On This Day

Events in Music on May 21

  • 1892 Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci" premieres in Milan
  • 1941 Singer Johan Heesters visits Dachau concentration camp

Musical Finale

1955 Harold Arlen and Truman Capote' musical "House of Flowers" closes at Alvin Theater, NYC, after 165 performances

  • 1959 "Gypsy" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 702 performances

Music History

1960 Leontyne Price becomes the first African American to sing the lead at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in "Aida"

  • 1966 "Downtown" by Mrs Miller hits #82
  • 1966 "Time for Singing" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 41 performances
  • 1966 Louie Louie by The Kingsmen reentered the chart & hits #97
  • 1967 "Sing, Israel Sing" closes at Brooks Atkinson NYC after 14 performances

Album Release

1971 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)

Theatrical Finale

1972 "Lost in the Stars" based on the novel "Cry the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 39 performances

  • 1977 "Fiddler on the Roof" closes at Winter Garden NYC after 167 performances
  • 1977 Electric Light Orchestra releases "Telephone Line" in the UK; it would peak in the Top 10 in the UK and US

#1 in the Charts

1977 Stevie Wonder's single "Sir Duke", a tribute to Duke Ellington and other musical influences of Wonder's, begins a 3-week run at #1

Music History

1980 "Star Wars Episode V - Empire Strikes Back", produced by George Lucas opens in cinemas in UK and North America

Music History

1981 Reggae musician Bob Marley receives a Jamaican state funeral

  • 1983 "Bang The Drum All Day" by Todd Rundgren hits #63

#1 in the Charts

1983 David Bowie's "Let's Dance" single goes #1

  • 1988 "Da'Butt" by EU hits #35

Music History

1988 Weird Al Yankovic's "Fat" (a parody of Michael Jackson's "Bad") hits #99

  • 1996 "You're Makin' Me High" single released by Toni Braxton (Grammy Award - Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, 1997)

Music Awards

2003 38th Academy of Country Music Awards: Toby Keith, Martina McBride & Kenny Chesney win

  • 2005 50th Eurovision Song Contest: Helena Paparizou for Greece wins singing "My Number One" in Kiev

Music History

2015 Flavor Flav is arrested near Las Vegas on charges including speeding and driving under the influence

Music History

2017 BTS wins the Top Social Artist at the Billboard Awards, becoming the first K-pop group to win any Billboard Award