On This Day

On This Day in Music for May 17

Events in Music

  • 1890 Pietro Mascagni's opera "Rustic Chivalry" premieres in Rome at the Teatro Costanzi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1904 Maurice Ravel's "Shéhérazade" premieres in Paris

Composer and Pianist Maurice Ravel
Composer and Pianist
Maurice Ravel
  • 1947 "Street Scene" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 148 performances
  • 1969 "My Wife, My Dog, My Cat" by Maskman & The Agents hits #92
  • 1971 Stephen Schwartz' musical "Godspell" premieres off-Broadway
  • 1973 "Nash at Nine" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 21 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 Stevie Wonder releases "You are the Sunshine of my Love"

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 15th String quartet

  • 1975 "Funky Gibbon" by The Goodies hits #79

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975 Mick Jagger punches a restaurant window, gets 20 stitches

Rock Star Mick Jagger
Rock Star
Mick Jagger

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1980 Paul & Linda McCartney appear on "Saturday Night Live"

Musician, Activist and Photographer Linda McCartney
Musician, Activist and Photographer
Linda McCartney
Television Producer Lorne Michaels
Television Producer
Lorne Michaels
  • 1981 "Inacent Black" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • 1986 "Chicken Song" by Spitting Image hits #1 on the UK pop chart
  • 1987 "Stardust" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 102 performances
  • 1993 "Chattahoochee" single released by Alan Jackson (CMA Award Single of the Year, Billboard Song of the Year 1993)

Music awardsMusic Awards

2005 40th Academy of Country Music Awards: Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson & Keith Urban win

Country Singer-Songwriter Keith Urban
Country Singer-Songwriter
Keith Urban

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2005 Singer Kylie Minogue is diagnosed with breast cancer at 36

Pop Star & Singer Kylie Minogue
Pop Star & Singer
Kylie Minogue
  • 2015 "Blurryface," 4th studio album by Twenty One Pilots is released (1st album ever to have every track gold-certified)

Music awardsMusic Awards

2015 24th Billboard Music Awards: Taylor Swift wins top artist & 7 other awards

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Birthdays in Music

  • 1732 Francesco Pasquale Ricci, Italian composer, born in Como, Italy (d. 1817)
  • 1800 Carl Friedrich Zöllner, German composer, born in Mittelhausen, Germany (d. 1860)
  • 1808 Charles-Louis-Adolphe Vogel, French composer (Les trois couleurs), born in Lille, France (d.1892)
  • 1819 Johann Nepomuk Kafka, Bohemian pianist and composer, born in Neustadt an der Mettau (d. 1886)
  • 1823 Charlotte Sainton-Dolby, English contralto and composer, born in London (d. 1885)
  • 1850 Antonio Scontrino, Italian composer, born in Trapani, Italy (d. 1922)
  • 1866 Erik Satie, French composer (Gymnopédies), born in Honfleur, Normandy (d. 1925)
  • 1890 Philip James, American composer, born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 1975)
  • 1896 Brasílio Itiberê da Cunha Luz, Brazilian composer, born in Curitiba, State of Paraná, Brazil (d. 1967)
  • 1900 Nicolai Berezowsky, Russian-American composer, born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 1953)
  • 1901 Werner Egk, German composer (Die Zaubergeige), born in Donauwörth, Germany (d. 1983)
  • 1902 John Vincent, American composer, born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1977)
  • 1906 Zinka Milanov, Croatian soprano (Ljublama Opera 1927, NY Metropolitan Opera), born in Zagreb, Croatia (d. 1989)
  • 1908 Sigismund Toduţă, Romanian composer, born in Simeria, Romania (d. 1991)
  • 1912 Sándor Végh, Hungarian-French violinist teacher and conductor, born in Kolozsvár, Transylvania, Austria-Hungary (d. 1997)
  • 1914 Guido Masanetz, German composer (In Frisco ist der Teufel Los), born in Friedeck, Austria-Hungary (d. 2015)
  • 1918 Birgit Nilsson, Karup Sweden, operatic soprano (Elektra, Salome)
  • 1919 Antonio Aguilar [Barraza], Mexican singer, producer and actor (Emiliano Zapata) who popularized the Mexican equestrian sport la charrería, born in Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico (d. 2007)
  • 1921 Dennis Brain, British classical horn player (Serenade), born in London, England (d. 1957)
  • 1921 Bob Merrill, American composer and lyricist (People, Mambo Italiano), born in Atlantic City, New Jersey (d. 1998)
  • 1923 Peter Mennin[i], American composer (Moby Dick) and educator (Juilliard), born in Erie, Pennsylvania (d. 1983)
  • 1924 Frantisek Kovaricek, composer
  • 1931 [Walter] Dewey Redman, American jazz saxophonist, born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2006)
  • 1936 Philippe Boesmans, composer
  • 1938 Pervis Jackson, American R&B singer (Spinners), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2008)
  • 1941 David Cope, American composer, born in San Francisco, California
  • 1941 Malcolm Hale, musician (Spanky and Our Gang), born in Butte, Montana (d. 1968)
  • 1942 Taj Mahal [Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr.], American singer-songwriter (Real Thing), born in Harlem, New York
  • 1943 Vicky Moscholiou, Greek singer (d. 2005)
  • 1944 Jesse Winchester, singer/songwriter (Learn to Love it), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 2014)
  • 1946 Udo Lindenberg, German musician, born in Gronau, Westphalia
  • 1949 Bill Bruford, English drummer (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis), born in Sevenoaks, Kent
  • 1949 Andrew Latimer, English musician (Camel), born in Guildford, England
  • 1950 Howard Ashman, American playwright and lyricist (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1991)
  • 1952 Jody Pijper, Dutch (background) singer
  • 1953 George Johnson, rocker (Brothers Johnson), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1958 Vincent Henar, Surinam bassist (Fra Fra Sound), born in Surinam
  • 1959 Paul Di'anno, rocker (Iron Maiden Chingford, London V Early Vocalist

Person of interestEnya

1961 Enya [Eithne Ní Bhraonáin], Irish singer and songwriter (A Day Without Rain), born in Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland

Singer-Songwriter Enya
  • 1962 Tracey Bryn, rocker (Voice of Beehive-Let it Bee)
  • 1963 Page McConnell, American songwriter and keyboardist (Phish), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Person of interestTrent Reznor

1965 Trent Reznor, American musician (9 Inch Nails) and film score composer, born in Mercer, Pennsylvania

Musician Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor
  • 1968 Dave Abbruzzese, American drummer (Pearl Jam), born in Stamford, Connecticut
  • 1969 Alan Doyle, Canadian musician and actor (Great Big Sea), born in Petty Harbour. Newfoundland
  • 1969 Ryan Anthony, American trumpet player (Canadian Brass, 2000-03; Dallas Symphony, 2006-20), born in Whittier, California (d. 2020)
  • 1970 Jordan Knight, American singer-songwriter (New Kids on the Block), born in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • 1973 Josh Homme, American musician and songwriter
  • 1973 Steve Barakatt, Canadian pianist and composer, born in Quebec City, Canada
  • 1975 Laura Voutilainen, Finnish singer
  • 1976 Lee-Hom Wang, American-born Taiwanese musician and composer
  • 1980 Dallas Taylor, American Christian metal singer (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Underoath), born in Ocala, Florida
  • 1981 Shiri Maimon, Israeli singer
  • 1985 Derek Hough, American dancer and singer

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1923 Actress and singer Marlene Dietrich (21) weds assistant director Rudolf Sieber (26) in Berlin, Germany

Actress and Singer Marlene Dietrich
Actress and Singer
Marlene Dietrich
  • 2008 Singer-songwriter and actress Ashlee Simpson (23) weds rock band Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz (28) in Encino, California

Deaths in Music

  • 1050 Guido van Arezzo, Italian music theorist, dies
  • 1626 Juan Pujol, Catalan composer, dies at 56
  • 1796 Jacob Wilhelm Lustig, German composer, dies at 89
  • 1866 Adolf Bernhard Marx, German composer, dies at 70
  • 1872 Eduard Sobolewski, Polish-American violinist and composer, dies at 63
  • 1884 Louis Brassin, composer, dies at 43
  • 1913 Dwijendralal Ray, Bengali poet, playwright and lyricist (Dwijendrageeti), dies of epilepsy at 49
  • 1916 Gervais Bernard Gaston Salvayre, composer, dies at 68
  • 1919 Bohumil Pazdirek, composer, dies at 80
  • 1926 Lucien Herr, French leader (Correspondance entre Schiller), dies
  • 1935 Paul Dukas, French composer, dies at 69
  • 1942 Alfred Hollins, British composer, dies at 76
  • 1950 Eduardo Fabini, composer, dies at 67
  • 1951 Karl Heinrich David, composer, dies at 66
  • 1953 Eric De Lamarter, American organist, composer and conductor (Chicago Symphony), dies at 73
  • 1955 Francesco Balilla Pratella, composer, dies at 75
  • 1957 Shalva Azmayparashvili, composer, dies at 54
  • 1961 Henri Gagnon, composer, dies at 74
  • 1967 John Wesley Work III, African-American composer, musicologist and scholar of African-American folklore and music, dies at 65
  • 1981 Hugo Friedhofer, American composer, dies at 80
  • 1985 Abe Burrows, songwriter, composer, and writer (b. 1910)
  • 1986 Jack Waldman, American jazz and rock keyboardist and avant garde composer dies of HIV related illness at 33
  • 1992 Lawrence Welk, American accordionist and orchestra leader (Lawrence Welk Show), dies of pneumonia at 89
  • 1992 Leonardo del Ferro [Keyser], US epic tenor, dies
  • 1994 Donald Keith Falkner, singer, dies at 94
  • 1995 Nathan "Dambuza" Mdledle, South African singer (Manhattan Brothers) and actor, dies at 72
  • 1996 Johnny "Guitar" Watson, musician, dies at 61
  • 1996 Kevin Gilbert, American singer, composer and instrumentalist (b. 1966)
  • 1999 Bruce Fairbairn, Canadian musician and record producer (Loverboy; Bon Jovi; Aerosmith) dies at 49
  • 2001 Ikuma Dan, Japanese composer (Yūzuru), dies at 77
  • 2002 Sharon Sheeley, American songwriter (Somethin' Else), dies of complications following a cerebral hemorrhage at 62 (b. 1940)
  • 2006 Laurence Shurtliff [Ram Rod], American music executive and roadie (the Grateful Dead), dies at 61
  • 2010 Yvonne Loriod, French pianist, composer (Mélopées africaines), and teacher, dies at 86

Person of interestDonna Summer

2012 Donna Summer, American singer (Love to Love You Baby), dies from lung cancer at 63

Singer Donna Summer
Donna Summer
  • 2013 Alan O'Day, American singer and songwriter (Undercover Angel, over 100 songs for the Muppet Babies), dies of brain cancer at 72
  • 2013 Harold Shapero, American composer (9 Minute Opera), dies at 93
  • 2015 Lionel Pickens "Chinx", American rapper (Coke Boys), dies in a drive-by shooting at 31
  • 2016 Guy Clark, American country singer (Heartbroke), dies at 74