On This Day

Year 1931 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Feb 7 US opera "Peter Ibbetson" by Deems Taylor premieres at Metropolitan Opera, New York City

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 10 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical "America's Sweetheart" premieres on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre, NYC

Composer Richard Rodgers
Composer
Richard Rodgers
  • Mar 3 "Star Spangled Banner" officially becomes US national anthem by congressional resolution
  • Mar 3 Cab Calloway records "Minnie Moocher" (Jazz's 1st million seller)
  • Mar 25 Hal Kemp & his orchestra record Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 8 Dmitri Shostakovich's ballet "The Arrow" premieres

  • May 1 Singer Kate Smith begins her long-running radio program on CBS
  • Jun 6 "There Ought To Be A Moonlight Saving Time" by Guy Lombardo hits #1

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 2 Bing Crosby makes his solo radio debut

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • Sep 17 Operetta "Viktoria & Her Hussar" by Paul Abraham (adapted for English by Harry Graham) premieres in London at Palace Theatre h
  • Oct 13 Musical "Everybody's Welcome" with T/J Dorsey premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 13 Noël Coward's "Cavalcade" premieres in London

Playwright, Director and Singer Noël Coward
Playwright, Director and Singer
Noël Coward
  • Nov 2 Warren, Dixon and Young's musical "Laugh Parade" premieres in NYC
  • Nov 11 Cornerstones laid for Opera House & Veteran's Building in San Francisco

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 12 Jean Sibelius and Ashton's ballet "Lady of Shalott" premieres in London

Composer Jean Sibelius
Composer
Jean Sibelius
  • Dec 25 NY's Metropolitan Opera broadcasts an entire opera over radio

Music releaseTheater Premiere

Dec 26 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical play "Of Thee I Sing" by George and Ira Gershwin premieres on Broadway, New York City

Composer and Pianist George Gershwin
Composer and Pianist
George Gershwin

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 1 Carel Brons, Dutch composer, born in Groningen (d. 1983)
  • Jan 2 Frank Marocco, American jazz and classical accordionist, arranger and composer, born in Joliet, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • Jan 5 Alfred Brendel, Austrian pianist, born in Loučná nad Desnou, Czech Republic
  • Jan 5 Alvin Ailey, African-American choreographer (American Dance Theater), born in Rogers, Texas (d. 1989)
  • Jan 8 Bill Graham, German-American impresario & rock concert promoter (Fillmore), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1991)
  • Jan 14 Juraj Pospisil, Czech composer, born in Olomouc, Czech Republic (d. 2007)
  • Jan 14 Caterina Valente, Italian singer, dancer, and actress (Bon soir, Kathrin!, The Entertainers), born in Paris, France
  • Jan 15 Murad Kazhlayev, Soviet and Dagestani composer, born in Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Jan 17 Frederick A. Fox, American classical composer (Nightscenes; Shaking The Pumpkin),and educator (Indiana University, 1974-94), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2011)
  • Jan 20 Hachidai Nakamura, Japanese jazz pianist and songwriter, born in Tsingtao, Republic of China to (d. 1992)
  • Jan 20 Earl Grant, American musician and singer (Ebb Tide, Winter Wonderland), born in Idabel, Oklahoma (d. 1970)
  • Jan 22 Sam Cooke [Cook], American singer and entrepreneur described as "the inventor of soul music" ("You Send Me"; " A Change Is Gonna Come"), born in Clarksdale, Mississippi (d. 1964)
  • Jan 24 Ib Norholm, Danish composer & organist, born in Søborg, Gladsaxe (d. 2019)
  • Jan 25 Harold Lloyd Jr., American actor, singer and son of famous silent film actor Harold Lloyd, Sr. (Frankenstein's Daughter), born in Beverly Hills, California (d. 1971)
  • Jan 25 Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, Swedish music entrepreneur and co-founder of Polar Music (ABBA), born in Hova, Sweden (d. 1997)
  • Jan 27 Rudi Maugeri, Canadian pop singer (The Crew Cuts), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2004)
  • Jan 29 Leslie Bricuse, British theater and film composer and lyricist ("Stop the World - I Want to Get Off; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), born in Pinner, Middlesex
  • Feb 6 Mamie Van Doren, American actress, model, singer, and sex symbol (Teacher's Pet, The Navy vs. the Night Monsters), born in Rowena, South Dakota
  • Feb 8 Shadia [Fatmah Ahmed Kamal Shaker], Egyptian actress and singer Midaq Alley, The Thief and the Dogs), born in Sharqia Governorate, Egypt, birth date disputed (d. 2017)
  • Feb 9 Xavier Benguerel, Catalan composer (Llibre Vermell; Jo, Dalí), born in Barcelona, Spain (d. 2017)
  • Feb 10 Gerhard Rosenfeld, German opera and film score composer, born in Königsberg (d. 2003)
  • Feb 10 Makoto Shinohara, Japanese composer, born in Osaka, Japan
  • Feb 11 Bobby Lamb, Irish jazz trombonist, composer, and conductor, born in Cork, Irish Free State
  • Feb 14 Phyllis McGuire, American pop vocalist (McGuire Sisters - "Sincerely"; "Sugartime"), born in Middletown, Ohio (d. 2020)
  • Feb 16 Ken Takakura [Goichi Oda], Japanese actor and singer (Black Rain, Story of Antarctic), born in Nakama, Fukuoka (d. 2014)
  • Feb 18 Dieter Schonbach, composer
  • Feb 24 Dominic Chianese, American actor, singer, and musician (The Sopranos, The Godfather Part II), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Feb 26 Francisco Kroepfl, Argentinian composer, born in Timișoara, Romania
  • Mar 5 Anthony Headges, composer
  • Mar 5 Barry Tuckwell, Australian horn player (London Symph Orch 1955-68), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Mar 6 Carmen de Lavallade, American actress, dancer and choreographer (Aida), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 7 C W Stubblefield, American restaurateur and music promoter, born in Navasota, Texas (d. 1995)
  • Mar 10 Georges Dor, Quebec author, playwright, singer and songwriter (d. 2001)
  • Mar 13 Rosalind Elias, American mezzo-soprano (Grimgerde-Die Walkuere), born in Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Mar 14 Phil Phillips [Baptiste], rock vocalist (Sea Of Love)
  • Mar 15 [Dominic Joseph] D. J. Fontana, American drummer (drummer for Elvis), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 2018)
  • Mar 16 Betty Johnson, American pop and cabaret singer (Jack Paar Show, I Dreamed), born in Guilford County, North Carolina
  • Mar 20 Antonio Tauriello, composer
  • Mar 20 Hal Linden [Harold Lipshitz], American director, musician and actor (Barney Miller, Blacke's Magic), born in The Bronx, New York City
  • Mar 25 Paul Motian, American jazz drummer and composer
  • Mar 27 Burt Collins, American jazz trumpeter, born in NYC, New York (d. 2007)
  • Mar 27 Yoriaki Matsudaira, Japanese composer, born in Tokyo
  • Mar 30 Harold Burrage, American singer/pianist (Hi Yo Silver)
  • Mar 30 Sándor Szokolay, Hungarian composer and pedagogue, born in Kunágota, Hungary (d. 2013)
  • Apr 2 Imre Olsvik, Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist, born in Budapest (d. 2014)
  • Apr 6 Joan Carlyle, British soprano
  • Apr 11 Koichi Sugiyama, Japanese composer and conductor, born in Tokyo
  • Apr 12 Martin Boykan, American composer, born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 12 Leonid Derbenyov, Russian poet-songwriter, born in Moscow (d. 1995)
  • Apr 27 Igor Oistrach, Russian violinist, son of David Oistrach, born in Odessa, Ukraine
  • Apr 27 Krzysztof Komeda, Polish jazz and film composer and pianist (Rosemary's Baby), born in Poznań, Poland (d. 1969)
  • Apr 27 Maxine Brown, American country music singer (Browns), born in Campti, Louisiana (d. 2019)
  • Apr 29 Lonnie Donegan, Scottish singer-songwriter and the King of Skiffle, born in Glasgow (d. 2002)
  • May 2 Richard "Groove" Holmes, American jazz organist (Misty), born in Camden, New Jersey (d. 1991)
  • May 4 Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Russian conductor (USSR State Radio), born in Moscow, Russia
  • May 7 Teresa Brewer, American pop and jazz singer (Put Another Nickel In), born in Toledo, Ohio (d. 2007)
  • May 8 Charles M.Wilson, Canadian organist and composer (The Angels Of The Earth), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2019)
  • May 14 Alvin Augustus Lucier Jr, composer
  • May 16 Donald James Martino, composer (Noturnno-Pulitzer 1974), born in Plainfield, New Jersey
  • May 17 [Walter] Dewey Redman, American jazz saxophonist, born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2006)
  • May 18 Robert Morse, American singer and actor (Mad Men, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • May 19 Ruben Radica, composer
  • May 19 Eric Tappy, Swiss tenor
  • May 27 Kenny Price, American country singer (Walking on New Grass, Happy Tracks), born in Florence, Kentucky (d. 1987)
  • May 27 Veroslav Neumann, composer
  • May 28 Peter Talbot Westergaard, American composer and educator, born in Champaign, Illinois (d. 2019)
  • May 31 Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano (Cassandra-Les Troyens), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • May 31 Huby Heard, singer-songwriter (The God Squad), born in Hamilton, Ohio (d. 2004)
  • Jun 3 Françoise Arnoul, French actress and composer (French Cancan, Jacko & Lise), born in Constantine, France
  • Jun 4 César Bolaños, Peruvian musician and composer, born in Lima, Peru (d. 2012)
  • Jun 6 Lloyd Lindroth, American harpist, The Liberace of the Harp, born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1994)
  • Jun 10 João Gilberto, Brazilian singer, guitarist and 'father of bossa nova' (Getz/Gilberto, Grammy Award for Album of the Year 1965), born in Juazeiro, Bahia (d. 2019)
  • Jun 10 M S Gopalakrishnan, Indian Carnatic violinist, born in Mylapore, Chennai, British India (d. 2013)
  • Jun 11 Audrey Schuh, American operatic soprano, born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jun 16 Ivo Petric, Slovenian composer, born in Ljubljana
  • Jun 20 Arne Nordheim, Larvik Norway, conductor/composer (Aftonland)
  • Jun 26 Lucien Goethals, Belgian composer, born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 2006)
  • Jun 27 Alojz Srebotnjak, Slovenian composer, born in Postojna, Slovenia (d. 2010)
  • Jun 27 Ryszard Kwiatkowski, Polish composer (Polyphonic Music), born in Jaranów, Włocławek, Poland (d. 1993)
  • Jun 30 James Loughran, British conductor, born in Glasgow
  • Jul 6 Danny White, American singer and bandleader, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1996)
  • Jul 8 Jerry Vale [Genaro Louis Vitaliano], American singer (Arriverderci Roma), born in NYC (d. 2014)
  • Jul 8 Louis Ballard [Honganózhe], Native American composer and educator (The Four Moons), born near Quapaw, Oklahoma (d. 2007) [1]
  • Jul 11 Tab Hunter [Arthur Andrew Kelm], American actor (Tab Hunter Show, Lust in the Dust) and singer (Young Love), born in NYC, New York (d. 2018)
  • Jul 11 Thurston Harris, American pop vocalist (The Sharps, Little Bitty Pretty One), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1990)
  • Jul 12 André Laporte, Flemish composer, born in Oplinter, Tienen, Belgium
  • Jul 18 "Papa" Dee Allen, American percussionist (War-World is a Ghetto), born in Wilmington, Delaware (d. 1988)
  • Jul 21 Plas Johnson, American jazz musician (The Pink Panther Theme), born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana
  • Jul 21 Leon Schidlowsky, Chilean Israeli composer, born in Santiago, Chile
  • Jul 31 Kenny Burrell, American guitarist (Organ Grinder Swing), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Aug 1 Ramblin' Jack Elliott, American folk singer, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Aug 1 Seán Ó Riada [John Reidy], Irish composer (Mise Éire), born in Cork City (d. 1971)
  • Aug 2 Henryk Schiller, Polish composer, born in Poznań, Poland (d. 2006)
  • Aug 2 Philippa Schuyler, African-American child prodigy and composer, born in Harlem, New York (d. 1967)
  • Aug 8 Jonathan Elkus, composer
  • Aug 11 Manabendra Mukhopadhyay, Bengali singer and composer (Ei Ganga ei Padda), born in Kolkata (d. 1992)
  • Aug 15 Mario Kuri-Aldana, Mexican composer, born in Tampico, Mexico (d. 2013)
  • Aug 21 Gregg Smith, choral conductor and composer, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2016)
  • Aug 26 Dane Skerl, Slovenian composer, born in Ljubljana
  • Aug 28 John Perkins, Canadian singer (Crew Cuts), born in Toronto, Ontario

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Jun 8 Songwriter Johnny Mercer (21) weds chorus girl Ginger Meehan in New York City

Songwriter Johnny Mercer
Songwriter
Johnny Mercer

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 10 Oscar Fetrás [Otto Faster], German composer (Mondnacht auf der Alster), dies at 76
  • Jan 21 Felix Blumenfeld, Russian composer, conductor and pianist, dies at 67
  • Jan 23 Anna Pavlova, Russian prima ballerina and choreographer (Diaghilew, Dying Swan), dies from pneumonia at 49
  • Feb 7 Ion Vidu, Romanian composer and conductor, dies at 67
  • Feb 23 Nellie Melba [Helen Mitchell], Australian soprano, dies
  • Mar 8 Clara Kathleen Rogers, composer, dies at 87
  • Apr 4 George Whitefield Chadwick, composer, dies at 76
  • Apr 6 Giuseppi Radiciotti, composer, dies at 73
  • Apr 9 Paul Antonin Vidal, composer, dies at 67
  • May 3 Frank Hoyt Losey, composer, dies at 59
  • May 3 Otto Winter-Hjelm, Norwegian musician and composer, dies at 93
  • May 12 Eugene Ysaye, Belgian composer and violinist, dies at 72
  • May 13 Josif Marinković, Serbian composer, dies at 79
  • Jun 9 Henrique Oswald, Brazilian composer, dies at 79
  • Aug 6 Leon Bismarck "Bix" Beiderbecke, American cornetist, one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s (In Mist), dies at 29
  • Aug 20 Waldemar von Baussnern, composer, dies at 64
  • Sep 10 Alfonso Rendano, Italian composer, dies at 78
  • Sep 28 Sylvain Dupuis, Belgian conductor, composer, and music educator (Le Chant de la Création), dies at 74
  • Oct 3 Carl Nielsen, Danish violinist and composer (Det Uudslukkelige), dies of a heart attack at 66
  • Oct 20 Emánuel Moór, Hungarian composer, pianist, and inventor of musical instruments, dies at 68
  • Oct 29 Luciano Gallet, Brazilian composer, dies at 38
  • Nov 4 Buddy Bolden, African-American jazz musician, dies
  • Nov 17 Georgi Atanasov, Bulgarian composer (Gergana), dies at 50
  • Nov 19 Frederic Cliffe, English composer, dies at 74
  • Nov 23 Evert Cornelis, Dutch conductor and pianist, dies at 46
  • Nov 30 John Hyatt Brewer, American composer, dies at 75
  • Nov 30 Marc-Jean-Baptiste Delmas, French composer, dies at 46

Person of interestVincent d'Indy

Dec 2 Vincent d'Indy, French composer and teacher, dies at 80

Composer Vincent d'Indy
Composer
Vincent d'Indy
  • Dec 27 Peter C. Lutkin, composer, dies at 73
  • Dec 27 Walter Courvoisier, composer, dies at 56