On This Day

Year 1948 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 9 Walter Piston's 3rd Symphony in E, premieres in Boston by the Boston Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Serge Koussevitzky; wins 1947 Pulitzer Prize
  • Jan 10 "Call Me Mister" closes at National Theater NYC after 734 performances
  • Jan 13 1st country music TV show, "Midwestern Hayride", premieres on WLW-T in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jan 24 "Music in My Heart" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 124 performances
  • Jan 29 "Look Ma, I'm Dancin'" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 188 performances
  • Feb 7 "Cradle Will Rock" closes at Mansfield Theater NYC after 34 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 16 Billie Holiday is released from prison early due to good behavior

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • Mar 20 1st live televised musical Eugene Ormandy on CBS followed in 90
  • Mar 21 "Stop the Music" with Bert Parks premieres on ABC radio
  • Mar 27 Just 11 days after being released from prison, Billie Holiday plays in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall
  • Apr 30 "Inside USA" opens at Century Theater NYC for 339 performances
  • May 6 Revival of Jerome Kerns and Clifford Grey's rags-to-riches musical "Sally" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 36 performances
  • May 18 "Ballet Ballads" opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 62 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 24 Benjamin Britten's "Beggar's Opera" premieres at Arts Theatre, Cambridge, England

  • Jun 3 Musical "Sleepy Hollow", based on Washington Irving's novel, opens at St James Theater, NYC; runs for 12 performances
  • Jun 5 "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" single released by Stan Jones

  • Jun 8 Revival of Jerome Kerns' musical "Sally" closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 36 performances
  • Jun 12 "Hold It!" closes at National Theater NYC after 46 performances
  • Jun 12 The musical "Sleepy Hollow" closes at St James Theater NYC after 12 performances
  • Jul 10 "Allegro" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 318 performances
  • Jul 10 "Ballet Ballads" closes at Music Box Theater NYC after 62 performances
  • Jul 10 "Look Ma, I'm Dancin'" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 188 performances
  • Jul 18 "Marinka" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 168 performances
  • Jul 31 "Brigadoon" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 581 performances
  • Aug 8 "Hold It!" opens at National Theater NYC for 46 performances
  • Sep 4 "Angel in the Wings" closes at Coronet Theater NYC after 308 performances
  • Sep 6 "Mr Strauss Goes to Boston" opens at Century Theater NYC for 12 performances
  • Sep 9 "Hilarities (of 1949)" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 14 performances
  • Sep 15 "Small Wonder" opens at Coronet Theater NYC for 134 performances
  • Sep 16 "Heaven on Earth" opens at Century Theater NYC for 12 performances
  • Sep 16 "Mr Strauss Goes to Boston" closes at Century NYC after 12 performances
  • Sep 18 "Hilarities (of 1949)" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • Sep 20 "Magdalena" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 48 performances
  • Sep 25 "Heaven on Earth" closes at Century Theater NYC after 12 performances
  • Sep 27 "Carib Song" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 36 performances
  • Oct 2 "Finian's Rainbow" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 725 performances

  • Oct 6 "Polonaise" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 113 performances
  • Oct 11 "Love Life" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 252 performances
  • Oct 11 "Where's Chartev?" opens at St James Theater NYC for 792 performances
  • Oct 16 "Red Mill" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 831 performances
  • Oct 19 "My Romance" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 95 performances
  • Nov 13 "As the Girls Go" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 420 performances
  • Nov 29 1st opera to be televised, "Othello", broadcast from the Met (NYC)
  • Dec 4 "Magdalena" closes at Ziegfeld Theater, NYC, after 48 performances
  • Dec 8 "Marinka" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 168 performances
  • Dec 16 "Lend an Ear" opens at National Theater NYC for 460 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 "Cinderella" the first full-length ballet by Frederick Ashton with music by Sergei Prokofiev is first presented by Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden, London

Choreographer Frederick Ashton
Choreographer
Frederick Ashton
  • Dec 29 "Rape of Lucretia" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 23 performances
  • Dec 30 "Kiss Me, Kate" opens at New Century Theater NYC for 1077 performances
  • Dec 30 Cole Porter's musical "Kiss Me Kate" opens at the New Century Theatre, NYC, later transferred to Sam S. Shubert Theatre; runs for 1077 performances

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 286

  • Jan 3 Larry McNeeley, banjo player (Glen Campbell Hour), born in Lafayette, Indiana
  • Jan 7 Kaz Lux, Dutch singer, born in Oosterhout, Netherlands
  • Jan 7 Kenny Loggins, American singer (Loggins and Messina-This is it, Footloose), born in Everett, Washington
  • Jan 7 Rick Marotta, American session drummer (Carly Simon; Steely Dan; Warren Zevon), and composer, born in New York City
  • Jan 9 Bill Cowsill, American singer & musician (The Cowsills - "Hair"; "The Rain, The Park, And Other Thing"), born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 2006)

Person of interestDonald Fagen

Jan 10 Donald Fagen, American rock vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter (Steely Dan - "Reelin' In The Years"), born in Passaic, New Jersey

Singer Donald Fagen
Singer
Donald Fagen
  • Jan 10 Mischa Maisky, Latvian cellist, born in Riga, Latvia
  • Jan 10 Fayette Pinkney, American pop-soul singer (The Three Degrees - "When Will I See You Again?"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2009)
  • Jan 11 Terry Williams, Welsh rock drummer (Dire Straits), born in Swansea, Wales
  • Jan 12 John Etheridge, British guitarist (Soft Machine), born in Lambeth, England
  • Jan 14 Joseph Henry "T Bone" Burnett, American musician and producer (Los Lobos; Sam Philips: BoDeans), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Jan 15 Ronnie Van Zant, American rock musician (Lynyrd Skynyrd), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 1977)
  • Jan 17 Mick Taylor, British rock guitarist (John Mayhall' Bluesbreakers, 1967-69; Rolling Stones, 1969-74 - "Brown Sugar", "Honky Tonk Woman"), born in Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
  • Jan 17 Anne Queffélec, French concert pianist, born in Paris, France
  • Jan 19 Harvey Hinsley, British musician, born in Northampton, United Kingdom
  • Jan 20 Mel Pritchard, British progressive rock drummer (Barclay James Harvest), born in Oldham, Lancashire (d. 2004)
  • Jan 22 Todd Rundgren, American rock singer-songwriter ("Hello It's Me"; "Bang The Drum All Day"), multi-instrumentalist and producer (The Tubes; XTC), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 22 Gilbert Levine, American orchestral conductor, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jan 23 Anita Pointer, American pop vocalist (Pointer Sisters - "He's So Shy"; "I'm So Excited"), born in Oakland, California
  • Jan 24 Michael Des Barres, British actor & rock singer, born in Hove, United Kingdom
  • Jan 26 Laurence "Corky" Laing, Canadian rock drummer and songwriter (Mountain, Cork), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 27 Kim Gardner, English rock bassist (Ashton, Gardner & Dyke), born in London (d. 2001)
  • Jan 27 Chuck Larsen, American country-rockabilly singer and banjo player (Snuff - "Bad, Bad, Billy")
  • Jan 27 Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian-American ballet dancer,and choreographer (American Ballet Theater), and actor (The Turning Point; Sex In The City), born in Riga, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union (now Latvia)
  • Jan 29 Felice Taylor, R&B singer (I Feel Love Comin' On)
  • Jan 29 Marc Singer, actor (V, Dallas), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Person of interestRick James

Feb 1 Rick James [James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.], American funk musician ("Super Freak"), born in Buffalo New York (d. 2004)

Musician Rick James
Musician
Rick James

Person of interestAlice Cooper

Feb 4 Alice Cooper [Vincent Furnier], American theatrical rock singer and songwriter ("School's Out") , born in Detroit, Michigan

Rocker Alice Cooper
Rocker
Alice Cooper
  • Feb 4 Marguerite "Marge" Ganser, American pop singer (The Shangri-Las), born in Queens, New York (d. 1996)
  • Feb 4 Mary Ann Ganser, American pop singer (The Shangri-Las), born in Queens, New York (d. 1970)
  • Feb 5 David Denny, American rock guitar player (Steve Miller Band-Abracadabra), born in Berkeley, California
  • Feb 7 Jimmy Greenspoon, American session and touring rock organist (Three Dog Night - "Joy to the World"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2015)
  • Feb 7 David Campbell, Canadian composer (worked with Adele, Justin Timberlake), born in Toronto
  • Feb 8 "England" Dan [Seals], American pop and country singer (England Dan & John Ford Coley - "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"), born in McCamey, Texas (d. 2009)
  • Feb 10 Conrad Cummings, American classical composer, born in San Francisco, California
  • Feb 11 Vangelis Kordompoulis, Greek jazz pianist, composer, and music educator, born in Patras, Greece
  • Feb 14 Wally Tax, Dutch guitarist
  • Feb 17 José José 'The Prince of Song' [José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz], Mexican singer and actor, born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2019)
  • Feb 18 Keith Knudsen, American drummer, vocalist and songwriter (Doobie Brothers), born in Le Mars, Iowa (d. 2005)
  • Feb 19 Mark Andes, American rock bassist (Spirit, 1968-74, 84, 89; Firefall, 1976-79; Heart, 1982-92), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 19 Tony Iommi, American rock guitarist (Black Sabbath - "Paranoid"; "Iron Man"), born in Birmingham, England
  • Feb 20 Barry Wordsworth, conductor
  • Feb 20 Billy Zoom [Stuart Kindell], American punk rock guitarist (X), born in Savanna, Illinois
  • Feb 23 Steve Priest, English rock bassist and vocalist (Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"), born in Hayes, Middlesex, England (d. 2020)
  • Feb 24 Tim Staffell, English singer
  • Feb 24 Neil Hubbard, British guitarist (Juicy Lucy, Jesus Christ Superstar)
  • Feb 27 Eddie Gray, American rock guitarist (Tommy James & Shondells-Crystal Blue), born in Niles, Michigan
  • Mar 1 Burning Spear [Winston Rodney], Jamaican reggae singer
  • Mar 1 Norman Connors, singer (You Are My Starship)
  • Mar 1 Richard Festinger, American guitarist, pianist, and classical music composer (Between Thought and Thing; Le Pianiste), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • Mar 2 Larry Carlton, American jazz and rock session and touring guitarist (Crusaders; Joni Mitchell; Steely Dan), born in Torrance, California
  • Mar 2 Rory Gallagher, Irish rock and blues guitarist and songwriter ("Born on the Wrong Side of Time"), born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland (d. 1995)
  • Mar 3 Terence "Snowy" White, British rock guitarist (Thin Lizzy, 1980-82; Roger Waters), born in Barnstaple, Devon, England
  • Mar 4 Chris Squire, British progressive rock bassist, founding and longest serving member of Yes, 1969-2014 ("The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)"), born in Kingsbury, London, England (d. 2015)
  • Mar 4 Shakin' Stevens [Michael Barrett], Welsh rock singer ("This Ole House"; "Oh Julie"; "You Drive Me Crazy"), born in Cardiff, Wales
  • Mar 5 Eddy Grant, Guyana, reggae performer (Electric Avenue)
  • Mar 5 Jacques Kloes, singer (Dizzy Man's Band)
  • Mar 5 Richard Hickox, English musical conductor
  • Mar 5 Elaine Paige, English singer and actress
  • Mar 8 Little Peggy March [Margaret Battavio], American pop vocalist ("I Will Follow Him"), born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 9 Jeffrey Osborne, American soul singer-songwriter ("On the Wings of Love"), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Mar 9 Jimmie Fadden, American singer (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), born in Long Beach, California
  • Mar 9 Christopher "Chris" Thompson, British singer and guitarist (Manfred Mann's Earth Band- "Blinded By the Light"), born in Ashford, Kent
  • Mar 11 George Kooymans, Dutch rock singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Golden Earring - Radar Love"), born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Mar 11 Jan Schelhaas, English musician (Caravan, Camel), born in Liverpool
  • Mar 12 Dana Walden, rock keyboardist (Champaign)
  • Mar 12 James Taylor, American singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Fire And Rain"; "You've Got A Friend"; "Shower The People"), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mar 12 Les Holroyd, British progressive rock musician (Barclay James Harvest), born in Oldham England
  • Mar 16 Michael Owen Bruce, American rock musician (Alice Cooper), born in Kansas
  • Mar 17 Fran Byrne, musician (Ace), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Mar 18 Robert "Bobby" Whitlock, American singer, songwriter and musician (Derek and the Dominos), born in Memphis, Tennessee

Person of interestAndrew Lloyd Webber

Mar 22 Andrew Lloyd Webber, British theatrical composer (Jesus Christ Superstar; Phantom of the Opera; Cats), born in London, England

  • Mar 22 Randy Hobbs, American rock musician (Johnny Winter Band, McCoys), born in Winchester, Indiana (d. 1993)
  • Mar 23 David Olney, American folk singer-songwriter, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2020)
  • Mar 26 Kyung-Wha Chung, Korean violinist (Chung Sisters), born in Seoul, Korea
  • Mar 26 Richard Tandy, British rock bassist (ELO), born in Birmingham, England
  • Mar 26 Steven Tyler, American rock vocalist (Aerosmith - "Walk This Way"; "Dude Looks Like A Lady"), born in New York City
  • Mar 28 John Evan, British rock keyboardist (Jethro Tull), born in Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Mar 30 Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, American rock vocalist (Black Oak Arkansas), born in Benton Harbor, Michigan
  • Mar 31 Thijs van Leer, Dutch rock singer, organist, and flutist (Focus - "Hocus Pocus"; Introspection), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Apr 1 Jimmy Cliff [Chambers], Jamaican reggae singer ("The Harder They Come"), born in St James, Colony of Jamaica
  • Apr 1 Simon Crowe, Irish rock drummer (Boomtown Rats - "I Don't Like Mondays"), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Apr 2 Dimitris Mitropanos, Greek singer, born in Trikala, Greece (d. 2012)
  • Apr 3 Garrick Ohlsson, American concert pianist (International Busoni winner, 1966; Chopin Prize, 1970), born in Bronxville, New York
  • Apr 4 Berry Oakley, American rocker and bass player (The Allman Brothers Band), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1972)
  • Apr 4 David "Pick" Withers, English jazz drummer (Dire Straits), born in Leicester, England
  • Apr 5 Dave Holland, English heavy metal rocker (Judas Priest - "Breakin' The Law"), born in Northampton, England (d. 2018)
  • Apr 5 Hans Theessink, Dutch blues guitarist, mandolin player, singer-songwriter, born in Enschede, Netherlands
  • Apr 7 Carol Douglas, American disco singer ("Doctor's Orders"), born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City
  • Apr 7 Dallas Taylor, American session drummer (Crosby, Stills & Nash; Clear Light), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 2015)
  • Apr 9 Philip Wright, British rock drummer, and singer (Paper Lace -"The Night Chicago Died"), born in St. Ann's, Nottingham, England
  • Apr 10 Fred Smith, American rock bassist (Television -"Marquee Moon"; Blondie, 1974-75), born in New York
  • Apr 12 Lois Reeves, American singer (Martha and the Vandellas, 1969-72), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Apr 13 [Piet] "Peter" Sweval, American rock bassist (Looking Glass - "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" ; Starz - "Cherry Baby"), born in Toms River, New Jersey (d. 1990)
  • Apr 14 Larry Ferguson, keyboardist (Hot Chocolate - "You Sexy Thing"), born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • Apr 15 Michael Kamen, American composer and arranger (film scores to Brazil and Mr. Holland's Opus; Pink Floyd), born in NYC, New York (d. 2003)
  • Apr 15 Jan Krzywicki, American classical music composer, conductor, and educator born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 16 Robert Kirby, British music arranger (Nick Drake), born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire (d. 2009)
  • Apr 17 Jan Hammer, Czech-American rock keyboardist (Mahavishnu Orchestra; Jeff Beck), and composer ("Miami Vice Theme"), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Apr 18 Catherine Malfitano, American soprano (Metropolitan Opera), born in NYC, New York

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 28 Musician Nat King Cole (29) weds jazz singer Maria Hawkins (25) at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York

Musician Nat King Cole
Musician
Nat King Cole
  • May 15 Dancer and actress Cyd Charisse (26) weds singer Tony Martin (34)

Divorces in Music


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Mar 22 Musician Nat King Cole (29) divorces dancer Nadine Robinson after 11 years of marriage

Musician Nat King Cole
Musician
Nat King Cole

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 1 Hermann Zilcher, German pianist and composer (Dr Eisenbart, Die Liebesmesse), dies at 66
  • Jan 1 Willem Landré, Dutch composer, and music educator, dies at 73
  • Jan 8 Richard Tauber [Denemy], Austrian-British operatic tenor and film actor, dies of lung cancer at 56
  • Jan 9 Violet Gordon-Woodhouse, British musician (harpsichord and clavichord), dies at 75
  • Jan 21 Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian light opera composer, dies at 72
  • Jan 26 Ignaz Friedman, Polish pianist and composer, dies at 65
  • Feb 7 Red McKenzie, American jazz singer (played comb-with-tissue-paper), dies at 48
  • Feb 21 Frederick Archibald Lamond, composer, dies at 80
  • Mar 3 Antonin Artaud, French songwriter and director (Theatre Seraphin), dies at 51
  • Mar 27 Karel Candael, Flemish composer, dies at 64
  • Apr 21 Carlos Lopez Buchardo, Argentine composer, dies at 66
  • Apr 24 Manuel Ponce, Mexican composer (Ferial), dies at 65
  • Apr 24 Jāzeps Vītols, Latvian composer, dies at 84
  • May 8 Alfred Holy, Czech composer and harpist, dies at 81
  • May 12 Isidor Achron, American composer, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 24 Alfred Kastner, Austrian-American harpist and composer, dies at 78
  • May 31 José Vianna da Motta, Portuguese composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 1 Sonny Boy Williamson I [John Lee], American blues musician (Down & Out Blues), dies at 34
  • Jun 7 Georges Hüe, French composer, dies at 90
  • Jun 8 Franz Carl Bornschein, American composer, dies at 69
  • Jun 14 Ernst Henrik Ellberg, Swedish composer, dies at 79
  • Jun 14 John Blackwood McEwen, Scottish classical composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 20 George Frederick Boyle, Australian-American composer, dies at 61
  • Jun 27 George Templeton Strong, American composer, dies at 92
  • Jul 21 Donald Nichols Tweedy, American composer, dies at 58
  • Jul 27 Francesco Spetrino, Italian conductor and composer, dies at 91
  • Aug 10 Lucille Bogan, American blues singer and songwriter ("Sweet Petunia"; "Black Angel Blues"), dies from coronary sclerosis at 51
  • Aug 20 David John de Lloyd, Welsh musician composer, dies at 65
  • Aug 26 Oscar L Fernandez, Brazilian conductor/composer (Imbapara), dies at 50
  • Aug 27 Oley Speaks, American composer (On the Road to Mandalay), dies at 74
  • Aug 27 Oscar Lorenzo Fernández, Brazilian conductor and composer (Imbapara), dies at 50
  • Oct 8 Sven Holger Körling, Swedish organist, music teacher, and composer of children's songs, dies at 69
  • Oct 23 Eugeniusz Morawski-Dabrowa, Polish composer, dies at 71
  • Oct 24 Franz Lehár, Austrian-Hungarian composer (Wiener Frauen), dies at 78
  • Nov 12 Umberto Giordano, Italian composer, dies at 81
  • Nov 23 Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Soviet composer who composed the anthem used by Azerbaijan during the Soviet period, dies at 63
  • Nov 24 Raoul Armand Georg Koczalski, composer, dies at 64
  • Nov 30 Franco Vittadini, Italian composer, dies at 64
  • Dec 7 Godfrey Turner, composer, dies at 35
  • Dec 14 R. O. Morris [Reginald Owen], British composer & music teacher, dies at 62
  • Dec 17 Edgar Istel, German composer, dies at 68