Category Archives: May Milestones

Stan Kenton Recording Added to National Registry

Although this is news is not directly tied to the Kansas City area, it’s worth noting that a recording by Stan Kenton, the Wichita-born bandleader, has been added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

The library announced today that Artistry in Rhythm by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra was one of 25 historic recordings to preserved for its cultural, artistic and historic merit.

According to the library, Kenton composed Artistry in Rhythm in 1941. Because of a musician’s union-imposed recording ban stemming from a dispute over royalties, it was not recorded until 1943.

This live performance was recorded in London in 1971.


Today in KC’s Music History: “Single White Female” Released

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Country singer Chely Wright’s fourth album, Single White Female, was released on May 18, 1999.

Single White Female is Wright’s best-selling album, and the title track was her first and only No. 1 single on the country charts.

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Eagles Receive Honorary Doctorates

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The Eagles, along with Allison Krauss (center) and Mulatu Astatke (left of Krauss), received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music. Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh (far left) was born in Wichita.

The Eagles received honorary doctorates on this past weekend from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

The current Eagles lineup of Glenn Fry, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt and Wichita-born Joe Walsh were recognized for their achievements in contemporary music, for their enduring contributions to popular culture, and for the influence their careers and music have had over Berklee’s international student body.

At its commencement exercises, Berklee also conferred honorary doctorates to bluegrass musician Alison Krauss and Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke.

The Eagles have begun a late spring/summer U.S. tour. Walsh’s first solo album in 20 years, Analog Man, will be released June 5, and he has solo dates scheduled for August.

Joyce DiDonato Voted into Gramophone Hall of Fame

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Joyce DiDonato, the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano, was recently voted into Gramophone magazine’s Hall of Fame.

As part of the British magazine’s 90th anniversary celebration, the Hall of Fame honors artists, producers, engineers and record executives, as voted for by Gramophone’s readers and visitors to its website.

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Burt Bacharach Receives Gershwin Prize

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Burt Bacharach, right, received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Barack Obama. Eunice David, left, accepted the prize on behalf of her husband, lyricist Hal David.

KC-born Burt Bacharach received the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last week in Washington, D.C.

Bacharach and his songwriting partner, lyricist Hal David, received the honor from President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House. David, who recently suffered a stroke, was unable to attend. His wife, Eunice David, accepted on his behalf.

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Today in KC’s Music History: Joe Turner Born

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Big Joe Turner

Happy Birthday to KC legend Big Joe Turner, who was born 100 years ago today.

Born in Kansas City, Turner started singing on the streets and in church. In his early teens, he began singing in clubs and became known as the Singing Barman. Continue reading

Today in KC’s Music History: “Flora the Red Menace” Opens on Broadway

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Although it’s mostly forgotten today, the debut of Flora the Red Menace on May 11, 1965, marked the debut of one of Broadway’s most enduring composing teams.

This show was the first musical between composer Kansas Citian John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, who subsequently wrote such shows as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

John Kander (at piano) and lyricist Fred Ebb.

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