On This Day

Year 1946 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 5 "Show Boat" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 417 performances
  • Jan 9 "Would-Be Gentleman" opens at Booth Theater NYC for 77 performances
  • Jan 12 "Polonaise" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 113 performances
  • Jan 21 "Nellie Bly" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 16 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 Richard Strauss' "Metamorphosis" premieres in Zurich

Composer and Conductor Richard Strauss
Composer and Conductor
Richard Strauss
  • Feb 2 "Nellie Bly" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • Feb 6 "Lute Song" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 142 performances

Music concertMusic Concert

Feb 8 Béla Bartók's 3rd Concert for piano/orchestra premieres in Philadelphia, PA

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok
Composer and Pianist
Béla Bartok
  • Feb 13 "The Duchess Misbehaves" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • Feb 16 "The Duchess Misbehaves" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • Mar 7 "Three to Make Ready" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 323 performances
  • Mar 16 "Would-Be Gentleman" closes at Booth Theater NYC after 77 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Mar 25 1st performance of Igor Stravinsky's "Ebony Concerto", by Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Composer Igor Stravinsky
Composer
Igor Stravinsky

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Mar 30 Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's musical "St Louis Woman", starring Pearl Bailey featuring the Nicholas Brothers, opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 113 performances

Songwriter Johnny Mercer
Songwriter
Johnny Mercer
  • Apr 5 1st performance of Charles Ives' 3rd Symphony
  • Apr 14 "Day Before Spring" closes at National Theater NYC after 167 performances

  • Apr 18 Rome, Auerbach and Horwitt's musical "Call Me Mister" opens at National Theater NYC for 734 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 24 One-act ballet "Symphonic Variations" choreographed by Frederick Ashton with music by César Franck danced by Sandler's Wells Ballet debuts at Covent Garden, London

Choreographer Frederick Ashton
Choreographer
Frederick Ashton

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 14 Paul Hindemith's "For Those We Love" premieres

Composer Paul Hindemith
Composer
Paul Hindemith

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 16 Irving Berlin, Dorothy and Herbert Fields' musical "Annie Get Your Gun" starring Ethel Merman and featuring "There's No Business Like Show Business" opens at Imperial Theater, NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin

Music concertMusic Concert

May 26 Darius Milhaud's 3rd Concert for piano/orchestra premieres in Prague

Composer Darius Milhaud
Composer
Darius Milhaud

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 8 Raymond Scott and Bernard Hanighen's musical "Lute Song", starring Mary Martin, Yul Brenner, and Nancy Davis, and directed by John Houseman, closes at Plymouth Theater, NYC, after 142 performances

Actress Mary Martin
Actress
Mary Martin
US First Lady Nancy Reagan
US First Lady
Nancy Reagan

Music releaseMusic Recording

Jun 14 Nat King Cole records "The Christmas Song" for the first time

Musician Nat King Cole
Musician
Nat King Cole
  • Jun 29 "Are You with It?" closes at Century Theater NYC after 264 performances
  • Jun 29 "Billion Dollar Baby" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 219 performances
  • Jul 6 "St Louis Woman" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 113 performances
  • Jul 8 "Tidbits of 1946" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 8 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Jul 12 Benjamin Britten's "Rape of Lucretia" premieres at Glyndebourne Opera Festival

  • Jul 13 "Tidbits of 1946" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 8 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 25 At Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis stage their first show as a comedy team

Comedian Jerry Lewis
Comedian
Jerry Lewis
Actor, Comedian and Singer Dean Martin
Actor, Comedian and Singer
Dean Martin

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Aug 17 Arthur Honegger's 3rd Symphony "Liturgique" premieres

Composer Arthur Honegger
Composer
Arthur Honegger
  • Sep 5 "Yours Is My Heart" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 36 performances
  • Sep 17 "Gypsy Lady" opens at Century Theater NYC for 79 performances
  • Sep 17 "If the Shoe Fits" opens at Century Theater NYC for 20 performances
  • Oct 5 "Yours Is My Heart" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 36 performances
  • Oct 7 Charles Ives' 2nd string quartet premieres

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Oct 18 Aaron Copland's 3rd Symphony premieres

Composer Aaron Copland
Composer
Aaron Copland
  • Nov 4 "Park Avenue" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 72 performances
  • Nov 7 "Bal Negre" opens at Belasco Theater NYC for 54 performances
  • Nov 23 "Gypsy Lady" closes at Century Theater NYC after 79 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 11 Hank Williams begins to record on Sterling label

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Hank Williams
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Hank Williams
  • Dec 14 "Three to Make Ready" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 323 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 19 Noël Cowards musical "Pacific 1860" premieres in London

Playwright, Director and Singer Noël Coward
Playwright, Director and Singer
Noël Coward
  • Dec 20 Darius Milhaud's 2nd Symphony, premieres
  • Dec 21 "If the Shoe Fits" closes at Century Theater NYC after 20 performances
  • Dec 22 "Bal Negre" closes at Belasco Theater NYC after 54 performances
  • Dec 26 "Beggar's Holiday" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 111 performances
  • Dec 26 "Toplitzky of Notre Dame" opens at Century Theater NYC for 60 performances

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 294

  • Jan 2 Richard Cole, American tour manager (Led Zeppelin)

Person of interestJohn Paul Jones

Jan 3 John Paul Jones [John Baldwin], English rock bassist and songwriter (Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven), born in London

Musician John Paul Jones
Musician
John Paul Jones
  • Jan 4 Arthur Conley, American soul singer ("Sweet Soul Music"), born in McIntosh County, Georgia (d. 2003)
  • Jan 4 Susannah McCorkle, American jazz singer, born in Berkeley, California (d. 2001)

Person of interestSyd Barrett

Jan 6 Syd Barrett, English guitarist and early vocalist of the band Pink Floyd, born in Cambridge, England (d. 2006)

Rocker Syd Barrett
Rocker
Syd Barrett
  • Jan 7 Jann S Wenner, American publisher (Rolling Stone), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 8 Robby Krieger, American guitarist (The Doors-Light My Fire), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jan 10 Aynsley Dunbar, English drummer (Journey, Jefferson Starship), born in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Jan 10 Bob Lang, English bassist (Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders), born in Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Jan 11 Naomi Judd [Diana Ellen], American country singer (Judds - Why Not Me), born in Ashland, Kentucky
  • Jan 11 Tony Kaye [Anthony John Selvidge], English piano and organ player (Yes, 1968-71; 1983-94; 2018–19), born in Leicester, England
  • Jan 12 Cynthia Robinson, American musician (Sly & Family Stone - "Everyday People"), born in Sacramento, California (d. 2015)
  • Jan 12 George Duke, American Grammy Award-winning jazz and funk keyboard player, and composer, born in San Rafael, California (d. 2013)
  • Jan 13 Eero Koivistoinen, Finnish musician
  • Jan 16 Katia Ricclarelli, Italian soprano and actress (Falstaff, Otello, Turandot), born in Rovigo, Italy
  • Jan 17 Frank Bey [Bass], American blues singer-songwriter (All My Dues Are Paid), born in Millen, Georgia (d. 2020)

Person of interestDolly Parton

Jan 19 Dolly Parton, American country singer-songwriter ("Jolene"; ""I Will Always Love You", "9 to 5"), actress, and literacy advocate, born in Sevierville, Tennessee

Country Singer Dolly Parton
Country Singer
Dolly Parton

Person of interestMalcolm McLaren

Jan 22 Malcolm McLaren, British band manager (the Sex Pistols), born in London (d. 2010)

Band Manager and Pioneer of Punk Malcolm McLaren
Band Manager and Pioneer of Punk
Malcolm McLaren
  • Jan 28 Rick Allen, American rock bass player and keyboardist (The Box Tops - "Cry Like A Baby"), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Jan 28 Gailene Stock, Australian ballerina, teacher, and dance school director, born in Ballarat, Victoria (d. 2014)
  • Jan 29 Bettye LaVette [Betty Jo Haskins], American soul singer (I've Got My Own Hell to Raise), born in Muskegon, Michigan
  • Jan 31 Terry Kath, American rock guitarist & songwriter (Chicago), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1976)
  • Feb 1 Carol Neblett, American operatic soprano (Metropolitan Opera, 1979-93), born in Modesto, California (d. 2017)
  • Feb 2 Howard Bellamy, American pop and country vocalist (Bellamy Bros - Let Your Love Flow), born in Darby, Florida
  • Feb 3 Stan Webb, English blues musician (Chicken Shack), born in London
  • Feb 3 Eva Maros, Hungarian classical harpist, born in Pécs, Hungary
  • Feb 6 Kate McGarrigle, Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2010)
  • Feb 6 Richie Hayward, American drummer (Little Feat), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2010)
  • Feb 8 Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra, Mexican blues-rock drummer (Canned Heat), born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Feb 10 Kenneth "Kenny" Edwards, American musician and singer-songwriter (The Stone Poneys, Bryndle), born in Santa Monica, California (d. 2010)
  • Feb 11 Heinz Winbeck, German composer, conductor and teacher, born in Piflas, Germany (d. 2019)
  • Feb 12 Ajda Pekkan, Turkish singer and actress, born in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Feb 18 Buddy Cage, American pedal steel guitarist (New Riders of the Purple Sage; Great Speckled Bird), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2020)
  • Feb 19 Paul Dean, Canadian rock guitarist (Loverboy - "Working For The Weekend"), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Feb 19 Pierre van der Linden, Dutch drummer (Brainbox; Focus -"Hocus Pocus"), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Feb 19 Alexander Tchaikovsky, Russian composer (Russian Requiem; Symphony No. 7 - Quarantine), born in Moscow, USSR
  • Feb 20 (John) J. Geils, American rock guitarist (J Geils Band - "Centerfold"; "Freeze Frame"), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)
  • Feb 23 Norman "Rusty" Young, American pedal-steel guitarist, singer and songwriter (Poco - "Rose of Cimarron"; "Crazy Love"), born in Long Beach, California (d. 2021)
  • Feb 28 Pierre Dørge, Danish avant-garde and jazz-fusion guitarist (Thermaenius; New Jungle Orchestra), born in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Mar 1 Tony Ashton, British musician (Ashton, Gardner & Dyke), born in Blackburn, England (d. 2001)
  • Mar 1 Gerry Boulet, French-Canadian singer (d. 1990)
  • Mar 4 Ralph Kirshbaum, cellist (RNCM Manchester Intl Festival), born in Denton, Texas
  • Mar 5 Murray Head, British singer (One Night in Bangkok), born in London
  • Mar 5 Richard Bell, Canadian musician (Full Tilt Boogie Band), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2007)

Person of interestDavid Gilmour

Mar 6 David Gilmour, British rock guitarist, and vocalist (Pink Floyd - "Comfortably Numb"), born in Cambridge, England

Singer-songwriter and Producer David Gilmour
Singer-songwriter and Producer
David Gilmour
  • Mar 7 Matthew Fisher, English rock keyboardist (Procol Harum - "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"), born in London, England
  • Mar 7 Peter Wolf [Blankenfeild], American rock singer (J. Giels Band - "Centerfold"; "Freeze Frame"), born in the Bronx, New York
  • Mar 8 Randy Meisner, American rock bassist and vocalist (Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band; Linda Ronstadt; Eagles, 1971-77- "Take It To The Limit"), born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska
  • Mar 9 Jim Cregan, English rock musician, born in Yeovil, Somerset
  • Mar 10 Gaylord Birch, drummer (Reconstruction, Honey Dripper)

Person of interestLiza Minnelli

Mar 12 Liza Minnelli, American singer and actress (Sterile Cuckoo, Cabaret), born in Hollywood, California

Singer & Actress Liza Minnelli
Singer & Actress
Liza Minnelli
  • Mar 15 David Wall, British ballet dancer (Royal Ballet, 1966-84), and director (Royal Academy of Dancing, 1985-91) born in Chiswick, London (d. 2013)
  • Mar 15 Howard Scott, American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter (War, 1969-94 - "Cisco Kid"; "Why Can’t We Be Friends?"), born in San Pedro, California
  • Mar 16 Hubert Soudant, Dutch conductor
  • Mar 17 Harold Brown, American rock drummer (War, 1969-94 - "Summer": "Low Rider"), born in Long Beach, California
  • Mar 17 Michael Peter Finnissey, composer
  • Mar 19 Paul Atkinson, British rock guitarist and record company executive (The Zombies - "She's Not There"; "Time Of The Season"), born in Cuffley, Hertfordshire (d. 2004)
  • Mar 19 Ruth Pointer, American singer-songwriter (Pointer Sisters - "I'm So Excited"), born in Oakland, California
  • Mar 20 Ranger Doug [Douglas Green], Ill, singer (Riders in Sky-Cowboy Way)
  • Mar 21 Ray Dorset, British rock guitarist, and singer-songwriter (Mungo Jerry - "In The Summertime"), born in Ashford, England
  • Mar 22 Serge [Ruud Schaap], Dutch singer and guitarist (Saskia & Serge), born in Den Helder, Netherlands
  • Mar 24 Lee Oskar [Levitin], Danish rock and soul harmonica player (War - "Why Can't We Be Friends?"; "Low Rider"), born in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Mar 24 Klaus Dinger, German musician (Kraftwerk; Neu!), born in Scherfede, Germany (d. 2008)
  • Mar 27 Olaf Malolepski, German musician (Die Flippers), born in Madgeburg, Germany
  • Mar 28 Richard Sussman, American jazz musician and composer
  • Mar 29 Billy Thorpe, Australian musician (Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs), born in Manchester (d. 2007)
  • Mar 31 Al Nichol, American rock guitarist and keyboard player (Turtles - "Elenore"), born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Apr 1 Ronnie "Plonk" Lane, English rock bassist (Small Faces - "Hey Girl"), born in London, England
  • Apr 2 Kurt Winter, Canadian musician (The Guess Who), born in Winnipeg, Canada (d. 1997)
  • Apr 3 (David) Dee Murray [Oates], British bassist (Elton John backing band), born in Gillingham, Kent, England (d. 1992)
  • Apr 4 Dave Hill, English rock guitarist (Slade-Coz I Love You), born in Holbeton, Devon
  • Apr 5 Jennifer Penney, Canadian ballerina, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Apr 5 Larry Frederick Wendt, American composer, born in Napa, California
  • Apr 6 Danny Kortchmar, American session guitarist, producer and songwriter (James Taylor, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Don Henley), born in New York City
  • Apr 7 Barbara Benary, American composer (Gamelon Son Of Lion), born in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York (d. 2019)
  • Apr 9 Les Gray, English vocalist (Mud - "Tiger Feet"), born in Carshalton, Surrey (d. 2004)
  • Apr 10 Armand [Herman van Loenhout], Dutch folk singer ("Ben ik te min" -"Am I Not Good Enough?"; "Blommenkinders" - "Flower Children"), born in Eindhoven, Netherlands (d. 2015)
  • Apr 10 Anne Boyd, Australian classical composer (As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams), and educator, born in Sydney
  • Apr 12 René Krijnen, Dutch keyboardist (Les Baroques - "Such A Cad")
  • Apr 13 Al Green, American soul singer ("Let's Stay Together"; "Love And Happiness"), born in Forest City, Arkansas
  • Apr 14 Patrick Fairley, Scottish guitarist (Marmalade - "Ob La Di, Ob La Da")
  • Apr 16 Pēteris Vasks, Latvian contemporary classical composer, and double bassist (Distant Light; The Fruit Of Silence), born in Aizpute, Latvia
  • Apr 18 Skip [Alexander Lee] Spence, Canadian guitarist and vocalist (Moby Grape - "Omaha"), born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Apr 18 Lenny Baker, American musician (Sha Na Na), born in Whitman, Massachusetts (d. 2016)
  • Apr 21 Doug MacLeod, American blues musician (Blues Music Awards' Acoustic Artist of the Year, 2014, 2016 and 2017), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 24 Bruce Stuart Saylor, American composer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 24 Dick Rivers [Hervé Forneri], French rock and roll singer and actor, born in Nice, France (d. 2019)
  • Apr 25 Digby Fairweather, British jazz trumpeter, born in Rochford, Essex, England
  • Apr 27 Gordon Haskell, British pop, rock and blues musician (Fleur De Lys; King Crimson, 1970; Harry's Bar), born in Verwood, Dorset, England (d. 2020)
  • Apr 28 Glenn Ross Campbell, American steel guitarist (The Misunderstood), born in San Diego, California
  • Apr 28 Ginette Reno [Raynault], Canadian Juno and pop singer, songwriter ("Beautiful Second Hand Man"), and actress, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • May 1 Jerry Weiss, American jazz musician (Blood, Sweat & Tears), born in NYC, New York
  • May 1 Nick Fortuna, American rock bassist (The Buckinghams), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 2 Lesley Gore [Goldstein], American pop singer ("It's My Party"; "You Don't Own Me"), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2015)
  • May 7 Bill Danoff, American vocalist (Starland Vocal Band), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • May 7 Bill Kreutzmann, American rock drummer (Grateful Dead), born in Palo Alto, California
  • May 10 Graham Gouldman, English bassist and singer-songwriter (10cc), born in Manchester, England
  • May 10 Dave Mason, British guitarist and singer-songwriter ("We Just Disagree"), born in Worcester, England

Person of interestDonovan Philips Leitch

May 10 Donovan [Philips Leitch], Scottish guitarist and singer-songwriter ("Sunshine Superman"; "Mellow Yellow"; "Season Of The Witch"), born in Glasgow, Scotland

  • May 11 (Michel) "Plume" Latraverse, Canadian rock and blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, born in Montreal, Quebec

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 30 Ameican actress Doris Day (23) weds American jazz saxophonist George Weidler (20); divorce in 1949

Singer and Actress Doris Day
Singer and Actress
Doris Day

LoveWedding of Interest

Jul 24 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Howard Hanson (49) weds Margaret Elizabeth Nelson at the Chautauqua Institution in New York

Composer and Conductor Howard Hanson
Composer and Conductor
Howard Hanson

LoveWedding of Interest

Aug 10 Playwright Moss Hart (41) weds singer and actress Kitty Carlisle (35)

Playwright Moss Hart
Playwright
Moss Hart

LoveWedding of Interest

Aug 16 Famous ballet choreographer George Balanchine (42) weds ballerina Maria Tallchief (21)

Ballet Choreographer George Balanchine
Ballet Choreographer
George Balanchine
Ballerina Maria Tallchief
Ballerina
Maria Tallchief

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 11 "Bill Haley & His Comets" rock 'n' roll musician Bill Haley (21) weds Dorothy Crowe

Father of Rock 'n' Roll Bill Haley
Father of Rock 'n' Roll
Bill Haley

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 5 Kitty Cheatham, American singer (b. 1864)
  • Jan 7 Adamo Didur, Polish tenor (b. 1874)
  • Jan 17 Gottfried Rudinger, German composer, dies at 59
  • Jan 18 Feliks Nowowiejski, Polish organist and composer, dies at 68
  • Jan 29 Sidney Jones, British conductor and composer (The Geisha, A Gaiety Girl), dies at 84
  • Feb 15 Louis "Putney" Dandridge American jazz pianist and singer (Heatin' Up Harlem), dies at 44
  • Feb 20 Hugh Allen, musician, dies
  • Mar 13 Thomas Frederick Dunhill, composer, dies at 69
  • Mar 23 Alexandru Zirra, composer, dies at 62
  • Mar 24 Gustaf Heintze, Swedish composer, dies at 66
  • Apr 5 Vincent Youmans, American composer and songwriter (Tea for Two), dies at 47
  • Apr 13 William Henry Bell, English composer, dies at 72
  • Apr 23 Jesús Castillo, Guatemalan composer (Quiché Vinak), dies at 68
  • May 1 Edward Bairstow, English composer, dies at 71
  • May 1 Percy Whitlock, English composer and organist, dies at 42
  • May 25 Patty Smith Hill, American composer, teacher and songwriter ("Happy Birthday To You"), dies at 78
  • Jun 1 Leo Slezak, Austrian tenor and actor (Othello, Zirkus Saran, Husaren heraus), dies from a heart attack at 72
  • Jun 16 Miloje Milojević, Serbian composer, dies at 61
  • Jun 21 Heinrich Kaminski, German composer, dies at 59
  • Jun 30 Michael Zadora, composer, dies at 64
  • Jul 8 Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov, Russian composer {Alexnadrov Ensemble}, dies at 63
  • Jul 20 Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, American trombonist and plunger mute pioneer (Duke Ellington Orchestra), dies of a stroke at 42
  • Aug 13 Valery Viktorovich Zhelobinsky, composer, dies at 33
  • Aug 29 Milan Harašta, Czech composer, dies at 26
  • Aug 31 Paul August von Klenau, Danish opera composer/conductor, dies at 63
  • Sep 3 Paul Lincke, German composer and theater conductor considered the "father" of the Berlin operetta (Frau Luna, Lysistrata), dies at 79
  • Sep 16 Mamie Smith, American vaudeville singer, dancer and actress (Crazy Blues), dies at 63
  • Oct 16 Granville Bantock, English composer and conductor (Hebridean Symphony), dies at 78
  • Nov 5 Sigismond Stojowski, composer, dies at 77
  • Nov 6 Zygmunt Stojowski, Polish composer, dies at 76
  • Nov 14 Manuel de Falla, Spanish pianist and composer (Atlántida), dies of cardiac arrest at 69
  • Nov 24 Alfonso Broqua, Uruguayan composer, dies at 70
  • Dec 6 Maximilian Steinberg, Russian composer, dies at 63
  • Dec 15 Gordon Frederic Norton, composer, dies at 77
  • Dec 28 Carrie Jacobs Bond, American composer (I Love You Truly), dies at 85
  • Dec 30 Charles Wakefield Cadman, American composer (Shanewis (or The Robin Woman); The Sky Hawk), dies at 65