On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 1983

  • Jan 2 Bernard George Stevens, British composer, dies at 66
  • Jan 12 Rebop Kwaku Baah, Nigerian percussionist (b. 1944)
  • Jan 18 Cedric Thorpe Davie, British composer of film scores and pedagogue (The Green Man; St. Andrews University), dies at 69
  • Jan 19 Don Costa, American composer (Hello, Dolly!) and record producer (Sinatra and Strings; My Way), dies at 57
  • Jan 21 Lamar Williams, American musician (The Allman Brothers Band), dies of cancer at 34
  • Jan 28 Billy Fury [Ronald Wycherley], British rock singer ("When Will You Say I Love You"; "Halfway To Paradise"), and actor (That'll Be The Day), dies of heart failure at 42
  • Jan 28 "Sweet" Emma Barrett, American Dixieland jazz pianist and singer, dies at 85
  • Feb 2 Sam Chatman, elder statesman of the blues, dies
  • Feb 4 Karen Carpenter, American pop vocalist and drummer ("We've Only Just Begun"; "Rainy Days And Mondays"; "Top Of The World"), dies of anorexia nervosa at 32
  • Feb 12 (James Hubert) "Eubie" Blake, American ragtime composer and pianist ("Memories of You"; "I'm Just Wild About Harry"), dies at 96
  • Feb 22 Christina E "Christine" Auwen, singer and wife of John Kelly, dies at 75
  • Feb 22 Adrian Boult, British conductor (BBC Symphony Orchestra, 1930-50; London Philharmonic, 1950-59), dies at 93
  • Feb 24 Herbert Norman Howells, composer, dies at 90
  • Mar 6 Cathy Berberian, American mezzo-soprano and composer (Stripsody), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • Mar 7 Igor Markevitch, Russian composer and conductor (Le Paradis Perdu), dies at 70
  • Mar 8 William T Walton, English composer (Belhazzar's feast), dies at 80
  • Mar 11 Lurlean Hunter, American jazz singer, dies at 63
  • Mar 17 Ray Barr, American pianist (Vincent Lopez Show), dies at 70
  • Mar 23 David Wynne, Welsh composer (Owain ab Urien), dies at 82
  • Mar 27 Janis Ivanovs, Latvian composer, dies at 76
  • Apr 1 Ken Kersey, Canadian jazz pianist, and composer ("Boogie Woogie Cocktail"), dies at 66
  • Apr 3 Danny Rapp, American musician (Danny & The Juniors - "At The Hop"), takes his own life at 41
  • Apr 5 Cliff Carlisle, American country and blues musician, singer, songwriter, and yodeler ("Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad"), dies at 79

Person of interestPete Farndon

Apr 14 Pete Farndon, English rock bassist (The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"), drowns in his bathtub after a drug overdose at 30

Musician Pete Farndon
Musician
Pete Farndon
  • Apr 14 Willem Frederik Bon, Dutch composer (Les Prédictions) and pedagogue, dies at 42
  • Apr 14 Elisabeth Lutyens, English composer, dies at 76
  • Apr 17 Felix Pappalardi, American rock music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bassist (Mountain - "Mississippi Queen"), shot and killed by his wife, Gail, at 43
  • Apr 22 Earl "Fatha" Hines, American jazz pianist & bandleader (Deep Forest), dies at 79
  • Apr 26 Bronislaw Kaper, Polish film composer & Academy Award winner (Green Dolphin Street, Lili), dies at 81

Person of interestGeorge Balanchine

Apr 30 George Balanchine, Russian-American ballet composer and choreographer who founded the New York City Ballet, dies from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease at 79

Ballet Choreographer George Balanchine
Ballet Choreographer
George Balanchine

Person of interestMuddy Waters

Apr 30 Muddy Waters [McKinley Morganfield], American blues singer and guitarist ("Mannish Boy"; "Got My Mojo Working"), dies at 70

Blues Musician Muddy Waters
Blues Musician
Muddy Waters
  • May 3 Armando José Fernandes, Portuguese neoclassical composer, dies at 76
  • May 4 Nino Sanzogno, Italian conductor (La Fenice) and composer, dies at 72
  • May 6 Kai Winding, Danish-American Jazz musician and trombonist ("Georgia On My Mind"), dies of a brain tumor at 60
  • May 16 Carel Brons, Dutch composer, dies at 52
  • May 21 Finn Einar Mortensen, Norwegian composer, music critic, and educator, dies at 61
  • May 27 (Arnoldus) Arnold van Wyk, South African concert pianist and composer (Nagmusiek - Night Music), dies at 67
  • Jun 2 Stan Rogers, Canadian folk musician and songwriter, dies in aircraft fire at 33
  • Jun 7 Daniele Amfiteatrov, Russian-Italian pianist, conductor and Hollywood film score composer, dies at 81
  • Jun 17 Peter Mennin [Mennini], American composer (Moby Dick; The Cycle), and educator (Juilliard, 1962-83), dies of cancer at 60
  • Jun 18 Luther Tucker, American blues guitarist, dies of a heart attack at 57
  • Jun 25 Alberto Evaristo Ginastera, Argentine composer (Panambi), dies at 67
  • Jun 26 Walter O'Keefe, songwriter, radio and TV host (Mayor of Hollywood), dies of congestive heart failure at 82
  • Jun 30 Bo Gentry [Robert Ackoff] American songwriter ("Mony, Mony"), and record producer (Tommy James), dies at 41
  • Jul 1 Sandy Mosse, American jazz tenor saxophonist, and bandleader (Pieces of Eight), dies at 54
  • Jul 4 Claus Adam, American composer and cellist (Juilliard Quartet), dies at 65
  • Jul 5 Václav Trojan, Czech composer, dies at 76
  • Jul 5 Harry James, American swing-era bandleader, trumpeter and husband to Betty Grable, dies from lymphatic cancer at 67
  • Jul 10 Werner Egk, German composer (Die Zaubergeige), dies at 82
  • Jul 12 Chris Wood, British rock saxophone and flute player (Traffic; Ginger Baker's Air Force, Jimi Hendrix), dies of pneumonia at 39
  • Jul 17 Roosevelt Sykes, American blues and boogie-woogie pianist, and singer ("The Honeydripper"), dies of a heart attack at 77
  • Jul 23 Georges Auric, French composer (one of Les Six), dies at 84
  • Jul 25 Jerome Moross, American composer (Frankie & Johnny), dies at 69
  • Jul 30 Howard Dietz, American lyricist and librettist ("Dancing In The Dark"; "I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plans"), and MGM executive, dies of Parkinson's disease at 86
  • Aug 1 "Wild Bill" Moore, American R&B and jazz tenor saxophone player ("We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll": Marvin Gaye's "Mercy, Mercy Me"), dies at 65
  • Aug 2 James Jamerson, American session bass guitarist (Motown Records' "Funk Brothers"), dies of alcohol-related complications at 47
  • Aug 6 Klaus Nomi [Sperber], German new wave singer, and performance artist, dies of AIDS at 39

Person of interestIra Gershwin

Aug 17 Ira Gershwin, American lyricist ("Embraceable You"; "Someone To Watch Over Me"; "I Got Rhythm"), dies in Beverly Hills at 86

Lyricist Ira Gershwin
Lyricist
Ira Gershwin
  • Sep 5 Antonio Mairena, flamenco singer (b. 1909)
  • Sep 7 Hans Münch, Swiss conductor and composer, dies at 90
  • Sep 15 Willie Bobo [Correa], American jazz percussionist ("Evil Ways"), dies of cancer at 49
  • Sep 15 Prince Far I [Michael Williams], Jamaican reggae deejay, producer and Rastafarian, killed during a robberya t his home at 38-ish
  • Sep 15 Johnny Hartman, American jazz ballad singer (John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - "My One And Only Love"), dies of lung cancer at 60
  • Sep 24 Isobel Baillie, Scottish oratorio singer, dies at 88
  • Sep 26 Tino Rossi, French singer and actor (Destins, Belle Menuniere), dies at 76
  • Sep 30 Freddy Martin, American orchestra leader (started Merv Griffin) and tenor saxophonist, dies at 76
  • Oct 2 Gerald Strang, American classical and electronic music composer, dies at 75
  • Oct 16 George Liberace, American violinist (Liberace Show), dies at 72
  • Oct 16 Øivin Fjeldstad, Norwegian conductor and composer, dies at 80
  • Oct 20 Merle Travis, American country singer, dies at 75
  • Oct 25 Hermann Ambrosius, German composer, dies at 86
  • Oct 29 Sten Broman, Swedish composer, dies at 81
  • Nov 1 Anthony van Hoboken, Dutch musicologist (Haydn Catalog), dies at 96
  • Nov 3 Alfredo Antonini, conductor (Jane Froman Canteen), dies at 82
  • Nov 6 Robert Gross, American composer and violinist, dies at 69
  • Nov 7 David Alexandrovich Toradze, Soviet composer, dies at 61
  • Nov 7 Germaine Tailleferre, French composer (Le Marin du Bolivar), dies at 91
  • Nov 12 Preston Jackson [James Preston McDonald], American jazz trombonist (Preservation Hall Jazz Band), dies at 81
  • Nov 13 Alvin "Junior" Samples, American comedian and country singer (Hee Haw), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • Nov 19 Tom Evans, English rock musician (Badfinger), commits suicide at 36
  • Nov 25 Anton Dolin [Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-kay], British dancer (Girl From Petrovka), dies at 79
  • Dec 6 Lucienne Boyer, French singer (Parlez-moi d'amour), dies at 82
  • Dec 11 Szymon Laks, Polish composer (head of prisoners orchestra at Auschwitz), dies at 82
  • Dec 15 Jimmy McLin, American jazz banjo player, and guitarist (James P. Johnson; Willie "The Lion" Smith; The Ink Spots), dies at 75
  • Dec 15 “Big Chief” Russell Moore, Pima-American jazz trombonist (Lionel Hampton; Louis Armstrong), and composer ("Wounded Knee Chant"), dies at 70
  • Dec 27 Walter Scott, American singer (Bob Kuban), murdered at 40
  • Dec 28 Dennis Wilson, American drummer and singer (Beach Boys), drowns at 39