On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 2015

  • Jan 1 Jeff Golub, American jazz guitarist (Avenue Blue, Rod Stewart), dies of a rare brain disease at 59
  • Jan 2 "Little" Jimmy Dickens, American country singer (Grand Ole Opry), dies at 94
  • Jan 2 Bob Gilmore, Irish keyboard player (Trio Scordatura), educator, and musicologist (Harry Partch: A Biography), dies of cancer at 53
  • Jan 3 Ivan Jullien, French jazz and session trumpeter and bandleader, dies at 80
  • Jan 8 Andraé Crouch, American gospel singer (The Color Purple, The Lion King), dies at 72
  • Jan 8 Curtis Lee, American singer (Pretty Little Angel Eyes), dies at 75
  • Jan 8 Virginia "Patsy" Garrett, American singer and actress (Nanny & the Professor, Fred Waring's Pleasure Time), dies at 93
  • Jan 10 Timothy Lee Drummond, American musician, dies at 74
  • Jan 12 Clifford Adams, American trombone player, dies at 62
  • Jan 13 Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies 'Dozy', English musician (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), dies at 70
  • Jan 13 Frank Glazer, American pianist (Satie), composer and teacher (Eastman School of Music, 1965-80), dies at 99
  • Jan 15 Kim Fowley, US record producer (the Runaways), dies at 75
  • Jan 18 Dallas Taylor, American session drummer (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Clear Light), dies of complications from pneumonia and kidney disease at 66
  • Jan 20 Edgar Froese, German musician (Tangerine Dream), dies at 70
  • Jan 21 Waldemar Kmentt, Austrian operatic tenor (Vienna State Opera, 1951-2005), dies at 85
  • Jan 25 Demis Roussos, Greek singer and performer (Aphrodite's Child), dies from an undisclosed illness at 68
  • Jan 28 Louise Lopez, American disco singer (Odyssey -"Native New Yorker"; "Use It Up And Wear It Out"), dies at 81
  • Jan 29 Rodney "Rod" McKuen, American poet, singer-songwriter and actor (Jean, Alone, Beatsville), dies at 81
  • Jan 30 Ezra Sims, American composer of microtonal music, dies at 88
  • Jan 31 Don Covay [Donald Randolph], American R & B musician and songwriter (Chain of Fools), dies at 78
  • Feb 2 Joseph Alfidi, American classical prodigy pianist, composer and conductor, dies at 65
  • Feb 3 William Thomas McKinley, American composer and jazz pianist, dies at 76
  • Feb 7 Joe B. Mauldin, American rock double-bass player (The Crickets), songwriter, and recording engineer (Gold Start Studios), dies of cancer at 74
  • Feb 8 Filipe Pires, Portuguese pianist, composer (Portugaliae Genesis), and educator, dies at 81
  • Feb 9 Marvin David Levy, American composer (Mourning Becomes Electra), dies at 82
  • Feb 12 Steve Strange [Harrington], Welsh pop singer (Visage) and nightclub host, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • Feb 13 John McCabe, British composer and pianist, dies at 75
  • Feb 16 Lesley Gore, American singer (It's My Party, You Don't Own Me), dies of lung cancer at 68
  • Feb 17 Andrzej Koszewski, Polish choral and orchestral composer, and musicologist, dies at 92
  • Feb 17 Kenneth "Wally" Kelly, American R&B singer (Manhattans - "Kiss And Say Goodbye"), dies at 74
  • Feb 18 Willie C. Jackson, American doo wop baritone vocalist (The Spaniels- "Goodnite Sweetheart Goodnite"), dies at 79
  • Feb 19 Ward Swingle, American vocalist, jazz musician, composer, arranger, and conductor (The Swingle Singers - Jazz Sebastian Bach), dies at 87
  • Feb 21 Clark Terry, American jazz trumpeter, dies at 94
  • Feb 22 Chris Rainbow [Harley], Scottish rock singer, musician and producer (Alan Parsons Project), dies of complications from Parkinson's disease at 68
  • Feb 28 Ezra Laderman, American composer (Jacob & the Indians), dies at 90 [1]
  • Mar 1 Orrin Keepnews, American jazz producer and founder of Riverside Records label, dies at 91
  • Mar 8 Lew Soloff, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat and Tears), dies at 71
  • Mar 11 Jimmy Greenspoon, American session and touring rock organist (Three Dog Night - "Joy to the World"), dies of metastatic melanoma at 67
  • Mar 13 Daevid Allen [Christopher David], Australian musician and performance artist (Soft Machine, Gong), dies of cancer at 77
  • Mar 15 Mike Porcaro, American rock bassist (Toto, 1982-2007 "Stranger In Town"), dies from Lou Gehrig’s disease at 59
  • Mar 16 Andy Fraser, English bass guitarist (Free), dies at 62
  • Mar 19 Michael Brown, American musician and songwriter (Don't Walk Away Renee), dies at 65
  • Mar 19 Peter Katin, British concert pianist, dies at 84
  • Mar 20 A.J. Pero, American drummer (Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It"), dies of a heart attack at 55
  • Mar 21 Jackie Trent, English singer-songwriter (Neighbours theme) and actress, dies at 74
  • Mar 22 Norman Scribner, American organist, conductor, choral director (St. Alban's, 1960-2007; Choral Arts Society of Washington, 1965-2012), and composer (Song for St. Cecilia), dies at 79
  • Mar 23 Roy Douglas, English composer and arranger (Tomorrow We Live - At Dawn We Die), dies at 107
  • Mar 23 Lil' Chris [Hardman], British rock singer (Checkin' It Out), takes his own life at 24 [1]
  • Mar 24 Oleg Bryjak, Kazakhstani-German bass-baritone opera singer (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), dies in plane crash at 54
  • Mar 26 John Renbourn, British jazz and folk guitarist and songwriter (Pentangle), dies of a heart attack at 70
  • Mar 28 Douglas Leedy, American composer, dies at 77
  • Apr 1 Dave Ball, English guitarist (Procul Harum), dies of cancer at 65
  • Apr 1 Cynthia Lennon [nee Powell], wife of Beatle John Lennon, dies of cancer at 75
  • Apr 2 Doug Sax, American mastering engineer (Bob Dylan, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Ray Charles), dies of cancer at 78
  • Apr 3 Bob Burns, American drummer (Lynyrd Skynyrd), dies in a car crash at 64
  • Apr 3 Andrew Porter, British organist, opera director, music critic, and librettist, dies at 86
  • Apr 5 Claudio Prieto, Spanish composer (Solo a Solo; Cantata manriqueña), dies at 80
  • Apr 6 Milton Delugg, American pianist, accordion player, composer ("Hoop-Dee-Do"; "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians"), and orchestra leader (The Tonight Show, 1966; The Gong Show), dies at 96
  • Apr 6 David Leon Kaplan, American-Canadian music professor (University of Saskatchewan, 1960-82), conductor (Saskatoon Symphony, 1962-72), and composer, dies at 91
  • Apr 14 Percy Sledge, American soul singer ("When A Man Loves A Woman"), dies at 73
  • Apr 16 Martin Quittenton, British rock and blues guitarist (Steamhammer), and songwriter ("Maggie May; "You Wear It Well"), dies at 69
  • Apr 28 Jack Ely, American singer and guitarist (The Kingsmen - "Louie, Louie"), dies at 71
  • Apr 30 Ben E. King [Nelson], American soul singer (Stand By Me), dies at 76
  • Apr 30 Ronald Senator, British composer (Holocaust Requiem), and educator (Musicolor), dies in a house fire at 89
  • May 1 Grace Lee Whitney, American singer and actress (Yeoman Rand-Star Trek), dies at 85
  • May 2 Maya Plisetskaya, Russian prima ballerina (Bolshoi Ballet), dies at 89
  • May 2 Guy Carawan, American folk singer and folklorist (We Shall Overcome) dies at 87
  • May 2 Ma Shui-long, Taiwanese classical composer (The Peacock Flies Southeast), dies at 75
  • May 5 Craig Gruber, American rock bassist (Rainbow), dies of cancer at 63
  • May 6 Errol Brown, British-Jamaican singer-songwriter (Hot Chocolate - "You Sexy Thing"), dies at 71
  • May 8 Jaime León, Colombian pianist, composer, and conductor Filarmónica de Bogota, 1971-78), dies at 93
  • May 8 (Antoni) "Ton" Hartsuiker, Dutch pianist, composer, broadcaster, and educator, dies at 81
  • May 12 Mervyn Burtch, Welsh composer (The Raven King) and educator, dies at 85
  • May 13 Robert Drasnin, American clarinetist, composer, and film and television music supervisor (CBS, 1977-91), dies after a fall at 87

B.B. King

May 14 [Riley B.] B.B. King, American blues guitarist and singer (The Thrill is Gone), dies at 89

  • May 17 Chinx [Lionel Pickens], American rapper (Coke Boys), dies in a drive-by shooting at 31
  • May 21 Louis Johnson, American rock bassist and vocalist (Brothers Johnson), dies at 60
  • May 28 Steven Gerber, American classical composer (Music in Dark Times), dies at 66
  • May 29 Peter Cropper, British violinist (Lindsay Quartet, 1965-2005), dies of a heart attack at 59
  • Jun 1 Jean Ritchie, American folk singer, dies at 92
  • Jun 2 Paul Karolyi, Hungarian composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 6 Ronnie Gilbert, American folk singer (The Weavers - "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"), dies at 88
  • Jun 9 James Last, German-born composer and big band leader, dies at 86

Ornette Coleman

Jun 11 Ornette Coleman, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation), dies of a heart attack at 85

  • Jun 11 Ron Moody [Moodnick], British stage and screen actor, singer (Oliver!; The Twelve Chairs), and composer dies at 91
  • Jun 11 Jim Ed Brown, American country music singer (Nashville on the Road), dies at 81
  • Jun 12 Ernest Tomlinson, English composer (Light music), dies at 90
  • Jun 12 Monica Lewis, American jazz singer and film actress (Box Office, Affair with a Stranger), dies at 93
  • Jun 13 MC Supreme [Dewayne Lawrence Coleman], rapper (Black in America), dies in a car accident at 47
  • Jun 13 "Big Time" Sarah [Streeter], American blues singer, dies of heart disease at 62
  • Jun 15 Mighty Sam McClain, American soul and blues singer-songwriter, dies at 72
  • Jun 15 Roger Lavern [Jackson], English rock keyboardist (Tornados), dies at 75
  • Jun 21 Gunther Schuller, American horn player and jazz composer ("Of Reminiscences and Reflections" - Pulitzer Prize, 1994), dies at 89
  • Jun 22 James Horner, American film composer (Titanic; Apollo 13; Avatar), dies in a plane crash at 61
  • Jun 22 Joseph de Pasquale, American violist (Boston Symphony, 1949-64: Philadelphia Orchestra, 1964-96), and educator (Curtis Institutu, 1965-2015), dies at 95
  • Jun 23 Magali Noël [Guiffray], French actress and singer, dies at 83
  • Jun 27 Chris Squire, British progressive rock bassist, founding and longest serving member of Yes, 1969-2014 ("The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)"), dies of acute erythroid leukemia at 67
  • Jun 27 Denis Vigay, British cellist (BBC Symphony; Academy of St Martin in the Fields; Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), dies at 89
  • Jul 1 Val Doonican [Michael Valentine], Irish singer and entertainer, dies at 88
  • Jul 2 Slavko Avsenik, Slovenian musician and composer, dies at 75
  • Jul 8 Ernie Maresca, American singer and songwriter ("Runaround Sue"; "The Wanderer"), dies at 76
  • Jul 10 Jon [Jonathan Stewart] Vickers, Canadian operatic tenor, dies at 88
  • Jul 15 Howard Rumsey, American jazz musician (Lighthouse Cafe), dies at 97
  • Jul 15 Alan Curtis, American harpsichordist, musicologist and conductor, dies at 80
  • Jul 19 Van Alexander, American composer and band leader ("A-Tisket, A-Tasket"), dies at 100
  • Jul 21 E. L. Doctorow, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate), dies at 84
  • Jul 21 Theodore Bikel, Austrian-American stage and screen singer and actor (The Sound of Music; Fiddler On The Roof; The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming; 200 Motels), folk singer (co-founder Newport Folk Festival), and political activist, dies at 91
  • Jul 21 Paul Freeman, American conductor and composer (Chicago Sinfonietta, 1987 -2011; Czech National Symphony, 1996-2007), dies at 79
  • Jul 30 Lynn Anderson, American country singer (I Never Promised you a Rose Garden), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • Aug 1 Anatoly Kremer, Russian composer and conductor (Eksperiment), dies at 82
  • Aug 2 Cilla Black [Priscilla White], British pop singer ("Anyone Who Had a Heart"), and TV personality (Blind Date), dies at 72
  • Aug 3 Adam Walacinski, Polish composer, dies at 86
  • Aug 4 Gerd Natschinski, German composer, dies at 86
  • Aug 12 Per Hjort Albertsen, Norwegian organist, composer, and educator, dies at 96
  • Aug 12 John Scott, English organist and choirmaster, dies at 59
  • Aug 14 [Donald William] Bob Johnston, American music producer (Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash), dies at 83
  • Aug 15 Gordon "Jazz" Summers, British music manager (Wham; Snow Patrol), dies at 71
  • Aug 17 Arsen Dedić, Croatian singer-songwriter and poet, dies at 77
  • Aug 18 Roger Smalley, British-Australian pianist, conductor, and composer (Gloria Tibi Trinitas), dies at 72
  • Aug 23 Asher Ben-Yohanan, Israeli composer, dies at 86
  • Aug 27 George Cleve, Austrian-American conductor (Winnipeg Symphony, 1968-70; San Jose Symphony, 1972-92; San Francisco Midsummer Mozart Festival, 1974-2015), dies of liver failure at 79
  • Sep 2 Donny Conn, American musician (The Playmates), dies at 85
  • Sep 4 Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriguez, Jamaican ska trombonist (The Specials), dies at 80
  • Sep 5 [Frederick] Dennis Greene, American singer (Sha Na Na), dies from cancer at 66
  • Sep 5 Jacques Israelievitch, French Canadian classical violinist, concertmaster (St. Louis Symphony, 1978-88; Toronto Symphony, 1988-2008), and music director (Koffler Chamber Orchestra, 2005-14), dies of lung cancer at 67
  • Sep 9 Robin McDonald, Scottish rock guitarist (Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas), dies at 72
  • Sep 12 Bryn Merrick, British musician (The Damned), dies at 56
  • Sep 13 Gary Richrath, American guitarist and songwriter (REO Speedwagon), dies at 65
  • Sep 17 David Willcocks, English conductor and composer (Kings College choir), dies at 95
  • Sep 20 Jack Larson, American actor (The Adventures of Superman -"Jimmy Olsen"), screenwriter, and librettist (Virgil Thomson's "Lord Byron"), dies at 87
  • Sep 21 Ben Cauley, American R&B trumpeter (The Bar-Kays - "Soul Finger") and Otis Redding plane crash survivor, dies at 67
  • Sep 26 Toshiya Sukegawa, Japanese contemporary classical and electro-acoustic composer (The Eternal Morning 1945.8.6; A Projection), dies at 85
  • Sep 26 Manuel Oltra, Spanish secular and sacred music composer, and professor (Barcelona Conservatory, 1959-87), dies at 93
  • Sep 27 Wilton Felder, American jazz-fusion saxophonist and bassist (The Crusaders), dies from multiple myeloma at 75
  • Sep 28 Frankie Ford [Frank Guzzo], American rock vocalist (Sea Cruise), dies at 76
  • Sep 29 Phil Woods, American jazz saxophonist and composer (Steely Dan's "Doctor Wu"; Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"), dies of emphysema at 83
  • Oct 2 Coleridge Goode, Jamaican-British jazz double bassist (Joe Harriot Quintet), dies at 100 [1]
  • Oct 3 Dave Pike, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player, dies at 77
  • Oct 6 Billy Joe Royal, American country and pop singer ("Down in the Boondocks"), dies at 73
  • Oct 8 Jim Diamond, Scottish singer-songwriter (I Should Have Known Better), dies at 64
  • Oct 9 N. Ramani, Indian flutist, dies at 80
  • Oct 10 Saša Britvić, Croatian conductor (Croatian Baroque Ensemble, 1999-2015), and pedagogue, dies at 51
  • Oct 11 John Berg, American art director, 4-time Grammy Award-winner for album art (Columbia Records, 1961-85), dies of pneumonia at 83
  • Oct 12 Armin Kircher, Austrian organist, composer, and conductor, dies of heart failure at 48
  • Oct 20 Cory Wells [Emil Lewandowski], American rock vocalist (3 Dog Night-Joy to the World), dies at 74
  • Oct 20 Don Rendell, English jazz musician and arranger, dies at 89
  • Oct 23 Bill Keith, American banjoist, dies at 75

Maureen O'Hara

Oct 24 Maureen O'Hara [FitzSimons], Irish-American actress and singer (Miracle on 34th St, The Quiet Man), dies at 95

  • Nov 2 David Stock, American composer (Rosewood Reflections), and conductor (Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, 1976-99), dies at 76 [1]
  • Nov 2 Raul Rekow, American percussionist and conguero (Santana, 1976-2013), dies of cancer at 61
  • Nov 5 Guido Masanetz, German composer (In Frisco ist der Teufel Los), dies at 101
  • Nov 9 Andy [Andrew] White, Scottish drummer, drummed on early Beatles records ("Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You"), dies at 85
  • Nov 10 Allen Toussaint, American pianist, songwriter and producer ("Mother-In-Law"; "Working In A Coal Mine"; "Southern Nights"), dies at 77
  • Nov 10 Robert Craft, American conductor and friend of Stravinsky, dies at 92
  • Nov 11 Philthy Animal [Phil Taylor], English rock drummer (Motörhead), dies from liver failure at 61
  • Nov 18 Erik Lotichius, Dutch composer (Anaitalrax), dies at 86
  • Nov 19 Armand [Herman van Loenhout], Dutch singer (Blommenkinders), dies at 69
  • Nov 24 Oļģerts Grāvītis, Latvian-Soviet composer, dies at 89
  • Nov 26 Alexander Kholminov, Russian composer, dies at 90
  • Nov 26 Ronnie Bright, American doo-wop bass vocalist (Johnny Cymbal - "Mr. Bass Man"; The Coasters, 1968-2009), dies at 77
  • Nov 28 Luc Bondy, Swiss theatre and opera director, dies of cancer at 67
  • Nov 29 George Hadjinikos, Greek pianist and conductor, dies at 92
  • Dec 3 Scott Weiland, American musician (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver), dies at 48
  • Dec 3 Gladstone "Gladdy" Anderson, Jamaican ska and reggae session keyboard player, and band leader ("The Liquidator"), dies at 81
  • Dec 4 Rodney Milne [Blumer], British opera critic (Opera magazine, 1971-99), musicologist, and libretto translator, dies at 79
  • Dec 8 Mattiwilda Dobbs, American soprano, dies at 90
  • Dec 8 Bonnie Lou [Mary Joan Okum] American rockabilly musician ("Tennessee Mambo"), dies at 91
  • Dec 16 Aafje Heynis, Dutch singer (contralto), dies at 91
  • Dec 18 Luc Brewaeys, Belgian pianist, conductor, and composer, dies of cancer at 56
  • Dec 19 Kurt Masur, German conductor (New York Philharmonic), dies at 88
  • Dec 22 Carson Van Osten, American musician and comic strip writer (Disney), dies at 70
  • Dec 24 William Guest, American singer (Gladys Knight Show), dies at 74
  • Dec 27 Stevie Wright, British-born Australian singer with the Easybeats (Friday on my Mind), dies at 68
  • Dec 27 Andy M. Stewart, Scottish musician and composer (Silly Wizard), dies at 63
  • Dec 28 Lemmy [Ian Fraser Kilmister], British heavy metal musician (Motörhead), dies from terminal illness at 70
  • Dec 28 Paul "Guru" Josh, British musician (Infinity), commits suicide at 51
  • Dec 28 John "Brad" Bradbury, British ska drummer and record producer (The Specials), dies at 62

Natalie Cole

Dec 31 Natalie Cole, American pop vocalist ('Pink Cadillac"; "Miss You Like Crazy"), dies at 65