Deaths in Music in 1959

  • Jan 6 Jose Enrique Pedreira, composer, dies at 54
  • Jan 9 Paul Malengreau, composer, dies at 71
  • Jan 21 Lamar Stringfield, American composer, dies at 61
  • Jan 28 Viktor Joseph Keldorfer, composer, dies at 85
  • Feb 3 The Big Bopper [Jiles Perry Richardson], American musician, dies in plane crash at 28

Person of interestBuddy Holly

Feb 3 Buddy Holly, American rock and roll musician (That'll be the Day), dies in a plane crash at 22

Singer-songwriter Buddy Holly
Singer-songwriter
Buddy Holly
  • Feb 3 Ritchie Valens, American rock vocalist (Donna, La Bamba), dies in plane crash at 17
  • Feb 5 Curt Sachs, German musicologist, dies at 77
  • Feb 7 Guitar Slim [Eddie Jones], American blues guitarist (The Things That I Used to Do) dies at 32
  • Feb 13 William L Axt, composer, dies at 70
  • Feb 14 Baby Dodds, American jazz drummer (b. 1898)
  • Feb 18 Alfred Alessandrescu, composer, dies at 65
  • Feb 18 Eric Zeisl, Austrian American composer, dies at 53
  • Feb 18 Jaroslav Kvapil, composer, dies at 66
  • Feb 20 Ray McDonald, dancer, dies of barbituate overdose at 38
  • Mar 11 Haydn Wood, English composer, dies at 76

  • Mar 15 Lester Young, American jazz musician, dies at 49
  • Mar 17 Raffaele d' Alessandro, composer, dies on 48th birthday
  • Mar 25 Billy Mayerl, composer, dies at 56
  • Mar 29 Sara Wennerberg-Reuter, composer, dies at 84
  • Apr 12 Ernest Willem Mulder, composer, dies at 60
  • Apr 13 Eduard van Beinum, Dutch musician and conductor, dies at 57
  • Apr 24 Jef van Hoof, Flemish composer, dies at 72
  • Apr 30 Armand Marsick, Belgian composer, dies at 81
  • May 8 Renato Caccioppoli, Italian mathematician/pianist, suicide at 55
  • May 14 Sidney Bechet, US jazz clarinetist/saxophonist/bandleader, dies at 62
  • May 30 Thomas Carl Whitmer, composer, dies at 85
  • Jun 3 Ole Windingstad, composer, dies at 73
  • Jun 23 Jean Gallon, French composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 23 Boris Vian, French writer and musician (b. 1920)
  • Jun 30 Lazare Saminsky, composer, dies at 76
  • Jul 15 Ernest Bloch, Swiss-born American composer (MacBeth, Schelomo, Israel), dies on cancer at 78

Person of interestBillie Holiday

Jul 17 Billie Holiday, jazz singer, dies at Metropolitan Hospital in New York of cirrhosis of the liver at 44

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • Jul 20 Harry Fox [Arthur Carringford], American vaudeville dancer, comedian and actor (Talent Scout), dies at 77
  • Aug 2 Prospero Bisquertt, Chilean composer, dies at 78
  • Aug 7 Armas Emmanuel Launis, composer, dies at 75
  • Aug 9 Emil František Burian, Czech author and composer, dies at 55
  • Aug 15 Blind Willie McTell, American ragtime singer and guitarist (b. 1901)
  • Aug 16 Pedro Humberto Allende Saron, Chilean composer (Tonados), dies at 74
  • Aug 16 Wanda Landowska, Polish-French harpsichordist (Musique Ancienne), dies at 80
  • Aug 28 Bohuslav Jan Martinu, Czech composer (Hry o Marti), dies at 68
  • Sep 9 Max d'Ollone, French composer and writer (Le Ménestrel), dies at 84
  • Sep 22 Josef Matthias Hauer, composer, dies at 76
  • Sep 25 Ennio Porrino, composer, dies at 49
  • Sep 28 Gerard Hoffnung, German-born British artist/humorist/musician, dies at 34
  • Oct 7 Mario Lanza [Alfredo Arnold Cocozza], Italian-American actor and singer (Great Caruso, Toast of New Orleans), dies of a heart attack at 38
  • Oct 13 Rudolf Mengelberg, Dutch composer and musicologist (Concert Amsterdam), dies at 67
  • Oct 19 Stanley Bate, composer, dies at 45
  • Oct 28 Egon Kornauth, composer, dies at 68
  • Nov 3 Friedrich Niggli, composer, dies at 83
  • Nov 9 Frederick Preston Search, composer, dies at 70
  • Nov 10 Lupino Lane, English actor (Deputy Drummer), dies at 67
  • Nov 17 Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer/pianist/conductor, dies at 72
  • Nov 26 Albert Ketèlbey, British composer (In a Monastery Garden), dies at 84
  • Nov 29 Fritz Brun, Swiss composer and conductor, dies at 81
  • Dec 29 Robin Humphrey Milford, composer, dies at 56