On This Day

March 1981 in Music History

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Mar 1 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" opens at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC; runs for 767 performances

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington
  • Mar 5 Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC for 4 performances
  • Mar 7 Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 4 performances
  • Mar 8 "Shakespeare's Cabaret" closes at Bijou Theater NYC after 54 performances
  • Mar 10 "Bette Davis Eyes" single released by Kim Carnes (Billboard Song of the Year 1981)

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Mar 12 Stephen Sondheim's musical "Marry Me a Little," premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim
Composer and Lyricist
Stephen Sondheim

Music releaseMusic Single

Mar 27 John Lennon single "Watching the Wheels" released posthumously in UK

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon

Music releaseAlbum Release

Mar 27 "Blizzard of Ozz", the debut solo album by English rock musician Ozzy Osbourne, is released in the United States

Rock Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne
Rock Vocalist
Ozzy Osbourne
  • Mar 29 Peter Stone's musical "Woman of the Year" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 770 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • Mar 3 Kim Yoo-Jin (Eugene), South Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 3 Sung Yu Ri, South Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 3 Tobias Forge, Swedish heavy metal singer (Ghost), born in Linköping, Sweden
  • Mar 4 Carol Banawa, Filipino singer and celebrity
  • Mar 4 Donny Tourette [Patrick Brannan], British punk rock singer (Towers of London), born in Liverpool, England
  • Mar 5 Zach Williams, American Christian rock musician (There was Jesus), born in Pensacola, Florida
  • Mar 11 Russell Lissack, English musician (Bloc Party)
  • Mar 11 LeToya Luckett, American singer (ex-Destiny's Child)
  • Mar 11 Paul Wall, American rapper
  • Mar 14 Mei-Ting Sun, Chinese concert pianist, born in Shanghai, China
  • Mar 15 Young Buck [David Brown] American rapper, born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Mar 16 Danny Brown [Daniel Sewell], American rapper, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Mar 18 Jang Nara, Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 22 (Shawn) Mims, American rapper (This Is Why I'm Hot), born in Manhattan, New York
  • Mar 26 Jay Sean [Kamaljit Singh Jhooti], British pop, Bhaṅgṛā, and R&B singer, born in London, England
  • Mar 26 Anaïs Mitchell, American singer-songwriter and playwright (Hadestown - 2019 Tony for Best Musical), born in Vermont
  • Mar 27 JJ Lin, Chinese singer (Music Voyager), born in Singapore
  • Mar 29 Megan Hilty, American actress and singer (Wicked), born in Bellevue, Washington
  • Mar 29 P.J. Morton, American singer-songwriter and musician (Maroon 5; Gospel According to PJ), born in New Orleans, Louisiana

Deaths in Music

  • Mar 5 Yip Harburg [Isidore Hochberg], American lyricist ("Over The Rainbow"; "It's Only A Paper Moon"), dies in a car crash at 84
  • Mar 5 Theodore "Red" Saunders, American jazz drummer and bandleader, based in Chicago, dies at 69
  • Mar 7 Kirill Kondrashin, Russian conductor (Bolshoi Theatre, 1943-56; Moscow Philharmonic, 1960-75; Concertgebouw, 1978-81), dies at 67
  • Mar 10 Bill Hopkins, English composer, dies of a heart attack at 37
  • Mar 25 Felix de Nobel, Dutch orchestra leader and pianist, dies at 73