1933 in music
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This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1933.
1933 USA pop songs
- January 23 – Béla Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 receives its première in Frankfurt.
- February – Billie Holiday is "discovered" singing at Monette's club.
- March 6 – Nicolas Slonimsky conducts the world première of Edgard Varèse's Ionisation at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- June – No. 1 Rhythm Club, a pioneering jazz club, opens in Regent Street, London.
- June 12 – Florence Price's Symphony In E Minor is premièred by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the first composition by an African American woman to be played by a major orchestra.
- July 16 – John Jacob Niles hears the fragments of song in Appalachia that he adapts as the folk hymn "I Wonder as I Wander" completed on October 4 and first performed on December 19.
- National Association for American Composers and Conductors is founded by Henry Hadley.
- Perry Como begins singing with the Freddie Carlone orchestra.
- Gorni Kramer forms his first jazz band.
- John Serry, Sr. performs as the first on stage concert accordion soloist at the Radio City Music Hall.
- Georges Bizet's Symphony in C is rediscovered in the library of the Conservatoire de Paris.
Published popular music
- "After All, You're All I'm After" words: Edward Heyman music: Arthur Schwartz. Introduced by John Ball in the play She Loves Me Not.
- "Ah, But Is It Love?" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Jay Gorney. Introduced by Lillian Miles and Roger Pryor in the film Moonlight And Pretzels
- "Annie Doesn't Live Here Any More" w. Joe Young & Johnny Burke m. Harold Spina
- "Are You Makin' Any Money?" w.m. Herman Hupfeld. Introduced by Lillian Miles in the film Moonlight And Pretzels
- "Beautiful Girl" w. Arthur Freed m. Nacio Herb Brown. Introduced by Bing Crosby in the film Going Hollywood.
- "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" w.(English language) Sammy Cahn & Saul Chaplin (Yiddish) Jacob Jacobs m. Sholem Secunda
- "Black Moonlight" w.m. Arthur Johnston & Sam Coslow. Introduced by Kitty Kelly in the film Too Much Harmony.
- "Blue Jazz" m. Gene Gifford
- "Blue Lou" w.m. Edgar Sampson & Irving Mills
- "Blue Prelude" w.m. Joe Bishop & Gordon Jenkins
- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Build a Little Home" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren. Sung by Eddie Cantor in the film Roman Scandals.
- "By a Waterfall" w. Irving Kahal m. Sammy Fain. Introduced by Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell in the film Footlight Parade.
- "Carioca" w. Gus Kahn & Edward Eliscu m. Vincent Youmans. Introduced by Etta Moten in the film Flying Down to Rio.
- "Close Your Eyes" w.m. Bernice Petkere
- "Coffee in the Morning, Kisses in the Night" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "The Day You Came Along" w.m. Arthur Johnston & Sam Coslow
- "Deep Purple" (When The Deep Purple Falls) w. Mitchell Parish m. Peter De Rose. Lyrics added in 1938.
- "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?" w. Mack Gordon m. Harry Revel
- "Dinner at Eight" w. Dorothy Fields m. Jimmy McHugh
- "Doin' the Uptown Lowdown" w. Mack Gordon m. Harry Revel. Introduced by Frances Williams with Abe Lyman & his Orchestra in the film Broadway Thru a Keyhole
- "Don't Blame Me" w. Dorothy Fields m. Jimmy McHugh
- "Down the Old Ox Road" w. Sam Coslow m. Arthur Johnston
- "Drop Me Off in Harlem" w. Nick Kenny m. Duke Ellington
- "Dusty Shoes" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Jay Gorney. From the film Moonlight And Pretzels
- "Easter Parade" w.m. Irving Berlin
- "Everything I Have Is Yours" w. Harold Adamson m. Burton Lane
- "Experiment" w.m. Cole Porter
- "Flying Down to Rio" w. Edward Eliscu & Gus Kahn m. Vincent Youmans. Introduced by Fred Astaire in the film Flying Down to Rio
- "Forty-Second Street" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)" w.m. Coot Grant, Wesley Wilson
- "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Love" w. Leo Robin m. Ralph Rainger. Introduced by Claudette Colbert in the film Torch Singer
- " Gotta Get Up and Go to Work" w.m. Herman Hupfeld. From the film Moonlight and Pretzels
- "A Guy What Takes His Time" w.m. Ralph Rainger. Introduced by Mae West in the film She Done Him Wrong.
- "Happy as the Day Is Long" w. Ted Koehler m. Harold Arlen
- "Harlem on My Mind" w.m. Irving Berlin. Introduced by Ethel Waters in the musical As Thousands Cheer.
- "Heat Wave" w.m. Irving Berlin. Introduced by Ethel Waters in the revue As Thousands Cheer. Performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1954 film There's No Business Like Show Business.
- "Hey, Young Fella" w. Dorothy Fields m. Jimmy McHugh
- "Honeymoon Hotel" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren. Introduced by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler in the film Footlight Parade
- "How Could We Be Wrong?" w.m. Cole Porter. Introduced by Gertrude Lawrence in the musical Nymph Errant
- "How's Chances?" w.m. Irving Berlin, Introduced by Marilyn Miller and Clifton Webb in the musical As Thousands Cheer
- "A Hundred Years from Today" w. Ned Washington & Joe Young m. Victor Young
- "Hustlin' and Bustlin' for Baby" w.m. Harry M. Woods
- "I Cover the Waterfront" w. Edward Heyman m. John Green
- "I Found a New Way to Go to Town" Dubois, Ellison, Harvey
- "I Just Couldn't Take It Baby" w. Mann Holiner m. Alberta Nichols
- "I Like Mountain Music" w. James Cavanaugh m. Frank Weldon
- "I Took My Harp to a Party" w. Desmond Carter m. Noel Gay
- "I Wanna Be Loved" w. Edward Heyman & Billy Rose m. John Green
- "I'm No Angel" w.m. Gladys Du Bois, Ben Ellison & Harvey O. Brooks
- "I'm Satisfied" w. Mitchell Parish m. Duke Ellington
- "Inka Dinka Doo" w.m. Jimmy Durante & Ben Ryan
- "Isn't It a Pity?" w. Ira Gershwin m. George Gershwin. Introduced by George Givot and Josephine Houston in the musical Pardon My English
- "Isn't It Heavenly" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Joseph Meyer
- "It Isn't Fair" w.m. Richard Himber, Frank Warshauer & Sylvester Sprigato
- "It's Only a Paper Moon" w. E. Y. Harburg & Billy Rose m. Harold Arlen
- "It's the Talk of the Town" w. Marty Symes & Al J. Neiburg m. Jerry Livingston
- "I've Found the Right Girl" w.m. Stanley Lupino & Noel Gay
- "I've Got the World on a String" w. Ted Koehler m. Harold Arlen
- "I've Got to Sing a Torch Song" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Keep Young and Beautiful" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "The Last Round-Up" w.m. Billy Hill
- "Lazybones" w.m. Johnny Mercer & Hoagy Carmichael
- "Learn to Croon" w. Sam Coslow m. Arthur Johnston
- "Let's Begin" w. Otto Harbach m. Jerome Kern. Introduced by George Murphy in the musical Roberta.
- "Let's Fall in Love" w. Ted Koehler m. Harold Arlen
- "Let's Make Love Like the Crocodiles" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Jay Gorney. From the film Moonlight and Pretzels
- "Lorelei" w. Ira Gershwin m. George Gershwin Introduced in the musical Pardon My English by Johnny Stewart, Gerry Martin and ensemble.
- "Love Locked Out" w. Max Kester m. Ray Noble
- "Love Me" w. Ned Washington m. Victor Young
- "Maria Elena" w. (Eng) S. K. Russell m. Lorenzo Barclelata
- "The Moment I Saw You" w.m. Noel Gay
- "Moonlight and Pretzels" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Jay Gorney. From the film Moonlight and Pretzels
- "Moonstruck" w. Sam Coslow m. Arthur Johnston
- "My Hat's on the Side of My Head" w.m. Harry M. Woods & Claude Hurlburt
- "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii" w.m. Billy Cogswell, Tom Harrison & Johnny Noble
- "My Moonlight Madonna" w. Paul Francis Webster m. William Scotti
- "My Shawl" w. (Eng) Stanley Adams (Sp) Pedro Berrios m. Xavier Cugat
- "My Song Goes 'Round the World" w.m. Hans May, Ernst Neubach & Jimmy Kennedy
- "Not for All the Rice in China" w.m. Irving Berlin
- "Nymph Errant" w.m. Cole Porter
- "Oceans of Time" w. Douglas Furber, Clifford Grey & Greatrex Newman m. Johnny Green
- "Old Father Thames" w.m. Raymond Wallace & Betsy O'Hogan
- "Old Man Harlem" w.m. Rudy Vallee & Hoagy Carmichael
- "On the Trail" w. Harold Adamson m. Ferde Grofe
- "One Morning in May" w. Mitchell Parish m. Hoagy Carmichael
- "Oodles of Noodles" m. Jimmy Dorsey
- "Pettin' in the Park" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "I'm Popeye The Sailor Man" w.m. Sammy Lerner
- "The Physician" w.m. Cole Porter
- "The Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away" w.m. Benjamin Hapgood Burt
- "Remember My Forgotten Man" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Roll Up the Carpet" w. Raymond Klages m. Raymond Klages, Al Goodhart & Al Hoffman
- "Shadow Waltz" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Shanghai Lil" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "She Loves Me Not" w. Edward Heyman m. Arthur Schwartz from the musical She Loves Me Not
- "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" w. Otto Harbach m. Jerome Kern
- "Snowball" w.m. Hoagy Carmichael
- "Solomon" w.m. Cole Porter from the musical Nymph Errant
- "Song of Surrender" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Sophisticated Lady" w. Mitchell Parish & Irving Mills m. Duke Ellington
- "Stormy Weather" w. Ted Koehler m. Harold Arlen
- "Supper Time" w.m. Irving Berlin. Introduced by Ethel Waters in the revue As Thousands Cheer
- "Sweetheart Darlin'" w. Gus Kahn m. Herbert Stothart. Introduced by Marion Davies in the film Peg o' My Heart
- "Tangmalangaloo" w. Patrick Hartigan m. Stephen Moreno 
- "Temptation" w. Arthur Freed m. Nacio Herb Brown
- "Thanks" w. Sam Coslow m. Arthur Johnston
- "There's a Cabin in the Pines" w.m. Billy Hill
- "There's a Little Bit of You in Every Love Song" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Sammy Fain. From the film Moonlight and Pretzels
- "There's Something About a Soldier" w.m. Noel Gay
- "They Call Me Sister Honky Tonk" w.m. Gladys DuBois, Ben Ellison & Harvey O. Brooks
- "Tony's Wife" w. Harold Adamson m. Burton Lane
- "The Touch of Your Hand" w. Otto Harbach m. Jerome Kern
- "Twenty Million People" w. Sam Coslow m. Arthur Johnston from the film Hello, Everybody!
- "We'll All Go Riding on a Rainbow" Harry M. Woods
- "We'll Make Hay While the Sun Shines" w. Arthur Freed m. Nacio Herb Brown
- "We're in the Money" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren introduced by Ginger Rogers in the film Gold Diggers of 1933
- "Weep No More, My Baby" w. Edward Heyman m. John Green. Introduced by Billy House and Una Vilon in the musical Murder at the Vanities
- "When It's Lamp Lighting Time in the Valley" w.m. Joe Lyons, Sam C. Hart & The Vagabonds
- "When You Were the Girl on the Scooter" w. Mack Gordon m. Harry Revel. Introduced by Constance Cummings & Eddie Foy Jr. with Abe Lyman & his Orchestra in the film Broadway Thru a Keyhole
- "White Jazz" m. Gene Clifford
- "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" w. Frank Churchill & Ann Ronell m. Frank Churchill
- "Yesterdays" w. Otto Harbach m. Jerome Kern
- "You Are My Past, Present and Future" w. Mack Gordon m. Harry Revel. Introduced by Russ Columbo in the film Broadway Thru a Keyhole
- "You Gotta Be a Football Hero" w.m. Al Lewis, Al Sherman & Buddy Fields
- "You Ought to See Sally on Sunday" w.m. Harry M. Woods
- "Young and Healthy" w. Al Dubin m. Harry Warren
- "Your Mother's Son-In-Law" w. Mann Holiner m. Alberta Nichols
- "You're My Thrill" w. Sidney Clare m. Jay Gorney
- "You've Got Me Crying Again" w. Charles Newman m. Isham Jones
Top Popular Recordings
|Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman and His Orchestra||"Night and Day"||1933||US BB 1933 #1, US #1 for 10 weeks, 18 total weeks, 22,811 sales|
|George Olsen and His Music v_Joe Morrison||"The Last Roundup"||1933||US BB 1933 #2, US #1 for 9 weeks, 24 total weeks|
|Harold Arlen with Leo Reisman Orchestra||"Stormy Weather"||1933||US BB 1933 #3, US #1 for 8 weeks, 19 total weeks|
|Ray Noble and his New Mayfair Orchestra v_Al Bowlly||"Love Is the Sweetest Thing"||1933||US BB 1933 #4, US #1 for 5 weeks, 16 total weeks|
|Bing Crosby with Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians||"You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me"||1933||US BB 1933 #5, US #1 for 4 weeks, 14 total weeks|
|Ted Lewis and His Band||"Lazybones"||1933||US BB 1933 #6, US #1 for 4 weeks, 11 total weeks|
|Don Bestor and His Orchestra||"Forty-Second Street"||1933||US BB 1933 #7, US #1 for 3 weeks, 12 total weeks|
|Ethel Waters||"Stormy Weather"||1933||US BB 1933 #8, US #1 for 3 weeks, 11 total weeks|
|Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians||"The Last Roundup"||1933||US BB 1933 #9, US #1 for 3 weeks, 8 total weeks|
|Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra||Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?||1933||US BB 1933 #10, US #1 for 3 weeks, 6 total weeks|
|Bing Crosby||Shadow Waltz||1933||US BB 1933 #11, US #1 for 2 weeks, 8 total weeks|
|Paul Whiteman and His Band (Vocal Irene Taylor)||Willow Weep for Me||1933||US BB 1933 #18, US #2 for 2 weeks, 7 total weeks, 8,292 sales|
|Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians||Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time)||1933||US BB 1933 #12, US #2 for 4 weeks, 10 total weeks|
|Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra||"Night and Day"||1933||US BB 1933 #13, US #2 for 3 weeks, 8 total weeks|
|Bing Crosby||Just an Echo in the Valley||1933||US BB 1933 #14, US #2 for 2 weeks, 11 total weeks|
|Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra||"Sophisticated Lady"||1933||US BB 1933 #25, US #3 for 1 week, 16 total weeks|
|Don Bestor and His Orchestra||"The Last Roundup"||1933||US BB 1933 #15, US #2 for 2 weeks, 10 total weeks|
|Don Bestor and His Orchestra||"Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?"||1933||US BB 1933 #16, US #2 for 2 weeks, 8 total weeks|
|Ted Lewis and His Band||"The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)"||1933||US BB 1933 #45, US #5 for 1 week, 7 total weeks|
|Bing Crosby||"Thanks"||1933||US BB 1933 #19, US #2 for 2 weeks, 7 total weeks|
|Chávez, Carlos||Sinfonía de Antígona||Dec 15, 1933||Mexico City||Mexico Symphony – Chávez |
|Dallapiccola, Luigi||Partita||Jan 22, 1933||Florence||Pasini / Teatro Comunale Orchestra – Gui|
|Kodály, Zoltán||Dances of Galánta||Oct 23, 1933||Budapest||Budapest Philharmonic Society Orchestra – Dohnányi|
|Messiaen, Olivier||Fantaisie burlesque||Feb 8, 1933||Paris||Casadesus|
|Revueltas, Silvestre||Janitzio||Dec 8, 1933||Mexico City||Mexico Symphony – Revueltas |
|Shostakovich, Dmitri||Piano Concerto No. 1||Oct 15, 1933||Leningrad||Shostakovich / Leningrad Philharmonic – Stiedry|
|Shostakovich, Dmitri||Preludes for piano||May 24, 1933||Leningrad||Shostakovich |
- Kurt Atterberg – A Varmland Rhapsody
- Carlos Chávez –
- Aaron Copland – Short Symphony
- Paul Creston – Seven Theses for piano
- Luigi Dallapiccola – Partita
- Robert M. Helmschrott – Concerto for Organ and Percussion "Lamento"
- Gustav Holst – Lyric Movement
- Zoltán Kodály – Dances of Galánta
- Gian Francesco Malipiero
- Sette Invenzioni, for orchestra
- Symphony No. 1
- Steel, film score
- Igor Markevitch – Psaume for soprano, female chorus and orchestra
- Xavier Montsalvatge – Tres Impromptus
- Silvestre Revueltas –
- Arnold Schoenberg –
- Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 1
- Igor Stravinsky – Perséphone
- Aaron Avshalomov – The Twilight Hour of Yan Kuei Fei
- Joseph Canteloube – Vercingétorix
- Louis Gruenberg – The Emperor Jones
- Gian Francesco Malipiero – La favola del figlio cambiato
- Richard Strauss – Arabella (1 July, Sächsisches Staatstheater, Dresden)
- Alexander Zemlinsky – Der Kreidekreis (14 October, Zürich Opera House)
- Leigh Harline – The Night Before Christmas (1933 film)
- Dmitri Shostakovich - The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda (film)
- Max Steiner – King Kong (1933 film)
- Max Steiner – Morning Glory (1933 film)
- As Thousands Cheer (Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin Book: Moss Hart). Broadway revue opened at the Music Box Theatre on September 30 and ran for 400 performances
- Ball At The Savoy (Music: Paul Abraham (composer) Lyrics and Book: Oscar Hammerstein II). London production opened at the Drury Lane Theatre on September 8 and ran for 96 performances.
- Bezauberndes Fräulein (Music and libretto: Ralph Benatzky). Musical comedy opened at the Volkstheater, Vienna on May 24.
- Command Performance London production opened at the Saville Theatre on October 17 and ran for 31 performances
- Gay Divorce (Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter Book: Dwight Taylor). London production opened at the Palace Theatre on November 2 and ran for 180 performances
- Give Me a Ring London production opened at the Hippodrome on June 22 and ran for 239 performances.
- He Wanted Adventure London production opened at the Saville Theatre on March 28 and ran for 152 performances
- Murder at the Vanities – music by Victor Young. Broadway production opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on September 8 and moved to the Majestic Theatre on November 6 for a total run of 207 performances
- Music in the Air London production opened at His Majesty's Theatre on May 19 and ran for 275 performances
- Nice Goings On London production opened at the Strand Theatre on September 13 and ran for 221 performances
- Nymph Errant (Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter Book: Romney Brent). London production opened at the Adelphi Theatre on October 6 and ran for 154 performances
- Pardon My English Broadway production opened at the Majestic Theatre on January 20 and ran for 43 performances
- Roberta (Music: Jerome Kern Lyrics and Book: Otto Harbach). Broadway production opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on November 18 and ran for 295 performances
- That's a Pretty Thing (Music: Noel Gay Lyrics: Desmond Carter Book: Stanley Lupino) London production opened at Daly's Theatre on November 22 and ran for 103 performances
- 42nd Street, starring Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler, Una Merkel, Ginger Rogers and Dick Powell
- Adorable, starring Janet Gaynor, Henry Garat and C. Aubrey Smith. Directed by William Dieterle.
- Adventures on the Lido, starring Alfred Piccaver, S.Z. Sakall and Nora Gregor, directed by Richard Oswald, with music by Bronislau Kaper
- Aunt Sally, starring Cicely Courtneidge and Sam Hardy and featuring Debroy Somers and his Band. Directed by Tim Whelan.
- A Bedtime Story, starring Maurice Chevalier, Helen Twelvetrees, Edward Everett Horton and Baby LeRoy.
- A Song Goes Round the World, starring Joseph Schmidt
- Bitter Sweet, starring Anna Neagle, Fernand Gravey and Ivy St Helier
- Born Lucky, starring Talbot O'Farrell and René Ray
- Broadway Thru a Keyhole starring Constance Cummings, Russ Columbo, Paul Kelly, Eddie Foy Jr., Blossom Seeley, Gregory Ratoff and Texas Guinan and featuring Frances Williams with Abe Lyman & his Orchestra. Directed by Lowell Sherman.
- College Humor released July 5, starring Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Mary Carlisle, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Mary Kornman.
- Dancing Lady starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Robert Benchley and featuring Fred Astaire, Art Jarrett and Nelson Eddy.
- Facing the Music, starring Stanley Lupino and Jose Collins
- Flying Down to Rio released December 22, starring Dolores del Río, Gene Raymond, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
- Footlight Parade, starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell
- Going Hollywood released December 22 starring Marion Davies and Bing Crosby
- Gold Diggers of 1933, starring Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers
- The Good Companions, starring Jessie Matthews, Edmund Gwenn and John Gielgud
- Happy, starring Stanley Lupino, Laddie Cliff, Will Fyffe and Harry Tate.
- Hello, Everybody!, starring Kate Smith, Randolph Scott and Sally Blane. Directed by William A. Seiter.
- I Am Suzanne, starring Lilian Harvey, Gene Raymond and Leslie Banks. Directed by Rowland V. Lee.
- Let's Fall in Love, starring Edmund Lowe, Ann Sothern and Art Jarrett
- Melody Cruise, starring Charles Ruggles. Phil Harris and Helen Mack
- Moonlight And Pretzels released August 1, starring Leo Carrillo and Mary Brian
- My Weakness starring Lilian Harvey, Lew Ayres, Charles Butterworth, Sid Silvers and Harry Langdon. Directed by David Butler.
- Roman Scandals starring Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Gloria Stuart, David Manners and Edward Arnold. Directed by Frank Tuttle.
- Sitting Pretty starring Jack Oakie, Jack Haley, Ginger Rogers, Thelma Todd and The Pickens Sisters
- Take A Chance starring James Dunn, Cliff Edwards, June Knight, Lillian Roth, Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Marjorie Main.
- This Week of Grace starred Gracie Fields
- Too Much Harmony released on September 23 starring Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie and Kitty Kelly.
- Torch Singer starring Claudette Colbert, Ricardo Cortez and Lyda Roberti
- The Way to Love starring Maurice Chevalier, Ann Dvorak and Edward Everett Horton. Directed by Norman Taurog.
- January 17 – Dalida, singer (d. 1987)
- January 18 – Ray Dolby, inventor of the Dolby System (d. 2013)
- January 20 – Ronald Townson, American singer and actor (The 5th Dimension) (d. 2001)
- January 23 – Chita Rivera, Broadway star
- January 29 – Sacha Distel, singer (d. 2004)
- February 7 – Stuart Burrows, operatic tenor
- February 10 – Faramarz Payvar, composer and santur player (d. 2009)
- February 17 – Bobby Lewis, R&B singer (d. 2020)
- February 18 – Yoko Ono, artist, wife of John Lennon and mother of Sean Lennon
- February 21 – Nina Simone, soul singer (d. 2003)
- February 22 – Katharine, Duchess of Kent, patron of music
- March 9 – Lloyd Price, rock & roll musician (d. 2021)
- March 13 – Mike Stoller, songwriter
- March 14 – Quincy Jones, arranger
- March 15 – Roy Clark, country musician (Hee Haw) (d. 2018)
- March 28 – Tete Montoliu, jazz pianist (d. 1997)
- April 8 – Fred Ebb, lyricist (d. 2004)
- April 12 – Montserrat Caballé, operatic soprano (d. 2018)
- April 14
- April 24 – Freddie Scott, songwriter and singer (d. 2007)
- April 25 – Jerry Leiber, songwriter (d. 2011)
- April 26 – Ilkka Kuusisto, Finnish composer
- April 29 – Rod McKuen, songwriter (d. 2015)
- April 30 – Willie Nelson, country singer and songwriter
- May 3 – James Brown, soul singer (d. 2006)
- May 21 – Maurice André, trumpeter (d. 2012)
- May 22 – Don Estelle, actor and singer (d. 2003)
- June 17 – Christian Ferras, violinist (d. 1982)
- June 18 – Colin Brumby, Australian composer and conductor (d. 2018)
- June 26 – Claudio Abbado, Italian conductor (d. 2014)
- July 4 – La Prieta Linda, singer and actress
- July 15 – Julian Bream, classical guitarist and lutenist (d. 2020)
- July 23 – Bert Convy, entertainer (d. 1991)
- July 27 – Nick Reynolds (The Kingston Trio) (d. 2008)
- July 29 – Anne Rogers, English actress, singer and dancer
- August 8 – Joe Tex, soul singer-songwriter (d. 1982)
- August 15
- August 17 – Mark Dinning, singer (d. 1986)
- August 21 – Janet Baker, operatic mezzo-soprano
- September 1 – Conway Twitty, country singer (d. 1993)
- September 8 – Asha Bhosle, Bollywood singer
- September 14 – Harve Presnell, actor and singer (d. 2009)
- September 15 – Pat Barrett (The Crewcuts) (d. 2016)
- September 17 – Dorothy Loudon, US singer (d. 2003)
- September 18 – Jimmie Rodgers, US pop singer (d. 2021)
- September 25 – Ian Tyson (Ian & Sylvia)
- October 10 – Daniel Massey, star of musical theatre (d. 1998)
- October 17 – The Singing Nun (d. 1985)
- October 21 – Georgia Brown, English actress and singer (d. 1992)
- October 27 – Floyd Cramer, pianist (d. 1997)
- November 3 – John Barry, film score composer (d. 2011)
- November 6 – Joseph Pope (The Tams) (d. 1996)
- November 16 – Garnett Mimms, soul singer
- November 23 – Krzysztof Penderecki, composer (d. 2020)
- November 26 – Robert Goulet, singer and actor (d. 2007)
- November 29 – John Mayall, blues musician
- December 6 – Henryk Górecki, composer (d. 2010)
- December 13 – Wayne Bennett, blues guitarist (d. 1992)
- January 6 – Vladimir de Pachmann, pianist (born 1848)
- January 10 – Roberto Mantovani, violinist (born 1854)
- January 12 – Václav Suk, violinist, conductor and composer (born 1861)
- January 16 – Willy Burmester, violinist (born 1869)
- January 18 – Oskar Zawisza, priest and composer (born 1878)
- January 23 – Albert "Sonny" Cunha, musician, composer and bandleader (born 1879)
- February 12 – Henri Duparc, composer (born 1848)
- February 17 – Toktogul Satylganov, improvising poet and singer (born 1864)
- February 18 – Arnold Mendelssohn, composer and music teacher (born 1855)
- March 26 – Eddie Lang, jazz musician (born 1902)
- April 4 – Ewald Straesser, composer (born 1867)
- April 9 – Sigfrid Karg-Elert, composer (born 1877)
- April 12 – Lola Artôt de Padilla, operatic soprano (born c.1876)
- May 10 – Selma Kurz, operatic soprano (born 1874)
- May 26 – Jimmie Rodgers country singer, "The Singing Brakeman" (born 1897)
- June 19 – Yossele Rosenblatt, cantor and composer (born 1882)
- June 24 – Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, operatic soprano and vaudeville singer (born 1869)
- July 6 – Robert Kajanus, conductor and composer (born 1856)
- July 14 – Raymond Roussel, author and pianist (born 1877)
- July 15 – Freddie Keppard, jazz musician (born 1890)
- July 26 – Charles Tindley, gospel music composer (born 1851)
- August 3 – Arthur Collins, singer (born 1864)
- August 14 – Eugen Haile, singer and composer (born 1873)
- August 29 – Georgi Conus, composer (born 1862)
- September 7 – Marcel Journet, operatic bass (born 1867)
- September 10
- October – Joan Winters, Broadway dancer (born 1909) (murdered)
- October 6 – Zakaria Paliashvili, composer (born 1871)
- October 16 – Maurice Renaud, operatic baritone (born 1860)
- October 23 – Orville Harrold, operatic tenor (born 1878)
- October 27 – Julius Klengel, cellist (born 1859)
- December 1 – Blind Blake, blues musician (born c. 1893)
- December 7 – Jan Brandts Buys, composer (born 1868)
- date unknown – Manuel Torre, flamenco singer (born 1878)
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