On This Day

December 1940 in Music History

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 25 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical "Pal Joey" premieres in NYC

Composer Richard Rodgers
Composer
Richard Rodgers

Birthdays in Music

Person of interestRichard Pryor

Dec 1 Richard Pryor, American comedian and actor (Lady Sings the Blues, Stir Crazy), born in Peoria, Illinois (d. 2005)

Comedian and Actor Richard Pryor
Comedian and Actor
Richard Pryor
  • Dec 6 Jay Leonhart, American session and touring jazz and pop double bassist and songwriter (The Bass Lesson), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dec 9 Sammy Strain, American singer (Imperials-Hurt So Bad), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 12 Dionne Warwick, American singer (Solid Gold, Way to San Jose), born in East Orange, New Jersey
  • Dec 16 Dimitri van Toren, Dutch singer-songwriter, born in Breda, Netherlands (d. 2015)
  • Dec 19 Phil Ochs, American anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), born in El Paso, Texas (d. 1976)
  • Dec 20 Larry Willis, American jazz pianist & composer, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 21 Tony Rivers [Thompson], British pop singer and vocal arranger (Harmony Grass; Cliff Richard), born in Shildon, England
  • Dec 21 Frank Zappa, American rocker, composer, activist and filmmaker (Mothers of Invention, Hot Rats), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1993)
  • Dec 21 Paul [Ray Hildebrand], American singer (Paul & Paula), born in Joshua, Texas
  • Dec 23 Eugene Record, American musician (Chi Lites-Give it Away), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • Dec 23 Jorma Kaukonen, American rock guitarist (Jefferson Airplane; Hot Tuna), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 25 Peter Brown, rocker, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 25 Pete Brown, English musician and songwriter (Cream), born in Ashtead, Surrey
  • Dec 28 Alvin Singleton, American composer ("After Fallen Crumbs"; "Shadows", born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Dec 28 Lonnie Liston Smith, American jazz piano and keyboard player (Cosmic Echoes, Magic Lady), born in Richmond, Virginia,
  • Dec 28 Neon Park [Martin Muller], American illustrator of album covers (Little Feat; Frank Zappa), born in Berkeley, California (d. 1993)
  • Dec 29 Peter Koelewijn, Dutch rock musician and songwriter ("Get Off That Roof"), born in Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Dec 30 Jerry Granelli, American-Canadian jazz drummer (Vince Guaraldi Trio; Mose Allison), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2021)
  • Dec 31 Mani Neumeier, German musician (Guru Guru), born in Munich, Germany
  • Dec 31 Bobby Notkoff, American rock and blues violinist (Crazy Horse; The Rockets), born in New York City (d. 2018) [1]

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding 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

  • Dec 5 Jan Kubelik, Czech composer, dies at 60
  • Dec 16 William Wallace, Scottish composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 21 Hal Kemp American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and sweet jazz bandleader, dies as a result of a car accident at 36
  • Dec 30 Fritz Volbach, composer, dies at 79