On This Day

On This Day in Music for May 20

Events in Music

  • 1896 The six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris falls on the crowd resulting in the death of one and the injury of many others
  • 1961 Henzes opera "Elegy for Young Lovers," premieres in Schwetzingen
  • 1967 BBC bans the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" because of drug references
  • 1970 Beatles' "Let it Be" movie premieres in UK
  • 1972 "Different Times" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 24 performances
  • 1972 "Hard Job Being God" closes at Edison Theater NYC after 6 performances
  • 1973 "2 Gentlemen of Verona" closes at St James Theater NYC after 613 performances
  • 1979 "I Love My Wife" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 864 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1979 Elton John is the 1st western pop star to tour USSR

Singer Elton John
Elton John
  • 1980 Drummer Peter Criss quits rock band Kiss
  • 1983 "Every Breath You Take" single released by The Police (Billboard Song of the Year 1983)
  • 1984 "On Your Toes" closes at Virginia Theater NYC after 505 performances
  • 1990 "Truly Blessed" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 33 performances
  • 1992 Rap singer raps 597 syllables in under 60 seconds
  • 2006 51st Eurovision Song Contest: Lordi for Finland wins singing "Hard Rock Hallelujah" in Athens

Music awardsMusic Awards

2012 20th Billboard Music Awards: Adele, 21 win

Singer-songwriter Adele

Music awardsMusic Awards

2018 K-pop boy band BTS are the first Koreans to perform at the Billboard Music Awards

K-Pop Star Jimin
K-Pop Star

Birthdays in Music

  • 1547 Melchior Bischoff, German composer, born in Pößneck, Germany (d. 1614)
  • 1554 Paolo Bellasio, Italian composer, born in Verona (d. 1594)
  • 1754 Hans Gram, Danish-born American composer (d. 1804)
  • 1812 Gustav Adolf Mankell, composer
  • 1843 Pedro Miguel Marques y Garcia, Spanish violinist and composer, born in Palma, Majorca (d. 1918)
  • 1850 Eaton Faning, composer
  • 1876 John Owen Jones, composer
  • 1889 Felix Arndt, American composer, born in NYC, New York (d. 1918)
  • 1890 Beniamino Gigli, Italian tenor (Enzo-La Gioconde)
  • 1903 Jerzy Fitelberg, Polish composer, born in Warsaw, Russian Empire (d. 1951)
  • 1913 Ion Dumitrescu, composer
  • 1917 Enyss Djemil, composer
  • 1920 Elizabeth "Betty" Driver, British singer and actress (Coronation Street, Pardon the Expression), born in Leicester, England (d. 2011)
  • 1925 Chester Ludgin, American baritone (d. 2003)
  • 1926 Vic Ames, singer (Ames Brothers), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 1978)
  • 1927 David Frederick Barlow, composer
  • 1927 Walter Aschaffenburg, German-American composer, born in Essen, Germany (d. 2005)
  • 1938 Marinella, Greek singer and actress
  • 1938 Astrid Kirchherr, German photographer, helped establish The Beatles image, born in Hamburg, Germany (d. 2020)
  • 1939 María Luisa Ozaita, Spanish pianist, harpsichordist, musicologist, conductor, and composer (Pelleas y Melisanda), born in Baracaldo, Spain (d. 2017)
  • 1940 Shorty Long [Frederick Earl Long], American soul singer/pianist (Here Comes the Judge), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1969)
  • 1942 Paula [Jill Jackson], Tx, singer (Hey Paula)
  • 1943 Tison Street, American violinist and composer (Jewel Tree), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1943 Al Bano, Italian singer
  • 1944 Boudouin de Groot, Dutch singer (Good night mister president)
  • 1944 Cipa Dichter, pianist/wife of Misha Dichter, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Person of interestJoe Cocker

1944 Joe Cocker, English rock vocalist (With a Little Help from My Friends), born in Sheffield England, (d. 2014)

Rocker Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker

Person of interest Cher

1946 Cher [Cherilyn Sarkisian], American singer and actress (I Got You Babe, Jack Lalane, Mask), born in El Centro, California

Goddess of Pop  Cher
Goddess of Pop
  • 1952 Warren Cann, Canadian rock drummer (Ultravox), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1954 James Henderson, country singer (Black Oak Arkansas)
  • 1954 Guy Hoffman, American musician (Violent Femmes)
  • 1955 Steve George, rock keyboardist (Mr Mister)
  • 1955 Zbigniew Preisner, Polish film composer (Three Colors film trilogy), born in Bielsko-Biała, Poland
  • 1958 Jane Wiedlin, Wisc, singer, guitarist (GoGos, Fur, Rush Hour)
  • 1959 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Native Hawaiian musician, entertainer and Hawaiian sovereignty advocate (Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World), born in Honolulu, Hawaii (d. 1997)
  • 1960 Susan Cowsill, rock vocalist (The Cowsills - We Can Fly), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1961 Kit Clarke, rocker (Danny Wilson-Mary's Prayer)
  • 1961 Nick Heyward, guitar/vocals (Haircut 100-Favourite Shirts)
  • 1962 Ralph Peterson Jr., American jazz drummer (Jazz Messengers; Fo'tet), and educator (Berklee), born in Pleasantville, New Jersey (d. 2021) [1]
  • 1972 Busta Rhymes [Trevor George Smith Jr.], American rapper (The Coming), born in New York City
  • 1973 Elsa Lunghini, French singer and actress
  • 1981 Rachel Platten, American singer-songwriter (“Fight Song”), born in New York City
  • 1984 Kenny Vasoli, American singer
  • 1986 LaLa Brown, American singer (d. 2007)

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1968 "The Who" guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend (23) weds Karen Astley in England

  • 1995 "Eagles" singer Don Henley (47) weds model Sharon Summerall (33) in Malibu
  • 2011 Actor Doug Hutchison (51) weds country singer Courtney Stodden (16) in Las Vegas, Nevada

Deaths in Music

  • 1650 Francesco Sacrati, Italian composer, dies at 44
  • 1751 Domingo Miguel Bernaube Terradellas, Spanish composer, dies at 38
  • 1782 Carlo Giovanni Testori, Italian composer, dies at 68
  • 1782 Christoph Gottlieb Schroter, composer, dies at 82
  • 1896 Clara Schumann, German pianist and composer of the Romantic era, dies of a stroke at 76
  • 1900 Gustav Heinrich Graben-Hoffman, composer, dies at 80
  • 1909 Ernest Hogan, blackface comedian and musician (b. 1859)
  • 1910 Jean-Baptiste Theodore Weckerlin, French composer, dies at 88
  • 1932 James "Bubber" Miley, American jazz trumpet and cornet player (Duke Ellington, 1923-29 - "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo"; "Black And Tan Fantasy"), dies of tuberculosis at 29
  • 1951 Jan Ingenhoven, Dutch composer and conductor, dies at 74
  • 1964 Rudy Lewis, American rocker (Drifters), dies at 27
  • 1975 Jacques Stehman, composer, dies at 62
  • 1978 Ivan Harold Browning, American stage and screen actor and singer (Shuffle Along - "I'm Just Wild About Harry"), dies at 87
  • 1986 Bernard Naylor, English Canadian composer, dies at 78
  • 1988 René Defossez, Belgian composer, dies at 82
  • 1988 Harry Babasin, American jazz bassist and cellist (Dodo Marmarosa Trio), and archivist (Los Angeles Theaseum), dies of emphysema at 67
  • 1991 Julian Orbon De Soto, Cuban composer, dies at 65
  • 1996 Jack Wyngaard, South African dancer, dies at 37
  • 2000 Jean-Pierre Rampal, French classical flautist (The Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano), dies of heart failure at 72
  • 2001 Renato Carosone, Italian musician (b. 1920)

Person of interestRobin Gibb

2012 Robin Gibb, British singer-songwriter, dies from colon and liver cancer at 62

Singer-songwriter Robin Gibb
Robin Gibb
  • 2012 Robert Nix, American musician (founding member of the Atlanta Rhythm Section), dies at 67
  • 2013 Ray Manzarek, American musician and keyboardist (The Doors-Light My Fire, Unknown Soldier), dies of cancer at 74
  • 2013 Robert DiDomenica, American flautist, composer and educator, dies at 86
  • 2017 Jimmy Dale, British-Canadian pianist and orchestra leader (The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour), dies at 81
  • 2018 Dieter Schnebel, German experimental composer (Harley-Davidson, for nine motorbikes and trumpet), dies at 88