On This Day

Year 1978 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 1 "Your Arm's Too Short..." closes at Lyceum NYC after 429 performances
  • Jan 2 Rhino Records releases their 1st album "Wildmania"

Music ConcertSex Pistols' Break Up

Jan 5 Start of the Sex Pistols final tour in Atlanta, Georgia
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Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on stage during the band's last show at Winterland in San Francisco, January 14, 1978
Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on stage during the band's last show at Winterland in San Francisco, January 14, 1978

Music concertMusic Concert

Jan 14 Sex Pistols' final concert held in Winterland, San Francisco

Rocker Steve Jones
Steve Jones

Music awardsMusic Awards

Jan 16 5th American Music Awards: Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac & C Twitty

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 17 After a tumultuous final tour The Sex Pistols break up as a band, which is announced the following day

Band Manager and Pioneer of Punk Malcolm McLaren
Band Manager and Pioneer of Punk
Malcolm McLaren
Rocker Steve Jones
Steve Jones

#1 in the ChartsSaturday Night Fever Goes #1

Jan 21 Bee Gees' album "Saturday Night Fever" goes #1 for 24 weeks
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The Bee Gees collect a Billboard #1 Music Award for Saturday Night Fever
The Bee Gees collect a Billboard #1 Music Award for Saturday Night Fever
  • Jan 31 "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 101 performances
  • Feb 12 "Jesus Christ Superstar" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 96 performances
  • Feb 19 "On the 20th Century" opens at St James Theater NYC for 460 performances
  • Feb 19 Coleman, Comden & Green's musical premieres in NYC

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

Feb 20 4th People's Choice Awards: John Wayne & Barbra Streisand win (Motion Picture) and James Garner & Mary Tyler Moore win (TV)

Actor John Wayne
John Wayne
Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
Actress Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
  • Feb 23 20th Grammy Awards: Hotel California, Fleetwood Mac, Debbie Boone wins
  • Mar 1 "Timbuktu!" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 243 performances
  • Mar 5 "Hello, Dolly!" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 152 performances
  • Mar 18 250,000 attend rock concert California Jam II in Ontario, California

  • Mar 24 Wings release "With a Little Luck"
  • Mar 27 Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 1,774 performances
  • Mar 30 "History of the American Film" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 21 performances
  • Mar 31 Wings release "London Town" album
  • Apr 12 Gyorgy Ligeti's opera "Le Grand Macabre" premieres in Stockholm

Music awardsMusic Awards

Apr 12 13th Academy of Country Music Awards: Kenny Rogers and Crystal Gayle win

Country Singer Kenny Rogers
Country Singer
Kenny Rogers
  • Apr 16 "History of the American Film" closes at ANTA NYC after 21 performances
  • Apr 22 23rd Eurovision Song Contest: Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta for Israel wins singing "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" in Paris
  • Apr 30 "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" closes at Palace NYC after 101 performances
  • May 9 "Ain't Misbehavin'" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 1604 performances
  • May 10 "Angel" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • May 13 "Angel" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • May 13 Musical "Runaways" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 199 performances, with Elizabeth Swados
  • May 14 "Working" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 25 performances
  • Jun 4 "Working" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 25 performances

Film release premierFilm Release

Jun 16 Film "Grease" opens, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, based on the 1971 musical

Actor John Travolta
John Travolta
Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John
Singer and actress
Olivia Newton-John
  • Jun 17 "Cheeseburger In Paradise" by Jimmy Buffett peaks at #32
  • Jun 19 "Best Little Whorehouse..." opens at 46th St NYC for 1577 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Jun 21 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical "Evita" premieres in London

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyricist Tim Rice
Tim Rice
  • Jun 28 UNICEF chooses rock group Kansas as ambassadors of goodwill

  • Jul 1 "Act" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 233 performances
  • Jul 9 "Hello, Dolly!" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 152 performances
  • Jul 13 BBC bans Sex Pistols "No One is Innocent"
  • Jul 21 "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film, based on the Beatles' album of the same name, premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 25 John Lydon forms rock group Public Ltd Image

Musician John Lydon
John Lydon
  • Jul 28 600,000 attend the "Summer Jam" rock festival at Watkins Glen, New York, at the time the largest ever audience at a pop festival
  • Aug 11 "C'est Chic" 2nd studio album by Chic is released featuring single "Le Freak" (Billboard Album of the Year 1979)
  • Sep 10 "Timbuktu!" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 243 performances
  • Sep 16 Grateful Dead perform in Cairo, Egypt
  • Sep 20 "Eubie!" opens at Ambassador Theater NYC for 439 performances

Music releaseAlbum Release

Sep 28 Metal band Black Sabbath release their 8th album "Never Say Die", last to feature Ozzy Osbourne before he was fired

Rock Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne
Rock Vocalist
Ozzy Osbourne

Music awardsMusic Awards

Oct 9 12th Country Music Association Award: Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle & Don Williams wins

Country Singer Dolly Parton
Country Singer
Dolly Parton
  • Oct 9 John Kander & Fred Ebb's musical "Ballroom" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 10 Aerosmith's Steve Tyler & Joe Perry injured by a cherry bomb
  • Oct 10 British pop music magazine "Smash Hits" first published

MurderMurder of Interest

Oct 12 Sid Vicious charged with murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen

Musician Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious

Music releaseAlbum Release

Oct 13 "52nd Street" 6th studio album by Billy Joel is released (Grammy Award Album of the Year 1979)

Pianist, Songwriter and Composer Billy Joel
Pianist, Songwriter and Composer
Billy Joel
  • Oct 22 "King of Hearts" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 48 performances
  • Oct 23 Sid Vicious attempts suicide while at Riker's Detention Center in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 24 Keith Richards convicted of heroin possession in Toronto

Guitarist and Songwriter Keith Richards
Guitarist and Songwriter
Keith Richards
  • Nov 12 "Platinum" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 33 performances

Music release#1 in the Charts

Dec 2 Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" hits #1

Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond
Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • Dec 3 "King of Hearts" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 48 performances
  • Dec 10 "Platinum" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 33 performances
  • Dec 14 "Ballroom" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 116 performances
  • Dec 21 "Broadway Musical" opens/closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC
  • Dec 22 Kenney Jones becomes The Who's new drummer

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

Dec 27 CBS Television's premiere of its version of "Les Miserables", starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins

  • Dec 30 "The King & I" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 719 performances
  • Dec 31 "Magic Show" closes at Cort Theater NYC after 1859 performances
  • Dec 31 "Runaways" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 199 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 1 Tarik O'Regan, British composer
  • Jan 3 Kimberley Locke, American singer
  • Jan 4 Mai Meneses, Spanish singer, born in Madrid, Spain
  • Jan 6 Nikki Einfeld, Canadian coloratura soprano, born in Manitoba
  • Jan 9 AJ McLean, American singer (Backstreet Boys), born in West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Jan 10 Brent Smith, American singer (Shinedown), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Jan 12 Amerie, American singer & songwriter, born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Jan 12 Jeremy Camp, American musician, born in Lafayette, Indiana
  • Jan 12 Kris Roe, American musician (The Ataris), born in Anderson, Indiana
  • Jan 21 Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin, American Singer
  • Feb 2 Eden Espinosa, American singer and stage actress
  • Feb 3 Eliza Schneider, American actress and singer
  • Feb 10 Don Omar, Puerto Rican singer, born in Carolina, Puerto Rico
  • Feb 13 Hamish Glencross, Scottish guitarist (My Dying Bride), born in Dundee, Scotland
  • Feb 14 Dwele [Andwele Gardner], American soul singer, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Feb 15 Kimberly Goss, American singer and musician (Sinergy), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 19 Immortal Technique, American rapper
  • Feb 23 Residente [René Pérez], Puerto Rican musician (Calle 13), born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
  • Feb 24 Shinya, Japanese musician (Dir en grey)
  • Feb 24 John Nolan, American musician (Straylight Run)
  • Feb 28 Jeanne Cherhal, French Singer-songwriter
  • Mar 3 Douglas Osmond, vocalist (Osmond Boys), born in Provo, Utah
  • Mar 3 Seomoon Tak, Korean singer
  • Mar 3 Jeff Hanson, American singer-songwriter, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2009)
  • Mar 10 Ben Burnley, American musician (Breaking Benjamin)
  • Mar 12 Claudio Sanchez, American musician (Coheed and Cambria)
  • Mar 15 Sid Wilson, American musician (Slipknot)
  • Mar 29 Michael Kaczurak, American singer and actor
  • Mar 31 Tony Yayo, American rapper
  • Apr 4 Lemar Obika, English singer and songwriter, born in Tottenham, London
  • Apr 4 Aska Yang, Taiwanese singer (Dove), born in Taoyuan, Taiwan
  • Apr 6 Myleene Klass, British singer
  • Apr 6 Martin Mendez, Uruguayan-born Bassist (Opeth)
  • Apr 9 Rachel Stevens, English singer (S Club 7), born in Southgate, London
  • Apr 9 Vesna Pisarović, Croatian singer, born in Brčko, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Apr 11 Tom Thacker, Canadian musician (Gob), born in Langley, British Columbia, Canada
  • Apr 12 Guy Berryman, Scottish musician (Coldplay), born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland
  • Apr 13 Chris Sligh, American singer and Idol finalist, born in Madison, Tennessee
  • Apr 15 Luis Fonsi [Luis López-Cepero] Puerto Rican singer-songwriter (Despacito), born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Apr 15 Chris Stapleton, American country musician (The SteelDrivers, Traveller), born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Apr 17 Bilal Abdul-samad, American rocker (Boys), born in Carson, California
  • Apr 21 Jukka Nevalainen, Finnish drummer (Nightwish)
  • Apr 21 Branden Steineckert, American drummer (Rancid), (The Used)
  • Apr 22 Jason Stollsteimer, American singer (The Von Bondies)
  • Apr 26 Avant [Myron Lavell Avant], American R&B singer, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Apr 28 Lauren Laverne, Disc jockey, television presenter and former singer
  • May 2 Steve Bays, Canadian musician (Hot Hot Heat)
  • May 3 Paul Banks, English-American vocalist (Interpol), born in Clacton-on-Sea, England
  • May 5 Ola Gjeilo, Norwegian composer (Dreamweaver), born in Skui, Norway
  • May 7 Stian Arnesen (Nagash/Lex Icon), Norwegian Black Metal musician
  • May 8 Jang Woo Hyuk, Korean singer
  • May 11 Perttu Kivilaakso, Finnish Cellist (Apocalyptica), born in Helsinki, Finland
  • May 12 Wilfred Le Bouthillier, Acadian singer
  • May 12 Aya Ishiguro, Japanese singer (formerly Morning Musume)
  • May 15 Zoltan Bathory, Hungarian-born American musician and martial artist (Five Finger Death Punch), born in Szentendre, Hungary
  • May 16 David Ford, English singer-songwriter (Songs for the Road), born in Dartford, Kent, England
  • May 23 Scott Raynor, American drummer (formerly of blink-182)
  • May 25 Adam Gontier, Canadian singer (Three Days Grace), born in Peterborough, Ontario
  • May 26 Phil Elverum, American singer-songwriter
  • May 29 Pelle Almqvist, Swedish musician (The Hives)
  • Jun 3 Lyfe Jennings, R&B singer and song-writer
  • Jun 6 Carl Barât, English musician (The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things)
  • Jun 6 Mariana Popova, Bulgarian singer
  • Jun 7 Tony An, Korean singer (H.O.T)
  • Jun 9 Matthew Bellamy, British musician (Muse), born in Cambridge, England
  • Jun 14 The-Dream [Terius Nash], American R&B singer, born in Rockingham, North Carolina
  • Jun 15 RoRo, [Romell Chapman], rapper (Another Bad Creation), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Jun 16 Jasmine "Fish" Leong, Chinese Malaysian singer (Courage), born in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
  • Jun 23 Frédéric Leclercq, French bassist (DragonForce)
  • Jun 23 Memphis Bleek, American rapper
  • Jun 24 Ariel Pink, American musician
  • Jun 24 Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen, Finnish guitarist (Nightwish)
  • Jun 25 Layla El, English dancer, model and 2006 WWE Diva Search winner, born in London
  • Jun 26 Alex Dana, French singer (L5's singer), born in Marseille, France
  • Jun 27 Lolly [Anna Shantha Kumble], British singer (Viva la Radio), born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England
  • Jun 29 Sam Farrar, Australian-American bassist (Phantom Planet), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 29 Nicole Scherzinger, American singer (Pussycat Dolls), born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Jul 4 Stephen McNally, British singer and songwriter (BBMak, 10 Reasons to Live), born in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Jul 7 Misia [Misaki Itō], Japanese singer (Mother Father Brother Sister), born in Omura, Japan
  • Jul 9 Mark Medlock, German pop singer (Now Or Never), born in Frankfurt
  • Jul 10 Jesse Lacey, American musician (Brand New)
  • Jul 12 Mélanie De Biasio, Belgian jazz singer (A Stomach Is Burning), born in Charleroi, Belgium
  • Jul 17 Émilie Simon, French singer, born in Montpellier, France
  • Jul 18 Verónica Romeo, Spanish singer
  • Jul 21 Damian Marley, Jamaican musician
  • Jul 23 Stefanie Sun, Singaporean singer
  • Jul 28 Hitomi Yaida, Japanese singer-songwriter and guitarist, born in Toyonaka, Osaka
  • Jul 31 Will Champion, English musician (drummer for Coldplay), born in Southampton, England
  • Jul 31 Zac Brown, American musician (Zac Brown Band), born in Dahlonega, Georgia
  • Aug 1 Dhani Harrison, British musician (Brainwashed), born in Windsor, Berkshire
  • Aug 5 Nektaria Karantzi, Greek singer
  • Aug 7 Jamey Jasta, American singer (Hatebreed), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Aug 7 Vanness Wu, Taiwanese-American singer (F4, Kangta & Vanness), born in Santa Monica, California
  • Aug 8 Countess Vaughn, American actress and singer
  • Aug 15 Tim Foreman, American bassist (Switchfoot)
  • Aug 17 Vibeke Stene, Norwegian singer (Tristania)
  • Aug 22 Jeff Stinco, Canadian musician (Simple Plan), born in Montreal
  • Aug 23 Julian Casablancas, American musician, born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 26 Raja Kashif, Pakistani singer
  • Aug 28 Jess Margera, American drummer (CKY), born in West Chester, Pennsylvania

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

Feb 14 Country singer Roger Miller (42) weds Mary Arnold

Country Singer Roger Miller
Country Singer
Roger Miller
  • May 8 Singer Donny Osmond (20) weds Debra Glenn (19) at Salt Lake Temple in Utah

LoveWedding of Interest

Jul 6 Country singer Tammy Wynette (36) weds record producer George Richey (42) in Florida

Country singer Tammy Wynette
Country singer
Tammy Wynette

LoveWedding of Interest

Aug 2 Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young (32) weds Pegi Morton

Singer-songwriter Neil Young
Neil Young

LoveWedding of Interest

Sep 2 George Harrison marries Olivia

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison

LoveWedding of Interest

Sep 2 Singer Gloria Estefan (21) weds musician and producer Emilio Estefan (25) (Miami Sound Machine)

  • Oct 6 ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad (32) weds fellow ABBA musician Benny Andersson (31)

LoveWedding of Interest

Oct 7 Country singer Merle Haggard (41) weds his backup singer Leona Williams (35)

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Merle Haggard
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Merle Haggard

Divorces in Music

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

May 1 Actress and model Bianca Jagger files for divorce from Rolling Stone rocker Mick Jagger after 7 years of marriage on the grounds of his adultery with model Jerry Hall

Rock Star Mick Jagger
Rock Star
Mick Jagger

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 10 Don Gillis, American composer (b. 1912)
  • Jan 14 Robert Heger, composer, dies at 91
  • Jan 18 Ivan Ivonovich Dzerzhinsky, Russian composer, dies at 68
  • Jan 23 Terry Kath, American musician and songwriter (Chicago), accidentally shot in head at 31
  • Jan 23 Vic Ames, American singer (Ames Brothers), dies in a car accident at 52
  • Jan 27 Marguerite Canal, composer, dies at 87
  • Feb 9 Julio Jaramillo, Ecuadorian singer (b. 1935)
  • Feb 27 Vadim Nikolayevich Salmanov, composer, dies at 65
  • Mar 11 Claude François, French singer (b. 1939)
  • Mar 12 Tolchard Evans, composer/conductor, dies
  • Mar 13 David McKinley Williams, Welsh born American church composer, dies at 91
  • Mar 23 Bill Kenny, American singer, dies at 63
  • Mar 28 Dino Ciani, Italian pianist, dies in a car accident at 32
  • Mar 30 Larry Young [Khalid Yasin], American jazz musician (Unity), dies at 37 in unclear circumstances
  • Apr 3 Ray Noble, English bandleader, comedian and actor (The Very Thought of You), dies at 74
  • Apr 4 Gino Contilli, Italian composer, dies at 70
  • Apr 6 Nicolas Nabokov, Russian composer (Holy Devil), dies at 74
  • Apr 7 Ernest Kanitz, Austrian-American composer, dies at 83
  • Apr 21 Sandy Denny, country singer, dies at 37
  • May 1 Aram Katchaturian, Russian composer (The Earth), dies at 74
  • May 16 William Steinberg, German-American conductor (Boston Symphony 1969-71), dies at 78
  • May 22 Bjarne Brustad, Norwegian composer, dies at 83
  • Jun 6 D. H. Th. Vollenhoven, Dutch composer and philosopher, dies at 85
  • Jun 14 Theodore Karyotakis, composer, dies at 74
  • Jul 9 Zoltán Aladár, Transylvanian composer, music critic and teacher (The Goat and the Three Goons), dies at 49
  • Jul 10 Michel Gusikoff, American violinist and composer, dies at 85
  • Jul 13 Antonio Veretti, composer, dies at 78
  • Jul 27 Aasan Ferit Alnar, composer, dies at 72
  • Jul 27 Willem Van Otterloo, Dutch conductor, cellist and composer (Melbourne 1967-71), dies at 70
  • Jul 29 Wesley La Violette, composer, dies at 84
  • Jul 31 Enoch Light, American orchestra leader (Gulf Road Show with Bob Smith), dies at 70
  • Aug 2 Carlos Chávez, Mexican conductor and composer (Sinfonía india), dies at 79
  • Aug 7 Franz Alphons Wolpert, German composer, dies at 60
  • Aug 15 Harrison Kerr, American composer, dies at 80
  • Aug 20 Ivan Jirko, Czech composer, music critic and psychiatrist, dies at 51
  • Aug 24 Louis Prima, American musician (That Old Black Magic), dies at 67
  • Aug 26 Charles Trowbridge Haubiel, American composer, pianist and lecturer (Tre Ritratti Characteristici), dies at 86
  • Sep 1 Olga de Haas, Dutch ballerina, dies at 33
  • Sep 5 Joe Negroni, American rock vocalist (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers), dies of a brain hemorrhage at 37
  • Sep 6 Tom Wilson, American record producer (b. 1931)

Person of interestKeith Moon

Sep 7 Keith Moon, rock drummer (Who), dies of drug overdose at 31

Rocker Keith Moon
Keith Moon
  • Sep 8 Pancho Vladigerov, Bulgarian composer, dies at 79
  • Sep 24 Ruth Etting, US dancer/singer (Ziegfeld Follies), dies at 80
  • Oct 8 Tibor Serly, Hungarian violinist and composer (American Elegy), dies at 76
  • Oct 9 Jacques Brel, Belgian singer, songwriter, actor, director and composer (Le Far West, Pain in the A__), dies of a pulmonary embolism at 49
  • Oct 10 Ralph Marterie, American big band leader (b. 1914)

Person of interestMaybelle Carter

Oct 23 Maybelle Carter, country singer (Johnny Cash Show), dies at 69

Country Singer Maybelle Carter
Country Singer
Maybelle Carter
  • Nov 9 Otto Siegl, Austrian composer, dies at 82
  • Nov 12 Howard Swanson, American composer, dies at 71
  • Nov 18 Lennie Tristano, American jazz pianist (The New Tristano), dies of a heart attack at 59
  • Nov 26 Frank Rosolino, American jazz trombonist (The Frank Rosolino Sextet), kills himself after shooting his sons at 52
  • Nov 29 Alan Richardson, composer, dies at 74
  • Dec 3 William Grant Still, American composer ("Afro-American" Symphony), dies at 83
  • Dec 12 Clifton Chenier, American blues singer (Bayou Blues), dies at 53
  • Dec 16 Blanche Calloway, American singer/dancer/radio hostess, dies at 76
  • Dec 17 Don Ellis, American jazz band leader (b. 1934)
  • Dec 27 Chris Bell, American rock guitarist (Big Star), dies in a car crash at 27