On This Day

On This Day in Music for May 16

Events in Music

  • 1868 Bedřich Smetana's opera "Dalibor" premieres at the New Town Theatre in Prague
  • 1941 1st US radio performance of Bennett's "Symphony in D for the Dodgers"

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1946 "Annie Get Your Gun" musical by Irving Berlin, Dorothy and Herbert Fields opens at Imperial Theater NYC, starring Ethel Merman and featuring "There's no Business Like Show Business"

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1947 Billie Holiday is arrested in her New York apartment for possession of narcotics

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • 1952 "New Faces (of 1952)" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 365 performances
  • 1963 "Beast in Me" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • 1965 "Roar of the Greasepaint" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 232 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Barbra Streisand appears at a Friars Club Tribute

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • 1969 The Who's Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey charged with assault

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 Grover Henson Feels Forgotten by Bill Cosby hits #70

Actor/Comedian Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1971 Benjamin Britten's opera "Owen Wingrave" premieres in Aldwych, London

  • 1972 "Don't Play Us Cheap" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 164 performances
  • 1975 Wings release "Listen to What the Man Said" in UK
  • 1980 Brian May of rock group Queen collapses on stage with hepatitis

Music releaseAlbum Release

1980 Paul McCartney releases "McCartney II" album

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney

Music release#1 in the Charts

1981 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

Actress Bette Davis
Bette Davis
  • 1982 "Barnum" closes at St James Theater NYC after 854 performances
  • 1982 "Is There Life after High School?" closes at Barrymore after 12 performances
  • 1984 "When Doves Cry" single released by Prince (Billboard Song of the Year 1984)
  • 1987 "Mystery of Edwin Drood" closes at Imperial NYC after 608 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Weird Al Yankovic performs live at 72nd National Orange Show

Parody Singer and Comedian Weird Al Yankovic
Parody Singer and Comedian
Weird Al Yankovic
  • 1992 "Smells Like Nirvana" by Weird Al Yankovic hits #35
  • 1993 "3 Men on a Horse" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC after 40 performances
  • 1993 "Wilder, Wilder, Wilder" closes at Circle in Sq NYC after 30 performances

Film release premierFilm Release

2002 "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman opens in cinemas

  • 2009 54th Eurovision Song Contest: Alexander Rybak for Norway wins singing "Fairytale" in Moscow

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018 Painting "Past Times" by Kerry James Marshall is bought by Sean Combs for $21.1 million, most paid for a living African American atist

Rapper Puff Daddy
Puff Daddy

Film release premierFilm Premier

2019 "Rocketman" film based on life of singer Elton John starring Taron Egerton premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

Birthdays in Music

  • 1822 Eduard Hille, Dutch composer/conductor
  • 1850 Arthur Henry Mann, organist/composer
  • 1857 Juan Morel Campos, composer
  • 1858 Frank Lynes, American composer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1913)
  • 1858 Hanus Trnecek, Czech composer and conductor, born in Prague (d. 1914)
  • 1892 Richard Tauber [Ernst Seiffert], Austria/British, tenor/conductor
  • 1893 Paul Amadeus Pisk, composer
  • 1897 Walther Geiser, composer
  • 1902 Jan Kiepura, Polish vocalist and actor (Her Wonderful Lie, Give Us this Night), born in Sosnowiec, Poland (d. 1966)
  • 1913 Woody Herman, American jazz clarinetist and composer (Thundering Herds), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 1987)
  • 1917 Geraint Jones, Welsh conductor and organist, born in Porth, Wales (d. 1998)

Person of interestLiberace

1919 Liberace [Wladziu Valentino], American pianist (Liberace Show, Evil Chandell-Batman), born in West Allis, Wisconsin (d. 1987)

Pianist Liberace
  • 1926 Jan Zimmer, Slovak composer, born in Ružomberok, North Slovakia (d. 1993)
  • 1929 Osmo Lindeman, Finnish composer (d. 1987)
  • 1930 Friedrich Gulda, Austrian classical and jazz pianist and composer (Ineffable; Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2000)
  • 1931 Donald James Martino, composer (Noturnno-Pulitzer 1974), born in Plainfield, New Jersey
  • 1932 Isaac "Redd" Holt, US drummer (Young-Holt Unlimited-In Crowd)
  • 1941 Maurice Henry Weddington, composer
  • 1944 Billy Cobham, Panamanian-American jazz drummer (Mahavishnu Orchestra), born in Colón, Panama
  • 1945 Nicky Chinn, English songwriter/producer (Chinn & Chapman)
  • 1946 Robert Fripp, British guitarist (King Crimson), born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset
  • 1946 Roger Earl, English drummer (Foghat), born in London, England
  • 1947 Barbara Lee, American singer (Chiffons, He's So Fine), (d. 1992)
  • 1948 Alto Reed [Thomas Cartmell], American saxophonist (Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1950 Jock Bartley, rocker (Firefall)
  • 1950 Ray Condo, Canadian rockabilly musician
  • 1951 Jonathan Richman, American musician (Modern Lovers), born in Natick, Massachusetts
  • 1953 Richard Page, American singer and bassist (Mr Mister), born in Keokuk, Iowa
  • 1955 Hazel O'Connor, Coventry England, singer/actress (Breaking Glass)
  • 1958 Glenn Gregory, English rock vocalist (Heaven 17), born in Sheffield, England
  • 1964 Boyd Tinsley, American violinist (Dave Matthews Band)
  • 1965 Krist Novoselic, American bassist (Nirvana)

Person of interestJanet Jackson

1966 Janet Jackson, American singer (Control), sister of Michael, born in Gary, Indiana

  • 1968 Ralph Tresvant, American singer (New Edition), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1968 Patrick Waite, British reggae-rock bassist (Musical Youth - "Pass the Dutchie"), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1993)
  • 1971 Rachel Goswell, English singer and songwriter (Slowdive, Mojave 3)
  • 1974 Laura Pausini, Italian pop singer
  • 1974 Sonny Sandoval, American singer (P.O.D.)
  • 1975 Tony Kakko, Finnish singer (Sonata Arctica)
  • 1975 Tonéx, American singer
  • 1977 Dolcenera, Italian singer
  • 1978 David Ford, English singer-songwriter (Songs for the Road), born in Dartford, Kent, England
  • 1983 Mince Fratelli [Gordon McRory], Scottish drummer (The Fratellis - Costello Music; Here We Stand), born in Glasgow, Scotland)
  • 1983 Nancy Ajram, Lebanese singer

Weddings in Music

  • 1987 Rocker David Crosby weds Jan Dance in LA
  • 2006 "Korn" bassist Fieldy (36) weds Deena Beber at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California
  • 2015 Glee singer/actress Heather Morris (28) weds high school sweetheart Taylor Hubbell at Old Canyon Ranch in Topanga, California

Deaths in Music

  • 1754 Giovanni Carlo Maria Clari, Italian composer, dies at 76
  • 1762 Ernst Christian Hesse, German composer, dies at 86
  • 1835 Felicia Dorothea Hemans, poet/hymn writer, dies
  • 1847 Kaspar Ett, German organist/composer, dies at 59
  • 1880 Karl August Krebs, composer, dies at 76
  • 1903 Eduard Rappoldi, composer, dies at 72
  • 1929 Lilli Lehmann, soprano, dies
  • 1944 Leone Sinigaglia, Italian composer, dies at 75

Person of interestDjango Reinhardt

1953 Django Reinhardt, Belgium born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer considered the most significant European Jazz musician, dies at 43

Jazz Guitarist Django Reinhardt
Jazz Guitarist
Django Reinhardt
  • 1954 Clemens Krauss, Austrian conductor (Vienna State Opera), dies at 61
  • 1972 Maxime Dumoulin, composer, dies at 79
  • 1977 Edouard Van Remoortel, Belgian conductor (1958-62 St Louis Symphony), dies at 50
  • 1978 William Steinberg, German-American conductor (Boston Symphony 1969-71), dies at 78
  • 1981 Ernie Freeman, American musician (Raunchy), pianist and arranger, dies at 58
  • 1983 Carel Brons, Dutch composer, dies at 52

Person of interestSammy Davis Jr.

1990 Sammy Davis Jr., American vaudeville, stage, and screen singer ("The Candy Man"), dancer, actor (Ocean's 11), and Rat Pack member, dies of throat cancer at 64

Singer, Actor and TV Host Sammy Davis Jr.
Singer, Actor and TV Host
Sammy Davis Jr.
  • 1992 Chalino Sánchez, Mexican musician, murdered at 31
  • 1993 Marv Johnson, American soul singer (You Got What it Takes), dies at 54
  • 1995 Lola Flores, Spanish singer, dancer and actress (Kuma Ching, Faraona), dies at 70
  • 2001 Brian Pendleton, English musician (The Pretty Things) (b. 1944)
  • 2007 Albert Delvaux, Belgian composer (Symphonia Burlesca), dies at 93
  • 2008 Wilfrid Howard Mellers, English musicologist and composer (François Couperin and the French Classical Tradition), dies at 94
  • 2010 Ronnie James Dio [Ronald James Padavona], American singer, songwriter and musician (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell), dies at 67
  • 2010 Hank Jones, American jazz pianist and composer, dies at 91
  • 2012 Doug Dillard, American country rock musician (The Dillards, Gene Clark, Dillard & Clark) and actor (Clem-Popeye), dies of a lung infection caused by a collapsed lung at 75
  • 2020 Donn Trenner, American jazz pianist, arranger, and orchestra leader (Steve Allen's Westinghouse Show), dies at 93