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Today in Music History for May 23: In 1889, Mary Susanne Edgar, a Canadian YWCA leader who wrote a number of hymns during her years of leading a Christian camping ministry with girls, was born.

Today in Music History for May 23:

In 1889, Mary Susanne Edgar, a Canadian YWCA leader who wrote a number of hymns during her years of leading a Christian camping ministry with girls, was born. Her best-remembered hymn -- "God, Who Touchest Earth with Beauty."

In 1910, bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw was born Arthur Arshawsky in New York. Shaw formed his first orchestra in 1936, and two years later had a double-sided million-seller with "Begin the Beguine" and "Indian Love Call." Shaw is estimated to have sold more than 43 million copies of such records as "Frenesi," "Summit Ridge Drive" and "Dancing in the Dark." He was married eight times -- two of his wives were Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. He later became an author and a theatrical producer, and again fronted a big band in the 1980s. He died in December 2004.

In 1928, 1950s pop singer Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Ky. When Clooney was in her junior year in high school, she and her younger sister Betty began performing on Cincinnati radio station WLW. Bandleader Tony Pastor heard them, and soon the sisters were singing, in person and on record, with "The Pastor Orchestra." After Betty tired of the road, Rosemary began a solo career. She signed with Columbia Records, and in 1951 had her first No. 1 hit, "Come On-A My House," a song chosen for her by producer Mitch Miller. Her other hits included "Hey There," "Tenderly" and "This Ole House." After domestic and weight problems took her out of circulation for some years, Clooney returned to singing in the 1970s. She died of lung cancer at her Beverly Hills home on June 29, 2002.

In 1963, crooner and bandleader Eddy Howard died in Palm Desert, Calif., at age 48. Howard had 10 top-20 hits from 1946-52, beginning with the chart-topping "To Each His Own." He hit No. 1 again in 1951 with "Sin (It's No Sin)." Howard's single of "Happy Birthday" and "The Anniversary Waltz" was popular on juke boxes for years.

In 1970, New Musical Express reported that "The Beatles'" "Let It Be" album set a new record for initial sales in the U.S., with 3.7 million advance orders.

In 1970, the "Grateful Dead" made their first appearance outside the U.S., at the Hollywood Festival in England before 25,000 people.

In 1973, Clive Davis, president of Columbia Records, was fired by boss Arthur Taylor. Davis wrote a book about his experiences, and later formed Arista Records.

In 1975, "The Beach Boys," on tour with "Chicago," literally got the joint jumping for the second night in a row. The second level at the Oakland Coliseum was noticeably shaking in film footage. And the day before, at the Anaheim Stadium, the mezzanine was seen vibrating as much as 40 centimetres.

In 1979, "The Kids Are Alright," a concert documentary of "The Who's" early years, opened in New York.

In 1979, rock singer Tom Petty filed for bankruptcy in an effort to get out of his contract with MCA Records. Nine months later, Petty signed with Backstreet Records, a new MCA affiliate. His comeback LP, "Damn the Torpedoes," was a critical and financial success, selling 2.5 million copies.

In 1987, 12 former members of the "Doobie Brothers" reunited for a charity concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The show raised $350,000 for Vietnam veterans, about 2,000 of whom attended the show for free.

In 1989, K.T. Oslin became the first female country singer to have an album go platinum. Her album "80's Ladies" had two No. 1 hits, "I'll Always Come Back" and "Do Ya."

In 1990, the IRS auctioned off Willie Nelson's golf course and country club for the second time to collect $230,000 toward his delinquent tax bill. After the first auction, the government had bought the property back.

In 1991, the Toronto rap group "Dream Warriors" made their U.S. debut at SOB's club in New York.

In 1992, Neil Young accepted an honorary music degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont.

In 1993, Joe Pass, considered the finest mainstream jazz guitarist since Wes Montgomery, died in Los Angeles of liver cancer. He was 65. "Downbeat" magazine awarded Pass its new star award in 1963, and he soon began making albums for the Pacific Jazz label. Pass joined the Pablo label in the following decade, turning out albums under his own name and with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Zoot Sims and Milt Jackson. Pass shared a 1975 Grammy with pianist Oscar Peterson and bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen for their album "The Trio."

In 1998, Garth Brooks' six-CD set, "The Limited Series," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. Capitol Records' limited production of the set to 2.5 million copies, and many U.S. dealers sold it as a loss leader for about $28.

In 2000, Billy Corgan of the "Smashing Pumpkins" announced he would disband the group at year's end -- citing an inability to compete with pop groups. The band reunited in 2006 with only Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain left of the original lineup. In March 2009, Chamberlain left to focus on his band "The Jimmy Chamberlain Complex." Corgan stated he planned to continue to record as "Smashing Pumpkins."

In 2007, 17-year-old Jordin Sparks won "American Idol." She was the youngest contestant to win the competition.

In 2010, Ferlin Husky and Billy Sherrill were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2010, rock star Bret Michaels made it to the live finale of "The Celebrity Apprentice" despite a life-threatening illness and was rewarded with victory and $250,000 for his charity of choice, the American Diabetes Association. His appearance was in question after he suffered a brain hemorrhage in April and was hospitalized three days earlier with what doctors called a warning stroke and was also diagnosed with a hole in his heart.

In 2012, 21-year-old Phillip Phillips, a former pawn shop worker from Leesburg, Ga., was crowned the new "American Idol" after defeating teenager Jessica Sanchez.

In 2012, "3 Doors Down" announced founding member and guitarist Matt Roberts left the rock band because of health problems. Roberts grew up with bassist Todd Harrell and lead singer Brad Arnold and formed the band in Escatawpa, Miss., in 1996.

In 2012, the U.S. Library of Congress added the following songs to its National Recording Registry of cultural significance: Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colours," Patsy Montana's "I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart," Prince's "Purple Rain," Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley" and "I'm a Man." Also added were the Grateful Dead's famous 1977 Barton Hall concert and Leonard Bernstein's conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1943.


The Canadian Press