Sergei Rachmaninoff born in 1873. Famous, of course, for his musical humor.

(Example: "Play that C sharp, or you'll B flat!") Also played the piano when drunk at parties. Um, the piano, not Sergei. His famous prelude in c# minor, which is written in the key of...of...well, it escapes me at the moment, but it's the same key as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. What were those crazies up to with all those sharps? Actually, since pianos were often tuned a bit lower in those days, playing something in c# then would sound like regular old c now. Just goes to show you that any notion of historical progress is all a chimera, er, doesn't it?

Today is also the birthday of Toshiro Mifune, who, along with Thelma Ritter, has to be one of my two favorite actors. He's not technically a musician per se, but he does play a flute or something in Yojimbo, and he whistles oh so poignantly in The Bad Sleep Well, so there you go. I don't recall Thelma doing anything especially musical in any of her films, but today's not especially her birthday anyway.

From the archive, 2009

Okay, so this year (not really history, yet) I-Tunes has its little joke and "releases" a copy of John Cage's 4:33. Get it? (It's a performance of four and a half minutes of silence.) Well, you may recall back in 1973 on this day (which IS history, now), John Lennon and Yoko Ono formed the country Nutopia, which had silence as its national anthem.

 Speaking of Lennon, Apple Computer was founded on April 1st, 1976, which is related to I-Tunes (see above) and also to John Lennon's Apple (music), which made suing the other Apple (computers and now music) its own cottage industry that continues to this day.