On This Day

On This Day in Music for August 17

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1876 Richard Wagner's opera "Götterdämmerung" premieres in Bayreuth

Composer Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
  • 1883 The first public performance of the Dominican Republic's national anthem, Himno Nacional

Film PremierThe Wizard of Oz

1939 "The Wizard of Oz" opens at Loews Capitol Theatre in NY

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Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
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Music releaseMusic Premiere

1946 Arthur Honegger's 3rd Symphony "Liturgique" premieres

Composer Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger
  • 1980 "Blackstone" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 104 performances
  • 1986 Rioting at DMC concert, 40 injured
  • 2004 The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopts new state symbols for Serbia: Boze Pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms is adopted for the whole country.

Birthdays in Music

  • 1686 Nicola Antonio Porpora, Italian composer and singing teacher, born in Naples (d. 1768)
  • 1775 Philippe Libon, Spanish composer, born in Cadiz, Spain (d. 1838)
  • 1779 Franz de Paula Roser, Austrian composer and conductor, born in Naarn, Upper Austra (d. 1830)
  • 1828 George William Warren, American composer and organist, born in Albany, New York (d. 1902)
  • 1834 Peter Benoit, Flemish composer and conductor (Leie/Rubens Cantata), born in Harelbeke, Flanders (d. 1901)
  • 1839 Hubert Platt Main, composer
  • 1880 Leo Ascher, Austrian-born composer who moved to the US, born in Vienna (d. 1942)

Person of interestMae West

1893 Mae West, American actress and singer (She Done him Wrong), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1980)

Actress Mae West
Mae West
  • 1901 Henri Tomasi, French classical and film music composer (Requiem for Peace; The Silence of the Sea), born of Marseille, France (d. 1971)
  • 1903 Abram Chasins, American composer, born in New York City (d. 1987)
  • 1904 Leopold Nowak, Austrian musicologist (International Bruckner Society; Mozart's Requiem), and educator (Vienna University, 1932-73), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1991)
  • 1907 Marian Viktorovich Koval, Russian composer, born in Pristan Voznesenya, Olonets district, Russian Empire (d. 1971)
  • 1907 Zygmunt Mycielski, Polish composer and music critic, born in Przeworsk, Habsburg Empire (now Poland) (d. 1987)
  • 1908 Kurt Hessenberg, German composer, born in Frankfurt, Germany (d.1994)
  • 1909 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (d. 1985)
  • 1910 Erkki Aaltonen, Finnish composer, born in Hämeenlinna, Finland (d. 1990)
  • 1918 Ike Quebec, American tenor-saxophone player, born in Newark. New Jersey (d. 1963)
  • 1920 Maureen O'Hara [FitzSimons], Irish actress and singer (Miracle on 34th St, The Quiet Man), Ranelagh, County Dublin (d. 2015)
  • 1923 Anton Kersjes, Dutch violinist and conductor (Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra) (d. 2004)
  • 1924 Laurence Deniz, Welsh jazz guitarist, born in Cardiff, Wales
  • 1926 George Melly, English jazz and blues singer, born in Liverpool, England (d. 2007)
  • 1928 T.J. [Thomas Jefferson] Anderson, American composer, born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania
  • 1933 Mark Dinning, American pop singer (Teen Angel), born in Manchester, Oklahoma (d. 1986)
  • 1936 Ivan Parik, Czech composer, born in Bratislava
  • 1936 Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Native American musician and actor and activist, born on Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, South Dakota (d. 2007)
  • 1939 Luther Allison, American rock guitarist (Bad News is Coming), born in Mayflower Arkansas
  • 1942 John Tyrrell, British musicologist (Leoš Janáček; The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians), born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) (d. 2018)
  • 1943 Edward Cowie, English composer, born in Birmingham, England
  • 1943 Dave "Snaker" Ray, American musician (d. 2002)
  • 1945 Katri-Helena, Finnish singer, born in Tuupovaara, Finland
  • 1946 Hans Vandenburg, Dutch singer/guitarist (Gruppo Sportivo)
  • 1947 Gary Talley, American rock guitarist (Box Tops), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1948 Rod MacDonald, American singer-songwriter, born in Southington, Connecticut
  • 1948 Alexander Ivashkin, Russian cellist, conductor, and sitar player, born in Blagoveshchensk, Russia (d. 2014)
  • 1949 Sib Hashian, American rock drummer (Boston), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1953 Kevin Rowlands, British rock vocalist (Dexy's Midnight Runners-Come on Eileen), born in Wednesfield, England
  • 1954 Eric Johnson, American guitarist, born in Austin, Texas
  • 1955 Colin Moulding, English pop guitarist (XTC), born in Swindon, England
  • 1955 Kevin Welch, American country songwriter/actor (Thing Called Love), born in Long Beach, California
  • 1958 Belinda Carlisle, American singer (Go-Gos, Heaven on Earth), born in Hollywood, California
  • 1960 Stephan Eicher, Swiss singer, born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland
  • 1962 Gilby Clarke, American guitarist (Guns N' Roses), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1964 Colin James, Canadian singer-songwriter, born in Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 1965 Glen Goldsmith, English singer-songwriter (What You See is What You Get), High Wycombe, England
  • 1965 Steve Gorman, American rock drummer (Black Crowes), born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • 1966 Maysa Leak, American Jazz Singer, born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1967 Kevin Max, American singer (dc talk), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1969 Donald E Wahlberg Jr, American rocker (New Kids-Hangin' Tough), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1969 Linas Rimša, Lithuanian classical and jazz composer, born in Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR
  • 1971 Uhm Jung-hwa, South Korean singer and actress
  • 1974 Tony Hajjar, Lebanese-American musician (At the Drive-In, Sparta), born in Beirut, Lebanon
  • 1977 Tarja Turunen, Finnish singer, born in Kitee, Finland
  • 1978 Vibeke Stene, Norwegian singer (Tristania), born in Sokndal, Norway
  • 1980 Lene Marlin, Norwegian singer-songwriter, born in Tromsø, Norway
  • 1982 Mark Salling, American actor and musician (Glee), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2018)
  • 1990 Colin Bates, British-American actor, dancer, and singer (Billy Elliot - The Musical)
  • 1994 Phoebe Bridgers, American isinger-songwriter (Punisher) , born in Newport Beach, California

Person of interestLil Pump

2000 Lil Pump [Gazzy Garcia], American rapper (Gucci Gang), born in Miami, Florida

Rapper Lil Pump
Lil Pump

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1997 Metallica lead vocalist James Hetfield (34) weds Francesca Tomasi

Metallica Rocker James Hetfield
Metallica Rocker
James Hetfield

LoveWedding of Interest

2015 Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating (38) weds model Storm Uechtritz in East Lothian, Scotland

Divorces in Music

  • 2008 Genesis drummer and vocalist Phil Collins (57) divorces Swiss-born Orianne Cevey (35) after six years of marriage

Deaths in Music

  • 1730 Mauritius Vogt, German composer, dies at 61
  • 1731 Johann Augustin Kobelius, German Baroque composer, dies at 57
  • 1777 Giuseppe Scarlatti, Italian composer, dies at 54
  • 1792 Jan Jachym Kopriva, Czech composer and organist, dies at 38
  • 1865 Johann Nepomuk Poissl, Bavarian composer, dies at 82
  • 1880 Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist and composer (b. 1810)
  • 1887 Franz Commer, German composer, dies at 74
  • 1889 Ernst Franck, German composer and conductor, dies at 42
  • 1898 Carl Johann Adam Zeller, Austrian composer, dies at 56
  • 1901 Edmond Audran, French composer, dies at 61
  • 1909 Richard Hoffman, English-American composer, dies at 78
  • 1936 Pierre-Octave Ferroud, French composer (Surgery & Foules), dies at 36
  • 1945 Gino Marinuzzi, Italian conductor and composer, dies at 61
  • 1954 Billy Murray, American singer (Denver Nightengale), dies at 77
  • 1958 Florent Schmitt, French composer and critic (Jardin Secret), dies at 87
  • 1961 Carlos Leon Salzedo, French born American composer and harpist, dies at 76
  • 1973 Paul Williams, American baritone singer and choreographer (The Temptations - Cloud Nine), commits suicide at 32
  • 1973 Jean Barraqué, French composer, dies at 44 (b. 1928)
  • 1977 Petros John Petridis, Greek composer (Isotope Suite), dies at 86
  • 1981 Robert Russell Bennett, American composer and arranger (Oklahoma!), dies at 87
  • 1983 Ira Gershwin, American lyricist ('S Wonderful, I Got Rhythm), dies in Beverly Hills at 86
  • 1984 Hammie Nixon [Nickerson], American blues harmonica player (Sleepy John Estes), dies at 76
  • 1987 Gary Chester [Cesario Gurciullo], drummer (Monkees, Lovin' Spoonful) and drum instructor, dies at 62
  • 1990 Pearl Bailey, American Tony and Emmy Award-winning stage and screen actress, singer and dancer (Hello, Dolly!), dies of heart attack at 72
  • 1993 Johnny Sayles, American soul singer ("I Can't Get Enough Of Your Love"), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • 1993 Phil Seymour, American rock and power pop musician, singer, and songwriter (The Dwight Twilley Band), dies of lymphoma at 41
  • 1995 William Strethan "Wild Bill" Davis, American musician, dies at 76
  • 2004 Gérard Souzay, French baritone, dies at 85
  • 2004 D-Roc the Executioner [Dennis Miles], American heavy metal musician (Body Count), dies of complications of lymphoma at 44
  • 2015 Arsen Dedić, Croatian singer-songwriter and poet, dies at 77