September 26 – Telharmonium, West Side Story, Pretty Woman, Abbey Road


Row of tone dynamos

US lawyer by training, inventor by nature Thaddeus Cahill‘s 200-ton Telharmonium (*) electric music synthesizer begins public concerts at NYC’s Telharmonic Hall, across from the Met. (*)(*)(*)

By the winter of 1907 there are as many as four ‘recitals’ a day. There are no loudspeakers yet; the sound is transmitted through wires to telephone receivers fitted with metal horns. There are no amplifying vacuum tubes yet; the signals have to be created loud using dynamos. The 36-note-per-octave keyboard is hard to play.

Neither experimental radio transmissions by Lee de Forest nor Singing Arc lamps can save it. In the end, the machine is too big, too quirky and ahead of its time, and causes too much noise in the nascent telephone network. By 1914 it is over. There are no known remains. Short (9m) 


Brilliant musical West Side Story opens on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre for 980+ performances.

The plot centers on the rivalry between two teen street gangs of ‘juvenile deliquents’, the Jets and the Sharks. A delightful score by conductor, composer Leonard Bernstein, debut lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents (based on Romeo and Juliet) guarantee a winner.

There are 1039 performances in London’s West End theatre. The 1961 film wins 10! Academy Awards out of 11.  ( Website A 2009 revival opens officially on March 19 at the Palace Theatre, New York.  ( Website


Hard-working, long-suffering (but not blind, despite the rumors about the shades he wears everywhere) songwriter Roy Orbison finally gets a US#1 hit with Oh, Pretty Woman.

Apr. 12, 1973 in Melbourne, AU (51m)  B&W Night (64m) 
 ( Website


 In the end, the love you take... 

The Beatles release the album they recorded last, Abbey Road.

A fitting windup after the ‘Get Back’ confusions, it spends 17 weeks at UK#1, 129 weeks in the Billboard 200.

Accordianist, parodist Weird Al releases his 12th album Straight Outta Lynwood– the DVD includes 6 videos – and scores his first top 10.The track White & Nerdy becomes his first ever top-10 single. ▷Myspace▹