This Week In Music

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Born Ernesto Antonio Puente and known throughout his life as Tito Puente – he is most known as the king of the timbales and for being highly influential in bringing the afro-cuban latin jazz sound to popularity in the 1950's. Born in New York to Puerto Rican parents, Puente grew up in the Spanish Harlem area of New York City. Following three years of service in the Navy during World War II, the Juliard School of Music was the next stop for the "El Rey" where he completed his education in conducting, orchestration and music theory. Puente's five grammy awards and a posthumous lifetime achievement award in 2003 are a testimony to his influence and career. His name is connected with parks from Puerto Rico to New Jersey, and a post office even bears Puente's name in Harlem. Especially of note for fans of history, the timbales used by Puente in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games are on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC.


U.S. Patent #1,956,350 on April 24, 1934 holds a special place in the hearts of musicians around the world – it's the patent made by Laurens Hammond for an 'electrical musical instrument' that could recreate a pipe organ-type sound. The original invention of the Hammond organ was built to be a substitute for a piano in middle-class homes or as an affordable alternative for a pipe organ. Radio shows in the 30's and 40's used this classic sound to create a mood surrounding a broadcast, or even for special effects like clock chimes. As time passed, more and more musicians began to find beauty in the tone creation possible with the Hammond organ and accompanying rotating speaker. From jazz musicians like Jimmy Smith to rock keyboardists like Rick Wakeman, the Hammond Organ now occupies a place of nostalgia in the hearts of musicians. Many will claim that the computer technology today still cannot accurately replicate the Hammond Organ sound. For that reason, it's not uncommon to see original Hammond instruments still in use today, instruments that may be two to three times the age of those performing on them.


Week of April 4, 2011
Event: Herp Alpert Born April 4, 1939

Birthday: Freddie Hubbard Born April 7, 1938

Week of March 28, 2011
Birthday: Michael Brecker Born March 29, 1949

Birthday: Herp Alpert Born March 31, 1935

Week of March 14, 2011
Event: Joseph Haydn's Surprise Symphony Is Performed for the First Time March 23, 1792

Birthday: Johann Sebastian Bach Born March 21, 1685

Week of March 7, 2011
Event: Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians Recorded Auld Lang Syne March 7, 1939

Birthday: Leon Bismark (Bix) Beiderbecke March 10, 1903

Week of February 28, 2011
Event: Miles Davis Records "Kind of Blue" on Columbia Records March 2, 1959
Birthday: Frédéric Chopin Marc 1, 1810

Week of February 21, 2011
Event: Duke Ellington Records "The Queen's Suite"
Birthday: Dexter Gordon February 27, 1923

Week of February 14, 2011
Event: Sonny Rollins Records his Title Track "The Bridge" February 14, 1962
Birthday: Buddy DeFranco February 17, 1923

Week of February 7, 2011
Event: Rhapsody in Blue is Performed for the First Time February 12, 1924
Birthday: Marion "Buddy" Childers February 12, 1926

Week of January 31, 2011
Event: Frank Sinatra Debuts on Radio's "Your Hit Parade" February 6, 1943
Birthday: Stanley "Stan" Getz February 2, 1927

Week of January 24, 2011
Event: Original Dixieland Jazz Band Makes the First Jazz Record January 30, 1917
Birthday: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart January 27, 1756