Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Enrico Caruso Born


TODAY IN HISTORY
 
February 25, 1873

 
On February 25, 1873 Enrico Caruso was born. Third of seven children produced by Anna Caruso, he was christened Errico. Guglielmo Vergine, with whom he began lessons at the age of 16 suggested the name Enrico, the name he would later adopt. Caruso's father, Marcellino, was a mechanic and foundry worker. His father thought his son should adopt the same trade. Caruso worked alongside his father at a factory in Naples for a time. He sang in his church choir, and his voice showed enough promise for him to contemplate a possible career in music. Caruso was encouraged in his musical ambitions by his mother. He worked as a street singer in Naples and performed at cafes and soirees. 

At the age of 22, Caruso made his professional stage debut in serious music. The date was March 15, 1895 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples. A string of further engagements in provincial opera houses followed. At an early performance in Naples, he was booed by the audience. This incident hurt Caruso's pride. He never appeared again on stage in his native city, stating later that he would return "only to eat spaghetti."

On April 11, 1902 he was engaged by the Gramophone & Typewriter Company to make his first recordings for a fee of 100 pounds sterling. In 1903 Caruso traveled to New York City to take up a contract with the Metropolitan Opera. Caruso's debut at the Met was in a new production of Rigoletto. A few months later, he signed with the Victor Talking Machine Company, and made his first American record on February 1, 1904, Questa O Quella from Verdi's Rigoletto. Caruso was the first gramophone star to sell more than a million copies with his 1907 recording of 'Vesti la giubba' from the opera 'Pagliacci' by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

Caruso was present in San Francisco 1906 the day of the great earthquake. He had appeared in Carmen at the Mission Opera House a few hours before the disaster. He is quoted as saying: "I wake up about 5 o’clock, feeling my bed rocking as though I am in a ship on the ocean, and for a moment I think I am dreaming that I am crossing the water on my way to my beautiful country. And so I take no notice for the moment, and then, as the rocking continues, I get up and go to the window, raise the shade and look out. And what I see makes me tremble with fear. I see the buildings toppling over, big pieces of masonry falling, and from the street below I hear the cries and screams of men and women and children."

Caruso had a repertory of more than 500 songs. They ranged from classical compositions to traditional Italian melodies and popular tunes of the day. On July 11, 1918 Caruso recorded George M. Cohan's WWI patreotic song Over There. Enrico Caruso was a loved performer and was considered the greatest tenor of all times. Part of his success can be attributed to the fact that he was the first opera singer to make a record. At forty-eight years old, Enrico developed a lung problem and had to undergo an operation. He decided to return to Italy for the treatment and to visit his hometown. He made it as far as Sorrento, where he died before being able to get to Rome for his next doctor’s visit.

A&E Biography: Enrico Caruso


Over There - Enrico Caruso


ALSO ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1791 - 1st Bank of US chartered

1793 - 1st cabinet meeting (At George Washington's home)

1799 - 1st federal forestry legislation authorizes purchase of timber land

1799 - Congress passes 1st federal quarantine legislation


1804 - Thomas Jefferson nominated for US President at Democratic-Republican caucus

1837 - 1st US electric printing press patented by Thomas Davenport

1839 - Seminoles & black allies shipped from Tampa Bay Florida, to West

1841 - Pierre Auguste Renoir, born in Limoges France, Impressionist painter/sculptor

1859 - 1st use of "insanity plea" to prove innocence

1862 - Congress forms US Bureau of Engraving & Printing

1862 - Paper currency (greenbacks) introduced in US by Pres Abraham Lincoln

1863 - Congress creates national banking system, comptroller of currency

1870 - Hiram R. Revels, is sworn in as 1st African American member of Congress

1875 - Kiowa Indians under Lone Wolf (Guipago) surrender at Ft Sill

1885 - US Congress condemns barbed wire around government grounds

1888 - John Foster Dulles, Born in Washington, D.C. US Secretary of State (1953-59)


1901 - US Steel Corp organized under J P Morgan


1901 - [Herbert] Zeppo Marx, comedian/actor, born in NYC, New York

1904 - Adelle Davis, author born in Lizton, Indiana 
(Lets Stay Healthy)/nutritionist (died of cancer)

1906 - Warren Hymer, actor, born in NYC, New York

1913 - The 16th Amendment to the Constitution becomes law, providing the legal basis for the institution of a graduated income tax

1913 - Jim Backus, Cleve, actor born in Cleveland, Ohio

1917 - Anthony Burgess, essayist/novelist born in England (Clockwork Orange)

1919 - League of Nations set up by Paris Treaty

1919 - Oregon is 1st state to tax gasoline (1 cent per gallon)

1921 - The Living Buddha, Hutuktu, is crowned king of Mongolia as the country declares independence from China

1923 - Bread in Berlin rises to 2,000 mark

1926 - Francisco Franco becomes the youngest General in Spain
 

1927 - Dick Jones, actor (Buffalo Bill Jr), born in Snyder Texas, (d. 2014)

1927 - Ralph Stanley, country singer  born in Big Spraddle Creek, Virginia


1929 - Tommy Newsom, born in Portsmouth, Virginia, musician/bandleader 


1932 - Faron Young, country singer born near Shreveport, Louisiana  


1932 - Immigrant Adolf Hitler gets German citizenship


1936 - Jonnie Nicely, playmate born in Fort Smith, Arkansas (Aug, 1956)


1943 - George Harrison, Born in Liverpool, England

1945 - World War II: Turkey declares war on Germany.

1948 - Communists seize Czechoslovakia/C Gottwald becomes premier

1949 - WAC Corporal rocket achieves height of 400k (record)

1950 - "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca premieres on NBC Writers include Mel Brooks, Neil Simon & Woody Allen


1957 - Bugs Moran, American gangster, dies of lung cancer in prison at 65


1963 - Beatles release their 1st single in US "Please Please Me "


1964 - Muhammad Ali TKOs Sonny Liston in 7 for his first
world heavyweight championship title

1966 - Syrian military coup under Hafiz al-Assad


1971 - "Oh! Calcutta!" opens at Belasco Theater NYC for 1,316 performances


1975 - Elijah Muhammad, leader of Nation of Islam, dies in Chicago at 78

1982 - Final episode of "The Lawrence Welk Show " airs

1983 - Tennessee Williams, US playwright and writer (Streetcar Named Desire), dies at 71

1987 - James Coco, actor (Joe-Dumplings), dies at 58


1993 - Eddie Constantine, actor (Alphaville, License to Kill), dies at 75


1994 - Israeli extremist Baruch Goldstein massacres 30 Palestinians in Hebron


1994 - Jersey Joe Walcott, boxer, dies at 80

2012 - Louisiana Red, blues musician, dies from stroke at 79


2012 - Red Holloway [James], jazz tenor saxophonist,
dies from stroke and kidney failure at 84 Red Holloway Get it Together




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