May 1942 in Music History

Events in Music

Music Premiere

May 14 World premiere performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" with: Andre Kostelanetz conducting the Cincinnati Symphony in Cincinnati, Ohio

Yankee Doodle Dandy

May 29 "Yankee Doodle Dandy", based on life of George M. Cohan, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney and Joan Lesley, premieres in NYC (Academy Awards Best Actor 1943)

White Christmas

May 29 Bing Crosby records Irving Berlin's song "White Christmas", with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers, in just 18 minutes; becomes world's best-selling single (estimated 100 million copies sold)

The City Wears a Slouch Hat

May 31 Avant-garde radio play "The City Wears A Slouch Hat" with music by John Cage and script by Kenneth Patchen broadcast in Chicago

Birthdays in Music

  • May 2 Alexis Mardas, Greek electronics engineer, entrepreneur, and Beatles hanger-on also known as "Magic Alex", born in Athens, Greece (d. 2017)
  • May 4 Ronnie Bond, British drummer (Troggs - "Wild Thing"; "Love Is All Around"), born in Andover, Hampshire, England (d. 1992)

Tammy WynetteTammy Wynette (1942-1998)

May 5 American country singer ("Stand By Your Man"; "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"), born in Itawamba County, Mississippi

  • May 8 (Euclid) Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood, American rock saxophonist and vocalist (Mothers Of Invention), born in Arkansas City, Kansas (d. 2011)
  • May 9 Mike Millward, British guitarist (The Fourmost - "A Little Loving"), born in Bromborough, Cheshire, England (d. 1966)
  • May 9 Tommy Roe, American pop-rock singer ("Sheila"; "Dizzy"), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 9 Val Garay, American record producer and engineer (Bette Davis Eyes), born in San Francisco, California
  • May 10 Bill Coday, American musician and singer (You’re Gonna Want Me), born in Coldwater, Mississippi (d. 2008)
  • May 10 Ingram Douglass Marshall, American composer (Alcatraz; Fragility Cycles), born in Mount Vernon, New York
  • May 12 Billy Swan, American country-rock singer-songwriter ("I Can Help"), born in Cape Giradeau, Louisiana
  • May 12 Ian Dury, English rock musician (The Blockheads) and actor (Judge Dredd), born in Upminster, Essex (d. 2000)
  • May 13 Jim Douglas, Scottish jazz guitarist, born in Gifford, East Lothian
  • May 14 Gerald Shapiro, American classical and electro-acoustic composer (The Voice of the Dharma; In Time's Sahdow), and educator (Brown university), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 17 Taj Mahal [Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr.], American singer-songwriter (Real Thing), born in Harlem, New York
  • May 18 Rodney Dillard, American musician (Glittergrass), born in Salem, Missouri
  • May 20 Paula [Jill Jackson], American pop singer ("Hey Paula"), born in McCamey, Texas
  • May 22 Calvin Simon, American funk and gospel vocalist (Parliament/Funkadelic - "Livin' the Life"), born in Beckley, West Virginia (d. 2022)
  • May 22 Malika Sabirova, Soviet Tajik ballet dancer, born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan (d. 1982)
  • May 24 Derek Quinn, British guitarist (Freddie and the Dreamers - "I'm Telling You Now"), born in Manchester, England (d. 2020)
  • May 25 Brian "Blinky" Davison, British rocker (The Nice), born in Leicester, England (d. 2008)
  • May 26 Ray Ennis, British rock guitarist (Swinging Blue Jeans - "You're No Good"), born in Huyton, England
  • May 27 Priscilla McLean (née Taylor), American composer, performer, and music critic, born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Deaths in Music

  • May 7 (Paul) Felix Weingartner, Austrian pianist, conductor (Vienna Philharmonic, 1907-27; first to record all nine of Beethoven's symphonies), and composer (Die Dorfschule), dies at 78
  • May 10 Joe Weber, American vaudeville comedian, singer (Weber and Fields), and theatrical producer, dies at 74
  • May 13 Hyam Greenbaum, British violinist, composer and conductor of the 1st TV orchestra (BBC), dies of alcohol-related problems at 41
  • May 17 Alfred Hollins, British composer, dies at 76
  • May 25 Emanuel Feuermann, Ukrainian-born cellist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), dies of complications during surgery at 39