April 7 – Beethoven Eroica, the Vocoder, South Pacific, Little Richard, Chemical Brothers

1805


Erased title page

Premiere performance of the remarkable Eroica Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.

He originally dedicates the work to Napolean, but savages the dedication page when Napolean declares himself emperor. The work remains a milestone in classical music history and essential to the modern repertoire.

SF Symphony:A symphonic revolution 
Luisi: Marcia Funebre   ( Eroica site

1937


Homer, vocoding. They were a little larger back then.

US electronic and acoustic engineer Homer Dudley, working for Bell Labs, files for a patent (US#2,121,142) for what will come to be called a vocoder. (*)

His ‘System for the artificial production of vocal or other sounds’ patent is granted on June 21, 1938. His fundamental insight is that the vocal chords create a ‘carrier’ sound ‘modulated’ by the body into formants.

While early vocoders were very large, the advent of transistors allowed them to become important as electronic musical instruments. They’re often used to make ‘talking synthesizer’ vocals,   OGG: by ELO  as in Kraftwerk‘s Autobahn, Styx song Mr. Roboto, and the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica.

Kraftwerk:The Robots  ▷Analog vocoders ▹ ▷Aitkin:Using vocoders ▹
▷Anderton:How vocoders work ▹

1949

South Pacific, a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, opens on Broadway.

One of the greatest musicals, it sees 1925 performances. Among its stars are Italian opera singer Ezio Pinza (as Emile de Becque) and US actress Mary Martin (as Nelly Forbush). The 1949 Columbia original cast recording sells a million copies on 78s and the brand-new LP. On Mar. 21, 2013 the recording is added to the National Recording Registry.

On March 19, 1958 the film is released; starring Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor, it tops the box office that year.
Nothin’ Like a Dame  Wash That Man 

1956

Little Richard climbs his highest on the charts -US#3- with Long Tall Sally on the Specialty Records label. It’s his 21st birthday.

Well Long, Tall Sally
She’s built for speed, she got
everything that Uncle John needs
Oh baby,
ye-e-e-eh baby,
woo-o-o-oh baby,
havin’ me some fun tonight.

Richard once had Jimi Hendrix for his valet!!!

The song was originally called ‘The Thing’. ▷Songfacts ▹ Both The Kinks and The Beatles release covers in 1964.

▷B-Side bio ▹ ▷Russ & Gary’s early years bio ▹ Olympia Theater, Paris,1966 

1997

English electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers release their second album, ‘Dig Your Own Hole‘ (UK#1,#14 in the perennially stodgy US.)

Single Block Rockin’ Beats makes UK#1,US#40. Pioneers of big beat electronic dance, the duo had been known as the Dust Brothers from 1992-5. Their albums repeatedly top the UK charts through 2007.

Their soundtrack for 2011 British–German thriller film Hanna makes #7 on the US electronic album chart. Container Park 

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