On This Day

On This Day in Music for May 11

Events in Music

  • 1812 Waltz introduced into English ballrooms. Some observers consider it disgusting and immoral.
  • 1881 Bedřich Smetana's opera "Libuše" premieres iat the Natonal Theater, in Prague

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956 Elvis Presley's 1st entry on UK charts with "Heartbreak Hotel"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • 1959 "Kookie, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb" by Byrnes & Connie Stevens hits #4
  • 1959 Mary Rodgers & Marshall Barer's musical "Once Upon A Mattress", starring Carol Burnett and directed by George Abbott, opens at Phoenix Theatre, NYC; runs for 244 performances
  • 1963 "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" by Peter, Paul & Mary hits #2
  • 1965 "Flora, the Red Menace" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 87 performances
  • 1967 "Sing, Israel Sing" opens at Brooks Atkinson Theater NYC for 14 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 Richard Harris releases "MacArthur Park"

Actor and Singer Richard Harris
Actor and Singer
Richard Harris

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 John Lennon says his phone is tapped by FBI on Dick Cavett Show

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • 1974 "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield hits #7

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974 Steely Dan releases "Rikki Don't Lose That Number"

Singer Donald Fagen
Donald Fagen

Music releaseAlbum Release

1975 Natalie Cole releases her debut album "Inseparable" (wins 2 Grammys)

Singer and Songwriter Natalie Cole
Singer and Songwriter
Natalie Cole

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Poet, Author and Nobel Laureate T. S. Eliot
Poet, Author and Nobel Laureate
T. S. Eliot
  • 1983 Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse's musical "Dance a Little Closer" opens & closes at Minskoff Theater, NYC, after 1 performance

Music release#1 in the Charts

1985 Madonna's "Crazy For You" single goes #1

Pop Star Madonna
Pop Star

Music awardsMusic Awards

1993 28th Academy of Country Music Awards: Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Mary Chapin Carpenter win

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Garth Brooks
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Garth Brooks
Country Singer Vince Gill
Country Singer
Vince Gill
  • 1994 Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's musical "Grease" opens at Eugene O' Neill Theater, NYC; runs for 1,503 performances
  • 1997 "Play On!" closes at Brooks Atkinson Theater NYC after 61 performances
  • 2002 Last performance of the musical Cats in London's West End

Birthdays in Music

  • 1731 Johann Gottfried Seyfert, composer
  • 1772 Henri-Jean Rigel, composer
  • 1791 Jan Vaclav Hugo Vorisek, composer
  • 1817 Fanny Cerrito, Italian ballet dancer (d. 1909)
  • 1827 Septimus Winner, American songwriter (Listen To The Mockingbird), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1902)
  • 1835 Kārlis Baumanis, Latvian composer (d. 1905)
  • 1840 Filippo Capocci, composer
  • 1855 Anatol Konstantinovich Lyadov, Russian composer (Bewitched Lake)
  • 1869 Francisco Lacerda, composer
  • 1881 Jan van Gilse, composer/resistance fighter (Frau Helga von Staveren)
  • 1881 Pascual Rogatis, composer
  • 1882 Joseph Marx, Austrian composer/critic
  • 1885 [Joe] King Oliver, American jazz musician (Dippermouth Blues), born in Aben, Louisiana (birth date disputed - could be Dec. 19) (d. 1938)
  • 1887 Paul Wittgenstein, left handed pianist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1961)

Person of interestIrving Berlin

1888 Irving Berlin [Israel Isidore Baline], American composer and lyricist considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history (God Bless America, White Xmas), born in Tyumen, Russian Empire (d. 1989)

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • 1895 William Grant Still, American composer ("Afro-American" Symphony), born in Woodville, Mississippi (d. 1978)
  • 1896 Josip Slavenski, Croatian composer and pedagogue, born in Čakovec, Croatia-Slavonia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1955)
  • 1909 Herbert Murrill, composer
  • 1910 Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Portuguese composer (d. 1974)
  • 1913 Clare Grundman, American composer, born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1996)
  • 1913 [Salvador] Tutti Camarata, American composer and producer (Vic Damone Show), born in New Jersey (d. 2005)
  • 1920 Beryl Bryden, British jazz/blues singer and washboard player, born in Norwich, Norfolk (d. 1998)
  • 1930 Gordon Langford [Colman], British composer and arranger of brass, choral, and orchestral music (Facets of Glass; Rhapsody for Trombone), born in Edgware, England (d. 2017)
  • 1935 Christopher "Kit" Lambert, British record producer and manager of The Who, born in Knightsbridge, London (d. 1981)
  • 1936 Carla Bley [Lovella Borg], American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer (Escalator Over The Hill; Fictious Sports), born in Oakland, California
  • 1938 Harvey Sollberger, flutist/composer (2 Oboes Troping), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • 1939 Carlos Lyra, Brazilian musician
  • 1940 Ron Pellegrino, American electronic music composer, born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • 1941 Eric Burdon, British rock vocalist (Animals - "House of the Rising Sun"; "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"; War - "Spill The Wine"), born in Walker-on-Tyne, England
  • 1943 Arnie Satin [Silver], American pop-rock singer (The Dovells - "Bristol Stomp"; "You Can't Sit Down"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1943 George Edwards, American composer, and educator, born in Wellesley, Massachusetts (d. 2011)
  • 1943 Les Chadwick, British bassist (Gerry and the Pacemakers - "Ferry Cross The Mersey"), born in Liverpool. England
  • 1946 (Michel) "Plume" Latraverse, Canadian rock and blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1947 Butch Trucks, American drummer (The Allman Brothers - "Whipping Post"), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 2017)
  • 1948 Shigeru Izumiya, Japanese folk musician
  • 1952 Renaud [Séchan], French pop singer, composer, and actor, born in Paris, France
  • 1954 Edgar Riley Jr, American rock vocalist (Axe K)
  • 1954 Judith Weir, English composer (Master of the Queen's Music, 2014-present), born in Cambridge, England
  • 1955 Jos Haagmans, Dutch singer (Frank Boeijen Group)
  • 1955 Mark Herndon, American country music drummer (Alabama - "Take Me Down"), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 1961 Cecile Licad, Filipina concert pianist (Leventritt Award, 1981), born in Manila, Philippines
  • 1961 David Ake, American jazz pianist (Humanities) and educator, born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1965 Greg Dulli, American rock guitarist, songwriter, and producer (The Afghan Whigs), born in Hamilton, Ohio
  • 1966 Christoph Schneider, German drummer (Rammstein), born in Pankow, East Germany
  • 1966 Julian Joseph, British jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, (Dance of the Three Legged Elephants), and broadcaster (BBC), born in London, England
  • 1968 Sławomir Dobrzański, Polish concert pianist and music professor, born in Wrocław, Poland
  • 1972 Concha Buika [María Concepción Balboa Buika], Spanish singer ("Niña de Fuego"), born in Palma de Mallorca
  • 1978 Perttu Kivilaakso, Finnish cellist (Apocalyptica), born in Helsinki, Finland
  • 1979 Erin Lang, Canadian alternative rock musician (Feral & Stray; The Tail Lights), born in Montreal, Quebec

Person of interestCory Monteith

1982 Cory Monteith, Canadian actor and singer (Glee; Monte Carlo), born in Calgary, Alberta (d. 2013)

Actor & Musician Cory Monteith
Actor & Musician
Cory Monteith

Person of interestHolly Valance

1983 Holly Valance, Australian actress (Felicity "Flick" Scully-Neighbours) and singer, born in Melbourne, Victoria

Actress & Singer Holly Valance
Actress & Singer
Holly Valance
  • 1985 Sifow (Shiho Fujita), Japanese pop star and business woman, born in Chiba, Japan
  • 1988 Ace Hood [Antoine McColister], American rapper, born in Port St. Lucie, Florida

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1970 American entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. (44) weds American entertainer Altovise Gore (26) in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania courthouse by the Rev. Jesse Jackson

Singer, Actor and TV Host Sammy Davis Jr.
Singer, Actor and TV Host
Sammy Davis Jr.

Deaths in Music

  • 1631 Christoph Buel, German composer, dies at 57
  • 1742 Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker & son of Antonius, dies at 70
  • 1819 Kaspar Furstenau, German composer, dies at 47
  • 1845 Carl Filtsch, Transylvanian composer & pianist child prodigy, dies of tuberculosis at 14
  • 1849 Otto Nicolai, German composer & conductor, dies at 38 of a stroke
  • 1907 John Albert Delany, Australian composer, dies at 54
  • 1916 Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), dies at 43
  • 1917 Otto Adolf Klauwell, German composer, dies at 66
  • 1937 Viliam Figuš-Bystrý, Slovak composer, dies at 62
  • 1947 Ture Rangström, Swedish composer, dies at 62
  • 1952 Giovanni Tebaldini, Italian composer, dies at 87
  • 1970 Johnny Hodges, American saxophonist, dies at 62
  • 1976 Camille Schmit, Belgian composer, dies at 68
  • 1979 Lester Flatt, American bluegrass guitarist (Flatt & Scruggs - "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"; "Ballad of Jed Clampett"), dies at 64

Person of interestBob Marley

1981 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician ("One Love"; "Three Little Birds"; "No Woman, No Cry"), dies of brain and lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • 1982 Piet van Egmond, Dutch organist and conductor (Netherlands Chamber Orchestra), dies at 70
  • 1989 Jitka Snížková, Czech composer, music educator and musicologist, dies at 64
  • 1994 Danny Overbea, American rock singer and guitarist ("Forty Cups of Coffee"), dies at 68
  • 1994 Leonard Friedman, British-Lithuanian violinist (Scottish Baroque Ensemble), dies at 63
  • 1995 Tibor Sarai, Hungarian composer, dies at 76
  • 1996 Bruce Boyce, Canadian-born American singer & teacher, dies at 85
  • 1996 Walter Hyatt, American singer-songwriter (Uncle Walt's Band), dies in a plane crash in the Florida Everglades at 46
  • 2003 Noel Redding, English bassist (The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Purple Haze"), dies from cirrhosis of the liver at 57
  • 2004 John Whitehead, American songwriter and soul singer (McFadden & Whitehead - "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" ), murdered outside of his home at 55
  • 2005 Michalis Genitsaris, Greek rebetiko singer, and composer, dies at 88
  • 2006 Yossi Banai, Israeli pop and cabaret singer, and actor dies of cancer at 74
  • 2008 Dottie Rambo, American gospel singer, dies when her tour bus crashes at 74
  • 2008 John Rutsey, Canadian drummer (Rush, 1974), dies from a heart attack at 55
  • 2011 (Eugene) "Snooky" Young, American jazz trumpeter who mastered the plunger mute, dies at 92
  • 2013 Oliver "Ollie" Mitchell, American musician & bandleader (The Wrecking Crew), dies of cancer at 86
  • 2014 Ed Gagliardi, American bass guitarist (Foreigner, 1976-79 - "Feels Like The First Time"), dies from cancer at 62
  • 2018 Scott Hutchinson, Scottish musician (Frightened Rabbit), found dead after a suffering from mental illness at 36
  • 2020 John "Moon" Martin, American rockabilly singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Bad Case Of Loving You"), dies at 74