The Rambler :: blog

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Musical Deaths in 2005 

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What follows is my second annual summary of all the musicians - who I'm aware of - who died in the last year. The list for 2004, with accompanying explanation, may be found here; an explanation of how this list was compiled may be found here. The list below is in rough reverse chronological order, and picks up where the 2004 list finished; as a result some of the earliest names in fact died very late 2004.

Whereas 2004 felt like a particularly morbid year for music, 2005 felt slightly luckier. This is not to say, however, that we were fortunate enough not to lose any major figures. Far from it, and in fact my list is topped by one of the greatest losses of them all, the peerless soprano Birgit Nilsson, who died on Christmas Day. For completely understandable reasons, her family kept notice of her death private until her burial on 11th January; as a result, one or two press reports still mistakenly state that she died on the 11th. Opera also said farewell to the singers Victoria de los Angeles, Margherita Carosio, Deon van der Walt (shot dead, apparently in a dispute with his father, at 47), James King, Piero Cappuccilli, Ghena Dimitrova, Edna Graham, Theodor Uppmann, Una Hale, Ara Berberian and June Bronhill; the conductor Marcello Viotti; and the managers and impresarios Stella Chitty, Leonard Ingrams and Patric Schmid.

Guitarists also suffered: two of the most important players of recent times, Derek Bailey and Link Wray are no longer with us. 2005 also said goodbye to two accordionists - Myron Floren and Emiliano Zuleta - and two pipers - Martyn Bennett and Calum Campbell.

In the academic community, the losses of Gerard Béhague, Mantle Hood and Stanley Sadie, all three monumental figures, will be keenly felt. The British concert music scene was saddened by the loss of two of its most distinguished energisers, Susan Bradshaw and Felix Aprahamian. Electronic music was shaken by the deaths of Hugh Davies on New Year's Day, and of Robert Moog and Luc Ferrari only a day apart from one another.

And finally, but by no means least, anyone at all involved in music will have been saddened to learn of the departures of Albert Mangelsdorff, Luther Vandross, Artie Shaw and Junior Delgado, who are all major losses.

Rest in Peace, all of you.

Birgit Nilsson
Operatic soprano

Jamie Hodgson
Jazz photographer

Bill DeArango
Jazz guitarist

Lou Rawls

Sumi Jenner
Rock manager

Bryan Harvey
Guitarist with House of Freaks

Jack Langstaff
Singer and music teacher

Derek Bailey
Improv guitarist

Scott Reiss
Recorder virtuoso

Gyorgy Sandor

Sydney Leff
Jazz sheet music illustrator

Jerry Lynn Williams

Danny Williams
'Moon River' singer

Donald Martino
Composer. (Publisher's notice of death)

Stephen Mosko
Conductor and composer

Deon van der Walt
South African opera singer

Johnny Tanner
Soul singer with the 5 Royales

Wilson 'Lit' Waters Jr
Gospel singer with the Fairfield Four

Fritz Richmond
Washtub and jug player

Chris Whitley
Rock guitarist

James King
Operatic tenor

Harry Freedman
Canadian composer

Alfred Reed
Wind band composer

Link Wray
Pioneering guitarist

Roy Brooks
Jazz drummer

Suzanne Rosza
Violinist with the Amadeus Quartet

William Grass

Gardner Read

Patric Schmid
Opera impresario

Vilho Luolajan-Mikkola
Finnish composer

Emiliano Zuleta
Colombian composer and accordionist

Cedric 'Skitch' Henderson
''Tonight Show" bandleader and founder of the New York Pops

Robert Gerle
Concert violinist

Simon Hobart
Club promoter and DJ

Eleanor Warren
Cellist and BBC Radio 3 producer

Oleg Lundstrem
Russian big band leader

Esther Salaman
Mezzo soprano

Shirley Horn
Jazz pianist and vocalist

Baker Knight

Leni Alexander
Chilean composer

Frank Condatore
Bassist and swing band leader

Mike Gibbins
Drummer with Badfinger

Harold Leventhal
Folk music promoter

Emilinha Borba
Brazilian crooner

Jack Lesberg
Jazz bassist

Vakhtang Jordania
Soviet conductor

Hal Kalin
Rock 'n' roll singer, one half of the Kalin Twins

Paul Pena
Blues guitarist, singer and songwriter

Noel Mander
Organ builder

Steve Marcus
Jazz fusion saxophonist

Willie Hutch
Songwriter for the Jackson 5

Tommy Thomas
Conga player

Joel Hirschhorn
Oscar-winning songwriter

Jeronimas Kacinskas
Lithuanian composer, and Berklee teacher

Al Casey
Jazz guitarist

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown
Blues guitarist and singer

Melvin F. Wanzo
Big band trombonist

Nathan Joseph
Founder of British folk and blues label Transatlantic

Richard Loring
Hollywood songwriter

D. D'Amour
Thrash guitarist with Voivod

R. L. Burnside
Blues musician

Les Braid
Bass guitarist with The Swinging Blue Jeans

Koji Tano
Japanese experimental noise artist

Danny Taylor
Psychedelic breakbeat rock drummer

Arnold Cooke

Luc Ferrari
Electro-acoustic composer

Earl Zindars
Jazz composer

Robert Moog
Inventor of the Moog synthesiser

Randy 'Biscuit' Turner
Big Boys singer

Esther Wong
"Godmother of punk"

John Stubblefield
Jazz saxophonist

Vassar Clements
Fiddle player

John Loder
Owner of Southern Records

Carlo Little
Drummer with Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart

Nick Perito
Hollywood composer

Francy Boland
Jazz pianist and arranger

Robert Wright
Composer of musicals

Joe Scurfield
Fiddler, comedian and activist

Leonard Ingrams
Opera impresario and founder of Garsington opera

Ki Mantle Hood
Pioneering ethnomusicologist

Keter Betts
Jazz bassist

Ibrahim Ferrer
Buena Vista Social Club front man

Doug Sharp
Organist and photographer

'Little' Milton Campbell
Blues guitarist and singer

Eli 'Lucky' Thompson
Tenor jazz saxophonist

Christopher Bunting

Piero Cappuccilli
Operatic baritone

Thomas Kakuska
Violinist with the Alban Berg quartet

June Haver
1940s actress and singer

'Stranger' Malone
Country music clarinettist

Al Aronowitz
Rock journalist

Al McKibbon
Jazz bassist

Cabaret singer

Robert Wright
Stage and film composer

Frank Deniz
Welsh guitarist

Albert Mangelsdorff
Jazz trombonist

Joe O'Brien
Veteran New York radio DJ

Susan Lydon
Writer helped start Rolling Stone

John Herald
Bluegrass singer

Blue Barron
Big band leader

William Henry Weatherspoon
Motown producer

Michael Gibson
Broadway orchestrator

Myron Floren

Long John Baldry
British rhythm and blues guitarist and singer

Laurel Aitken
'Godfather of Ska'

Geraldine Fitzgerald

Joe Harnell
Pianist, arranger and conductor

Denis D'Ell
Singer with the Honeycombs

John Stubblefield
Tenor saxophonist

Isidore Cohen

Frances Langford

Pierre Michelot
Jazz bassist

Renaldo "Obie" Benson
One of the Four Tops

Luther Vandross
Soul legend

Frank Harte
Singer and collector of Irish songs

Siegfried Palm

Basil Kirchin
Drummer and experimental composer

C. Carson Parks
Songwriter and music publisher

David Breeden

Stella Chitty
Stage manager at Covent Garden

Chet Helms
Promoter of Janis Joplin

Ghena Dimitrova
Operatic soprano

Gerard Béhague
Latin American music scholar

Jaime Mendoza-Nava
Film and TV composer

Billy Bauer
Jazz guitarist

Roger M. Scott
Orchestral bassist

Carlo Maria Giulini

David Diamond

Stan Wilson
San Francisco folk singer

Simon Waronker
Founder of Liberty records

Ghena Dimitrova

Michalis Yenitsaris
Bouzouki player

Edna Graham
Operatic soprano and conductor

Pierre Moerlen
Drummer with Gong

Kenneth Schermerhorn

Dennis Eberhard

Richard Lewine
Broadway composer

Ruth Laredo

Oscar Brown Junior
Singer and songwriter

Stan Levey
Jazz drummer

George Rochberg

Keith Miller
All-round musician

Thurl Ravenscroft
Singer and voice of Tony the Tiger

Nasrat Parsa
Afghan pop star

George 'Wild Child' Butler
Blues harmonica player

Surya Kumari
Indian singer, dancer and actor

Jimmy Martin
Country singer

Jimmy Martin, 77
Bluegrass singer and guitarist

Eddie Barclay
Record producer

John Patton Jr.

Johnnie Stewart
Creator of Top of the Pops

Benny Bailey
Jazz trumpeter

Grant Johannesen
Mormon pianist

Percy Heath
Bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet

Hasil Adkins
Rockabilly singer-songwiter

Jimmy Woode
Bassist for Duke Ellington

Tehmina Mehta
Matriarch of classical music family

Cyril Tawney
Folk singer and songwriter

Robert Farnon
Trumpeter and light music composer

Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen
Danish jazz bassist, aka NHOP

Juggy Murray
Founder of Sue Records

Salvatore Tutti 'Toots' Camarata
Conductor, arranger and record company executive

Ehud Manor
Songwriter behind Israeli Eurovision win in 1978

Jerry Byrd
Country guitarist

John Fred
Singer and songwriter

Junior Delgado
Roots-reggae singer and producer

Johnnie Johnson
Rock 'n' roll pioneer and inspiration for Johnny B Goode

Kathie Kay
Singer with the Billy Cotton band

Richard Wolfson
Member of Towering Inferno

Stephanie Shepard

Norbert Brainin
Violinist, leader of the Amadeus Quartet

Alexander Brott
Conductor and composer

Laurette Goldberg
Harpsichordist and champion of early music

Jack Keller
Composer of TV themes, including 'Bewitched'

Gwydion Brooke

David Measham

Rod Price
Foghat guitarist

Sylvia Meyer
Harpist and first female member of the National Symphony Orchestra

Dame Moura Lympany

David Lerchey
Singer with the Del-Vikings

Meredith Davies

Paul Hester
Drummer with Crowded House

Ifor James
Horn player

Goldie Hill
Country and western singer

Saul Isarel Holiff
Former manager of Johnny Cash

Gary Bertini

Theodor Uppman

Bobby Short
Cabaret singer and pianist

Lalo Guerrero
Pioneering barrio singer

Danny Joe Brown
Lead singer with Molly Hatchet

Justin Hinds
Reggae singer

Larry Bunker
Jazz drummer

Chris LeDoux
Country singer and bareback rider

Lázaro Ros
Afro-Cuban singer

Lyn Collins
Funk singer

Jeanette Schmid
AKA 'Baroness Lips von Lipstrill', Austria's last professional whistler.

Una Hale

George Scott
Singer with the Blind Boys of Alabama

Kathie Kay
Big band singer

Sergiu Comissiona

Goldie Hill
Country singer

Dorris Henderson
Folk singer

Dave Goodman
Early producer for the Sex Pistols

Joe Carter
Member of the famous Carter country music family

Trude Rittmann
Broadway arranger. Once described as "Germany's most brilliant woman composer"

Martin Denny
Musician and bandleader known as the 'Father of Exoctica'

Tommy Vance
Rock DJ

Chris Curtis
Songwriter and drummer for the Searchers

Edward Patten
Member of Gladys Knight & the Pips

Ara Berberian
Operatic bass

Robert Koff
Violinist who cofounded Juilliard quartet

Harry Simeone
Choral conductor and arranger

Mabel Robinson Simms
Jazz pianist and vocalist

Sid Long
Folk singer

Pam Bricker
Singer who appeared with Thievery Corporation

Bill Potts
Jazz pianist, arranger and composer

Tyrone Davis
Soul singer

Sammi Smith
Country singer

John Raitt
Broadway baritone

Marcello Viotti
Opera conductor at La Fenice

Pete Sayers
Country musician

Sixten Ehrling

Robert 'Sunny' Spencer
Member of western music group Sons of the Pioneers

Andreas Makris
Violinist and composer

Armand Kaproff
Hollywood cellist

Jimmy Smith
Hammond organist

Nick Kilroy
Discovered the Junior Boys

Keith Knudsen
Drummer with Doobie Brothers

Ruth Packer

Lazar Berman

Merle Kilgore
Co-writer of 'Ring of Fire' country hit

Eric Griffiths
Founder member of the Quarry Men, who made way for George Harrison

Calum Campbell
Hebridean piper

Martyn Bennett
Celtic music star

Ray Peterson

Susan Bradshaw
Writer, broadcaster, performer, teacher, composer and champion of new music

Jim Capaldi
Drummer with Traffic

John Duarte
Guitar composer

June Bronhill
Australian light opera soprano

Consuelo Velázquez
Mexican songwriter

Herbert Downes
Viola player with the Philharmonia orchestra

Bezerra da Silva
Sambista, 'Godfather of gangsta rap'

Solomon King
aka Allen Levy. Singer

Margherita Carosio
Operatic soprano

Nell Rankin
Mezzo soprano

Felix Aprahamian
Music critic and promoter

James Griffin
Songwriter with Bread

Victoria de los Angeles

Spencer Dryden
Drummer for Jefferson Airplane

Danny Sugerman
Doors manager since 1971

Hugh Davies
Electronic music innovator

Bert Reid
Saxophonist with Crown Heights Affair

Bo Wallner
Swedish musicologist

Leslie Gourse
Jazz biographer

Mack Vickery
Nashville songwriter

Artie Shaw
Swing jazz clarinetist

Hank Garland
Guitarist for Elvis and Roy Orbison

Son Seals
Blues guitarist

Homi Kanga
Indian violinist

Freddie Perren

Martha Carson
Gospel musician

Dick Heckstall-Smith

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