February 1949 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Feb 1 RCA releases 1st single record ever (45 rpm)

Death of a Salesman

Feb 10 Arthur Miller's stage drama "Death of a Salesman", starring Lee J. Cobb and Arthur Kennedy, and directed by Elia Kazan, opens at Morosco Theatre, NYC; runs for 742 performances, winning 6 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize

Lovesick Blues

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

  • Feb 12 "Annie Get Your Gun" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 1147 performances
  • Feb 16 Revival of Sidney Howard's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1924 stage drama "They Knew What They Wanted", opens at the Music Box Theatre, NYC; runs for 61 performances
  • Feb 19 "Inside USA" closes at Century Theater, NYC, after 339 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • 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 Arthur Kane, American musician (New York Dolls), born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • Feb 3 Oscar Benton, Dutch blues vocalist/guitarist (Ze is Zoals Jij)
  • Feb 4 Ludger Rémy, German harpsichordist, conductor (Les Amis de Philippe), and musicologist, born in Kalkar, Germany (d. 2017)
  • Feb 4 Roy Yeager, American musician (Atlanta Rhythm Section), born in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • Feb 6 Mike Batt, British director, actor, composer, and former Deputy Chairman (British Phonographic Industry), born in Southampton, England
  • Feb 7 Alan Lancaster, British rock bassist (Status Quo, 1967-85 - "Pictures of Matchstick Men"), born in London, England (d. 2021)
  • Feb 7 Joe English, American drummer (Wings; Sea Level), born in Rochester, New York
  • Feb 10 Maxime Le Forestier, French pop and folk singer-songwriter, born in Paris, France
  • Feb 10 Nigel Olsson, British rock touring and session drummer and backing vocalist (Elton John's Band), born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England
  • Feb 11 George Winston, American pop-instrumental-folk pianist and composer (Autumn; December; Winter Into Spring), born in Hart, Michigan (d. 2023) [1]
  • 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 Billy Nicholls, British singer ("Would You Believe?") and songwriter ("I Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try)", born in White City, London, England
  • Feb 15 Christopher Rouse, American Grammy Award-winning composer (Trombone Concerto - Pulitzer Prize for Music, 1993), and educator (Eastman School, 1981-2002; Juilliard, 1997-2017), 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 and guitarist (Talking Heads; solo "Rev It Up"), and record producer (Kenny Wayne Shepherd; Bo-Deans; The String Cheese Incident), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Feb 23 Barbara York, Canadian composer (A Butterfly in Time), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2020) 
  • 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 24 Manuel De Sica, Italian composer, chiefly of film scores, born in Rome (d. 2014)
  • Feb 25 Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Spanish-American rock guitarist (Crazy Horse - Neil Young, 1988-2014), born in Welch, West Virginia
  • Feb 26 Emma Kirkby, British classical early music soprano, born in Camberley, Surrey, England
  • Feb 27 Jürgen S. Korduletsch. German-American dance music songwriter and producer (Ronnie James - "Video Games"; Cladja Barry -"Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes"), born in Germany
  • Feb 28 Arthur "T-Boy" Ross, American songwriter ("I Want You"), brother of Diana, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1996)

Deaths in Music

  • Feb 1 Herbert Stothart, American theater (Rose-Marie) and film score composer (The Wizard of Oz; Mutiny on the Bounty; A Night at the Opera), dies at 63
  • Feb 5 Juozas Tallat-Kelpsa, Lithuanian composer and conductor, dies at 50
  • Feb 8 Franco Leoni, Italian composer, dies at 81
  • Feb 8 Leonid Polovinkin, Russian conductor, and composer (Night Dreams), dies at 54
  • Feb 9 Poul Schierbeck, Danish organist and composer, dies at 60
  • Feb 19 Auguste Serieyx, French pedagogue and composer, dies at 83
  • Feb 21 Ernest Walker, British composer, dies at 78
  • Feb 28 Stanley Marchant, English composer, dies at 65