On This Day

Events in Music in 1978

  • Jan 1 Alex Bradford, Vinnette Carroll, and Micki Grant's musical "Your Arm's Too Short To Box With God" closes at Lyceum Theatre, NYC, after 429 performances and 1 Tony Award
  • Jan 2 Rhino Records releases their 1st album "Wildmania"

Music Concert

Jan 14 Sex Pistols' final concert held in Winterland, San Francisco

Music Awards

Jan 16 5th American Music Awards: Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac & Conway Twitty win

Music History

Jan 17 After a tumultuous final tour The Sex Pistols break up as a band, which is announced the following day

  • Jan 31 "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 101 performances
  • Feb 12 "Jesus Christ Superstar" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 96 performances

Music Premiere

Feb 19 Cy Coleman, Betty Comden & Adolph Green's musical "On The Twentieth Century", starring John Cullum and Madeline Kahn, and Kevin Kline, and directed by Hal Prince, opens at the St. James Theatre, NYC; runs for 449 performances, wins 5 Tony and 4 Drama Desk Awards

Film and TV Awards

Feb 20 4th People's Choice Awards: John Wayne and Barbra Streisand (Motion Picture), and James Garner and Mary Tyler Moore (TV) win

  • Feb 23 20th Grammy Awards: "Hotel California"; Fleetwood Mac; Debbie Boone win
  • Mar 1 "Timbuktu!" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 243 performances
  • Mar 5 "Hello, Dolly!" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 152 performances
  • Mar 18 250,000 attend rock concert California Jam II in Ontario, California
  • Mar 24 Wings release "With a Little Luck"
  • Mar 27 Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 1,774 performances
  • Mar 30 "History of the American Film" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 21 performances
  • Mar 31 Wings release "London Town" album
  • Apr 12 Gyorgy Ligeti's opera "Le Grand Macabre" premieres in Stockholm

Music Awards

Apr 12 13th Academy of Country Music Awards: Kenny Rogers and Crystal Gayle win

  • Apr 16 "History of the American Film" closes at ANTA NYC after 21 performances
  • Apr 22 23rd Eurovision Song Contest: Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta for Israel wins singing "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" in Paris
  • Apr 30 "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" closes at Palace NYC after 101 performances
  • May 9 "Ain't Misbehavin'" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 1604 performances
  • May 10 "Angel" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • May 13 "Angel" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • May 13 Musical "Runaways" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 199 performances, with Elizabeth Swados
  • May 14 "Working" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 25 performances

Album Release

Jun 2 Columbia Records releases Bruce Springsteen fourth studio album "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

  • Jun 4 "Working" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 25 performances

Film Release

Jun 16 Film "Grease" opens, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, based on the 1971 musical

Album Release

Jun 16 Ringo Starr releases album "Bad Boy"

  • Jun 17 "Cheeseburger In Paradise" by Jimmy Buffett peaks at #32
  • Jun 19 "Best Little Whorehouse..." opens at 46th St NYC for 1577 performances

Music Premiere

Jun 21 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical "Evita", starring Elaine Page, premieres at the Prince Edward Theatre, London

  • Jun 28 UNICEF chooses rock group Kansas as Ambassadors of Goodwill
  • Jul 1 "Act" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 233 performances
  • Jul 9 "Hello, Dolly!" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 152 performances
  • Jul 13 BBC bans Sex Pistols "No One is Innocent"

Film Premiere

Jul 21 "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film starring The Bee Gees, based on the Beatles' album of the same name, premieres in NYC

Music History

Jul 25 John Lydon forms rock group Public Ltd Image

  • Jul 28 600,000 attend the "Summer Jam" rock festival at Watkins Glen, New York, at the time the largest ever audience at a pop festival
  • Aug 11 "C'est Chic" second studio album by Chic is released featuring single "Le Freak" (Billboard Album of the Year 1979)
  • Sep 10 "Timbuktu!" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 243 performances
  • Sep 16 Grateful Dead perform in Cairo, Egypt
  • Sep 20 Musical review "Eubie!", based on the songs of composer Eubie Blake, opens at Ambassador Theater, NYC; runs for 439 performances

Album Release

Sep 28 Metal band Black Sabbath release their 8th album "Never Say Die", last to feature Ozzy Osbourne before he was fired

Music History

Oct 6 Mick Jagger apologizes for racist lyrics in "Some Girls"

Music Awards

Oct 9 12th Country Music Association Award: Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle, and Don Williams win

  • Oct 9 John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical "Ballroom" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 10 Aerosmith's Steve Tyler & Joe Perry injured by a cherry bomb
  • Oct 10 British pop music magazine "Smash Hits" first published

Album Release

Oct 11 Columbia Records releases "52nd Street", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's sixth studio album; it becomes his 1st chart-topper, and wins 3 Grammy Awards

Murder of Interest

Oct 12 Sid Vicious charged with murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen

  • Oct 13 "52nd Street" 6th studio album by Billy Joel is released (Grammy Award Album of the Year 1979)
  • Oct 20 Police's 1st US concert (NYC's CBGBs)
  • Oct 22 "King of Hearts" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 48 performances
  • Oct 23 Sid Vicious attempts suicide while at Riker's Detention Center in NYC

Music History

Oct 24 Keith Richards convicted of heroin possession in Toronto

  • Nov 12 "Platinum" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 33 performances

Album Release

Nov 28 Atlantic Records releases "Briefcase Full of Blues", the debut album by The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi); album tops the chart and becomes best-selling blues record of all-time

  • Dec 3 "King of Hearts" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 48 performances
  • Dec 10 "Platinum" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 33 performances
  • Dec 14 "Ballroom" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 116 performances

Music History

Dec 15 German label Ariola Records releases eponymous debut album "Rosanne Cash", produced by future husband Rodney Crowell

  • Dec 21 Charles Strouse and Lee Adams' musical "A Broadway Musical" opens and closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater, NYC, after 1 performance

Music History

Dec 22 Kenney Jones becomes The Who's new drummer, replacing the deceased Keith Moon

Television Premiere

Dec 27 CBS Television's premiere of its version of "Les Miserables", starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins

  • Dec 30 Revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "The King & I" closes at Uris Theater, NYC after 719 performances
  • Dec 31 "Magic Show" closes at Cort Theater NYC after 1859 performances
  • Dec 31 "Runaways" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 199 performances
  • Dec 31 The Runaways' band's last ever concert at the Cow Plalce in Daly City, California