On This Day

Musicians Who Died on May 24

  • 1762 Joseph Umstatt, Austrian composer, dies at 51
  • 1773 Jan Zach, Czech violinist, organist, and composer, dies at 73
  • 1826 Friedrich Fesca, German violinist and composer, dies of tuberculosis at 37
  • 1831 Benjamin Carr, American organist, composer, choirmaster, teacher, music publisher, and co-founder of Philadelphia's Music Fund Society dies at 62
  • 1871 Francisco Salvador Daniel, French composer, and ethno-musicologist, dies at 40
  • 1894 William Joseph Westbrook, British sacred music composer, dies at 63
  • 1918 Evan Williams, American oratorio tenor, dies at 50
  • 1948 Alfred Kastner, Austrian-American harpist and composer, dies at 78
  • 1963 Elmore James, American blues slide guitarist, dies of a heart attack at 45
  • 1968 Bernard Rogers, American composer (The Warrior; Three Japanese Dances; To The Fallen), and pedagogue (Eastman School, 1929-67),, dies at 75

Duke Ellington

1974 Edward "Duke" Ellington, American bandleader, composer and pianist ("Take the A Train"; "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"), dies of cancer at 75

  • 1985 Joe Darensbourg, Cajun-American dixieland-style jazz clarinetist (Jelly Roll Morton; Louis Armstrong), dies at 78
  • 1991 (Harold Eugene) Gene Clark, American singer-songwriter (The Byrds - "Eight Miles High"), dies from natural causes brought on by bleeding ulcer at 46
  • 1994 Sándor Lakatos, Hungarian violinist, bandleader, and actor (mostly as a gypsy violinist), dies at 69
  • 1996 Jacob Druckman, American composer (Animus; Windows), dies at 67
  • 2009 Jay Bennett, American guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer-songwriter (Wilco, 1994-2001), dies of an accidental overdose of prescription painkiller Fentanyl at 46
  • 2010 Anneliese Rothenberger, German operatic lyric soprano, 1942-83, dies at 85
  • 2010 Petr Muk, Czech new-wave and pop musician, and singer-songwriter (Oceán; Shalom), dies from mixing alcohol and prescription medications at 45
  • 2010 Paul Gray, American heavy metal bassist (Slipknot), dies of a drug overdose at 38
  • 2020 [Wilbur James] Jimmy Cobb, American jazz drummer (Miles Davis' First Great Sextet), dies of lung cancer at 91
  • 2020 Al Rex [Piccirilli], American rock upright bass player (Bill Haley & His Comets - "Rock Around The Clock"), dies at 91
  • 2021 Samuel E. Wright, American stage and screen actor and singer (Jesus Christ Superstar; Ball Four; The Little Mermaid; The Lion King), dies of prostate cancer at 74