On This Day

May 1938 in Music History

Events in Music

Music Recording

May 2 American singer Ella Fitzgerald records "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" with Chick Webb and His Orchestra

Music History

May 12 Arthur Honegger and Paul Claudel's oratorio "Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher" (Joan of Arc at the Stake) premieres in Basel, Switzerland

Music Premiere

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

Music History

May 30 Walter Piston's dance work, The Incredible Flutist, written for the Boston Pops Orchestra, which premieres it, Arthur Fiedler conducting


Birthdays in Music

  • 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 21 (Henry) Lee "Shot" Williams, American blues singer ("I Like Your Style"), born in Mississippi (d. 2011)
  • May 22 Alain Gagnon, Canadian composer (Chansons d'Orient), and music educator (Université Laval, 1967-2008), born in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec (d. 2017)
  • May 24 Prince Buster [Cecil Bustamente Campbell], Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer ("Al Capone"; "Madness", "Whine and Grine"), born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 2016)
  • 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 -"Puff The Magic Dragon"), 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)