On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 1939

  • Jan 9 Johann Strauss, Austrian conductor and Royal Ball director, dies at 72
  • Jan 10 Julius Bittner, Austrian composer (Missa Austriaca), dies at 64
  • Feb 11 Franz Schmidt, Austro-Hungarian cellist, pianist, and composer, dies at 64
  • Feb 17 Willy Hess, German violinist, dies at 79
  • Feb 18 Ludwig Bonvin, composer, dies at 89
  • Mar 7 Amadeo Roldán, Cuban composer and violinist, dies at 38
  • Mar 21 Evald Aav, Estonian composer, dies at 39
  • Apr 9 Emilio Serrano y Ruiz, Spanish composer, dies at 89
  • Apr 21 Herman Finck, British composer (In The Shadows), dies at 66
  • Apr 25 John Foulds, British cellist, musicologist, and composer (World Requiem; Three Mantras), dies in Calcutta of cholera at 58
  • Jun 4 Tommy Ladnier, American jazz trumpeter (Lovie Austin; King Oliver; New Orleans Feetwarmers; Noble Sissle; Sidney Bechet), dies of a heart attack at 39
  • Jun 16 Chick Webb, American jazz drummer and big band leader (introduced Ella Fitzgerald), dies of Pott's disease (tuberculosis of the spine), at 34
  • Jun 18 Frans "Sas" van Aerschot, Flemish operetta actor (Paljas), dies at 73
  • Jul 18 Witold Maliszewski, Polish composer, dies at 65
  • Jul 27 Alexandre Stellio [Fructueux], Martinican biguine clarinetist, composer, and bandleader, dies at 54
  • Aug 3 Eugust Enna, composer, dies at 80
  • Sep 28 Felicjan Szopski, Polish composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 10 Eleanor Rigby, a real person whose name may have suggested the title to The Beatles song (b. 1895)
  • Oct 16 Carl Henrik Ludolf Nielsen, composer, dies at 63
  • Nov 4 Charles Arnold Tournemire, French organist and composer, dies at 69
  • Nov 20 Désiré Pâque, Belgian organist, composer, and pedagogue, dies at 72
  • Dec 1 Max Fiedler, German composer, dies at 79
  • Dec 8 Ernest Schelling, American composer and conductor (Victory Ball), dies at 63
  • Dec 10 Wilhelm Grosz, Austrian composer, dies at 45
  • Dec 19 Eric Fogg, English composer, dies under a train at 36
  • Dec 22 Ma Rainey [Gertrude Pridgett], American singer "Mother of the Blues", dies at 53