On This Day

May 1977 in Music History

Events in Music

Music Premiere

May 2 Revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "The King & I"', with Yul Brynner reprising the role he created in 1951, opens at Uris Theater, NYC; runs for 695 performances

  • May 6 "Beatles at Hollywood Bowl" released in UK
  • May 7 "Happy End" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 75 performances
  • May 7 22nd Eurovision Song Contest: Marie Myriam for France wins singing "L'oiseau et l'enfant" in London
  • May 21 "Fiddler on the Roof" closes at Winter Garden NYC after 167 performances
  • May 21 Electric Light Orchestra releases "Telephone Line" in the UK; it would peak in the Top 10 in the UK and US

#1 in the Charts

May 21 Stevie Wonder's single "Sir Duke", a tribute to Duke Ellington and other musical influences of Wonder's, begins a 3-week run at #1

Music History

May 23 US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals of Watergate wrong doers H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman & John Mitchell

  • May 25 "Beatles Live! At Star-Club in Hamburg Germany" released

Film Release

May 25 Original "Star Wars" movie (Episode IV – A New Hope), directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, first released

Music History

May 27 The Sex Pistols release "God Save the Queen", sparking major controversy and leading to a ban on the song by the BBC

  • May 31 "Beatlemania" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 920 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • May 8 Joe Bonnamassa, American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Dust Bowl"; "Redemption"), born in New Hartford, New York
  • May 9 Dan Regan, American ska trombonist (Reel Big Fish), and craft brewer, born in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • May 13 Ilse DeLange, Dutch singer-songwriter, born in Almelo, Netherlands
  • May 13 Pusha T [Terrence LeVarr Thornton], American rapper and record executive (Daytona), born in New York City
  • May 16 Dolcenera [Emanuela Trane], Italian singer-songwriter, born in Galatina, Italy
  • May 16 Emilíana Torrini, Icelandic singer and songwriter ("Jungle Drum"; "Gollum's Song"), born in Kópavogur, Iceland
  • May 26 Mark Hunter, American musician (Chimaira)
  • May 28 Ashley Ryan Ruiz Offord, singer (Menudo-Cannonball), born in Miami, Florida
  • May 31 Scott Klopfenstein, American ska and rock trumpeter and guitarist (Reel Big Fish, 1995-2011), born in Garden Grove, California

Deaths in Music

  • May 5 Sam Lanin, American sweet jazz arranger and bandleader (Roseland Orchestra; The Ipana Troubadors), dies at 85
  • May 7 Irwin Fischer, American composer and organist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), dies at 73
  • May 9 Walter Kraft, German organist & composer, dies at 71
  • May 16 Edouard Van Remoortel, Belgian conductor (St Louis Symphony, 1958-62), dies at 50
  • May 22 Marius Monnikendam, Dutch choir composer, dies at 80
  • May 26 William Powell, American R&B singer (O'Jays - "Love Train"; "Backstabbers"), dies of cancer at 35
  • May 28 Jiří Reinberger, Czech organist and composer, dies at 63
  • May 29 Goddard Lieberson, English composer and President of Columbia Records, dies at 66
  • May 30 Paul Desmond, American jazz alto saxophonist (Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five), dies of lung cancer at 52
  • May 30 Marinus Adam, Dutch conductor and composer, dies at 76