On This Day

On This Day in Music for March 23

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" premieres in London

  • 1881 Gas lamp sets fire to opera house in Nice, France; 70 die
  • 1896 Umberto Giordano's opera "Andrea Chénier" premieres in Milan
  • 1923 Frank Silver & Irving Conn release "Yes, We Have No Bananas"
  • 1933 Kroll Opera in Berlin opens
  • 1950 "Great to Be Alive" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 52 performances
  • 1963 8th Eurovision Song Contest: Grethe and Jorgen Ingmann for Denmark win singing "Dansevise" in London

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1964 "In His Own Write", a book of short stories, poems and drawings by John Lennon is published

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • 1970 "Hello Darlin'" single released by Conway Twitty (Billboard Song of the Year, 1970)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 Yoko Ono is granted permanent residence in USA

Artist & Musician Yoko Ono
Artist & Musician
Yoko Ono

Music concertMusic Concert

1977 Elvis Presley begins his final concert tour

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • 1979 Wings release "Goodnight Tonight"
  • 1985 Julian Lennon's 1st concert (San Antonio Texas)
  • 1995 "How To Succeed in Business..." opens at R Rodgers NYC for 548 performances
  • 1997 "Mandy Patinkin in Concert" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC

Music releaseMusic Single

1999 "Livin' la Vida Loca" sung by Ricky Martin released - goes on to sell over 8 million copies

Singer/Actor Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin

Music releaseAlbum Release

2004 Usher releases his 4th studio album “Confessions” (2004 Billboard Album of the Year, Grammy Award Best Contemporary R&B Album 2005)

Singer Usher

Birthdays in Music

  • 1599 Thomas Selle, German baroque composer, born in Zörbig (d. 1663)
  • 1749 Hugo Franz Karl Alexander von Kerpen, German composer (d. 1802)
  • 1750 Johannes Matthias Sperger, Austrian double bassist and composer, born in Feldsberg, Lower Austria (now Valtice, Czech Republic) (d. 1812)
  • 1795 Leopold Jansa, Bohemian violinist, composer, and teacher, born in Wildenschwert, Austria-Hungary (now Ústí nad Orlicí, Czech Republic) (d. 1875)
  • 1811 (Carl Gottfried) Wilhelm Taubert, German pianist, conductor, and composer, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1891)
  • 1826 [Aloysius] Ludwig Minkus, Austrian violinist, and ballet composer (La Bayadère), born in Vienna, Austrian Empire (d. 1917)
  • 1834 Julius Reubke, German organist, pianist, and composer (Sonata on the 94th Psalm in c), born in Hausneindorf, Germany (d. 1858)
  • 1844 Eugène Gigout, French organist (St Augustin de Paris, 1863-1925), and composer (10 pièces pour orgue), born in Nancy, France (d. 1925)
  • 1864 Hjalmar Borgstrom, composer
  • 1864 Louis Glass, Danish pianist and composer, born in Copenhagen (d. 1936)
  • 1878 Franz Schreker [Schrecker], Austrian conductor, composer (Die Gezeichneten; Der ferne Klang), teacher, and administrator born in Monaco (d. 1934)
  • 1881 Egon Petri, Dutch classical pianist, born in Hanover, Germany (d. 1962)
  • 1884 Glauco Velasquez, composer
  • 1887 Anthony van Hoboken, Dutch musicologist (Haydn-catalog)
  • 1891 Catherine Murphy Urner, composer
  • 1895 Dane Rudhyar, composer
  • 1899 Dora Gerson, German-Jewish actress, cabaret singer, and Holocaust victim (Caravan of Death), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1943)
  • 1900 Jose Antonio Calcano, composer
  • 1905 Lale Andersen [Elisabeth Bunnenberg], German singer and actress (Der Pott), born in Bremerhaven, Germany (d. 1972)
  • 1906 George Posford, composer
  • 1914 Robert Gross, composer
  • 1917 Johnny Guarnieri, American stride and jazz stride pianist, and harpsichordist (The Gramercy Five; The Morey Amsterdam Show), born in New York City (d. 1985) (d. 1985)
  • 1918 Granville "Sticks" McGhee, American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee"), born in Knoxville, Tennesee ( d. 1961)
  • 1920 Alexander Grigori Harut'unyan, composer
  • 1920 Geoffrey Bush, British organist, pianist, composer, and educator, born in London (d. 1998)
  • 1926 Martha Wright, American actress and singer (South Pacific; The Martha Wright Show), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2016)
  • 1927 Osvaldo Lacerda, composer
  • 1929 Gerrit den Braber, Dutch songwriter and lyricist (Ring-dinge-ding; I See a Star), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1997)
  • 1932 Louisiana Red [Iverson Minter], American blues guitarist, and singer-songwriter ("Sweet Blood Call"), born in Bessemer, Alabama (d. 2012)
  • 1933 Norman Bailey, British bass-baritone (Flying Dutchman), in Birmingham, England
  • 1933 Dave Frishberg, American jazz pianist, vocalist, composer, and lyricist ("I'm Just A Bill"), born in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 1934 Fernand Gignac, Canadian singer and actor, born in Montréal, Québec (d. 2006)
  • 1934 Teresa Proccacini, Italian organist and composer (Clown Music), born in Cerignola, Italy
  • 1937 Heinz Martin Lonquich, German composer
  • 1937 Robert Cage, American blues guitarist (From Lake Mary), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2012)
  • 1938 Dave Pike, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2015)
  • 1939 Boris Ivanovich Tischenko, composer
  • 1939 Pepe Lienhard, Swiss band leader and entertainer
  • 1940 Luis Gasca, American trumpeter, born in Houston, Texas
  • 1942 James "Jimmy" Miller, American record producer and musician (The Rolling Stones), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1994)
  • 1943 Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, Finnish Sami writer (The Sun, My Father) and musician, born in Enontekiö, Finland (d. 2001)
  • 1944 Michael Nyman, British pianist and composer (Mesmer; Carrington; The Piano), born in Stratford, London
  • 1944 Ric Ocasek [Otcasek], American songwriter, guitarist, singer, and producer (The Cars - "Best Friend's Girl"; "Shake It Up"; "You Are The Girl"), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2019)
  • 1945 Franco Battiato, Italian pop, rock, and new wave singer, songwriter (“La Voce del Padrone” (“The Master’s Voice”), and filmmaker ("Lost Love"), born in Jonia, Sicily. Italy (d. 2021)
  • 1948 David Olney, American folk singer-songwriter, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2020)
  • 1951 Karen Young, American disco singer ("Hot Shot"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1991)
  • 1951 Phil Keaggy, American rock and contemporary Christian music acoustic and electric guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist (Glass Harp), born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • 1953 Chaka Khan [Yvette Marie Stevens], American singer and songwriter (Rufus; "I Am Every Woman"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1958 El Duce [Eldon Wayne Hoke], American singer and drummer (The Mentors), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1997)
  • 1959 Epic Soundtracks [Kevin Paul Godfrey], English musician (Swell Maps, Crime and the City Solution, These Immortal Souls), born in Croydon, Surrey (d. 1997)
  • 1965 Marti Pellow [Mark McLachlan], Scottish pop singer, and musical theater performer (Wet, Wet, Wet - "Love Is All Around"), born in Clydebank, Scotland
  • 1967 John Strohm, American rock drummer, guitarist, songwriter (The Lemonheads), lawyer, and record executive (Rounder Records), born in Bloomington, Indiana
  • 1968 Damon Albarn, English rock singer-songwriter, and musician (Blur - "Country House"; Gorillaz - "Clint Eastwood"), born in London
  • 1973 Stefon Harris, American jazz vibraphonist (The Grand Unification Theory; The Classical Jazz Quartet), born in Albany, New York
  • 1995 Jan Lisiecki, Canadian classical pianist, born in Calgary, Alberta

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1985 American 'Piano Man' Billy Joel (34) weds American supermodel Christie Brinkley (31), on a yacht moored alongside the Statue Of Liberty; divorce in 1994

Pianist, Songwriter and Composer Billy Joel
Pianist, Songwriter and Composer
Billy Joel

Deaths in Music

  • 1658 Valentin Dretzel, German composer, dies at 79
  • 1669 Philipp Buchner, German composer, dies at 54
  • 1748 Johann Gottfried Walther, German composer and musicologist, dies at 63
  • 1756 Georg Gottfried Wagner, German composer, dies at 57
  • 1783 Gaspard Fritz, Swiss composer and violinist, dies at 67
  • 1806 George Pinto [Sanders], English violin prodigy, keyboard virtuoso, and composer, dies of tuberculosis at 20
  • 1809 Ferdinand-Philippe-Joseph Staes, composer, dies at 60
  • 1816 Ignaz Vitzthumb, Austrian musician, composer, and conductor, dies at 91
  • 1818 Nicolas Isouard, French composer, dies at 42
  • 1821 Bernhard Anselm Weber, German pianist, conductor and composer, dies at 56
  • 1832 Wilhelm Würfel, Bohemian pianist and composer, dies at 41
  • 1869 Charles Lucas, English composer and Principle of the Royal Academy of Music, dies at 60
  • 1880 Gustav Adolf Mankell, composer, dies at 67
  • 1881 Nikolay Rubinstein, composer, dies at 45
  • 1918 César Cortinas, Uruguayan composer, dies at 27
  • 1943 Joseph Moiseyevich Schillinger, composer, dies at 47
  • 1946 Alexandru Zirra, composer, dies at 62
  • 1971 Armin Loos, German-born American composer, dies at 67
  • 1977 Bennie Green, American swing jazz and soul trombonist (Earl Hines), dies at 53
  • 1978 Bill Kenny, American singer, dies at 63
  • 1983 David Wynne, Welsh composer (Owain ab Urien), dies at 82
  • 1990 Al Sears, American jazz and R&B saxophonist (Duke Elllington Orchestra; Johnny Hodges - "Castle Rock"), dies at 80
  • 1995 Alan Barton, English singer (Smokie, Black Lace), dies in a bus crash at 41
  • 1995 Danny Apolinar, American composer & songwriter, dies at 61
  • 1995 Ripley L. Ingram, American singer, dies at 65
  • 1996 J. D. "Jay" Miller, American record producer, dies at 73
  • 2002 Eileen Farrell, American soprano (I Got A Right To Sing The Blues; Metropolitan Opera, 1960-66) and film voice (Interrupted Melody), dies at 82
  • 2003 Fritz Spiegl, Austrian-British classical flautist, broadcaster, composer, and wit, dies at 77
  • 2006 Cindy Walker, American songwriter ("Dream Baby"; "You Don't Know Me") and country singer, dies at 87
  • 2006 Sarah Caldwell, American conductor/opera director (Flagstaff), dies at 82
  • 2010 Blanche Thebom, American mezzo-soprano (Amneris-Aida), dies at 94
  • 2015 Roy Douglas, English composer and arranger (Tomorrow We Live - At Dawn We Die), dies at 107
  • 2015 Lil' Chris [Hardman], British rock singer (Checkin' It Out), takes his own life at 24 [1]
  • 2016 Gegham Grigorian, Armenian operatic tenor, and artistic director (Yerevan Opera, 2000-07), dies at 65
  • 2017 Lola Albright, American singer and actress (Delta Country, Kid Galahad, A Cold Wind in August), dies at 92
  • 2021 George Segal, American actor (Carbon Copy; Fun With Dick & Jane; Just Shoot Me!), and banjo player, dies at 87
  • 2021 Don Heffington, American touring and session drummer, singer, songwriter and producer (Lone Justice; Watkins Family Hour; Emmylou Harris), dies of leukemia at 70
  • 2021 Ethel Gabriel (nee Nagy), American record producer and label executive (RCA, 1943-84), dies at 99