December 1963 in Music History

Events in Music

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Dec 6 President Lyndon B. Johnson confers Presidential Medal of Freedom on 31 recipients selected by JFK, including: contralto Marian Anderson; diplomat Ralph Bunche; cellist Pablo Casals; Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter; labor leader George Meaney; architect Mies van der Rohe; pianist Rudolf Serkin; writers E. B. White and Thorton Wilder; and painter Andrew Wyeth; as well as posthumously to JFK himself, and Pope John XXIII

  • Dec 6 The Beatles begin a tradition of releasing a Christmas record for fan club members
  • Dec 8 "Girl Who Came to Supper" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 112 performances

Music History

Dec 10 6-year old Donny Osmond's singing debut on Andy Williams Show

Music Premiere

Dec 10 Leonard Bernstein premieres his Third Symphony "Kaddish" with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in Tel Aviv, Israel

  • Dec 13 Capital records signs right of first refusal agreement with The Beatles

Film Premiere

Dec 18 "The Pink Panther" film premieres, directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers and David Niven, with theme by Henry Mancini

  • Dec 26 "Double Dublin" opens at Little Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • Dec 26 The Beatles release "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" in the US
  • Dec 28 "Double Dublin" closes at Little Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • Dec 28 "Jennie" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 82 performances

Music History

Dec 28 Merle Haggard's 1st appearance on country music chart with "Sing a Sad Song"

Music History

Dec 31 Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir play music together for the 1st time, Dana Morgan's Music Store in Palo Alto, California

Birthdays in Music

  • Dec 3 Joe Lally, American rock bassist (Fugazi), born in Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Dec 7 (Jakub) "Kuba" Stankiewicz, Polish jazz pianist and composer, born in Wrocław, Poland
  • Dec 7 Barbara Weathers, American vocalist (Atlantic Starr - "Secret Lovers"), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Dec 11 Jon Brion, American musician and record producer, born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey
  • Dec 12 Ai Orikasa, Japanese voice actress and singer, born in Tokyo
  • Dec 12 Eric Schenkman, American-Canadian rock and blues guitarist (The Spin Doctors - "Pocket Full of Kryptonite"), born in Massachusetts
  • Dec 16 Jeff Carson, American country singer, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Dec 18 Pauline Ester [Sabrina Ocon], French pop singer (Le mond est fou), born in Toulouse, France
  • Dec 24 Mary Ramsey, American singer and violinist (10,000 Maniacs), born in Washington, D.C.

Lars UlrichLars Ulrich (59 years old)

Dec 26 Danish heavy metal drummer (Metallica - ....And Justice for All), born in Gentoffe, Denmark

  • Dec 31 Scott Ian, American heavy metal guitarist (Anthrax - "I'm the Man"), born in Queens, New York

Deaths in Music

  • Dec 5 Karl Amadeus Hartmann, German composer, dies at 58
  • Dec 13 Stan Jones, American singer-songwriter ("Ghost Riders in the Sky"), and actor (Rio Grande; Ten Who Dared), dies of cancer at 49
  • Dec 14 Dinah Washington [Ruth Lee Jones], American jazz, blues, pop, and R&B singer ("What a Diff'rence a Day Makes": "September In The Rain"), dies of sleeping pill overdose at 39
  • Dec 18 Winfried Zillig, German opera composer, and conductor (Fantasia Irica), dies at 58
  • Dec 20 Paul Constantinescu, Romanian composer, and pedagogue, dies at 54

Paul HindemithPaul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Dec 28 German composer (Composer's World), dies at 68