1954 in Music

Events in Music


Music releaseMusic Recording

Jan 4 Elvis Presley records a 10 minute demo in Nashville

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • Jan 8 Elvis Presley pays $4 to a Memphis studio & records his 1st two songs, "Casual Love" & "I'll Never Stand in Your Way"
  • Jan 14 Sandy Wilson's musical "Boyfriend" premieres in London
  • Jan 16 "South Pacific" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 1928 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 29 Arnold Schoenberg's "De Profundis" premieres in Cologne

Composer and Painter Arnold Schoenberg
Composer and Painter
Arnold Schoenberg
  • Mar 5 "Girl in Pink Tights" opens at Mark Hellinger NYC for 115 performances
  • Mar 12 1st performance of Arnold Schoenberg's "Moses und Aaron"
  • Mar 20 "King & I" closes at St James Theater NYC after 1246 performances
  • Apr 3 "Me & Juliet" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 358 performances
  • Apr 5 Elvis Presley records his debut single "That's All Right"
  • Apr 8 "By the Beautiful Sea" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 270 performances
  • Apr 20 "Golden Apple" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 125 performances
  • Apr 30 Darius Milhauds 4th Concert for piano and orchestra premieres in Haifa
  • May 13 "Pajama Game" opens at St James Theater NYC for 1063 performances
  • Jun 12 "Girl in Pink Tights" closes at Mark Hellinger NYC after 115 performances
  • Jun 24 "John Murray Anderson's Almanac" closes at Imperial NYC after 229 performances
  • Jul 3 "Wonderful Town" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 559 performances
  • Jul 30 Elvis Presley joins Memphis Federation of Musicians, Local 71
  • Aug 7 "Golden Apple" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 125 performances
  • Sep 6 WINS NYC begins playing rock n roll with Alan Freed Show
  • Sep 14 Benjamin Britten's opera 'Turn of the Screw' premieres in Venice

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 27 Steve Allen's "Tonight Show" premieres

TV Personality, Comedian and Composer Steve Allen
TV Personality, Comedian and Composer
Steve Allen
  • Sep 30 "Boy Friend" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 483 performances
  • Oct 11 "On Your Toes" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 64 performances
  • Oct 20 "Peter Pan" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 149 performances
  • Nov 4 "Fanny" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 888 performances
  • Nov 27 "By the Beautiful Sea" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 270 performances
  • Dec 2 "Hit the Trail" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 4 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 3 Samuel Barber's "Prayers of Kierkegaard" premieres

Composer Samuel Barber
Composer
Samuel Barber
  • Dec 3 William Walton's opera "Troilus & Cressida" premieres in London
  • Dec 4 "Hit the Trail" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • Dec 4 "On Your Toes" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 64 performances
  • Dec 9 Dmitri Shostakovitch appointed honored guest of Royal Swedish Academy of Music
  • Dec 27 "Saint of Bleecker Street" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 92 performances
  • Dec 27 Gian Carlo Menotti's opera "Saint" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 30 "House of Flowers" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 165 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 30 Harold Arlen and Truman Capotes musical "House of Flowers" premieres in NYC


Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 171

  • Jan 1 Fr David, rocker, born in Paris, France
  • Jan 2 Dawn Silva, American singer (The Brides of Funkenstein, P-Funk)
  • Jan 3 Ross The Boss [Ross Friedman], American guitarist (The Dictators), born in the Bronx, New York
  • Jan 4 Eugene Chadbourne, American composer and musician
  • Jan 5 Bryan Hitt, rocker (REO Speedwagon-Keep on Loving You)
  • Jan 9 Lance Hoppens, rocker (Orleans-Still the One, Dance With Me)
  • Jan 19 Katey Sagal, singer/actress (Peggy Bundy-Married With Children), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jan 23 Edward Ka-spel, English singer/songwriter (Legendary Pink Dots)
  • Jan 23 Franco De Vita, Venezuelan spanish singer (Extranjero), born in Caracas
  • Jan 23 Rick Finch, rocker (KC & Sunshine Band-Give It)
  • Jan 23 Richard Finch, American composer, producer, engineer, and song arranger (KC and the Sunshine Band), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Jan 28 Shawn Murray, rock drummer (Mink Deville)
  • Jan 29 Dick Manitoba, vocalist (Dictators)
  • Jan 30 Alides Hidding, singer/guitarist (Time Bandits)
  • Jan 31 Adrian Vandenberg, Amsterdam Neth, rock guitarist (Whitesnake)
  • Feb 1 Chuck Dukowski, American musician (Black Flag)
  • Feb 2 Hansi Hinterseer, Austrian singer, actor, former skier
  • Feb 5 Cliff Martinez, American musician
  • Feb 6 Scott Kempner, "Top Ten" rocker (Del Lords)
  • Feb 7 Dieter Bohlen German composer
  • Feb 11 Noriyuki Asakura, Japanese composer
  • Feb 12 Tzimis Panousis, Greek musician and stand-up comedian

Person of interestJohn Travolta

Feb 18 John Travolta, American actor (Grease, Pulp Fiction), born in Englewood, New Jersey

  • Feb 19 Frances Bucholz, rocker (Scorpions-Wind of Change)
  • Feb 19 Jamie West-Oram, rock guitarist (Fixx)
  • Feb 20 Jon Brant, rock bassist (Cheap Trick)
  • Feb 25 John Doe, American musician
  • Feb 27 Neal Schon, rock guitarist (Journey-Open Arms, Bad English)
  • Mar 1 Janis Gill, singer (Sweethearts of Rodeo-Midnight Girl), born in Torrance, California
  • Mar 3 Chris Hughes, English record producer and rock drummer (Adam & The Ants), born in London, England
  • Mar 7 Matt Frenette, rock drummer (Loverboy)
  • Mar 8 Cheryl Baker, rock vocalist (Bucks Fizz-My Camera Never Lies)
  • Mar 9 Charmain Elaine Sylvers, American rocker (The Sylvers), born in Watts, Los Angeles
  • Mar 14 Adrian Zmed, actor (TJ Hooker, Dance Fever), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Mar 14 Jann Browne, country singer (Mexican Wind)
  • Mar 16 Jimmy Nail, singer/actor (Evita, Spender, Howling II)
  • Mar 16 Nancy Wilson, rock guitarist (Heart-Never, What about Love), born in San Francisco, California
  • Mar 17 Lesley-Anne Down, actress (A Little Night Music, Moonraker), born in London, England
  • Mar 17 Rena Jones, rock vocalist
  • Mar 20 Jim Seales, Hamilton Ala, singer (Shenandoah-Sunday in the South)
  • Mar 31 Tony Brock, England, rock drummer (Isn't It Time, Every Time I Think of You)
  • Apr 1 Jeff Porcaro, drummer/percussionist (Toto-Roxanne, Africa), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Apr 1 Susumu Hirasawa, Japanese electropop musician, born in Nakagawa, Adachi, Tokyo
  • Apr 3 Elisabetta Brusa, Italian composer, born in Milan
  • Apr 5 Stan Ridgway, American singer-songwriter (Wall Of Voodoo), born in Bartsow, California
  • Apr 12 Pat Travers, Canadian rock guitarist (Puttin' it Straight), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Apr 13 Jimmy Destri, rock keyboardist (Blondie-Heart of Glass, Rapture)
  • Apr 13 Niels Olsen, Danish singer
  • Apr 15 Emmanuel, spanish singer, born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Apr 17 Michael Sembello, American musician
  • Apr 18 Kim Stone, bassist (Spyro Gyra-Morning Dance)
  • Apr 21 Ebiet G. Ade, Indonesian singer
  • Apr 24 Captain Sensible, [Ray Burns], English rock bassist (Women & Captains 1st), born in London
  • Apr 24 Jack Blades, rock bassist (Damn Yankees-Coming of Age, Night Ranger)
  • Apr 25 Rob Crosby, Sumter SC, country singer (She's a Natural)
  • Apr 29 Deborah Iyall, rocker (Romeo Void)
  • May 1 Ray Parker Jr, rock guitarist/vocalist (Ghostbusters), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • May 3 Gary Young, American drummer (Pavement)
  • May 4 Julie Budd, American singer (Child of Plenty), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 5 Angelo Kimball, rock guitarist (Face To Face), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 11 Edgar Riley Jr, rocker (Axe K)
  • May 11 Judith Weir, English composer, Master of the Queen's Music, born in Cambridge
  • May 13 Johnny Logan, Irish singer and songwriter
  • May 18 Wreckless Eric, rocker (Waxworks, Be Stiff)
  • May 18 Reinhold Heil, German composer
  • May 19 Phil Rudd, Australian rock drummer (AC/DC-Rock 'n Roll Damnation), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • May 20 James Henderson, country singer (Black Oak Arkansas)
  • May 20 Guy Hoffman, American musician (Violent Femmes)
  • May 21 Marc Ribot, American musician
  • May 22 Jerry Dammers, keyboardist (Specials-Special)
  • May 28 Youri Egorov, Soviet classical pianist (d. 1988)
  • May 31 Vicki Sue Robinson, American singer (d. 2000)
  • Jun 2 Michael Steele, rocker (Bangles-Eternal Flame, Walk Like an Egyptian)
  • Jun 3 Dan Hill, rocker (Sometimes When We Touch)
  • Jun 5 Peter Erskine, jazz drummer (Weather Report)
  • Jun 5 Michael "Nicko" McBrain, English heavy metal drummer (Iron Maiden-Powerslave), born in London, England
  • Jun 9 Pete Byrne Bath, English rocker (Naked Eyes), born in Bath, Somerset
  • Jun 13 Bo [Robert] Donaldson, American rock vocalist (Billy Don't Be a Hero), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jun 13 Jorge Santana, Mexican rock guitarist (Malo), born in Autlán de Navarro
  • Jun 13 Rita Cadillac, Brazilian dancer
  • Jun 15 Terri Gibbs, blind singer (Somebody's Knockin'), born in Augusta, Georgia
  • Jun 16 Gary Roberts, rocker (Boomtown Rats)
  • Jun 18 William Beard, rock drummer (Face To Face)
  • Jun 20 Michael Anthony, rock bassist/singer (Van Halen-Pretty Woman)
  • Jun 22 Bobby Valentino, rocker (Fabulous Poodles)
  • Jun 25 David Paich, rock keyboardist (Toto-Africa)
  • Jun 28 Ava Barber, country singer (Lawrence Welk Show), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Jun 30 Bryn B Burrows, rock drummer (Fabulous Poodles)
  • Jul 5 Jimmy Crespo, American guitarist (Aerosmith)
  • Jul 9 Debbie Sledge, vocalist (Sister Sledge-We are Family), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jul 10 Gene Holder, American musician (the dBs)
  • Jul 10 Neil Tennant, North Shields, Tyne-and-Wear, English singer/songwriter (Pet Shop Boy-West End Girl)
  • Jul 13 Louise Mandrell, country singer (Mandrell Sisters), born in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Jul 13 Sezen Aksu, Turkish singer
  • Jul 14 Jos Zoomer, Amsterdam Neth, rock drummer (Vandenberg)
  • Jul 18 Ricky Skaggs, Cordell Ky, country singer (Heartbroke, Toy Hearts)
  • Jul 18 Tobias Picker, composer
  • Jul 20 Jay Jay French [John French Segall], American rock guitarist (Twisted Sister), born in NYC, New York
  • Jul 22 Al Di Meola, American jazz guitarist, born in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Jul 23 Marisa DeFranco, Canadian musician (The DeFranco Family)

Weddings in Music


HeartWedding of Interest

Jul 31 "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" guest host Steve Allen (32) weds actress Jayne Meadows (33)

TV Personality, Comedian and Composer Steve Allen
TV Personality, Comedian and Composer
Steve Allen

HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 7 Musician Johnny Cash (22) marries 1st wife Vivian Liberto (20)

Country Singer Johnny Cash
Country Singer
Johnny Cash

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 10 Fred Raymond, Austrian composer, dies at 53
  • Jan 11 Oscar Straus, Austrian composer (Brave Soldier), dies at 83
  • Jan 13 Roland Diggle, English-born American composer and organist, dies at 69
  • Jan 27 Paul-Marie Masson, composer, dies at 71
  • Feb 2 Theodor Rogalski, Romanian composer, dies at 52
  • Feb 4 Vaclav Vackar, composer, dies at 72
  • Feb 5 Vittorio Gnecchi, composer, dies at 77
  • Feb 7 Jan Adam Maklakiewicz, composer, dies at 54
  • Mar 4 Georg Göhler, German composer (Rückert), dies at 79
  • Mar 4 Noel Gay [Reginald Moxon Armitage], British composer (Who's been polishing the Sun), dies at 55
  • Mar 6 Louis Zimmermann, violinist, dies at 80
  • Mar 14 Ludomir Michal Rogowski, composer, dies at 72
  • Mar 15 Arthur Fickenscher, American composer, dies at 82
  • Mar 19 Walter Braunfels, composer, dies at 71
  • Mar 21 Harry Lawrence Freeman, African-American composer, dies at 84
  • Apr 5 Claude Delvincourt, composer, dies at 66
  • Apr 9 Philip Greeley Clapp, composer, dies at 65
  • Apr 15 Juan Vicente Lecuna, composer, dies at 54
  • May 2 Pauline de Cock-Manifarges, singer, dies at 82
  • May 16 Clemens Krauss, Austrian conductor (Vienna State Opera), dies at 61
  • May 19 Charles Edward Ives, US composer (Unanswered Question), dies at 79
  • May 21 Janos Hammerschlag, composer, dies at 68
  • May 28 Achille Longo, Italian composer, dies at 54
  • Jun 10 Will Rossiter, composer, dies at 87
  • Jun 13 Nikolai Obouhov, composer, dies at 62
  • Jun 27 Francis L Casadesus, French violinist/composer/conductor, dies at 83
  • Jul 19 Jean Roger-Ducasse, composer, dies at 81
  • Aug 2 Rene Amengual, composer, dies at 42
  • Aug 8 Gino Tagliapietra, composer, dies at 67
  • Aug 13 Hermann W S Waltershausen, German musicologist/composer, dies at 71
  • Aug 17 Billy Murray, singer (Denver Nightengale), dies at 77
  • Sep 9 Alfred Gradstein, composer, dies at 49
  • Sep 10 Peter Anders, German opera singer, dies
  • Sep 11 Licinio Refice, composer, dies at 69
  • Sep 19 Tibor Harsanyi, composer, dies at 56
  • Oct 5 Flor Alpaerts, Flemish composer (Tyl Uilenspiegel, Pallieter), dies at 78
  • Oct 6 Hakon Borresen, composer, dies at 78
  • Oct 23 Henri Zagwijn, composer, dies at 76
  • Oct 27 Franco Alfano, Italian opera composer (Puccini's Turandot), dies at 78
  • Nov 11 John Rosamund Johnson, composer, dies at 81
  • Nov 21 Karol Rathaus, composer, dies at 59
  • Nov 29 Dink Johnson, American musician (b. 1892)
  • Nov 30 Wilhelm Furtwängler, German conductor (b. 1886)
  • Dec 1 Fred Rose, American songwriter and music publishing executive, dies at 57
  • Dec 3 Enrique Soro Barriga, composer, dies at 70
  • Dec 4 Nina Vasar, wife of Russian composer Dmitri Sjostakovitsj, dies
  • Dec 20 Emilis Melngailis, composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 25 Johnny Ace, American rhythm and blues singer, accidentally shoots himself in the head at 25
  • Dec 25 Rosario Scalero, composer, dies at 84
  • Dec 31 Peter Van Anrooy, conductor/composer (Piet Hein Rhapsodie), dies at 75