The Writer’s Almanac featured the tenor Caruso‘s birthday today, along with some trivia for your next Jeopardy game:

“When he was 15, he was performing at church one night when he received word that his mother had died. He left the church in the middle of the song, one of only two times in his life that he interrupted a performance. The only other time he didn’t finish a concert was his last.”

“Less than three months after his Metropolitan debut, Caruso made some recordings for the Victor Company. At the time, the gramophone was just a curiosity, but Caruso had become a household name, and people all over the country wanted to hear his voice. His records inspired thousands of people to buy their first gramophones, and his were the first records ever to sell more than a million copies. It can therefore be argued that Caruso’s voice was responsible for the beginning of the musical recording industry.”

Was he really such a big deal? I think so. Listen to this: