On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 1990

  • Jan 2 Vladimir Ussachevsky, Manchurian-American composer (Creation), dies at 78
  • Jan 3 Arthur Gold, American pianist, half of Gold and Fizdale duo (b. 1917)
  • Jan 12 Paul Amadeus Pisk, Austrian-American composer, musicologist, and educator, dies at 96
  • Jan 17 Fritz "Freddie" Brocksieper, German big band jazz drummer, and bandleader, dies at 77
  • Jan 18 Melanie Appleby, English singer (Mel & Kim), dies of liver cancer at 23
  • Jan 19 Semprini, English musician (b. 1908)
  • Jan 20 Miloslav Istvan, composer, dies at 61
  • Jan 20 Hayedeh, Persian singer (b. 1942)
  • Jan 23 [Piet] "Peter" Sweval, American rock bassist (Looking Glass - "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" ; Starz - "Cherry Baby"), dies of AIDS at 42
  • Jan 23 (Larken) Allen Collins, American southern rock guitarist, and songwriter (Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"; "Gimme Three Steps"; Rossington-Collins Band - "Don't Misunderstand Me"), dies from chronic pneumonia, a complication of the paralysis suffered in a drunk driving accident, at 37
  • Feb 6 Jimmy Van Heusen [Edward Chester Babcock], American composer and songwriter (All the Way, Love & Marriage), dies following a stroke at 77
  • Feb 8 Del Shannon [Charles Westover], American rock musician and songwriter (Runaway), commits suicide at 55
  • Feb 14 Tony Holiday, German singer
  • Feb 24 Johnnie Ray, American singer (Cry), dies of liver failure at 61
  • Feb 26 Cornell Gunther, American musician (Coasters, Poison Ivy), dies at 53
  • Feb 26 Scott Jarvis, musician (Great Expectations), dies of AIDS at 46
  • Mar 13 Karl Münchinger, German conductor (Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, 1945-87), dies at 74
  • Mar 16 Ernst Bacon, American composer, dies at 91
  • Mar 17 Rick Grech, British musician (Blind Faith, Traffic), dies at 44
  • Mar 18 Robin Harris, American comedian and actor (House Party, Mo' Better Blues), dies of a heart attack at 36
  • Mar 19 Andrew Wood, American singer (Mother Love Bone) (b. 1966)
  • Mar 23 Al Sears, American jazz and R&B saxophonist (Duke Elllington Orchestra; Johnny Hodges - "Castle Rock"), dies at 80
  • Apr 3 Sarah Vaughan, American jazz singer, dies of lung cancer at 66
  • Apr 14 Thurston Harris, American pop vocalist (The Sharps, Little Bitty Pretty One), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • Apr 25 Dexter Gordon, American jazz tenor saxophonist and actor (Round Midnight, The Other Side of Round Midnight), dies of kidney failure at 67
  • Apr 29 Floyd Butler, American soul singer (Friends of Distinction - "Grazin' in the Grass"), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • May 2 William Levi Dawson, American composer, choirmaster, and musicologist dies at 90
  • May 8 Luigi Nono, Italian avant-garde composer (Intolleranza), dies at 66
  • May 9 Patrick Piggott, British pianist, composer, and musicologist (The Life & Music of John Field; The Innocent Diversion - Music in the Life and Writings of Jane Austen), dies at 74
  • May 14 Andre Ameller, French double bassist (Paris Opéra, 1937-53), conductor, composer, and educator (École Nationale de Musique - Dijon, 1953-81), dies at 78

Sammy Davis Jr.

May 16 Sammy Davis Jr., American vaudeville, stage, and screen dancer, singer ("The Candy Man"), actor (Ocean's 11), and Rat Pack member, dies of throat cancer at 64

  • May 17 Frank Wright, American free jazz saxophonist, dies at 54
  • May 28 Julius Eastman, American pianist, vocalist, and minimalist composer (The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc; Gay Guerrilla), dies of cardiac arrest at 49
  • Jun 2 Walter Davis Jr., American hard bop pianist (Davis Cup, Illumination), dies of liver and kidney disease at 57
  • Jun 3 Stiv Bators [Steven Bator], American punk rock singer and guitarist (The Dead Boys; The Lords of the New Church), dies from brain injury after being struck by a car in Paris, at 40
  • Jun 5 Jim Hodder, American drummer, and singer (Steely Dan, 1972-74), drowns in his home swimming pool at 42
  • Jun 7 Barbara Baxley, American stage and screen actress and singer (Norma Rae; Nashville; Countdown), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • Jun 11 Clyde McCoy, American jazz trumpeter ("Sugar Blues"; the wah-wah sound), bandleader and co-founder of "Down Beat" magazin, dies at 86
  • Jun 14 Erna Berger, German soprano, dies at 89
  • Jun 15 Carlo Prosperi, Italian composer, dies at 69
  • Jun 16 Eva Turner, British operatic soprano, dies at 98
  • Jun 19 Antonio Martinez, Spanish rock guitarist (Los Bravos - "Black Is Black", dies in a motorcycle accident at 44
  • Jun 21 June Christy, American jazz singer (Tampico), dies at 64
  • Jun 25 Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Australian composer (Triad), dies at 77
  • Jun 30 Dudu Pukwana [Mtutuzel], South African saxophonist and composer, dies at 51
  • Jul 2 Snooky Lanson [Roy Landman], American singer (Your Hit Parade; 5 Star Jubilee), dies at 76
  • Jul 7 Cazuza, Brazilian poet, singer and composer, dies at 32
  • Jul 15 Troy Dixon, Ameican rapper (Trouble T-Roy of Heavy D), dies at 22 of a fall
  • Jul 16 Sidney Torch, English composer, conductor and theater organist, dies from an intentional medication overdose at 82
  • Jul 18 Gerry Boulet, Quebec rock singer (b. 1946)
  • Jul 22 Otmar Nussio, Swiss conductor and composer (Boccaccio Suite), dies at 87
  • Jul 23 Joe Turner, American jazz pianist, dies of cardiac arrest at 82
  • Jul 23 Robert Sommer, singer, dies of liver failure at 42
  • Jul 26 Brent Mydland, American rock keyboardist and vocalist (Grateful Dead - "Hell In A Bucket"; "I Will Take You Home"), dies of a cocaine and morphine "speedball" overdose at 38
  • Jul 27 Bobby Day [Robert Byrd], American rock musician (Rockin' Robin), dies of cancer at 58
  • Aug 8 Andrzej Dobrowolski, Polish classical and experimental composer, dies at 68
  • Aug 12 Piotr Perkowski, Polish composer, dies at 89
  • Aug 14 Chester Zardis, American jazz 'slap-style' double-bassist, dies at 90
  • Aug 15 Viktor Tsoi, Russian musician (Kino), dies in a car accident at 28
  • Aug 15 Lew DeWitt, American country singer and composer (Statler Brothers - "Flowers on the Wall"), dies of Crohn's disease complications at 52
  • Aug 17 Pearl Bailey, American Tony and Emmy Award-winning stage and screen actress, singer and dancer (Hello, Dolly!), dies of heart attack at 72
  • Aug 18 Grethe Ingmann, Danish singer (b. 1938)
  • Aug 22 "Boogie" Bill Webb, American Louisiana blues and R&B guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Bad Dog"), dies at 66
  • Aug 23 David Rose, American Emmy Award-winning composer ("Holiday for Strings"; "The Stripper"), dies at 80

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Aug 27 Stevie Ray Vaughan, American blues guitarist (Texas Flood; "Pride And Joy"; David Bowie - "Let's Dance"), dies in a helicopter crash at 35

  • Aug 28 Pamela Harrison, English pianist and composer, dies at 74

Tom Fogerty

Sep 6 Tom Fogerty, American rocker (Creedence Clearwater), dies of tuberculosis at 48

  • Sep 14 Wime de Craene, Flemish singer and composer, dies at 40
  • Sep 16 Steve Condos, tap dancer, dies of heart attack at 71
  • Sep 19 Werner Janssen, American composer (New Years Eve in NY), dies at 91
  • Sep 27 Matvey Isaakovich Blanter, Russian-Soviet composer of popular songs and film music ("Katyusha"), dies at 87
  • Oct 1 Andrzej Krzanowski, Polish classical composer and accordionist (The Wind Carries the Echo Across a Wood Clearing), dies at 49
  • Oct 3 Eleanor Steber, American soprano (Metropolitan Opera, 1940-61), dies following unsuccessful heart surgery at 74
  • Oct 8 B.J. Wilson, British session and touring rock drummer (Procol Harum, 1967-77; Joe Cocker), dies of drug overdose complications and pneumonia at 43

Leonard Bernstein

Oct 14 Leonard Bernstein, American Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning conductor (New York Philharmonic, 1958-69; Israel Philharmonic; London Symphony), and composer (West Side Story; Chichester Psalm), dies of heart attack at 72

  • Oct 16 Art Blakey, American jazz drummer (Jazz Messengers), dies of cancer at 71
  • Oct 16 Jorge Bolet, Cuban-born American pianist known for his performances of the work of Franz Liszt, dies at 75
  • Oct 27 Xavier Cugat, Spanish-American bandleader, dies at 90
  • Nov 1 Ray Pohlman, American session upright and electric bass guitarist and arranger (The Wrecking Crew), and jazz guitarist, dies of heart failure at 60
  • Nov 5 Bobby Scott, American composer, arranger and jazz singer ("He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"), dies of cancer at 53
  • Nov 10 Ronnie Dyson, American stage actor (Hair - "Aquarius"; Salvation), and soul singer ("(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?"; "I Don't Wanna Cry"), dies of heart failure at 40
  • Nov 11 Lisa Kirk, American Broadway singer and actress (Kiss Me Kate), dies of lung cancer at 65
  • Nov 12 Nico Haak, Dutch singer (Foxy Foxtrot), dies
  • Nov 18 Peter Schilperoort, saxophonist/clarinetist, dies
  • Nov 24 Bulent Arel, Turkish-born electronic composer, dies at 72

Aaron Copland

Dec 2 Aaron Copland, American composer (Billy the Kid, Fanfare for Common Man), dies of Alzheimer's disease and respiratory failure at 90

  • Dec 6 Pavlos Sidiropoulos, Greek rock singer, songwriter and guitarist (Electric Theseus) dies from a heroin overdose at 42
  • Dec 7 Dee Clark, American pop singer ("Raindrops"), dies at 52
  • Dec 7 Peter Mieg, Swiss composer, dies at 84
  • Dec 8 Pony Sherrell Metcalf, NY, singer, dies of heart attack
  • Dec 18 Paul Tortelier, French concert cellist, composer, and teacher, dies at 76
  • Dec 18 Connie Russell, American singer (Club Embassy; Garroway at Large), dies at 67
  • Dec 19 Massimo Amfiteatrof [Maksim Amfiteatrov], Russian-Italian classical musician, known as 'the Cellists' Caruso', dies at 83
  • Dec 22 Cecil Effinger, American oboist, composer, and inventor of a music typewriter, dies at 76
  • Dec 28 Walter Burle Marx, Brazilian pianist and composer, dies at 88