On This Day

April 1939 in Music History

Events in Music

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 9 Marian Anderson sings before 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Apr 23 1st performance of Béla Bartok's 2nd Concerto for violin

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok
Composer and Pianist
Béla Bartok

Birthdays in Music

  • Apr 1 Rudolph Isley, American rocker (Isley Brothers - "Shout"), born in Cincinnati, Ohio

Person of interestMarvin Gaye

Apr 2 Marvin Gaye [Gay], American soul singer-songwriter ("It Takes Two"; What's Going On"; "Let's Get It On"), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1984)

Singer Marvin Gaye
Singer
Marvin Gaye
  • Apr 3 François de Roubaix, French film score composer, born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France (d. 1975)
  • Apr 4 Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, anti-apartheid activist (I Am Not Afraid), described as the "father of South African jazz", born in Witbank, South Africa (d. 2018)
  • Apr 4 Major Lance, American soul singer (The Monkey Time), born in Winterville, Mississippi (d. 1994)
  • Apr 4 Danny Thompson, English multi-instrumentalist (Blues Incorporated), born in Teignmouth, England
  • Apr 5 Ronald "Ronnie" White, American singer (The Miracles - "Shop Around"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1995)
  • Apr 5 Crispian St. Peters, English singer (The Changin' Times), born in Swanley, Kent
  • Apr 6 Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, American blues guitarist, and singer, born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2019)
  • Apr 7 Gary Kellgren, American music producer who co-founded The Record Plant studios, born in Shenandoah, Iowa (d. 1977)
  • Apr 14 Jennifer Fowler, British composer, born in Bunbury, Austrtalia
  • Apr 15 Marty Wilde, English pop singer-songwriter ("A Teenager In Love"), and father of rocker Kim Wilde, born in London, England
  • Apr 16 Dusty Springfield [Mary O'Brien], British pop vocalist ("I Only Want To Be With You"; "Son Of A Preacher Man"), born in West Hampstead, London (d. 1999)
  • Apr 16 John DeLaFose, American French speaking zydeco musician, born in Duralde, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana (d. 1994)
  • Apr 18 Glen Hardin, American rock n roll and country piano player, and arranger (Crickets), born in Wellington, Texas
  • Apr 21 John McCabe, British composer and pianist, born in Liverpool, England (d. 2015)
  • Apr 23 Ray Peterson, American singer ("Tell Laura I Love Her"), born in Denton, Texas (d. 2005)
  • Apr 23 Patrick Williams, American composer, arranger, and conductor, born in Bonne Terre, Missouri
  • Apr 27 Jerry Mercer, Canadian rock drummer (April Wine), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Apr 30 Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, American composer (1st woman composer to win Pulitzer Prize - 1982), born in Miami, Florida

Deaths in Music

  • Apr 9 Emilio Serrano y Ruiz, Spanish composer, dies at 89
  • Apr 21 Herman Finck, British composer (In The Shadows), dies at 66
  • Apr 25 John Foulds, British cellist, musicologist, and composer (World Requiem; Three Mantras), dies in Calcutta of cholera at 58