Musicians Who Died in 1969

  • Jan 4 Montague Fawcett Phillips, British composer, dies at 83
  • Jan 4 Paul Chambers, American jazz bassist (Miles Davis Quintet, 1955-63; Wynton Kelly Trio, 1963-68), dies of tuberculosis at 33
  • Jan 9 Ladislav Vycpalek, Czech composer, dies at 86
  • Jan 10 John Brownlee, Australian operatic baritone (Metropolitan Opera, 1937-57), dies at 69
  • Jan 16 Vernon Duke [Vladimir Alexandrovich Dukelsky], American composer and songwriter ("Taking a Chance on Love"), dies of lung cancer at 65

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)

Jan 17 Polish violinist and composer, dies of a heart attack at 59

  • Jan 19 Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau, American jazz guitarist and double-bassist, dies at 80
  • Jan 23 Jaroslav Křička, Czech composer, dies at 86
  • Jan 24 Pauline Hall, Norwegian composer, dies at 78
  • Jan 25 Irene Castle, American vaudeville, stage, and screen dancer, and animal rights activist, dies at 75
  • Jan 27 Hanns Jelinek, Austrian composer, dies at 67
  • Jan 31 Alexander Mikhaylovich Dzegelyonok, composer, dies at 77
  • Feb 2 Giovanni Martinelli, Italian operatic spinto tenor singer (New York Metropolitan Opera, 1913-45), dies at 83
  • Feb 7 Bainbridge Crist, composer, dies at 85
  • Feb 15 Charles "Pee Wee" Russell, American jazz clarinet and saxophone player, dies at 62
  • Feb 17 (Adolphe) Paul Barbarinan American jazz drummer (King Oliver; Red Allen Sextet; Onward Brass Band), dies while playing his snare drum, marching in a Mardi Gras parade at 69
  • Feb 20 Ernest Ansermet, Swiss (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, 1918-67). and composer (Feuilles de Printemps), dies at 85
  • Feb 23 Joseph Messner, Austrian organist and composer, dies at 75
  • Feb 27 John Boles, American singer and actor (Stella Dallas, Curly Top), dies at 73
  • Mar 15 Miles Malleson, British stage and screen actor, and writer (Kind Hearts and Coronets; Postman's Knock), dies at 80
  • Mar 19 Theodor Schaefer, Czech composer, dies at 65
  • Mar 25 Billy Cotton, British bandleader and entertainer, dies at 69
  • Apr 2 Fortunio Bonanova, Spanish actor and opera singer (My Best Gal, Havana Rose), dies at 74
  • Apr 8 Arthur Walter Kramer, American composer, dies at 78
  • Apr 11 Ludvig Irgens-Jensen, Norwegian composer, dies at 74
  • Apr 20 William "Benny" Benjamin, American session drummer (Motown's Funk Brothers), dies of a stroke at 43 [1]
  • Apr 23 Krzysztof Komeda, Polish jazz pianist and film composer (Rosemary's Baby), dies of head injuries as the result of a fall at 37
  • Apr 28 Johannes Röntgen, Dutch composer, dies at 70
  • May 3 Imre Vincze, Hungarian composer, dies at 42
  • May 12 Martin Lamble, British folk-rock drummer (Fairport Convention, 1966-69), killed in a vehicle crash at 19
  • May 19 Coleman Hawkins, American jazz musician who virtually created tenor saxophone for jazz, dies at 64
  • May 23 Jimmy McHugh, American composer ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love"; "On the Sunny Side of the Street"; "I'm In The Mood For Love"), dies at 74
  • May 30 Gaston Brenta, Belgian composer, dies at 66
  • May 30 John Cipollini, guitarist, dies of ephysema at 45
  • Jun 1 Stan Brenders, Belgian jazz pianist and bandleader, dies at 65
  • Jun 5 Renaat Veremans, Flemish organist, composer, and conductor (Flemish Opera, Antwerp, 1921-44), dies at 75
  • Jun 14 Wynonie Harris, American rhythm and blues singer, dies of cancer at 53
  • Jun 16 Karl Schiske, Austrian composer, dies at 53

Judy Garland (1922-1969)

Jun 22 American actress (The Wizard of Oz; Meet Me In St. Louis; Easter Parade), and singer ("Over The Rainbow"); dies at 47; coroner determines cause as unintentional, incautious barbiturates

  • Jun 27 Richard Vance Maxfield, American instrumental, electro-acoustic, and electronic music composer, dies at 42
  • Jun 29 (Frederick) "Shorty" Long, American soul singer and pianist ("Here Comes The Judge"; "Devil In A Blue Dress"), dies in a boating accident at 29
  • Jun 29 Veselin Stoyanov, Bulgarian composer and pedagogue, dies at 67
  • Jun 30 Jan Evangelista Zelinka, Czech composer (Meluzina), dies at 76

Brian Jones (1942-1969)

Jul 3 British blues and rock guitarist, organist and sitar player (Rolling Stones, 1962-69), drowns in his swimming pool at 27

  • Jul 3 Hermann Grabner, Austrian composer, dies at 83
  • Jul 5 Wilhelm Backhaus, German pianist (Rubinstein-1905), dies at 85
  • Jul 7 Gladys Swarthout, American mezzo-soprano (La Gioconda), dies of heart disease at 68
  • Jul 9 Pierre Capdevielle, French conductor, composer (Élégie de Duino), music critic (Monde musicale), and teacher, dies at 63
  • Jul 20 Roy Hamilton, American singer (You'll Never Walk Alone), dies at 40
  • Jul 25 Douglas Moore, American organist, pianist, songwriter ("Goodnight Harvard"), and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer (Giants in the Earth; The Ballad of Baby Doe), dies at 75
  • Jul 28 Ernst Tittel, Austrian organist and composer, dies at 59

Frank Loesser (1910-1969)

Jul 28 American songwriter and composer (Guys And Dolls; "Baby, It's Cold Outside"; The Most Happy Fella), dies at 59

  • Jul 28 Gabriel von Wayditch, Hungarian-American composer, dies at 80
  • Aug 2 Clarence Dickinson, American composer, dies at 96
  • Aug 7 Joseph Kosma [József Kozma], Hungarian-French film composer (Les Enfants du Paradis; The Grand Illusion), dies at 63
  • Aug 7 Russ Morgan, American orchestra leader (Welcome Aboard), dies at 65
  • Aug 18 Laci Boldemann, Swedish composer, dies at 48
  • Aug 31 Ottmar Gerster, German composer (rector of the Liszt Music Academy in Weimar), dies at 72
  • Sep 1 William Flanagan, American composer, and music critic, takes his own life at 46
  • Sep 5 Henk Bijvanck, Dutch composer, dies at 59
  • Sep 5 Josh White, American blues, folk and gospel musician, dies at 55
  • Sep 5 Mitchell Ayres, American orchestra leader (Hollywood Palace), dies at 58
  • Sep 18 Rudolph Wagner-Regeny, Hungarian German composer, dies at 66
  • Oct 3 Nehemiah "Skip" James, American Delta blues singer, guitarist and piano player ("I'm So Glad"), dies at 67
  • Oct 4 Natalino Otto [Natale Codognotto], Italianswing-jazz singer, dies at 56
  • Oct 16 Leonard Chess [Lejzor Czyż], Polish-American blues and R&B record company executive (Chess Records), dies at 52

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

Oct 21 American novelist and poet of the Beat Generation (On the Road, Mexico Blues), dies of cirrhosis of the liver at 47

  • Oct 21 Oscar "TV Slim" Wills, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Flatfoot Sam"), dies in a car wreck at 53
  • Oct 23 Tommy Edwards, American R&B singer-songwriter ("It's All In The Game"), dies from complications of cirrhosis of the liver at 47
  • Oct 24 Otto Jochum, German composer, dies at 71
  • Oct 27 Jaime Pahissa, Spanish-born composer and musicologist, dies at 89
  • Oct 30 George "Pops" Foster, American jazz double bassist, tuba player, and trumpeter (Louis Armstrong; Sidney Bechet; Earl Hines), dies at 77
  • Oct 31 Hugo Pfister, Swiss classical and stage composer, dies at 55
  • Nov 2 (Wilmore) "Slick" Jones, American jazz drummer (Fletcher Henderson, Fats Waller, Sidney Bechet), dies at 62
  • Nov 4 Ferenc Szabó, Hungarian composer (Lúdas Matyi, Légy jó mindhalálig), dies at 66
  • Nov 12 Louis van Tulder, Dutch tenor (Kantoorkruk to high C), dies at 77
  • Nov 18 Léon Jongen, Belgian organist, composer, and academic, dies at 85
  • Nov 18 Ted Heath, British jazz trombonist, composer, and big bandleader, dies at 67
  • Nov 22 Acario Cotapos, Chilean composer, dies at 80
  • Nov 23 (Donnell) "Spade" Cooley, American Western swing fiddler, bandleader, and television personality ("Shame On You"), dies of a heart attack during the intermission of a performance at 58
  • Dec 1 "Magic" Sam [Maghett], American blues guitarist ("Feelin' Good (We're Gonna Boogie)"), dies of a heart attack at 32
  • Dec 4 Alceo Toni, Italian arranger (Vivaldi's "Four Season's" for piano four-hands), composer (Elegiac Quintet), and musicologist, dies at 85
  • Dec 8 Vincenzo Davico, composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 10 Franco Capuana, Itlalian opera conductor, dies of a heart attack on the podium while leading a performance of Gioachino Rossini's "Mosè in Egitto" in Naples, at 75
  • Dec 10 Leigh Harline, American composer and conductor, dies at 62
  • Dec 16 Leo Mathisen, Danish jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer and bandleader, known as "The Lion" (Take It Easy; To Be Or Not To Be), dies at 63
  • Dec 31 Salvatore Baccaloni, Italian operatic bass buffo singer (Metropolitan Opera, 1940-62), and actor (Merry Andrew; Rock-a-Bye Baby), dies at 69