On This Day

Musicians Who Died on May 21

  • 1812 Joseph Wolfl, Austrian composer, dies at 38
  • 1815 Roman Hoffstetter, German classical composer, dies at 73
  • 1817 Johann Friedrich Christmann, German composer, dies at 64
  • 1844 Guiseppi Baini, Italian composer and priest, dies at 68
  • 1860 Johannes Frederik Fröhlich, Danish violinist and composer, dies at 53
  • 1885 Gavril Yakimovich Lomakin, Russian composer and teacher, dies at 73
  • 1895 Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer (Poet und Bauer), dies at 76
  • 1897 Karol Mikuli, Polish composer, dies at 77
  • 1926 Georgy Catoire, Russian composer, dies at 65
  • 1954 János Hammerschlag, Hungarian composer, dies at 68
  • 1957 Aleksandr Vertinsky, Russian singer (b. 1889)
  • 1973 Vaughn Monroe, American singer and orchestra leader (Vaughn Monroe Show), dies at 61
  • 1976 Sulo Nikolai Salonen, Finnish composer, dies at 77
  • 1976 Harold Blair, Australian tenor and Aboriginal activist, dies at 51
  • 1979 Blue [Richard Allen] Mitchell, American jazz musician (Riverside, Blue Note), dies of cancer at 79
  • 1983 Finn Einar Mortensen, Norwegian composer, music critic, and educator, dies at 61
  • 1988 Sammy Davis Sr., American vaudeville dancer (Mr. Wonderful), dies at 87
  • 1996 Peter Fletcher, British orchestral and choral conductor, music educator and author (Roll Over Rock), dies at 60
  • 1999 Karnail "Bugz" Pitts, American rapper (D12), killed in a picnic dispute at 21
  • 2006 Katherine Dunham, American dancer (Casbah; Stormy Weather), choreographer (Metroplitan opera, 1963; Joplin's Treemonisha, 1972), and social activist, dies at 96
  • 2006 Billy Walker, American country music singer and guitarist ("Charlie's Shoes"), dies, along with his wife and two band members, in a single vehicle car accident, at 77
  • 2013 Trevor Bolder, British rock bassist (The Spiders From Mars; Uriah Heep, 1976-2013), and record producer, dies from pancreatic cancer at 62
  • 2013 Frank Comstock, American arranger (Les Brown), and theme composer (Rocky and His Friends), dies at 90
  • 2014 Teodor Grigoriu, Romanian composer, dies at 87
  • 2015 Louis Johnson, American rock bassist and vocalist (Brothers Johnson), dies at 60
  • 2016 Nick Menza, American musician and drummer (Megadeth), dies at 51