Musicians Who Died on December 15

  • 1779 Manuel Jeronimo Romero de Avila, Spanish theorist and composer, dies at 62
  • 1792 Joseph Martin Kraus 'the Swedish Mozart', German born Swedish composer, dies at 36
  • 1816 Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz, Bohemian aristocrat and composer, dies at 44
  • 1822 Ferenc Verseghy, Hungarian poet and composer, dies at 65
  • 1861 Gualtiero Sanelli, Italian composer, dies at 45
  • 1892 Charles Balmer, German composer, dies at 75
  • 1901 Elias Álvares Lobo, Brazilian composer, dies at 67
  • 1909 Francisco Tárrega, Spanish composer, dies at 57

Fats Waller

1943 Thomas "Fats" Waller, American jazz organist, piano player, singer and composer ("Ain't Misbehavin'"; "Honeysuckle Rose"; "Hot Chocolate"), dies of pneumonia at 39 [1]

Glenn Miller

1944 Glenn Miller, American bandleader and jazz composer (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood), dies in a suspected plane crash at 40

  • 1946 Frederic Norton, British composer (Chu Chin Chow), dies at 77
  • 1950 Robert Müller-Hartmann, German composer, dies at 66
  • 1951 María Grever, Mexican-American composer ("What A Difference A Day Makes" / "Cuando vuelva a tu lado"), dies at 66
  • 1953 Kishio Hirao, Japanese composer, dies at 46
  • 1972 Herbert Eimert, German composer (Glockenspiel), dies at 75
  • 1973 Orest Alexandrovich Evlahkov, Russian composer, dies at 61
  • 1974 Erich Walter Sternberg, German-Israeli composer (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra), dies at 83
  • 1975 Mukhtar Ashrafi, Soviet-Uzbek composer, dies at 63
  • 1983 Jimmy McLin, American jazz banjo player, and guitarist (James P. Johnson; Willie "The Lion" Smith; The Ink Spots), dies at 75
  • 1983 “Big Chief” Russell Moore, Pima-American jazz trombonist (Lionel Hampton; Louis Armstrong), and composer ("Wounded Knee Chant"), dies at 70
  • 1984 Jan Peerce [Jacob Pincus Perelmuth], American tenor (NBC Symphony, 1938-55; NY Metropolitan Opera, 1941-67; "Bluebird of Happiness"), dies at 80
  • 1986 Serge Lifar, Russian-French dancer, choreographer (Paris Opera Ballet), dies at 81
  • 1994 Hans de Jong, musician and conductor (Amsterdams Vrouwenkoor), dies at 86
  • 1994 Harry Tobias, American songwriter, dies at 99
  • 1995 Jim [James Geoffrey Cutcliffe] Hepburn, English tap-dancer and socialist, dies at 88
  • 1995 Johnny Lytle, American jazz drummer and vibraphonist, known as "Fast Hands", dies of kidney failure at 63
  • 1996 Tristan Keuris, Dutch composer (Sinfonia) dies at 50
  • 1998 Jan Meyerowitz, German-American composer, dies at 85
  • 1999 George Elrick, Scottish-British singer ("I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones"), and broadcaster known as 'The Smiling Voice of Radio' (BBC's "Housewives' Choice"), dies at 95
  • 2001 Rufus Thomas [Mr. Swing], American musician (Do the Funky Chicken), dies at 84
  • 2009 Carolyn DeZurik, American country and polka singer and yodeler (The Cackle Sisters; Prairie Ramblers; The Polka Chips), dies at 90
  • 2011 Bob Brookmeyer, American jazz and studio pianist, valve trombone player, arranger, and composer (Stan Getz; Jerry Mulligan), dies of congestive heart failure at 81
  • 2014 Ray Steadman-Allen, British choral and brass band composer, dies at 92
  • 2020 Charles Shere, American contemporary classical composer, broadcaster, music critic, and educator, dies at 85
  • 2021 Wanda Young, American pop singer (The Marvelettes - "Please Mr. Postman"; “Don’t Mess With Bill"), dies of heart disease at 78