Famous Keyboardists in History

Events in Music

  • 1854-06-13 Anthony Faas, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patents the 1st US accordion, having made improvements to both the keyboard, and to enhance the sound (Patent No. 11,062)
  • 1974-06-08 Keyboardist Rick Wakeman quits rock group "Yes" (for the first time)
  • 1984-12-20 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in Yale library

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 265

  • 1728-01-17 Johann Gottfried Müthel, German keyboard virtuoso and composer, born in Mölln, Duchy of Lauenburg (now Germany) (d. 1788)
  • 1747-02-17 Narciso Casanovas, Spanish keyboard player, composer, and Benedictine monk, born in Sabadell, Spain (d. 1799)
  • 1785-09-25 George Pinto [Sanders], British violin prodigy, keyboard virtuoso, and composer,, born in Lambeth, South London (d. 1806)
  • 1917-02-28 George Malcolm, British keyboard player and conductor (Westminster Cathedral Master of the Music, 1947-59), born in London (d. 1997)
  • 1923-01-07 (Charles) Russell Woolen, American classical keyboardist and composer (In Martyrum Memoriam), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1994)
  • 1925-10-18 Wim van Gennep, Dutch singer/keyboardist (Heikrekels)
  • 1932-07-07 [Josef] Joe Zawinul, Austrian-American jazz keyboardist, composer and musician (Weather Report - "Birdland") (d. 2007)
  • 1934-06-18 Gladstone "Gladdy" Anderson, Jamaican ska and reggae session keyboard player, and band leader ("The Liquidator"), born in Jones Town, Jamaica (d. 2015)
  • 1936-12-07 Arthur Jenkins, Jr., American jazz and pop session and touring keyboardist, composer, and arranger (Johnny Nash; Harry Belafonte; John Lennon; Roberta Flack), born in the Bronx, New York City (d. 2009)
  • 1937-02-25 Don Randi [Schwartz], American session and touring pop, rock, and jazz keyboard player (Nancy Sinatra), born in New York City
  • 1937-04-22 (Bernard) "Jack" Nitzsche, American composer, arranger, music producer, keyboardist (Rolling Stones; Neil Young), and songwriter ("Up Where We Belong"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2000)
  • 1937-05-29 Irmin Schmidt, German keyboardist and rocker (Can), born in Berlin, Germany
  • 1937-07-02 Dee [David] Palmer, English keyboard player and composer (Jethro Tull, 1972-80), born in Hendon, London
  • 1938-07-18 Ian Stewart, Scottish keyboardist, road manager, and co-founder of the Rolling Stones, born in Pittenweem, Fife, Scotland (d. 1985)
  • 1938-08-13 Dave "Baby" Cortez [Clowney], American pop keyboardist (The Happy Organ), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1938-11-11 Roger Lavern [Jackson], English rock keyboardist (Tornados), born in Kidderminster, England (d. 2013)
  • 1938-11-16 Toni Brown, American guitarist, singer and keyboardist (Joy of Cooking)
  • 1939-02-01 Joe Sample, American jazz and session keyboardist and composer (The Jazz Crusaders), born in Houston, Texas (d. 2014)
  • 1939-02-12 Ray Manzarek, American rock organist and songwriter (The Doors - "Light My Fire"; "Love Her Madly"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2013)
  • 1939-07-18 Brian Auger, English fusion keyboardist (Befour, Genesis), born in London, England
  • 1939-10-20 Raymond Jones, British keyboardist and songwriter, born in Oldham
  • 1940-05-08 (Cathryn) "Toni" Tennille, American singer-songwriter, keyboardist (Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together") and female Beach Boy, born in Montgomery, Alabama
  • 1940-12-28 Lonnie Liston Smith, American jazz piano and keyboard player (Cosmic Echoes, Magic Lady), born in Richmond, Virginia,
  • 1941-01-24 Aaron Neville, American singer & keyboardist (Neville Brothers), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1941-06-09 Jon Lord, British keyboardist and composer (Deep Purple - "Smoke On The Water"; Whitesnake), born in Leicester, England (d. 2012)
  • 1941-08-21 Tom Coster, American rock and jazz keyboard player (Santana), born in Detroit Michigan
  • 1941-11-19 Eddie Raynor, New Zealand rock keyboardist (Split Enz; Crowded House), born in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1941-12-12 Terry Kirkman, American rock vocalist and keyboardist (Association), born in Salina, Kansas
  • 1941-12-27 Michael Thomas "Mike" Pinder, English keyboard player and Mellotron pioneer (Moody Blues-Nights in White Satin), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1942-01-16 Billy Francis, American keyboardist (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show - "Cover of Rolling Stone"), born in Sacramento, California (d. 2010)
  • 1942-02-11 Leon Haywood, American funk and soul singer, and keyboardist ("It's Got To Be Mellow"; "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You"), born in Houston, Texas (d. 2016)
  • 1942-04-19 Alan Price, English rock keyboardist (Animals - "House of the Rising Sun"), born in Fatfield, Washington, England
  • 1942-08-27 Daryl Dragon, American keyboardist (Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together"), born in Pasadena, California (d. 2019)
  • 1942-11-29 Felix Cavaliere, American rock singer, songwriter, and keyboardist (Rascals - "Lonely Too Long", "People Got to Be Free"), born in Pelham. New York
  • 1943-02-04 Barry Beckett, American keyboardist and record producer (David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 2009)
  • 1943-03-29 Vangelis [Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou], Greek composer, keyboardist, and Academy Award winner (Chariots of Fire), born in Agria, Greece
  • 1943-05-12 David Walker, American rock guitarist (Gary Lewis & Playboys - "This Diamond Ring"), born in Montgomery Alabama
  • 1943-05-26 John "Poli" Palmer, British Progressive rock keyboardist, and vibraphone player (Family -"In My Own Time"), born in Worcester, England
  • 1943-06-26 Georgie Fame [Clive Powell], English R&B and jazz singer and keyboard player (Get Away, Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde), born in Lancashire, England
  • 1943-08-04 David Carr, rock keyboardist (The Fortunes), born in Leyton, London (d. 2011)
  • 1943-09-25 John Locke, American rock keyboardist (Spirit - "I Got A Line On You"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2006)
  • 1944-01-08 Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, American country-rock keyboardist (Charlie Daniels Band), born in Southbridge, Massachusetts (d. 2011)
  • 1944-02-29 Geoff Nicholls, British rock keyboardist (Black Sabbath, 1980-2013), born in Birmingham, England (d. 2017)
  • 1944-03-17 Pat McCauley, Northern Irish rock keyboardist and drummer (Them - "Here Comes The Night") (d. 1984)
  • 1944-03-19 Tom Constanten, American rock keyboardist (Grateful Dead, 1968-70 - Aoxomoxoa), born in Long Branch, New Jersey
  • 1944-03-22 Chris Stainton, English session and touring bass and keyboard player (Joe Cocker; The Who), born in Woodseats, England
  • 1944-04-19 Bernie Worrell, American keyboardist (Funkadelic - "Cosmic Slop"), born in Long Branch, New Jersey (d. 2016)
  • 1944-05-26 (Terence) Verden Allen, Welsh rock keyboardist (Mott the Hoople - "All Young Dudes"), born in Crynant, Neath, Wales
  • 1944-07-22 Rick Davies, rock vocalist/keyboardist (Supertramp), born in London, England
  • 1944-08-30 William "Smitty" Smith, American rock keyboardist and session musician (Motherlode - "When I Die"), born in Belleville, Virginia (d. 1997)
  • 1945-04-26 Mike Finnigan, American session and touring rock, jazz, and blues Hammond B3 organ and keyboard player, and vocalist, born in Troy, Ohio
  • 1945-05-02 Goldy McJohn [John Goadsby], Canadian rock keyboard and Hammond B3 organ player (Steppenwolf - "Magic Carpet ride"; 'Born To Be Wild"), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2017)
  • 1945-05-07 Cornelius Bumpus, American saxophonist and keyboardist (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2004)
  • 1945-05-12 Ian McLagan, English rock keyboardist (Small Face; Faces), born in Hounslow, Middlesex, (d. 2014)
  • 1945-05-23 Misty Morgan, American country keyboardist (duo with Jack Blanchard - "Tennessee Bird Walk"), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 2021)
  • 1945-05-29 Gary Brooker, English rock keyboardist and singer (Procol Harum), born in Hackney, London
  • 1945-08-24 Ken Hensley, English songwriter and rock keyboardist (Blackfoot, Uriah Heep), born in Plumstead, England (d. 2020)
  • 1945-09-03 Mike Harrison, English keyboardist (Spooky Tooth-It's All About), born in Carlisle, Cumbria, England
  • 1946-01-12 George Duke, American Grammy Award-winning jazz and funk keyboard player, and composer, born in San Rafael, California (d. 2013)
  • 1946-01-28 Rick Allen, American rock bass player and keyboardist (The Box Tops - "Cry Like A Baby"), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • 1946-03-07 Matthew Fisher, English rock keyboardist (Procol Harum - "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"), born in London, England
  • 1946-03-31 Al Nichol, American rock guitarist and keyboard player (Turtles - "Elenore"), born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • 1946-04-12 René Krijnen, Dutch keyboardist (Les Baroques - "Such A Cad")
  • 1946-05-25 Timothy "Tim" Hinkley, British singer-songwriter and keyboard player (Jody Grind), born in London
  • 1946-06-25 Allen Lanier, American rock keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist (Blue Oyster Cult), born in Long Island, New York (d. 2013)
  • 1946-06-25 Ian McDonald, English rock musician (saxophone, keyboards, guitar) (King Crimson, Foreigner), born in Osterly, Middlesex
  • 1946-07-29 Neal Doughty, American rock keyboardist (REO Speedwagon), born in Evansville, Indiana
  • 1946-08-04 Max Middleton, British rock keyboard player (Jeff Beck Group), born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England
  • 1946-08-05 Rick van der Linden, Dutch keyboardist (Ekseption)
  • 1946-08-09 Marinus "Rinus ' Gerritsen, Dutch rock bassist/keyboardist (Golden Earring - "Radar Love"), born in The Hague, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1946-08-11 Michael Fonfara, Canadian rock and blues keyboard player (The Electric Flag; Lou Reed), born in Stevensville, Ontario
  • 1946-09-08 Dean Daughtry, American rock keyboardist (Atlanta Rhythm Section), born in Kinston, Alabama
  • 1946-09-09 Doug Ingle, American rock vocalist and keyboard player (Iron Butterfly - "In A Gadda Da Vida"), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • 1946-10-21 Phil Ryan, Welsh keyboardist and composer (Man, Pete Brown), born in Port Talbot, Wales (d. 2016)
  • 1947-02-27 Louis Clark, British musical arranger & keyboard player (Electric Light Orchestra), born in Kempston, England
  • 1947-03-10 Tom Scholz, American rock guitarist, singwriter, and inventor (Boston - "More Than a Feeling"), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • 1947-03-11 Mark Stein, American rock singer, Hammond organ and keyboard player, and songwriter (Vanilla Fudge - "You Keep Me Hanging On"), born in Bayonne, New Jersey
  • 1947-03-15 Stomu Yamash'ta, Japanese percussionist, keyboard player and traditional Japanese-progressive rock fusion composer (Go), born in Kyoto, Japan
  • 1947-04-15 Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme, British keyboardist and vocalist (Barclay James Harvest), born in Chadderton, Lancashire (d. 2010)
  • 1947-04-18 Walt Richmond, American rock keyboardist (The Tractors; J.J. Cale; Bob Seger; Eric Clapton), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 1947-04-29 John J. Cascella, American rock keyboard and accordion player (John Mellencamp), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1992)
  • 1947-06-17 Gregg Rolie, American rock singer and keyboardist (Santana, 1965-71; Journey, 1973-80; Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, 2012-present), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1947-10-04 Frank "Skip" Konte, American rock keyboardist (Blues Image - "Ride Captain Ride"; Three Dog Night, 1973-76), born in Canon City, Oklahoma
  • 1947-11-24 Dave Sinclair, British progressive rock keyboard player (Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink), born in Herne Bay, Kent, England
  • 1947-12-31 Burton Cummings, Canadian rock singer-songwriter, and keyboardist (Guess Who - "These Eyes"), born in Winnipeg, Canada

Person of interestDonald Fagen

1948-01-10 Donald Fagen, American rock vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter (Steely Dan - "Reelin' In The Years"), born in Passaic, New Jersey

Singer Donald Fagen
Singer
Donald Fagen
  • 1948-03-12 Dana Walden, rock keyboardist (Champaign)
  • 1948-03-28 John Evan, British rock keyboardist (Jethro Tull), born in Blackpool, Lancashire
  • 1948-04-14 Larry Ferguson, keyboardist (Hot Chocolate - "You Sexy Thing"), born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1948-04-17 Jan Hammer, Czech-American rock keyboardist (Mahavishnu Orchestra; Jeff Beck), and composer ("Miami Vice Theme"), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • 1948-04-20 Craig Frost, American keyboardist (Grand Funk Railroad - "Some Kind of Wonderful"; Bob Seger), born in Flint, Michigan
  • 1948-05-05 Frank Esler-Smith, English-Australian rock keyboardist (Air Supply - "All Out Of Love"), born in London (d. 1991)
  • 1948-05-08 Don "Red" Young, American session, touring keyboard and piano player, band leader, and jazz Hammond B3 organist, born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1948-05-24 Ernst Jansz, Dutch keyboardist and singer (Doe Maar), born in Amsterdam
  • 1948-06-24 Patrick Moraz, Swiss progressive rock keyboard player (Yes, The Moody Blues), born in Morges, Switzerland
  • 1948-10-27 Byron Allred, American rock keyboardist (Steve Miller Band), born in Logan, Utah
  • 1948-11-21 Leroy "Lonnie" Jordan, American rock keyboardist and vocalist (War - "Why Can't We Be Friends?"), born in San Diego, California
  • 1948-11-21 John "Rabbit" Bundrick, American keyboardist and organist (The Who, The Rocky Horror Picture Show), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1949-01-02 Michael "Chick" Churchill, British blues-rock keyboardist (Ten Years After - "I'm Going Home"), born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
  • 1949-02-21 Jerry Harrison, American rock keyboardist (Talking Heads), and record producer (Kenny Wayne Shepherd; The String Cheese Incident), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Weddings in Music

  • 1984-08-18 Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes (22) weds Des Moines department store heiress Julie Anne Friedman (25) at London registrar's office

LoveWedding of Interest

1986-10-18 "Fleetwood Mac" member Christine McVie (43) weds keyboardist Eduardo Quintela

Rock vocalist Christine McVie
Rock vocalist
Christine McVie

Deaths in Music

  • 1788-07-14 Johann Gottfried Müthel, German keyboard virtuoso and composer, dies at 60
  • 1806-03-23 George Pinto [Sanders], English violin prodigy, keyboard virtuoso, and composer, dies of tuberculosis at 20
  • 1967-12-10 Ron Caldwell, American soul and R&B keyboardist (The Bar-kays - "Soul Finger"), dies in Otis Redding plane crash in Lake Monona, Wisconsin at 18
  • 1985-12-12 Ian Stewart, Scottish keyboardist, road manager, and co-founder of the Rolling Stones, dies of a heart attack at 47
  • 1986-05-17 Jack Waldman, American jazz and rock keyboardist and avant garde composer dies of HIV related illness at 33
  • 1990-07-26 Brent Mydland, American rock keyboardist and vocalist (Grateful Dead), dies of a drug overdose at 38
  • 1991-03-01 Frank Esler-Smith, English-Australian rock keyboardist (Air Supply), dies at 42
  • 1992-04-25 Brian MacLeod, Canadian rock guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist (Chilliwack), dies of cancer at 39
  • 1992-11-14 John J. Cascella, American rock keyboard and accordion player (John Mellencamp), dies of a heart attack at 45
  • 1993-12-01 Peter John Wood, British session and touring rock keyboardist, and songwriter, dies at 43
  • 1994-03-16 (Charles) Russell Woolen, American classical keyboardist and composer (In Martyrum Memoriam), dies at 71
  • 1995-08-23 Dwayne Goettel, Canadian keyboardist and industrial-electronic music composer (Skinny Puppy), dies of a heroin overdose at 31
  • 1996-07-12 Jonathan Melvoin, American funk-rock keyboardist (Prince; Smashing Pumpkins, 1995-96), dies of a heroin overdose at 34
  • 1996-07-22 Robert Collins, keyboard player, dies at 33
  • 1997-10-10 George Malcolm, British keyboard player and conductor (Westminster Cathedral Master of the Music, 1947-59), dies at 80
  • 1997-11-28 William "Smitty" Smith, American rock keyboardist and session musician (Motherlode - "When I Die"), dies of a heartattack at 53
  • 1999-08-25 Rob Fisher, British rock keyboardist (Naked Eyes), dies at 42
  • 2000-08-25 Jack Nitzsche, American composer, arranger, music producer, keyboardist (Rolling Stones; Neil Young), and songwriter ("Up Where We Belong"), dies at 63
  • 2004-02-03 Cornelius Bumpus, American saxophonist and keyboardist (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • 2004-02-23 Bob Mayo, American session keyboardist (Peter Frampton), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • 2006-06-02 Vince Welnick, American rock keyboardist (The Tubes - "Tak To Ya Later"; Grateful Dead, 1990-95), commits suicide at 55
  • 2006-06-03 Johnny Grande, American accordion and piano player (The Saddlemen; Bill Haley's Comets), and songwriter ("Birth of the Boogie"), dies of cancer at 76
  • 2006-07-09 Milan Williams, American keyboardist (Commodores-Three Times a Lady), dies at 58
  • 2006-08-04 John Locke, American rock keyboardist (Spirit -"I Got A Line On You"), dies of cancer at 62
  • 2007-09-11 [Josef] Joe Zawinul, Austrian-American jazz keyboardist, composer and musician (Weather Report - "Birdland") dies from Merkel cell carcinoma at 75
  • 2007-10-06 Laza [Lazar] Ristovski, Serbian keyboardist (Smak and Bijelo Dugme), dies from multiple sclerosis at 51
  • 2009-01-28 Billy Powell, American musician and keyboardist (Lynyrd Skynyrd-That Smell, Freebird), dies at 56
  • 2009-01-28 Arthur Jenkins, Jr., American jazz and pop session and touring keyboardist, composer, and arranger (Johnny Nash; Harry Belafonte; John Lennon; Roberta Flack), dies at 72
  • 2009-06-10 Barry Beckett, American keyboardist and record producer (David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins), dies from complications of a stroke at 66
  • 2009-08-20 Larry Knechtel, American session piano and bass player (Simon and Garfunkel; Johnny Rivers), dies of heart attack at 69
  • 2009-09-02 Guy Babylon, American keyboard player (Elton John) and arranger dies at 52
  • 2010-05-23 Billy Francis, American keyboardist (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show - "Cover of the Rolling Stone"), dies at 68
  • 2010-12-13 Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme, British keyboardist and vocalist (Barclay James Harvest), commits suicide at 63
  • 2011-07-12 David Carr, English rock keyboardist (The Fortunes), dies at 67
  • 2011-10-12 Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, American country-rock keyboardist (Charlie Daniels Band), killed in a car accident at 67 [1]
  • 2012-07-16 Jon Lord, English keyboardist and composer (Deep Purple - "Smoke On The Water"; Whitesnake), dies from a pulmonary embolism at 71
  • 2013-05-20 Ray Manzarek, American musician and keyboardist (The Doors - "Light My Fire", "Hello, I Love You"), dies of cancer at 74
  • 2013-08-05 George Duke, American Grammy Award-winning jazz and funk keyboard player, and composer, dies from chronic lymphocytic leukemia at 67
  • 2013-08-14 Allen Lanier, American rock keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist (Blue Oyster Cult), dies from complications from COPD at 67
  • 2014-09-12 Joe Sample, American jazz and session keyboardist and composer (The Jazz Crusaders), dies of mesothelioma at 75
  • 2014-12-03 Ian McLagan, English rock keyboardist (Small Face; Faces), dies from a stroke at 69
  • 2015-01-02 Bob Gilmore, Irish keyboard player (Trio Scordatura), educator, and musicologist (Harry Partch: A Biography), dies of cancer at 53
  • 2015-06-15 Roger Lavern [Jackson], English rock keyboardist (Tornados), dies at 75
  • 2015-12-03 Gladstone "Gladdy" Anderson, Jamaican ska and reggae session keyboard player, and band leader ("The Liquidator"), dies at 81
  • 2016-04-05 Leon Haywood, American funk and soul singer, and keyboardist ("It's Got To Be Mellow"; "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You"), dies at 74
  • 2016-04-30 Phil Ryan, Welsh keyboardist and composer (Man; Pete Brown), dies at 69
  • 2016-06-24 Bernie Worrell, American keyboardist (Funkadelic-Cosmic Slop), dies at 72
  • 2016-11-04 Eddie Harsch [Hawrysch], Canadian keyboardist (Bulldog; The Black Crowes - "Hard To Handle"), dies at 59
  • 2017-01-28 Geoff Nicholls, British rock keyboardist (Black Sabbath, 1980-2013), dies from lung cancer at 72
  • 2017-04-11 Toby Smith [Grafftey-Smith], British keyboardist and songwriter, dies of cancer at 46
  • 2018-09-29 James "Big Jim" Wright, American Grammy and Dove Award-winning keyboardist, composer, arranger, and record producer (Sound of Blackness; Mariah Carey) dies at 52
  • 2019-01-02 Daryl Dragon, American keyboardist (Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together") dies of kidney failure at 76
  • 2019-12-18 Hugh McKenna, British rock keyboardist (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band), dies of cancer at 70
  • 2020-05-03 Dave Greenfield, British rock keyboardist, and songwriter (The Stranglers - "Golden Brown"), dies of complications from Covid-19 at 71
  • 2020-11-04 Ken Hensley, English songwriter and rock keyboardist (Blackfoot, Uriah Heep), dies at 75
  • 2021-01-01 Misty Morgan, American country keyboardist (duo with Jack Blanchard - "Tennessee Bird Walk"), dies of cancer at 75