On This Day

Events in Music in 1939

  • Mar 25 Billboard Magazine introduces hillbilly (country) music chart

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 9 Marian Anderson sings before 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Apr 23 1st performance of Béla Bartok's 2nd Concerto for violin

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok
Composer and Pianist
Béla Bartok

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 23 Dmitri Shostakovich appointed professor at conservatory of Leningrad

  • Jun 3 Beer Barrel Polka hits #1 on the pop singles chart by Will Glahe

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 13 Frank Sinatra makes his recording debut

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 6 1st broadcast of "Dinah Shore Show" on NBC-radio

Singer, Actress and TV Personality Dinah Shore
Singer, Actress and TV Personality
Dinah Shore

Film PremierThe Wizard of Oz

Aug 17 "The Wizard of Oz" opens at Loews Capitol Theatre in NY

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Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
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  • Aug 28 Sammy Fain and Jack Yellen's musical "George White's Scandals" premieres
  • Oct 14 BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) formed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 16 George Kaufman and Moss Hart's "The Man Who Came to Dinner" premieres in NYC, running until 1941 for 739 performances

Playwright Moss Hart
Playwright
Moss Hart

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Oct 18 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical "Too Many Girls" premieres in NYC

Composer Richard Rodgers
Composer
Richard Rodgers

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 20 "All the Things You Are" recorded by Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader Tommy Dorsey
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader
Tommy Dorsey

Music releaseMusic Recording

Oct 24 Benny Goodman records "Let's Dance"

Clarinetist and Bandleader Benny Goodman
Clarinetist and Bandleader
Benny Goodman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 11 Kate Smith first sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America"

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 17 Jerome Kern/Hammerstein II's "Very Warm for May" premieres in NYC

Broadway Composer Jerome Kern
Broadway Composer
Jerome Kern

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 6 Cole Porter's musical "Du Barry was a Lady" premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter
Composer and Lyricist
Cole Porter
  • Dec 7 William Walton's violinist concert premieres in Cleveland