Events in Music in 1940

  • Jan 11 Sergei Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo & Juliet" premieres in Leningrad
  • Jan 23 Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of Polish government in exile

Music History

Jan 30 Benjamin Britten's "Lesson Illuminations" premieres in London

Music History

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra performs at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana, his first as featured singer with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

Music History

Feb 5 Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"

  • Feb 8 Lewis & Hamilton's musical "Two for the Show" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 10 "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hits #1
  • Feb 20 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"
  • Mar 3 American bandleader Artie Shaw records "Frenesi" on RCA Victor label
  • Mar 10 1st US opera telecast, W2XBS, NYC: Ruggero Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci"

Film Premiere

Mar 14 "The Road to Singapore" directed by Victor Schertzinger starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, first of seven such films premieres

Music Premiere

Apr 4 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical "Higher & Higher" premieres in NYC

  • Apr 16 Heitor Villa-Lobos' opera "Izaht" premieres in Rio de Janeiro
  • Apr 23 Dance hall fires kills 198 in Natchez, Mississippi
  • Apr 28 Glenn Miller records "Pennsylvania 6-5000"

Music Premiere

May 28 Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase", satirizing Huey Long's political power, opens at The Imperial Theatre, NYC; runs for 444 performances

#1 in the Charts

Jul 20 Billboard publishes its 1st singles record chart - "I'll Never Smile Again" by Tommy Dorsey, with vocal by Frank Sinatra is #1

  • Jul 27 Billboard magazine starts publishing bestseller charts

Film Release

Sep 29 Musical film "Strike Up the Band" starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland opens

  • Oct 25 Vernon Duke and John Latouche's musical "Cabin In The Sky" opens at the Martin Beck Theatre, NYC; runs for 156 performances

Music Premiere

Oct 30 Cole Porter's musical "Panama Hattie" opens at 46th Street Theatre, NYC; runs 501 performances

Film Premiere

Nov 13 Walt Disney's animated film "Fantasia", starring Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mickey Mouse, and ballet dancing hippopotamuses, premieres at the Broadway Theatre, New York City