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Music Trivia

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Elton John's handwritten lyrics of his televised, funeral tribute to Princess Diana, were sold at auction for $442,500 in February 1998. The money from the revised “Candle in the Wind 1997,” also known as "Goodbye England's Rose," went to several of the Princess's charities. The lyrics were modified from his Marilyn Monroe-inspired pop hit song.

Elvis Presley wore a cross, a Star of David, and the Hebrew letter chi. He explained his jewelry habit with, “I don't want to miss out on heaven due to a technicality.”

Elvis Presley's hit recording of "Love Me Tender" entered Billboard's pop charts in October 1956. It stayed on the charts for 19 weeks, and was in the Number 1 spot for five of those weeks. The song, from Presley's debut film with the same title, was adapted from the tune "Aura Lee," which had been written back in 1861.

Elvis treated his hair so harshly with dyes and styling products that, by the time he was forty, it had turned totally white.

Elvis wanted to be a political activist, so he hand delivered a letter to a White House guard and met with President Nixon on December 21, 1970. Presley embraced the President, gave him a gun and stated that he had been studying “drug culture” for the last ten years. Nixon awarded Elvis an honorary Narcotics Bureau badge.

Enrico Caruso was the first singer to sell a million records, and was also the first opera star to appear in films.

Eric Clapton attended Kingston College of Art, but his original career path in stained-glass design ended forever when the blues-obsessed youth was expelled at age 17 for playing his guitar in an art class. Clapton worked as a manual laborer, and spent most of his spare time strumming the electric guitar he had persuaded his grandparents to purchase for him.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney sang under the alias Apollo C. Vermouth.

Failing to reach a financial agreement with Bruce Springsteen, songs by Bob Seger were quickly substituted in the film Mask (1985) by studio producers, replacing those of Springsteen's shortly before the movie's release.

Three Gershwin songs, "I Got Rhythm," "Nice Work if You Can Get It," and "I'm About to Become a Mother," all contain the phrase "Who could ask for anything more?"

Through the mid-1500s in France, the lute was still the favorite instrument, but in 1555, Balthazar de Beujoyeux, the first famous violinist in history, brought a band of violinists to Catherine's de Médicis court and made violin music popular.

Trident Studios in London was the site of the recording of the Beatles' longest Number 1 hit single, "Hey Jude." Nearly all their other single recordings had taken place at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London. "Hey Jude" held the top spot on the charts for nine weeks in the United States and two weeks in the United Kingdom.

Typically, two harps are required in a symphony orchestra.

U2's Bono has a habit of losing things from keys to checks, but he had real problems when he lost the lyrics to all the songs for their album October. U2 still recorded the album; Bono says he didn't know what he was saying most of the time.

United Kingdom group The Tornadoes' hit single "Telstar" was the first UK single to reach Number 1 in the United States on December 22, 1962. This was more than a year before the Fab Four made it to Number 1 in the States with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on February 1, 1964.

Verdi wrote the opera Aida at the request of the khedive of Egypt to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal.

Veteran show-tune composer Alan Jay Lerner said this about contemporary music: "Youth has many glories, but judgement is not one of them, and no amount of electronic amplification can turn a belch into an aria."

Following his breakup with the Beatles in 1971, Paul McCartney formed his group Wings. The group was nameless until McCartney, awaiting the birth of his daughter Stella about a month later, prayed for her health. He came up with the group's name on the "wings of an angel."

Harps are played throughout much of the world. In Africa alone, there are more than 150 distinct harp traditions.

In 1971, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies tried to steal one of his brother's, singer Ray Davies, french fries. In retaliation, Ray stabbed Dave in the chest with a fork.

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