Musicians Who Died on August 15

  • 1576 (Valentin) Bálint Bakfark, Hungarian lutenist, and composer, dies of the plague at about 70
  • 1600 Johann Baptista Serranus, German singer, and composer, dies at 60
  • 1728 Marin Marais, French composer, dies at 72
  • 1798 Felice Alessandri, Italian organist, harpsichordist, pianist, and opera composer, dies at 50
  • 1848 Timothy Olmstead, early American composer, dies at 88
  • 1853 Giovanni Battista Polledro, Italian composer, dies at 72
  • 1907 Joseph Joachim, German violinist (Hungarian Concerto), dies at 76
  • 1914 Anatoly Liadov, Russian composer (Baba yaga), dies at 59
  • 1918 Heinrich Köselitz [Peter Gast], German composer, dies at 64
  • 1935 Gerard Brucken Fock, Dutch composer and painter, dies at 75
  • 1936 Henry Lytton, British actor and opera singer (The Mikado), dies at 71
  • 1936 Stanisław Niewiadomski, Polish composer, dies at 76
  • 1951 Artur Schnabel, Austrian pianist (Reflections on Music), dies at 69
  • 1959 "Blind" Willie McTell [McTier], American blues and ragtime singer and guitarist, dies at 61
  • 1961 (Granville) "Stick" McGhee, American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Drinkin' Wine. Spo-Dee-O-Dee"), dies of lung cancer at 43
  • 1963 John Powell, American composer, dies at 80
  • 1966 Jan Kiepura, Polish vocalist and actor (Her Wonderful Lie; Give Us this Night), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • 1968 Edward Kilenyi, Sr. [Ede Kilényi], composer and teacher (Clipped Wings; Outside the Law), dies at 84
  • 1970 Karl August Andersen, Norwegian cellist and composer, dies at 66
  • 1971 Thomas Wayne, American rockabilly singer ("Tragedy"), dies in a car accident at 31
  • 1972 Alf Hurum, Norwegian composer (Lilja), and painter, dies at 89
  • 1978 Harrison Kerr, American composer, dies at 80
  • 1985 Richard Yardumian, American composer (Creator Spirit), dies at 68
  • 1986 Richard E. Holz, American composer for brass band (Salvation Army), dies at 74
  • 1990 Lew DeWitt, American country singer and composer (Statler Brothers - "Flowers on the Wall"), dies of Crohn's disease complications at 52
  • 1990 Viktor Tsoi, Russian musician (Kino), dies in a car accident at 28
  • 1992 Jackie Edwards, Jamaican songwriter (Keep On Running), dies at 53 or 54
  • 1995 Erbie Bowser, American blues and jazz pianist, dies at 77
  • 1995 Jesse Thomas 'Babyface', American blues singer, dies at 84
  • 2003 Gösta Sundqvist, Finnish songwriter and singer (Leevi and the Leavings), dies of a heart attack at 43
  • 2004 Semiha Berksoy, Turkish operatic soprano (Istanbul Opera, 1940-72), dies of heart surgery complications at 94
  • 2007 Dave Hassinger, American recording engineer and record producer, dies at 80
  • 2007 Richard Bradshaw, British opera conductor (Canadian Opera Company, 1989-2007), dies of a heart attack at 63
  • 2008 Jerry Wexler, American music producer who coined the term "rhythm and blues" (Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan), dies from congestive heart failure at 91
  • 2009 Jim Dickinson, American record producer (Mud Boy), dies at 67
  • 2012 Bob Birch, American session and touring bassist (Elton John), commits suicide at 56
  • 2014 Licia Albanese, Italian-American operatic soprano (NY Metropolitan Opera, 1940-66), dies at 105
  • 2016 Bobby Hutcherson, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player ("Little B's Poem"; SFJAZZ Collective), dies of emphysema at 75