On This Day

May 1962 in Music History

Events in Music

Music release#1 in the Charts

May 5 "West Side Story" soundtrack album goes #1 & stays #1 for 54 weeks which is more than 20 weeks longer than any other album

Singer, Dancer and Actress Rita Moreno
Singer, Dancer and Actress
Rita Moreno
Choreographer, Director and Theater Producer Jerome Robbins
Choreographer, Director and Theater Producer
Jerome Robbins

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 8 Stephen Sondheim's musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" starring Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford, and directed by George Abbott, opens at Alvin Theater, NYC; runs for 965 performances, and wins 6 Tony Awards

Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim
Composer and Lyricist
Stephen Sondheim
  • May 9 The Beatles sign their 1st contract with EMI Parlophone
  • May 19 "Bravo, Giovanni" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 76 performances
  • May 19 "John Birch Society" by Chad Mitchell Trio hits #99
  • May 25 Isley Brothers release "Twist & Shout"
  • May 26 "All American" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 80 performances

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

May 29 Barbra Streisand appears on "The Garry Moore Show"

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • May 29 4th Grammy Awards: Moon River, Peter Nero win

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 30 Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" premieres


Birthdays in Music

  • May 4 Oleta Adams, American soul singer and pianist, born in Seattle, Washington
  • May 5 Jenifer McKitrick, American songwriter ("Mine, Mine, Mine"), born in Defiance, Ohio
  • May 5 Gary Daly, British new wave rock keyboardist, singer, and songwriter (China Crisis - "Wishful Thinking"), born in Liverpool, England
  • May 5 Kevin Mooney, British rock bassist (Adam & The Ants - "Ant Music"; "Goody Two Shoes"), born in Greenwich, London, England
  • May 6 Stan Cullimore, British guitarist (Housemartins, "Happy Hour"; "Caravan Of Love"), journalist, and music educator, born in Kingston upon Hull, Englan
  • May 6 Adam Yellin, American record producer
  • May 9 Dave Gahan, British new wave rock vocalist (Depeche Mode - "Dreaming of Me"), born in Essex, England
  • May 9 John Corbett, American actor (Northern Exposure - "Chris Stevens"; Sex and the City - Aidan; My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and country music singer, born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • May 9 Paul Heaton, English singer-songwriter (Housemartins), born in Bromborough, England
  • May 10 Garry Daley, keyboard (China Crisis-Christian)
  • May 11 Emmanuelle Haïm, French harpsichordist, and conductor (Le Concert d'Astrée, 2000-present), born in Paris, France
  • May 12 Brett Gurewitz, American guitarist and songwriter (Bad Religion), record label owner, and producer (Epitaph), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 14 C. C. DeVille, American rocker (Poison - "Talk Dirty to Me"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 14 Ian Astbury, British-Canadian rock singer and songwriter (The Cult - "Fire Woman"), born in Heswall, Cheshire, England
  • May 17 Tracey Bryn, American alt-rock vocalist (Voice of the Beehive - "Don't Call Me Baby; "I Think I Love You"), born in Encino, California
  • May 18 (Marianne) "Nanne" Grönvall (nee Nordqvist), Swedish pop singer and songwriter, born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 18 Sandra Cretu, German singer (Close to Seven), born in Saarbrücken, Germany
  • May 19 Iain Harvie, Scottish rock guitarist (Nothing Ever Happens)
  • May 20 Ralph Peterson Jr., American jazz drummer (Jazz Messengers; Fo'tet), and educator (Berklee), born in Pleasantville, New Jersey (d. 2021) [1]
  • May 23 Franca Masu, Italian jazz and world music singer-songwriter, born in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy
  • May 26 Colin Vearncombe, singer-songwriter (Black - "Wonderful Life"), born in Liverpool, Merseyside (d. 2016)
  • May 31 Corey Hart, Canadian rock vocalist ("Sunglasses At Night"), born in Montreal, Quebec

Deaths in Music

  • May 27 Egon Petri, Dutch classical pianist, dies at 81
  • May 31 Eduardo Toldrà, Spanish Catalan composer and conductor, dies at 67