This is a list of music-related events in 1973.
- 8 January – British Rail authorities restrict Pipe Major Gordon Speirs to playing his bagpipes just one minute in every fifteen on Liverpool Street station, London, on grounds that his playing (part of a holiday campaign by the Scottish Tourist Board) "interferes with station business".
- 9 January – Mick Jagger's request for a Japanese visa is rejected on account of a 1969 drug conviction, putting an abrupt end to The Rolling Stones' plans to perform in Japan during their forthcoming tour.
- 14 January
- 18 January – The Rolling Stones' benefit concert for Nicaraguan earthquake victims raises over $350,000. On December 22, 1972, an earthquake destroyed Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.
- 21 January – The Rolling Stones open their Pacific tour of Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- 30 January – Kiss perform their first concert, at the Coventry Club in Queens.
- 2 February – The Midnight Special makes its début as a regular series on NBC. Helen Reddy is the featured artist.
- 14 February – David Bowie collapses from exhaustion after a performance at New York's Madison Square Garden.
- 18 February – The King Biscuit Flower Hour is first broadcast with performances by Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and new artist Bruce Springsteen.
- 1 March
- Leonard Bernstein conducts Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto for the first time in his career, with soloist Isaac Stern and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Joffrey Ballet's Deuce Coupe Ballet opens. The ballet is set entirely to music by The Beach Boys.
- Pink Floyd releases The Dark Side of the Moon, which goes on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album debuts on the Billboard 200 on March 17, reaches #1 on April 28, and eventually logs the all-time record of 741 weeks on that chart.
- 5 March – Jimi Hendrix's former personal manager, Michael Jeffery, is killed in a plane crash. Jeffery was travelling from Majorca to England. All passengers on board the plane were killed.
- 6 March – The New York Office of the US Immigration Department cancels John Lennon's visa extension five days after granting it.
- 7 March – The director of talent acquisition at Columbia Records, John H. Hammond, suffers a non-fatal heart attack following a performance by one of his most recent finds, Bruce Springsteen.
- 8 March – Paul McCartney is fined $240 after pleading guilty to charges of growing marijuana outside his Scottish farm.
- 14 March – The singers Stephen Stills and Véronique Sanson are married near Guildford, England.
- 24 March – Lou Reed is bitten on the buttocks by a fan during a concert in Buffalo, New York.
- 2 April – Capitol Records releases two collections of The Beatles' greatest hits, The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970 (commonly referred to as the "Red Album" and the "Blue Album", respectively).
- 7 April – In Luxembourg, the 18th Eurovision Song Contest is won by Luxembourg for the second consecutive year, this time with "Tu te reconnaîtras", sung by Anne-Marie David. Spain finish in second place with "Eres Tú", sung by Mocedades; the United Kingdom finish third with Cliff Richard singing "Power to All Our Friends". The top three placed songs become international hits.
- 8 April – Opening of the first La Rochelle Festival of Contemporary Music, under the direction of Claude Samuel. Featured composers include Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis
- 15 April – Tenth Royan Festival of International Contemporary Art begins, including concerts featuring music by Jean Barraqué and Horațiu Rădulescu, amongst others.
- 16 April – Paul McCartney's first solo television special, James Paul McCartney, airs on ABC. The special includes performances by McCartney and Wings.
- 18 April – Violinist Jascha Heifetz deposits parts from his prized Guarnerius violin in the newly poured wet concrete of the foundation for the new Virginia Ramo Hall of Music, under construction at the University of Southern California, in order to ensure the building will be "in tune", and to bring luck.
- 4 May – 29 July – Led Zeppelin embarks on a tour of the United States, during which they set the record for highest attendance for a concert, 56,800, at the Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The record was previously held by The Beatles. Performances for the movie The Song Remains the Same are also filmed.
- 9 May – Mick Jagger adds $150,000 of his own money to the $350,000 raised by The Rolling Stones' January 18 benefit concert for the victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake.
- 12 May – David Bowie is the first rock artist to perform at Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
- 13 May – Daniel Barenboim collapses with a gastric upset during a concert at the Brighton Festival, but later had sufficiently recovered to be driven home.
- 23 May – Don Robey sells Duke Records, Peacock Records and Backbeat Records to ABC Dunhill Records.
- 25 May – Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells becomes the first release on Richard Branson's newly launched Virgin label.
- 4 June – Ronnie Lane plays his last show with Faces at the Edmonton Sundown in London. Lane had informed the band three weeks earlier that he was quitting.
- 15 June – The first Istanbul International Music Festival opens.
- 16 June – Benjamin Britten's opera Death in Venice, receives its première at Snape Maltings.
- 29 June – The Scorpions play their first gig with Uli Roth at a festival in Vechta. Roth was originally intended as a temporary replacement for Michael Schenker, who had just been snapped up by U.F.O. earlier in the month.
- 30 June – Ian Gillan quits Deep Purple.
- 1 July – Slade play a sell-out Earls Court in London after two number one singles this year.
- 3 July – David Bowie 'retires' his stage persona Ziggy Stardust in front of a shocked audience at the Hammersmith Odeon at the end of his British tour.
- 4 July – Slade drummer Don Powell is critically injured in a car crash in Wolverhampton; his 20-year-old girlfriend is killed. With his life in danger, the band's future is left in the balance. Powell recovered after surgery, and was able to join the band ten weeks later in New York, to record "Merry Xmas Everybody".
- 13 July – The Everly Brothers break up. Queen releases their debut album.
- 15 July – Ray Davies of The Kinks makes an emotional outburst during a performance at White City Stadium, announcing he is quitting the group. He later recants the statement.
- 28 July – Summer Jam at Watkins Glen rock festival is attended by 600,000, who see The Allman Brothers Band, The Band, and the Grateful Dead.
- 30 July – Soviet officials grant permission for Gennadi Rozhdestvensky to accept a three-year appointment as chief conductor of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the first time a Soviet orchestra conductor has been allowed to take up such a position outside of the Eastern Bloc.
- 6 August – Stevie Wonder is seriously injured in a car accident outside Durham, North Carolina, spending the next four days in a coma.
- 20 August – The London Symphony Orchestra becomes the first British orchestra to take part in the Salzburg Festival.
- 25 August – The Allman Brothers nearly suffer another tragedy when Butch Trucks crashes his car near Macon, Georgia, not far from where Duane Allman was killed two years earlier. Trucks survives with only a broken leg.
- 1 September – The Rolling Stones open their European tour in Vienna, Austria.
- 20 September – Jim Croce, Maury Muehleisen and four others die in a plane crash in Louisiana.
- 22 September – Benita Valente makes her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, singing Pamina in The Magic Flute.
- 23 September – The Roxy Theatre opens in West Hollywood, California.
- 27 September – Don Kirshner's Rock Concert premieres on syndicated television with a performance by The Rolling Stones.
- 29 September – Jan Akkerman from the Netherlands was chosen 'Best Guitarist in The World' by the readers of the UK magazine, Melody Maker.
- 6 October – Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band become the national brass-band champions of Great Britain by defeating 18 other bands at the Albert Hall in London.
- 12 October – Genesis releases their 5th studio album Selling England by the Pound, one of their most commercially successful albums
- 13 October – Family play their last concert at De Montfort Hall at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) before splitting up for good. A farewell party at a local Holiday Inn after the show ends in a good-natured melée, with people jumping in or pushed into the motel pool.
- 17 October – The 1973 oil crisis begins, causing shortages of the vinyl needed to manufacture records. A number of new albums are either delayed or only available in limited quantities until after the holiday season.
- 19 October – The Who release Quadrophenia, one of their most critically acclaimed albums.
- 20 October – Queen Elizabeth opens Sydney Opera House.
- 1 November – Kiss becomes the first act signed to Neil Bogart's new label, Casablanca Records.
- 5 November
- Cellist Jacqueline du Pré is forced to retire because she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
- Two friends of the recently deceased Gram Parsons hand themselves in to police and confess to having carried out an impromptu cremation of the singer's body at the Joshua Tree National Monument.
- 7 November – Harold Holt Ltd., agent for Jacqueline du Pré, deny newspaper reports that she will never perform again, while at the same time confirming she has been diagnosed with "a mild case of multiple sclerosis" and has no definite plans for future performances.
- 20 November – The Who open their Quadrophenia US tour with a concert at San Francisco's Cow Palace, but drummer Keith Moon passes out and has to be carried off the stage. Nineteen-year-old fan Scot Halpin is selected from the audience to finish the show.
- December – Paul Pena produces his second album, New Train, but due to a dispute with Albert Grossman of Bearsville Records the release was canceled. The album would later be released on Hybrid Recordings in 2000.
- 3 December – CBGB music club opens in Manhattan.
- 15 December – Jermaine Jackson marries Hazel Gordy, daughter of Motown Records executive Berry Gordy.
- 25 December – Universal Pictures releases The Sting, reviving interest in the ragtime music of Scott Joplin.
- 31 December
- Royal Manchester College of Music and the Northern School of Music merge to create the Royal Northern College of Music.
- The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival is launched, with Pablo Casals as its president.
- U.F.O. signs a contract with Chrysalis Records.
- Approximate date – Salsa music originates in New York City.
Biggest hit singles
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1973.
|1||The Rolling Stones||Angie||1973||23x15pxScript error: No such module "Check for unknown parameters".||US BB 1 – Sep 1973, Canada 1 – Sep 1973, Netherlands 1 – Sep 1973, France 1 – Sep 1973, Switzerland 1 – Sep 1973, Norway 1 – Oct 1973, Australia 1 for 5 weeks Jun 1974, Australia Goset 1 – Oct 1973, Europe 3 of the 1970s, Germany 4 – Jan 1974, Belgium 4 of all time, UK 5 – Sep 1973, Italy 6 of 1974, Austria 8 – Oct 1973, DDD 11 of 1973, Australia 19 of 1973, RYM 27 of 1973, Poland 43 of all time, Scrobulate 51 of ballad, US CashBox 69 of 1973, OzNet 71, Germany 190 of the 1970s, WXPN 571, Acclaimed 1093|
|2||Tony Orlando & Dawn||Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'round the Old Oak Tree||1973||23x15pxScript error: No such module "Check for unknown parameters".||UK 1 – Mar 1973, US BB 1 – Mar 1973, US CashBox 1 of 1973, Canada 1 – Mar 1973, Netherlands 1 – Apr 1973, Norway 1 – May 1973, Australia 1 of 1973, Éire 1 – Apr 1973, Australia 1 for 7 weeks Dec 1973, Australia Goset 1 – May 1973, Austria 2 – Jun 1973, France 3 – Apr 1973, Germany 10 – Jun 1973, South Africa 10 of 1973, US BB 11 of 1973, TOTP 14, Global 33 (5 M sold) – 1973, POP 36 of 1973, DDD 88 of 1973|
|3||Sweet||The Ballroom Blitz||1973||23x15pxScript error: No such module "Check for unknown parameters".||Canada 1 – Aug 1975, France 1 – Oct 1973, Éire 1 – Sep 1973, Australia Goset 1 – Nov 1973, UK 2 – Sep 1973, Norway 2 – Oct 1973, Switzerland 3 – Sep 1973, Germany 3 – Jan 1974, Netherlands 4 – Sep 1973, US BB 5 – Aug 1975, Austria 5 – Nov 1973, Australia 9 of 1974, Scrobulate 9 of glam rock, US BB 11 of 1975, RYM 15 of 1973, POP 30 of 1975, US CashBox 46 of 1975, DDD 51 of 1973, Germany 137 of the 1970s, TheQ 188, OzNet 217, Acclaimed 2373|
|4||Elton John||Crocodile Rock||1973||23x15pxScript error: No such module "Check for unknown parameters".||US BB 1 – Dec 1972, Canada 1 – Dec 1972, Switzerland 1 – Jan 1973, Italy 1 of 1973, Australia Goset 2 – Jan 1973, Norway 3 – Feb 1973, US CashBox 4 of 1973, Germany 4 – Jan 1973, UK 5 – Nov 1972, Australia 5 of 1973, Austria 6 – Feb 1973, France 9 – Dec 1972, POP 9 of 1973, Netherlands 12 – Dec 1972, OzNet 12, US BB 16 of 1973, RYM 26 of 1972, DDD 27 of 1972, Germany 223 of the 1970s, Acclaimed 2325|
|5||Roberta Flack||Killing Me Softly With His Song||1973||23x15pxScript error: No such module "Check for unknown parameters".||US BB 1 – Feb 1973, Canada 1 – Feb 1973, Australia 1 for 2 weeks Nov 1973, Australia Goset 1 – Mar 1973, Grammy in 1973, Netherlands 3 – Feb 1973, Norway 4 – Aug 1973, France 5 – Apr 1973, UK 6 – Feb 1973, DDD 8 of 1973, Australia 17 of 1973, Austria 19 – Dec 1973, US CashBox 21 of 1973, RYM 25 of 1973, Switzerland 32 – Oct 1996, RIAA 101, Rolling Stone 360, Acclaimed 631, OzNet 863|
- 9 January – Sean Paul, reggae and dancehall artist
- 12 January
- 13 January - Juan Diego Flórez, Peruvian operatic tenor
- 2 February - Latino, Brazilian singer-songwriter
- 21 February – Justin Sane, singer, guitarist and songwriter
- 22 February
- 24 February – Chris Fehn, American rock percussionist (Slipknot)
- 26 February – André Tanneberger, German DJ
- 1 March – Ryan Peake, Canadian rock musician (Nickelback)
- 10 March – Dan Swanö, Swedish musician
- 17 March – Caroline Corr, Irish drummer (The Corrs)
- 25 March – Anders Fridén, Swedish vocalist
- 3 April – Marija Gluvakov, pianist
- 4 April – Kelly Price, soul singer
- 29 April – Mike Hogan, Irish bassist (The Cranberries)
- 2 May – Justin Burnett, film score composer
- 5 May – Casino Versus Japan, electronic musician
- 13 May - Eric Lewis, jazz pianist
- 14 May
- 17 May – Joshua Homme, guitarist and vocalist of Queens of the Stone Age
- 23 May – Jacopo Gianninoto, Italian musician
- 26 May - Magdalena Kožená, Czech mezzo-soprano
- 9 June - Jana Sýkorová, Czech operatic contralto
- 10 June
- 13 June – Cheryl "Coko" Clemons, American singer (SWV)
- 17 June - Krayzie Bone, American rapper and producer (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)
- 19 June - Jörg Widmann, German clarinetist and composer
- 20 June - Chino Moreno, American singer-songwriter (Deftones, Team Sleep, and Crosses)
- 23 June – Marie N, Latvian Eurovision-winning singer
- 26 June – Gretchen Wilson, American singer
- 4 July – Gackt, singer, songwriter, and musician
- 5 July – Bengt Lagerberg, Swedish drummer (The Cardigans)
- 11 July – Andrew Bird, singer-songwriter
- 15 July – Buju Banton, reggae/dancehall artist
- 17 July – Tony Dovolani, Albanian-American dancer and actor
- 22 July
- 23 July – Fran Healy, British singer (Travis)
- 25 July - Dani Filth, Israeli-born musician (Cradle of Filth)
- 29 July – Wanya Morris, American singer (Boyz II Men)
- 8 August – Scott Stapp, American singer (Creed)
- 9 August - Meg Okura, jazz violinist, ehru player and composer
- 12 August – Grey DeLisle, American voice actress and singer
- 13 August - Gregory Vajda, Hungarian clarinetist, conductor and composer
- 15 August – Adnan Sami, British-born singer, music composer, pianist
- 22 August
- 1 September – J.D. Fortune, Canadian rock singer (INXS)
- 12 September - Dorota Miśkiewicz, Polish singer, songwriter, composer and violinist
- 14 September – Nas, American rapper
- 17 September - Amy Black, operatic mezzo-soprano (died 2009)
- 18 September – Ami Onuki, Japanese singer
- 22 September
- 26 September – Julienne Davis, American actress/model/singer
- 29 September
- 2 October
- 9 October – Terry Balsamo, American guitarist
- 3 November
- 9 November – Nick Lachey, American singer (98 Degrees)
- 10 November – Jacqui Abbott, English singer (The Beautiful South)
- 11 November – Jason White, American rock musician (Green Day)
- 28 November – Jade Puget (AFI)
- 8 December – Corey Taylor, vocalist of Slipknot
- 9 December - Bárbara Padilla, operatic soprano
- 11 December – Mos Def, rapper
- 17 December - Eddie Fisher (OneRepublic)
- 27 December – Kristoffer Zegers, Dutch composer
- 29 December – Pimp C, American rapper (d. 2007)
- Undated – Xian Zhang. Chinese-born orchestral conductor
- 16 January – Clara Ward, gospel singer, 48 (stroke)
- 23 January – Kid Ory, jazz trombonist and bandleader, 86
- 3 February – Andy Razaf, composer, poet and lyricist, 77
- 7 February – Pixinguinha, choro composer and woodwind player, 75
- 19 February
- 28 February - Terig Tucci, Argentine composer, violinist, pianist, and mandolinist, 75
- 5 March – Michael Jeffery, Jimi Hendrix's personal manager
- 8 March – Ron Pigpen McKernan, musician and songwriter (Grateful Dead), 27 (stomach hemorrhage)
- 19 March - Lauritz Melchior, Wagnerian tenor, 82
- 26 March
- 28 March - Gertrude Johnson, coloratura soprano, 78
- 18 April – Willie 'The Lion' Smith, US jazz pianist, 79
- 9 May - Mark Wessel, pianist and composer, 79
- 21 May – Vaughn Monroe, US singer and bandleader, 61
- 27 May - Ilona Kabos, Hungarian-British pianist and teacher, 79
- 4 June - Murry Wilson, musician and record producer, 55
- 8 June - Tubby Hayes, jazz musician, 38 (during heart surgery)
- 2 July - Betty Grable, US actress and singer, 56 (lung cancer)
- 3 July - Karel Ančerl, conductor, 65
- 6 July – Otto Klemperer, conductor, 88
- 11 July – Alexander Mosolov, Russian composer, 72
- 15 July – Clarence White, guitarist (The Byrds), 29 (road accident)
- 2 August - Rosetta Pampanini, operatic soprano, 76
- 4 August - Eddie Condon, jazz banjoist and guitarist, 67
- 6 August - Memphis Minnie, blues singer and guitarist, 76
- 16 August - Astra Desmond, operatic contralto, 80
- 17 August
- 19 August - Brew Moore, jazz saxophonist, 49 (fell downstairs)
- 1 September - Graziella Pareto, operatic soprano, 84
- 6 September – Sir William Henry Harris, organist and composer, 90
- 10 September – Allan Gray, composer, 71
- 11 September - Martha Angelici, operatic soprano, 66
- 16 September – Víctor Jara, Chilean folk singer, 40 (murdered)
- 17 September– Hugo Winterhalter, US conductor and arranger, 53
- 19 September – Gram Parsons, guitarist/vocalist, 26 (drug overdose)
- 20 September
- 16 October
- 22 October – Pablo Casals, cellist, 95
- 10 November
- 18 November – Alois Hába, composer, 80
- 23 November - De De Pierce, jazz trumpeter, 69
- 26 November - Edith Mason, operatic soprano, 81
- 27 November – Frank Christian, jazz trumpeter, 85
- 13 December - Fanny Heldy, operatic soprano, 85
- 20 December – Bobby Darin, American singer and actor, 37 (heart failure)
- 31 December – Emile Christian, jazz trombonist, 78
- date unknown – Cäwdät Fäyzi, Tatar composer and folklorist
Country Music Association Awards
Eurovision Song Contest
- Anon., "Pipe Down, Rail Chiefs Tell Major", The Times issue 58676 (January 9, 1973)
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- Anon., "Russia Lets Conductor Take Post in Sweden", The Times, issue 58848 (July 31, 1973): 5 col G.
- Anon., "Brass Band Champions", The Times issue 58907 (October 8, 1973): 2 col. G.
- Anon., "Miss du Pré is Forced by Illness to Retire", The Times issue 58931 (November 6, 1973): 1 col. A.
- Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
- Tim Devlin, "Miss du Pré 'Very Ill' Report Denied", The Times, issue 58932 (November 7, 1973): 5 col C.
- The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches By Jeremy Simmonds p. 66
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