1-11 of 11 results  for:

  • Media and performing arts x
Clear all

Article

Acuff, Roy (15 September 1903–23 November 1992), country music singer and composer, was born Roy Claxton Acuff in Maynardsville, Tennessee, just a few miles north of Knoxville in a spur of the Great Smoky Mountains, the son of Neil Acuff, an attorney and pastor, and Ida Florence Carr. The family moved to Fountain City, a suburb of Knoxville, when Acuff was sixteen, and he spent most of his high school years excelling in sports. After graduation he was invited to have a tryout at a major league baseball camp, but a 1929 fishing trip to Florida resulted in a severe sunstroke, and Acuff was bedridden for a number of months. During his convalescence he reawakened an early interest in music and began to hone his abilities on the fiddle. By the time he had recovered, he had given up his dreams of a baseball career and had determined to utilize his newly discovered musical talent....

Article

Aronson, Rudolph (08 April 1856–04 February 1919), theatrical impresario and composer, was born in New York City to German immigrant parents (names and occupations unknown). When he was six, his music-loving parents arranged for him to have instruction on the piano. Recognizing in Aronson a definite musical precocity, his teacher, Leopold Meyer, persuaded Aronson’s parents to allow the child to be trained for a musical career and introduced Aronson to the violin and the theory of music. At age fourteen Aronson attended a concert featuring musical stars under the direction of ...

Article

Barrymore, Lionel (28 April 1878–15 November 1954), actor, composer, and artist, was born Lionel Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Herbert Blythe, an actor who adopted the stage name Maurice Barrymore, and Georgiana Drew (Georgie Drew Barrymore), an actress. His mother’s family had been in the theater for generations. Lionel was raised chiefly in the Philadelphia home of his maternal grandmother, actress-manager ...

Article

DeRose, Peter (10 March 1900–23 April 1953), composer of popular music and radio personality, was born in New York City, the son of Anthony DeRose, an Italian immigrant zither player, and Armelina Agresti DeRose, an Italian immigrant. Educated at DeWitt Clinton High School and tutored in music by one of his sisters, DeRose was working as a stock boy for the G. Schirmer music publishers in New York when, one day during his lunch hour, he turned out his first composition, “When You're Gone I Won't Forget You.” Fired for this transgression against the work rules, he sold the song for $25. During the next two years it sold two and a half million copies. DeRose then crossed the street to the G. Ricordi music publishing company, where he was hired as a junior salesman. He promised Ricordi he would write no songs on their time, but within four months the company was displaying six of his newly published songs. Flush with success, DeRose quit his job and in 1923 formed an orchestra with several of his siblings. In 1922 he became an early member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers....

Article

Duport, Pierre Landrin (1762?–11 April 1841), dancing master and composer of dance music, was born in Paris, France, into a family named Landrin. His father, whose first name is unknown, was a dancing master and choreographer who Duport claimed had taught cotillions to the “late royal family.” ...

Article

Hayes, Isaac Lee, Jr. (20 August 1942–10 August 2008), soul singer, composer, keyboard player, and actor, was born in Covington, Tennessee, the son of Isaac Hayes, Sr. and Eula Wade. In Hayes’s infancy, his father abandoned the family and his mother died in a mental institution. He was raised by his grandparents, William and Rushia Wade, who were sharecroppers....

Article

Horst, Louis (12 January 1884–23 January 1964), composer, arranger, dance critic and pedagogue, and publisher, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of German immigrants Conrad Horst, a cornet player, and Corline “Lena” Nickell. Horst’s family traveled to San Francisco, California, in 1893, where Louis studied violin and piano. From about 1900 to 1914 he worked as a pianist in pit orchestras and for silent films. While working at a summer resort he met and subsequently married in 1910 eighteen-year-old Bessie (called Betty) Cunningham. They had no children. In 1911 they went to New York City, where he continued to work as a part-time musician and studied composition and piano, but they returned to San Francisco by 1914....

Article

Levant, Oscar (27 December 1906–14 August 1972), pianist, actor, and composer, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Max Levant, a jeweler, and Annie Radin, both Russian Jewish immigrants. Levant left high school after the early death of his father in 1921. A brilliant but rebellious student, he was a child prodigy on the piano. At the age of fifteen he was sent to New York City to study with Sigismond Stojowski. He played in dance bands and roadhouses to pay for his lessons. Levant’s father had opposed a concert career, but his strong-willed mother encouraged her youngest of four sons. Later in life, when asked what he had wanted to be when he grew up, quick-witted Levant answered, “An orphan.”...

Article

Nikolais, Alwin (25 November 1910–08 May 1993), choreographer, designer, and composer, was born in Southington, Connecticut, the son of John Nikolais and Martha Heinrich. From an early age he studied music. During his high school years he was an organ accompanist for silent films at the Westport Movie House. In 1929 he graduated from Lewis High School in Southington....

Article

Reinagle, Alexander (1756?–21 September 1809), composer, theater manager, and pianist, was born in Portsmouth, England, the son of Joseph Reinagle, an Austrian trumpeter listed as a musician in the British royal house. His mother’s name is unknown. Reinagle grew up in a musical environment; two of his brothers were professional cellists, and his sister married the cellist Johann Georg Schetky. It is believed that Alexander studied with organist and composer ...

Article

Wakely, Jimmy (16 February 1914–23 September 1982), cowboy singer, composer, and film star, was born James Clarence Wakely near Mineola, Arkansas, into a poor farming family. His parents’ names are unknown. Showing musical skills on the guitar and piano, Wakely was influenced by the neowestern music of ...