Deaths in Music in 1985

  • Jan 3 Lucien Cailliet, composer, dies at 93
  • Jan 4 Lovro von Matačić, Croatian conductor and composer (Bruckner Medal), dies at 86
  • Jan 7 Johnny Guarnieri, jazz pianist (Morey Amsterdam Show), dies at 67
  • Jan 10 Anton Karas, Austrian zither player and composer (b. 1906)
  • Jan 20 Jo Juda, Dutch musician (1st concertmaster of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra), dies at 75
  • Jan 31 Barbara Cowsill, singer and mother in The Cowsills band, dies of emphysema at 56
  • Feb 7 Matt Monro, English singer (b. 1932)
  • Feb 11 Heinz Eric Roemheld, composer, dies of pneumonia at 83
  • Feb 11 Ulysses Sipmson Kay, composer, dies at 68
  • Feb 18 Willy Alberti [Carel Verbrugge], Dutch singer and actor (Riffin in Amsterdam), dies at 58
  • Feb 22 Efrem A Zimbalist, Russian/US composer/violinist, dies at 95
  • Feb 28 David Byron [Garrick], British vocalist and songwriter (Uriah Heep), dies of alcohol-related complications at 38
  • Feb 28 Ray Ellington, English singer (b. 1916)
  • Mar 1 Eugene List, American concert pianist and teacher (Eastman School of Music), dies at 66
  • Mar 7 George Schick, Czech conductor (Chicago Symphony), dies at 76
  • Mar 12 Eugene Ormandy [Blau], Hungarian/US conductor, dies at 85

  • Mar 13 Robert "Bob" Shad [Abraham Shadrinsky], American record producer and record label owner (Big Brother and the Holding Company), dies at 65
  • Mar 16 Roger Huntington Sessions, US composer (Black Masks), dies at 88
  • Mar 18 Jack Miller, orchestra leader (Kate Smith Evening Hour), dies at 89
  • Mar 21 Salvador Ley, composer, dies at 78
  • Mar 24 George London, Canadian bass-baritone (Monterone-Rigoleto), dies at 64
  • Mar 29 Jeanine Deckers, Belgian nun and singer-songwriter, The Singing Nun, commits suicide at 51
  • Apr 6 Mark Lothar, German composer (The Story of the Lazy Bear), dies at 82
  • Apr 8 John Frederick Coots, American songwriter, dies at 87
  • Apr 14 Reginald Beane, American pianist (Starlit Time, Once Upon a Tune), dies at 63
  • May 2 Hal LeRoy, dancer/actor (Harold Teen), dies at 71 after surgery
  • May 2 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (b. 1909)
  • May 6 Julie Vega, Filipina child actress and singer, dies at 16
  • May 8 Karl Marx, German composer/conductor, dies at 87
  • May 9 Reginald Dixon, British theatre organist, dies at 80
  • May 17 Abe Burrows, songwriter, composer, and writer (b. 1910)
  • Jun 1 Richard Greene, English composer and actor (The Adventures of Robin Hood), dies at 67
  • Jul 16 Wayne King, orchestra leader (Wayne King Show), dies at 84
  • Jul 17 Czeslaw Josef Marek, composer, dies at 93
  • Jul 23 Kay Kyser, bandleader (Kay Kyser's Kollege), dies at 79
  • Jul 30 Peter Knight, English musical arranger, conductor, and composer, dies at 68
  • Aug 4 Zbynek Vostrak, composer, dies at 65
  • Aug 12 Marcel Mihalovici, composer, dies at 86
  • Aug 12 Kyu Sakamoto, Japanese singer and actor, dies in JAL 123 crash at 43
  • Aug 15 Richard Yardumian, American composer (Creator Spirit), dies at 68
  • Aug 24 Paul Creston [Giuseppe Guttoveggio], Italian-American composer (Creative Harmony, dies at 78

  • Aug 29 Alexander Abramsky, composer, dies at 87
  • Aug 30 [Joseph Rudolph] Philly Joe Jones, American jazz drummer (Miles Davis Quintet), dies of a heart attack at 62
  • Sep 3 Jo Jones, American jazz drummer, dies at 73
  • Sep 3 John Herbert McDowell, American composer for ballet, TV and the stage, dies at 58
  • Sep 6 Jane Frazee [Mary Jane Frehse], American actress, singer, and dancer (Beautiful But Broke, Beulah), dies at 70 of pneumonia
  • Sep 6 Johnny Desmond, singer (Your Hit Parade), dies of cancer at 65
  • Sep 6 Leon Orthel, Dutch composer, dies at 79
  • Sep 8 Manuel Ivo Cruz, Portuguese composer and founder of Philharmonic Orchestra of Lisbon, dies at 84
  • Sep 11 William Alwyn, English composer, dies at 79
  • Sep 13 Dane Rudhyar, composer, dies at 90
  • Sep 15 Cootie Williams, American jazz trumpeter, dies at 77
  • Sep 25 Albert Moeschinger, composer, dies at 88
  • Oct 5 Brian Keenan, American rock drummer (The Chamber Brothers), dies of a heart attack at 42
  • Oct 6 Nelson Riddle, American Grammy Award winning bandleader, conductor and orchestrator for Capitol Records (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Dean Martin), dies of complications from cirrhosis of the liver at 64
  • Oct 7 Cemal Reşit Rey, Turkish composer, dies at 81
  • Oct 11 Tex Williams, American country-western singer, dies at 68 of cancer
  • Oct 12 Ricky Wilson, rock guitarist (B-52's), dies of AIDS at 32
  • Oct 14 Emil Gilels, Ukrainian pianist (b. 1916)
  • Oct 15 Ted Steele, American orchestra leader (Cavalcade of Stars), dies at 68
  • Oct 22 Viorica Ursuleac, Romanian soprano (b. 1894)
  • Oct 25 Morton Downey, singer (Star of the Family), dies at 83
  • Nov 24 Big Joe Turner, American singer (b. 1911)
  • Dec 4 Marcel Boereboom, Belgian musicologist, dies at 83
  • Dec 12 Anne Baxter, American actress, and singer (The Razor's Edge, All About Eve), dies of a stroke at 62
  • Dec 12 Ian Stewart, Scottish keyboardist, road manager, and co-founder of the Rolling Stones, dies of a heart attack at 47
  • Dec 22 D. Boon, American singer and guitarist (The Minutemen) (b. 1958)
  • Dec 23 James Vance (20) and Raymond Belknap (18) attempt suicide (Belknap dies). Their families later sue rock group Judas Priest for subliminal messages in song "Better By You, Better Than Me".
  • Dec 25 George Rhodes, orchestra leader (Sammy Davis Jr Show), dies at 66
  • Dec 31 Rick Nelson, singer/actor (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), dies at 45