On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 1980

  • Jan 2 Larry Williams, American singer-songwriter, dies at 44
  • Jan 3 Amos Milburn, American R&B singer and pianist, dies at 52
  • Jan 6 Georgeanna Tillman, American singer (the Marvelettes), dies at 35 from lupus and sickle cell anemia
  • Jan 7 Larry Williams, American rocker (Dizzy, Miss Lizzie), dies of a gunshot wound to the head at 44
  • Jan 7 Carl White, rocker, dies
  • Jan 13 Andre Kostelanetz, Russian-American conductor (Lincoln Portrarit), dies of pneumonia at 78
  • Jan 19 Richard Franko Goldman, American educator and composer, dies at 69
  • Jan 23 Babs Gonzales [Lee Brown], American be-bop jazz vocalist, poet, and songwriter ("Oop-Pop-A-Da"), dies of cancer at 60
  • Jan 25 Queenie Watts [Mary Spenton], British singer and actress (Up the Junction, Holiday on the Buses), dies at 56
  • Jan 29 Antonio Molina, Filipino composer, conductor and music administrator (Ana Maria, Hatinggabi), dies at 85

Jimmy Durante

Jan 29 Jimmy Durante, American actor, comedian and singer known as "the schnozzola" (The Durante-Moore Show, Jimmy Durante Show), dies of pneumonia at 86

  • Jan 30 Professor Longhair [Henry Roeland Byrd], American blues singer and pianist, dies from a heart attack at 61
  • Feb 7 Ernst Kunz, Swiss composer, dies at 88
  • Feb 8 Nikos Xilouris, Greek singer (b. 1936)
  • Feb 9 Charlie Fowlkes, American baritone saxophonist (Count Basie Orchestra, 1953-80), dies at 63
  • Feb 14 Luitkonwar Rudra Baruah, Assamese composer and actor
  • Feb 17 Jerry Fielding, American jazz musician and composer (Lively Ones, Hogan's Heroes), dies at 57
  • Feb 18 Gale Robbins [Betty Gale Murphy], American singer and actress (Fuller Brush Girl, Mr Hex), dies of lung cancer at 58
  • Feb 19 Bon Scott [Ronald Belford Scott], Australian rock musician (lead singer and lyricist of AC/DC), dies at 33
  • Feb 19 (Clarence) "Shorty" Cherock, American swing jazz and big band trumpeter (Jimmy Dorsey; Gene Krupa; Nelson Riddle), dies at 64
  • Mar 1 John Jacob Niles, American composer & singer, dies at 87
  • Mar 13 Tauno Pylkkänen, Finnish composer dies at 61
  • Mar 17 Rudolf G Escher, Dutch composer (Vrai Visage de la Paix), dies at 68
  • Mar 21 Gideon Fagan, South African conductor and composer, dies at 75
  • Mar 25 Walter Susskind, Czech conductor and pianist, dies at 66
  • Mar 26 Jon-Jon Poulos, American drummer (Buckinghams), dies at 32
  • Mar 28 Richard "Dick" Haymes, Argentine-American actor and singer (Sate Fair, Real Life, Betrayal), dies of lung cancer at 61
  • Mar 28 John Poulos, American drummer (The Buckinghams - "Kind Of A Drag"), dies of heart failure at 32
  • Mar 29 Annunzio Mantovani, Italian orchestra leader (Mantovani), dies at 74
  • Apr 4 Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine, American country music singer, dies following a heart attack leading to a car crash at 62
  • Apr 16 Morris Stoloff, American violinist, Academy Award-winning composer, music director (Columbia Pictures, 1938-62), and orchestra leader (Moonglow/Theme from Picnic), dies at 81

Jane Froman

Apr 22 Jane Froman, American singer (Jane Froman's USA Canteen), dies at 72

  • Apr 28 Tommy Caldwell, American rock bass player (Marshall Tucker Band), dies in a jeep crash at 30
  • Apr 30 Mary McCarty, American singer, dancer, stage and screen actress (Babes in Toyland; All That Jazz;, Trapper John, MD), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • May 12 Lillian Roth [Rutstein], American singer and actress (Animal Crackers; Alice Sweet Alice), dies at 69
  • May 14 Wilhelm Weismann, German composer, dies at 79
  • May 18 Ian Curtis, English rock vocalist (Joy Division), commits suicide at 23
  • May 30 Carl Radle, American bass guitarist (Derek and the Dominoes), dies of a kidney infection at 37
  • Jun 4 Charles Miller, American rock-funk flutist, saxophonist, and singer (War - "Why Can't We Be Friends?"; "Low Rider"), stabbed to death during a mugging in Los Angeles at 41
  • Jun 8 Ernst Busch, German singer and actor, dies at 80
  • Jun 20 Allan Pettersson, Swedish composer, dies at 68
  • Jun 21 Bert Kaempfert, German orchestra leader and songwriter, dies of a stroke at 56
  • Jun 27 Albany "Barney" Bigard, Creole-American jazz clarinetist (Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1927-42 - "Mood Indigo"), dies at 74
  • Jun 28 Yoshiro Irino, Japanese composer, dies at 58
  • Jun 28 José Iturbi, Spanish pianist and conductor, dies at 84
  • Jul 3 James "Buster" Bennett, American blues saxophonist and blues shouter, dies at 66
  • Jul 5 Archibald James Potter, Irish composer, dies at 61
  • Jul 9 Vinicius de Moraes, Brazilian poet and lyricist, dies at 66
  • Jul 11 Bolesław Woytowicz, Polish pianist and composer, dies at 80
  • Jul 15 Henri Martelli, French composer, dies at 85
  • Jul 23 Keith Godchaux, American pianist, and singer (Grateful Dead, 1971-79 - "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away"), dies in a car accident at 32
  • Jul 25 Vladimir Vysotsky, Russian poet, singer, and actor (b. 1938)
  • Jul 28 Cecil Burleigh, American composer, dies at 95
  • Jul 29 Jan Tausinger, Romanian-Czech violist and composer, dies at 58
  • Jul 30 Norman Lloyd, American pianist, author and composer, dies at 70
  • Jul 31 Bobby Van [Stein], American stage and screen musical singer and actor (The Affairs of Dobie Gillis; Small Town Girl), dies of brain cancer at 49
  • Jul 31 Mohd. Rafi, Indian playback singer (b. 1924)
  • Aug 18 Norman Cazden, composer, dies at 65
  • Aug 20 Joe Dassin, French-American singer (Les Champs-Élysées), dies at 41
  • Aug 24 Frederick A. Fox, American classical composer (Nightscenes; Shaking The Pumpkin),and educator (Indiana University, 1974-94), dies at 80
  • Aug 26 Jimmy Forrest, American jazz saxophonist (Night Train), dies at 60
  • Sep 2 William Douglas Denny, American composer, dies at 70
  • Sep 5 Don Banks, Australian orchestral, jazz, and film score composer, dies of leukemia at 56
  • Sep 11 Jose Antonio Calcano, Venezuelan composer, teacher, and choral director, dies at 80
  • Sep 15 Bill Evans, American jazz pianist ("Peace Piece"; "Waltz For Debbie"), dies of a bleeding ulcer at 51
  • Sep 21 Ernest White, Canadian organist, organ designer, and composer, dies at 79

John Bonham

Sep 25 John Bonham, English rock drummer (Led Zeppelin), dies from asphyxiation after heavy alcohol intake at 32

  • Oct 8 Maurice Martenot, French cellist, WWI radio telegrapher, and instrument inventor (ondes Martenot), dies at 81
  • Oct 13 Philip "Gabby" Pahinui, Hawaiian slack-key guitarist and singer, dies of a heart attack at 59
  • Oct 14 Oscar Alemán, Argentine jazz and swing guitarist, and singer ("Rosa Madreselva"), dies at 71
  • Oct 25 Virgil Fox, American organist, dies at 68
  • Oct 27 Steve Peregrin Took, English musician (Tyrannosaurus Rex), dies of a drug overdose at 31
  • Nov 12 Alexander Nicolaas Voormolen, Dutch composer, dies at 85
  • Nov 16 O. V. [Overton Vertis] Wright, American blues singer, dies at 41
  • Dec 2 Richard Pindle Hammond, American composer dies at 83
  • Dec 7 Darby Crash, American Punk rocker (Germs), dies of an overdose at 22

Murder of InterestJohn Lennon

Dec 8 John Lennon, British musician, pop star and member of The Beatles (Imagine), shot and murdered outside of his home in NYC by Mark David Chapman at 40

  • Dec 24 Alec Lafayette Chew Wilder, composer, dies at 73
  • Dec 24 Siggie Nordstrom, American singer (The Nordstrom Sisters), dies at 87
  • Dec 24 Alec Wilder, American classical, jazz, and pop music composer (The Churkendoose), and musicologist (American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950), dies at 73 [1]
  • Dec 25 Louis Neefs, Belgian singer, dies at 43
  • Dec 25 (Ludwig) "Louis" Neefs, Belgian pop singer (Eurovision, 1967 & 1969), dies, along with his wife, in a car accident at 43
  • Dec 29 Tim Hardin, American singer (If I Were a Carpenter, Reason to Believe), dies of a drug overdose at 39