On This Day

Year 1938 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 10 Eduard van Beinum becomes world's 1st conductor at Concert Hall

Music concertMusic Concert

Jan 16 1st jazz concert held at Carnegie Hall (Benny Goodman)

Clarinetist and Bandleader Benny Goodman
Clarinetist and Bandleader
Benny Goodman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 4 "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder opens on Broadway

Playwright and Writer Thornton Wilder
Playwright and Writer
Thornton Wilder

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Mar 16 Noël Coward's musical "Operette" premieres in London

Playwright, Director and Singer Noël Coward
Playwright, Director and Singer
Noël Coward

Music concertMusic Concert

Mar 26 NBC radio performance of Howard Hanson's 3rd Symphony

Composer and Conductor Howard Hanson
Composer and Conductor
Howard Hanson
  • Apr 8 Walter Piston's 1st Symphony in E, premieres in Boston, by the Boston Symphony, conducted by the composer

Music releaseMusic Recording

May 2 Ella Fitzgerald records "A-Tisket, A-Tasket"

Jazz Musician Ella Fitzgerald
Jazz Musician
Ella Fitzgerald

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Arthur Honegger and Paul Claudel's oratorio "Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher" premieres in Basel

Composer Arthur Honegger
Composer
Arthur Honegger

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 28 Paul Hindemith's opera "Mathis der Maler" premieres in Zurich

Composer Paul Hindemith
Composer
Paul Hindemith
  • May 30 Walter Piston's dance work, The Incredible Flutist, written for the Boston Pops Orchestra, which premieres it, Arthur Fiedler conducting
  • Jun 25 "A Tisket A Tasket" by Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb hits #1
  • Jul 21 Paul Hindemith and Leonide Massine's ballet Nobilissima Visione premieres in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 20 Dmitri Shostakovich's Suite for jazz orchestra, premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 16 Aaron Copland's & Eugene Loring's ballet "Billy the Kid" premieres in Chicago

Composer Aaron Copland
Composer
Aaron Copland
  • Oct 25 The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces Swing music as "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell".

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 6 Adriano Celentano, Italian singer and actor, born in Greco
  • Jan 7 Paul Revere [Dick], American rock organ player and pianist (Paul Revere & Raiders), born in Harvard Nebraska, (d. 2014)
  • Jan 7 Rory Storm [Alan Caldwell], British rock singer (Rory Storm & the Hurricanes), born in Stoneycroft, Liverpool, England (d. 1972
  • Jan 13 Paavo Johannes Heininen, composer
  • Jan 14 Allen Toussaint, American pianist, songwriter and producer ("Mother-In-Law"; "Working In A Coal Mine"; "Southern Nights"), born in Gert Town, Louisiana (d. 2015)
  • Jan 14 Jack Jones, American singer (Love Boat Theme), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jan 16 Jô Soares, Brazilian author, musician and TV personality, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Jan 19 Eskil Hemberg, Swedish composer, conductor (Stockholm University Chorus, 1959-84), and artistic director (Royal Swedish Opera, 1987-96), born in Stockholm (d. 2004)
  • Jan 24 Julius Arthur Hemphill, American saxophonist, born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Jan 25 Etta James [Jamesetta Hawkins], American singer ("Roll With Me"; "At Last"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)
  • Jan 26 Bill Wurtzel, American jazz and classical guitarist (Count Basie), born in Forestburgh, New York
  • Jan 31 Daevid Allen [Christopher David], Australian musician and performance artist (Soft Machine, Gong), born in Melbourne (d. 2015)
  • Feb 1 Jimmy Carl Black, rocker (Mothers Of Invention)
  • Feb 4 Joe Beard, American blues guitarist (No More Cherry Rose), born in Ashland, Mississippi
  • Feb 5 Dick van Niehoff, Dutch vocalist (Fouryo)
  • Feb 6 Ellsworth Milburn, American composer & educator (Menil Antiphons), born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania (d. 2007)
  • Feb 7 Robert Frank Baksa, American contemporary classical composer, born in New York City
  • Feb 8 Ray Sharpe, American rockabilly singer-songwriter, (Linda Lu), born in Forth Worth, Texas
  • Feb 11 Willy Correa de Oliveira, composer
  • Feb 11 Bobby "Boris" Pickett, American singer-songwriter ("Monster Mash"), born in Somerville, Massachusetts (d. 2007)
  • Feb 16 John Corigliano, American composer (Fern Hill, Ghosts of Versailles), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 22 Bobby Hendricks, American R&B singer (Itchy Twitchy Feeling), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • Feb 25 Ed Cobb, American musician, songwriter and producer (Four Preps - "Tainted Love"), born in Honolulu, Hawaii (d. 1999)
  • Mar 2 Simon Estes, Centerville Iowa, bass/baritone (Wonton, Don Carlos)
  • Mar 3 Douglas Leedy, American composer, born in Portland, Oregon (d. 2015)
  • Mar 3 Willie Chambers, guitarist/vocalist (Chambers Brothers)
  • Mar 4 Angus MacLise, American percussionist (d. 1979)
  • Mar 5 Paul Evans, singer/pedal guitarist (Damascus Road)
  • Mar 6 Lovelace Watkins, American singer known as "The Black Sinatra" (The Big, Big Voice of Lovelace Watkins), born in New Brunswick, New Jersey (d. 1995)
  • Mar 8 Lew DeWitt, Va, country singer (Statler Brothers-Flowers on the Wall)
  • Mar 9 Lill-Babs [Barbro Margareta Svensson], Swedish singer and actress, born in Järvsö, Gävleborg County, Sweden
  • Mar 10 Norman Blake, American traditional stringed instrument artist and songwriter, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Mar 12 Lew De Witt, American country singer and composer (Statler Brothers-Flowers on the Wall)
  • Mar 12 Dimitri Terzakis, Greek composer (Die Farben des Ozeans), born in Athens
  • Mar 12 Tona Scherchen-Hsiao, composer
  • Mar 13 Hans-Joachim Hespos, German composer, born in Emden, Germany
  • Mar 13 Jean-Claude Risset, French composer, born in Le Puy-en-Velay, France (d. 2016)
  • Mar 13 Erma Franklin, American gospel and R&B singer (Piece Of My Heart), born in Shelby, Mississippi (d. 2002)
  • Mar 14 Takehisa Kosugi, Japanese violinist and experimental music composer (Group Ongaku; Taj Mahal Travellers), born in Tokyo (d. 2018)
  • Mar 15 Dick Higgins, American composer, born in Cambridge, England (d. 1998)
  • Mar 17 Rudolf Nureyev, Russian ballet dancer/choreographer (Kirov), born on a train near Irkutsk, Soviet Union (d. 1993)
  • Mar 18 Charley Pride, American country singer (Sweet Country), born in Sledge, Mississippi (d. 2020) [1]
  • Mar 23 Dave Pike, jazz vibraphone and marimba player, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2015)
  • Mar 24 Holger Czukay [Holger Schüring], German musician (Can), born in Danzig, Poland (d. 2017)
  • Mar 31 Arthur B. Rubinstein, American composer
  • Apr 7 Freddie Hubbard, jazz trumpeter (Art Blakey), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Apr 7 Spencer Dryden, American drummer (Jefferson Airplane), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 8 Barton Keith McLean, composer
  • Apr 11 Kurt Moll, German bass opera singer, born near Cologne, Germany (d. 2017)
  • Apr 13 Frederic Rzewski, American composer (Spacecraft), born in Westfield, Massachusetts
  • Apr 19 Jonathan Tunick, American composer (one of 15 people to have won all four major American show business awards: the Tony Awards, Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 20 Johnny Tillotson, American singer (Gidget, Poetry in Motion), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Apr 26 Duane Eddy, American guitarist (Peter Gunn, Cannonball), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Apr 26 Maurice Williams, American rocker (Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs), born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 29 Klaus Voormann, German rock bassist (Manfred Mann-Mighty Quinn), born in Berlin, Germany
  • May 4 Tyrone Davis, American R&B singer (Can I Change My Mind, Turn Back The Hands Of Time), born in Greenville, Mississippi (d. 2005)
  • May 5 Johnnie Taylor, American R&B and multi-genre singer (Disco Lady, I Believe in You), born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas (d. 2000)
  • May 10 Maxim Shostakovich, Russian conductor (Atlanta Symphony), born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Soviet Union
  • May 10 Philip Gordon Winsor, American composer, Born in Morris, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • May 11 Harvey Sollberger, flutist/composer (2 Oboes Troping), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • May 15 Lenny Welch, American singer (Since I Fell for You), born in New York
  • May 17 Pervis Jackson, American R&B singer (Spinners), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2008)
  • May 19 [Brian Keith] Herbie Flowers, English bassist and session musician (Lou Reed, Harry Nilsson, T-Rex), born in Isleworth, England
  • May 20 Marinella, Greek singer and actress
  • May 20 Astrid Kirchherr, German photographer, helped establish The Beatles image, born in Hamburg, Germany (d. 2020)
  • May 26 Jaki Liebesit, German rocker (Can), born in Dresden, Germany (d. 2017)
  • May 26 Teresa Stratas [Anastasia Stratakis], Canadian operatic soprano (Salome), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • May 26 William Bolcom, American composer (Oracles), born in Seattle, Washington
  • May 28 Prince Buster [Cecil Bustamente Campbell], Jamaican-born reggae musician and producer (Madness), born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 2016)
  • May 31 Peter Yarrow, American singer-songwriter (Peter, Paul & Mary), born in NYC, New York
  • May 31 Johnny Paycheck [Donald Lytle], American country singer (Take This Job and Shove It), born in Greenfield, Ohio (d. 2003)
  • Jun 4 Simeon Coxe, American songwriter, singer and psychedelic synthesizer player (Silver Apples), born in Knoxville, Tennessee (d. 2020)
  • Jun 9 Charles Wuorinen, American composer (Pulitzer 1980), born in NYC, New York
  • Jun 13 Gwynne Howell, British operatic bass, born in Gorseinon, Wales
  • Jun 16 Mickie Finn, Hugo Oklahoma, TV hostess/banjo player (Mickie Finn's)
  • Jun 18 Don "Sugarcane" Harris, American rock guitarist and electric violin pioneer (Don & Dewey; Frank Zappa), born in Pasadena, California (d. 1999)
  • Jun 20 Nikolay Avksentevich Martinov, composer
  • Jun 24 Lowell Cross, American electronic music composer, instrument maker and laser light show inventor, born in Kingsville, Texas
  • Jun 26 Billy Davis Jr, American pop singer (5th Dimension-Up, Up And Away), born in St Louis, Missouri
  • Jun 27 Tommy Cannon [Tommy Derbyshire], English comedian and singer (Cannon and Ball), born in Oldham, Lancashire, England
  • Jun 29 Billy Storm [Spicer], American singer (Valiants-This is the Night), born in Dayton, Ohio (d. 2000)
  • Jun 29 Edmund Falkiner, jazz saxophinist and probation officer (d. 1997)
  • Jun 30 Chris Hinze, Dutch flutist (Vivat Vivaldi), born in Hilversum, North Holland, Netherlands
  • Jun 30 Apostolos Nikolaidis, Greek singer (first Greek artist to record or re-record the authentic, "prohibited" rebetika songs in the early 1970s with their original lyrics), born in Drama, Greece(d. 1999)

Person of interestBill Withers

Jul 4 Bill Withers, American singer-songwriter and rhythm & blues musician (Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me), born in Slab Fork, West Virginia (d. 2020)

Rhythm & Blues Musician Bill Withers
Rhythm & Blues Musician
Bill Withers
  • Jul 5 Stanley Silverman, American composer, born in NYC, New York
  • Jul 6 Franco Luambo, Congolese composer, guitarist and bandleader (Masumbuku), born in Sona Bata, Belgian Congo (d. 1989)
  • Jul 8 Alan Aldridge, British artist, graphic designer and illustrator whose artwork was used in record covers for The Beatles and The Who, born in London, England (d. 2017)
  • Jul 9 Paul Seiko Chihara, American-Japanese composer, born in Seattle, Washington
  • Jul 10 Lee Morgan, American hard-bop trumpeter, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1972)
  • Jul 11 Terry Garthwaite, US guitarist/singer (Joy of Cooking)
  • Jul 14 Bob Scholl, rocker (Mellow Kings)
  • Jul 16 Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson, Icelandic composer, born in Reykjavik (d. 2013)
  • Jul 18 Dudu Pukwana [Mtutuzel], South African saxophonist and composer, born in Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (d. 1990)
  • Jul 18 Ian Stewart, Scottish keyboardist, road manager, and co-founder of the Rolling Stones, born in Pittenweem, Fife, Scotland (d. 1985)
  • Jul 20 Natalie Wood [Natasha Gurdin], American actress (Gypsy, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1981)
  • Jul 21 Anton Kuerti, Canadian composer, born in Vienna, Austria
  • Jul 24 Mike Mainieri, American vibraphonist (Steps Ahead), born in the Bronx, New York
  • Jul 26 Bobby Hebb, American country singer and songwriter (Sunny), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2010)
  • Jul 27 Isabelle Aubret [Thérèse Coquerelle], French singer (Un premier amour), born in Lille, France

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Oct 11 Jazz musician Louis Armstrong (37) weds longtime girlfriend Alpha Smith

Jazz Musician Louis Armstrong
Jazz Musician
Louis Armstrong

Divorces in Music


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Sep 30 Jazz musician Louis Armstrong (37) divorces pianist Lil Armstrong (40) after more than 14 years of marriage

Jazz Musician Louis Armstrong
Jazz Musician
Louis Armstrong

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 26 Zitkála-Šá, [aka Gertrude Bonnin] Native American (Yankton Dakota) writer, violinist, librettist (The Sun Dance Opera), educator, and political activist, dies at 61
  • Feb 21 Albert Huybrechts, composer, dies at 39
  • Mar 2 Ben Harney, American composer and "Father of Ragtime Piano" (You've Been a Good Old Wagon, But You Done Broke Down), dies of a heart attack at 66
  • Mar 9 Sydney Baynes, British conductor, arranger, band leader and composer (Destiny Waltz; Endure to Conquer), dies at 59
  • Mar 18 Cyril Rootham, English composer, dies at 62
  • Apr 10 Joseph "King" Oliver, American jazz cornet player, composer, bandleader, and mentor to Louis Armstrong, dies of arteriosclerosis at 56
  • Apr 12 Fyador Chaliapin, Russian operatic bass-baritone (Boris Godunov), dies at 65
  • Apr 18 Richard Terry, English organist & musicologist, dies at 73
  • Aug 2 Bjarni Thorsteinsson, Icelandic organist, composer, musical folklorist, and priest, dies at 76
  • Aug 4 Rudolf Georg Binding, German songwriter and writer (Legenden Der Zeit), dies at 70
  • Aug 10 Joseph Moorat, composer, dies at 73
  • Aug 14 Landon Ronald, British composer, pianist and teacher (Guildhall School of Music), dies at 65
Singer and guitarist Robert Johnson
Singer and guitarist
Robert Johnson
  • Sep 28 Con Conrad, American songwriter and producer, dies at 48
  • Oct 22 May Irwin, Canadian comedienne and singer (Hot Time in the Old Town), dies at 76
  • Nov 21 Leopold Godowsky, Polish pianist and composer (Java Suite, 53 Studies on Chopin's Études) dies of stomach cancer at 68
  • Dec 4 Dina Appeldoorn, Dutch pianist and composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 10 Mario Pilati, Italian composer, dies at 35
  • Dec 14 Maurice Emmanuel, French composer & musicologist (Salamine), dies at 76