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 Sandor Vegh, violinist teacher/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 William Fenby, musician, dies at 90
  • Feb 20 Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist, dies at 36
  • Feb 23 Tony Williams, jazz musician, dies at 51
  • Feb 24 Isabelle Harriet Lucas, Canadian-born British actress and singer (Outland, Comics), dies at 69
  • Feb 25 Tony Williams, jazz drummer (Miles Davis), dies at 51
  • 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)
  • 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/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
  • 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
  • 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

INXS rocker Michael Hutchence
INXS rocker
Michael Hutchence
  • 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 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 28 Henry Barraud, French composer, dies at 97
  • Dec 31 Floyd Cramer, American Hall of Fame pianist (Nashville Sound), dies of cancer at 64