On This Day

Musicians Who Died on December 8

  • 1785 Antonio Maria Mazzoni, composer, dies at 68
  • 1874 Franz Wilhelm Ferling, German oboist and composer (48 études for oboe) dies at 78
  • 1900 Henry Russell, composer, dies at 87
  • 1923 Dom Joseph Pothier, French monk and musicologist, dies at 88
  • 1924 (Franz) Xaver Scharwenka, German pianist, educator, and composer (Mataswintha), dies at 74
  • 1934 Bernhard Seklas, composer, dies at 62
  • 1939 Ernest Schelling, American child piano prodigy, conductor, and composer (A Victory Ball), dies of a cerebral embolism at 63
  • 1945 Alexander Siloti, Russian pianist and composer, dies at 82
  • 1945 Richard M. Jones, American jazz pianist, accompanist, songwriter ("Trouble In Mind"), record producer (Louis Armstrong) and label manager (Okeh; Decca; Mercury), dies at 53
  • 1955 Jacques Handschin, Swiss musicologist (Der Toncharakter), dies at 69
  • 1956 Edgar Bainton, British-Australian composer, dies at 76
  • 1961 William Beatton Moonie, Scottish composer (The Weird of Colbar; Echoes of Perthshire), dies at 71
  • 1967 John Mills, Sr., American singer (Mills Brothers) (b. 1889)
  • 1969 Vincenzo Davico, composer, dies at 80
  • 1974 Hugues Panassié, French jazz critic, record producer, and impresario (Hot Club de France), dies at 62
  • 1975 Gary Thain, New Zealand bassist (Uriah Heep, 1972-75), dies of respiratory failure due to a heroin overdose, at 27

Murder of InterestJohn Lennon

1980 John Lennon, British musician, pop star and member of The Beatles (Imagine), shot and murdered outside of his home in NYC by Mark David Chapman at 40

  • 1981 "Big" Walter [Horton], American blues harmonica player (Everybody's Fishin'), dies of heart failure at 60
  • 1982 Marty Robbins, American country singer (Devil Woman, I Walk Alone), dies of complications following cardiac surgery.at 57
  • 1984 Razzle [Nicholas Dingley], British drummer (Hanoi Rocks), dies at 24
  • 1988 Herbert "Tubo" Rhoad, American baritone a cappella singer (Persuasions - "Street Corner Symphony"), dies at 44
  • 1990 Pony Sherrell Metcalf, NY, singer, dies of heart attack
  • 1991 (Wilbur) "Buck" Clayton, American jazz trumpet player (Count Basie; Billie Holiday; Lester Young), and bandleader, dies at 80
  • 1994 Antônio Carlos Jobim [Tom Jobim], Brazilian singer-songwriter and composer (Getz/Gilberto), dies from pulmonary embolism at 67
  • 2003 Rubén González, Cuban pianist (Buena Vista Social Club) (b. 1919)
  • 2004 "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, American heavy metal guitarist (Pantera), shot and killed by crazed fan Nathan Gale while performing on stage at 38
  • 2006 Martha Tilton, American singer (b. 1915)
  • 2009 Luis Días, Dominican Composer (b. 1952).
  • 2011 Minoru Miky, Japanese composer for traditional Japanese instruments, dies at 84
  • 2011 Dick Sims, American Hammond B-3 organist (Bob Seger; Eric Clapton), dies of cancer at 60
  • 2013 Sándor Szokolay, Hungarian composer and pedagogue, dies at 82
  • 2014 Knut Nystedt, Norwegian organist, choral composer, and conductor, dies at 99
  • 2015 Mattiwilda Dobbs, American soprano, dies at 90
  • 2015 Bonnie Lou [Mary Joan Okum] American rockabilly musician ("Tennessee Mambo"), dies at 91
  • 2019 Juice Wrld [Jarad Higgins], American rapper and singer-songwriter (All Girls Are the Same, Lucid Dreams), dies of a seizure at Chicago airport at 21
  • 2020 Harold Budd, American avant-garde ambient pianist and composer (The Pavilion of Dreams), dies of Covid-19 at 84 [1]
  • 2021 Robbie Shakespeare, Jamaican reggae bassist (Sly & Robbie - "DJ Riot"), dies of kidney failure at 68
  • 2021 Ralph Tavares, Cape Verdean-American R&B and soul singer (Tavares - "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel"), dies at 79
  • 2021 Barry Harris, American bebop jazz pianist (Cannonball Adderly; Lee Morgan; "The Bird of Red and Gold"), and educator, dies of Covid-19 complications at 91 [1]