On This Day

Events in Music in 1983

  • Jan 1 'New age music' radio program "Hearts of Space" makes its national syndication debut on U.S. National Public Radio
  • Jan 2 "Annie" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 2,377 performances

Musical Finale

Jan 2 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" closes at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC after 767 performances

Album Release

Jan 4 Eurythmics release their breakthrough second studio album "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"

  • Jan 17 10th American Music Awards: John Cougar, Rick Springfield, and Olivia Newton-John win
  • Jan 21 First supertitles for a live opera performance: "Elektra" at Canadian Opera Company, English titles by Sonya Friedman
  • Jan 29 "Down Under" by Men At Work hits #1 on UK pop chart
  • Feb 7 "José Cuervo" single released by Shelly West (Billboard Song of the Year 1983)

Music Recording

Feb 11 "Weird Al" Yankovic records "Ricky" & "Buckingham Blues" debut LP

Music Single

Feb 11 Single "Total Eclipse of the Heart" sung by Bonnie Tyler and composed by Jim Steinman is released

  • Feb 13 Bernstein, Levinson & Link's musical "Merlin" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 199 performances
  • Feb 23 25th Grammy Awards: Roxanna, Toto IV, Men at Work win

#1 in the Charts

Feb 26 Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album goes #1 and stays #1 for 37 weeks

Album Release

Feb 28 U2 release their third studio album "War" featuring protest song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", their 1st No. 1 UK album

  • Mar 6 "On Your Toes" opens at Virginia Theater NYC for 505 performances
  • Mar 13 Peter Stone's musical "Woman of the Year" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 770 performances
  • Apr 23 28th Eurovision Song Contest: Corinne Hermes for Luxembourg wins singing "Si la vie est cadeau" in Munich
  • Apr 24 "Show Boat" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 73 performances
  • May 1 "My One & Only" opens at St James Theater NYC for 767 performances
  • May 9 18th Academy of Country Music Awards: Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, and Sylvia win
  • May 11 Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse's musical "Dance a Little Closer" opens & closes at Minskoff Theater, NYC, after 1 performance
  • May 14 "She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby hits #5
  • May 19 Weird Al Yankovic gives live performance at Wax Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • May 20 "Every Breath You Take" single released by The Police (Billboard Song of the Year, 1983)
  • May 21 "Bang The Drum All Day" by Todd Rundgren hits #63

#1 in the Charts

May 21 David Bowie's "Let's Dance" single goes #1

Music History

May 25 "Return of the Jedi" (Star Wars Episode VI), produced by George Lucas first released

  • May 28 "Ricky", parody song by Weird Al Yankovic hits #63
  • Jun 3 Prolific studio drummer Jim Gordon murders his mother, Osa Marie Gordon in North Hollywood, California. [1]
  • Jun 5 37th Tony Awards: "Torch Song Trilogy" and "Cats" win
  • Jun 6 17th Music City News Country Awards: Marty Robbins & Roy Acuff win
  • Jun 11 "Always Something There To Remind Me" by Naked Eyes peaks at #8
  • Jun 11 "Cool Places" by Sparks & Jane Wiedlin peaks at #49
  • Jun 11 "Faithfully" by Journey peaks at #12

Music History

Jun 11 "My Love" by Lionel Richie peaks at #5

  • Jun 11 "Theme From Doctor Detroit" by Devo peaks at #59
  • Jun 11 "When I'm With You" by Sheriff peaks at #61

Album Release

Jun 16 Ringo Starr releases album "Old Wave" album in West Germany

  • Jun 18 "Pump Boys & Dinettes" closes at Princess Theater NYC after 573 performances
  • Jun 25 "Evita" closes at Broadway Theater, NYC, after 1568 performances
  • Jun 26 "Show Boat" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 73 performances

Film Premiere

Jul 15 Film version of "The Pirates of Penzance", starring Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, and Angela Lansbury premieres in US

Music Concert

Jul 21 Thunder storm cuts short Diana Ross' free concert in NY's Central Park

  • Jul 24 "Mame" opens at Gershwin Theater NYC for 41 performances

Album Release

Jul 25 Metallica's debut album Kill 'Em All is released on Megaforce Records

  • Aug 7 "Merlin" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 199 performances
  • Aug 15 Ramones guitarist Joey Ramone beaten in fight, and undergoes brain surgery
  • Aug 21 Jerry Herman's musical "La Cage aux Folles", based Jean Poiret's French play of the same name , opens at Palace Theater, NYC; runs for 1761 performances, wins 6 Tony Awards
  • Aug 28 Revival of Jerry Herman' musical "Mame", starring Angela Lansbury closes at the George Gershwin Theater, NYC, after 41 performances
  • Sep 4 "Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat" closes at Royale NYC after 747 performances

Music History

Sep 17 Vanessa Williams (NY), 20, crowned 56th Miss America 1984, 1st winner of African American descent

Music Concert

Sep 22 The Everly Brothers reunite after 10 years apart in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London

  • Sep 29 "A Chorus Line" with 3,389 performances becomes the then longest-running Broadway show
  • Oct 3 Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson release single "Say, Say, Say" in UK
  • Oct 10 17th Country Music Association Award: Alabama wins
  • Oct 11 "Can't Slow Down" second studio album by Lionel Richie is released
  • Oct 16 "Zorba" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 362 performances

Music History

Oct 27 Larry Flynt pays hitman $1M to kill Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, Walter Annenberg, and Frank Sinatra; Flynt's business manager immediately stops payment; Flynt claims he was just joking

Album Release

Oct 31 Paul McCartney releases "Pipes of Peace" album

  • Nov 2 "Thriller" single released worldwide by Michael Jackson
  • Nov 10 "Amen Corner" opens at Nederlander Theater NYC for 83 performances
  • Nov 17 "La Tragedie de Carmen" opens at Beaumont Theater NYC for 187 performances

Film Premiere

Nov 17 Film "Yentl" produced, directed and starring Barbra Streisand and Mandy Patinkin premieres, based on play and story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

  • Nov 20 "Marilyn: An American Fable" opens at Minskoff Theater, NYC; runs for 17 performances
  • Nov 21 "Doonesbury" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 104 performances
  • Dec 3 "Marilyn: An American Fable" closes at Minskoff Theatre, NYC, after 16 performances
  • Dec 4 "Amen Corner" closes at Nederlander Theater NYC after 83 performances
  • Dec 4 David Shire & Richard Maltby, Jr.'s musical "Baby" opens at Barrymore Theater, NYC; runs for 241 performances
  • Dec 14 Muscial "Peg" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • Dec 16 Spokesperson for The Who announces the group is disbanding
  • Dec 17 Peggy Lee's one-woman show "Peg" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater, NYC after 5 performances
  • Dec 21 Musical "Tap Dance Kid" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 669 performances