Deaths in Music in 1981

  • Jan 1 Hephzibah Menuhin, American-Jewish concert pianist (b. 1920)
  • Jan 2 David Lynch, singer (Platters-My Prayer), dies at 51
  • Jan 7 Jose Ardevol, composer, dies at 69
  • Jan 9 Kazimierz Serocki, composer, dies at 58
  • Jan 23 Bobby Sherwood, orchestra leader (Milton Berle Show), dies at 66

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 23 Samuel Barber, American composer (School for Scandal), dies of cancer at 70

Composer Samuel Barber
Composer
Samuel Barber
  • Jan 29 Cozy Cole, rocker (Topsy Part II), dies
  • Feb 1 Ernst Pepping, composer, dies at 79
  • Feb 1 Nils Geirr Tveitt, composer, dies at 72
  • Feb 6 Hugo Montenegro, American film music composer (b. 1925)
  • Feb 9 Bill Haley, vocalist (Rock Around Clock), dies of heart attack at 55
  • Feb 15 Mike Bloomfield, American musician (Electric Flag), dies of a drug overdose at 37
  • Feb 15 Thomas Beversdorf, composer, dies at 56
  • Feb 15 Karl Richter, German conductor (b. 1926)
  • Feb 19 Frank Merrik, composer, dies at 94

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 26 Howard Hanson, American classical music composer and conductor (Nordic), dies at 84

Composer and Conductor Howard Hanson
Composer and Conductor
Howard Hanson
  • Mar 4 Yip Harburg, American lyricist (b. 1896)
  • Mar 7 Kirill Petrovich Kondrashin, Russian conductor/composer, dies at 67
  • Apr 1 Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (b. 1910)
  • Apr 5 Bob "Bear" Hite, rocker (Canned Heat), dies of a heart attack at 36
  • Apr 7 Kit Lambert, British record producer and manager (The Who) (b. 1935)
  • Apr 12 Hans Chemin-Petit, composer, dies at 78
  • Apr 12 Hendrik F Andriessen, Dutch organist/composer (Te Deum), dies at 88
  • Apr 19 Ernst Levy, Swiss composer, dies at 85
  • May 7 Mieczyslaw Kolinski, composer, dies at 79

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 11 Bob Marley, reggae singer, dies of brain & lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • May 13 Carl Weinrich, composer, dies at 76
  • May 16 Ernie Freeman, American pianist and arranger (b. 1922)
  • May 17 Hugo Freidhofer, composer, dies at 80
  • May 25 Rosa Ponselle, US singer (Metropolitan Opera), dies at 84
  • May 25 Roy Brown, American boxer/rocker, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 28 Mary Lou Williams, African American musician, dies at 71 in Durham NC
  • Jun 21 Gunnar Ek, Swedish composer, dies on his 81st birthday
  • Jun 23 Zarah Leander, Swedish/German singer/actress (Gabriela), dies at 79
  • Jun 26 Peter Kreuder, German composer, dies
  • Jun 28 Peter Paul Kreuder, German composer, dies at 75
  • Jul 5 Jorge Urrutia Blondel, composer, dies at 75
  • Jul 9 Oscar van Hemel, composer, dies at 88
  • Jul 16 Harry Chapin, folk vocalist (Taxi), dies in car crash at 38
  • Jul 19 Louis Cheslock, composer, dies at 81
  • Jul 19 Roger Doucet, French Canadian tenor (b. 1919)
  • Jul 26 Donald Lybbert, composer, dies at 58
  • Jul 27 Ray Harrison, dancer (American Song), dies at 64
  • Aug 1 Seppo Antero Yrjonpoika Nummi, composer, dies at 49
  • Aug 14 Karl Böhm, Austrian conductor (b. 1894)
  • Aug 17 Robert Russell Bennett, US composer/arranger (Oklahoma!), dies at 87
  • Aug 21 Hermann Schey, German/Neth singer, dies at 85
  • Aug 26 Lee Hays, rocker, dies of a heart attack
  • Aug 27 Joan Edwards, singer (Joan Edwards Show), dies at 62
  • Sep 6 Joseph Yasser, composer, dies at 88
  • Sep 14 Yasuji Kiyose, composer, dies at 81
  • Sep 14 [Walter] Furry Lewis, father of blues, dies at 88 of a heart attack
  • Sep 21 Tony Aubin, French composer, dies at 73
  • Sep 22 Harry Warren, American composer and lyricist (b. 1893)
  • Oct 2 Hazel Scott, Trinidadian singer/pianist, dies at 63
  • Oct 5 Jud Strunk, singer/comedian (Laugh-In), dies at 48
  • Oct 7 Wouter Paap, Dutch composer, dies at 73
  • Oct 14 Ingemar Liljefors, composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 17 David Guion, composer, dies at 88
  • Oct 21 Karel Srom, Czech composer, dies at 77
  • Nov 17 Bob Eberly, singer (Jimmy Dorsey Band), dies at 65
  • Nov 27 Lotte Lenya, Austrian singer/actress (From Russia With Love), dies of cancer at 83
  • Nov 29 Natalie Wood, American actress (West Side Story), drowns at 43
  • Dec 2 Hershy Kay, composer, dies at 62
  • Dec 9 Sonny Til [Earlington Carl Tilghman], American doo-wop singer (The Orioles), dies from heart failure at 56
  • Dec 13 Cornelius Cardew, English composer (Scratch Orchestra), dies in a hit and run accident at 45
  • Dec 27 Hoagy Carmichael, US actor/songwriter (Stardust), dies at 82
  • Dec 31 Frantisek Chaun, composer, dies at 60