Gospel singer Clara Mae Ward was born on April 21, 1924, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was a talented singer who helped push gospel out of churches into nightclubs, which earned her both praise and criticism.
Composer and pianist Samuel Osmond Barber II was born on March 9, 1910, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was one of America’s most celebrated composers, enjoying early success that lasted throughout his long career.
Western swing musician James Robert Wills was born on March 6, 1905, in Kosse, Texas. Wills developed his own brand of country music and was known as the “King of Western Swing.”
On March 4, 1924, the song and melody of “Happy Birthday to You” were printed in a songbook. One of the world’s most famous songs, it has been the center of controversy over ownership and copyright status for years.
On February 28, 1973, the USPS issued the first of seven stamps in its new American Arts Series. The stamps in the series honored artists from several different genres, including painting, music writing, and filmmaking.
Composer Harold Arlen was born Hyman Arluck on February 15, 1905, in Buffalo, New York. He composed over 500 songs during his lifetime, including “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz.
Happy Birthday to pianist and composer Eubie Blake. He’s most well-known for his work on the musical “Shuffle Along” and the songs “Charleston Rag” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry.”
James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1901, in Joplin, Missouri.