This Week In Music

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Violinist Mark O'Connor is credited with creating a new era of American fiddle performance. Born in Seattle, Washington, O'Connor was a prodigy who had won the Grand Masters Fiddling Championship in Nashville, Tennessee by age 13 and went on to win two more times before the age of 19. He has also won the National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest three times, and the National Flatpicking Guitar Championships twice as well as competing his way to World Mandolin Champion!

When he was 17, O'Connor was already a member of the David Grisman Quintet, one of the '70s premier acoustic string bands. By the 1980s, at age 19, O'Connor was in The Dregs with Steve Morse, and by age 20 he was a member of Strength in Numbers with Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Edgar Meyer. Since those days O'Connor has been a highly in-demand session musician whose performances are recorded on more than 500 albums, and his solo CDs have sold more than 2 million copies. In the process, O'Connor's repertoire has crossed many stylistic boundaries and he has developed a style that is uniquely his own.

O'Connor counts Texas fiddler Benny Thomasson and jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli as major influences, and he gives back to the music community not only in his performances, but also with his own compositions and the internationally recognized Mark O'Connor String Camp, held each summer in Tennessee and at Berklee College of Music in Boston. O'Connor's interest in music education extends to the O'Connor Violin Method, which has been called an American answer to the Suzuki method. The O'Connor Method teaches technique using examples drawn exclusively from American music.

O'Connor's albums New Nashville Cats and Appalachian Journey both earned him Grammys and he has been nominated for eight other Grammys. In 2009 O'Connor was inducted into The National Fiddler Hall of Fame.


The idea behind the many Dolby noise reduction systems is to reduce noise in recordings without degrading the music. The version that The New York Times was reporting about was most likely Dolby B-type® noise reduction, which was introduced to the public in 1968. Based on the original Dolby noise reduction system that had been developed for studio use, Dolby B-type® was intended for home recording and helped usher in a revolution in the use of cassette tapes as a popular audio medium.

Developed in a British lab run by American Ray Dolby, the two-step noise reduction process encodes music when it is recorded and decodes it when the tape is played back, resulting in a 10 dB noise reduction in the higher frequencies, where distracting tape hiss is found.

The studio version of Dolby—A-type® noise reduction—was developed in 1965 and first delivered to Decca Records in 1966. Many improvements and upgraded versions followed, including some for videotape, movies, surround sound, and computer gaming.


Week of August 08, 2011
Event: 14-Year-Old Benny Goodman Works as a Clarinet Player on a Lake Michigan Excursion Boat

Birthday: Pat Metheny, August 12, 1954

Week of August 01, 2011
Event: The Army of France Adds Saxophonesto its Military Bands

Birthday: Tony Bennett, August 3, 1926

Week of July 18, 2011
Event: First Newport Jazz Festival

Birthday: Carl Fontana Born July 18, 1928

Week of July 11, 2011
Event: "His Masters Voice" Trademark Registered

Birthday: Bélla Fleck Born July 10, 1958

Week of July 5, 2011
Event: Benny Goodman and His Band Record "Sing, Sing, Sing"

Birthday: Pinetop Perkins Born July 7, 1913

Week of June 27, 2011
Event: Cab Calloway and His Orchestra Record "St. James Infirmary""

Birthday: Pete Fountain Born July 3, 1930

Week of June 20, 2011
Event: 19 Year-Old Arturo Toscanini Conducts the Rio de Janeiro Orchestra in a Performance of "Aida"

Birthday: Lalo Schifrin Born June 21, 1932

Week of June 13, 2011
Event: New York Jazz Museum Opens

Birthday: Marcus Miller Born June 14, 1959

Week of June 06, 2011
Event: Jelly Roll Morton Records "Jelly Roll Blues" As a Piano Solo

Birthday: Bill Watrous Born June 08, 1939

Week of May 30, 2011
Event: 1962 Bandleader Benny Goodman Leads The First American Jazz Band to Play In The Soviet Union

Birthday: Benny Goodman Born May 30, 1909

Week of May 23, 2011
Event: "In a Precursor to Outdoor Rock Festivals, Ray Charles and B.B. King Perform For 9,000 Fans in Atlanta

Birthday: Miles Davis Born May 26, 1926

Week of May 16, 2011
Event: "When The Saints Go Marching In" Recorded by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra

Birthday: Woody Herman Born May 16, 1913

Week of May 2, 2011
Event: New York's Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center Announces Addition of Rock, Pop, and Jazz Concerts

Birthday: Maynard Ferguson Born May 4, 1928

Week of April 25, 2011
Event: At Decca Studios Charlie Parker Made His First Commercial Recording April 30, 1941

Birthday: Duke Ellington Born April 29, 1899

Week of April 18, 2011
Event: Pipeless Organ Patented by Laurens Hammond April 24, 1934

Birthday: Tito Puente Born April 20, 1923

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