On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 1988

  • Jan 4 Lily Laskine, French harpist, dies at 94
  • Jan 29 Bantcho Bantchevsky, US opera singer, commits suicide
  • Jan 29 Rogier van Otterloo, Dutch composer and conductor, dies at 46
  • Feb 6 Nuno Oliveira, Bass Player (b. 1925)
  • Feb 10 Paolo Renosto, Italian composer, dies at 52
  • Feb 13 John Curulewski, American rock guitarist and singer (Styx), dies of a brain aneurysm at 37
  • Feb 14 Frederick Loewe [Friedrich Löwe], Austrian-born American composer (My Fair Lady, Camelot), dies at 86
  • Feb 15 Frederick [Fritz] Loewe, composer, dies
  • Feb 24 Memphis Slim [John Len Chatman], American blues musician ("Every Day I Have the Blues"), dies at 72
  • Mar 6 Konstantin Iliev, Bulgarian composer, dies at 63
  • Mar 8 Henryk Szeryng, Polish-born violinist (b. 1918)
  • Mar 8 Amar Singh Chamkila [Dhanni Ram], Punjabi folk singer "The Elvis of Punjab" killed by unknown gunmen as he arrived for concert at age 26 [1]

Person of interestAndy Gibb

Mar 10 Andy Gibb, British singer-songwriter, performer and teen idol (Bee Gees-I Just Want to Be Your Everything), dies of myocarditis at 30

Singer and TV Host Andy Gibb
Singer and TV Host
Andy Gibb
  • Mar 10 William Brocklesby Wordsworth, composer, dies at 79
  • Mar 14 Willi Apel, German-American musicologist (Harvard dictionary of music), dies at 94
  • Mar 17 Nikolas Asimos, Greek counter-culture composer and singer, dies at 38

  • Mar 20 Gil Evans, Canadian-American jazz pianist, composer and arranger (Miles Davis; Absolute Beginners, Out of the Cool), dies at 75
  • Mar 26 Musa Kaleem [Orlando Wright], American jazz saxophonist, dies at 67
  • Mar 31 Talib Rasul Hakim, composer, dies at 48
  • Apr 7 Cesar Bresgen, Austrian organist and composer, dies at 74
  • Apr 9 Brook Benton [Benjamin Franklin Peay], American soul vocalist (It's Just a Matter of Time, Rainy Night in Georgia), dies of meningitis at 56
  • Apr 9 Dave Prater, American singer and musician (Sam & Dave), dies in a car crash at 50
  • Apr 14 Herbert Reynolds Inch, American composer and teacher, dies at 83
  • Apr 14 Johan Franco, Dutch composer, dies at 79
  • Apr 15 Youri Egorov, Soviet classical pianist, dies at 33
  • Apr 25 Boris Kremenliev, composer, dies at 76
  • Apr 25 Carolyn Franklin, American singer-songwriter, sister of Aretha, dies of cancer at 43
  • Apr 28 B. W. Stevenson, American country singer, dies at 38
  • Apr 29 Jan Kapr, Czech composer, dies at 74
  • Apr 30 James McCracken, American operatic tenor (Otello), dies at 61
  • May 3 Johannes Driessler, German organist and composer, dies at 67
  • May 5 George Rose, British actor and singer (Beacon Hill, Holocaust), dies at 68
  • May 6 Paul Wilson, American baritone doo-wop singer (Flamingos, 1952-64 - "Lovers Never Say Goodbye") dies at 53
  • May 13 Chet Baker, jazz trumpeter, fell to death out of a hotel window at 59
  • May 18 David Moule-Evans, English composer & conductor, dies at 82
  • May 20 René Defossez, Belgian composer, dies at 82

  • May 21 Sammy Davis Sr., American dancer (Mr. Wonderful), dies at 87
  • May 26 José Muñoz Molleda, Spanish composer and politician, dies at 83
  • May 27 Melvin J "Cy" Oliver, US jazz composer/orchestra leader, dies at 77
  • May 28 Melvin "Sy" Oliver, American jazz arranger, songwriter (Tommy Dorsey - "Yes, Indeed!") dies at 77 [1]
  • Jun 12 Marcel Poot, Belgian baron and composer, dies at 87
  • Jun 19 Zdeněk Blažek, Czech composer and music theorist (Verchovina), dies at 83
  • Jun 22 Dennis Day [Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty], Irish-American tenor and comedian (Jack Benny Show, Danny Boy), dies of ALS syndrome at 72
  • Jun 22 Jesse Ed Davis, Native American guitarist, dies of a drug overdose at 43
  • Jun 25 Hillel Slovak, Israeli musician (Anthym/What Is This?, Red Hot Chili Peppers) (b. 1962)
  • Jul 1 Hellmuth Christian Wolff, composer, dies at 82
  • Jul 1 Lex van Delden [Alexander Zwaap], Dutch composer and writer (Canto della Guerra), dies at 68
  • Jul 2 Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, American blues, jazz, and R&B alto saxophonist, dies of a heart attack at 70
  • Jul 18 Nico, US model/pop singer (Velvet Underground), dies at 43
  • Jul 22 Luigi Lucioni, Italian-American landscape painter (opera stars), dies at 87
  • Jul 29 Pete Drake, American pedal steel guitarist and producer, dies at 55
  • Aug 2 Roger Vuataz, composer, dies at 90
  • Aug 8 Félix Leclerc, French Canadian singer and composer (Moi, mes souliers), dies at 74
  • Aug 9 Giacinto Scelsi, Italian composer and surrealist poet, dies at 83
  • Aug 11 Jean-Pierre Ponnele, opera director (Carmina Burana), dies at 56
  • Aug 12 Jean-Michel Basquiat, American musician/graffiti painter (Gray, SAMO), dies
  • Aug 14 Roy Buchanan, American blues guitarist, dies at 48
  • Aug 14 Robert Calvert, South African-British writer and musician (Hawkwind), dies of a heart attack at 43
  • Aug 16 Milton Adolphus, composer, dies at 75
  • Aug 26 Carlos Paião, Portuguese singer, dies at 30
  • Aug 28 Hazel Dawn, American singer/actress (Under Clover, Margie), dies at 98
  • Sep 5 Lawrence Brown, American trombonist (Duke Ellington Orchestra), dies at 81
  • Sep 14 Melle Weersma, Dutch jazz arranger and composer ("Penny Serenade"), dies at 80
  • Sep 22 Rezso Sugar, Hungarian composer, dies at 68
  • Sep 23 Arwel Hughes, Welsh composer, dies at 79
  • Oct 7 Billy Daniels, African-American jazz singer ("That Old Black Magic") and television pioneer (The Billy Daniels Show), dies of cancer at 73
  • Oct 8 Ernst Hermann Meyer, German composer, dies at 82
  • Oct 15 Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji [Leon Dudley Sorabji], Parsi-British pianist and composer (Opus clavicembalisticum), dies of heart failure at 96
  • Oct 19 Son House, American musician (b. 1902)
  • Oct 25 Johnnie Richardson, American R&B musician (Johnnie & Joe), dies at 53
  • Nov 11 William Ifor Jones, Welsh conductor & organist (b. 1900)
  • Nov 12 Tomasz Sikorski, Polish minimalist composer (Solitude of Sounds), dies at 49
  • Nov 13 Antal Doráti, Hungarian-American conductor (Minneapolis Symphony, 1949-1960), dies at 82
  • Nov 13 Jaromír Vejvoda, Czech composer (Beer Barrel Polka), dies at 86
  • Nov 24 Irmgard Seefried, German soprano, dies at 69
  • Nov 26 Antonio Estévez, Venezuelan composer and conductor (Cantata Criolla), dies at 72
  • Nov 27 Karel Horky, Czech composer, dies at 79
  • Dec 2 Tata Giacobetti, Italian singer and lyricist (Quartetto Cetra)
  • Dec 6 Bill Harris, American guitarist (Clovers-Love Potion No 9), dies at 63
  • Dec 6 Roy Orbison, American musician (Pretty Woman), dies of a massive heart attack at 52
  • Dec 8 Herbert "Tubo" Rhoad, American baritone a cappella singer (Persuasions - "Street Corner Symphony"), dies at 44

Person of interestSylvester James Jr.

Dec 16 Sylvester James Jr., American singer-songwriter (Do Ya Wanna Funk), dies of complications from HIV/AIDS at 41

Singer-Songwriter Sylvester James Jr.
Singer-Songwriter
Sylvester James Jr.
  • Dec 22 Tucker Smith, singer/dancer (Cool-West Side Story), dies
  • Dec 26 Pablo Sorozábal, Spanish composer, dies at 91