May 1940 in Music History

Events in Music

Music Premiere

May 28 Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase", satirizing Huey Long's political power, opens at The Imperial Theatre, NYC; runs for 444 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • May 3 Conny Plank, German record producer and musician, born in Hütschenhausen, Germany (d. 1987)
  • May 5 Lucy Simon, American folk singer-songwriter (Simon Sisters), Grammy Award-winning record producer (In Harmony) and theater composer (The Secret Garden; Doctor Zhivago), born in New York City (d. 2022) [1]
  • May 6 Murry Sidlin, American conductor (National Symphony, 1973-77; Long Beach Symphony, 1980-88), arranger (Defiant Requiem), and educator, born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • May 7 Armando Krieger, Argentine composer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • May 8 (Cathryn) "Toni" Tennille, American singer-songwriter, keyboardist (Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together") and female Beach Boy, born in Montgomery, Alabama

Ricky NelsonRicky Nelson (1940-1985)

May 8 American pop-Rock Star ("Hello Mary Lou"; "It's Late"; "Garden Party") and actor (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), born in Teaneck, New Jersey

  • May 9 Dick Morrissey, British jazz saxophonist, born in Horley, Surrey, England (d. 2000)
  • May 10 Arthur Alexander, American singer-songwriter ("Lonely Just Like Me"), whose songs were covered by The Beatles ("Anna"), The Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On"), and Bob Dylan ("Sally Sue Brown"), born in Sheffield, Alabama (d. 1993) [1] [2]
  • May 11 Ron Pellegrino, American electronic music composer, born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • May 12 Norman Whitfield, American songwriter and producer for Motown ("I Heard It Through the Grapevine"; "Just My Imagination"; "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone"), born in New York City (d. 2008)
  • May 13 Richard Brooks, American soul singer (Impressions, 1958-62 - "Gypsy Woman"), born in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • May 19 Mickey Newbury, rocker
  • May 20 (Frederick) "Shorty" Long, American soul singer, and pianist ("Devil with the Blue Dress On"; "Here Comes The Judge"), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1969)

Tony SheridanTony Sheridan (1940-2013)

May 21 British singer-songwriter and guitarist who collaborated with the pre-fame Beatles ("My Bonnie"), born in Norwich, England

  • May 26 Levon Helm, American drummer and singer (The Band - "Up On Cripple Creek"; "The Weight"), and actor (Coal Miner's Daughter; The Right Stuff), born in Elaine, Arkansas (d. 2012)
  • May 27 René Koering, French composer, film producer. theater director, and music promoter (Festival de Radio France et Montpellier), born in Andlau, France
  • May 28 Hans Dulfer, Dutch funk and jazz-fusion tenor saxophonist, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • May 31 August "Augie" Meyers, American rock and Tex-Mex keyboardist, accordion player, singer-songwriter, producer (Sir Douglas Quintet; Texas Tornados), and record label owner, born in San Antonio, Texas

Deaths in Music

  • May 28 Theodor Streicher, Austrian composer, dies at 65