On This Day

Musicians Born in 1921

  • Jan 3 Musa Kaleem [Orlando Wright], American jazz saxophonist, born in Wheeling, West Virginia (d. 1988)
  • Jan 7 John Lanigan, Australian operatic tenor (Covent Garden), born in Seddon, Victoria (d. 1996)
  • Jan 9 Seymour Barab, American cellist (Philip Glass Ensemble), and composer of fairy tale operas (Little Red Riding Hood), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2014)
  • Jan 12 Leo Smit, Dutch composer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1943)
  • Jan 14 Mark Lawrence, American pianist (Alice Pearce), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Jan 20 Connie Haines [Yvonne Jasme], American big-band vocalist (Harry James; Tommy Dorsey), born in Savannah, Georgia, (d. 2008)
  • Jan 21 Todor Popov, Bulgarian composer, born in Dryanovo (d. 2000)
  • Jan 22 André Hodeir, French classical and jazz violinist, and composer, born in Paris (d. 2011)
  • Jan 25 Alfred Reed, American composer, born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)
  • Jan 26 Frantisek Chaun, Czech composer, born in Kaplice, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (now Czechia) (d. 1981)
  • Jan 26 Johannes Driessler, German organist and composer, born in Friedrichsthal, Germany (d. 1988)
  • Jan 30 Bernie Leighton, American orchestra leader (Chance of a Lifetime), born in West Haven, Connecticut (d. 1994)
  • Jan 31 Carol Channing, American actress (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Hello Dolly), singer and comedian, born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2019)
  • Jan 31 Mario Lanza [Alfredo Arnold Cocozza], Italian-American actor and singer (Great Caruso; Toast of New Orleans), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)
  • Feb 5 John M Pritchard, conductor, born in London, England
  • Feb 10 Adrian Cruft, British composer, born in London (d. 1987)
  • Feb 13 Wardell Gray, American swing and bebop jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1955)
  • Feb 14 Jeanne Demessieux, French organist and composer (Te Deum), born in Montpellier, France (d. 1968)

Vera-Ellen

Feb 16 Vera-Ellen [Westmeier Rohe], American actress and dancer (White Christmas; Big Leaguer; On the Town), born in Norwood, Ohio (d. 1981)

  • Feb 19 Claude Rene Georges Pascal, composer
  • Feb 20 Mervin Shiner, American country singer, born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 20 Ruth Gipps, British prolific conductor and composer, born in Bexhill-on-Sea, England (d. 1999)
  • Feb 22 Giulietta Masina, Italian actress (La Strada, Swindle, White Sheik) and wife of director Federico Fellini, born in San Giorgio di Piano, Italy (d. 1994)
  • Feb 24 Ingvar Lidholm, Swedish composer (Toccata e Canto), born in Jönköping, Sweden (d. 2017)
  • Feb 26 Betty Hutton [Elizabeth June Thornburg], American actress, dancer, singer and comedian (Greatest Show on Earth), born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 2007)
  • Feb 27 Andras Szollosy, composer
  • Feb 28 Vladimir Sommer, Czech composer, born in Dolní Jiřetín, Czech Republic (d. 1997)
  • Feb 28 Donald H. White, American composer (Lyric Suite for Euphonium and Winds; Tuba Sonata) and educator, born in Narberth, Pennsylvania (d. 2016)
  • Mar 2 Robert Simpson, British classical composer, and broadcaster (BBC), born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England (d. 1997)
  • Mar 4 Halim El-Dabh, Egyptian-American pianist, darabukha drummer, and composer (Martha Graham ballet scores), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 2017)
  • Mar 6 Julius Rudel, Austrian-American conductor (NYC Opera, 1944-79), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2014)
  • Mar 8 Egbert George "Pete" Pitterson, trumpeter
  • Mar 11 Astor Piazzolla, Argentinian banodeonist, and composer (Tango Nuevo), born in Mar del Plata, Argentina (d. 1992)
  • Mar 12 Gordon MacRae, American singer and actor (Oklahoma!; Carousel), born in East Orange, New Jersey (d. 1986)
  • Mar 12 Ralph Shapey, American composer (Fantasy; Rituals), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2002)
  • Mar 13 Carlo Prosperi, Italian composer, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1990)
  • Mar 14 Frank Ottersen, Norwegian jazz violinist and saxophonist (Ding, Dong, Dang), born in Oslo, Norway (d. 1971)
  • Mar 19 Robert McFerrin, Sr., American operatic baritone (Metropolitan Opera, 1955-58; singing voice for Sidney Poitier in film "Porgy and Bess"), born in Marianna, Arkansas (d. 2006) [1]
  • Mar 19 Harry Babasin, American jazz bassist and cellist (Dodo Marmarosa Trio), and archivist (Los Angeles Theaseum), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 1988)
  • Mar 20 Primoz Ramovs, composer
  • Mar 21 Antony Hopkins, composer
  • Mar 21 Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist
  • Mar 26 Joe Loco [Jose Esteves, Jr], American Latin jazz musician (d. 1988)
  • Mar 27 Harold Nicholas, American dancer known as one of the world's greatest dancers (Nicholas Brothers), born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (d. 2000)
  • Mar 30 Kan Ishii, Japanese composer (Marimo), born in Tokyo (d. 2009)
  • Mar 30 Oto Ferenczy, composer
  • Mar 31 Lowell Fulson, Choctaw-Cherokee-American blues guitarist and songwriter (“3 O’Clock Blues”; “Reconsider Baby”), born in Atoka, Oklahoma (d. 1999)
  • Apr 1 Douglas Allenbrook, composer
  • Apr 1 William L Bergsma, American composer (Fortunate Island), born in Oakland, California
  • Apr 1 Steve Race, British composer, jazz pianist and radio and television presenter (BBC's "My Music", 1967-94), born in Lincoln, England (d. 2009)
  • Apr 6 Andrew Welsh Imbrie, composer
  • Apr 8 Jan Novák, Czech classical composer, born in Nová Říše, Morovia (d. 1984)
  • Apr 10 Sheb Wooley, American vocalist ("The Purple People Eater"), born in Erick, Oklahoma (d. 2003)
  • Apr 19 Will Ogdon, American composer, born in Redlands, California (d. 2013)
  • Apr 22 Cándido Camero, Cuban American percussionist (congo drum) and bandleader, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2020) [1]
  • Apr 22 Philip "Gabby" Pahinui, Hawaiian slack-key guitarist and singer, born in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii (d. 1980)
  • Apr 23 Janet Blair [Martha Janet Lafferty], American singer and actress (Leave it to the Girls, Smith Family), born in Altoona, Pennsylvania (d. 2007)
  • Apr 24 Laci Boldemann, Swedish composer, born in Helsinki, Finland (d. 1969)
  • Apr 26 Jimmy Giuffre, American jazz clarinetist, composer, arranger, and proponent of "free improv" jazz, born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2008)
  • May 3 Joe Ames, American singer and actor (The Ames Brothers Show), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 2007)
  • May 4 John van Kesteren, Dutch tenor (Komische Oper, West-Berlin), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2008)
  • May 4 Virginia "Patsy" Garrett, American singer (Fred Waring's Pleasure Time), and actress (Nanny & the Professor), born in Atlantic City, New Jersey (d. 2015)
  • May 5 Sonja Oosterman, Dutch singer (Marketensters) (d. 2008)
  • May 6 Freddy Randall, English jazz trumpeter, born in London (d. 1999)
  • May 7 Gale Robbins [Betty Gale Murphy], American singer and actress (Fuller Brush Girl, Mr Hex), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1980)
  • May 12 Edvard Mirzoyan, Armenian composer, born in Gori, Georgia (d. 2012)
  • May 12 (Otis W.) "Joe" Maphis, American session and country music guitarist ("Dim Lights"), born in Suffolk, Virginia (d. 1986)
  • May 17 Dennis Brain, British classical horn player (Serenade), born in London, England (d. 1957)
  • May 17 Bob Merrill, American composer and lyricist (People; Mambo Italiano), born in Atlantic City, New Jersey (d. 1998)
  • May 21 Leona Wood, painter and dancer, born in Seattle, Washington
  • May 23 Humphrey Lyttelton, British jazz trumpeter and bandleader ("Bad Penny Blues"), and broadcaster (BBC2 - Best Of Jazz, 1967-2007; BBC4 - I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, 1972-2008), born in Eton, Buckinghamshire (d. 2008)
  • May 25 Hal David, American lyricist ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"; "What The World Needs Now Is Love";"Do You Know the Way to San Jose"), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2012)
  • May 25 Kitty Kallen, American singer ("Little Things Mean a Lot"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2016)
  • Jun 1 Nelson Riddle, American Grammy Award-winning bandleader, conductor, and orchestrator for Capitol Records (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Dean Martin), born in Oradell, New Jersey (d. 1985)
  • Jun 4 Nina Vyroubova, Russian-French ballerina (Pavlova-prize 1957), born in Gurzuf, Crimea, Ukrainian S.S.R. (d. 2007)
  • Jun 7 Tal Farlow, American jazz guitarist, born in Greensboro, North Carolina (d. 1998)
  • Jun 8 Alexis Smith, Canadian actress and singer (The Age of Innocence, Follies), born in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada (d. 1993)
  • Jun 21 Frank Scott, American pianist (Lawrence Welk Show), born in Fargo, North Dakota (d. 1995)
  • Jun 25 Peter Wishart, English composer, born in Crowborough, England (d. 1984)
  • Jun 25 Celia Franca, Canadian ballet dancer, founder of National Ballet of Canada, born in London (d. 2007)
  • Jun 30 Gordon Reynolds, English organist and master of the Choristers at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, born in Hull, England (d. 1995)
  • Jul 4 Tibor Varga, Hungarian violinist and orchestra leader (Ripley's Game), born in Győr, Hungary (d. 2003)
  • Jul 7 Stanislaw Wislocki, Polish conductor, born in Rzeszów, Poland (d. 1998)
  • Jul 9 Irv Kluger, American big band jazz and session drummer (Artie Shaw; Gramercy Five), born in New York City (d. 2006)
  • Jul 10 Revaz Il'yich Lagidze, Georgian composer (Tbiliso), born in Baghdati (d. 1981)
  • Jul 13 Charles Scribner Jr, music publisher (Scribner)
  • Jul 13 Ernest Gold [Goldner], Austrian-born American film composer (Exodus), born in Vienna (d. 1999)
  • Jul 13 Git Gay [Birgit Carp], Swedish revue director, actress and singer (Git Gay Show, Ge mig en lektion i kärlek), born in Karlshamn, Sweden (d. 2007)
  • Jul 15 Jack Hamilton Beeson, composer
  • Jul 17 George Barnes, American swing-jazz and session guitarist, and electric guitar pioneer, born in South Chicago Heights, Illinois (d. 1977)
  • Jul 21 Billy Taylor, American jazz pianist (Birdland), orchestra leader (David Frost Show), and broadcaster (NPR), born in Greenville, North Carolina (d. 2010) [1]
  • Jul 23 Jerome Rosen, American composer and educator, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2011)
  • Jul 24 Giuseppe Di Stefano, Italian operatic tenor, born in Motta Sant'Anastasia, Catania, Sicily (d. 2008)
  • Jul 30 Grant Johannesen, American concert pianist, born in Salt Lake City, Utah (d. 2005)
  • Aug 3 Alec Wyton, English-born American composer, born in London (d. 2007)
  • Aug 3 Richard Adler, American composer and songwriter (Pajama Game; Damn Yankees), born in NYC, New York (d. 2012)
  • Aug 7 Karel Husa, Czech-American Pulitzer prize winning composer (Trojan Women), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2016)
  • Aug 7 Manitas de Plata, flamenco guitarist, born in Sète, France (d. 2014)
  • Aug 8 Roger Nixon, American composer, born in Tulare, California (d. 2009)
  • Aug 8 Webb Pierce, American honky-tonk country singer-songwriter, and guitarist ("In The Jailhouse Now"; "Wondering"; "There Stands The Glass"), born in West Monroe, Louisiana (d. 1991)
  • Aug 13 Jimmy McCracklin [Walker], American R&B pianist, and composer ("The Walk"; "Tramp"), born in Elaine, Arkansas (d. 2012)
  • Aug 14 Giorgio Strehler, Italian opera and theatre director, born in Barcola, Trieste, Italy (d. 1997)
  • Aug 16 Gido Kokars, Latvian choral conductor, born in Gulbene, Latvia (d. 2017)
  • Sep 1 Matt Higgins Doran, American composer, born in Covington, Kentucky
  • Sep 3 Thurston Dart, English harpsichordist and conductor, born in Surbiton, London (d. 1971)
  • Sep 7 Arthur Ferrante, American pianist and composer (Ferrante & Teicher - Exodus), born in NYC, New York (d. 2009)
  • Sep 8 Hans Ulrich Engelmann, German composer (Ophelia), born in Darmstadt, Germany (d. 2011)
  • Sep 8 Harry Secombe, Welsh actor, comedian, singer and goon (The Goon Show, Oliver!), born in Swansea, Wales (d. 2001)
  • Sep 8 Norris Turney, American jazz flute and saxophone player (Billy Eckstine, 1947-48; Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1968-73), born in Wilmington, Ohio (d. 2001)
  • Sep 9 Andrzej Dobrowolski, Polish classical and experimental composer, born in Lwów, Poland (now Ukraine) (d. 1990)
  • Sep 15 Jan Frank Fischer, Czech composer, born in Louny, Czech Republic (d. 2006)
  • Sep 16 Fritz Geissler, German composer, born in Wurzen, Saxony (d. 1984)
  • Sep 16 John Hendricks, American lyricist and singer (Lambert, Hendricks & Ross), born in Newark, Ohio (d. 2017)
  • Sep 19 Billy Ward, American singer and songwriter (Billy Ward and his Dominoes), born in Savannah, Georgia (d. 2002)
  • Sep 21 (Foreststorn) "Chico" Hamilton, American jazz drummer (Lester Young; Gerry Mulligan; Count Basie), and bandleader (Chico Hamilton Quintet), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2013)
  • Sep 24 Leonard Salzedo, British composer, born in London, England (d. 2000)
  • Sep 30 Pedro Knight, Cuban-American trumpeter, husband and manager of legendary singer Celia Cruz, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2007)
  • Oct 1 Héctor Campos Parsi, Puerto Rican classical music composer, born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 1997)
  • Oct 13 Harper MacKay, American orchestra leader (NBC Follies), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1995)
  • Oct 21 Jarmil Burghauser, composer
  • Oct 21 Sir Malcolm Arnold, British trumpeter, and classical and film score composer (The Bridge On The River Kwai), born in Northampton, England (d. 2006)
  • Oct 23 İlhan Usmanbaş, Turkish contemporary classical composer, born in Constantinople (now İstanbul), Turkey
  • Oct 23 Denise Duval, French soprano (music of Francis Poulenc), born in Paris (d. 2016)
  • Oct 27 Anestis Logothetis, Austrian composer, born in Burgas, Bulgaria (d. 1994)
  • Oct 28 Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill, Cuban Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz composer, arranger, and conductor, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2001)
  • Nov 1 Jan Tausinger, Romanian-Czech violist and composer, born in Piatra Neamţ, Romania (d. 1980)
  • Nov 1 John W. Peterson, American hymn writer ("It Took a Miracle"), publisher and editor (Singspiration), born in Lindsborg, Kansas (d. 2006)
  • Nov 2 Fernando Correia de Oliveira, Portuguese composer, born in Porto, Portugal (d. 2004)
  • Nov 4 Antonio Ruiz Soler, Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer, born in Seville, Spain (d. 1996)
  • Nov 5 György Cziffra, Hungarian-French pianist (Chopin/Liszt), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1994)
  • Nov 5 (Lawrence) "Red" Wootten, American country & western (The Whippoorwills, Gene Autry), jazz (Red Norvo; Tony Pastor), and session acoustic and electric bassist, born in Social Circle, Georgia
  • Nov 8 Douglas Townsend, American composer, born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2012)
  • Nov 9 Pierrette Alarie, Canadian operatic soprano, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2011)
  • Nov 12 Robert Fleming, Canadian composer, born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (d. 1976)
  • Nov 13 Eddie Calhoun, American jazz bassist, born in Clarksdale, Mississippi (d. 1994)
  • Nov 13 Joonas Kokkonen, Finnish composer (The Last Temptations), born in Iisalmi, Finland (d. 1996)
  • Nov 13 Yoshiro Irino, Japanese composer, born in Vladivostok, Russia (d. 1980)
  • Nov 16 Ethel Gabriel (nee Nagy), American record producer and label executive (RCA, 1943-84), born in Milmont Park, Pennsylvania (d. 2021)
  • Nov 19 Géza Anda, Hungarian-Swiss concert pianist (Mozart/Bartok), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1976)
  • Dec 1 John Bunch, American jazz pianist (New York Swing Trio), born in Tipton, Indiana (d. 2010)
  • Dec 3 Phyllis Curtin, American soprano (NYC Opera, 1953-64), born in Clarksburg, West Virginia (d. 2016)
  • Dec 4 (Edna Mae) "Deanna" Durbin, Canadian actress and vocalist (Every Sunday; Three Smart Girls; 100 Men & a Girl), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2013)
  • Dec 6 Piero Piccioni, Italian musician, conductor and composer, born in Turin, Piedmont, Italy (d. 2004)
  • Dec 7 Arne Dørumsgaard, Norwegian composer, born in Fredrikstad, Norway (d. 2006)
  • Dec 8 Terence Weil, British cellist (Melos Ensemble), born in London (d. 1995)
  • Dec 9 Terence Weil, British cellist (English Chamber Orchestra; Melos Ensemble), born in London (d. 1995)
  • Dec 18 Jaime León, Colombian pianist, composer, and conductor Filarmónica de Bogota, 1971-78), born in Cartagena de Indias, Columbia (d. 2015)
  • Dec 19 Ludvík Podéšť, Czech composer, born in Dubňany (d. 1968)
  • Dec 21 Alicia Alonso, Cuban ballerina, founder of the National Ballet of Cuba, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2019)
  • Dec 21 Joan Dickson, British cellist and teacher, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1994)
  • Dec 22 Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins, American country singer (Ozark Jubilee; "Lonesome 7-7203"), born in Huntington, West Virginia (d. 1963)
  • Dec 22 Robert Frank Kurka, American composer ("The Good Soldier Schweik"), born in Cicero, Illinois (d. 1957)
  • Dec 24 Gerard Thomas Victory, Irish composer, born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland (d. 1995)

Steve Allen

Dec 26 Steve Allen, American comedian, composer, writer and TV host (Tonight Show, Steve Allen Show), born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)

  • Dec 28 Eddy Doorenbos, Dutch vocalist/pianist/guitarist
  • Dec 28 Johnny Otis [Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes], US R&B musician, producer, and talent scout ("godfather of rhythm and blues"), born in Vallejo California (d. 2012)

About 1921

Chinese Zodiac: Monkey (Jan 1 - Feb 7), Rooster (Feb 8 - Dec 31)