Musicians Who Died in 1987

  • Jan 6 Domingo Santa Cruz Wilson, Chilean composer, dies at 87
  • Jan 7 Larry Carr, American pianist (Flight to Rhythm), dies at 72
  • Jan 10 Marion Hutton, American singer (Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1938-42), and actress (In Society), dies of cancer at 67
  • Jan 11 Albert Ferber, Swiss-English pianist (b. 1911)
  • Jan 14 Alton Purnell, American Dixieland jazz pianist, and singer, dies at 75
  • Jan 15 Dolores Hawkins, singer (Guy Mitchell Show), dies at 58
  • Jan 15 Ray Bolger, American dancer, actor, and singer (Wizard of Oz - "Scarecrow"; Partridge Family - "Grandpa Renfrew"), dies of bladder cancer at 83
  • Jan 16 Robert De Kers [Keersmaeker], Belgian jazz trumpeter and bandleaders, dies at 80
  • Jan 18 George Thalben-Ball, Australian-English organist (Birmingham City Organist, 1949-83), and composer (Elegy), dies at 90
  • Jan 19 Fred Lohse, German composer and educator, dies at 78
  • Jan 25 Emil Hlobil, Czech composer, dies at 85
  • Jan 29 Ivo Lhotka-Kalinski, Yugoslav composer, dies at 73
  • Feb 2 Patrick "Spike" Hughes, British jazz musician (Cinderella), dies at 78

Liberace

Feb 4 (Wladziu) Liberace, American Emmy Award-winning pianist, showman (The Liberace Show), and actor (Batman -"Evil Chandell"), dies of AIDS-related pneumonia at 67

  • Feb 10 Raymond “Coco” Colignon, Belgian jazz pianist, organist, and bandleader, dies at 80
  • Feb 14 Bola Sete, Brazilian guitarist, dies at 63
  • Feb 15 Jimmy Holiday, American soul singer ("How Can I Forget"; Baby I Love You"), and songwriter ("Put A Little Love In Your Heart"), dies of heart failure at 42
  • Feb 15 Osmo Uolevi Lindeman, Finnish jazz pianist, film score composer, and pedagogue, dies at 57
  • Feb 16 Dmitri Kabalevsky, Russian pianist and composer (In the Fire), dies at 82
  • Feb 20 Adrian Cruft, British composer, dies at 66
  • Feb 20 Ivan Brkanović, Croatian composer (Triptych - Funeral Folk Rite), dies at 80
  • Feb 25 James Coco, American character actor and singer (Only When I Laugh, Man of La Mancha, Murder by Death), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • Feb 28 Nora Kaye, American ballet dancer, and Broadway and film choreographer, dies of cancer at 67
  • Mar 4 Siro Cisilino, Italian composer and musicologist, dies at 83
  • Mar 6 Eddie Durham, American pioneering jazz electric guitarist, trombonist (Count Basie; Jimmie Luceford), composer ("Topsy"; "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire"), and bandleader (All-Star Girl Orchestra), dies at 80
  • Mar 13 Fela Sowande, Nigerian musician and composer, dies at 81
  • Mar 13 Finn Videro, Danish organist and composer, dies at 80
  • Mar 13 Gerald Moore, English pianist (Am I Too Loud), dies at 87
  • Mar 20 Norman Harris, American soul, R&B, and disco session guitarist (Philadelphia International; O'Jays; Salsoul Orchestra), dies of cardiovascular disease at 39
  • Mar 20 Rita Streich, Russian-German soprano, dies at 66
  • Mar 21 Dean Paul Martin, Jr, American singer (Dino, Desi & Billy), and actor (Misfits of Science), dies in a military aircraft crash at 35
  • Mar 21 Robert Preston [Meservey], American stage and screen actor and singer (The Music Man; Mame; The Last Starfighter), dies of lung cancer at 68
  • Mar 26 Eugen Jochum, German conductor (Hamburg Orchestra), dies at 84
  • Mar 27 Bruno Kiefer, German-born Brazilian composer, dies at 63
  • Mar 28 Maria Augusta von Trapp, Austrian singer who inspired the "Sound of Music" (Trapp Family Singers), dies of heart failure at 82

Buddy Rich

Apr 2 Buddy Rich, American big band drummer, and orchestra leader (Away We Go), dies at 69

  • Apr 3 Hans Gál, Austrian-British composer (Die heilige Ente (The Sacred Duck)), dies at 97
  • Apr 7 Maxine Sullivan [Marietta Williams], American jazz vocalist and performer ("Going Places"), dies following a seizure at 75
  • Apr 14 Karl Höller, German composer, dies at 79
  • Apr 17 Carlton "Carly" Barrett, Jamaican reggae drummer (The Upsetters; Bob Marley & Wailers), murdered at 36
  • Apr 19 Hugh Brannum, American actor and singer (Captain Kangaroo - "Mr. Green Jeans"; The Fred Waring Show - "Lumpy"), dies of cancer at 77
  • Apr 20 Antony Tudor, English dancer and choreographer (American Ballet Theater) dies at 78
  • Apr 22 Irving Ashby, American jazz and session guitarist (Lionel Hampton - "Flying Home"; Nat King Cole Trio; Oscar Peterson Trio), dies at 66
  • Apr 28 Åke Olof Sebastian Uddén, Swedish violist, composer and educator (Royal College Of Music, 1934-70), dies at 84
  • May 3 Dalida [Yolande Christina Gigliotti], French-Italian actress (The Sixth Day), singer (Bambino), and Miss Egypt 1954, commits suicide at 54
  • May 4 Paul Butterfield, American blues singer and harmonica player (Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Better Days), dies of drug abuse at 44
  • May 12 Victor Feldman, British jazz pianist and drummer, dies of a heart attack at 53
  • May 13 Phil Moore, American jazz pianist, arranger, and bandleader, dies at 70
  • May 22 Mario Zafred, Italian composer, and opera director dies at 65
  • May 23 Karel Albert, Flemish composer (Marieken van Nymeghen), dies at 86
  • May 26 Emiliana de Zubeldía, Spanish-Mexican concert pianist, composer - chiefly for guitar (Landscape Basko),and educator (Academy of Music at the University of Sonora, 1947-87), dies at 98
  • May 29 Phyllis Tate, English composer, dies at 76
  • May 30 Melvin "Turk" Murphy, American Dixieland jazz trombonist, dies at 71
  • Jun 2 Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitarist and composer, dies at 94
  • Jun 2 Sammy Kaye, American orchestra leader (Swing and Sway With Sammy Kaye)), dies of cancer at 77
  • Jun 8 Yogi Horton, American R&B and funk drummer (Luther Vandross), commits suicide at 33

Fred Astaire

Jun 22 Fred Astaire [Austerlitz], American stage and screen tap dancer, singer ("Night And Day"; "Cheek To Cheek"; "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"), and actor (Royal Wedding; Easter Parade; Swingtime), dies of pneumonia at 88

  • Jun 24 (John Herbert) "Jackie" Gleason, American comedian, (The Jackie Gleason Show; The Honeymooners), actor (Requiem For A Heavyweight; The Hustler; Gigot), composer, and conductor (Music for Lovers Only),, dies of colon cancer at 71
  • Jun 25 Boudleaux Bryant, American country music and pop songwriter ("Rocky Top"; "Love Hurts"; "Bye Bye Love"), dies at 67
  • Jun 26 Henk Badings, Dutch opera composer (Orestes), dies at 80
  • Jun 30 Federico Mompou, Spanish composer, dies at 94
  • Jul 1 Snakefinger, British-born musician (b. 1949)
  • Jul 7 Tibor Frešo, Slovak composer (Fanfares of Peace; A Beetle was Born), and conductor (Slovak National Theatre Opera), dies at 68
  • Jul 10 John H. Hammond, American music producer, talent scout, promoter, and activist, "discovered" Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, dies at 76
  • Jul 15 Jack O'Hagan, cricketer and composer (Our Don Bradman), dies at 88
  • Jul 17 Howard McGhee, American be-bop bebop jazz trumpeter, dies at 69
  • Jul 24 Dick Wellstood, American jazz pianist, dies at 59
  • Jul 25 Alex Sadkin, American audio engineer, and record producer (Grace Jones; Thompson Twins), dies in a car crash in The Bahamas at 38
  • Jul 26 Joe Liggins {Theodro Elliott], American jazz, R&B, and jump blues pianist, songwriter, and vocalist ("The Honeydripper"; "Pink Champagne'), dies after a stroke at 71
  • Aug 1 Pola Negri [Apolonia Chalupec], Polish-American stage and silent and sound screen actress (Forbidden Paradise; Madame Bovary), and singer, dies of pneumonia and a brain tumor at 92
  • Aug 4 Kenny Price, American country singer ("Walking on New Grass"; "Happy Tracks"), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • Aug 5 Zygmunt Mycielski, Polish composer, music writer and editor (Ruch Muzyczny, 1957-68), dies at 79 [1]
  • Aug 13 Vincent Persichetti, American composer (Sibyl), dies at 72
  • Aug 17 Gary Chester [Cesario Gurciullo], Italian-American sessiondrummer (Monkees; Lovin' Spoonful) and drum instructor, dies at 62
  • Aug 23 Siegfried Borris, German composer, dies at 80
  • Aug 27 Charlie Smalls, American Tony Award-winning composer and songwriter (The Wiz), dies of a burst appendix at 43
  • Sep 3 Morton Feldman, American composer (For Philip Guston; Rothko Chapel), dies at 61
  • Sep 9 Gunnar de Frumerie, Swedish pianist and composer (Circulus Quintus), dies at 79
  • Sep 11 Ludovic Feldman, Romanian violinist and composer, dies at 94
  • Sep 11 Peter Tosh [Winston Hubert McIntosh], Jamaican reggae musician (The Wailers -"Get Up Stand Up"; "Mystic Man"; "Legalize It"), shot dead at his home in Jamaica at 42
  • Sep 21 Jaco Pastorius, American jazz-fusion musician and bass guitarist (Weather Report; Joni Mitchell; Word of Mouth), dies from injuries sustained in a bar fight at 35
  • Sep 22 Louis Kentner, Hungarian-British composer, dies at 82
  • Sep 23 Bob Fosse, American choreographer, film and stage director (All the Jazz, Cabaret, Damn Yankees), dies of a heart attack at 62
  • Sep 23 Louis Kentner, Hungarian-British pianist and composer, dies at 87
  • Sep 23 O. B. McClinton, American country singer (Man needs a woman), dies at 47
  • Sep 30 Robert Schollum, Austrian composer, dies at 74
  • Oct 9 Guru Gopinath, Indian classical dancer, dies at 79
  • Oct 13 Kishore Kumar, Indian singer and actor, dies at 58
  • Oct 14 Rodolfo Halffter, Spanish composer, and music critic, dies at 86
  • Oct 16 Dana Suesse, American musician and songwriter ("You Ought To Be In Pictures"), dies at 77
  • Oct 19 Jacqueline du Pre, British cellist, dies from complications of multiple sclerosis at 42
  • Oct 29 Woody Herman, American jazz clarinetist and composer (Thundering Herd), dies at 74
  • Nov 6 Jean Rivier, French composer and educator (Paris Conservatory, 1946-66), dies at 91
  • Nov 6 Zohar Argov, Israeli singer, dies in jail of unintentional suicide at 32
  • Nov 16 Zubir Said, Singaporean composer who composed Singapore's national anthem (b. 1907)
  • Nov 17 Irene Wicker, singer/actress (Singing Lady), dies at 81
  • Nov 22 Ted Taylor, American R&B singer, dies in a car crash at 58
  • Nov 23 Alton Adams, American composer (1st black bandmaster in the United States Navy), dies at 98
  • Nov 26 Emmanuel Bondeville, French composer, dies at 89
  • Nov 28 Paul Arma, Hungarian-French composer, dies at 83
  • Dec 5 "Fat" Larry James, American drummer (Fat Larry's Band-Zoom), dies at 38
  • Dec 10 (Leroy) "Slam" Stewart, American jazz double bass player, dies of congestive heart failure at 73
  • Dec 10 Jascha Heifetz, Russian violinist, dies at 86
  • Dec 12 Enrique Jorrín, Cuban musician and composer (b. 1926)
  • Dec 12 Louis de Meester, Belgian pianist and classical and electronic music composer (The Great Temptation of St Anthony), dies at 83
  • Dec 12 Truman "Pinky" Tomlin, American singer and actor (Sing While You're Able, With Love and Kisses), dies from a heart attack at 80
  • Dec 18 Conny Plank, German record producer and musician, dies at 47
  • Dec 22 Leonidas Zoras, Greek conductor and composer, dies at 82