On This Day in Music for May 11

Events in Music

  • 1881 Bedrich Smetana's opera "Libusa" premieres in Prague
  • 1950 Eugene Ionesco's first play "La Cantatrice Chauve" (The Bald Soprano ) premieres in Paris

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 Rodgers & Barer's musical "Once upon a mattress" premieres in NYC
  • 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 "Dance a Little Closer" opens & closes at Minskoff Theater NYC

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
  • 1994 Musical "Grease" opens at Eugene O' Neill Theater NYC 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, composer
  • 1909 Herbert Murrill, composer
  • 1910 Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Portuguese composer (d. 1974)
  • 1913 Clare Grundman, composer
  • 1913 [Salvador] Tutti Camarata, American composer and producer (Vic Damone Show), born in New Jersey (d. 2005)
  • 1920 Beryl Bryden, jazz singer
  • 1935 Christopher "Kit" Lamber, British record producer and manager of The Who, born in Knightsbridge, London (d. 1981)
  • 1938 Harvey Sollberger, flutist/composer (2 Oboes Troping), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • 1939 Carlos Lyra, Brazilian musician
  • 1940 Ronald Anthony Pellegrino, composer
  • 1941 Eric Burdon, Walker-on-Tyne England, rock vocalist (Animals-House of the Rising Sun)
  • 1943 Arnie Satin [Silver], American musician (The Dovells), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1943 George Edwards, composer
  • 1943 Les Chadwick, English bassist (Gerry and the Pacemakers), born in Liverpool. England
  • 1946 Plume Latraverse, Quebec singer and musician
  • 1947 Butch Trucks, drummer (the Allman Brothers), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 2017)
  • 1948 Shigeru Izumiya, Japanese folk musician
  • 1952 Renaud Séchan, French composer
  • 1954 Edgar Riley Jr, rocker (Axe K)
  • 1954 Judith Weir, English composer, Master of the Queen's Music, born in Cambridge
  • 1955 Jos Haagmans, Dutch singer (Frank Boeijen Group)
  • 1955 Mark Herndon, country drummer (Alabama-Take Me Down), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 1961 Cecile Licad, pianist (Leventritt Award-1981), born in Manila, Philippines
  • 1965 Greg Dulli, American musician
  • 1966 Christoph Schneider, German drummer (Rammstein)
  • 1972 Concha Buika [María Concepción Balboa Buika], Spanish singer (Niña de Fuego), born in Palma de Mallorca
  • 1978 Perttu Kivilaakso, Finnish Cellist from the band Apocalyptica
  • 1979 Erin Lang, Canadian musician

Person of interestCory Monteith

1982 Cory Monteith, Canadian actor and musician (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
  • 1989 Ace Hood, American rapper
  • 2013 Oliver "Ollie" Mitchell, American musician and bandleader (The Wrecking Crew), dies of cancer at 86

Deaths in Music

  • 1631 Christoph Buel, German composer, dies at 57
  • 1742 Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker/son of Antonius, dies at 70
  • 1819 Caspar Furstenau, composer, dies at 47
  • 1845 Karoly Filtsch, composer, dies at 14
  • 1849 Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai, composer and conductor, dies at 38 of a stroke
  • 1907 John Albert Delany, composer, dies at 54
  • 1916 Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), dies at 43
  • 1917 Otto Adolf Klauwell, composer, dies at 66
  • 1937 Viliam Figus, composer, dies at 62
  • 1947 Ture Rangstrom, composer, dies at 62
  • 1952 Giovanni Tebaldini, Italian composer, dies at 87
  • 1970 Johnny Hodges, American saxophonist, dies at 62
  • 1976 Camille Schmit, composer, dies at 68
  • 1979 Lester Raymond Flatt, musician (Ballad of Jed Clampett), dies at 64

Person of interestBob Marley

1981 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae singer (One Love), dies of brain & lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • 1982 Piet van Egmond, organist/conductor, dies at 70
  • 1994 Danny Overbea, blues singer/guitarist, 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, singer/teacher, dies at 85
  • 1996 Walter Hyatt, #Musician, dies at 46
  • 2003 Noel Redding, English bassist (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) (b. 1945)
  • 2004 John C. Whitehead, American singer (McFadden & Whitehead), dies at 92
  • 2005 Michalis Genitsaris, Greek rebetiko singer and composer (b. 1917)
  • 2006 Yossi Banai, Israeli singer (b. 1932)
  • 2008 Dottie Rambo, American gospel singer (b. 1934)
  • 2008 John Rutsey, Canadian drummer, formerly for Canadian progressive rock band Rush (b.1953)
  • 2014 Ed Gagliardi, American bass guitarist, dies from cancer at 62