Apollo Theater(*), a club for popular music located in NYC’s Harlem neighborhood, opens its doors to African Americans for the first time.

Calling itself a ‘Negro vaudeville theatre’, its Amateur Night show launches the careers of dozens of well-known artists … Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday among them.

From Sep. 12, 1987 to May 24, 2008 it’s the scene of 1093 episodes of syndicated TV show Showtime at the Apollo. The show’s guest hosts introduce America to hundreds of acts. It’s back in 2012 on Black Entertainment Television with Jamie Foxx as the host.
 ( Website  ~ Howard Theatre 

1963


Harnell

ALL the big-name singers had a run at Bart Howard‘s 1954 song (dozens of them! Kaye Ballard was the first), but it is one of Glen Miller‘s boys, Bronx composer, arranger, pianist Joe Harnell(*), who gets it highest on the charts.

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me

After the war, Harnel studied composing under Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. His bossa nova arrangement of Fly Me to the Moon flies Joe and his orchestra to US#14. In addition it wins a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental. In 1973 Harnell moves to Hollywood to author film and TV scores, winning a 1986 Emmy for mini-series V.

In 2011, his grandson JC Harnell wins a Peoples Music Award. In 2012, Canadian jazz artist Diana Krall plays the song (a subdued version) at Neil Armstrong‘s funeral.

 ( Harnell site Krall’s Fly Me (6.4M views)