On This Day

December 2020 in Music History

Events in Music

Music History

Dec 7 Bob Dylan sells his entire songwriting catalog of more than 600 songs to the Universal Music Publishing Group for over $300 million

  • Dec 21 Hawaiian vocalist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's official music video for his rendition of Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg's "Over the Rainbow" reaches a billion views on YouTube

Deaths in Music

  • Dec 3 Noah Creshevsky, American electroacoustic composer, dies of cancer at 75
  • Dec 4 Bassam Sabam, Lebanese violinist, oud, and nay player (New York Arabic Orchestra; Silk Road Ensemble), dies of Covid-19 complications at 62 [1]
  • Dec 6 Petras Bingelis, Lithuania conductor, founder and artistic director (Kaunas State Choir, 1969-2020), dies of Covid-19 at 77
  • Dec 8 Harold Budd, American avant-garde ambient pianist and composer (The Pavilion of Dreams), dies of Covid-19 at 84 [1]
  • Dec 12 Charley Pride, American country singer (Sweet Country), dies of Covid-19 complications at 86 [1]
  • Dec 17 Stanley Cowell American jazz pianist (Heath Brothers), record label co-founder (Strata-East), and educator, dies from hypovolemic shock at 79
  • Dec 19 Pelle Alsing, Swedish drummer (Roxette - "Listen to Your Heart"), dies at 60
  • Dec 20 Fanny Waterman, English concert pianist & teacher (Leeds International Piano Competition), dies at 100 [1]
  • Dec 21 K. T. Oslin, American country singer (80's Ladies), dies at 78 [1]
  • Dec 23 Leslie West [Weinstein], American rock guitarist (Mountain - "Mississippi Queen"; "Theme for an Imaginary Western"), dies of cardiac arrest at 75 [1]
  • Dec 24 Ivry Gitlis, Israeli classical violin virtuoso, dies at 98
  • Dec 25 Tony Rice, American bluegrass guitarist (J.D. Crowe and the New South), dies at 69 [1]
  • Dec 25 Jaan Rääts, Estonian pianist, orchestral and film score composer, dies at 88
  • Dec 28 Armando Manzanero, Mexican composer and singer (It’s Impossible, Adoro), dies at 86 [1]
  • Dec 28 Fou Ts'ong, Chinese-British concert pianist, dies of Covid-19 at 86
  • Dec 28 Paul-Heinz Dittrich, German contemporary classical composer and teacher, dies at 90
  • Dec 29 Claude Bolling, French jazz and classical cross-over pianist and composer (Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio), dies at 90 [1] [2]
  • Dec 29 Phyllis McGuire, American pop vocalist (McGuire Sisters - "Sincerely"; "Sugartime"), dies at 89
  • Dec 30 Alto Reed [Thomas Cartmell], American saxophonist (Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band), dies of colon cancer at 72