DRUGS SEX AND ROCK and ROLL HOW ROCKERS DIED
I sincerely regret the passing of these talented people. I can’t help but wonder how many of them would still be alive if they had been a little more careful with AIDS, alcohol, cocaine and guns. The world would be a better place if they had.
NOTE: I HAVE INCLUDED SEVERAL LINKS TO VIDEOS OF THESE PERFORMERS PLAYING THEIR MUSIC. DUE TO EFFORTS BY THE RECORDING INDUSTRY TO SUCK THE LAST DROP OF BLOOD FROM THESE WONDERFULL PERFORMERS EVEN DECADES AFTER THEIR DEATHS FROM TIME TO TIME THE LINKS NO LONGER WORK. IF YOU FIND A DEAD LINK LET ME KNOW I'LL TRY TO FIND ANOTHER
Dimebag Darrell _(Born Darrell Lance Abbott August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004), also known as Diamond Darrell until mid 1992, was the lead guitarist for the heavy metal bands Pantera, Damageplan and Rebel Meets Rebel.On December 8, 2004, while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag Darrell Abbott was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. Abbott was shot a total of five times, at point blank range in the back of the head. Darrell was 38 years old. Three others were killed, two wounded. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsBS44SGwF0
Johnny Ace _ accidentally shot himself while on tour, backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas, on Christmas Eve 1954, while playing Russian Roulette. He was 25 years old. A month later, he had a Top 20 hit with "Pledging My Love"
Duane Allman _ of the Allman Brothers Band was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29th, 1971, one month before his 25th birthday A TRIBUTE VIDEO TO DUANE
Louis Armstrong _ led the Billboard Hot 100 with "Hello Dolly" in 1964. Died of heart failure on July 6th, 1971, aged 69 WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
Chet Atkins _ legendary session guitarist, died of cancer on June 30th 2001 at the age of 77 PLAYING SANDMAN
Ross Bagdasarian _ better known as David Seville, who had a hit with "Witch Doctor" and was the leader of The Chipmunks, died of a heart attack on January 16th, 1972, just days short of his 53rd birthday
LaVern Baker _ R&B singer who placed 7 songs in the US Top 40 in the mid_1950s and early 1960s, including "Tweedlee Dee" and "I Cried A Tear", died of heart failure on March 10th, 1997, at the age of 67 JIM DANDY BY LAVERN IN 1957
"Long John" Baldry _ British R&B artist died July 21st, 2005, after battling a chest infection for four months. He was 64. Baldry was one of the founding fathers of British rock'n'roll in the '60s. Eric Clapton has stated many times that he was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing Baldry perform
Florence Ballard _ one of the original Supremes, died of a heart attack on February 22nd, 1976 at the age of 32. After being dismissed from the group, Ballard separated from her husband and went on welfare after losing an $8.7 million suit for back royalties against Motown Records. BABY LOVE
Hank Ballard _ placed seven songs in the Top 40 in 1960 and 1961 including "Finger Poppin' Time" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go", died of cancer on March 2nd, 2003 at the age of 75.
Syd Barrett, brilliant songwriter and singer who created the psychedelic rock of Pink Floyd only to leave the band in 1968 with mental problems, died on July 7, 2006 at his home in Cambridgeshire, England. He was 60.
Jesse Belvin _ who scored a 1956 hit with "Goodnight, My Love", was killed in an auto accident in Hope, Arkansas. His wife and the car's driver also died of their injuries., in the town of Little Rock, after threats had been made against Belvin's life. The accident remains a contentious point, with many suspecting foul play.
Brook Benton _ best remembered for his 1970 hit, "A Rainy Night In Georgia", died of complications from spinal meningitis on April 9th, 1988 at the age of 56
Jan Berry _ one_half of the duo of Jan & Dean, died March 26th, 2004, after after suffering a seizure at his home. Together, the pair sold more than 10 million records and placed 14 hits in the U.S. Top Forty. Jan was a week away from his 63rd birthday.
Renaldo (Obie) Benson _ a member of the legendary Motown group, the Four Tops, passed away following a long illness on July 2nd, 2005. He was 69. ASK THE LONELY
Bill Black _ backed Elvis Presley on his early hits before forming Bill Black's Combo and placing 8 hits in the US Top 40, including "White Silver Sands" in 1960, died of a brain tumor on November 21st, 1965. He was 39.
Bobby Bloom _ recorded the hit, "Montego Bay" died of a gun shot wound on February 28th, 1974 at age 28.
Mike Bloomfield _ lead guitarist for The Electric Flag died of a drug overdose on February 15th, 1981 at the age of 38. SHAKE RATTLE&ROLL
Marc Bolan _ of T. Rex was killed when the car he was riding in hit a tree on September 16th, 1977, just weeks before his 30th birthday. A SHORT DOCUMENTARY
John Bonham _ 32 year old drummer for Led Zeppelin, passed out and choked to death on his own vomit on September 25th 1980, following an all_day drinking binge. In December of 1980, Led Zeppelin announced they were disbanding, saying they could not continue without Bonham.
Tommy Boyce _ singer / songwriter who teamed up with Bobby Hart on the #8 hit "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" in 1968, died of a self_inflicted gun shot wound on November 23rd, 1994. He was 55. I WONDER WHAT SHES DOIN TONIGHT
"Little Eva" Boyd _ whose version of "The Loco_Motion" went all the way to #1 in the U.S. in 1962, passed away April 10th, 2003, at the age of 59, from cervical cancer.
Shirley Brickley _ of The Orlons, who placed 3 songs in the Billboard Top 10 in the early 1960s, was shot to death on October 13th, 1977, by an intruder in her home in Philadelphia. She was 35. A SHORT CLIP ON THE ORLONS
Johnny Bristol _ a writer and producer for Motown records during the 1960s who had a 1973 hit of his own with "Hang On In There Baby", died of natural causes on March 21st, 2004, at the age of 65.
Tim Buckley _ performer and song writer during the 1960s and early 70s, died from a drug overdose on June 25th, 1975 at the age of 28. SALLY GO ROUND
Dorsey Burnette _ reached number 23 in 1960 with "There Was A Tall Oak Tree", suffered a fatal heart attack on August 19th, 1979. He was 46.
Johnny Burnette _ best remembered for the hits, "You're Sixteen" and "Dreamin'", drowned after a boating accident on August 14th, 1964 at age 30. His son, Rocky Burnette would have a Top Ten hit in 1980 with "Tired Of Toein' The Line"
Paul Butterfield _ who fronted The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, died of drug_related heart failure, May 4th 1987. He was 45. DRIFTING BLUES
Sonny Bono _ of the sixties duo Sonny and Cher died in a skiing accident on January 6th, 1998 at the age of 62. I GOT YOU BABE
James Brown _ R&B singer, songwriter, bandleader and dancer who made a major impact on 20th-century music, died died of congestive heart failure after being hospitalized for pneumonia, at the age of 73 on Christmas day 2006. Three-time Grammy winner, three time convicted felon "the hardest working man in show business" battled his personal demons and overcame them. He impacted R&B to funk to rock, reggae and rap. His unique music style and stage presence made him one of a kind.
David Byron _ former lead singer of the 70's British heavy rock band Uriah Heep, was found dead in his home on February 28th,1985.Alcohol and depression helped take this wonderful talent from us. He was 38. EASY LIVIN
Steve Caldwell _ sang "Double Shot Of My Baby's Love" with The Swingin' Medallions, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 55.
Randy California _ guitarist / singer / songwriter who is best known as the leader of the rock band, Spirit, died tragically on January 2nd, 1997, when he was gripped by an undertow while swimming on the coast of the Hawaiian island of Molokai. His body was lost at sea. Before he died, he was able to save his 12 year_old son, Quinn. His real name was Randy Wolfe, but was given his nickname by Jimi Hendrix. At 45. NATURES WAY WITH SPIRIT
Karen Carpenter _ died of heart irregularities caused by anorexia nervosa just days before her 33rd birthday on February 4th, 1983. FOR ALL WE KNOW
Jim Capaldi died– 28 Jan 2005 of cancer drummer , songwriter and a founding member of Traffic. He drummed with several famous singers and musicians, including Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison when he was an unknown .
Johnny Cash _ died on September 12th, 2003, due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure. He was 71 years old. Johnny began his career as a rock_a_billy artist at Sun Records, along with Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. After turning his attention to country music, he went on to win 11 Grammy Awards and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Harry Chapin _ singer / songwriter who recorded "Taxi" was just 38 years old when he was killed in a car accident on July 16th, 1981. A BETTER PLACE TO BE
Ray Charles _ singer / pianist who won twelve Grammy awards and is remembered for hits like "Hit the Road Jack", "What'd I Say" and "Georgia on My Mind", complications from liver disease on June 10th, 2004, at the age of 73. HIT THE ROAD JACK
Gene Clark _ lead vocalist of The Byrds, died of a heart attack May 24th 1991 at the age of 49. There was a story circulated that Gene kicked Bob Dylan's ass outside the Troubador in Los Angeles. I'LL FEEL A WHOLE LOT BETTER
Dee Clark _ best known for his hit "Raindrops" suffered a heart attack and died on December 7th, 1990 at age 52.
Patsy Cline _ 30 year old country singer who sang "I Fall To Pieces" and "Crazy" was killed when her private plane crashed on March 5th, 1963 CRAZY
Odia Coates _ sang "You're Having My Baby" with Paul Anka, died of breast cancer on May 19th, 1991. She was 49.
Kurt Donald Cobain_ Lead singer song writer and guitarist of Nirvana. Sometimes considered the spokesman for Generation X. Popularized Grunge and alternative rock. Kurt is believed to have died on April 5 1994 at age 27 of a self inflicted shotgun wound, with a massive dose of heroin in his system, too young with too much to share with us. SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT
Eddie Cochran _ best known for his 1950's hit, "Summertime Blues", was killed in a car accident on April 17th 1960 at the age of 21. Eddie you died too young. SUMMER TIME BLUES
Nat King Cole _ velvet voiced singer who is most often remembered for his hits, "Ramblin' Rose" and "Those Lazy_Hazy_Crazy Days Of Summer", died of lung cancer on February 15th, 1965 at age 47. In all, he placed 28 songs on Billboard's Top 40. ROUTE 66
Arthur Conley _ who recorded the 1967 hit, "Sweet Soul Music" died on November 17th, 2003 at his home in the town of Ruurlo, in the eastern Netherlands. The 57 year old singer had been suffering from intestinal cancer
Brian Connolly _ vocalist for Sweet, who reached #3 in 1973 with "Little Willy", died of kidney failure on February 10th, 1997 at the age of 52
Sam Cooke _ shot and killed by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles on December 11th, 1964. The manager claimed she acted in self_defence after Cooke raped a 22_year_old woman and then turned to attack her. The shooting was ruled a justifiable homicide. Sam Cooke was one month shy of his 34th birthday. Just couldn't leave that ghetto behind you could you Sam?
Perry Como _ who placed 31 songs in the Billboard Top 40 between 1954 and 1973, including "Catch A Falling Star" and "Hot Diggity", passed away at the age of 88, on May 12th, 2001
Barbara Cowsill _ vocalist for the family band The Cowsills, who scored a Billboard number two hit with "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" in 1967, died of emphysema on January 31st, 1985, at the age of 54
Barry Cowsill _ bass guitarist for The Cowsills, died on or about September 1st, 2005 from injuries believed to be caused by Hurricane Katrina. His body was recovered December 28th, 2005, from the Chartres Street Wharf, New Orleans. He was 51
Bill Cowsill _ lead singer for The Cowsills died February 17th, 2006 at the age of 58. He had been suffering from emphysema, osteoporosis and other ailments. News of his death came just after a memorial ceremony honoring his younger brother, Barry
Floyd Cramer _ pianist who scored a Top Ten hit with "Last Date" passed away at the age of 64 on December 31st 1997
Jim Croce _ singer / songwriter who recorded "Operator" and "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" was killed when his chartered plane snagged a pecan tree during takeoff on September 20th, 1973. He was 30 years old
King Curtis _ legendary session saxophonist who appeared on many hits in the 50's and 60's, including the Coasters' "Yakety Yak", died in a ghetto occurrence in front of his home in New York on August 13th, 1971. He had been arguing with a group of men when one stabbed Curtis in the heart. He was 37
Johnny Cymbal _ had a number 16 hit with "Mr. Bass Man" in 1963, died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 48 on March 16th, 1993. He also had a 1969 hit with "Cinnamon", when he was known as "Derek"
Bobby Darin _ actor and singer whose hits included, "Splish Splash" and "Mack The Knife", died Dec. 20th, 1973 after unsuccessful heart surgery at the age of 37
Sammy Davis Jr. _ placed 8 songs on the Billboard Top 40 including the #1 hit "Candy Man" in 1972, died of throat cancer on May 16th, 1990. He was 64 years old
Skeeter Davis _ who scored two top ten hits in 1963 with "The End Of The World" and "I Can't Stay Mad At You", passed away on September 19th, 2004, after a 16 year battle with cancer. She was 73
Tyrone Davis _ best known for his hits "Turn Back The Hands of Time" and "Can I Change My Mind", died February 9th, 2005 in from complications following a stroke. He was 66
Bobby Day _ known for his 1958 hit "Rockin' Robin," died of cancer on July 27th 1990. He was 60
Bill Deal _ of Bill Deal & the Rhondels died of a massive heart attack at age 59, on December 10th, 2003. Deal and his eight_member group had five chart hits in 1969 and 1970, including "May I", "I've Been Hurt" and "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?"
Desmond Dekker _ Jamaican reggae pioneer, famed for his worldwide hit "The Israelites", died of a heart attack at his home in England, on May 26th, 2006. He was 64
Sandy Denny _ English contemporary folk rocker, died of a brain hemorrhage on April 21st, 1978 at the age of 31
John Denver _ starred in "Oh God" with George Burns and recorded a long string of hits that included "Rocky Mountain High", "Sunshine On My Shoulders" and "Country Roads", was killed when the handmade, experimental airplane he was flying, crashed off the coast of Monterey Bay, CA. on October 12th, 1997. He was 53
Mark Dinning _ whose only hit, "Teen Angel" was banned by many radio stations who called it "a death disc", died of a heart attack on March 22nd, 1986 at the age of 52
Lonnie Donegan _ called "the king of skiffle", best known for the top ten hits, "Rock Island Line" and "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Over Night", died November 3rd 2002, at the age of 71, midway through a UK tour
Lee Dorsey _ scored a pair of Billboard Top Ten hits with "Ya Ya" (#7 in 1961) and "Working In The Coal Mine" (#8 in 1966), died of emphysema on December 1st, 1986, three weeks short of his 62nd birthday.
Kevin DuBrow - Quiet Riot frontman was apparently dead for six days before his body was discovered November 25th, 2007 at his Las Vegas home. DuBrow led Quiet Riot to fame with its 1983 album, Metal Health, which was the first heavy metal record to hit Number One on the Billboard chart.
Ronnie Dyson _ who had a Top Ten hit in 1970 with "Why Can't I Touch You", died of heart failure and lung disease on November 10th, 1990. He was just 40 years old
Linda Eastman _ wife of Paul McCartney and member of Wings, died of breast cancer on April 17th, 1998 at the age of 56
Tommy Edwards _ best remembered for his number one 1958 hit "It's All In The Game" passed away on October 23rd, 1969, at the age of 47 after suffering a brain aneurysm
Duke Ellington _ jazz band leader, died of cancer on May 24th, 1974 at the age of 75
Mama Cass Elliot _ of The Mamas and Papas, died of a heart attack on July 29th, 1974
Brian Epstein _ the manager of The Beatles who took the band from an unknown quartet to being "the most successful rock band in history" in just over two years, died of a drug overdose on August 27th, 1967, three weeks short of his 33rd birthday.
John Alec Entwistle _ Bass guitarplayer for The Who, as well as a songwriter, singer, and horn player. In my opinion one of the greatest bass guitar players in Rock. John battled cocaine addiction through much of his life. He died of a heart attack on June 22 2002 probably related to his cocaine use.
Betty Everett _ best remembered for her 1964 hit, "The Shoop Shoop Song", was found dead at her home in Beloit, Wisconsin on August 19th, 2001. She was 61
Adam Faith _ was one of England's major pop stars in the early 1960s and enjoyed a run of eleven British Top 20 hits prior to the arrival of the Beatles. He suffered a fatal heart attack on March 8th, 2003 at the age of 62
Percy Faith _ led his orchestra to the top of the US chart with "Theme From A Summer Place" in 1960, died of cancer on February 9th, 1976। He was 62
Miss Toni Fisher _ sang the number 3 hit "The Big Hurt" in 1959, died of a heart attck on February 12th, 1999 at age 67
Alan Freed _ disc jockey who is often credited with popularizing the phrase "rock and roll" in the mid 1950s, died of cirrhosis of the liver on Jan. 20th, 1965 at the age of 43
Billy Fury _ British rock_a_billy artist who scored a major hit in Great Britain in 1961 with "Halfway To Paradise".. Billy died from heart and kidney problems on January 27th, 1983 at the age of 42
Bobby Fuller _ 24 year old leader of The Bobby Fuller Four who scored a huge hit with "I Fought The Law", was found on the front seat of his mother's Oldsmobile, parked outside of a Los Angeles apartment building on July 18th, 1966. His death was ruled accidental even though gasoline was found on his body and in his lungs. Apparently the law got even.
Francisco Garcia _ lead singer for Cannibal and the Headhunters on their 1965, Top 30 hit "Land Of 1000 Dances" died on January 21st, 1996, at the age of 49.
Jerry Garcia _ leader of The Grateful Dead, died of a heart attack on August 9th, 1995, at the age of 53. I guess he should have got off that train a little earlier.
Freddie Garrity _ the lead singer of the 1960s pop band Freddie and the Dreamers died on May 19th, 2006, at the age of 65, after receiving treatment for what were described as "circulation problems"
Bruce Gary_ co-founder and the original drummer for the Knack died at age 55. Gary died Tuesday (August 22nd 2006) after a brief illness at the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center in Tarzana, California
Marvin Gaye _ shot and killed by his father during a family dispute, April 1st, 1984, one day short of age 45. A tremendous talent died a ghetto death.
Samuel George Jr. _ lead singer of the Capitols, who had a 1966 hit with "Cool Jerk", died in Detroit after being stabbed with a knife during a family argument on March 17th, 1982. He was 39 years old. Another ghetto death.
Andy Gibb _ solo artist and brother of The Bee Gees died at the age of 30, on March 10th, 1988 of an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a viral infection.
Maurice Gibb _ of The Bee Gees, brother of Barry Gibb and twin of Robin Gibb, died on January 12th, 2003 of a heart attack, following an operation for the removal of an intestinal blockage. He was 53.
Don Gibson _ Country artist who crossed over to the Pop chart with four tunes including "Oh, Lonesome Me" in 1958, died on November 17th, 2003, at the age of 75.
John Fred Gourrier _ who led John Fred and his Playboy Band to Billboard's #1 spot in December 1967 with "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" _ died April 15th, 2005, after a long bout with kidney disease. He was 63
Paul Grey _ Slip Knot bass player died March 25, 2010 at the age of 38 due to an over dose of Heroin and Fentanyl. Before I forget:
Bill Graham _ rock promoter who owned the legendary Fillmore theaters in San Francisco and New York was killed in a helicopter crash on October 26th, 1991. He was 60 years old .
Kelly Groucutt_ former bass player and vocalist with 1970s ELO, died of a heart attack Febtuary 19 2009 at 63. Kelly was a member of a band called "Sight and Sound" before joining ELO in 1974 for the Eldorado tour.
Billy Guy _ of The Coasters ("Charlie Brown", "Yakety Yak") died of a heart attack on November 5th, 2002. He was 66 .
The Duck (Richard Andrew Hackworth) - Died 7-18-2004 in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S. - Illness ( Country ) Born 1946 in Ashland, KY, U.S. - Drummer - Worked with The Charlie Daniel's Band, David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck and Ron Harris And The Knott Brothers.
Bill Haley _ who helped start the early 50's rock and roll movement, died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on February 9th, 1981 at age 55.
T. Scot Halpin,Feb. 3, 1954 — Feb. 9, 2008 The drummer who at the age of 19 performed with the Who at a 1973 concert in San Francisco after Keith Moon fell ill after a drug overdose, has died at age 54 of undisclosed causes. Halpin was an artist and musician, and split his time between San Francisco and Bloomington, Indiana. He is survived by his wife and son. He was an artist, musician and former member of Carlyn Lindsey & Snakedoctor billed as a six-piece blues and R&B dance band. Jukebox Hero by Foreigner always reminded me of Scot's story for some reason.
Peter Ham _ singer / guitarist for Badfinger, committed suicide on April 23rd, 1975. He was reported to be deeply depressed by financial problems the group was having. He was 27 years old.
Dan Hamilton _ of the soft rock trio Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, suffered a stroke and died on December 23rd, 1994.
Tim Hardin _ singer / songwriter who is best remembered for "Bird on a Wire" died of a drug overdose on December 29th, 1980. He was 39
Slim Harpo _ sang the 1966 hit "Baby, Scratch My Back", suffered a fatal heart attack on January 31st, 1970 at the age of 46.
Addie "Micki" Harris _ of The Shirelles, died of a heart attack after a performance in Atlanta, Georgia on June 10th, 1982. She was 42
Richard Harris _ actor / singer who took "MacArthur Park" to number 2 in the US in 1968, died of cancer on October 25th, 2002. He was 72
Thurston Harris _ recorded the Top Ten hit "Litle Bitty Pretty One" in 1957, died of a heart attack on April 14th, 1990 at the age of 58
George Harrison _ The Beatles' lead guitarist lost his battle with cancer at the age of 58, on November 29th, 2001.
Wilbert Harrison _ who scored a 1959 chart_topper with "Kansas City", died of a stroke on October 26th, 1994 at the age of 65,
Alex Harvey _ leader of the 1970s glam rockers, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, died on the eve of his 47th birthday, February 4th, 1982, after suffering two heart attacks.
Bobby Hatfield _ of The Righteous Brothers, died November 5th, 2003, at the age of 63. His was the voice that was featured on the 1965 hit, "Unchained Melody".
Donny Hathaway _ who achieved his greatest commercial success as Roberta Flack's duet partner on 1972's R&B chart topper, "Where Is the Love?" He was found dead on the sidewalk below the 15th_floor window of his New York apartment, a victim of an apparent suicide at the age of 33.
Screamin' Jay Hawkins _ died of a haemorrhage in a Paris hospital on February 12th, 2000, at the age of 70. He is most often remembered for his 1956, US Top 40 hit "I Put a Spell on You", which has been selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. I have a mental picture of Hawkins dressed as a witch doctor shaking a spear at a flabergasted straight 50's audience that just won't go away.
Bobby Helms _ best known for his perennial Christmas hit, "Jingle Bell Rock", died of emphysema at his home in Martinsville, Indiana on June 19th, 1997. He was 63.
Jimi Hendrix _ died September 18th, 1970 from what the coroner's report called 'inhalation of vomit after barbiturate intoxication'. He was 27. It's a dirty shame that such a great guitarist died for nothing.
Jim Henson _ the creator of The Muppets, scored two US Top 30 hits with "Rubber Duckie" in 1970 and "Rainbow Connection" in 1979, died of a sudden virus on May 16th, 1990, at the age of 53. Just take an asprin you'l feel better in the morning.
Bob "The Bear" Hite _ vocalist for Canned Heat, died of a heart attack in Venice, California on April 6th, 1981. The 36 year old weighed nearly 300 pounds at the time of his death.
Buddy Holly _ died when his chartered plane crashed shortly after takeoff on February 3rd, 1959.
John Lee Hooker _ a legendary blues pioneer who had recorded an estimated 100 albums, died of natural causes at his Los Altos home, June 21st, 2001 at the age of 83.
Johnny Horton _ country singer who hit the Billboard Pop chart with "The Battle Of New Orleans" (#1), "Sink The Bismarck" (#3) and "North To Alaska" (#4) died in a car accident on November 5th, 1960. He was just 35.
Gene Hughes _ lead singer of The Casino's on their #6, 1967 hit, "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", passed away February 3rd, 2004, just one week before a fundraising concert was to be held in Nashville to help pay for his medical and hospital expenses. He was 67 years old
Glen Hughes _ the moustachioed, leather_clad biker of The Village People, died of lung cancer on March 4th, 2001.
Ivory Joe Hunter _ died on November 8th, 1973 of lung cancer at the age of 60. Hunter was best known for his R&B hits, "Since I Lost You Baby", "I Almost Lost My Mind" and "I Need You So".
Michael Jackson_ Was pronounced dead June 25, 2009 at UCLA Medical Center after collapsing at his home. At the time of this writing an investigation is underway to determine if Jackson died as a result of taking the analgesic drug Propofol.
Jackson began performing as a child with the Jackson Five and went on to be the self styled "King of pop". He made as many as a hundred albums and had at least 13 hit singles.
Mahilia Jackson_ Not a rocker but a great singer none the less Jackson died in Chicago on January 27, 1972, of heart failure and diabetes at the age of 59. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1978 STEAL AWAY
Rick James _ most often remembered for the 1981 #16 hit "Super Freak", died of natural causes on August 6th, 2004, at the age of 56.
Waylon Jennings _ a member of Buddy Holly's band who gave up his plane seat to The Big Bopper just moments before their doomed flight took off. He went on to become a major Country star and died of diabetes on February 13th, 2002. He was 64.
Barbara Lee Jones _ of the mid_60s girl group, The Chiffons, ("He's So Fine") died of a heart attack on May 15th, 1992. She was 44
Brian Jones _ the original lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones, drowned in his swimming pool on July 3rd, 1969.
Joe Jones _ a musician_turned producer who sang the 1961 Billboard #3 hit "You Talk Too Much" and went on to become an independent music publisher ,died on November 27 th, 2005. He was 79.
Janis Joplin _ died on October 4th, 1970 from an overdose of heroin at age 27. It’s a shame when you think what she might have done.
Terry Kath _ guitarist with Chicago, "accidentally" shot and killed himself with a pistol on January 23rd, 1978. He was 32.
Ernie K_Doe _ remembered for his 1961 novelty hit, "Mother_In_Law", died of liver failure on July 5th, 2001 at the age of 65.
Murray "The K" Kaufman _ pioneer rock and roll disc jockey, died of cancer at the age of 60 on February 21st, 1982.
Eddie Kendricks _ formerly of the Temptations before launching a solo career, died of lung cancer on October 5th, 1992, at the age of 52
Chris Kenner _ who reached number two in the US in 1961 with "I Like It Like That", suffered a fatal heart attack on January 28th, at the age of 57.
Terry Knight _ who fronted the Michigan based Terry Knight and The Pack ("I, Who Have Nothing") before going on to manage Grand Funk Railroad, was stabbed to death at his Temple, Texas home during a domestic dispute on November 1st, 2004. He was 61. Police charged his daughter's boyfriend with murder.
Buddy Knox _ best remembered for his 1957 hit, "Party Doll", died of cancer on February 14th, 1999, at the age of 65.
Cub Koda _ the leader of Brownsville Station and composer of their hit "Smokin' in the Boys Room", died from complications arising from kidney dialysis on July 1st, 2000, at the age of 51
Paul Kossoff _ of the rock band "Free", died of heart failure while sleeping during a flight across the U.S. on March 19th, 1976. The 26 year old had played guitar on the group's biggest hit "All Right Now"
Phil Kramer _ who took Lee Dorman's place when Iron Butterfly re_formed in 1975, was found in a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, on May 31st, 1999, over four years after he called a police to say he was going to commit suicide. At the time of his death, he was 42.
Hilly Kristal, founder of the well known New York City club CBGB, died on Tuesday (August 28th) of complications from lung cancer. According to the press release, Kristal was 75 years old. Kristal founded the tiny downtown club in 1973 and ran it for 33 years until an extended battle over the lease finally shut it down in October 2006.
John Kuca, Luray Hodder-Kuca _ died September 6, 2007 After sending emails to friends. They apparently routed exhaust from their 1966 hearse to a sealed room where they and their young daughter died. Luray had apparently been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Kuca recorded a CD as the guitarist in Mabry Hood -- an early '90s grunge band. They both played with Vertigo Butterfly at the time of their deaths.
Major Lance _ who had many hits on the R&B charts as well as placing "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" and "Monkey Time" on the Pop charts, died of heart failure on September 3rd, 1994 at the age of 55
Ronnie Lane _ of The Small Faces, died from multiple sclerosis on June 4th 1997. He was 51
Nicolette Larson _ most often remembered for her 1978, number 8 US hit, "Lotta Love", died on December 16th, 1997 after suffering massive liver failure. She was 45
Peggy Lee _ jazz vocalist who reached the Pop charts with "Fever" and "Is That All There Is", died of a heart attack on January 21st, 2002 at the age of 81.
John Lennon _ murdered by Mark David Chapman , December 8th 1980. He was 40 years old.
Rudy Lewis _ lead singer of The Drifters on their hits "On Broadway" and "Up On The Roof", died under mysterious circumstances on May 20th, 1964, the night before the group was set to record "Under the Boardwalk". He was 28 years old.
Frankie Lymon _ who led the 1950's doo_wop group 'The Teenagers' to fame with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", was found dead of a drug overdose in a friend's apartment in Harlem on February 28th, 1968. He was 25 years old.
Phil Lynott _ bassist for Thin Lizzy, lost his battle with drugs and died of heart failure and pneumonia on January 4th, 1986 at the age of 34.
Byron MacGregor _ whose spoken word rendition of "The Americans" became a Billboard number four hit in January 1974, passed away on January 3rd, 1995, at the age of 46.
Richard Manuel _ of "The Band", hanged himself in his hotel room on March 4th, 1986, after a performance in Florida. He was 56
Bob Marley _ King of Reggae, died of melanoma, (skin cancer) that metastasized to his lungs and brain, on May 11th, 1981, at the age of 36
Steve Marriott _ formerly of The Small Faces and Humble Pie, was killed in a fire at his home in April 20th 1991. He was 44
Dean Martin _ recorded such standards as "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime", died at the age of 78, on December 25th, 1995 of acute respiratory failure
Dino Martin Jr. _ of Dino, Desi and Billy, was the son of crooner Dean Martin, died when the Air National Guard jet he was piloting crashed into a mountain on March 21st, 1987. He was 35.
Nick Massi _ of the Four Seasons died of cancer on December 24th, 2000. He was 73.
Curtis Mayfield _ best known for his early 1970s hits, "Freddie’s Dead" and "Superfly" passed away on December 26th, 1999 at the age of 55.
Van McCoy _ who had a number one disco hit with "Do The Hustle", died of a heart attack at the age of 39, on July 6th 1979.
Jimmy McCulloch _ guitarist for Wings and Thunderclap Newman, died of heart failure on September 28th, 1979. He was 26.
Ron McKernan _ the original keyboard player for The Grateful Dead, died March 16, 1973 after a long battle with cirrhosis of the liver.
Clyde McPhatter _ died of a heart attack on June 13th, 1972 at the age of 39. He had been the original lead singer with The Drifters before solo hits like "A Lover’s Question" and "Lover Please".
Harold Melvin _ leader of the Philadelphia soul group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died of heart related problems on March 24th, 1997 at age 57. The group is best remembered for the hit, "If You Don't Know Me By Now"
Freddie Mercury _ lead singer of Queen died of AIDS on November 24 th, 1991 at age 45 .
Roger Miller _ who rose to fame in the mid 1960's with hits like "King Of The Road" and "Dang Me" died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California, on October 25th, 1992, at the age of 56
Guy Mitchell _ who scored two number one U.S. hits with "You Got Me Singing The Blues" in 1956 and "Heartaches By The Number" in 1959, died on July 1st, 1999 at the age of 72, from complications following surgery
Domenico Modugno _ the Italian singer whose recording of "Volare" topped the North American charts in 1958, died of a heart attack near his home on the island of Lampedusa on August 6th, 1994. He was 66
Keith Moon _ drummer for The Who, died of an overdose of the sedative Heminevrin on September 7th, 1978, at the age of 31
Johnny Moore _ lead singer for The Drifters on their 1960s hit "Under The Boardwalk" died Dec. 30th, 1998, at the age of 64
Jim Morrison _ lead singer of the Doors, died July 3rd 1971. The 27_year_old was found dead in his bathtub. Speculation abounded as to the exact cause of death, but no autopsy was performed. His 27 year old widow, Pamela, died of a heroin overdose in April, 1974. They were both too young to die!
Rick Nelson _ scored a string of hits in the late 1950's including "Hello Mary Lou", "Poor Little Fool" and "Travelin' Man", was killed on December 31st, 1985, when his private plane crashed. He was 45.
Harry Nilsson _ remembered for "Everybody's Talkin' At Me", died in his sleep of heart failure on January 15th, 1994, at 53.
Nervous Norvus _ whose real name was James Drake, reached #8 in 1956 with a novelty tune about bloody accidents called "Transfusion". Died of liver failure on July 24th, 1968 at the age of 56
Roy Orbison _ one of classic rock's greatest voices was silenced when the 52 yr old Orbison died of a heart attack the night of December 6th, 1988
Phil Ochs _ 1960s singer/songwriter who concentrated on topical, folk and protest style songs, suffered from manic_depression and hanged himself on April 9th, 1976, at the age of 35
Oliver _ singer of "Jean" and "Good Mornin' Starshine" died of cancer at the age of 54, February 13th, 2000
Bruce Palmer _ bassist for Buffalo Springfield on their classic protest song "For What It's Worth", died on October 11th, 2004 of an apparent heart attack. He was 58
Robert Palmer _ reached number 14 in the US in 1979 with "Bad Case Of Loving You", died of a heart attack at the age of 54 on September 26th, 2003.
Gram Parsons _ one time member of The Byrds & The Flying Burrito Brothers, he became a cult figure that influenced countless musicians. Parsons was found dead at Joshua Tree, Ca. Sept 19th, 1973 of an alcohol and drug overdose at the age of 27.
Carl Perkins _ writer of Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes" and a pioneer rock_a_billy guitarist, died on January 19th, 1998 at the age of 65 after a long series of illness.
Ray Peterson _ who scored a pair of US Top Ten hits with "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Corinna, Corinna" in 1960, died of cancer on January 25th, 2005, at the age of 69.
Lonesome Dave Peverett _ lead singer with Savoy Brown and Foghat, suffered from cancer and died of from pneumonia on February 7th, 2000, at the age of 56.
John Phillips _ leader of The Mamas and Papas died of heart failure on March 18th, 2001 at the age of 65.
Sam Phillips _ the man who discovered Elvis Presley and owner of the legendary Sun Records, passed away July 30th, 2003, at the age of 80. Phillips also helped launch the careers of Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Conway Twitty and Jerry Lee Lewis. He sold Elvis' contract to RCA in November, 1955, for $40,000. Sam was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Wilson Pickett _ suffered a fatal heart attack on January 19th, 2006. During his career, he placed 16 hits on Billboard's Pop chart, including "Land Of 1000 Dances" (#6) and "Funky Broadway" (#8).
Lester William Polfus _ Famous for his electric guitars known as Les Paul died 8/13/2009 at 94 of complications from pneumonia.
Gene Pitney _ who had a string of hits in the early and mid_sixties, including " The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (#4), "Only Love Can Break A Heart" (#2) and "It Hurts To Be In Love" (#7), was found dead on April 5th, 2006, at the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff, Wales. He was 65.
I saw Lynard Skynard several times over the years. I was always amazed at how they were able to keep that "Skynard" sound. So long Billy we will miss you!
Dave Prater _ of the soul duo Sam and Dave, was killed in a car accident in Georgia on April 9th, 1988. He was 50 years old.
Elvis Presley _ the King of Rock and Roll, died of heart failure at his Graceland mansion on August 16th, 1977. Although the official cause of death was heart failure Elvis had a large amount of drugs in his stomach at the time of his death.
Billy Preston _ keyboardist who had a series of hit singles in the 1970s, including "Will It Go 'Round In Circles" and "Nothing From Nothing", passed away on June 6th, 2006, at the age of 59.
Barry Pritchard _ vocalist and guitarist for The Fortunes, died of heart failure on January 12th, 1999. The group reached the Billboard Top 20 with "You've Got Your Troubles" in 1965 and "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" in 1971.
Eddie Rabbitt _ country star whose hits included "I Love A Rainy Night" and "Drivin' My Life Away", died on May 7th, 1998 of lung cancer at the age of 56.
Dee Dee Ramone _ bassist for the 70s punk rock band The Ramones died from a drug overdose on June 7th, 2002. His real name is Douglas Colvin.
Johnny Ramone _ co_founder of The Ramones, passed away September 15th, 2004 after a five year battle with prostrate cancer. The 55 year old guitarist's real name is John Cummings
Joey Ramone _ singer for The Ramones, died of lymphatic cancer at the age of 49 on April 15th, 2001. His real name is Jeff Hyman.
Danny Rapp _ of Danny and The Juniors, scored two 1957 hits with "At The Hop" and "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay", died of a self inflicted gunshot wound on April 4th, 1983. He was 41.
Lou Rawls _ passed away on January 6th, 2006, at the age of 72, after a long battle with cancer. He placed six songs on the Billboard Top 40 Pop chart, including the number two hit, "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" in 1976.
Noel Redding _ the bass player with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, died May 11th, 2003 of natural causes. He was 57.
Otis Redding _ was killed in a plane crash in December 10th, 1967. Four members of his backup band, The Bar_Kays were also killed.
Keith Relf _ former lead singer for The Yardbirds, was electrocuted on May 14th, 1976, while tuning his guitar at home. He was 33 years old.
Jim Reeves _ Country artist who reached the Pop charts four times, including the #2 hit, "He'll Have To Go" in 1960, was killed in a plane crash on July 31st, 1964. He was 40 years old.
Buddy Rich _ often called the world's best drummer, died of a brain tumour on April 2nd, 1987 at the age of 69.
Charlie Rich _ started out as a song writer for Sam Phillips' Sun Records before becoming a country star and later crossed over to the Pop charts with two big 1973 hits, "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl". He developed a blood clot in his lung and died July 25th, 1995, at the age of 62.
J.P. Richardson _ known as The Big Bopper on his hit "Chantilly Lace", died in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens on February 3rd, 1959.
Minnie Riperton _ died of breast cancer on July 12th, 1979 at the age of 31, four years after her number 1 hit, "Lovin’ You". She had also been a member of Stevie Wonder's backup group, Wonderlove.
Marty Robbins _ Country singer who put 13 songs on the Billboard Pop chart including the 1959, #1 smash "El Paso", died following a heart attack on December 8th, 1982. He was 57.
David Ruffin _ former lead singer of the Temptations died of an overdose of crack cocaine on June 1st, 1991 at the age of 50.
Doug Sahm _ leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet, succumbed to a heart attack November 18th, 1999, just days shy of his 58th birthday. The band had three Billboard Top 40 hits with "She's About A Mover" (#13 in 1965), "The Rains Came" (#31 in 1966) and "Mendocino" (#27 in 1969).
Kyu Sakamoto _ the first Japanese artist to have a number one hit in the United States with "Sukiyaki" (June 1963), was killed in a Tokyo airplane crash on August 12th, 1985. He was 43.
Walter Scott _ lead singer of Bob Kuban & the In_Men, who scored a 1966 hit with "The Cheater", was reported missing shortly after Christmas, 1983. His body however, wasn't found until 1987, floating in a cistern with a gunshot wound to the back. A neighbour named Jim Williams, who had starting dating Scott's wife Joanne shortly after the disappearance, was found guilty of murder. Joanne Scott was sentenced to five years for hindering the investigation. Do any of you remember hearing him on the Admiral while floating on the Mississippi?
Del Shannon _ A tremenous singer, writer and guitar player. Born Charles Weedon Westover. Signed by Big Top Records based in New York. Shannon recorded "Runaway," which skyrocketed to the top of the charts within weeks after release and brought Shannon to instant star-status in the spring of 1961. Died of a self inflicted gun shot wound on February 8th, 1990 at age 55.
James "Shep" Sheppard _ of Shep and The Limelites, was found murdered in his car on the Long Island Expressway on January 24th, 1970 after being robbed and beaten. The group is best remembered for their 1961 hit, "Daddy's Home"
Allan Sherman _ recorded the comedy tune, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh", died of respiratory ailments at the age of 48 on November 21st, 1973
Frank Sinatra _ died of natural causes May 14th 1998 at the age of 83
The Singing Nun _ whose given name was Jeanine Deckers, committed suicide on March 23rd 1985 after the center for autistic children in Belgium that she helped to found had closed due to lack of funds. Her 1963 hit "Dominique" went to number one in the U.S. and sold over 1.5 million copies, winning a Grammy Award for the year's best gospel song. At the time of her death, she was 52 years old
O.C. Smith _ best remembered for "Little Green Apples" and "Hickory Hollar's Tramp" died in his sleep on November 24th, 2001 at age 65
Sammi Smith _ best known for the 1971, Billboard number 8 hit, "Help Me Make It Through the Night", died February 12th, 2005 at the age of 61. She won a Grammy award for her rendition of the song written by Kris Kristofferson, establishing him as a leading Nashville songwriter.
Jimmy Soul _ whose real name was James McCleese, hit #1 in 1963 with the novelty tune "If You Wanna Be Happy", died of a heart attack on June 25th, 1988. He was 45
Dusty Springfield _ who scored a Top Ten U.S. hit with "I Only Want To Be With You" in 1963, died March 2nd, 1999, at the age of 59 after a five year battle with cancer
Dick St. John _ half of the singing team of Dick & DeeDee, who recorded such hits as "The Mountain's High" (1961), "Young And In Love" (1963) and "Thou Shalt Not Steal" (1965), died on December 27th, 2003, from complications suffered in a fall from the roof of his home two weeks earlier. The 63 year old singer had continued to record and performed regularly until his death
Edwin Starr _ soul singer who had hits with "War", "Agent Double_O Soul" and "Twenty_five Miles", died of a heart attack on April 1st, 2003 at the age of 61
Terry Stafford _ whose Elvis_like voice help make a hit out of "Suspicion" in 1964, died March 17th 1996 at age 54
B.W. Stevenson _ who had a 1973 hit with "My Maria", died after heart surgery on April 28th, 1988, at the age of 38. The "B.W." reportedly stood for "Buckwheat"
Rory Storm _ who led The Hurricanes, the group that Ringo Starr quit to join the Beatles, died of an overdose of sleeping pills on September 27th, 1972
Joe Strummer _ lead singer for the landmark British punk band The Clash, suffered a fatal heart attack on December 22nd, 2002, at the age of 50
Jud Strunk _ comedian and singer/songwriter who appeared on Rowan and Martin's Laugh_In and scored a number 14 hit with "Daisy A Day" in 1973, died in a small plane crash in Maine on October 5th 1981. He was 45
David 'Screaming Lord' Sutch _ British shock_rocker was found hanged at his London home, apparently committed suicide on June 17th, 1999, at the age of 58
Stuart Sutcliffe _ played bass guitar for The Beatles before Paul McCartney took over in 1961. After leaving the group, he died on April 10th, 1962 of a brain haemorrhage in Hamburg, Germany. Sutcliffe was in his 22nd year
Niki Sullivan _ one of Buddy Holly's original Cricketts, died on April 6th, 2004 at the age of 66. He joined Holly in 1956 and played on most of the hit songs the band recorded. The hassel of touring forced him to drop out in 1957
Edmund Sylvers _ lead singer of the Sylvers on their 1975 number one hit, "Boogie Fever", died on March 11th, 2004, after a ten month battle with cancer. He was only 47 years old
Johnnie Taylor _ best remembered for his 1968 hit, "Who's Makin' Love To Your Old Lady?" died of a heart attack on May 31st, 2000, shortly after his 62nd birthday
Tammi Terrell _ sang many duets with Marvin Gaye, died of a brain tumour on the 16th of March, 1970, at the age of 24
Joe Tex _ soul singer whose hits included "I Gotcha" and "Skinny Legs and All" died of a heart attack, August 12th, 1982 at the age of 49
Sonny Til _ lead singer of The Orioles died of a heart attack on December 9th, 1981 at the age of 51. His group had a hit with "Crying In The Chapel" in 1959
Tiny Timm _ who reached number 17 in 1968 with "Tip_Toe Thru' The Tulips", had a heart attack while on stage and died shortly after on November 30th, 1996 at age 63. In 70's Tiny Tim came to St Louis. Some friends were involved with his tour. I sort of hoped that Tim's performance was just an act and pictured him as a party animal banging the groupies and tearing down the walls of his hotel room. Unfortunately they said he was just as weird off stage as when he performed.
Mel Tormé _ passed away on June 5th 1999, at the age of 73, from complications caused by a stroke
Ed Townsend _ who scored a #13 hit with "For Your Love" in 1958, died of heart failure on August 13th, 2003, at the age of 74
Mary Allin Travers _ Singer song writer and member of probably the world's most famous folk group Peter Paul and Mary died September 16, 2009
Doris Troy _ the big voiced singer of the 1963 hit "Just One Look", died of emphysema on February 16th, 2004 at the age of 67
Conway Twitty _ had an early pop hit with "It's Only Make Believe", died of a heart attack after stomach surgery in Springfield, Missouri, June 5th, 1993
Gary Twain_ Bassist for Uriah Heep died December 8 1975 at 27, apparently due to respiratory failure due to a herion OD. Twain was a member of the trio New Nadir. They split in 1969. He join the Keef Harley band that toured with Uriah Heep who asked him to join in 1972, he played with the band until 1975. Twain played on several Uriah Heep albums: Demons & wizards, The magicians Birthday, Sweet Freedom, Wonder World and Uriah Heep Live. During his last tour with Uriah Heep Thain suffered an electric shock and was seriously injured at the Moody Coliseum in 1974. I enjoyed much of Heep's work. I believe Thain added a lot to their sound and regret that drugs took this talented artist from us at such an early age. STEALIN THE WIZARD
Rob Tyner _ lead singer of the MC5, died of heart failure at the age of 46, on September 18th, 1991
Gary Usher _ led the studio group The Hondells to the Top 10 in 1964 with "Little Honda", died of cancer on May 25th, 1990. He was 51
Ritchie Valens _ singer of "Oh Donna" and "La Bamba", died in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson on February 3rd, 1959
Luther Vandross _ the silky smooth voiced R&B singer died on July 1st, 2005 at the age of 54, two years after suffering a major stroke.
Randy VanWarmer _ who reached #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1979 with "Just When I Needed You Most" died of leukemia on January 12th, 2004, at the age of 48
Ronnie Van Zant _ member of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose single "Sweet Home Alabama" reached number 8 in 1974, died with several other band members in a small plane crash on October 20th, 1977. He was just 29
Stevie Ray Vaughan _ blues guitarist whose highly charged and expressive guitar solos turned a new generation on to Chicago style blues in the 1980s, was killed on August 27th, 1990, when the helicopter he was taking from a gig in East Troy, Wisconsin to a show in Chicago, crashed in dense fog, killing everyone on board. Vaughn was 35 years old. I'll never forget the day Stevie died. I had box seats to see him and Eric Clapton at the old Arena in St. Louis the next day. Eric went on without him you could tell he was sad as we all were.
Sid Vicious _ bassist for the punk rock group the Sex Pistols, died from an accumulation of fluid on the lungs, characteristic of heroin abuse, on February 2nd, 1979. He was just 21 years old .
Gene Vincent _ recorded "Be_Bop_A_Lula" in 1957, died at the age of 36 following a seizure brought on by a bleeding ulcer on October 12th, 1971 at his parent's California home. Sadly, no one in his family had any money and the city of Los Angeles had to bury him.
Junior Walker _ leader of the All_Stars on "Shotgun", "What Does It Take" and "Roadrunner", died of cancer on Nov 23rd, 1995 at the age of 64
Clint Warwick _ the original bass player for The Moody Blues died from liver disease on May 18th, 2004 at the age of 63. Clint left the band in 1966 after playing on their only number one hit, "Go Now"
Muddy Waters _ blues guitarist whose real name was McKinley Morganfield, died of a heart attack at the age of 68 on April 30th, 1983
Mary Wells _ known for her hits "My Guy" and "You Beat Me To The Punch," died of cancer at age 49 on July 26th, 1992
Barry White _ known for his lush baritone voice and lyrics that oozed sex appeal on the hits "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love" and "You're The First, The Last, My Everything", died following kidney failure on Thursday, July 4th, 2003, at the age of 58
Rick "Tim Tam" Wiesend _ lead singer of Tim Tam and the Turn_Ons, died of cancer on October 22nd, 2003 at the age of 60. The band's only U.S. chart appearance was "Wait A Minute" in 1966
Leon Wilkeson _ bassist for the 70's southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd was found dead on July 27th, 2001 in a Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida hotel room. Allegedly suffering from chronic liver and lung disease, the actual cause of death was deemed "from natural causes". He was 49.
Flemming Williams _ lead singer for The Hues Corporation on their 1974 hit "Rock The Boat", died of drug related causes in September, 1992
Larry Williams _ had hit songs with "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Bony Maronie", was found dead on January 7th, 1980 at his Los Angeles home of a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner called the death a suicide, but rumours persisted for years after his death that he was murdered because of his involvement in drugs and crime.
Paul Williams _ of The Temptaions, died of a self inflicted gunshot wound on August 17th, 1973 at the age of 34. Williams had left the Temptations in 1971 because of poor health.
Tony Williams _ of The Platters died of emphysema at the age of 64 on August 14th, 1992. He sang most of the group’s hits up until 1961 when he was replaced by Sonny Turner.
Wendy O. Williams _ lead singer of the late 70s / early 80s punk band The Plasmatics, died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head on April 6th, 1998. She was 48
Al Wilson _ vocalist and harmonica player for Canned Heat on their hits "On The Road Again" and "Going Up The Country", committed suicide on September 3rd, 1970, in Topanga Canyon, California, when it turned out that he couldn't save a redwood forest from being cut by a timber company. He was 27. I liked Canned Heat. I still think this is a pretty stupid reason to kill yourself.
Carl Wilson _ lead guitar player of The Beach Boys, died of cancer, with his family at his bedside on February 7th, 1998. He was 51
Dennis Wilson _ drummer for The Beach Boys, jumped over board from his yacht at Marina Del Ray Harbour in Los Angeles and drowned, on Dec. 28th, 1983. He was 39
J. Frank Wilson _ One of rock's eeriest stories began on October 23rd, 1964. While his teenaged death song, "Last Kiss" was in the US Top Ten, Wilson, his bandmates and the record's producer, Sonley Roush, were involved in a head_on collision that killed Roush. Wilson never recorded a hit song again and died in a nursing home on October 4th, 1991, a few months shy of his fiftieth birthday.
Jackie Wilson _ passed away on January 21st, 1984, in Mount Holly, NJ, at Burlington County Memorial Hospital, at the age of 49. He had suffered a heart attack while singing "Lonely Teardrops" at the Latin Casino in New Jersey during a performance in 1975 and hit his head in the fall. Wilson suffered brain damage and required permanent care the rest of his life.
Al Wilson_ the soul singer and songwriter who had a number of 1970s hits including "Show and Tell," died April 22, 2008. He was 68.
Ron Wilson _ The Surfaris' drummer who recorded rock and roll's most influential drum solo, "Wipe Out", died of a brain aneurysm on May 19th, 1989, at the age of 49.
Wolfman Jack _ the disc jockey featured in the movie "American Graffiti", died of a heart attack on July 1st, 1995 at the age of 57. He walked up the driveway of his home, went inside to hug his wife and collapsed. The Wolfman's real name was Bob Smith.
Sheb Wooley _ best remembered for his 1958 #1 tune, "The Purple People Eater", died of leukemia on September 16th, 2003, at the age of 82. He charted a total of nine times, with many of his hits being parodies of other popular songs. As an actor, he appeared in more than 60 films, including "High Noon" and "Giant." He also appeared as Pete Nolan in the U.S. television series "Rawhide"
Link Wray _ the electric guitar innovator who is often credited as the father of the power chord, died at his home in Copenhagen on November 5th, 2005, of natural causes. He was seventy_six. His 1959 instrumental, "Rumble" was banned by many radio stations, even thought it had no lyrics what so ever. Listen to Rumble sometime and ask yourself "Why in the hell did they ban this?"
Syreeta Wright _ who teamed up with Billy Preston on the 1980, number 1 US hit "With You I'm Born Again", passed away on July 6th, 2004 after a two_year battle with bone cancer. She was 58
Philippe Wynne _ former lead singer of the Spinners, suffered a fatal heart attack while on stage in Oakland California on July 14th, 1984. He was 43
Zal Yanovsky _ guitarist for The Lovin' Spoonful, suffered a fatal heart attack on December 13th, 2002 at his Kingston, Ontario, Canada farm. He was 58
Faron Young _ who reached number 12 on the US pop chart in 1961 with the country cross_over hit "Hello Walls", died of a self_inflicted gunshot wound on December 10th, 1996, at the age of 64
Timi Yuro _ was just 18 years old when she reached #4 on the US charts in 1961 with a song called "Hurt", succumbed to brain cancer March 30th, 2004. She was 62
Frank Zappa _ died of prostate cancer on December 4th, 1993 at the age of 52
Warren Zevon _ singer / songwriter best remembered for his 1978 breakthrough album "Excitable Boy", which contained his only hit single, "Werewolves Of London", died of lung cancer on September 7th, 2003 at the age of 56
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