On This Day

May 1919 in Music History

Birthdays in Music

  • May 3 Pete Seeger, American folk singer (The Weavers - "Goodnight Irene") and activist, helped create the modern American folk music movement, born in NYC, New York (d. 2014)
  • May 4 Mary Ann McCall, American big band singer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)
  • May 8 Soltan Hajibeyov, Azerbaijani composer and People's Artist of the USSR, born in Shusha, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (d. 1974)
  • May 10 Tibor Sarai, Hungarian composer, born in Budapest (d. 1995)

Person of interestLiberace

May 16 Liberace [Wladziu Valentino], American pianist (Liberace Show, Evil Chandell-Batman), born in West Allis, Wisconsin (d. 1987)

Pianist Liberace
Pianist
Liberace
  • May 17 Antonio Aguilar [Barraza], Mexican singer, producer and actor (Emiliano Zapata) who popularized the Mexican equestrian sport la charrería, born in Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico (d. 2007)
  • May 18 Margot Fonteyn, English ballerina considered the 1st lady of British Ballet (Giselle), born in Reigate, England (d. 1991)
  • May 23 Betty Garrett, American stage and screen comedian, singer, dancer, and actress (All In The Family - "Irene"; Laverne & Shirley - "Edna"), born in St Joseph, Missouri (d. 2011)
  • May 23 Ruth Fernández, Puerto Rican singer ("Cuando Vuelvas" - "When You Return"), and politician (Senate-at-large, 1973-81), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2012)
  • May 24 Herbie Fields [Bernfeld], American jazz saxophonist and bandleader ("Dardanella"), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1958)
  • May 25 Gino Negri, Italian composer, born in Perledo (d. 1991)
  • May 31 Chet Gierlach, music publisher/composer
  • May 31 (Emmanual Tettey) "E.T." Mensah, Ghanaian saxophonist, known as the "King of Highlife" music (Accra Rhythmic Orchestra; The Tempos), born in Accra, West Africa (d. 1996)

Deaths in Music

  • May 9 James Reese Europe, American ragtime and early jazz arranger, composer, and bandleader in New York, and with the military in France during WWI, dies of a stab wound (received during an argument with one of his drummers), at 38
  • May 9 Ludwig Bösendorfer, Austrian piano builder, dies at 84
  • May 17 Bohumil Pazdírek, Moravian composer, dies at 80