On This Day

Musicians Who Died on May 16

  • 1754 Giovanni Carlo Maria Clari, Italian composer, dies at 76
  • 1762 Ernst Christian Hesse, German composer, dies at 86
  • 1835 Felicia Dorothea Hemans, English-Welsh poet ("The boy stood on the burning deck", "The stately homes of England"), dies of dropsy at 41
  • 1847 Kaspar Ett, German organist/composer, dies at 59
  • 1880 Karl August Krebs, composer, dies at 76
  • 1903 Eduard Rappoldi, composer, dies at 72
  • 1929 Lilli Lehmann, soprano, dies
  • 1944 Leone Sinigaglia, Italian composer, dies at 75

Django Reinhardt

1953 Django Reinhardt, Belgium born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer considered the most significant European jazz musician, dies at 43

  • 1954 Clemens Krauss, Austrian conductor (Vienna State Opera), dies at 61
  • 1972 Maxime Dumoulin, French composer, dies at 79
  • 1977 Edouard Van Remoortel, Belgian conductor (St Louis Symphony, 1958-62), dies at 50
  • 1978 William Steinberg, German-American conductor (Pittsburgh Symphony, 1952-76; Boston Symphony, 1969-71), dies at 78
  • 1981 Ernie Freeman, American musician (Raunchy), pianist and arranger, dies at 58
  • 1983 Carel Brons, Dutch composer, dies at 52

Sammy Davis Jr.

1990 Sammy Davis Jr., American vaudeville, stage, and screen dancer, singer ("The Candy Man"), actor (Ocean's 11), and Rat Pack member, dies of throat cancer at 64

  • 1992 Chalino Sánchez, Mexican musician, murdered at 31
  • 1993 Marv Johnson, American R&B pianist, songwriter, and singer ("You Got What It Takes"; "(You've Got To) Move Two Mountains"), dies of a stroke at 54
  • 1995 Lola Flores, Spanish singer, dancer and actress (Kuma Ching, Faraona), dies at 70
  • 2000 William Ferris, American composer and conductor (William Ferris Chorale, 1971-2000), dies while conducting a rehearsal of Verdi's Requiem at 63
  • 2001 Brian Pendleton, English musician (The Pretty Things) (b. 1944)
  • 2004 Marius Constant, Romanian-born French composer and conductor (founded Ars Nova), dies at 79
  • 2007 Albert Delvaux, Belgian composer (Symphonia Burlesca), dies at 93
  • 2008 Wilfrid Howard Mellers, English musicologist and composer (François Couperin and the French Classical Tradition), dies at 94
  • 2010 Ronnie James Dio [Padavona], American singer, songwriter and musician (Elf; Rainbow; Black Sabbath; Dio; and Heaven & Hell), dies at 67
  • 2010 Hank Jones, American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer, dies at 91
  • 2012 Doug Dillard, American country rock musician (The Dillards, Gene Clark, Dillard & Clark) and actor (Clem-Popeye), dies of a lung infection caused by a collapsed lung at 75
  • 2020 Donn Trenner, American jazz pianist, arranger, and orchestra leader (Steve Allen's Westinghouse Show), dies at 93