On This Day

On This Day in Music for February 17

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1859 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Un Ballo in maschera" premieres in Naples

Composer Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1904 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" premieres in Milan

Composer Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini
  • 1916 Sigmund Romberg, James Hanley, Harold R. Atteridge and Edgar Smith's musical Robinson Crusoe Jr. premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1921 Arthur Honegger's chamber piece "Pastorale D'ete" premieres

Composer Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1932 Irving Berlin's musical "Face the Music" premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • 1967 Beatles release "Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields"

Music releaseMusic Recording

1969 Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash record an album; it is never released

Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
  • 1969 "Cloud Nine" 9th studio album by The Temptations is released (Grammy Award Best Rhythm & Blues Performance by a Duo or Group 1969, Billboard Album of the Year 1969)

Music concertMusic Concert

1972 Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti receives record 17 curtain calls after his performance in "La fille du régiment" at New York's Metropolitan Opera

Operatic Tenor Luciano Pavarotti
Operatic Tenor
Luciano Pavarotti
  • 1976 "Rockabye Hamlet" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 7 performances
  • 1977 Kalakuta Republic, commune of Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti, burnt to the ground by soldiers in Lagos
  • 2002 Westlife go to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'World Of Our Own.' The Irish boy band's 10th UK No.1 single.

Music release#1 in the Charts

2002 'Always On Time' by R&B artist Ja Rule featuring Ashanti starts a two-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart.

Rapper Ja Rule
Ja Rule

Music releaseMusic Single

2004 "If I Ain't Got You" single released by Alicia Keys (Grammy Award Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 2005, Billboard Song of the Year 2004)

Singer-Songwriter Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

Birthdays in Music

  • 1444 Rudolf Agricola [Roelof Huysman], Dutch humanist/organist
  • 1653 Arcangelo Corelli, Italian violinist/composer (Concerto Grossi), born in Fusignano, Italy (d. 1713)
  • 1667 Georg Bronner, German composer and organist, born in Hamburg (d. 1720) baptismal date
  • 1675 Johann Melchior Conradi, German composer, born in Oettingen (d. 1756)
  • 1696 Ernst Gottlieb Baron, German lutenist and composer, born in Breslau, Silesia (d. 1760)
  • 1697 Louis-Maurice de La Pierre, French composer, born in Versailles, France (d. 1753)
  • 1747 Narciso Casanovas, Spanish keyboard player, composer, and Benedictine monk, born in Sabadell, Spain (d. 1799)
  • 1754 Jan Jachym Kopriva, Czech composer and organist, born in Cítoliby, Czech Republic (d. 1792)
  • 1796 Giovanni Pacini, Italian composer of opera (Saffo), born in Catania, Sicily (d. 1867)
  • 1816 Friedrich Wilhelm Markull, German composer and muscian, born in Reichenbach, Prussia (1887)
  • 1820 Henri Vieuxtemps, Belgian violin prodigy, composer, and teacher (Brussels Conservatory), born in Verviers, United Kingdom of the Netherlands (now Belgium) (d. 1881)
  • 1821 Lola Montez, Irish dancer and courtesan, born in Grange, Ireland (d. 1861)
  • 1831 Francisco Salvador Daniel, French composer, and ethno-musicologist, born in Bourges, France (d. 1871)
  • 1850 Anton Urspruch, German composer, born in Frankfurt (d. 1907)
  • 1850 Ludwig Bonvin, Swiss born composer who worked in America, born in Sierre, Switzerland ( d. 1939)
  • 1855 Aleksander Różycki, Polish pianist, composer, and music teacher, born in Zhitomir, Russian Empire (d. 1915)
  • 1858 Ernest Ford, English composer, born in Warminster, Wiltshire (d. 1919)
  • 1862 Edward German (Jones), English composer (Merrie England), born in Whitchurch, Shropshire (d. 1936)
  • 1864 Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, Australian bush poet (Waltzing Matilda, The Man From Snowy River), born near Orange, New South Wales (d. 1941)
  • 1882 Kurt Schindler, German-American composer and conductor, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1935)
  • 1887 Leevi Antti Madetoja, Finnish composer (Pohjalaisia), conductor and teacher, born in Oulu, Finland, (d. 1947)
  • 1905 Orville "Hoppy" Jones, American bass singer and cellist (The Ink Spots - "If I Didn't Care"), born in Chicago, Illinois (1944)
  • 1906 Ramon Tapales, Filipino composer and conductor, born in Baybay, Philippines (d. 1995)
  • 1907 Alec Wilder, American classical, jazz, and pop music composer (The Churkendoose), and musicologist (American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950), born in Rochester, New York (d. 1980)
  • 1907 Marjorie Lawrence, Australian-American operatic soprano (Wagner; Interrupted Melody), born in Deans Marsh, Australia (d. 1979)
  • 1910 Alfred Mendelsohn, Romanian composer, and conductor (Romanian National Opera, 1944-63), and teacher, born in Bucharest, Romania (d. 1966)
  • 1913 Oskar Danon, Yugoslav conductor (Belgrade Opera, 1944-65), born in Sarajevo, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Bosnia and Herzegovina) (d. 2009)
  • 1913 Rene Leibowitz, Polish-born French composer (d. 1972)
  • 1915 Homer Keller, American classical composer, born in Oxnard, California (d. 1996)
  • 1920 Paul Fetler, American composer (December Stillness; Three Poems By Walt Whitman), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1922 Tommy Edwards, American R&B singer-songwriter ("It's All In The Game"), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1969)
  • 1923 Boniface "Buddy" DeFranco, Italian-American jazz clarinetist and bandleader (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Camden, New Jersey (d. 2014)
  • 1924 Margaret Truman, American presidential daughter, writer (Murder at FBI) and pianist, born in Independence, Missouri (d. 2008)
  • 1925 Ron Goodwin, English composer and conductor, Plymouth, Devon, England (d. 2003)
  • 1926 Friedrich Cerha, Austrian composer and conductor, born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1926 Lee Hoiby, American concert pianist and composer (1957 Arts & Letters; Summer and Smoke), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 2011)
  • 1928 Marta Romero, Puerto Rican actress & singer (La Divina Infiel, The Shadow of the Bat), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2013)
  • 1929 Dame Patricia Routledge, British stage and screen actress and singer (Keeping Up Appearances; Talking Heads: A Lady of Letters), born in Tranmere, Birkenhead
  • 1930 Usko Merilainen, Finnish composer, born in Tampere, Finland (d. 2004)
  • 1932 Charles "Buck" Trent, American banjoist and singer (Hee Haw), born in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • 1935 Johnny Bush, American country singer, born in Houston, Texas (d. 2020)
  • 1936 John Leyton, British actor and singer ("Johnny Remember Me"), born in Frinton-on-Sea, England
  • 1937 Mickey McGill, American vocalist (Dells - "Love is Blue"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1941 Gene Pitney, American vocalist and songwriter ("Town Without Pity"; "Hello Mary Lou"; "He's A Rebel"), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2006)
  • 1944 Karl Jenkins, Welsh composer (Adiemus), born in Penclawdd, Wales
  • 1947 Ben Cramer, Dutch pop and musical theater singer ("De Clown"), born in Amsterdam. Holland
  • 1947 Dodie Stevens [Geraldine Pasquale], American pop singer ("Pink Shoe Laces"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1948 José José 'The Prince of Song' [José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz], Mexican singer and actor, born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2019)
  • 1949 Fred Frith, English guitarist, violinist and bassist (Skeleton Crew), born in Heathfield, England
  • 1950 Rick Medlocke, American rock guitarist and vocalist (Blackfoot), born in Jackson, Florida
  • 1957 Loreena McKennitt, Canadian world and Celtic harpist, accordion, and piano player, singer, and composer ("The Mummer's Dance"), born in Morden, Manitoba
  • 1962 David McComb, Australian singer-songwriter, and guitarist (The Triffids, 1976-89; d The Blackeyed Susans, 1989–93), born in Perth, Australia (d. 1999)
  • 1962 Samuel Bayer, American music video director
  • 1966 Melissa Brooke-Belland, American musician (Voice of the Beehive-Let it Bee), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1966 Quorthon [Thomas Forsberg], Swedish heavy and Viking metal musician, and record producer (Bathory), born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 2004)
  • 1966 Michael Lepond, American musician (Symphony X), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • 1967 Chanté Moore, American R&B singer, actress and author (Precious), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1968 Patrick Uterwijk, Dutch heavy metal guitarist (Pestilence - Consuming Impulse), born in The Netherlands
  • 1970 Tim Mahoney, American rock guitarist (311), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • 1971 Martyn Bennett [-Knight], Canadian-Scottish celtic-fusion piper, pianist, and composer, born in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador (d. 2005)

Person of interestBillie Joe Armstrong

1972 Billie Joe Armstrong, American singer and musician (Green Day - "Basket Case"; "American Idiot"), born in Oakland, California

  • 1972 Taylor Hawkins, American drummer (Foo Fighters - "Everlong"; "My Hero"), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1972 Yuki Isoya, Japanese singer (formerly Judy and Mary)
  • 1974 Kaoru, Japanese musician, born in Hyogo, Japan
  • 1974 Bryan White, American singer, born in Lawton, Oklahoma
  • 1975 Harisu, South Korean singer, model and actress
  • 1977 Matthew Kaminski, jazz, and baseball organist (Atlanta Braves), polka accordionist, and educator, born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestEd Sheeran

1991 Ed Sheeran, English singer-songwriter ("Shape of You"; "Thinking Out Loud"), born in Halifax, England

Singer-Songwriter Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran
  • 1992 Meaghan Martin, American actress and singer (Camp Roc), born in Fallon, Nevada

Weddings in Music

  • 1989 Whitesnake's singer David Coverdale (37) weds American actress Tawny Kitaen (27); divorced 1991

Deaths in Music

  • 1652 Gregorio Allegri, Italian singer and composer (Miserere), dies at about 67
  • 1654 Michael Lohr, German composer, dies at 62
  • 1732 Louis Marchand, French Baroque musician and composer, dies at 63
  • 1815 Franz Gotz, Bohemian composer, dies at 59
  • 1841 Ferdinando Carulli, Italian composer, dies at 70
  • 1856 Heinrich Heine, German poet and lyricist (Schubert, Liszt), dies at 58
  • 1856 John Braham, English tenor singer and composer, dies at 81
  • 1883 Napoléon Coste, French guitarist and composer, dies at 76
  • 1894 Francisco Barbieri Spanish zarzuela opera composer (El Diablo en el poder), dies at 70
  • 1901 Ethelbert Nevin, American pianist and composer (The Rosary; Narcissus), dies of a stroke at 38
  • 1903 Joseph Parry, Welsh composer and musician, dies at 61
  • 1924 Oskar Merikanto [Ala-Kanto], Finnish pianist, organist, and composer, dies at 55
  • 1933 Henri Viotta, Dutch conductor and composer (Handbook of Music), dies at 84
  • 1939 Willy Hess, German violinist, dies at 79
  • 1943 Armand J. Piron, American jazz violinist and composer, dies at 54
  • 1951 Nikoghayos Fadeyi Tigranyan, Armenian composer, dies at 94
  • 1955 Otto J. Gombosi, Hungarian-American musicologist, dies of a heart attack at 52
  • 1962 Bruno Walter, German symphony conductor (NY Philharmonic), dies at 85
  • 1969 (Adolphe) Paul Barbarinan American jazz drummer (King Oliver; Red Allen Sextet; Onward Brass Band), dies while playing his snare drum, marching in a Mardi Gras parade at 69
  • 1970 Alfred Newman, American film music arranger, conductor and composer, winner of 9 Academy Awards (The Robe; How The West Was Won; Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing), dies at 69
  • 1972 Gavril Nikolayevich Popov, Soviet Russian composer, dies at 67
  • 1980 Jerry Fielding, American jazz musician and composer (Lively Ones, Hogan's Heroes), dies at 57
  • 1982 Thelonious Monk, American jazz pianist and composer (Straight, No Chaser; 'Round Midnight), dies of a stroke at 64
  • 1995 Jan Bart Klaster, music editor (The Slogan), dies at 50
  • 1995 Uta Graf, German born American singer and teacher, dies at 80
  • 1996 Evelyn Laye, English actress and singer (Sun Child), dies at 95
  • 1996 Gus Hardin [Carolyn Ann Blankenship], American country singer, dies at 50
  • 1998 Bob Merrill, American composer and lyricist (People, Mambo Italiano), commits suicide at 72
  • 2006 Ray Barretto, American percussionist and Latin jazz bandleader (Charanga Moderna - "El Watusi"), dies at 76
  • 2006 Bill Cowsill, American singer (The Cowsills), dies at 58
  • 2007 Dermot O'Reilly, Irish-born Canadian musician, producer and songwriter (b. 1943)
  • 2010 Kathryn Grayson [Zelma Hedrick], American vocalist and actress (Anchors Aweigh, Kiss Me Kate), dies of natural causes at 88
  • 2012 Michael Davis, American bass guitarist, and songwriter (MC5 -"Kick Out The Jams"), dies of liver failure at 68
  • 2013 Mindy McCready, American country singer, commits suicide by gunshot at 37
  • 2014 Bob Casale, American musician, dies from heart failure at 61
  • 2015 Andrzej Koszewski, Polish choral and orchestral composer, and musicologist, dies at 92
  • 2015 Kenneth "Wally" Kelly, American R&B singer (Manhattans - "Kiss And Say Goodbye"), dies at 74
  • 2017 Alan Aldridge, British artist, graphic designer and illustrator whose artwork was used in record covers for The Beatles and The Who, dies at 73
  • 2018 Beatricce "Beebe" Freitas [nee Botty], American pianist, organist, and voice teacher (Hawaii Opera Theatre), dies at 79
  • 2019 Ethel Ennis, American jazz singer (If Women Ruled The World), dies of a stroke at 86 [1]
  • 2021 Doug Grisby, American soul music bassist, composer and producer (Patti LaBelle; Teena Marie), dies after suffering a stroke at 57