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Today in Music History for June 2: In 1857, English composer Sir Edward Elgar was born. Music composed in 1897 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee brought him public recognition.

Today in Music History for June 2:

In 1857, English composer Sir Edward Elgar was born. Music composed in 1897 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee brought him public recognition. Elgar's most popular works are his five "Pomp and Circumstance" marches, composed between 1901 and 1930. Elgar died in 1934.

In 1941, drummer Charlie Watts of "The Rolling Stones" was born in London. Watts, whose full name is Charles Robert Watts, joined "The Rolling Stones" in January 1963, about six months after the group was formed. He was working in an ad agency at the time, but had played with "Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated," as had other members of "The Stones." His first love is jazz. In the 1980s, Watts took his own big band on tour.

In 1941, William Guest of "Gladys Knight and the Pips" was born in Atlanta. The group was part of the Motown empire in the 1960s, where they had a hit with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" in '67. But the greatest popularity for "The Pips" came in the '70s on the Buddah label, where their 1973 gold album "Imagination" yielded three gold singles. Among them was "Midnight Train to Georgia," which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Guest died on Dec 24, 2015.

In 1942, Winnipeg chamber choir "The Choristers" began weekly broadcasts on the CBC network under the direction of W.H. Anderson. In 1952, the program's name became "Sunday Chorale," and now was devoted exclusively to church music. The program continued on a regular basis until 1969.

In 1962, Island Records, founded in Britain by Jamaican Chris Blackwell, released its first single, "Twist Baby" by Owen Gray. By the late '60s, Island was home to such British acts as "Traffic," "Jethro Tull" and "Emerson, Lake and Palmer." In the following decade, reggae artists predominated, with "Bob Marley and The Wailers," "Toots and the Maytals" and "Burning Spear" all recording for Island.

In 1968, Canadian pianist and composer Andre Mathieu died in Montreal at the age of 39. Both the welcoming song and official theme music of the 1976 Montreal Olympics were arranged from excerpts of Mathieu's works.

In 1969, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa opened with a performance by the National Ballet of Canada. Among the other performers participating in the two-week inaugural festival were the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, contralto Maureen Forrester and singer Gordon Lightfoot.

In 1972, the '50s group "Dion and the Belmonts" reunited for a show at Madison Square Garden in New York. The concert was captured on the LP "Reunion."

In 1973, "Led Zeppelin" drummer John Bonham dumped a bucket of water over promoter Bill Graham following an argument at a show in San Francisco.

In 1978, Bruce Springsteen's album "Darkness on the Edge of Town" was released.

In 1980, 2,000 fans stormed the gate at Ontario Place in Toronto after being locked out of a concert by "Teenage Head." The mob wrecked cars and fought with police and each other.

In 1983, a fire broke out in a bathroom aboard an Air Canada jet, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Cincinnati. Twenty-three people died, including Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers. Eighteen people survived.

In 1987, Andres Segovia, the world's foremost classical guitarist, died at his home in Madrid at the age of 94. Segovia is credited with establishing the guitar as a concert instrument and was one of the few classical guitarists to earn a gold album.

In 1987, bandleader Sammy Kaye, whose trademark in the 1940s and '50s was "Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye," died of cancer at the age of 77. His band scored major hits with 1941's "Daddy," 1942's "There Will Never Be Another You" and 1950's "Harbor Lights."

In 1988, "The Temptations" former lead singer David Ruffin was sentenced in Detroit to two years probation and 50 days of community service after being convicted of using cocaine. Ruffin would die of a drug overdose in Philadelphia on June 1, 1990.

In 1989, "The Rolling Stones" bass guitarist Bill Wyman, 52, married 19-year-old Mandy Smith in a secret ceremony in the eastern English town of Bury St. Edmonds. The couple divorced in 1991 after Wyman said they had spent only five days together as man and wife. Wyman agreed to an US$800,000 divorce settlement.

In 1991, Larry Gatlin announced "The Gatlin Brothers Band" would break up at the end of their current tour. "The Gatlins" had 15 top-10 country hits, beginning with 1979's "All the Gold in California."

In 1992, k.d. lang publicly declared her homosexuality in an interview with "The Advocate," a U.S. gay and lesbian publication. Lang talked frankly about her lesbian lifestyle and her unrequited love for a married woman.

In 1997, jazz trumpeter Doc Cheatham, whose professional career began in the 1920s, died in Washington, D.C. following a stroke. He was 91. Among the many jazz notables Cheatham performed or recorded with over his seven-decade career were Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Count Basie.

In 1998, Helen Carter, who performed with the legendary country music group "The Carter Family," died in a Nashville hospital at age 70. She was the daughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, who formed the original "Carter Family" with her husband A.P. Carter and cousin Sara Carter in the '20's.

In 1998, a publicist for Anne Murray confirmed that the singer and her husband, Bill Langstroth, had separated after 23 years of marriage.

In 1998, one of Canada's best-known concert promoters, Donald Tarlton, announced he was leaving the business after more than 30 years. Known in the business as Donald K. Donald, Tarlton promoted most of the major Montreal arena and stadium concerts.

In 2008, rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley, best known for hits like "Who Do You Love" and "I'm a Man," died at his home in north Florida at age 79.

In 2009, Cher sued Universal Music Group, claiming the company owed her and Sonny Bono's heirs more than US$5 million in royalties on songs that were included in recent greatest hits compilations. Bono and Cher were married for nearly 10 years before divorcing. Bono later became a U.S. congressman and died in a skiing accident in 1998.

In 2010, Randy Newman received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the motion picture category. He's won two Emmys, five Grammys and a best original song Oscar for "If I Didn’t Have You," from 2002’s "Monsters, Inc." He also composed the music for all three "Toy Story" movies, "The Princess and the Frog," "A Bug’s Life" and "Cars," among others.

In 2010, Paul McCartney was presented with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at a tribute concert at the White House. The former "Beatle" brought down the house by belting out "Michelle," aiming its romantic lyrics straight at first lady Michelle Obama, who was seated in the front row next her husband U.S. President Barack Obama.

In 2010, "Los Lobos" cancelled their June 10 concert in Scottsdale to protest Arizona’s new immigration law. The band said in a statement it couldn't in good conscience perform in Arizona because it believed the law would result in unfair racial profiling.

In 2011, Canadian country music superstar Shania Twain received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2016, New York's Metropolitan Opera announced Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin would succeed James Levine as music director. (His tenure began in September 2018, two years earlier than expected after Levine was fired from the company after it found evidence of sexual abuse and harassment.)

In 2019, Roky Erickson, the blue-eyed, dark-haired Texan who headed the Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators, a pioneering psychedelic rock band in the 1960s, died at 71. There were no details on the cause and location of his death. Among the band's hits were "You're Gonna Miss Me.''


The Canadian Press