On This Day

Year 1949 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 8 "Make Mine Manhattan" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 429 performances
  • Jan 8 "My Romance" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 95 performances
  • Jan 8 "Small Wonder" closes at Coronet Theater NYC after 134 performances
  • Jan 13 "Along 5th Avenue" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 180 performances
  • Jan 16 "Rape of Lucretia" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 23 performances
  • Jan 22 "All for Love" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 121 performances
  • Feb 1 RCA releases 1st single record ever (45 rpm)

Music releaseTheater Premiere

Feb 10 Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opens at Morosco Theater, NYC

Playwright Arthur Miller
Playwright
Arthur Miller

Music releaseMusic Single

Feb 11 "Lovesick Blues" single released by Hank Williams (Cashbox "Best Hillbilly Record of the Year", Billboard Song of the Year 1949)

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Hank Williams
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Hank Williams
  • Feb 12 "Annie Get Your Gun" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 1147 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 15 Dmitri Shostakovich' "Song of the Woods" premieres in Leningrad

  • Feb 19 "Inside USA" closes at Century Theater NYC after 339 performances
  • Apr 7 "South Pacific" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 1928 performances
  • May 14 "Love Life" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 252 performances
  • Jun 18 "Along Fifth Avenue" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 180 performances
  • Jul 2 "High Button Shoes" closes at Century Theater NYC after 727 performances

  • Jul 7 "Cabatgata (A Night in Spain)" opens at Broadway NYC for 76 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Jul 9 Benjamin Britten's Jump Symphony premieres

  • Jul 15 "Miss Liberty" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 308 performances
  • Aug 7 "All after Love" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 121 performances
  • Aug 18 Ralph Flanagan & his orchestra records "You're Breaking My Heart"
  • Sep 10 "Cabatgata (A Night in Spain)" closes at Broadway NYC after 76 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 28 "My Friend Irma" is 1st of 12 films starring Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

Comedian Jerry Lewis
Comedian
Jerry Lewis
Actor, Comedian and Singer Dean Martin
Actor, Comedian and Singer
Dean Martin
  • Oct 9 English ballerina Margot Fonteyn debuts in America with her performance of Sleeping Beauty at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York
  • Oct 13 "Touch & Go" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 176 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 30 "Lost in the Stars" by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill, based on the novel "Cry the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 281 performances

Author and Apartheid Activist Alan Paton
Author and Apartheid Activist
Alan Paton
Playwright and Dramatist Maxwell Anderson
Playwright and Dramatist
Maxwell Anderson

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Oct 30 Kurt Weill & Maxwell Anderson's musical premieres in NYC

Playwright and Dramatist Maxwell Anderson
Playwright and Dramatist
Maxwell Anderson
  • Oct 31 "Regina" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 86 performances
  • Nov 25 "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" appears on music charts
  • Nov 28 "Texas, Li'l Darlin'" opens at Mark Hellinger NYC for 293 performances
  • Dec 8 Jule Styne's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 740 performances

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 8 "On the Town", the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen, is released

Actress Vera-Ellen
Actress
Vera-Ellen
Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
Actor and Dancer Gene Kelly
Actor and Dancer
Gene Kelly
  • Dec 17 "Regina" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 86 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 20 Maurice Ravel and John Cranko's ballet "Beauty & the Beast" premieres

Composer and Pianist Maurice Ravel
Composer and Pianist
Maurice Ravel

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 302

  • Jan 1 Daniel E Gawthrop, American composer
  • Jan 2 Michael "Chick" Churchill, British blues-rock keyboardist (Ten Years After - "I'm Going Home"), born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
  • Jan 5 George Brown, American rock drummer (Kool & the Gang-Celebration), born in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Jan 6 Chris Laurence, British classical, jazz and session double bassist, born in London
  • Jan 7 Marshall Chapman, American country singer, born in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Jan 11 Tom Netherton, singer (Lawrence Welk Show), born in Munich. Germany
  • Jan 11 [Frederick] Dennis Greene, American singer (Sha Na Na), born in New York, (d. 2015)
  • Jan 11 Daryl Braithwaite, Australian pop singer (Sherbert), born in Melbourne
  • Jan 12 Wayne Wang, American film director (Chan is Missing, Slamdance), born in Hong Kong
  • Jan 12 Kentaro Haneda, Japanese composer, born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2007)
  • Jan 13 Frank Ricotti, British jazz and session vibraphonist and percussionist, born in London, England
  • Jan 14 Lamar Williams, American musician (The Allman Brothers Band), born in Gulfport, Mississippi (d. 1983)
  • Jan 14 Maurice T. "Maury" Muehleisen, American musician and songwriter (Jim Croce), born in Trenton, New Jersey (d. 1973)
  • Jan 18 Christian Blackshaw, British concert pianist, born in Cheshire, England
  • Jan 19 Robert Palmer, English singer-songwriter (Power Station), born in Batley, United Kingdom (d. 2003)
  • Jan 22 James "J.P." Pennington, American country-pop singer and guitarist (Exile), born in Berea, Kentucky
  • Jan 22 Steve Perry, American rock vocalist (Journey, 1977-87; 95-97 - "Don't Stop Believin'"; "Open Arms"), born in Hanford, California
  • Jan 22 Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez, American drummer (E Street Band, 1972-74), born in Neptune, New Jersey
  • Jan 24 John Belushi, American comedian & actor (SNL: Animal House: Blues Brothers), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1982)
  • Jan 26 Derek Holt, British rock guitarist (Curved Air; Climax Blues Band - "Couldn't Get It Right"), born in Stafford, England
  • Jan 28 Gene McFadden, American singer, songwriter, and record producer (Philadelphia International Records; McFadden & Whitehead - "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"), born in Olanta, South Carolina (d. 2006) [1]
  • Jan 28 Eddie Bayers, American session drummer, based in Nashville, born in Patuxent, Maryland
  • Jan 29 Tommy Ramone [Tamás Erdélyi], Hungarian-American rock drummer and bassist (Ramones), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2014)
  • Feb 2 Jetty Weels, Surinamese/Dutch vocalist (Mai Tai)
  • Feb 2 Ross Valory, rock bassist (Journey - "Don't Stop Believin'"; "Open Arms"), born in San Francisco, California
  • Feb 2 Tom Tripplehorn, American jazz and rock session and touring guitarist (Gary Lewis & Playboys - "This Diamond Ring"), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (d. 2019)
  • Feb 3 Oscar Benton, Dutch blues vocalist/guitarist (Ze is Zoals Jij)
  • Feb 3 Arthur Kane, American musician (New York Dolls), born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • Feb 4 Roy Yeager, American musician (Atlanta Rhythm Section), born in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • Feb 4 Ludger Rémy, German harpsichordist, conductor (Les Amis de Philippe), and musicologist, born in Kalkar, Germany (d. 2017)
  • Feb 6 Mike Batt, British director, actor, composer, and former Deputy Chairman (British Phonographic Industry), born in Southampton, England
  • Feb 7 Alan Lancaster, English bassist (Status Quo, 1967-85), born in London, England
  • Feb 10 Nigel Olsson, British rock touring and session drummer and backing vocalist (Elton John's Band), born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England
  • Feb 10 Maxime Le Forestier, French pop and folk singer-songwriter, born in Paris, France
  • Feb 12 Stanley Knight, American southern rock guitarist (Black Oak Arkansas - High on the Hog), born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 2013)
  • Feb 13 Judy Dyble, British folk singer-songwriter (Fairport Convention), born in London (d. 2020)
  • Feb 14 Jimmy Randell, rocker
  • Feb 15 Christopher Rouse, American composer (1993 Pulitzer Prize for Music), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2019)
  • Feb 15 Hans Graf, Austrian conductor, and educator, born in Marchtrenk, Austria
  • Feb 17 Fred Frith, English guitarist, violinist and bassist (Skeleton Crew), born in Heathfield, England
  • Feb 19 Eddie Hardin, English rock pianist and singer (Spencer Davis Group), born in London, England
  • Feb 21 Jerry Harrison, American rock keyboardist (Talking Heads), and record producer (Kenny Wayne Shepherd; The String Cheese Incident), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Feb 23 Larry Demps, American soul singer (Dramatics - "In the Rain"; "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Feb 23 Terry "Tex" Comer, English bassist and guitarist (ACE), born in Burnley, England
  • Feb 23 Barbara York, Canadian composer (A Butterfly in Time), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2020) 
  • Feb 24 Manuel De Sica, Italian composer, chiefly of film scores, born in Rome (d. 2014)
  • Feb 26 Emma Kirkby, English soprano, born in Surrey, England
  • Feb 28 Arthur "T-Boy" Ross, American songwriter ("I Want You"), brother of Diana, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1996)
  • Mar 1 Sido Martens, Dutch guitarist/singer/mandolin player (Fungus)
  • Mar 2 Alain Chamfort [Le Govic], French singer, born in Paris, France
  • Mar 3 Richie Cannata, American music producer, multi-instrumentalist and studio owner, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mar 4 Carroll Baker, Canadian country singer and songwriter, born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
  • Mar 6 Donald York, rocker (Sha Na Na)
  • Mar 9 Kalevi Aho, Finnish composer, born in Forssa, Finland
  • Mar 9 Tapani Kansa, Finnish singer, born in Hamina, Finland
  • Mar 11 Richard de Bois, Dutch drummer/producer
  • Mar 12 Bill Payne, American rock keyboardist (Little Feat-Time Loves a Hero), born in Waco, Texas
  • Mar 12 Mike Gibbins, Welsh musician & drummer (Badfinger), born in Swansea, Wales (d. 2005)
  • Mar 13 Julia Migenes, American soprano, born in NYC, New York
  • Mar 16 Elliott Murphy, American singer/songwriter
  • Mar 18 Starr Danias, American ballerina (Turning Point), born in NYC, New York
  • Mar 18 Åse Kleveland, Norwegian singer and politician
  • Mar 20 Marcia Ball, American blues singer and pianist (Presumed Innocent), born in Orange, Texas
  • Mar 21 Eddie Money [Mahoney], singer/guitarist (Take Me Home Tonight), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2019)
  • Mar 24 Steve Lang, rock bassist (April Wine), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Mar 24 Nick Lowe, England, rock vocalist (Rockpile-Cruel to be Kind)
  • Mar 25 Neil Jones, musician (Bend Me Shape Me)
  • Mar 25 Bob Ezrin, Canadian music producer and keyboardist, born in Toronto, Canada
  • Mar 26 Fran Sheehan, American rock bassist (Boston- "More Than A Feeling"), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mar 27 Poul Ruders, Danish organist and composer (Four Compositions; Manhattan Abstraction), born in Ringsted, Denmark
  • Mar 28 Milan Williams, American keyboardist (Commodores-Three Times a Lady), born in Okolona, Mississippi
  • Mar 29 Michael Brecker, American jazz saxophonist (Brecker Brothers), born in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania (d. 2007)
  • Mar 30 Dana [Richenda Antoinette de Winterstein] Gillespie, English actress and singer (Jesus Christ Superstar), born in Surrey, England
  • Mar 30 Lene Lovich, English-American singer, songwriter and musician (Lucky Number), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Apr 1 Gill Scott-Heron, American writer and singer (Whitey on the Moon), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2011)
  • Apr 2 Joseph "Joe" Vitale, American singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist (Roller Coaster Weekend), born in Canton, Ohio
  • Apr 3 Jan Keizer, Dutch singer (BZN-Rhythm of My Heart), born in Volendam, Netherlands
  • Apr 3 Richard Thompson, English vocalist and guitarist (Shoot Out the Lights), born in Notting Hill Gate, London
  • Apr 3 Greg Calbi, American mastering engineer (associated with Eric Carmen, John Lennon, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen), born in Yonkers, New York
  • Apr 3 Eric Kloss, American jazz saxophonist, born in Greenville, Pennsylvania
  • Apr 4 Larry Lingle, American rock guitarist (The Four Seasons, 1979-93), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Apr 4 Michael Fennelly, American musician (The Millennium, Crabby Appleton), born in New York, New York
  • Apr 7 Patricia [Anglaia Margareth Paaij] Paay, Dutch singer (You Are Not Hip), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Apr 7 John Oates, American rock guitarist/vocalist (Hall & Oates-Rich Girl), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 9 Chico [David-Allen] Ryan, American rock vocalist (Sha Na Na), born in Arlington, Massachusetts (d. 1998)
  • Apr 9 Steve Gadd, American jazz drummer ('Late In The Evening', '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover'), born in Irondequoit, New York
  • Apr 10 Eric Troyer, American musician (ELO Part II, The Orchestra), born in Elkhart, Indiana
  • Apr 14 Sonja Kristina [Shaw], English songwriter and actress (Hair, Curved Air), born in Brentwood, England
  • Apr 15 Alla Pugacheva, Russian singer, born in Moscow
  • Apr 18 Andrew Powell, British composer, performer, and music producer (Donovan, Kate Bush- "The Kick Inside"), born in Surrey, England
  • Apr 21 Patti LuPone, actress/singer (Evita, Life Goes On), born in Northport, New York
  • Apr 23 John Miles, British vocalist and musician (John Miles Band-Rebel, Zaragon), born in Jarrow, County Durham, England
  • Apr 24 Véronique Sanson, French singer and songwriter, born in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris
  • Apr 25 Watermelon Slim [William Homans], American blues musician (The Wheel Man), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Apr 25 Michael Brown, American musician and songwriter (Don't Walk Away Renee), born in New York City (d. 2015)
  • Apr 26 Jimmy Hall, American rocker (Wet Willie), born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • May 1 Tim Hodgkinson, English composer and musician (Henry Cow)
  • May 1 James "Jim" Clench, Canadian bassist and songwriter (April Wine and Bachman-Turner Overdrive), born in Canada (d. 2010)
  • May 2 Joey Phillips, percussionist (Atlantic Starr-Touch a 4 Leaf Clover)
  • May 4 Zal Cleminson, Scottis guitarist (Alex Harvey Band), born in Glasgow

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Jun 30 Filmmaker Billy Wilder (43) weds former singer Audrey Young

Filmmaker Billy Wilder
Filmmaker
Billy Wilder

Divorces in Music


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

May 31 Actress Doris Day (27) divorces saxophonist George Weidler (23) after 3 years of marriage

Singer and Actress Doris Day
Singer and Actress
Doris Day

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 9 Amilcare Zanella, Italian composer and conductor, dies at 75
  • Jan 14 Joaquín Turina, Spanish pianist and composer (Rima), dies at 66
  • Jan 25 Emil Axman, Czech composer, dies at 61
  • Jan 27 Boris Asafiev, composer, dies at 64
  • Jan 28 Gustaf Lazarus Nordqvist, Swedish organist and composer, dies at 62
  • Feb 1 Herbert Stothart, American composer, dies at 63
  • Feb 5 Juozas Tallat-Kelpsa, composer, dies at 50
  • Feb 8 Franco Leoni, Italian composer, dies at 81
  • Feb 8 Leonid Alexeyevich Polovinkin, Russian composer, dies at 54
  • Feb 9 Poul Schierbeck, Danish organist and composer, dies at 60
  • Feb 19 Auguste Jean Maria Charles Serieyx, composer, dies at 83
  • Feb 21 Ernest Walker, British composer, dies at 78
  • Feb 28 Stanley Marchant, English composer, dies at 65
  • Mar 11 Juan Lamonte de Grignon, composer, dies at 76
  • Mar 28 Grigoras Dinicu, Romanian violin virtuoso and composer, dies at 59
  • Apr 3 Basil Harwood, English composer, dies at 89
  • May 6 Kunihiko Hashimoto, Japanese composer, violinist, conductor, and musical educator, dies of gastric cancer at 44
  • May 22 Hans Pfitzner, German composer (Palestrina), dies at 80
  • Jun 2 Dynam-Victor Fumet, French composer, dies at 82
  • Jul 7 Bunk Johnson, American musician (b. 1879 or 1889)
  • Jul 8 Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli, Italian composer, dies at 66
  • Jul 9 Fritz Bennicke Hart, composer, dies at 75
  • Jul 18 Vítězslav Novák, Czech composer, dies at 78
  • Aug 11 Karl Weigl, Austrian-American composer, dies at 68
  • Aug 18 Paul J Mares, US jazz trumpetist/composer (Tin Roof Blues), dies at 49
  • Aug 21 Gerhard von Keussler, German composer, dies at 75
  • Aug 31 Paul Hoffer, German composer, dies at 53

Person of interestRichard Strauss

Sep 8 Richard Strauss, German composer (Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Quixote), dies at 85

Composer and Conductor Richard Strauss
Composer and Conductor
Richard Strauss
  • Sep 11 Henri Rabaud, French composer/conductor (L'ete), dies at 75
  • Sep 12 Harry Burleigh, African American composer (Springarn Medal), dies at 82
  • Sep 20 Nikolaos Skalkottas, composer, dies at 45
  • Sep 24 Pierre de Bréville, French composer, author and professor (Une histoire du théâtre lyrique en France), dies at 88
  • Oct 4 Edmund Eysler, Austrian composer, dies at 75
  • Oct 9 Viktor Alexandrovich Uspensky, composer, dies at 70
  • Oct 16 Hale A. VanderCook, American composer, dies at 85
  • Oct 24 Joaquin Nin y Castellanos, composer, dies at 70
  • Oct 27 Ginette Neveu, French violinist (b. 1919)

Person of interestBill Robinson

Nov 25 Bill Robinson "Bojangles" American famed tap dancer (The Little Colonel, Stormy Weather), dies at 71

Tap Dancer and Actor Bill Robinson
Tap Dancer and Actor
Bill Robinson

Person of interestLead Belly

Dec 6 Lead Belly [Huddie William Ledbetter], American blues 12 string guitarist (Rock Island Line), dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 64

Blues Musician Lead Belly
Blues Musician
Lead Belly
  • Dec 17 David Stanley Smith, American composer (Merrymount), dies at 72