1940 in Music

Events in Music

  • Jan 23 Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of Polish government in exile

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 5 Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • Feb 8 Lewis & Hamilton's musical "Two for the Show" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 10 "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hits #1
  • Feb 20 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"
  • Mar 3 American bandleader Artie Shaw records "Frenesi" on RCA Victor label
  • Mar 10 1st US opera telecast, W2XBS, NYC, I Pagliacci

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 14 "The Road to Singapore" directed by Victor Schertzinger starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, first of seven such films premieres

Entertainer Bob Hope
Entertainer
Bob Hope
Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • Apr 16 Heitor Villa-Lobos' opera "Izaht" premieres in Rio de Janeiro
  • Apr 23 Dance hall fires kills 198 in Natchez, Mississippi
  • Apr 28 Glenn Miller records "Pennsylvania 6-5000"

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 28 Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase" premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • Jul 20 Billboard publishes its 1st singles record chart (#1 is "I'll Never Smile Again" by Tommy Dorsey)
  • Jul 27 Billboard magazine starts publishing bestseller charts
  • Oct 25 Duke, Latouche & Felter's musical premieres in NYC
  • Oct 30 Cole Porters musical "Panama Hattie" premieres in New York City

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 187

  • Jan 1 Laszlo Sary, Hungarian composer, born in Győrasszonyfa
  • Jan 1 Richard Henry Orton, composer
  • Jan 5 Athol Guy, Australian singer, member of The Seekers
  • Jan 8 Cristy Lane, American country/gospel singer
  • Jan 9 Barbara Buczek, composer
  • Jan 9 Jimmy Boyd, McComb Mo, singer/actor (Howard-Bachelor Father)
  • Jan 9 Al Downing, American singer (d. 2005)
  • Jan 11 Mark DeVoto, America Musicologist and composer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Jan 20 Jorge Peixinho, composer
  • Jan 22 Addie "Micki" Harris, singer (Shirelles-Soldier Boy), born in Passaic, New Jersey
  • Jan 22 Tilo Medek, German composer
  • Jan 23 Johnny Russell, country singer
  • Jan 30 David Johnson, composer
  • Feb 2 Alan Caddy, English musician (The Tornados), born in Chelsea, London (d. 2000)
  • Feb 8 Talib Rasul Hakim, composer
  • Feb 9 Brian Bennett, rock drummer (Shadows), born in London, England
  • Feb 10 Hamish Imlach, folk singer/comic
  • Feb 10 Jimmy Merchant, American rock vocalist (Frankie Lymon & Teenagers-Why Do Fools Fall In Love), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 18 Fabrizio de André, Italian singer-songwriter (Storia di un impiegato), born in Genoa, Italy (d. 1999)
  • Feb 19 Smokey [William] Robinson, American R&B and soul singer-songwriter (The Miracles), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Feb 19 Bobby Rogers, US vocalist (Miracles-You Really Got a Hold on Me), (d. 2013)
  • Feb 20 Barbara Ellis, American rocker (Fleetwoods), born in Olympia, Washington
  • Feb 20 Christoph Eschenbach, German-born pianist and conductor, born in Breslau, Germany
  • Feb 28 Joe South, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Games People Play), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2012)
  • Feb 29 Gretchen Christopher, British(?) pop singer
  • Mar 1 Ralph Towner, rocker (Oregon)
  • Mar 2 Tony Croatto, Italian-born composer (d. 2005)
  • Mar 10 Dean Torrence, surf music singer (Jan & Dean-Little Old Lady), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 10 Francis Schwartz, composer
  • Mar 11 Alberto Cortez, Argentinian singer
  • Mar 12 Al Jarreau, American jazz singer (Moonlighting), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2017)
  • Mar 12 M.A. Numminen, Finnish singer and writer
  • Mar 13 Candi [Canzetta Maria] Staton, American gospel singer (Young Hearts Run Free), born in Hanceville, Alabama
  • Mar 15 Phil Lesh, [Chapman], American rock bassist (Grateful Dead), born in Berkeley, California
  • Mar 16 Keith Rowe, English guitarist (AMM) and painter
  • Mar 20 Vito Picone, rocker (Elegants) and actor, born in Staten Island, New York
  • Mar 21 Solomon Burke, American singer
  • Mar 22 Jorge Ben Jor, Brazilian musician
  • Mar 23 Luis Gasca, American trumpeter, born in Houston, Texas
  • Mar 25 Anita Bryant, Barnsdall Oklahoma, singer (George Gobel Show) and anti-homosexuality campaigner
  • Mar 26 Rod Lauren, rocker (If I Had a Girl)
  • Mar 27 Janis Martin, American rockabilly and country singer, born in Sutherlin, Virginia (d. 2007)
  • Mar 29 Raymond Davis, American rock vocalist (Funkadelic-Knee Deep), born in Sumter, South Carolina (d. 2005)
  • Mar 29 Astrud Gilberto, Brazilian samba singer (Girl From Ipanema), born in Salvador, Brazil
  • Mar 29 Eden Kane [Richard Graham Sarstedt], British singer, born in New Delhi, India
  • Apr 4 Sharon Sheeley, American songwriter (Somethin' Else), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2002)
  • Apr 5 Aliza Kashi, Israeli actress and singer (Merv Griffin regular), born in Israel
  • Apr 6 Donald Myrick, American saxophonist ("If Leaving Me Is Easy, One More Night), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1993)
  • Apr 7 Jan Wilhelm Morthenson, composer
  • Apr 7 Patricia Paay, Dutch singer (You are not hip)

Person of interestHerbie Hancock

Apr 12 Herbie Hancock, American pianist (I Thought it Was You), born in Chicago, Illinois

Musician and Composer Herbie Hancock
Musician and Composer
Herbie Hancock
  • Apr 13 Lester Chambers, Ms, vocalist (Chamber Brothers-Time Has Come Today)
  • Apr 17 Billy Fury [Ronald Wycherley], English singer (When Will You Say I Love You), born in Liverpool, England (d. 1983)
  • Apr 17 Anja Silja, German soprano
  • Apr 19 Genya Ravan, American vocalist (Goldie & the Gingerbreads, Ten Wheel Drive)
  • Apr 20 Timothy Lee Drummond, American musician, born in Canton, Illinois (d. 2015)
  • Apr 25 O. B. McClinton, American country singer (Keep your arms around me), born in Senatobia, Mississippi (d. 1987)
  • Apr 26 Giorgio Moroder, producer/singer/songwriter (Cat People, Top Gun), born in Ortisei, Italy
  • May 3 Conny Plank, German record producer and musician, born in Hütschenhausen, Germany (d. 1987)
  • May 6 Murray Sidlin, American conductor (National Symphony 1973-77), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • May 7 Armando Krieger, Argentine composer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • May 8 Ricky Nelson, NJ, rock star (Hello Mary Lou, It's Late, Garden Party)
  • May 8 Cathryn "Toni" Tennille, American singer-songwriter, keyboardist (Captain & Tennille) and female Beach Boy, born in Montgomery, Alabama
  • May 9 Dick Morrissey, saxophonist
  • May 10 Arthur Alexander, US singer/songwriter (Lonely Just Like Me)
  • May 11 Ronald Anthony Pellegrino, composer
  • May 12 Norman Whitfield, American songwriter and producer for Motown (I Heard It Through the Grapevine), born in New York City
  • May 13 Richard Brooks, singer (Impressions)
  • May 14 Troy Shondell, American singer
  • May 19 Mickey Newbury, rocker
  • May 20 Shorty Long [Frederick Earl Long], American soul singer/pianist (Here Comes the Judge), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1969)

Person of interestTony Sheridan

May 21 Tony Sheridan, English singer-songwriter and guitarist who collaborated with The Beatles, born in Norwich, England (d. 2013)

Singer-Songwriter and and Guitarist Tony Sheridan
Singer-Songwriter and and Guitarist
Tony Sheridan
  • May 26 Levon Helm, Elaine Arkansas, American musician (The Band), (d. 2012)
  • May 27 Rene Koering, composer
  • May 28 Hans Dulfer, tenor saxophonist/director (Paradiso)
  • May 31 August "Augie" Meyers, American singer-songwriter, producer, and record label owner (Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados) born in San Antonio, Texas
  • Jun 4 Dorothy Rudd Moore, composer
  • Jun 5 Moira Anderson, Scotland, singer (Loch Lomond)
  • Jun 6 Phillip Rhodes, American composer, born in Forest City, North Carolina

Person of interestTom Jones

Jun 7 Tom Jones [Thomas John Woodward], Welsh singer (What's New Pussycat), born in Pontypridd, Wales

Singer Tom Jones
Singer
Tom Jones
  • Jun 8 Nancy Sinatra, American singer (Boots are Made for Walkin') and daughter of Frank Sinatra, born in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Jun 8 Sherman Garnes, American rock vocalist (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers), born in NYC, New York (d. 1977)
  • Jun 10 John William Stevens, jazz drummer
  • Jun 11 Joey Dee, American singer (Hey Let's Twist, 2 Tickets to Paris), born in Passaic, New Jersey
  • Jun 13 Bobby Freeman, American singer (Do You Want to Dance), born in Northern California (d. 2017)
  • Jun 14 Dary John Mizelle, American composer, born in Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Jun 15 Willem Frederik Bon, Dutch composer
  • Jun 23 Diana Trask, Australia, singer (Sing Along With Mitch)
  • Jun 23 Stuart Sutcliffe, rocker (Beatles), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Jun 23 Adam Faith, English singer and actor (d. 2003)
  • Jun 25 Clint Warwick [Albert Eccles], English bassist (Moody Blues), born in Birmingham, England (2004)
  • Jun 25 Mary Beth Peil, American actress and singer (Mirrors, Dawson's Creek, The Stepford Wives), born in Davenport, Iowa
  • Jun 26 Billy Davis Jr, singer (5th Dimension-One Less Bell), born in St Louis, Missouri
  • Jun 29 Vyacheslav Artyomov, Russian composer, born in Moscow
  • Jun 30 Mark Spoelstra, American folk singer (d. 2007)
  • Jul 3 Fontella Bass, American R&B and soul singer and songwriter (Rescue Me), born in St Louis, Missouri (d. 2012)
  • Jul 4 Dave Rowberry, English rocker (The Animals-House of the Rising Sun), born in Nottingham, England (d. 2003)
  • Jul 5 Arthur Blythe, American jazz saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2017)
  • Jul 6 Jeannie Seely, American singer

Person of interestRingo Starr

Jul 7 Ringo Starr, [Richard Starkey], Beatles drummer (Magic Christian), born in Liverpool, England

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr

Weddings in Music

  • Feb 13 Actress Lana Turner (29) marries bandleader Artie Shaw (29)

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 23 RAF pilot Guy Gibson (22) weds show dancer and actress Eve Moore in Penarth’s Anglican Church

RAF Pilot Guy Gibson
RAF Pilot
Guy Gibson

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 3 Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus (27) weds pianist and mathematician Francine Faure (25) in Lyon, France

Author Albert Camus
Author
Albert Camus

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 24 Emile van Bosch, revue/operetta-artist, dies at 52
  • Mar 25 Ion Nonna Otescu, composer, dies at 51
  • Apr 6 Andres Isasi, composer, dies at 49
  • Apr 18 Florrie Forde, music hall artist, dies
  • May 28 Theodor Streicher, Austrian composer, dies at 65
  • Jun 8 Frederick Converse, American composer (The Pipe of Desire), dies at 69
  • Jun 16 Vitezslava Kapralova, composer, dies at 25
  • Jun 19 Maurice Jaubert, French composer and soldier, dies a few hours after being fatally wounded in action at 40
  • Jun 20 Jehan Alain, French organist/composer, dies in battle at 29
  • Jul 2 Bertram Shapleigh, composer, dies at 69
  • Jul 10 Donald Francis Tovey, English musicologist/composer, dies at 64
  • Jul 28 Richard Ohlsson, Swedish composer, dies at 66
  • Aug 8 Johnny Dodds, American early jazz clarinetist, dies at 48
  • Aug 21 Paul Juon, Russian-Swiss violinist and composer, dies at 68
  • Aug 29 Arthur De Greef, Belgian composer, dies at 77
  • Aug 31 Johanna "Annie" Bakker, revue-artists/singer/actress, dies at 58
  • Sep 30 Walter Kollo, composer, dies at 62
  • Oct 5 Silvestre Revueltas, Mexican composer: Cuauhnahuac/Planos, dies at 40
  • Oct 6 Ferdinando Liuzzi, composer, dies at 55
  • Oct 24 Victor Hollaender, German composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 27 Fini Valdemar Henriques, composer, dies at 72
  • Oct 28 Andrea d' Angeli, Italian composer, dies at 71
  • Nov 12 Alejandro Garcia Caturla, composer, dies at 34
  • Nov 23 Catharina van Rennes, Dutch composer, dies at 82
  • Nov 30 Fritz Volbach, German musicologist/conductor/composer, dies at 78
  • Dec 5 Jan Kubelik, Czech composer, dies at 60
  • Dec 16 William Wallace, Scottish composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 30 Fritz Volbach, composer, dies at 79