Robert Johnson, one of the great-great-grandfathers of CPM (Corporate Pop Music) would be closing in on 100 today, if he was closing in on anything these days. Reportedly, he learned how to play the blues from the devil. Today, of course, anyone can do that by browsing to learnhowtoplaythebluesfromthedevil.com and typing in a credit card number, preferably one from a (soon-to-be former) friend's card.
A funny thing happened on the way to the forum opened on Broadway in 1962. Based on scripts of ancient Roman comedies (as is every tv sitcom plot, more or less), the show ran for, oh let's see, um, a LOT of performances. Roman comedy, as we all know, is famous for such jokes as:
"Hail Ceasar! How many hamburgers didst thou have for lunch?"
"Et tu, Brutus."
Of course, not all ancient Roman jokes have aged equally well, so Stephen Sondheim added a lot of songs to his musical, just in case.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk born in 1829. Originally his name was Louis Moreau Gotts Milk? but he changed it. His loss. He wrote some really cool piano pieces, some of which are still regularly trotted out on WFMT-FM, typically on weekdays. He was also the first U.S. pianist to gain international prominence ("international" back then meaning England and/or France). The second international U.S. pianist is, of course, Jerry Lee Lewis and the third hasn't been born yet.