On This Day

On This Day in Music for February 20

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1724 George Frideric Handel's opera "Giulio Cesare in Egitto" premieres at the King's Theatre in Haymarket, London

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1816 Gioachino Rossini's opera "Barber of Seville" premieres in Rome

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1917 Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton & P.G. Wodehouse's musical "Oh, Boy!" premieres in New York

Broadway Composer Jerome Kern
Broadway Composer
Jerome Kern
  • 1934 Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein's opera "Four Saints in Three Acts" opens on Broadway at the 44th Street Theatre in New York City
  • 1940 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959 Jimi Hendrix (16), rock and roll guitarist, plays his first gig in the Temple De Hirsch synagogue basement, Seattle. He is fired from the band after the 1st set due to "wild" playing

Rock Guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Rock Guitarist
Jimi Hendrix
  • 1965 Beatles record "That Means A Lot"; unhappy with the results, it was given to P.J. Proby to record, the Beatles version was not released until 1996 on Anthology 2
  • 1977 "My Fair Lady" closes at St James Theater NYC after 384 performances

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

1978 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
  • 1979 "Comin' Uptown" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 45 performances
  • 1991 "Taking Steps" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC for 78 performances

Music awardsGrammy Awards

1991 33rd Grammy Awards: Another Day in Paradise, Mariah Carey

Singer Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
  • 1992 "Private Lives" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 37 performances
  • 1997 "Stanley" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC
  • 2003 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016 4-inch lock of John Lennon's hair sells for $35,000 to a memorabilia collector at an auction in Dallas, Texas

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon

Birthdays in Music

  • 1734 Franz Ignaz Beck, German violinist, composer, conductor and music teacher, born in Mannheim, Electorate of the Palatinate (d. 1809)
  • 1745 Johann Peter Salomon, German violinist, composer, conductor, and musical promoter (Hadyn), baptized in Bonn, Germany (d. 1815)
  • 1752 Charles Broche, French organist and composer, born in Rouen, France (d. 1803)
  • 1763 Adalbert Gyrowetz, composer, born in České Budějovice Bohemia
  • 1770 Ferdinando Carulli, composer
  • 1791 Carl Czerny, Czech-Austrian pianist, composer (Schule der Virtuosen), and teacher, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1857)
  • 1802 Charles-Auguste de Beriot, Belgian violinist/composer
  • 1803 Friedrich Theodor Frohlich, composer
  • 1816 Josef Michal Ksawery Jan Poniatowski, composer
  • 1854 Louis van Westerhoven, Dutch actor, singer and opera director (Youth), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1912)
  • 1874 Mary Garden, Aberdeen Scotland, opera star
  • 1876 Théodore "Fyodor" Akimenko, Ukrainian composer, born in Kharkiv Drapeau, Ukraine (d. 1945)
  • 1887 David McKinley Williams, composer
  • 1889 Levko Mykolayevich Revutsky, composer
  • 1891 Ivan Harold Browning, American stage and screen actor and singer (Shuffle Along - "I'm Just Wild About Harry"), born in Brenham, Texas (d. 1978)
  • 1899 Leon Woizikowski, Polish dancer/ballet master (Ballets Russes)
  • 1900 Antonio Veretti, composer
  • 1901 Jimmy Yancey, American boogie-woogie jazz and blues pianist, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1951) [birth year disputed - documentation ranges from 1894-1903]
  • 1901 Fred Robinson, American jazz trombonist (Louis Armstong's Hot Five; Fats Waller; Cab Calloway), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1984)
  • 1903 Karel Janeček, Czech composer, born in Czestochowa (d. 1974)
  • 1904 Armin Loos, German-born American composer, born in Darmstadt (d. 1971)
  • 1906 Jack Jackson, British trumpeter, dance band leader, and influential BBC disc jockey, born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England (d. 1978)
  • 1907 Nadine Conner, California, soprano (Carmen, Pamina-Magic Flute)
  • 1908 Seymour Österwall, Swedish jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader and composer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1981)
  • 1909 Oscar Alemán, Argentine jazz and swing guitarist, and singer ("Rosa Madreselva"), born in Machagai, Chaco, Argentina (d. 1980)
  • 1911 Robert Guyn McBride, composer (Mexican Rhapsody), born in Tucson, Arizona
  • 1913 Jozef Kresanek, composer
  • 1916 Julius Juzeliūnas, Lithuanian composer and organist (The Game), born in Čepolė, Lithuania (d. 2001)
  • 1917 Phil Moore, American jazz pianist, arranger, and bandleader, born in Portland Oregon (d. 1987) [1]
  • 1921 Mervin Shiner, American country singer, born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • 1921 Ruth Gipps, British prolific conductor and composer, born in Bexhill-on-Sea, England (d. 1999)
  • 1925 Frank Isola, American jazz drummer (Stan Getz; Gerry Mulligan; Mose Allison), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2004)
  • 1926 Dame Gillian Lynne [Pyrke], British dancer, choreographer and actress, known for Broadway work on "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera", born in Bromley, Kent (d. 2018)
  • 1926 Bobby Jaspar, Belgian jazz saxophonist, flautist and composer, born in Liège, Belgium (d. 1963)
  • 1929 Toshiro Mayuzumi, Japanese composer (Sphenogramme), born in Yokohama, Japan (d. 1997)
  • 1933 Charles Kynard, American soul, jazz, and funk Hammond B-3 organ player (Reelin' With The Feelin'), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1979)
  • 1933 Jan Henrik Kayser, Norwegian concert pianist (Grieg Prize, 1978), born in Bergen, Norway (d. 2016)
  • 1935 Raven Wilkinson, American ballerina, first African American woman to dance with major ballet company, born in New York City (d. 2018)
  • 1937 David Ackles, American singer-songwriter (American Gothic), born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • 1937 Nancy Wilson, American jazz vocalist (Feel Like Making Love), born in Chillicothe, Ohio (d. 2018)
  • 1939 (Roy George) Elroy Josephs, Jamaican-British jazz dance teacher, and actor, born in Jamaica (d. 1997)
  • 1940 Barbara Ellis, American rocker (Fleetwoods), born in Olympia, Washington
  • 1940 Christoph Eschenbach, German pianist and conductor (Houston Symphony, 1988-99; Philadelphia Orchestra, 2003-08: National Symphony 2010-17), born in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland)
  • 1941 Buffy Sainte-Marie, Indigenous Canadian-American folksinger (Now That the Buffalo Are Gone), and songwriter ("Up Where We Belong"), born in the Piapot 75 reserve, Saskatchewan
  • 1944 Lew Soloff, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat & Tears), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1945 Alan Hull, British folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Lindisfarne - "Lady Eleanor"), born in Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, England (d. 1995)
  • 1946 (John) J. Geils, American rock guitarist (J Geils Band - "Centerfold"; "Freeze Frame"), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1948 Barry Wordsworth, conductor
  • 1948 Billy Zoom [Stuart Kindell], American punk rock guitarist (X), born in Savanna, Illinois

Person of interestWalter Becker

1950 Walter Becker, American rock bassist, guitarist, songwriter and record producer (Steely Dan - "Deacon Blues"; "Peg"), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)

Musician and Record Producer Walter Becker
Musician and Record Producer
Walter Becker
  • 1951 Kathy Baillie, American country vocalist (Baille Boys-Oh Heart), born in Morristown, New Jersey
  • 1951 Randy California [Wolfe], American guitarist (Spirit), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1997)
  • 1951 Patrice Fisher, American jazz, pop, and Celtic harpist, and teacher, born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1953 Riccardo Chailly, conductor (West Berlin Symphony), born in Milan, Italy
  • 1953 Poison Ivy {Kristy Wallace], American rock guitarist (The Cramps), born in San Bernadino, California
  • 1954 Jon Brant, American rock bassist (Cheap Trick, 1981-87), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1960 Kee Marcello [Kjell Hilding Löfbom], Swedish rock guitarist (Europe - Final Countdown; Easy Action), born in Ludvika, Sweden
  • 1962 Joel Ellis, American glam- metal singer (Cats In Boots; Heavy Bones)
  • 1963 Ian Brown, English rock vocalist (Stone Roses-Made of Stone)
  • 1963 Darek Oleszkiewicz [formerly known as Oles], Polish jazz bassist, composer (Los Angeles Jazz Quartet), and educator, born in Wrocław, Poland
  • 1964 Terry Ilous, rock vocalist (XYZ, Cannibal Jacket) [or Jun 28]

Person of interestKurt Cobain

1967 Kurt Cobain, American rock singer-songwriter (Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), born in Aberdeen, Washington (d. 1994)

Rocker Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain
  • 1972 k-os [Kevin Brereton], Canadian rapper, songwriter, and musician, born in Toronto, Ontaro
  • 1975 Brian Littrell, American pop (Backstreet Boys), and Christian music singer, born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1976 Ed Graham, British drummer (The Darkness, 2000-14), born in Great Yarmouth, England
  • 1976 Fulvia di Domenico, Italian jazz and world music singer-songwriter, born in Rome, Italy
  • 1977 Amal Hijazi, Lebanese pop singer (Zaman), born in Kfarfila, Lebanon
  • 1981 Chris Thile, American folk and progressive bluegrass mandolin player, songwriter (Nickel Creek; Punch Brothers), and broadcaster (Live From Here), born in Oceanside, California
  • 1984 Johannes "Jo" Alisch, German classical cellist, and jazz bassist, born in Mannheim, Germany
  • 1985 Julia Volkova, Russian pop singer (t.A.T.u. -single, "All the Things She Said"), born in Moscow

Person of interestRihanna

1988 Rihanna [Robyn Rihanna Fenty], Barbadian R&B and pop singer-songwriter ("Umbrella"; "Only Girl (In The World)"; "We Found Love"; "Diamonds"), born in Saint Michael, Barbados

Singer Rihanna
  • 1996 Mabel [McVey], English pop singer-songwriter ("Finders Keepers"), born in Málaga, Spain
  • 2003 Olivia Rodrigo, American actress and singer-songwriter ("Driver's License"), born in Temecula, California

Weddings in Music

  • 2016 R&B singer Ne-Yo (36) weds Crystal Renay Williams in Los Angeles
  • 2016 Paramore's lead vocalist Hayley Williams (27) weds New Found Glory's lead guitarist Chad Gilbert in Franklin, Tennessee

Divorces in Music

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

1974 American singer and actress Cher (27) files for separation from husband singer-songwriter Sonny Bono (38)

Goddess of Pop  Cher
Goddess of Pop

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

2007 Baywatch actress Carmen Electra (34) divorces rocker Dave Navarro (39) due to irreconcilable differences after less than three years of marriage

Deaths in Music

  • 1626 John Dowland, composer, dies
  • 1628 Gregor Aichinger, German composer/organist, dies at about 63
  • 1731 Frederich Karl Erbach, composer, dies at 50
  • 1786 Johann Wolfgang Kleinknecht, German composer, dies at 70
  • 1809 Johann Joseph Emmert, German composer, dies at 76
  • 1810 Johann Friedrich Kranz, composer, dies at 57
  • 1817 Martin de Ron, composer, dies at 27
  • 1845 Pavel Ivanovich Dulgorukov, composer, dies at 57
  • 1851 Josef Alois Ladurner, composer, dies at 81
  • 1904 Gustav Adolf Heinze, Dutch composer, dies at 83
  • 1911 Alexander Alexandrovich Kopilov, composer, dies at 56
  • 1911 Peter Nicolai von Wilm, composer, dies at 76
  • 1941 La Bolduc, French Canadian singer and songwriter (b. 1894)
  • 1942 Guido Gasperini, Italian composer, dies at 76
  • 1946 Hugh Allen, musician, dies
  • 1951 Howard Brockway, American composer, dies at 80
  • 1959 Ray McDonald, dancer, dies of barbiturate overdose at 38
  • 1961 Percy Grainger, Australian-American concert pianist and composer (Hill Songs; Country Gardens), dies at 78
  • 1963 Ferenc Fricsay, Hungarian-Austrian conductor, dies at 48
  • 1963 Jacob Gade, Danish violinist and composer (Jalousie ; Cinema Music), dies at 83
  • 1969 Ernest Ansermet, Swiss (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, 1918-67). and composer (Feuilles de Printemps), dies at 85
  • 1970 Albert Louis Wolff, composer, dies at 86
  • 1971 Alexander Tsfasman, Soviet Russian jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, dies at 64
  • 1972 Herbert Menges, English composer, dies at 69
  • 1974 David Monrad Johansen, Norwegian composer, dies at 85
  • 1975 Edgar "Cookie" Fairchild, American bandleader (Jerry Colonna Show), dies at 76
  • 1984 Fikret Amirov, Azerbaijani-Soviet composer (Azerbaijan Capriccio, Shur), dies at 61
  • 1986 Francisco Mignone, Brazilian composer, dies at 88
  • 1987 Ivan Brkanović, Croatian composer (Triptych - Funeral Folk Rite), dies at 80
  • 1987 Adrian Cruft, British composer, dies at 66
  • 1992 Andrew Schenck, American conductor, dies of melanoma at 51
  • 1996 Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese classical music and film score composer (November Steps; Ran), dies of pneumonia while being treated for bladder cancer at 65
  • 1997 Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist, dies at 36
  • 1999 Howard Boatwright, American composer and violinist, dies at 80
  • 2003 Ty Longley, American guitarist (Great White) (b. 1971)
  • 2004 J. J. Malone, American soul singer (It's a shame), dies at 68
  • 2005 John Raitt, American actor and singer (Chevy Show, Pajama Game), dies rom complications due of pneumonia at 88
  • 2005 Pam Bricker, American jazz singer and Thievery Corporation vocalist (b. 1954)
  • 2019 Dominick Argento, American composer (Colonel Jonathan the Saint), dies at 91