On This Day

May 1963 in Music History

Events in Music

Music History

May 10 Decca signs Rolling Stones on advice of Beatle George Harrison

  • May 11 "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" by Peter, Paul & Mary hits #2

Music History

May 12 Bob Dylan walks out of "The Ed Sullivan Show" over a dispute about his song choice

Grammy Awards

May 15 5th Grammy Awards: "I Left My Heart In San Francisco"; Robert Goulet win

  • May 16 "Beast in Me" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • May 18 "Beast in Me" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • May 18 "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul hits #1

Meeting of Interest

May 24 Barbra Streisand performs "Happy Days Are Here Again" at White House Press Correspondents Dinner, and meets US President John F. Kennedy

  • May 25 "Hot Spot" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 43 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • May 5 James LaBrie, Canadian singer (Dream Theater), born in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada
  • May 6 Alessandra Ferri, British ballerina (American Ballet Theater)
  • May 7 Johnny Lee Middleton, American musician (Savatage; Trans-Siberian Orchestra), born in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • May 9 Sanja Doležal, Croatian pop singer (Novi fosili), and television personality, born in Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia (now Croatia)
  • May 11 Nina Stemme [Thöldte], Swedish dramatic soprano opera singer, born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 12 Charles Pettigrew, American soul singer (Charles & Eddie - "Would I Lie To You?"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2001)
  • May 13 Julian Brookhouse, British rock guitarist (Curiosity Killed Cat - Keep Your Distance), born in Putney, London, England
  • May 17 Page McConnell, American songwriter and keyboardist (Phish), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 21 Dave Specter, American Chicago blues and jazz guitarist, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 21 Greg Smith, American session and touring rock bassist (Rainbow; Alice Cooper; Wendy O. Williams, Ted Nugent), born
  • May 21 Kevin Shields, American born Irish musician (My Bloody Valentine), born in Queens, New York
  • May 24 Gene Anthony Ray, American dancer and actor (Fame - "Leroy"), born in Harlem, New York (d. 2003)
  • May 24 Kathy Leander, Swiss singer, born in Alle, Switzerland
  • May 27 Calliope Tsoupaki, Greek classical pianist and composer (Sappho's Tears), born in Piraeus, Greece
  • May 27 Gonzalo Rubalcabo [González], Cuban jazz pianist, born in Havana, Cuba
  • May 28 Gavin Harrison, British progressive rock drummer (Porcupine Tree; King Crimson; Pineapple Thief), born in Harrow, Middlesex, Englan
  • May 29 Blaze Bayley [Bayley Cooke], English singer (Wolfsbane; Iron Maiden), born in Birmingham, England
  • May 31 Wendy Smith, British guitarist, keyboardist, and singer (Prefab Sprout - "The King of Rock 'n' Roll"; "When Love Breaks Down), and educator, born in Middlesborough, England
  • May 31 Wesley Willis, American punk rock singer-songwriter, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2003)

Deaths in Music

  • May 2 Tomás Vačkář , Czech composer, dies at 17
  • May 5 Heinrich Gebhard, German-born American composer, dies at 84
  • May 6 Ted Weems [Wemyes], American jazz trombonist, violin player and big band leader, dies of emphysema at 61
  • May 12 Stanisław Wiechowicz, Polish composer, dies at 69
  • May 24 Elmore James, American blues slide guitarist, dies of a heart attack at 45
  • May 28 Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin, Soviet composer, dies at 60