On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 1986

  • Jan 2 Benny Payne, American jazz pianist (Cab Calloway; Billy Daniels Show), dies at 78
  • Jan 2 Herbert Magidson, American lyricist, winner of first Academy Award for Best Original Song ("The Continental"; "Gone With The Wind"; "The Masquerade Is Over"), dies at 79
  • Jan 3 Jens Bjerre, Danish composer, dies at 82
  • Jan 4 Phil Lynott, Irish rock musician (Thin Lizzy), dies of an overdose at 36 [1]
  • Jan 8 Pierre Fournier, French cellist (b. 1906)
  • Jan 8 Mansel Treharne Thomas, Welsh composer, dies at 76
  • Jan 9 Lucia Chase, American ballerina and co-founder of American Ballet Theater, dies at 88
  • Jan 10 Joe Farrell, American jazz saxophonist, dies at 48
  • Jan 14 Daniel Balavoine, French singer-songwriter, dies in a helicopter crash at 33
  • Jan 24 Gordon MacRae, American singer and actor (Oklahoma!, Carousel), dies of pneumonia at 64
  • Jan 30 Ticker Freeman, American pianist (Dinah Shore Show), dies at 74
  • Feb 1 Dick James, Beatles' music publisher (1962-70), dies at 58
  • Feb 7 Armand Preud'homme, Flemish organist/lyricist, dies at 81
  • Feb 10 Uncle Art Satherley, British-American record producer (1968 Academy of Country Music Award), dies at 96
  • Feb 12 Guy Douglas Hamilton Warrack, composer, dies at 86
  • Feb 14 Edmund Rubbra, English composer (Morning Watch), dies after a stroke at 86
  • Feb 20 Francisco Mignone, Brazilian composer, dies at 88
  • Feb 28 William Dollar, American ballet dancer and choreographer, dies at 79
  • Mar 4 Richard Manuel, Canadian rock vocalist and pianist (The Band - "The Shape I'm In"; "Tears Of Rage"), commits suicide at 42
  • Mar 4 Howard Greenfield, American songwriter (b. 1936)
  • Mar 11 Sonny Terry, American bind Piedmont blues musician, dies at 74
  • Mar 14 Benno Ammann, Swiss composer, dies at 81
  • Mar 14 Jozef Kresanek, composer, dies at 73
  • Mar 22 Mark Dinning, American singer ("Teen Angel"), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • Mar 31 O'Kelly Isley, American singer (Isley Brothers), dies of heart attack at 48
  • Apr 1 Erik Bruhn, Danish dancer (National Ballet of Canada), dies at 57
  • Apr 3 Peter Pears, English tenor (Death in Venice), dies at 75
  • Apr 8 Yukiko Okada, Japanese idol singer, dies at 18
  • Apr 10 Linda Creed, American singer and songwriter ("The Greatest Love Of All"), dies of breast cancer at 37
  • Apr 13 Johnny Dollar, American country & rockabilly singer, commits suicide at 53
  • Apr 17 Teddy Kotick, American jazz double bassist (Phil Woods; Charlie Parker; Bill Evans), dies of a brain tumor at 57
  • Apr 19 Dag Wirén, Swedish composer, dies at 80
  • Apr 23 Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer ("Over the Rainbow"; "It's Only A Paper Moon"; "Stormy Weather"), dies of cancer at 81
  • May 1 Hugo Peretti, American songwriter and record producer, dies at 69
  • May 5 John William Haussermann Jr., American composer, dies at 76
  • May 5 Rui Coelho, Portuguese composer, dies at 94
  • May 7 Jeffrey Mylett, American actor and songwriter, dies at 36
  • May 17 Jack Waldman, American jazz and rock keyboardist and avant garde composer dies of HIV related illness at 33
  • May 18 John Bubbles Sublett, American tap dancer (Black & Bubbles), dies at 84
  • May 19 Jimmy Lyons, American musician (b. 1931)
  • May 20 Bernard Naylor, English-Canadian organist, conductor, and composer, dies at 78
  • May 30 Hank Mobley, US jazz saxophonist, dies at 55
  • Jun 2 Daniel Sternefeld, Belgian conductor and composer (Elegie), dies at 80
  • Jun 3 Arthur Charles Ernest Hoérée, Belgian-French composer, dies at 89

Benny Goodman

Jun 13 Benny Goodman, American clarinetist and bandleader (King of Swing), dies at 77

  • Jun 14 Alan Jay Lerner, American Tony and Academy Award-winning lyricist (Lerner & Loewe - My Fair Lady; Gigi; Camelot), dies of lung cancer at 67
  • Jun 16 Maurice Duruflé, French organist (St. Etienne-du-Mond, 1929-75), composer (Requiem, Op. 9), and teacher (Paris Conservatory, 1943-70), dies at 84
  • Jun 17 Kate Smith, American singer ("God Bless America"), dies at 78
  • Jun 21 Assi Rahbani, Lebanese composer, with his lyricist brother, Mansour (Biya el-Khawatim - The Ring Seller), dies at 63
  • Jun 22 Matti Rautio, Finnish classical composer (The Blue Heron), dies at 64 
  • Jun 27 Zoltán Gárdonyi, Hungarian composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 27 (Otis W.) "Joe" Maphis, American session and country music guitarist ("Dim Lights"), dies of lung cancer at 75
  • Jun 29 Dusolina Giannini, Italian-American dramatic soprano (New York Metropolitan Opera, 1935-42), and teacher, dies at 83
  • Jul 3 Rudy Vallee, American singer (Vagabond Dreams), dies at 84
  • Jul 4 Flor Peeters, Flemish organist and composer (Lied Symphony), dies at 83
  • Jul 13 Joseph "Coke" Escovedo, Mexican-American percussionist (Santana; Malo; Azteca), dies from cirrhosis at 45
  • Jul 23 Jouko Paavo Kalervo Tolonen, Finnish composer, dies at 73
  • Jul 27 Leroy Holmes, American orchestra leader (The Tonight Show, 1956-57), dies at 72
  • Jul 29 Gordon Mills, British songwriter (Tom Jones - "It's Not Unusual"), dies of cancer at 51
  • Jul 31 Teddy Wilson, American jazz pianist and arranger (Billie Holiday; Benny Goodman), dies of stomach cancer at 73 [1]
  • Aug 13 Caterina Jarboro, African-American opera singer and 1st black female performer to sing on opera stage in US, dies at 88
  • Aug 15 Richard E. Holz, American composer for brass band (Salvation Army), dies at 74
  • Aug 16 John Hurley, songwriter (Son of a Preacher Man), dies at 45
  • Aug 20 Thad Jones, American jazz trumpeter, dies of cancer at 63
  • Aug 30 Otto Mortensen, Danish composer and musicologist, dies at 79
  • Sep 2 Philip Radcliffe, English composer, dies at 81
  • Sep 7 Vladimir Alexandrovich Vlasov, composer, dies at 83
  • Sep 22 Bernie Cummins, American jazz drummer and big band leader ("Dark Eyes"), dies at 86
  • Sep 27 Cliff Burton, American rock bassist (Metallica), dies in bus crash at 24
  • Sep 28 Robert Helpmann, Australian actor, choreographer and dancer (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Don Quixote), dies at 77
  • Oct 5 Emanuel Sayles, American jazz banjo player (Preservation Hall Jazz Band), dies at 79
  • Oct 10 (Ivy) Priaulx Rainier, South African-British composer (Ploërmel), dies at 83
  • Oct 16 Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist, dies at 65
  • Oct 27 Alan Branscombe, British jazz and session pianist, vibraphonist, and saxophonist (Tubby Hayes; Beatles - "Got To Get You Into My Life"), dies at 50
  • Oct 29 Osamu Shimizu, Japanese composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 29 Abel Meeropol, American songwriter ("Strange Fruit"; "The House I Live In'), and librettist ("The Good Soldier Schweick"), dies at 83
  • Oct 30 Andrzej Markowski, Polish composer, dies at 62
  • Nov 1 Sippie Wallace [Beulah Belle Thomas], American blues singer ("Women Be Wise") dies on her 88th birthday
  • Nov 1 Serge Garant, Canadian composer and conductor (Anerca), dies at 57
  • Nov 3 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis [Edward F. Davis], American jazz saxophonist (Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band), dies of cancer at 65
  • Nov 4 Zlatan Vauda, Slovene composer and conductor (RTB Children's Choir, 1953-86), dies at 86
  • Nov 5 Bobby Nunn, American singer (The Robins; The Coasters - "Charlie Brown"; "Youngblood") dies of a heart attack at 61
  • Nov 6 Elisabeth Grümmer, Alsatian soprano (b. 1911)
  • Nov 7 Tracy Pew, Australian musician (The Birthday Party) (b. 1957)
  • Nov 8 Beatrice Kay, American singer and actress (Sister Sue-Calvin & the Col), dies at 78
  • Nov 13 Rudolf Schock, German opera tenor, dies at 71
  • Nov 15 Alexandre Tansman, Polish composer (Dyptique), dies at 89
  • Nov 18 Lajos Bárdos, Hungarian conductor, composer, musicologist and professor, dies at 87
  • Nov 22 Robert Sutton Whitney, composer, dies at 82
  • Nov 22 (Benjamin) "Scatman" Crothers, American singe, musician ("I'd Rather Be a Hummingbird"), and actor (Chico and the Man -"Louie", The Shining), dies of lung cancerat 76
  • Nov 22 Robert Whitney, American conductor (Sospiro do Roma), dies at 82
  • Dec 1 Horace Heidt, American orchestra leader (Swift Show Wagon), dies at 85
  • Dec 1 [Irving] Lee Dorsey, American pop and R&B singer (Working in the Coal Mine), dies at 61
  • Dec 3 Bob Howard [Joyner], American swing jazz singer and pianist (Sing it Again), dies at 80
  • Dec 5 Carmol Taylor, country songwriter, dies at 53 of cancer
  • Dec 10 Kate Wolf, folksinger (Back Roads), dies of leukemia at 44
  • Dec 15 Serge Lifar, Russian-French dancer, choreographer (Paris Opera Ballet), dies at 81
  • Dec 16 Marcel Quinet, Belgian pianist and composer (Vague et Sillon), dies at 71
  • Dec 22 Celius Dougherty, American pianist and composer, dies at 84
  • Dec 27 Lars-Eric Vilner Larsson, composer, dies at 78
  • Dec 29 John Antill, Australian composer (Corroboree; New Guinea Patrol), dies at 82
  • Dec 30 Jiri Jaroch, Czech composer, dies at 66
  • Dec 31 Lester Trimble, American composer, music critic and educator, dies at 63