On This Day

Year 1955 in Music History

Events in Music


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 7 Marian Anderson becomes the 1st African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera

  • Jan 14 Heitor Villa-Lobos' 8th Symphony premieres in Philadelphia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15 Dmitri Shostakovich's "From Jewish Folk Poetry" premieres in Leningrad

  • Jan 27 "Plain & Fancy" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 476 performances
  • Jan 31 RCA demonstrates 1st music synthesizer
  • Feb 12 McGuire Sisters' "Sincerely" single goes #1 & stays #1 for 10 weeks
  • Feb 24 "Silk Stockings" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 461 performances
  • Feb 26 "Peter Pan" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 149 performances

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

Mar 3 Elvis Presley makes his 1st TV appearance on a broadcast of radio show "Louisiana Hayride"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 24 Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" opens for 694 performances

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Playwright
Tennessee Williams
  • Apr 6 "3 for Tonight" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 85 performances
  • Apr 18 "Ankles Aweigh" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 176 performances
  • Apr 20 "Saint of Bleecker St" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 92 performances
  • Apr 23 "Kismet" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 583 performances
  • Apr 30 Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White" goes #1 for 10 weeks
  • May 5 "Damn Yankees" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 1022 performances

  • May 21 "House of Flowers" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 165 performances
  • May 26 "7th Heaven" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 44 performances
  • Jun 18 "3 for Tonight" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 85 performances
  • Jun 20 "Almost Crazy" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 16 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 21 Johnny Cash debuts Top 10 country song "Cry! Cry! Cry!"

Country Singer Johnny Cash
Country Singer
Johnny Cash
  • Jun 25 "Can Can" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 892 performances
  • Jul 2 "7th Heaven" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 44 performances
  • Jul 2 "Almost Crazy" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 16 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 9 Bill Haley & Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" tops the billboards chart, one of the best-selling singles ever

Father of Rock 'n' Roll Bill Haley
Father of Rock 'n' Roll
Bill Haley
  • Jul 16 "Golden Horseshoe Revue" 1st of 50,000+ performances, Disneyland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 19 WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of R&B (DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's)

Singer Fats Domino
Singer
Fats Domino
  • Sep 6 "Catch a Star" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 23 performances
  • Sep 17 "Ankles Aweigh" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 176 performances
  • Sep 24 "Catch a Star" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 23 performances
  • Oct 20 "No Time for Sergeants" opens on Broadway, starring Andy Griffith
  • Nov 5 The rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopens with Ludwig van Beethoven's Fidelio after it was destroyed in World War II
  • Nov 10 "Vamp" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 60 performances
  • Nov 22 RCA Records make its best investment paying $35,000 to Sun Records for Elvis Presley's contract
  • Nov 25 Walter Piston's 6th Symphony premieres
  • Nov 26 "Boy Friend" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 483 performances
  • Nov 30 "Pipe Dream" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 245 performances
  • Dec 15 "Folsom Prison Blues" single released by Johnny Cash (Billboard Song of the Year 1968)
  • Dec 25 Pope Pius XII encyclical on sacred music & popular music

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 29 Barbra Streisand's 1st recording "You'll Never Know" at age 13

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • Dec 31 "Vamp" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 60 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 3 Palmolive, English musician (The Slits, The Raincoats)
  • Jan 4 Kathy Forester, Lookout Mt Ga, country singer (Forester Sister-Men)
  • Jan 4 Mark Hollis, British synth-pop musician (Talk Talk), born in London, England (d. 2019)
  • Jan 8 Mike Reno, Canadian musician vocalist (Loverboy), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Jan 10 Michael Schenker, German rock guitarist (MSG-Coming on Strong, Scorpions), born in Sarstedt, Germany
  • Jan 13 Fred White, rocker (Earth Wind & Fire-Shining Star, Easy Lover)
  • Jan 13 Trevor Rabin, South African rock guitarist and film score composer (Yes), born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Jan 13 Paul Kelly, Australian singer-songwriter (The Messengers), born in Adelaide, South Australia
  • Jan 17 Steve Earle, American country singer (Guitar Town), born in San Antonio, Texas
  • Jan 19 Simon Rattle, English orchestra conductor (Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), born in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Jan 20 Hiromi Ōta, Japanese singer, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Jan 23 Reginald Calloway, American trumpet player (Midnight Star-No Parking)
  • Jan 26 Lucia Mendez, Mexican actress & singer (Lucia es Luna Moreno), born in León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Person of interestEddie Van Halen

Jan 26 Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-American rock guitarist (Van Halen-Jump, 1984), born in Nijmegen, Netherlands

Hall of Fame rocker Eddie Van Halen
Hall of Fame rocker
Eddie Van Halen
  • Jan 27 Richard Young, singer (Kentucky Headhunters-Davy Crockett), born in Glasgow, Kentucky
  • Feb 12 Bill Laswell, US bassist and record producer, born in Salem, Illinois
  • Feb 13 Jan de Ligt, Dutch saxophonist (I've Got the Bullets)
  • Feb 13 Scott Smith, Canadian rock bassist (Loverboy), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2000)
  • Feb 15 Hugh Padgham. English record producer and audio engineer (No Jacket Required, In the Air Tonight, Every Breath You Take), born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Feb 16 Jeff Clayton, US jazz saxophonist/composer (Groove Shop)
  • Feb 23 Howard Jones, rock pianist/vocalist (Things Can Only Get Better)
  • Feb 24 Bob Abrams, American rocker (Buckinghams), born in Ohio
  • Feb 27 Garry Christian, English singer, born in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Feb 27 Peter Christopherson, English musician & video director, born in Leeds, United Kingdom (d. 2010)
  • Feb 28 Randy Jackson, American rock musician (Zebra), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Mar 1 Jimmy Fortune, singer (Statler Bros-Class of '57), born in Newport News, Virginia
  • Mar 2 Jay Osmond, American singer and drummer (Osmond Brothers, Donnie & Marie), born in Ogden, Utah
  • Mar 9 Fernando Bujones, American ballet dancer, born in Miami, Florida (d. 2005)
  • Mar 10 Bunny DeBarge, rocker (Debarge), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • Mar 10 Youssra, Egyptian actress and singer
  • Mar 10 Gary Louris, American singer-songwriter and musician (Jayhawks), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • Mar 14 Boon Gould, rock guitarist (Level 42-Hot Water)
  • Mar 15 Daniel "Dee" Snider, American singer, songwriter and actor (Twisted Sister), born in Astoria, Queens
  • Mar 15 Stephen "Steve" Lillywhite, British record producer (U2, Rolling Stones, Phish), born in Egham, England
  • Mar 17 Paul Overstreet, American country singer (Daddy's Come Around), born in Van Cleave, Mississippi
  • Mar 22 [Waliou] Wally Badarou, French musician (Level 42), born in Paris, France
  • Mar 26 Dean Dillon, country singer (Chair), born in Lake City, Tennessee
  • Mar 28 Reba McEntire, American country singer (Can't Even Get the Blues), born in McAlester, Oklahoma
  • Mar 31 Angus Young, Glascow Scotland, rock guitarist (AC/DC-Highway to Hell)
  • Apr 1 Emmanuel [Acha], Mexican singer (Íntimamente, La Chica de Humo), born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Apr 7 Greg Reeves, American bass guitarist (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Déjà Vu), born in Warren, Ohio
  • Apr 10 Lesley Garrett, English soprano singer, born in Thorne, Doncaster, England
  • Apr 13 Louis Johnson, American rock bassist and vocalist (Brothers Johnson), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2015)
  • Apr 15 Jeff Golub, American jazz guitarist (Avenue Blue, Rod Stewart), born in Copley Township, Ohio (d. 2015)
  • Apr 17 Pete Shelley [Peter McNeish], English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Buzzcocks "Going Steady"), born in Leigh, England (d. 2018)
  • Apr 17 Rob Bolland, Dutch singer and guitarist (Bolland & Bolland), born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Apr 22 Arthur Baker, rock producer (Afrika Banbaataa-Planet Rock)
  • Apr 28 Edwin "Eddie" Jobson, British rock violinist (Zappa, UK, Roxy Music-For Your Pleasure), born in Bilingham, England
  • Apr 29 Gino Quilico, Canadian baritone
  • May 1 Nick Feldman, English musician (Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight), born in London, England
  • May 3 Van McLain [McElvain], American rock guitarist (Shooting Star), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2018)
  • May 3 Timmy Cappello, American rock & sax player (played with Tina Turner, Ringo Starr & The Lost Boys), born in Silver Lake, New York
  • May 4 Robert Ellis Orrall, American singer and songwriter, born in Winthrop, Massachusetts
  • May 9 Anne-Sofie von Otter, Swedish mezzo-soprano
  • May 11 Jos Haagmans, Dutch singer (Frank Boeijen Group)
  • May 11 Mark Herndon, country drummer (Alabama-Take Me Down), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • May 12 Kix Brooks, singer (Brooks & Dunn-Brand New Man), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • May 16 Hazel O'Connor, Coventry England, singer/actress (Breaking Glass)
  • May 20 Steve George, rock keyboardist (Mr Mister)
  • May 20 Zbigniew Preisner, Polish film composer (Three Colors film trilogy), born in Bielsko-Biała, Poland
  • May 21 John Galvin, American rock keyboardist (Molly Hatchet), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 21 Stan Lynch, rock drummer (Tommy Petty & Heartbreakers), born in Gainesville, Florida
  • May 22 Iva Davies, Australian rock guitarist and vocalist (Icehouse), born in Wauchope, New South Wales, Australia
  • May 22 Jimmy Lyon, American guitarist (Eddie Money, The Greg Kihn Band), born in Tampa, Florida
  • May 23 Dean Friedman, American singer-songwriter (Ariel), born in Paramus, New Jersey

Person of interestRosanne Cash

May 24 Rosanne Cash, American country singer (Seven Year Ache, I Wonder), born in Memphis, Tennessee

Country Singer Rosanne Cash
Country Singer
Rosanne Cash
  • May 29 Jerry Dengler, Colo Springs, singer (Mason Dixon-Karen Comes Around)
  • May 29 Michael "Mike" Porcaro, American rock bassist affiliated with Toto (Stranger In Town), born in South Windsor, Connecticut (d. 2015)
  • May 30 Nicky "Topper" Headon, English drummer (Clash-Complete Control)
  • May 31 Tommy Emmanuel, Australian-American acoustic guitarist (Stevie's Blues), born in Muswellbrook, New South Wales
  • Jun 1 Ralph Morse, British actor, singer and writer of historical dramas
  • Jun 7 Joey Scarbury, American singer (Greatest American Hero), born in Ontario, California
  • Jun 8 James Jonathan Sylvers, rocker
  • Jun 8 Greg Ginn, American guitarist (Black Flag)
  • Jun 23 Glenn Danzig, American musician (The Misfits, Samhain, Danzig), born in Lodi, New Jersey
  • Jun 26 Mick Jones, English rock vocalist and guitarist (The Clash-Havana 3 AM), born in London, England
  • Jun 28 Thomas Hampson, American lyric baritone, born in Elkhart, Indiana
  • Jul 1 Keith Whitley, American country music singer (Don't Close Your Eyes), born in Ashland, Kentucky (d. 1989)
  • Jul 3 Neil Clark, Scottish rock guitarist (Lloyd Cole & The Commotions), born in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
  • Jul 3 Marc Bonilla, American guitarist (Keith Emerson Band), born in Contra Costa, California
  • Jul 5 Michael Gismondi, rock saxophonist (Michael Stanley Band)
  • Jul 9 Fred Norris, American comedy writer and singer (Howard Stern Show), born in Willimantic, Connecticut
  • Jul 13 Chris White, British jazz-rock saxophonist (Dire Straits), born in Bristol, England
  • Jul 18 Terry Chambers, English drummer (XTC), born in Wiltshire, England
  • Jul 21 Henry Preistman, rocker (Christians-Harvest the World)
  • Jul 21 Howie Epstein, American musician (d. 2003)
  • Jul 21 Taco Ockerse, Indonesian singer
  • Jul 29 "Country" Jem Finer, English banjo player (Pogues-Straight to Hell)
  • Jul 30 Rat Scabies [Chris Miller], British rock drummer (the Damned), born in Surrey, England
  • Aug 2 Jimmy Lowe, American country singer (Pirates of Ms-Fred Jake), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Aug 5 Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda, American rock guitarist and songwriter (Twisted Sister, Scarecrow), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 8 Ali Score, rock drummer (Flock Of Seagulls)
  • Aug 8 Diddú, Icelandic soprano and songwriter
  • Aug 12 Heintje, [Hendrik Simons], Dutch singer (Mama)
  • Aug 17 Colin Moulding, English pop guitarist (XTC)
  • Aug 17 Kevin Welch, California, country songwriter/actor (Thing Called Love)
  • Aug 20 Rob Wiedijk, Dutch rock vocalist (Bob Color)
  • Aug 22 Chiranjeevi [Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad], Telugu film actor, dancer and producer, born in Mogalthur, India
  • Aug 27 Laura Fygi, Dutch singer
  • Aug 29 Diamanda Galás, Greek-American composer, born in San Diego, California

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 5 Musician Ray Charles (24) weds Della Beatrice Howard

Musician Ray Charles
Musician
Ray Charles
  • Aug 29 "Untamed Youth" actress Mamie Van Doren (24) weds trumpeter and actor Ray Anthony (33)
  • Sep 18 Actress-singer Debbie Reynolds (23) weds singer Eddie Fisher (27)

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 4 Dominicus Johner, composer, dies at 80
  • Jan 4 Francois Rasse, Belgian composer, dies at 81
  • Feb 14 Charles Cuvillier, French composer of operetta (The Naughty Princess), dies at 77
  • Feb 17 Otto J Gombosi, Hungarian American musicologist, dies at 52
  • Feb 25 Marij Kogoj, Slovenian composer, dies at 59
  • Mar 12 Charlie "Bird" Parker, US jazz saxophonist, dies at 34 in NYC
  • Mar 16 Mayhew Lake, composer, dies at 75
  • Apr 10 Oskar Frederik Lindberg, composer, dies at 68
  • May 2 Tadeusz Jarecki, composer, dies at 66
  • May 4 Georges Enesco, Romanian violinist and composer (Romanian Dances), dies at 73
  • May 17 Francesco Balilla Pratella, composer, dies at 75
  • May 31 Raoul Gunsbourg, composer, dies at 95
  • Jun 1 F Melius Christiansen, composer, dies at 84
  • Jun 11 Marcel Louis Auguste Samuel-Rousseau, composer, dies at 72
  • Jun 18 Walter Rein, German composer, dies at 61
  • Jun 18 Willy Burkhard, Swiss composer, dies at 55
  • Jul 6 Paolo Gallico, Italian-American pianist and composer (The Apocalypse), dies at 87
  • Jul 7 Franco Casavola, composer, dies at 63
  • Jul 17 Bronislaw Zygmunt Szulc, composer, dies at 73
  • Jul 25 Ilmari Hannikainen, composer, dies at 62
  • Jul 25 Isaak Iosifovich Dunayevsky, Soviet operetta and film composer, dies at 55
  • Aug 5 Carmen Miranda, singer/actress (Down Argentine Way), dies at 42
  • Aug 9 Marion Eugene Bauer, American composer, dies at 57
  • Sep 2 Rudolf Kattnigg, Austrian composer, dies at 60
  • Oct 15 Fumio Hayasaka, composer, dies at 41
  • Oct 20 Eino Roiha, Finnish composer, dies at 51
  • Oct 26 Arne Eggen, Norwegian composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 27 Vladimir Mikhaylovich Deshevov, composer, dies at 66
  • Nov 17 James P. Johnson, American jazz composer and pianist (Charleston), dies at 64
  • Nov 22 Guy Ropartz [Joseph Guy Marie Ropartz], French composer, dies at 91 (b. 1864)
  • Nov 27 Arthur Honegger, Swiss composer (King David, Pacific 231), dies of a heart attack at 63
  • Nov 27 Luis de Freitas Branco, Portuguese composer, dies at 65
  • Nov 30 Josip Slavenski, Croatian composer, dies at 59
  • Dec 3 Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport, American boogie-woogie and blues musician, dies of hardening of the arteries at 61
  • Dec 8 Jacques Handschin, Swiss musicologist (Der Toncharakter), dies at 69
  • Dec 11 Franz Adolf Syberg, Danish composer, dies at 51