On This Day

On This Day in Music for March 20

Events in Music

  • 1885 Yiddish theater opens in NY with Goldfaden operetta
  • 1888 The premiere of the very first Romani language operetta staged in Moscow, Russia.
  • 1948 1st live televised musical Eugene Ormandy on CBS followed in 90
  • 1954 "King & I" closes at St James Theater NYC after 1246 performances
  • 1965 10th Eurovision Song Contest: France Gall of Luxembourg wins singing "Poupee de cire, poupee de son" written by Serge Gainsbourg in Naples

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 The Supremes release "The Happening"

Singer and Actress Diana Ross
Singer and Actress
Diana Ross
  • 1982 Joan Jett & Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" goes #1 for 7 weeks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Singer Gloria Estefan fractures her spine when a truck hits her tour bus near Scranton, Pennsylvania

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1991 Michael Jackson signs $65M 6 album deal with Sony records

King of Pop Michael Jackson
King of Pop
Michael Jackson
  • 1994 "Cyrano - The Musical" closes at Neil Simon NYC after 137 performances
  • 1994 "Flowering Peach" opens at Lyceum Theater NYC for 41 performances
  • 1994 "No Man's Land" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 61 performances

Music releaseMusic Single

1995 Beatles song, "Baby It's You", with late John Lennon as lead singer, released, 1st Fab Four single in nearly 10 years

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • 1996 "Love Thy Neighbor" opens at Booth Theater NYC
  • 1997 "Play On!" opens at Brooks Atkinson Theater NYC for 61 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

2002 16th Soul Train Music Awards: The O'Jays, Dr. Dre & Alicia Keys wins

Singer-Songwriter Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
Rapper and Record Producer Dr. Dre
Rapper and Record Producer
Dr. Dre

Music awardsMusic Awards

2004 18th Soul Train Music Awards: R. Kelly, Janet Jackson, Outkast & Beyoncé win

R&B Singer R. Kelly
R&B Singer
R. Kelly
Singer Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson
Singer Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Knowles

Birthdays in Music

  • 1680 Baron Emanuele d' Astorga, Italian composer (Stabat mater)
  • 1739 Eligio Celestino, composer
  • 1774 John Braham, English tenor singer and composer, born in London (d. 1856)
  • 1813 Matthias Keller, German hymn writer (O Farther un High), born in Ulm, Württemberg (d. 1875)
  • 1829 Charles Albert White, composer
  • 1833 Henry Southwick Perkins, composer
  • 1863 Ernesto Nazareth, composer
  • 1872 Bernhard Seklas, composer
  • 1873 Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian-American piano virtuoso, conductor, and composer (Aleko; Piano Concerto No. 3), born in Oneg or Semyonovo, Russian Empire (d. 1943) [NS=Apr 1]
  • 1883 Karl Hasse, German composer, born in Dohna (d. 1960)
  • 1890 Lauritz Melchior, Danish-American baritone tenor (National Symphony), born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 1973)
  • 1915 Sviatoslav Richter, Soviet pianist considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, born in Zhytomyr, Russian Empire (d. 1997)
  • 1915 Sister Rosetta Tharpe [Nubin], American gospel and R&B singer, songwriter, and electric guitarist ("This Train"; "Down By The Riverside"), born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, (d. 1973)
  • 1917 Vera Lynn 'the Forces Sweetheart', English singer ("We'll Meet Again"; "The White Cliffs of Dover"), born in East Ham, London (d. 2020)
  • 1918 Bernd-Alois Zimmermann, German composer (The Soldiers; Requiem), born in Bliesheim, Germany (d. 1970)
  • 1918 Marian McPartland, British jazz pianist and radio broadcaster (Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz), born in Slough, United Kingdom (d. 2013)
  • 1921 Primoz Ramovs, composer
  • 1922 Larry Elgart, American big band jazz alto saxophonist, and bandleader ("Bandstand Boogie"; "Hooked On Swing"), born in New London, Connecticut (d. 2017)
  • 1927 John Joubert, British South African composer (The Raising of Lazarus; An English Requiem), and educator, born in Cape Town, Union of South Africa (d. 2019)
  • 1930 Michel Magne, composer
  • 1931 Antonio Tauriello, composer
  • 1931 Hal Linden [Harold Lipshitz], American actor (Barney Miller, Blacke's Magic), director, and musician, born in The Bronx, New York City
  • 1932 Tod Dockstader, composer
  • 1933 Jacquez Guyonnet, Swiss composer, born in Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1935 Sam Lay, American drummer and vocalist (Original Thunderbirds, Howlin' Wolf Tribute), born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1936 (Rainford) Lee "Scratch" Perry, Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter and producer (The Upsetters), born in Kendal, Jamaica

Person of interestVaughn Meader

1936 Vaughn Meader, American comedian and musician, born in Waterville, Maine (d. 2004)

Comedian and Musician Vaughn Meader
Comedian and Musician
Vaughn Meader
  • 1936 Harold Mabern Jr., American post-bop jazz pianist and composer, born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 2019)
  • 1937 Jerry Reed, American country music singer (When You're Hot, You're Hot) and actor (Bat 21, Smokey & the Bandit), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2008)
  • 1937 Joe Rivers, rocker (Johnnie & Joe)
  • 1940 Vito Picone, rocker (Elegants) and actor, born in Staten Island, New York
  • 1940 Glenn Schwartz, American rock guitarist (Pacific Gas & Electric -"Are You Ready?"), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2018)
  • 1946 Ranger Doug [Douglas Green], Ill, singer (Riders in Sky-Cowboy Way)
  • 1947 Carl Palmer, drummer (Asia-Heat of the Moment, Emerson Lake & Palmer)
  • 1949 Marcia Ball, American blues singer and pianist (Presumed Innocent), born in Orange, Texas
  • 1951 Guy Perry [Adrian Peritore], American rock guitarist (Motels, 1982-87 - "Only the Lonely"; "Suddenly Last Summer"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1951 Jimmie Vaughan, American blues-rock guitarist (Fabulous Thunderbirds - "Wrap It Up"), born in Dallas, Texas
  • 1954 Jim Seales, American country singer (Shenandoah - "Sunday in the South"), born in Hamilton, Alabama
  • 1956 Alphonso Martin, British reggae percussionist and vocalist (Steel Pulse, 1977-91 - "Prodigal Son"), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1959 Richard Drummie, British rock guitarist, songwriter, and producer (Go West - "Call Me"; "Don't Look Down"), born in London, England
  • 1963 Paul Mirkovich, rock keyboardist (Nelson-Love & Affection)
  • 1964 Natacha Atlas, Belgian singer
  • 1966 Alka Yagnik, Indian singer
  • 1968 Ultra Naté, American musician (If You Could Read My Mind), born in Havre de Grace, Maryland
  • 1972 Alexander Kapranos, Greek-British musician (Franz Ferdinand)
  • 1976 Chester Bennington, American singer and songwriter (Linkin Park), born in Phoenix, Arizona (d. 2017)
  • 1979 Molly Jenson, American musician
  • 1980 Ock Ju-Hyun, South Korean singer
  • 1982 Nick Wheeler, American guitarist (The All-American Rejects)
  • 1984 Winta, Norwegian musician
  • 1986 Dean Geyer, Australian singer/actor

Weddings in Music

  • 1848 King Louis I of Bayern abdicates to marry dancer Lola Montez

LoveWedding of Interest

1969 Beatle John Lennon marries Yoko Ono in Gibraltar

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
Artist & Musician Yoko Ono
Artist & Musician
Yoko Ono

LoveWedding of Interest

1970 Singer David Bowie (23) weds model Angie Barnett, (20) at Bromley Register Office in Beckenham Lane, London; (divorce in 1980)

Singer-Songwriter David Bowie
David Bowie

LoveWedding of Interest

1976 Rocker Alice Cooper (28) weds choreographer Sheryl Goddard in Acapulco, Mexico

Rocker Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper

Deaths in Music

  • 1757 Johann Paul Kunzen, composer, dies at 60
  • 1804 Ignaz Malzat, composer, dies at 47
  • 1812 Jan Ladislav Dussek, Bohemian pianist/composer, dies at 52
  • 1866 Rikard Nordraak, Norwegian composer, dies at 23
  • 1871 Antonio Buzzolla, composer, dies at 56
  • 1873 Adolphe Fétis, Belgian-French pianist and composer, dies at 52
  • 1874 Hans Christian Lumbye, Danish composer, dies at 63
  • 1892 Arthur Goring Thomas, English composer, dies at 41
  • 1911 Jean-Theodore Radoux, Belgian composer, dies at 75
  • 1913 Christian Barnekow, Danish composer, dies at 75
  • 1942 Theodoro Valcarcel, composer, dies at 41
  • 1942 Vasily Kalafati, Russian composer (Cygany), dies in the siege of Leningrad during World War II at 73
  • 1944 Felix Woyrsch, German composer, dies at 83
  • 1951 Kathleen Lockhart Manning, American composer, dies at 60
  • 1964 Jean Rogister, Belgian virtuoso violist and composer, dies at 84
  • 1970 Manolis Chiotis, Greek bouzouki virtuoso and songwriter (b. 1920)
  • 1987 Norman Harris, guitarist (O'Jays), dies at 39 of heart failure
  • 1988 Gil Evans, Canadian-American jazz pianist, composer and arranger (Miles Davis; Absolute Beginners, Out of the Cool), dies at 75
  • 1989 Archie Bleyer, American orchestra leader (Arthur Godfrey), dies at 79
  • 1992 Frank Westbrook, dancer/choreographer, dies at 82
  • 1992 Georges Delerue, French film composer (Sword of Gideon, A Little Romance), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • 1996 Alan Ridout, English composer, dies at 61
  • 1998 George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician
  • 2000 Gene Eugene, Canadian actor and singer (b. 1961)
  • 2000 Vivian Fine, American composer (Women in the Garden), dies after a car accident at 86
  • 2008 Klaus Dinger, German Musician (Neu!, Kraftwerk), dies of heart failure at 61
  • 2009 Mel Brown, American/Canadian Blues Guitarist (b. 1939)
  • 2011 Johnny Pearson, British Composer (b. 1925)
  • 2015 A.J. Pero, American drummer (Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It"), dies of a heart attack at 55
  • 2016 Peter Williams, British organist and musicologist, dies at 78
  • 2018 Ariel Bybee, American mezzo-soprano (Morman Tabernacle Choir; Metropolitan Opera, 1977-95), dies at 75

Person of interestKenny Rogers

2020 Kenny Rogers, American singer-songwriter (The Gambler, Through the Years) and entrepreneur (Kenny Rogers Roasters), dies of natural causes at 81

Country Singer Kenny Rogers
Country Singer
Kenny Rogers