On this day in history, February 20th, in 1790, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died in Vienna. He was just 48 years old and had ruled for 25 years.
He had been married twice, but only his first marriage produced children, two short lived daughters. Thus he was succeeded by his younger brother, Leopold II.
Joseph was buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, in tomb 42. He asked for his epitaph to read “Here lies Joseph II, who failed in all he undertook.”
A king’s view…
On this day in music history: January 29, 1964 - “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles is recorded. Written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney), the band will record the song at EMI’s Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris, France. At the time, the band are in the city performing a series of shows at the Olympia Theater. The Beatles enter the studio initially to record German language versions of “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” at the insistance of EMI’s German label Odeon. After the first two songs are completed, the band will run through four takes of the new song (just written by McCartney in the band’s suite at the George V Hotel) before perfecting the rhythm track. The first two takes are cut in a higher key, before deciding that it sounds better one octave lower. The additional background vocals sung on the first two takes will also be dropped, with the song featuring a double tracked lead vocal by Paul. “Can’t Buy Me Love” will be completed and mixed at Abbey Road in London a month later on February 25, 1964, adding several overdubs including another guitar solo by George Harrison. “Can’t Buy Me Love” is released on March 16, 1964 in the US and March 20, 1964 in the UK, and will break all previous sales records. The single will earn a place in the Guinness World Book Of Records for the largest advance order for a single record ever, with over 2.1 million copies shipped in the US in its first week. It will also be The Beatles third single to sell over one million copies in the UK.
January 29, 1860: Author Anton Chekhov Is Born
On this day in 1860, writer Anton Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Russia. Chekhov, considered to be one of the greatest authors in history, was also an accomplished playwright and physician.
In 2011, Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh brought the Anton Chekhov classic “Uncle Vanya” back to the stage.
Photo: Anton Checkhov