On This Day

Year 1981 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 4 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Sandy Duncan, closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 578 performances
  • Jan 8 "Pirates of Penzance" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 772 performances

<b>Pirate</b> AttackPirate Attack

Jan 8 Linda Ronstadt opens in "The Pirates of Penzance" at the Uris Theater, NYC

Singer and Actress Linda Ronstadt
Singer and Actress
Linda Ronstadt
  • Jan 11 "Tintypes" closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 93 performances

Music releaseMusic Single

Jan 16 John Lennon's single "Woman" is posthumously released in the UK

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • Jan 18 Punk singer Wendy O. Williams arrested in Milwaukee for on-stage obscenity (later cleared)
  • Jan 21 "Shakespeare's Cabaret" opens at Bijou Theater New York City for 54 performances
  • Jan 28 "5 O'Clock Girl" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 12 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

Jan 30 8th American Music Awards: Barbra Streisand & Kenny Rogers win

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
Country Singer Kenny Rogers
Country Singer
Kenny Rogers
  • Jan 31 "The Tide Is High" by Blondie hits #1

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 1 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies," premieres in NYC

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington
  • Feb 5 "Piaf" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 165 performances

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Feb 5 Joni Mitchell inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 6 Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr & George Harrison record a tribute to John Lennon

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison
  • Feb 8 "5 O'Clock Girl" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 12 performances
  • Feb 8 "Brigadoon" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 133 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 19 George Harrison is ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" of his song "My Sweet Lord" with Ronnie Mack's song "He's So Fine"

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison

Music awardsGrammy Awards

Feb 25 23rd Grammy Awards: Sailing, Christopher Cross, Billy Joel wins

Pianist, Songwriter and Composer Billy Joel
Pianist, Songwriter and Composer
Billy Joel
  • Feb 27 Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder record the single "Ebony & Ivory"
  • Mar 1 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" opens at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC; runs for 767 performances
  • Mar 5 Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC for 4 performances
  • Mar 7 Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 4 performances
  • Mar 8 "Shakespeare's Cabaret" closes at Bijou Theater NYC after 54 performances
  • Mar 10 "Bette Davis Eyes" single released by Kim Carnes (Billboard Song of the Year 1981)
  • Mar 12 Stephen Sondheim's musical "Marry Me a Little," premieres in NYC
  • Mar 27 John Lennon single "Watching the Wheels" released posthumously in UK

Music releaseAlbum Release

Mar 27 "Blizzard of Ozz", the debut solo album by English rock musician Ozzy Osbourne, is released in the United States

Rock Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne
Rock Vocalist
Ozzy Osbourne
  • Mar 29 Peter Stone's musical "Woman of the Year" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 770 performances
  • Apr 4 26th Eurovision Song Contest: Bucks Fizz for United Kingdom wins singing "Making Your Mind Up" in Dublin

Music releaseAlbum Release

Apr 7 "Street Songs" 5th studio album by Rick James is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1981)

Musician Rick James
Musician
Rick James
  • Apr 16 "Copperfield" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 13 performances
  • Apr 19 William Finn's musical "March of Falsettos" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 20 Rocker Papa John Phillips arrested for drug possession
  • Apr 20 "Fire and Smoke" single released by Earl Thomas Conley (Billboard Song of the Year 1981)
  • Apr 26 "Copperfield" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 13 performances
  • Apr 27 Paul McCartney's solo rock band Wings disbands

  • Apr 30 "Can-Can" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 5 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

Apr 30 16th Academy of Country Music Awards: Barbara Mandrell and George Jones win

Country Singer and TV Host Barbara Mandrell
Country Singer and TV Host
Barbara Mandrell
  • May 3 "Can-Can" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • May 6 "Inacent Black" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 14 performances

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 11 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
Composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Poet, Author and Nobel Laureate T. S. Eliot
Poet, Author and Nobel Laureate
T. S. Eliot
  • May 12 "Lena Horne: Lady, Music" opens at Nederlander, NYC: runs for 333 performances
  • May 15 George Harrison releases "All Those Years Ago" in UK

Music release#1 in the Charts

May 16 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

Actress Bette Davis
Actress
Bette Davis
  • May 17 "Inacent Black" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Reggae musician Bob Marley receives a Jamaican state funeral

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • Jun 5 George Harrison releases "Somewhere in England", his ninth studio album, includes John Lennon tribute "All Those Years Ago"
  • Jun 8 15th Music City News Country Awards: Mandrell Sisters win
  • Jun 14 No Nukes concert at Hollywood Bowl
  • Jun 20 Guitarist Gerry Cott quits Boomtown Rats

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 21 Donald Fagen and Walter Becker disband their rock group Steely Dan

Musician and Record Producer Walter Becker
Musician and Record Producer
Walter Becker
Singer Donald Fagen
Singer
Donald Fagen
  • Jun 22 Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing John Lennon
  • Jun 23 "This Was Burlesque" opens at Princess Theater NYC for 28 performances
  • Jun 28 "Piaf" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 165 performances
  • Jul 17 "This is Burlesque" closes at Princess Theater NYC after 28 performances

Music releaseMusic Single

Aug 1 "Endless Love" single released by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (Billboard Song of the Year 1981, Billboard Greatest Song Duet of All-Time)

Singer and Actress Diana Ross
Singer and Actress
Diana Ross
Singer Lionel Richie
Singer
Lionel Richie

  • Aug 18 "My Fair Lady" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 119 performances
  • Aug 24 Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 yrs to life for John Lennon's murder
  • Sep 6 Musical "They're Playing Our Song" closes at Imperial NYC after 1082 performances
  • Sep 19 Simon & Garfunkel reunite for a NYC Central Park concert
  • Sep 25 Rolling Stones begin their 6th US tour (JFK Stadium, Philadelphia)
  • Sep 27 "Day in Hollywood, A Night.." closes at John Golden NY after 588 performances

Music releaseMusic Single

Sep 28 “Physical” single released by Olivia Newton-John (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

Singer and Actress Olivia Newton-John
Singer and Actress
Olivia Newton-John
  • Oct 11 Unknown rocker Prince opens for Rolling Stones at LA Coliseum
  • Oct 12 "Marlowe" opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 48 performances
  • Oct 12 15th Country Music Association Award: Barbara Mandrell & George Jones wins

Music releaseMusic Single

Oct 27 Ringo Starr releases single "Wrack My Brain" in US, written and produced by George Harrison

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison
  • Nov 10 "Oh, Brother!" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 3 performances
  • Nov 11 "Oh, Brother!" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 3 performances
  • Nov 13 Ringo Starr releases single "Wrack My Brain" in UK, written and produced by George Harrison
  • Nov 14 "Raise!" 11th studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1982)
  • Nov 15 "Camelot" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 48 performances
  • Nov 16 "Merrily We Roll Along" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 16 performances
  • Nov 17 "1st" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 37 performances
  • Nov 21 Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" single goes #1 & stays for 10 weeks
  • Nov 22 "Marlowe" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 48 performances
  • Nov 28 "Merrily We Roll Along" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • Nov 29 "My Fair Lady" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 119 performances
  • Dec 12 "1st" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 37 performances
  • Dec 20 Harry Krieger and Tom Eyen's musical "Dreamgirls" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 1522 performances

Music releaseMusic Single

Dec 30 "That Girl" single released by Stevie Wonder (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Singer-Songwriter
Stevie Wonder

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 6 Mike Jones, American rapper, born in Houston, Texas
  • Jan 10 Brian Joo, Korean-American K-pop and R&B singer ("Fly to the Sky"), born in Absecon, New Jersey
  • Jan 11 Jamelia Niela Davis, English singer, born in Birmingham, England
  • Jan 11 Tom Meighan, British singer (Kasabian), born in Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Jan 13 Jason James, Welsh heavy metal bassist (Bullet for My Valentine, 2003-15)
  • Jan 14 Rosa López, Spanish pop singer, born in Láchar, Spain
  • Jan 15 Pitbull [Armando Christian Perez], American rapper, born in Miami, Florida
  • Jan 15 Howie Day, American singer, born in Bangor, Maine
  • Jan 16 Nick Valensi, American rock guitarist (The Strokes), born in New York City
  • Jan 17 Ray J [William Ray Norwood Jr.], American singer and actor (Everything You Want), born in McComb, Mississippi
  • Jan 21 Gillian Chung Yan-tung, Hong Kong singer (Twins)
  • Jan 21 Andy Lee, Korean singer (Shinhwa)
  • Jan 22 Willa Ford [Amanda Lee Williford], American pop singer, and actress, born in Ruskin, Florida
  • Jan 25 Toše Proeski, Macedonian pop-rock singer, born in Prilep, Macedonia (d. 2007)

Person of interestAlicia Keys

Jan 25 Alicia Keys [Cook], American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, and pianist ("Girl On Fire"; 'No One"), born in NYC, New York

Singer-Songwriter Alicia Keys
Singer-Songwriter
Alicia Keys
  • Jan 26 Gustavo Dudamel, Venezuelan Spanish conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic), born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela
  • Jan 29 Jonny Lang, American blues musician, born in Fargo, North Dakota
  • Jan 29 Álex Ubago, Spanish-Basque pop-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist (¿Qué pides tú?), born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, Spain
  • Jan 30 Josh Kelley, American musician, born in Augusta, Georgia

Person of interestJustin Timberlake

Jan 31 Justin Timberlake, American singer-songwriter ("Can't Stop The Feeling!"; "Sexyback"), and actor (Friends With Benefits) born in Memphis, Tennessee

Singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake
Singer-songwriter
Justin Timberlake
  • Feb 3 Alisa Reyes, American actress and singer
  • Feb 6 Jens Lekman, Swedish musician, born in Angered, Sweden
  • Feb 8 Myriam Montemayor Cruz, Mexican singer
  • Feb 9 Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, American drummer and songwriter (Avenged Sevenfold) Huntington Beach, California (d.2009)
  • Feb 10 The Rev [James Owen Sullivan], American musician (Avenged Sevenfold), born in Huntington Beach, California
  • Feb 10 Natasha St-Pier, Canadian pop singer, born in Bathurst, New Brunswick
  • Feb 11 Kelly Rowland, American singer, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Feb 15 Matt Hoopes, American rock guitarist (Relient K), born in Canton, Ohio
  • Feb 15 Olivia Longott, American hip-hop and R&B singer (G-Unit), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Feb 18 Kamasi Washington, American jazz tenor saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 19 (Mary) Beth Ditto [Patterson], American rock singer (The Gossip), and actress, born in Judsonia, Arkansas,
  • Feb 19 Vitas [Vitaly Grachev], Russian operatic-pop singer (Opera #2), born in Daugavpils, Latvian SSR (now Latvia)
  • Feb 20 Chris Thile, American folk and progressive bluegrass mandolin player, songwriter (Nickel Creek; Punch Brothers), and broadcaster (Live From Here), born in Oceanside, California

Person of interestJosh Groban

Feb 27 Josh Groban, American singer ("You Raise Me Up"), born in Los Angeles, California

Singer Josh Groban
Singer
Josh Groban
  • Mar 3 Kim Yoo-Jin (Eugene), South Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 3 Sung Yu Ri, South Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 3 Tobias Forge, Swedish heavy metal singer (Ghost), born in Linköping, Sweden
  • Mar 4 Carol Banawa, Filipino singer and celebrity
  • Mar 4 Donny Tourette [Patrick Brannan], British punk rock singer (Towers of London), born in Liverpool, England
  • Mar 5 Zach Williams, American Christian rock musician (There was Jesus), born in Pensacola, Florida
  • Mar 11 Russell Lissack, English musician (Bloc Party)
  • Mar 11 LeToya Luckett, American singer (ex-Destiny's Child)
  • Mar 11 Paul Wall, American rapper
  • Mar 14 Mei-Ting Sun, Chinese concert pianist, born in Shanghai, China
  • Mar 15 Young Buck [David Brown] American rapper, born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Mar 16 Danny Brown [Daniel Sewell], American rapper, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Mar 18 Jang Nara, Korean singer and actress
  • Mar 22 (Shawn) Mims, American rapper (This Is Why I'm Hot), born in Manhattan, New York
  • Mar 26 Jay Sean [Kamaljit Singh Jhooti], British pop, Bhaṅgṛā, and R&B singer, born in London, England
  • Mar 26 Anaïs Mitchell, American singer-songwriter and playwright (Hadestown - 2019 Tony for Best Musical), born in Vermont
  • Mar 27 JJ Lin, Chinese singer (Music Voyager), born in Singapore
  • Mar 29 Megan Hilty, American actress and singer (Wicked), born in Bellevue, Washington
  • Mar 29 P.J. Morton, American singer-songwriter and musician (Maroon 5; Gospel According to PJ), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Apr 1 Hannah Spearritt, British pop singer (S-Club7), born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
  • Apr 3 Aaron Bertram, American ska trumpeter (Suburban Legends, 1998-2005), and children's music educator (Kids Imagine Nation), born in Lubbock, Texas
  • Apr 5 Mariqueen Maandig (Rezner), Filipino-American singer, songwriter, and musician (How to Destroy Angels; West Indian Girl), born in The Phillippines
  • Apr 10 Liz McClarnon, British singer (Atomic Kitten), born in Liverpool
  • Apr 13 Justyna Danczowska, Polish concert pianist, born in Krakow, Poland
  • Apr 17 Hanna Pakarinen, Finnish singer, born in Lappeenranta, Finland
  • Apr 26 Ms. Dynamite [Niomi Arleen McLean-Daley] English musician, born in Archway, North London
  • Apr 26 Caro Emerald [Caroline van der Leeuw], Dutch singer ("On A Night Like This"), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Apr 27 Fabrizio Faniello, Maltese pop singer ("I'm In Love (The Whistle Hit)": "Somebody Sent Me An Angel"), born in Floriana, Malta
  • May 1 Daniel Letterle, American actor (Camp), and singer, born on Northfield, Ohio
  • May 3 Farrah Franklin, American singer (former member of Destiny's Child), born in Los Angeles, California

Person of interestCraig David

May 5 Craig David, English singer (7 Days, Insomnia), born in Southampton, Hampshire

Singer-songwriter Craig David
Singer-songwriter
Craig David
  • May 6 Matthew Leone, bassist of Madina Lake
  • May 6 Nathan Leone, lead singer of Madina Lake
  • May 6 Mark O'Connell, American drummer (Taking Back Sunday)
  • May 8 Björn Dixgård, Swedish rock guitarist and singer (Mando Daio), born in Falun, Sweden
  • May 12 Kentaro Sato, Japanese television, video game, classical, and choral composer (Requiem Pacis - Requiem of Peace), and conductor, born in Hamamatsu, Japan

Person of interestRami Malek

May 12 Rami Malek, American actor (Bohemian Rhapsody), born in Los Angeles, California

Actor Rami Malek
Actor
Rami Malek
  • May 14 Sarbel [Michael Maronitis], British-Cypriot pop singer ("Se Pira Sovara"), born in London, England
  • May 17 Shiri Maimon, Israeli singer
  • May 18 Vincent Houdijk, Dutch jazz vibraphonist and bandleader (VinnieVibes), born in The Netherlands
  • May 19 Nate Cole, American singer
  • May 20 Rachel Platten, American singer-songwriter (“Fight Song”), born in New York City
  • May 21 Maximilian [Max] Mutzke, German singer, born in Waldshut-Tiengen, Germany
  • May 23 Gwenno Saunders, Welsh dancer and singer (The Pipettes)
  • May 26 Eda-Ines Etti, Estonian singer
  • May 26 Irini Merkouri, Greek singer
  • May 26 Isaac Sladen, American vocalist, pianist, and songwriter (The Fray - "How To Save A Life"; "You Found Me"), born in Boulder, Colorado
  • May 27 Özgür Çevik, Turkish pop singer (Star Academy), and actor, born in Ankara, Turkey
  • May 28 Adam Green, American anti-folk singer-songwriter, born in Mount Kisco, New York
  • May 30 Devendra Banhart, Venezulan-American singer-songwriter (Cripple Crow), born in Houston, Texas
  • Jun 1 Brandi Carlile, American singer and songwriter, born in Ravensdale, Washington
  • Jun 4 William Barton, Australian didgeridoo player, and composer (Kalkadunga) born in Mount Isa, North-West Queensland, Australia
  • Jun 5 Sebastien Lefebvre, Canadian rock guitarist (Simple Plan - "Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)"), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jun 8 Alex Band, American singer (The Calling - "Wherever You Will Go"), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 9 Vic Zhou, Taiwanese pop singer (F4), actor (Meteor Garden; Home), and model, born in Yilan, Taiwan
  • Jun 9 Anoushka Shankar, British-Indian sitar player, composer, and daughter of Ravi Shankar, born in London, England
  • Jun 10 Hoku, American singer and actress
  • Jun 12 John Gourley, American musician, singer, and songwriter (Portugal. The Man), born in Wasilla, Alaska
  • Jun 15 Billy Martin, American guitarist and songwriter (Good Charlotte - The Young and the Hopeless), born in Annapolis, Maryland,
  • Jun 16 Ben Kweller, American singer/songwriter
  • Jun 21 Brandon Flowers, American singer and keyboardist (The Killers- "Mr. Brightside"; "Human"), born in Henderson, Nevada
  • Jun 22 Chris Urbanowicz, British rock guitarist (The Editors, 2002-12), born in Aslockton, England
  • Jun 28 Michael Crafter, Australian musician (I Killed The Prom Queen), born in Perth, Australia
  • Jul 7 Synyster Gates, American guitarist (Avenged Sevenfold), born in Long Beach, California
  • Jul 12 Adrienne Camp, South African singer/songwriter
  • Jul 14 Yomi [Jun Chiba], Japanese rock vocalist (Nightmare), born in Ōsaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 24 Singer Davy Jones (35) weds Anita Pollinger

Singer Davy Jones
Singer
Davy Jones

LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 11 "One Day At A Time" actress Valerie Bertinelli (20) marries rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen (26)

Rock Guitarist Eddie Van Halen
Rock Guitarist
Eddie Van Halen

LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 27 Beatle Ringo Starr (40) marries American actress Barbara Bach [Goldbach] (33) at Marylebone Town Hall, London, England

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Actress Barbara Bach
Actress
Barbara Bach

LoveWedding of Interest

Nov 26 Legendary American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis (55) weds American "Sounder" actress Cicely Tyson (47) at the home of actor Bill Cosby (divorced, 1989)

Jazz Musician Miles Davis
Jazz Musician
Miles Davis

Divorces in Music


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Jan 10 Singer James Brown (47) divorces Deidre Jenkins after 10 years of marriage

Singer James Brown
Singer
James Brown

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 1 Hephzibah Menuhin, American-Australian concert pianist, dies at 60
  • Jan 2 David Lynch, American singer (Platters-My Prayer), dies at 51
  • Jan 4 Ruth Lowe, Canadian pianist and composer (I'll Never Smile Again), dies at 66
  • Jan 7 Jose Ardevol, Cuban composer, dies at 69
  • Jan 9 Kazimierz Serocki, Polish composer and co-founder of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, dies at 58
  • Jan 23 Bobby Sherwood, American orchestra leader (Milton Berle Show), dies at 66

Person of interestSamuel Barber

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

Composer Samuel Barber
Composer
Samuel Barber
  • Jan 29 (William Randolph) "Cozy" Cole, American jazz drummer ("Topsy I"; "Topsy II"), and educator, dies of cancer at 71
  • Feb 1 Ernst Pepping, German composer, dies at 79
  • Feb 1 Nils Geirr Tveitt, Norwegian composer, dies at 72
  • Feb 6 Hugo Montenegro, American film music composer (b. 1925)

Person of interestBill Haley

Feb 9 Bill Haley, American rock vocalist known as the father of Rock 'n' Roll (Rock Around the Clock), dies of a heart attack probably caused by alcoholism at 55

Father of Rock 'n' Roll Bill Haley
Father of Rock 'n' Roll
Bill Haley
  • 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 composer and conductor, dies at 54
  • Feb 19 Frank Merrick, English composer, dies at 94

Person of interestHoward Hanson

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 5 Yip Harburg [Isidore Hochberg], American lyricist ("Over The Rainbow"; "It's Only A Paper Moon"), dies in a car crash at 84
  • Mar 5 Theodore "Red" Saunders, American jazz drummer and bandleader, based in Chicago, dies at 69
  • Mar 7 Kirill Kondrashin, Russian conductor (Bolshoi Theatre, 1943-56; Moscow Philharmonic, 1960-75; Concertgebouw, 1978-81), dies at 67
  • Mar 10 Bill Hopkins, English composer, dies of a heart attack at 37
  • Mar 25 Felix de Nobel, Dutch orchestra leader and pianist, dies at 73
  • 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 Christopher "Kit" Lambert, British record producer and manager of The Who, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 45
  • Apr 12 Hans Chemin-Petit, German composer, dies at 78
  • Apr 12 Hendrik Andriessen, Dutch organist and composer (Ballade of Merel; Te Deum), dies at 88
  • Apr 14 Ivan Galamian, American violinist and violin teacher, dies at 78
  • Apr 19 Ernst Levy, Swiss composer, dies at 85
  • Apr 21 Eddie Sauter, American musician (Sauter-Finegan Band, Sat Night Revue), dies at 66
  • Apr 28 Steve Currie, British rock bassist (T. Rex; Marc Bolan), dies in a car crash in Portugal at 33
  • May 7 Mieczyslaw Kolinski, Polish-Canadian composer (Encounterpoint), educator, and ethno-musicologist, dies at 79

Person of interestBob Marley

May 11 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician ("One Love"; "Three Little Birds"; "No Woman, No Cry"), dies of brain and lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • May 13 Carl Weinrich, American organist and composer, dies at 76
  • May 16 Ernie Freeman, American musician (Raunchy), pianist and arranger, dies at 58
  • May 17 Hugo Friedhofer, American composer, dies at 80
  • May 25 Rosa Ponselle [Ponzillo], American soprano opera diva ("Casta Diva"; La Forza del Destino - "Leonora"; Metropolitan Opera, 1918-37), dies at 84
  • May 25 Roy Brown, American boxer/rocker, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 28 Mary Lou Williams, American jazz pianist and composer (Zodiac Suite), dies at 71
  • Jun 11 Albert Markos, Romanian composer (Torso I), dies at 66
  • 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-Austrian pianist and film score composer, dies at 75
  • Jul 1 Rushton Moreve [Morey], American bass player (Steppenwolf - "Magic Carpet Ride"), dies at in a car accident at 32
  • Jul 5 Jorge Urrutia Blondel, Chilean composer, dies at 75
  • Jul 9 Oscar van Hemel, Belgian-Dutch violinist and composer, dies at 88
  • Jul 13 Kirby Stone, American jazz combo leader (Kirby Stone Four - Baubles Bangles & Beads), dies at 63
  • Jul 16 Harry Chapin, American folk-rock singer-songwriter ("Taxi"; "Cat's in the Cradle"), dies in car crash at 38
  • Jul 19 Roger Doucet, French Canadian tenor (b. 1919)
  • Jul 19 Louis Cheslock, British-born American violinist, composer and educator of Polish heritage (Peabody Institute, 1916-76), dies at 82
  • Jul 26 Donald Lybbert, American composer (Zap; Lines for the Fallen), and educator, dies at 58
  • Jul 27 Ray Harrison, dancer (American Song), dies at 64
  • Jul 30 Daisy Kennedy, Australian concert violinist, dies at 88
  • Aug 1 Seppo Nummi, Finnish composer and music critic, dies at 49
  • Aug 3 Seymour Österwall, Swedish jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader and composer, dies at 73
  • Aug 14 Karl Böhm, Austrian conductor, dies at 87
  • Aug 17 Robert Russell Bennett, American composer and arranger (Oklahoma!), dies at 87
  • Aug 21 Hermann Schey, German-Dutch singer, dies at 85
  • Aug 23 (Thaman) "Pete" Daily, American swing and dixieland jazz cornetist and valve trombonist (The Chicagoans), dies at 70
  • Aug 26 Lee Hays, American singer-songwriter (The Weavers), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • Aug 26 Walter "Foots" Thomas, American saxophonist, flutist, and arranger (Cab Calloway Orchestra), dies from cancer at 74
  • Aug 27 Joan Edwards, american singer (Joan Edwards Show), dies at 62

Person of interestVera-Ellen

Aug 30 Vera-Ellen [Westmeier Rohe], American actress and dancer (White Christmas; Big Leaguer; On the Town), dies of cancer at 60

Actress Vera-Ellen
Actress
Vera-Ellen
  • Sep 2 Tadeusz Baird, Polish composer (Four Essays; Psychodrama; Voices From Afar), co-founder of Warsaw Autumn festival, and educator, dies at 53
  • Sep 6 Joseph Yasser, Russian-American composer, dies at 88
  • Sep 9 Helen Humes, American jazz and blues singer (Harry James; Count Basie; "Million Dollar Secret"), dies of cancer at 68
  • 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)
  • Sep 30 Boyd Neel, English conductor (Story of an Orchestra), dies at 76
  • Oct 2 Hazel Scott, Trinidadian singer and pianist, dies at 63
  • Oct 5 Jud Strunk, American singer and comedian (Laugh-In), dies in a plane crash at 48
  • Oct 7 Wouter Paap, Dutch composer, dies at 73
  • Oct 14 Ingemar Liljefors, Swedish composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 17 David Guion, composer, dies at 88
  • Oct 21 Šrom, Karel, Czech composer, musicologist, and critic, dies at 77
  • Nov 17 Bob Eberly, American 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 [Natasha Gurdin], American actress (Gypsy, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story), drowns at 43
  • Dec 2 Hershy Kay, American composer (Olympic Hymn, A Chorus Line), dies at 62
  • Dec 8 Big Walter Horton, American blues harmonica player (Everybody's Fishin'), dies of heart failure at 64
  • Dec 9 Sonny Til [Earlington Carl Tilghman], American doo-wop singer (The Orioles), dies from heart failure at 56
  • Dec 13 Cornelius Cardew, British composer (Scratch Orchestra), dies in a hit and run accident at 45
  • Dec 27 Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael, American composer, singer and actor (In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening), dies at 82
  • Dec 31 Frantisek Chaun, composer, dies at 60