1917 in Music

Events in Music

  • Feb 20 Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton & P.G. Wodehouse's musical "Oh, Boy!" premieres in New York
  • Feb 26 1st jazz records recorded - "Dixie Jazz Band One Step" and "Livery Stable Blues" by Original Dixieland Jass Band for the Victor Talking Machine Company
  • Mar 7 1st jazz record record released on a 78 by Original Dixieland Jass Band for the Victor Talking Machine Company ("Dixie Jazz Band One Step," one side "Livery Stable Blues" other)
  • May 3 1st performance of Ernest Bloch's symphony "Israel"
  • May 30 Jazz standard "Dark Town Strutters Ball" by Original Dixieland Jass Band first recorded


Oct 15 Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for Germany during WWI at Vincennes near Paris

Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy Mata Hari
Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy
Mata Hari
  • Dec 25 Louis Hirsch and Otto Harbach's musical "Going Up" premieres in New York City

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 103

  • Jan 2 Vera Zorina, German dancer (d. 2003)
  • Jan 5 Reginald Smith Brindle, composer
  • Jan 5 Wieland Wagner, German opera director
  • Jan 7 Ulysses Sipmson Kay, composer
  • Jan 10 Jerry Wexler, music producer (Aretha Franklin/Bob Dylan)
  • Jan 12 Walter Hendl, West New York NJ, conductor
  • Jan 13 Felix Guerro Diaz, composer
  • Jan 17 Oskar Morawetz, Svetla Czechoslovakia, composer
  • Jan 17 Ulyses Simpson Kay, composer
  • Jan 19 John Raitt, Bonnie Raitt's father/singer/actor (Pajama Game)
  • Jan 19 Rudolf Maros, composer
  • Jan 22 Albert "Pud" Brown, clarinetist/saxophonist
  • Jan 29 John Raitt, actor/singer (Chevy Show, Pajama Game), born in Santa Ana, California
  • Jan 31 José Maceda, Filipino composer, born in Manila, Philippines (d. 2004)
  • Feb 6 Arthur Gold, pianist, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Feb 6 Liberato Firmino Sifonia, composer
  • Feb 12 Thomas K Scherman, American conductor (Little Orch Society 1947-75), born in NYC, New York
  • Mar 1 Dinah Shore, singer (See the USA in a Chevrolet), born in Winchester, Tennessee
  • Mar 2 John Gardner, composer
  • Mar 7 Robert Erickson, composer
  • Mar 13 Ina Ray Hutton, orchestra leader (Ina Ray Hutton Show), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Mar 17 Brian Boydell, composer
  • Mar 19 Dino Lipatti, composer
  • Mar 20 Vera Lynn, singer (Anniversary Waltz)
  • Mar 23 Johnny Guarnieri, American jazz pianist (Morey Amsterdam Show), born in NYC, New York (d. 1985)
  • Mar 26 Rufus Thomas [Mr. Swing], American musician (Do the Funky Chicken), born in Cayce, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • Mar 30 Els Aarne, Estonian composer, born in Makiivka, Russian Empire (d. 1995)
  • Mar 30 Rudolf Bruci, composer
  • Apr 1 Johnny Andrews, singer/host (Songs at Twilight), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Apr 2 Lou Monte, NJ, singer (Peppino the Italian Mouse)
  • Apr 3 Tibor Andrasovan, composer
  • Apr 5 Richard Yardumian, American composer (Come Creator Spirit), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1985)
  • Apr 12 Helen Forrest, American singer (d. 1999)
  • Apr 13 Howard Keel, American actor, singer and president of the Screen Actors Guild (7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Kiss Me Kate), born in Gillespie, Illinois (d. 2004)
  • Apr 15 Pietro Grossi, composer
  • Apr 19 Johnny Hoes, Dutch musician/producer (Wished I'd stayed with my Mom)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 25 Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz singer (Is it live or Memorex), born in Newport News, Virginia (d. 1996)

Jazz Musician Ella Fitzgerald
Jazz Musician
Ella Fitzgerald
  • Apr 30 Bea Wain, American singer and radio host (Deep Purple, Heart and Soul), born in The Bronx, Yew York (d. 2017)
  • May 3 James Penberthy, composer
  • May 3 Betty Comden, American lyricist, (d. 2006)
  • May 4 Edward Toner Cone, composer
  • May 6 Kal Mann, American lyricist (d. 2001)
  • May 12 Andre A Rieu, Dutch conductor
  • May 14 Lou Harrison, American composer (Rapunzel), born in Portland, Oregon
  • May 16 Geraint Jones, conductor/organist
  • May 20 Enyss Djemil, composer
  • May 21 Dennis Day, Irish tenor/comedian (Jack Benny Show, Danny Boy)
  • May 22 Georg Tintner, Austrian-born conductor (d. 1999)
  • May 22 Daniel Nagrin, American modern dancer and choreographer
  • May 25 Jimmy Hamilton, saxophonist
  • May 28 Papa John Creach, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, American blues violinist (Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane)
  • Jun 2 Max Showalter, Caldwell Ks, actor/composer (Stockard Channing Show)
  • Jun 4 Robert Merrill, American baritone (NY Metropolitan Opera), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jun 7 Dean Martin [Dino Paul Crocetti], American singer and actor (Martin and Lewis, The Dean Martin Show), born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 1995)
  • Jun 15 Michalis Genitsaris, Greek singer and composer (d. 2005)
  • Jun 18 Akhmet Jevdet Ismail Hajiyev, composer
  • Jun 28 Willem "Wim" Sonneveld, Dutch singer/actor (My Fair Lady)
  • Jun 30 Lena Horne, American actress, singer (Stormy Weather, Wiz), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jul 6 Hugo Cole, composer and music critic, born in London (d. 1995)
  • Jul 7 Elton Britt, Marshall Ark, country singer (Sat Night Jamboree)
  • Jul 7 Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine, American country music singer, born in Charleston, West Virginia (d. 1980)
  • Jul 9 Ted Steele, orchestra leader (Cavalcade of Stars), born in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Jul 14 Arthur Leavins, violinist
  • Jul 18 Henri Salvador, French singer (d. 2008)
  • Jul 24 Robert Farnon, composer/conductor/arranger
  • Jul 27 Moses Rascoe, blues Singer
  • Aug 16 Roque Cordero, Panama, composer (Sonata Breve)
  • Aug 22 John Lee Hooker, American blues guitarist (Boogie Chillen), born in Clarksdale, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • Aug 23 Tex Williams, American country-western singer, born in Ramsey, Illinois (d. 1985)
  • Sep 2 Laurindo Almeida, Brazilian guitarist (developed bossa nova)
  • Sep 13 Jon Thorarinsson, composer
  • Sep 13 Robert Eugene Ward, composer (Pantaloon), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Sep 15 Richard Arnell, composer
  • Sep 17 Isang Yun, Korean-born German composer, born in Sancheong, Korea (d. 1995)
  • Sep 18 Alan Ande Anderson, opera director
  • Sep 28 Michael [George] Somes, England, dancer (Royal Ballet)
  • Sep 28 Vaclav Kaslik, Czechoslovakia, opera composer/conductor

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 30 Buddy Rich, American jazz drummer and band leader (Buddy Rich Band-Away We Go), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1987)

Jazz Drummer/Band Leader Buddy Rich
Jazz Drummer/Band Leader
Buddy Rich
  • Oct 2 Francis Jackson, organist & master of Music/York minister
  • Oct 2 William Marshall, band leader (Pennsylvanians), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 4 Albert de Klerk, Dutch composer/conductor
  • Oct 8 Hans Poser, German composer, born in Tannenbergsthal (d. 1970)
  • Oct 10 Thelonious Monk, Rocky Mount North Carolina, American jazz pianist and composer
  • Oct 11 Franz Alphons Wolpert, composer
  • Oct 21 Dizzy Gillespie, [John B], jazz trumpeter, a creator of modern jazz
  • Oct 31 Erik Routley, English Congregational minister, composer and musicologist, born in England (d. 1982)
  • Nov 5 Claus Adam, American composer and cellist (Juilliard Quartet), born on Sumatra, Indonesia (d. 1983)
  • Nov 7 Andras Mihaly, composer
  • Nov 7 Howard Rumsey, American jazz musician (Lighthouse Cafe), born in Brawley, California (d. 2015)
  • Nov 11 Julien-Francois Zbinden, composer
  • Nov 12 Jo Stafford, Coalinga California, singer (You Belong to me, Never Smile Again)
  • Nov 20 Max Georg Baumann, composer
  • Nov 20 Pam Henningen, [Cornelia CP Ingenegeren], Indonesian/Dutch dancer
  • Nov 20 Ram Gopal, Indies/English dancer (Blue Peter, Purple Plain)
  • Nov 22 Jean-Etienne Marie, composer
  • Nov 24 Richard Bilderback Hervig, composer
  • Nov 24 Rita Corita, [Hendrika Sturm], Dutch singer
  • Nov 29 Merle Travis, Muhlenberg County KY, country singer (16 Tons) (d. 1983)
  • Dec 2 Sylvia Syms, American jazz singer (Hello Dolly, Dream Girl, Them There Eyes), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1992)
  • Dec 8 Rufo I Wever, Aruban pianist/composer (Ca'i Organ)

Weddings in Music

HeartWedding of Interest

May 1 Country singer Jimmie Rodgers (19) weds Stella Kelley

Country Singer Jimmie Rodgers
Country Singer
Jimmie Rodgers

Deaths in Music

  • Feb 5 Paul Rubens, English musical comedy composer, (Miss Hook of Holland), dies at 41
  • Feb 10 Emile Pessard, composer, dies at 73
  • Feb 13 Joel Angel, Russian musicologist/composer, dies at 48
  • Mar 29 Fran Gerbič, Slovenian composer, dies at 76

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 1 Scott Joplin, ragtime composer (The Entertainer), dies at 48

Ragtime Composer Scott Joplin
Ragtime Composer
Scott Joplin
  • Apr 7 Spyridon Filiskos Samaras, composer, dies at 53
  • May 11 Otto Adolf Klauwell, composer, dies at 66
  • May 25 Leon Felix Augustin Joseph Vasseur, composer, dies at 72
  • Jun 6 Iacob Moresianu, composer, dies at 59
  • Jun 12 Maria Teresa Carreno, composer, dies at 63
  • Jul 16 Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka, German composer (Album Polonaise), dies at 70
  • Sep 8 Charles Edouard Lefebvre, composer, dies at 74


Oct 15 Mata Hari [Margaretha Geertruida Zelle], Dutch dancer and convicted German spy, executed by firing squad at 41

Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy Mata Hari
Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy
Mata Hari
  • Dec 7 Ludwig Minkus, Austrian ballet composer, dies at 91