On This Day

Events in Music in 1971

  • Jan 3 "President's Daughter" closes at Billy Rose Theater NYC after 72 performances

Music Concert

Jan 6 Neil Young returns to his homeland of Canada for his first concert there since his pre-stardom days

  • Jan 9 "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen" closes at Majestic Theater, NYC, after 19 performances
  • Jan 10 "Light, Lively & Yiddish" closes at Belasco Theater NYC after 87 performances
  • Jan 12 "Soon" opens at Ritz Theater NYC for 3 performances
  • Jan 13 "Soon" closes at Ritz Theater NYC after 3 performances
  • Jan 15 "Ari" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 19 performances

Music Single

Jan 15 George Harrison releases 1st solo single "My Sweet Lord" single in the UK; tops the charts in 15 countries, and becomes subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit

  • Jan 19 "No, No Nanette" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 861 performances

Music History

Jan 19 The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" is played at Charles Manson trial

Music Single

Jan 20 Tamla Records releases Marvin Gaye's single "What's Going On" about police brutality, from the album of the same name

Music Recording

Jan 22 John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band record "Power to the People" at his Ascot Sound Studio

  • Jan 30 "Ari" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 19 performances
  • Jan 31 "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison hits #1 on UK pop chart

Music Concert

Feb 10 Royal Albert Hall bans scheduled concert featuring Frank Zappa

Album Release

Feb 10 "Tapestry", second album by Carole King, is released (Grammy Award Album of the Year 1972)

Music Single

Feb 19 Paul McCartney releases single "Another Day" in UK

Album Release

Feb 19 Progressive rock band Yes release their break-through third studio album "The Yes Album"

Oh! Calcutta! - The Bare Facts

Feb 25 "Oh! Calcutta!" moves to Belasco Theater in NYC; runs for 1,316 performances

  • Mar 3 South African Broadcasting Corp lifts its ban on the Beatles

Music Premiere

Mar 5 "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin first played live at Ulster Hall, Belfast by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones

Music History

Mar 11 Jim Morrison leaves for Paris to re-orient himself emotionally and creatively, and to avoid the jail sentence given to him in Miami, Florida. He never returns to the US.

TV Show Appearance

Mar 14 Barbra Streisand appears on "The Burt Bacharach Special" on CBS TV

Music History

Mar 14 The Rolling Stones leave England for France to escape taxes

  • Mar 16 13th Grammy Awards: "Bridge Over Troubled Water", Carpenters win

Music Awards

Mar 22 6th Academy of Country Music Awards: Merle Haggard and Lynn Anderson win

Music History

Mar 25 Tom Jones' "She's a Lady" goes gold

  • Mar 28 25th Tony Awards: "Sleuth" (Best Play) & "Company" (Best Musical, Original Score, Director) win
  • Apr 3 16th Eurovision Song Contest: Severine for Monaco wins singing "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" in Dublin

Music Premiere

Apr 4 Stephen Sondheim's "Follies" opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 524 performances, then most expensive Broadway musical at the time

Music Single

Apr 9 Ringo Starr releases single "It Don't Come Easy" in the UK

  • Apr 15 "70, Girls, 70" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 35 performances
  • Apr 20 Barbra Streisand records "We've Only Just Begun"
  • Apr 24 Skip Redwine and Larry Frank's musical "Frank Merriwell" opens and closes at Longacre Theater, NYC (1 performance only)
  • May 1 Rolling Stones release "Brown Sugar"
  • May 5 Courtney, Courtney, and Link's musical "Earl of Ruston" opens at Billy Rose Theater, NYC, runs for 5 performances
  • May 8 Courtney, Courtney, and Link's musical "Earl of Ruston" closes at Billy Rose Theater, NYC, after 5 performances
  • May 15 "70, Girls, 70" closes at Broadhurst Theater, NYC, after 35 performances

Music Premiere

May 16 Benjamin Britten's opera "Owen Wingrave" premieres in Aldwych, London

  • May 17 Stephen Schwartz' musical "Godspell" premieres off-Broadway
  • May 21 Marvin Gaye' eleventh album "What's Going On" is released; considered the best album off all-time by critic surveys in Rolling Stone (2020); The Guardian (1997); and New Music Express (1985)
  • May 23 American rock group Iron Butterfly ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida") disbands
  • May 27 John Lennon records the song "Imagine" at his Ascot Sound home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England
  • May 28 Paul McCartney releases "Ram", his 2nd solo album
  • May 29 "Court Room" by Clarence Carter hits #61
  • May 30 36 hospitalized during Grateful Dead concert; drunk LSD apple juice

Music History

Jun 1 "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" opens at the John Golden Theatre, NYC; runs for 31 performances

Glastonbury Festival

Jun 20 Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England opens: David Bowie headlines; other performs include: Joan Baez, Hawkwind, Melanie, Traffic, Fairport Convention, and Quintessence

Music Concert

Jun 21 50,000 attend Celebration of Life, rock concert in McCrea, Louisiana; performers included Chuck Berry; Stephen Stills; WAR; John Sebastian; and Delaney and Bonnie

Album Release

Jun 22 Reprise Records releases "Blue", Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell's 4th studio album [1] [2]

Music Single

Jun 25 Stevie Wonder releases single "Where I'm Coming From"

  • Jun 26 "Man of La Mancha" closes at ANTA Wash Sq Theater NYC after 2329 performances
  • Jun 27 "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" closes at the John Golden Theatre, NYC, after 31 performances
  • Jul 30 George Harrison releases single "Bangladesh"
  • Aug 1 George Harrison's benefit concerts for Bangladesh (2 shows) take place at Madison Square Garden, NYC; performers include Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, and Leon Russell
  • Aug 3 Paul McCartney announces formation of his group Wings

Music Single

Aug 13 Paul & Linda McCartney release single "Back Seat of My Car"

  • Aug 31 Beatle John Lennon leaves England for the final time, moving to New York City
  • Sep 1 Rolling Stones sue manager Allen Klein
  • Sep 9 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on Dick Cavett Show (ABC-TV)
  • Sep 9 John Lennon releases his "Imagine" album
  • Sep 11 "2 by 2" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 343 performances
  • Sep 28 NY Times reports growing interest of white youth in black gospel music
  • Oct 8 John Lennon releases his megahit single "Imagine"
  • Oct 10 5th Country Music Association Award: Charlie Pride wins
  • Oct 10 Fenholt & Webber's musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" premieres in NYC

Music History

Oct 12 Rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice opens at Mark Hellinger on Broadway, NYC for 711 performances

Music Premiere

Oct 20 "Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death" musical by Melvin Van Peebles opens at Barrymore Theater, NYC; runs for 325 performances

  • Oct 21 "To Live Another Summer" opens at Helen Hayes NYC for 173 performances
  • Oct 28 John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" in NYC
  • Oct 31 "On the Town" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 65 performances

Album Release

Nov 1 Family Productions releases "Cold Spring Harbor", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's debut studio album; a mastering error caused music to be sped up

  • Nov 2 "Great Harp" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 7 performances
  • Nov 6 "Great Harp" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 7 performances
  • Nov 22 "Only Fools Are Sad" opens at Edison Theater NYC for 144 performances
  • Nov 28 "Me Nobody Knows" closes at Helen Hayes Theater, NYC, after 587 performances
  • Dec 1 Galt MacDermot and John Guare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" opens at St James Theater NYC for 613 performances
  • Dec 1 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" in US
  • Dec 7 Musical "Wild and Wonderful" opens and closes at the Lyceum Theater, NYC, after 1 performance
  • Dec 7 Wings release their 1st album "Wild Life"
  • Dec 18 CBS radio cancels Saturday morning band concerts
  • Dec 19 "Inner City" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 97 performances