On This Day

On This Day in Music for January 21

Events in Music

  • 1904 Leos Janacek's opera "Jenufa" premieres in Brno
  • 1927 1st national opera broadcast from a US opera house (Faust, Chicago)
  • 1946 "Nellie Bly" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 16 performances
  • 1947 "Sweethearts" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 288 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1947 Arthur Honegger's 4th Symphony premieres in Basel

Composer Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger
  • 1950 "Lend an Ear" closes at National Theater NYC after 460 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956 "Comedy in Music (Victor Borge)" closes at Golden NYC after 849 performances

Comedian and Pianist Victor Borge
Comedian and Pianist
Victor Borge
  • 1961 Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" premieres in Boston (Boston Symphony and Chorus Pro Musica under conductor Charles Münch)
  • 1961 "Conquering Hero" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 8 performances

#1 in the ChartsSaturday Night Fever Goes #1

1978 Bee Gees' album "Saturday Night Fever" goes #1 for 24 weeks

Learn More
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
Learn More
  • 1981 "Shakespeare's Cabaret" opens at Bijou Theater New York City for 54 performances
  • 1982 "Little Me" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 36 performances
  • 1983 First supertitles for a live opera performance: "Elektra" at Canadian Opera Company, English titles by Sonya Friedman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 B.B. King donates his 7,000 record collection to the University of Mississippi

Blues Musician B.B. King
Blues Musician
B.B. King
  • 1987 B.B. King is inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"

Hall of fameHall of Fame

1987 Muddy Waters is inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"

Blues Musician Muddy Waters
Blues Musician
Muddy Waters
  • 1993 Nigerian singer Fela Kuti arrested on suspicion of murder

Birthdays in Music

  • 1735 Johann Gottfried Eckard, composer
  • 1751 Josephus Andreas Fodor, Dutch Classical era violinist and composer, born in Venlo, Netherlands (d. 1828)
  • 1762 Giuseppe Antonio Silvani, composer
  • 1775 Manuel Garcia, composer
  • 1801 Ramon Vilanova y Barrera, composer
  • 1814 Thomas Attwood Walmisley, English organist, composer and educator (Cathedral Music), born in London (d. 1856)
  • 1823 Alexandre Edouard Goria, composer
  • 1848 Henri Duparc, French composer
  • 1859 Antoni Wincenty Rutkowski, Polish composer and pianist, born in Warsaw (d. 1886)
  • 1887 Alfred Henry Ackley, American composer, born in Spring Hill, Pennsylvania (d. 1960)
  • 1891 Nikolay Semyonovich Golovanov, composer
  • 1891 Timothy Mather Spelman, American composer, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1970)
  • 1898 Avery Claflin, composer
  • 1899 Alexander Tcherepnin, Russian pianist and composer, born in St Petersburg, Russia (d. 1977)
  • 1904 Robert "Juice" Wilson, American jazz violinist, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1972)
  • 1909 Todor Skalovski, Macedonian choral director and composer (Baltepe), born in Tetovo, Ottoman Empire (d. 2004)
  • 1910 Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (d. 1981)
  • 1916 [JW] Al James Woodie exander, songwriter/vocalist
  • 1918 Antonio Janigro, Italian cellist (Zagreb Soloists), born in Milan, Italy
  • 1920 Torsten Nilsson, Swedish organist, choral director, and composer (Out of the Night of the Earth), born in Höör, Sweden (d. 1999)
  • 1921 Todor Popov, Bulgarian composer, born in Dryanovo (d. 2000)
  • 1922 Aristotelis "Telly" Savalas, American singer (If?) and character actor (Kojak, On Her Majesty's Secret Service), born in Garden City New Jersey, (d. 1994)
  • 1923 Lola Flores, Spanish singer, dancer and actress (Kuma Ching, Faraona), born in Cadiz, Spain (d. 1995)
  • 1926 Franco Evangelisti, Italian composer
  • 1926 Brian Brockless, English organist and composer, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1937 George Flynn, American pianist, composer (Trinity), and teacher (Columbia; DePaul), born in Miles City, Montana
  • 1937 (Fird) "Snooks" Eaglin, American blues and R&B guitarist and singer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2009)

Person of interestPlácido Domingo

1941 Plácido Domingo, Spanish opera and Latin tenor, conductor and artistic director (Verdi's "Otello"), born in Madrid, Spain

Opera Singer and Conductor Plácido Domingo
Opera Singer and Conductor
Plácido Domingo
  • 1941 Richie Havens, American singer-songwriter, and guitarist who opened the Woodstock Festival ("Freedom"; "Here Comes the Sun"), born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York (d. 2013)
  • 1942 (Charles) Edwin Starr [Hatcher], American soul and R&B singer (War), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2003)
  • 1942 Mac Davis, American country music singer-songwriter (Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me) and actor (North Dallas Forty), born in Lubbock, Texas (d, 2020) [1]
  • 1942 Martin Sharp, Australian cartoonist, album cover artist songwriter (Cream), and filmmaker, born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2013)
  • 1944 (Frank) Neely Bruce, American composer (Circular 14: The Apotheosis of Aristides), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1945 Chris Britton, British rock guitarist (Troggs - "Wild Thing"; "Love Is All Around"), born in Watford, England
  • 1947 Jimmy Ibbotson, American country and folk-rock singer (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1947 Pye [Julian] Hastings, British singer and musician (Caravan - In The Land of Grey and Pink), born in Tomnavoulin, Banffshire, Scotland
  • 1947 Michel Jonasz, French pop and jazz singer-songwriter, and composer, born in Drancy, France
  • 1950 Billy Ocean [Leslie Charles], Trinidadian-British pop and R&B singer ("Caribbean Queen"; "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car"), born in Fyzabad, Trinidad and Tobago
  • 1950 Richie Ranno, American rock guitarist (Starz), born in The Bronx, New York City
  • 1956 Bob Brill, American drummer (Berlin - "You Take My Breath Away"), born in NYC, New York
  • 1965 Cordell Crockett, American rock bassist (Ugly Kid Joe - America's Least Wanted), born in Alameda, California
  • 1970 Mark Trojanowski, American musician (Sister Hazel)
  • 1972 Yasunori Mitsuda, Japanese composer
  • 1972 Cat Power (Chan Marshall), American musician

Person of interestEmma Bunton

1976 Emma Bunton [Baby Spice], English singer (Spice Girls), born in London

Pop Star Emma Bunton
Pop Star
Emma Bunton
  • 1977 Rick Ross, American rapper
  • 1978 Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin, American Singer
  • 1980 Nana Mizuki, Japanese voice actress and singer
  • 1981 Gillian Chung Yan-tung, Hong Kong singer (Twins)
  • 1981 Andy Lee, Korean singer (Shinhwa)
  • 1986 "Coffin" Joe [Spurgeon], British rock drummer (The Horrors), born in Clare, England
  • 1988 William C. Woxlin, Swedish ambient and electronic music composer, born in Borlänge, Sweden

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1966 Beatle George Harrison marries model Patti Boyd

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison

Deaths in Music

  • 1626 John Dowland, English composer (In Darkness We Dwell), dies at 62
  • 1638 Ignazio Donati, Italian composer (c. 1570)
  • 1665 Domenico Mazzocchi, Italian Baroque composer, dies at 72
  • 1746 Gottfried Kirchhoff, German composer, dies at 60
  • 1851 (Gustav) Albert Lortzing, German Spieloper composer and actor (Zar und Zimmerman), dies at 49
  • 1882 Anton Emil Titl, Austrian composer, dies at 72
  • 1883 Jacopo Tomadini, Italian composer, dies at 62
  • 1884 Auguste Franchomme, French cellist and composer, dies at 75
  • 1888 Stephan Hale Alonzo Marsh, composer, dies at 83
  • 1891 Calixa Lavallee, Canadian composer (O Canada), dies at 48
  • 1894 Guillaume Lekeu, Belgian composer (Épithalame), dies of typhoid fever at 24
  • 1931 Felix Blumenfeld, Russian composer, conductor and pianist, dies at 67
  • 1942 Henryk Opieński, Polish violinist, conductor, choral director, composer (Zygmunt August and Barbara), and musicologist (Moniuszko), dies at 72
  • 1943 Otakar Sini, composer, dies at 61
  • 1948 Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian light opera composer, dies at 72
  • 1959 Lamar Stringfield, American composer, dies at 61
  • 1961 John Joseph Becker, composer, dies a day before 75th birthday
  • 1975 Ernst Gernot Klussmann, German composer, dies at 73
  • 1977 John Vincent, American composer, dies at 74
  • 1977 Zoltan Vasarhelyi, composer, dies at 76
  • 1983 Lamar Williams, American musician (The Allman Brothers Band), dies of cancer at 34
  • 1984 Jackie Wilson, American soul singer-songwriter and performer ("Lonely Teardrops"; "Higher And Higher": "I Get the Sweetest Feeling"), dies at 49
  • 1989 Billy [Dorothy] Tipton, American jazz pianist/saxophonist/bandleader, dies at 74
  • 1992 Champion Jack [William Thomas] Dupree, American boxer and pianist, dies at 81
  • 1993 Jan Zimmer, Slovak composer, dies at 66
  • 1999 Leslie French, British actor and singer (Death in Venice, More than a Miracle), dies at 94
  • 1999 Charles Brown, American blues singer and pianist (Merry Christmas Baby), dies at 76
  • 1999 Jacques Chailley, French musicologist and composer, dies at 88
  • 2002 Peggy Lee [Norma Delores Egstrom], American singer ("Fever"; "Is That All There Is?"), songwriter ("Mañana"), and actress (Pete Kelly's Blues; Lady and the Tramp), dies of a heart attack at 81
  • 2010 Paul Quarrington, Canadian novelist, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, musician and educator (b. 1953)
  • 2013 Michael Adamis, Greek electro-acoustic music composer, dies at 83
  • 2015 Waldemar Kmentt, Austrian operatic tenor (Vienna State Opera, 1951-2005), dies at 85
  • 2017 Maggie Roche, Irish-American singer-songwriter (Roches), dies of cancer at 65
  • 2017 Veljo Tormis, Estonian composer, specializing in choral music (Curse Upon Iron (Raua needmine)), dies at 86
  • 2019 Maxine Brown, American country music singer (Browns), dies at 87