On This Day

Events in Music in 1980

  • Jan 6 "1940's Radio Hour" closes at St James Theater NYC after 105 performances
  • Jan 13 "King of Schnorrers" closes at Playhouse Theater NYC after 63 performances

Music History

Jan 16 Paul McCartney is arrested at Tokyo International Airport for possession of marijuana; he is sent to jail for nine days before being deported

Music History

Jan 26 175,000 pay to hear Frank Sinatra sing in Rio de Janeiro

  • Jan 27 "Comin' Uptown" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 45 performances
  • Feb 1 "Call Me" single released by Blondie (Billboard Song of the Year 1980)
  • Feb 12 "Canterbury Tales" opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 16 performances

Music History

Feb 14 "West Side Story" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 341 performances

  • Feb 18 Billy Wyman said he will leave Rolling Stones in 1983 (Sure!)
  • Feb 24 "Canterbury Tales" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 16 performances

Grammy Awards

Feb 27 22nd Grammy Awards: Song of the Year Kenny Loggins' "What a Fool Believes" Best Album Billy Joel's "52nd Street

  • Feb 28 "The Well-Tuned Piano" by La Monte Young premieres (takes 4 h 12 m)
  • Mar 1 Patti Smith & MC5 guitarist Fred Sonic Smith wed in Detroit
  • Mar 8 The first festival of rock music kicks off in the Soviet Union
  • Mar 24 Capitol Records releases some rare Beatles tracks on the LP "Rarites"
  • Mar 26 Bombay gets its 1st rock concert in 10 years (The Police)
  • Mar 27 "Happy New Year" opens at Morosco Theater NYC for 17 performances
  • Mar 27 "Reggae" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 21 performances
  • Apr 11 Paul McCartney releases single "Coming Up"
  • Apr 13 Musical "Grease" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 3,388 performances
  • Apr 13 "Reggae" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 21 performances
  • Apr 19 25th Eurovision Song Contest: Johnny Logan for Ireland wins singing "What's Another Year" in The Hague
  • Apr 30 "Barnum" opens at St James Theater NYC for 854 performances
  • May 1 "Day in Hollywood, A Night..." opens at John Golden NYC for 588 performances
  • May 1 15th Academy of Country Music Awards: Larry Gatlin and Crystal Gayle win

Music History

May 2 Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in Wall (Part II)" is banned in South Africa

  • May 10 "Happy New Year" closes at Morosco Theater NYC after 17 performances
  • May 14 "Musical Chairs" opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 15 performances
  • May 16 Brian May of rock group Queen collapses on stage with hepatitis
  • May 16 Paul McCartney releases "McCartney II" album
  • May 19 "Blackstone" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 104 performances
  • May 20 Drummer Peter Criss quits rock band Kiss

Music History

May 21 "Star Wars Episode V - Empire Strikes Back", produced by George Lucas opens in cinemas in UK and North America

Cannes Film Festival

May 23 33rd Cannes Film Festival: "All That Jazz" directed by Bob Fosse and "Kagemusha" directed by Akira Kurosawa jointly awarded the Palme d'Or

  • May 24 "Rock Lobster" by B-52s hits #56
  • May 25 "Musical Chairs" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 15 performances
  • May 29 John MacLachlan Gray's musical "Billy Bishop Goes to War" opens at Morosco Theater, NYC; runs for 12 performances, then moves to Off-Broadway
  • May 31 "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band peaks at #38

Music Concert

Jun 1 Barbra Streisand appears at an ACLU Benefit in California

  • Jun 2 "Your Arm's Too Short To Box With God" opens at Ambassador NYC for 149 performances
  • Jun 3 "It's So Nice to Be Civilized" opens at Martin Beck theater, NYC; runs for 8 performances
  • Jun 7 "Billy Bishop Goes to War" closes at Morosco NYC after 12 performances
  • Jun 7 "Cars" by Gary Numan hits #9
  • Jun 8 "It's So Nice to Be Civilized" closes at Martin Beck NYC after 8 performances

Music City News Awards

Jun 9 14th Music City News Country Awards: Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn win

Film Premier

Jun 16 Musical comedy film "The Blues Brothers", starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, and directed by John Landis, premieres in Chicago

Album Release

Jun 17 Columbia Records releases Bruce Springsteen's fifth studio album "The River"; the 2-record set becomes a global smash, going top five in 8 countries

  • Jun 20 Musical comedy film "Blues Brothers", starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, and featuring appearances by Aretha Franklin; Cab Calloway; and Ray Charles opens in 594 theaters
  • Jun 25 "Fearless Frank" closes at Princess Theater NYC after 12 performances
  • Jun 29 "Sweeney Todd" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 557 performances
  • Jul 1 'O Canada' officially becomes the national anthem of Canada.
  • Jul 2 Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and Mickey Hart are arrested for incitement
  • Jul 18 Billy Joel's "Glass Houses" album tops US charts, featuring "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me"

Music History

Jul 29 David Bowie stars in dramatic stage play "The Elephant Man" at the Auditorium Theater in Denver, Colorado

Music History

Aug 4 John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin recording "Double Fantasy" in NYC

  • Aug 16 Bill Ward quits Black Sabbath
  • Aug 16 British rock musician Jools Holland quits band Squeeze
  • Aug 17 "Blackstone" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 104 performances
  • Aug 25 Gower Champion's musical "42nd Street" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 3486 performances
  • Aug 26 Pete Comita replaces Tom Peterson as bassist of Cheap Trick
  • Aug 31 "Oklahoma!" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 301 performances
  • Sep 4 Yes performs its last concert at Madison Square Garden
  • Sep 14 "Charlie & Algernon" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 17 performances
  • Sep 15 Paul McCartney releases single "Temporary Secretary"

Film Premier

Sep 17 "Divine Madness" starring Bette Midler, premieres

  • Sep 18 'Les Miserables' opens at Palais des Sports, Paris

Album Release

Sep 20 "Blizzard of Ozz", the debut solo album by English rock musician Ozzy Osbourne, is released in the United Kingdom

Music Concert

Sep 23 Bob Marley's last concert at Stanley Theatre Pittsburgh

  • Sep 28 "Charlie & Algernon" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 17 performances
  • Oct 8 After playing two shows at the Madison Square Garden, Bob Marley collapsed in Central Park while jogging, brought to Sloan-Kettering Hospital
  • Oct 12 "Your Arm's Too Short to Box With God" closes at Ambassador Theater, NYC, after 149 performances
  • Oct 12 7 stabbed at Blood, Sweat & Tears concert in Los Angeles

Music Awards

Oct 13 14th Country Music Association Award: Barbara Mandrell, Emmylou Harris, and George Jones win

  • Oct 16 "Brigadoon" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 133 performances

Album Release

Oct 20 Geffen records release their first album, Donna Summer's "The Wanderer"

  • Oct 21 "Banjo Dancing" opens at Century Theater NYC for 38 performances
  • Oct 23 "Tintypes" opens at John Golden Theater NYC for 93 performances
  • Oct 24 John Lennon releases single "(Just Like) Starting Over" in UK
  • Oct 25 Barbra Streisand's "Guilty" album goes #1 for 3 weeks & her single "Woman In Love," goes #1 for 3 weeks
  • Nov 17 John Lennon releases "Double Fantasy" album in UK

Famous Photo

Nov 21 John Lennon and Yoko Ono pose nude for photographer Allan Tannenbaum

  • Nov 30 "Banjo Dancing" closes at Century Theater NYC after 38 performances
  • Nov 30 "Perfectly Frank" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 16 performances
  • Nov 30 "West Side Story" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 341 performances

Music History

Dec 4 Two months after death of drummer John Bonham, Led Zeppelin announces they will disband

  • Dec 8 Annie Leibovitz has a photo-shoot with John Lennon, the last person to professionally photograph him before he is murdered on the same day
  • Dec 13 "Perfectly Frank" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • Dec 14 At 2 PM EST there is 10 minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon
  • Dec 31 Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band's "The River Tour" concert at Nassau Coliseum (Uniondale, New York) clocks in at almost 4 hours