On This Day

On This Day in Music for January 4

Events in Music

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1881 Johannes Brahms' "Academic Festival Overture" premieres in Breslau

Composer and Conductor Johannes Brahms
Composer and Conductor
Johannes Brahms
  • 1923 1st broadcast of "Barn Dance Show" (WBAP - Fort Worth Texas)
  • 1936 Billboard magazine publishes its 1st music hit parade
  • 1947 "Park Avenue" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 72 performances
  • 1947 "Show Boat" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 417 performances

Music releaseMusic Recording

1954 Elvis Presley records his 1st demo for Sun Records at a recording studio in Memphis, "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You" and "I'll Never Stand In Your Way"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • 1968 Leo Fender sells Fender Guitars for $13 million to CBS
  • 1969 "Fig Leaves Are Falling" closes at Broadhurst NYC after 4 performances
  • 1970 Beatles last recording session at EMI studios
  • 1975 "Good News" closes at St James Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • 1975 "Gypsy" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 120 performances
  • 1975 "Over Here" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 341 performances
  • 1976 "Candide" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 740 performances
  • 1981 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Sandy Duncan, closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 578 performances
  • 1996 "Father" opens at Criterion Theater NYC for 52 performances
  • 1998 "Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" closes at St James NYC after 715 perform
  • 1998 "Ivanov" closes at Vivian Beaumont Theater NYC after 51 performances
  • 1998 "Triumph of Love" closes at Royale Theater NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2001 Rapper Vanilla Ice spends night in jail after allegedly ripping out some of his wife's hair during a row

Rapper Vanilla Ice
Vanilla Ice

Birthdays in Music

  • 1604 Jacob Balde, German jesuit/barok conductor (Jephthe)
  • 1710 Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Italian composer (Il Prigioniero Superbo), born in Iesi, The Papel States (d. 1736)
  • 1717 Antonio Maria Mazzoni, composer
  • 1720 Johann Friedrich Agricola, German (court) composer and organist, born in Dobitschen, Thuringia (d. 1774)
  • 1759 Maria Rosa Coccia, composer
  • 1773 Johann Peter Heuschkel, composer
  • 1805 Stephan Hale Alonzo Marsh, composer
  • 1807 Baltasar Saldoni, composer
  • 1844 Thomas H Rollinson, composer
  • 1870 Percy Pitt, English composer (BBC), born in London (d. 1932)
  • 1874 Josef Suk, Czech violinist (Bohemian String Quartet, 1891-1933), composer (Asrael), and educator, born in Křečovice, Bohema (d. 1935)
  • 1893 Manuel Palau Boix, composer
  • 1894 Wesley La Violette, composer
  • 1898 Roger Vuataz, composer
  • 1904 Erik Chisholm, Scottish conductor, composer (Hindustani Piano Concerto), and educator (South African College of Music, 1949-65), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1965)
  • 1905 Sydney Lipton, British dance band leader, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1916 Lionel Newman, American film music composer (Peyton Place), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1989)
  • 1916 Slim Gaillard [Bulee], Edinburgh, Scotland, American Jazz singer/songwriter (d. 1991)
  • 1922 Frank Wess, flutist/saxophonist/composer, (d. 2013)
  • 1923 Flavio Testi, Italian composer and musicologist, born in Florence, Italy (d. 2014)

Person of interestGrace Bumbry

1937 Grace Bumbry, mezzo-soprano (Venus in Tannhäuser), born in St. Louis, Missouri

Opera Singer Grace Bumbry
Opera Singer
Grace Bumbry
  • 1939 Jon Appleton, composer
  • 1941 John Bennett Perry, singer/actor (Falcon Crest), born in Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • 1942 John McLaughlin, British jazz-rock fusion guitarist (Mahavishnu Orchestra), born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
  • 1944 Volker Hornback, German saxophone player and violinist (Tangerine Dream, 1967-69)
  • 1945 JayDee Maness, American pedal steel guitar player (Desert Rose Band - "Love Reunited"), born in Loma Linda, California
  • 1946 Arthur Conley, American soul singer ("Sweet Soul Music"), born in McIntosh County, Georgia (d. 2003)
  • 1946 Susannah McCorkle, American jazz singer, born in Berkeley, California (d. 2001)
  • 1947 Chris Cutler, English musician and composer (Henry Cow, Art Bears)
  • 1947 John King, American rock drummer (Steve Miller Band, 1972-74), born in Kingsport, Tennessee (d. 2010)
  • 1951 Pete Haycock, British blues-rock guitarist, vocalist, and composer (Climax Blues Band - "Couldn't Get It Right"), born in Stafford, England (d. 2013)
  • 1954 Eugene Chadbourne, American composer and musician
  • 1955 Kathy Forester, American country singer (Forester Sisters - "Mama's Never Seen Those Eyes"), born in Lookout Mountain, Georgia
  • 1955 Mark Hollis, British synth-pop musician (Talk Talk), born in London, England (d. 2019)
  • 1956 Bernard Sumner [Albrecht], English rock guitarist, vocalist (Joy Division and New Order), born in Salford, England
  • 1956 Nels Cline, American guitarist and composer
  • 1957 Patty Loveless [Ramey], singer (Blue Side of Town), born in Pikeville, Kentucky
  • 1959 Vanity [Denise Matthews] Canadian-American pop and R&B singer, Prince protégé , and actress (52 Pick Up), born in Niagara Falls, Ontario (d. 2016)
  • 1960 Michael Stipe, American rock vocalist and songwriter (R.E.M. - "Losing My Religion"; "Stand"; "Everybody Hurts"), born in Decatur, Georgia
  • 1962 Martin McAloon, rocker (Prefab Sprout-2 Wheels Good)
  • 1962 Patrick Cassidy, American actor and composer (Fever Pitch, Off the Wall), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1962 Peter Steele [Petrus Ratajczyk], American heavy metal singer-songwriter, and bassist (Type O Negative), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2010)
  • 1963 Till Lindemann, German heavy metal singer (Rammstein), born in Leipzig, East Germany
  • 1965 Craig Revel Horwood, Australian-English dancer and judge (Strictly Come Dancing), born in Ballarat, Australia
  • 1965 David Glasper, Welsh rock singer (Breathe - "Hands To Heaven"), born in Cardigan, Wales
  • 1965 Beth Gibbons, English singer (Portishead), born in Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 1965 Cait O'Riordan, British musician (The Pogues), born in Lagos, Nigeria
  • 1966 Deana Carter, American country singer, born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1974 Ian Moor, English singer, born in North Ferriby, United Kingdom
  • 1977 Tim Wheeler, Irish pop-rock singer-songwriter (Ash - "Shining Light"), born in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
  • 1978 Mai Meneses, Spanish pop singer-songwriter (Nena Daconte), born in Madrid, Spain
  • 1978 Patrick Farrell, American jazz and klezmer accordionist, born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1979 Jeph Howard, American rock bass player (The Used), born in Orem, Utah
  • 1989 Waxahatchee [Katie Crutchfield], American folk-rock singer-songwriter born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1995 María Isabel, Spanish pop singer ("Antes muerta que sencilla" - "I'd rather be dead than understated"), born in Ayamonte, Huelva, Spain.

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1926 Composer Irving Berlin (37) weds heiress Ellin Mackay in a simple civil ceremony

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • 1997 "Smothers Brothers" actor-singer Dick Smothers (58) weds Denby Franklin (47) in Las Vegas
  • 2012 Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry (66) weds PR executive Amanda Sheppard (29) in Turks and Caicos Island
  • 2014 Actress and singer Alexa Vega (25) weds Big Time Rush singer Carlos Pena Jr (24) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Divorces in Music

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

2004 Britney Spears has her surprise marriage annulled less than 55 hours after tying the knot with childhood friend Jason Alexander at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas

Pop Star Britney Spears
Pop Star
Britney Spears

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

2008 Australian pop diva Natalie Imbruglia (32) and "Silverchair" frontman Daniel Johns (28) announce their divorce stating "we have simply grown apart through not being able to spend enough time together"

Musician Daniel Johns
Daniel Johns

Deaths in Music

  • 1765 Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder, Swiss composer, dies at 39
  • 1809 Bartolomeo Giacometti, composer, dies at 67
  • 1864 Mateo Ferrer, composer, dies at 75
  • 1883 Nicolás Ledesma, Spanish organist and composer, dies at 91
  • 1885 Iosif Kotek, Russian composer and violinist, dies at 29
  • 1898 Frantisek Pivoda, composer, dies at 73
  • 1924 Alfred Grünfeld, Austrian pianist, composer (b. 1852)
  • 1942 Leon Jessel, German composer (The Parade of the Tin Soldiers), dies at 70
  • 1955 Dominicus Johner, composer, dies at 80
  • 1955 Francois Rasse, Belgian composer, dies at 81
  • 1956 Alexandr Tikhonovich Grechaninov, composer, dies at 91
  • 1969 Paul Chambers, American jazz bassist (Miles Davis Quintet, 1955-63; Wynton Kelly Trio, 1963-68), dies of tuberculosis at 33
  • 1969 Montague Fawcett Phillips, British composer, dies at 83
  • 1972 Carl-Olof Anderberg, Swedish composer, dies at 57
  • 1974 Karel Janeček, Czech composer, dies at 70
  • 1981 Ruth Lowe, Canadian pianist and composer (I'll Never Smile Again), dies at 66
  • 1985 Lovro von Matačić, Croatian conductor and composer (Bruckner Medal), dies at 86
  • 1986 Phil Lynott, Irish rock musician (Thin Lizzy), dies of an overdose at 36 [1]
  • 1988 Lily Laskine, French harpist, dies at 94
  • 1991 Leo Wright, American jazz saxophone and flute player (Dizzy Gillespie;; Blues Shout; I Left My Heart In San Francisco), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • 1994 R. D. Burman, Indian film score composer (1942: A Love Story), dies at 54
  • 1995 Eduardo Mata, Mexican conductor (Improvisaciones), dies in air crash at 52
  • 1995 Leonard Hirsch, British violinist and conductor (BBC Empire Orchestra), dies at 92
  • 1996 Ramon Vinay, Chilean operatic tenor, dies at 83
  • 1998 John Gary [Strader], American singer (Cold), dies of cancer at 65
  • 2001 Les Brown, American big band leader (His Band of Renown - "Sentimental Journey"), dies at 88
  • 2003 Yfrah Neaman, Lebanese-born violinist (b. 1923)
  • 2004 Jake Hess, American singer (b. 1927)
  • 2008 Mort Garson, Canadian-American composer ("Our Day Will Come") and Moog synthesizer pioneer, dies of renal failure at 83
  • 2010 Sandro, Argentine songwriter (b. 1945)
  • 2011 Mick Karn, Cypriot-born British musician (Japan) (b. 1958)
  • 2011 Gerry Rafferty, Scottish guitarist and vocalist (Baker Street), dies at 63
  • 2013 Sammy Johns, American country artist, dies at 66
  • 2016 Robert Stigwood, Australian-born British-resident music entrepreneur and film producer (Saturday Night Fever, Grease), dies at 81
  • 2017 Georges Prêtre, French classical and opera conductor known for interpretation of Poulenc, dies at 92
  • 2017 Vlastimir Trajković, Serbian avant-garde composer, and educator, dies at 79
  • 2018 Ray Thomas, English rock vocalist and flautist (Moody Blues-Legend Of A Mind), dies at 76