Today in Music History for Feb. 13:
In 1867, Johann Strauss first conducted his ``Blue Danube Waltz,'' in Vienna. It is the most famous of the more than 400 waltzes that he composed.
In 1883, composer Richard Wagner, whose operas expressed German romanticism, died. He experienced both great financial hardship and some critical success. But opposition to him and his ideas was considerable during his lifetime. However, Wagner's operas completely dominated the next generation, and have retained their popularity to this day. His best known works include the four-part ``Ring'' cycle, ``Tannhauser'' and ``Lohengrin.'' Wagner called his operas music-dramas because he hoped to achieve the complete union of the two entertainment forms.
In 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was formed as the first organization to protect the work of songwriters. The agency was started by composer Victor Herbert after he heard other people using his music without compensating him. Herbert sued, took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and won.
In 1950, Peter Gabriel was born in London, England. He was the front man and lead singer of the rock group ``Genesis'' from 1968 to '75, when he tired of the touring and band format. While his first three solo albums enjoyed chart success, Gabriel's real commercial breakthrough came with his 1986 album, ``So,'' which included the hit single ``Sledgehammer'' and a duet with Kate Bush on ``Don't Give Up.'' Gabriel is also a longtime devotee of world music and human rights causes and launched the WOMAD (World Of Music And Dance) Festival in 1982. His credits also include the score for the 1989 movie, ``The Last Temptation of Christ'' and serving as musical director for the ``1999 Millennium Dome Show'' in London.
In 1961, Frank Sinatra unveiled his own record label, Reprise. He had a low opinion of rock music but nonetheless the label would release recordings by ``The Beach Boys,'' Jimi Hendrix and ``The Kinks.''
In 1966, ``The Rolling Stones'' made their first appearance on American television, on ``The Ed Sullivan Show'' from New York.
In 1972, ``Led Zeppelin'' was forced to cancel a concert in Singapore after authorities wouldn't let the group off the plane because of their long hair.
In 1974, the heavily publicized ``Bob Dylan and The Band'' tour ended at the Forum in Los Angeles. Many of the tracks on Dylan's ``Before the Flood'' album were recorded at this concert.
In 1982, a marker on the grave of ``Lynyrd Skynyrd'' singer Ronnie Van Zant was stolen from an Orange Park, Fla., cemetery. Police found it two weeks later in a dry river bed.
In 1985, Canadian folk-rock singer Bruce Cockburn gave a concert in East Berlin after having performed the previous night in the western portion of the divided city. His 27-date European tour included eight shows in communist countries.
In 1989, Cliff Richard received a special lifetime achievement award at the British Phonographic Industry BRITS awards show in London. He was cited as being the most enduring pop star Britain has produced.
In 1992, police in the Ivory Coast used clubs, whips and tear gas on Michael Jackson fans as they struggled to get a glimpse of the singer during his trouble-plagued African trip. The government had urged the fans to turn out in force to see Jackson, who was shooting scenes for his ``Return to Africa'' video.
In 1997, Michael Jackson became a father when his wife, Deborah Rowe Jackson, gave birth to a son - Prince - at a Los Angeles hospital. Jackson had announced in November that Rowe, a nurse who worked with the singer's dermatologist, was six months pregnant with his child. They married later that month in Sydney, Australia, where Jackson was on tour, but the marriage ended three years later.
In 2002, Waylon Jennings, the singer-songwriter-guitarist who defined the outlaw movement in country music, died at age 64 after a long battle with diabetes-related health problems.
In 2011, ``Lady Antebellum'' was the big winner at the Grammys with five awards, including Record and Song of the Year for the country music trio's yearning crossover ballad ``Need You Now,'' but Montreal indie-rockers ``Arcade Fire'' won the biggest prize, Album of the Year, for their highly acclaimed ``The Suburbs.'' Vancouver crooner Michael Buble claimed his third career Grammy, winning Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for ``Crazy Love.''
In 2011, also at the Grammys, Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz artist to capture the Best New Artist trophy, defeating two Canadians -- teen pop phenom and heavy favourite Justin Bieber and rapper Drake.
In 2011, country singer and U.S. Army veteran Craig Morgan rescued two children from a burning house in Dickson, Tenn.
In 2011, Betty Garrett, the vivacious Broadway star who played Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in two 1949 MGM musicals, ``Take Me Out to the Ballgame'' and ``On the Town,'' before her career was hampered by the Hollywood blacklist, died in Los Angeles. She was 91.
The Canadian Press