On This Day

Events in Music in 1940

  • Jan 23 Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of Polish government in exile

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader Tommy Dorsey
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader
Tommy Dorsey

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 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, I Pagliacci

Film release premierFilm Premier

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

Entertainer and TV Personality Bob Hope
Entertainer and TV Personality
Bob Hope
Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby

Music releaseMusic Premiere

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

Composer Richard Rodgers
Composer
Richard Rodgers
  • 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 releaseMusic Premiere

May 28 Irving Berlin's musical "Louisiana Purchase" premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin

Music release#1 in the Charts

Jul 20 Billboard publishes its 1st singles record chart (#1 is "I'll Never Smile Again" by Tommy Dorsey)

Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader Tommy Dorsey
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader
Tommy Dorsey
  • Jul 27 Billboard magazine starts publishing bestseller charts
  • Oct 25 Duke, Latouche & Felter's musical premieres in NYC

Music releaseMusic Premiere

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

Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter
Composer and Lyricist
Cole Porter