Don Drysdale was a great pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but you don’t usually hear his name mentioned without hearing the name of another Dodger, Sandy Koufax. Well, Joseph Lanner was a hugely popular and important composer and orchestra leader in Vienna in the 1820's and 30's, one of the first composers to create a refined version of the Viennese waltz and bring it into the dance hall. But you won’t often see Lanner’s name without also seeing the name Johann Strauss.
Strauss—that’s Johann Strauss senior—started out as a kind of assistant to Lanner, but the two split, and they became friendly rivals, each with his own set of passionate fans. Eventually Strauss became an international touring sensation and much more famous than his former boss, who never left Vienna, and who had the misfortune to die young. Joseph Lanner, one of the first waltz kings, born on this day, April 12th in 1801.
This has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.