Deaths in Music in 1997

  • Jan 1 Townes Van Zandt, musician, dies at 52
  • Jan 1 Hagood Hardy, Canadian composer and musician (b. 1937)
  • Jan 2 Randy California, [Wolfe], rock guitarist, dies at 45
  • Jan 3 Burton Lane, composer, dies at 84
  • Jan 3 Roger Goeb, American composer, dies at 82
  • Jan 7 Sándor Végh, Hungarian-French violinist teacher and conductor, dies at 84
  • Jan 8 Carole Carr [Carless], British singer and actress (Down Among the Z Men), dies of cancer at 68
  • Jan 8 George Handy [George Joseph Hendleman], American jazz musician (Handyland, U.S.A.), dies at 76
  • Jan 10 Alvinio Misciano, Italian tenor, killed in a fall from a window
  • Jan 11 Cavan O'Connor, singer, dies at 97
  • Jan 16 Charlie Alfred Galbraith, English jazz trombonist, dies at 76
  • Jan 22 Irwin Levine, composer (Tie a Yellow Ribbon), dies at 58
  • Jan 22 Wally Whyton, musician/broadcaster, dies at 66
  • Jan 22 Ron Holden, American singer (b. 1939)
  • Jan 22 Billy MacKenzie, Scottish rock vocalist (The Associates-Affectionate Punch), committed suicide at 39
  • Jan 23 Charles Craig, opera singer, dies at 77

  • Jan 23 Richard Berry, African-American singer and musician (Louie Louie), dies at 61
  • Jan 27 Gerald Marks, American songwriter (All of Me), dies at 96
  • Feb 1 Marjorie Reynolds [Goodspeed], American actress and dancer (Holiday Inn, Life of Riley), dies from congestive heart disease at 79
  • Feb 2 Chico Science Francisco Franca, musician, dies at 40
  • Feb 7 Danil Shafran, cellist, dies at 74
  • Feb 8 Roy George Elroy Josephs, jazz dance teacher, dies at 57
  • Feb 9 Brian Connolly, lead singer (Sweet), dies of heart failure at 52
  • Feb 18 Eric Fenby, English composer and president (Delius Society), dies at 90
  • Feb 20 Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist, dies at 36
  • Feb 23 Tony Williams, American jazz drummer (Miles Davis), dies at 51
  • Feb 24 Isabelle Harriet Lucas, Canadian-born British actress and singer (Outland, Comics), dies at 69
  • Mar 9 The Notorious B.I.G. [Christopher Wallace], American rapper shot dead at 24
  • Mar 10 La Vern Baker, American singer (b. 1929)
  • Mar 11 Hugo Weisgall, American composer (4 Impressions), dies at 84
  • Mar 24 Harold Melvin, American singer (Blue Notes), dies at 57
  • Apr 2 Zsolt Durko, Hungarian composer, dies at 62
  • Apr 8 Laura Nyro, singer, dies of ovarian cancer at 49
  • Apr 16 Mae Boren Axton ["Queen Mother of Nashville"], American song writer (Heartbreak Hotel), dies at 82
  • Apr 16 Ray Green, American composer and publisher, dies at 88
  • Apr 19 El Duce [Eldon Wayne Hoke], American singer and drummer (The Mentors), dies from a "misadventure" on a train-track at 39
  • Apr 26 Gene [Eugene] Ames, singer (Ames Brothers), dies of cancer at 73
  • Apr 29 Keith Ferguson, American blues musician (Fabulous Thunderbirds), dies of overdose at 50
  • May 3 Narciso Yepes, Spanish classical guitarist (b. 1927)
  • May 14 Thelma Carpenter, singer, dies at 76
  • May 26 Jack Jersey, Indonesian-Dutch singer and producer, dies at 55

  • May 29 Jeff Buckley, American musician and singer ( "Hallelujah"), drowns at 30
  • May 30 West Arkeen, American musician, best known for co-writing several Guns N' Roses songs (It's So Easy, The Garden), dies of a drug overdose at 36
  • Jun 2 Aldophus "Doc" Cheatham, American jazz trumpeter, dies of stroke at 91
  • Jun 4 Ronnie Lane, bassist (Faces), dies of multiple sclerosis at 51
  • Jun 12 Bulat Okudzhava, Russian writer and musician (b. 1924)
  • Jun 19 Bobby Helms [Robert Lee Helms], American country music singer (Jingle Bell Rock), dies at 63
  • Jun 20 Lawrence Payton, rocker (4 Tops-I'll Be There), dies at 59
  • Jun 21 Art Prysock, jazz musician, dies at 68
  • Jun 21 Shintaro Katsu, Japanese actor, singer, producer, and director (Zatoichi Meets the One-Armed Swordsman), dies at 65
  • Jun 22 Ted Gärdestad, Swedish singer (b. 1956)
  • Jun 25 Ziggy Talent, American singer (Vaughn Monroe Show), dies at 85
  • Jun 26 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Native Hawaiian musician, entertainer and Hawaiian sovereignty advocate (Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World), dies at 38
  • Jul 5 Mrs. Miller, American singer (A Lover's Missouri), dies at 89
  • Aug 1 Svyatoslav Richter, Russian pianist, dies of heart attack at 82
  • Aug 2 Fela Kuti, Nigerian Afrobeat musician and composer, dies of an illness at 58
  • Aug 8 Duncan Swift, jazz pianist, dies at 74
  • Aug 10 Conlon Nancarrow, American composer (Soundings 4), dies at 84
  • Aug 12 Luther Allison, blues performer (Motown), dies of cancer at 57
  • Aug 12 Jack Delano [Jacob Ovcharov], Russian-born American composer and photographer, dies at 83
  • Aug 16 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pakistani musician (b. 1948)
  • Aug 19 Petr Novák, Czech musician (George and Beatovens, Flamengo), dies of apparent poisoning at 51
  • Sep 2 Rudolf Bing, opera manager (NY Met Opera), dies at 95
  • Sep 4 Belle Stewart, Scottish traditional singer, dies at 91
  • Sep 5 Georg Solti, conductor, dead, dies at 84
  • Sep 7 Derek Taylor, Beatles publicist, dies of cancer at 65
  • Sep 12 "Stikkan" Stig Anderson, Swedish actor, music entrepreneur and co-founder of Polar Music (ABBA), dies of a heart attack at 66
  • Sep 18 James "Jimmy" Witherspoon, American jump blues singer (Ain't Nobody's Business), dies at 77
  • Sep 19 Rich Mullins, American singer (b. 1955)
  • Sep 20 Edmund Falkiner, jazz saxophinist and probation officer, dies at 59
  • Sep 25 Jean Françaix, French composer (b. 1912)
  • Sep 25 Hélène Baillargeon, Quebec singer and folklorist, dies at 81
  • Sep 29 Bobby [Robert Arthur Thornbury] Campbell, Scottish journalist and musician, dies at 55
  • Sep 29 Sven-Eric Emanuel Johanson, Swedish composer, dies at 77
  • Oct 9 Arthur Tracy, American radio personality (The Street Singer), dies at 98

Person of interestJohn Denver

Oct 12 John Denver, American country music star (Country Boy), dies in a plane crash at 53

Country Singer John Denver
Country Singer
John Denver
  • Oct 19 Glen Buxton, guitarist (Alice Cooper), dies of pneumonia at 49
  • Oct 19 Glen Buxton, American musician and composer (Alice Cooper), dies at 49
  • Oct 20 Henry Vestine, American guitarist (Canned Heat), dies of heart and respiratory failure at 52
  • Nov 5 Epic Soundtracks [Kevin Paul Godfrey], English musician (Swell Maps, Crime and the City Solution, These Immortal Souls), dies in his sleep at 38
  • Nov 10 Tommy Tedesco, American musician (b. 1930)
  • Nov 12 Carlos Surinach, Spanish composer (b. 1915)
  • Nov 13 André Boucourechliev, French composer (b. 1925)
  • Nov 15 Saul Chaplin, director (West Side Story), dies at 85
  • Nov 17 Wilfred Josephs, English composer, dies at 70
  • Nov 20 Robert Palmer, rock critic, dies at 52

Person of interestMichael Hutchence

Nov 22 Michael Hutchence, Australiann rocker (INXS) and actor, commits suicide at 37

  • Nov 25 Fenton Robinson, US blues guitarist (Tennessee Woman), dies at 62
  • Nov 25 Barbara, French singer (b. 1930)
  • Nov 26 Francis Paudras, designer/jazz fan, dies at 62
  • Dec 1 Stéphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, dies at 89
  • Dec 2 Michael Hedges, American guitarist known for originality (b. 1953)
  • Dec 6 Eliot Daniel, composer (I Love Lucy theme), dies at 89
  • Dec 9 Tamara Geva, Russian-born dancer and actress, dies at 91
  • Dec 10 Violet Carlson, stage dancer/singer, dies at 97
  • Dec 10 Jake Carey, American actor (Rock Rock Rock!, Go, Johnny, Go!), dies at 71
  • Dec 14 Kurt Winter, Canadian musician (The Guess Who), dies of kidney failure at 51
  • Dec 16 Nicolette Larson, rock vocalist (Twins, Lotta Love), dies from brain seizure at 45
  • Dec 19 Jimmy Rogers, American blues musician (Muddy Waters' Band) dies at 73
  • Dec 21 Amie Comeaux, American country music singer, dies at 21
  • Dec 22 Johnny Coles, trumpeter, dies at 71
  • Dec 24 Alan Fluck, musical educationalist, dies at 69
  • Dec 24 Anthea Joseph, music producer, dies at 57
  • Dec 27 Buxton Orr, Anglo-Scottish composer, dies at 73
  • Dec 28 Henry Barraud, French composer, dies at 97
  • Dec 31 Floyd Cramer, American Hall of Fame pianist (Nashville Sound), dies of cancer at 64