This Month in Music: January

by Abby @ Quaver on January 4, 2012

in This Month in Music

It’s a new year and a new month!
Let’s kick off 2012 with a look at important music history milestones in the month of January!



1987 – Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Of the 159 total inductions in the Performers category, 135 have been of solo male performers or male groups. Only 10 solo female performers and 13 groups containing at least one female performer have been added since Ms. Franklin. Read more from The History Channel here!

Learn more about the history of Rock and Roll in Quaver’s episode on Rock!


1924 – American composer and pianist George Gershwin completed “Rhapsody in Blue” at the age of 26. Listen to the piece, played by Leonard Bernstein in 1959, here! You may have first heard “Rhapsody in Blue” in the Disney movie, Fantasia 2000!



1959 – Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found the Motown record empire. Motown music was headquartered in Detroit, Michigan – the “Mo” in Motown came from Detroit’s nickname – “Motor City.” Early hits by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and later The Supremes, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye – all contributed to what became known as the Motown Sound. With an ear towards pop appeal, the Motown Sound typically used: tambourines, prominent and often melodic electric bass-guitar lines; distinctive melodic and chord structures; and a call-and-response singing style that originated in gospel music.

1715 – Composer Jacques Duphly, French harpsichordist was born. He composed 52 pieces for the harpsichord in the Baroque and, late in his life, early Classical styles.



1944 – The first jazz concert was held at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.



1858 – Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was made popular when it was used at the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter and the Crown Prince of Prussia. It has since become the most popular wedding march, played as the bride walks down the aisle, most often played on a church pipe organ. Check out the sheet music from the piece’s original publication here! Very fancy!

2002 – “Les Miserables” played for the 6,138th time to become the second-longest running show in Broadway history. “Cats” closed in 2000 with the record of 7,485 shows. Famous songs from “Les Miserables,” adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo, include “I Dreamed a Dream,” most recently recorded by Britain’s Got Talent winner Susan Boyle.



1756 – Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. The prolific Classical composer wrote over 600 pieces! Check out this clip from Quaver’s episode on Mozart’s Classical Period and listen to his Symphony No. 40 on YouTube or in the Classical Venue at!

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