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Musicians Who Died in 2013

by Legacy Staff

In 2013, the music world saw many losses: musicians representing a wide variety of genres, from rock to reggae, classical to country, blues to Bollywood and beyond. They made our lives more beautiful with the music they created, and they are deeply missed. Here are some of the stars of the music world who died in 2013.

Jewel Akens

Jewel Akens (1933–2013) was a pop singer who made it big with his 1965 hit, “The Birds and the Bees.” Akens was in a group called the Turnarounds when they were offered a song that talked about “the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above—and a thing called love.” Other members disliked it so Akens recorded it solo. The song was No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart in 1965 and was later covered by Dean Martin and others.

Chrissy Amphlett (1959–2013) was the lead singer of Australian rock band the Divinyls, whose raunchy 1991 hit “I Touch Myself” climbed to No. 4 in the U.S.


Patty Andrews (1918–2013) was the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters, darlings of the World War II-era music scene. Their tight harmonies and lively dancing won the hearts of service members and civilians alike. The enduring hits of the Andrews Sisters include ” Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” and “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time.” Patty Andrews was the youngest of the three sisters and was known as “the sister in the middle,” performing flanked by sisters LaVerne and Maxene. She was the lead singer and the group’s “chief clown,” often taking advantage of a break in the lyrics to perform a devastating jitterbug.

Kevin Ayers (1944–2013) was a singer-songwriter who co-founded the influential 1960s band Soft Machine.

Bruno Bartoletti (1926–2013) was an orchestra conductor who worked with the Lyric Opera of Chicago for more than 50 years.

Shamshad Begum (1919–2013) was a legendary Indian singer whose voice can be heard in many musical numbers from Bollywood movies.

Bobby “Blue” Bland (1930–2013) earned the nickname “the Sinatra of the blues” for his smooth vocals and his lavishly arranged music. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree got his start working with blues great B.B. King and Junior Parker in Memphis’s thriving Beale Street blues scene, with a stop along the way to record with Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. He hit the big time with top singles like 1957’s “Farther Up the Road” and 1961’s “I Pity the Fool,” both No. 1 rhythm-and-blues hits. Bland’s nickname “Blue” stemmed from his tendency to write heartbreaking songs of love lost.

Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner (1943–2013) helped keep the 1970s funky as the frontman for the Ohio Players.

Jon Brookes was the drummer for English indie rock band the Charlatans.

Cedric Brooks (1943–2013) was a Jamaican saxophone player and influential roots reggae musician.

Clarence Burke Jr.

Clarence Burke Jr. was the lead singer for the Five Stairsteps, who performed the 1970 hit “O-o-h Child.” The Five Stairsteps—four brothers and a sister—formed in Chicago in the mid-1960s, having learned to play instruments and sing from their father, Clarence Sr., a police officer, and their mother, Betty. They were once called “the first family of soul,” a moniker later adopted by the Jackson 5.

Clive Burr (1957–2013) was the drummer for Iron Maiden and played on their first three albums, including on the hit “Run to the Hills.”

Donald Byrd (1932–2013) was a leading jazz trumpeter in the 1950s and ’60s.

JJ Cale (1938–2013) was an influential, Grammy-winning musician and songwriter who penned hits including Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight.”

Chi Cheng (1970–2013) played bass with the Grammy-winning rock band the Deftones.

Phil Chevron of The Pogues

Phil Chevron (1957–2013) was the guitarist for boisterous Anglo-Irish band the Pogues. The Dublin-born musician was a member of seminal Irish punk rockers The Radiators From Space before joining the London-based Pogues in the early 1980s. … Chevron wrote several well-known Pogues songs, including the Irish emigration ballad “Thousands Are Sailing.”

Jack “Cowboy” Clement (1931–2013) was a singer, songwriter and producer who helped shape the sounds of country music and rock ‘n’ roll.

Van Cliburn (1934–2013) was a classical pianist, but anyone who didn’t know better might have thought he was a rock star. Cliburn was beloved in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, for both his music and his key role in thawing Cold War tensions when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. Compared to stars as diverse as Liberace and Elvis Presley, Cliburn inspired the same kind of devotion from fans that Presley and other rock stars did, thanks to his talent and charisma. One Elvis Presley fan club even changed its name to honor Cliburn.

“Stompin'” Tom Connors (1936–2013) was a country-folk singer and a Canadian icon, beloved for songs like “Bud the Spud” and “The Hockey Song.”

Joey Covington (1945–2013) played drums for the Jefferson Airplane from 1970 to 1972, and was also a member of Hot Tuna.

Colin Davis (1927–2013) was the former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins (1936–2013) was a Chicago blues musician who played with notables including Otis Rush and Buddy Guy.

James DePreist (1936–2013) was one of the first Black conductors of a major orchestra and directed the Julliard School’s conducting program.

Manna Dey (1919–2013) was a famed Indian singer who can be heard in scores of Bollywood films.

Ray Dolby

Ray Dolby (1933–2013) founded Dolby Laboratories and pioneered advances in audio technology including work in noise reduction and surround sound. Dolby held 50 U.S. patents and won a number of notable awards for his life’s work, including several Emmys, two Oscars and a Grammy. … “Ray really managed to have a dream job,” said Dagmar Dolby, his wife of 47 years. “Because he could do exactly what he wanted to do, whichever way he wanted to do it, and in the process, did a lot of good for many music and film lovers. And in the end, built a very successful company.”

Mack Emerman founded Criterion Recording Studios, where notables including James Brown and the Bee Gees made some of their best known records.

Jim Foglesong (1922–2013) was a music producer who, as president of Capitol Records’ Nashville division, helped launch Garth Brooks’ career.

T-Model Ford was a Mississippi blues singer with an international following.

Annette Funicello (1942–2013) began her entertainment career as one of America’s perkiest teenagers on The Mickey Mouse Club. Though she achieved great fame as an actress, Funicello also had a highly successful recording career. Initially uncomfortable being identified as a singer, Funicello charmed the teens of the 1960s with hits like “Tall Paul” and “O Dio Mio.” Her wildly popular beach movies gave her further musical opportunities, as she and frequent co-star Frankie Avalon were often moved to burst into song while sunning and surfing.

Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme (1928–2013) was much loved when she sang in nightclubs and on TV, especially when she performed with husband Steve Lawrence. Among her hits was 1963’s “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.”

“Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years,” Lawrence said in a statement. “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”

Chico Hamilton (1921–2013) was an influential jazz drummer who helped develop the West Coast cool jazz style.

Jeff Hanneman (1964–2013) was a founding member and guitarist of pioneering thrash metal band Slayer.

Otis “Damon” Harris (1950–2013) was a member of the Temptations from 1971 to 1975, singing on hits including “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”

Jane Harvey (1925–2013) was a jazz singer who performed with greats such as Desi Arnaz, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman.

Richie Havens (1941–2013) made history as the very first performer to take the stage Aug. 15, 1969, at Woodstock. The performance launched his stardom, as he played for hours—in part because the crowd loved his folk music, and in part because few other performers had actually arrived yet. When the Woodstock movie was released, Havens became known by a wide audience of music lovers. He founded his own record label, Stormy Forest, worked to educate young people about environmental issues, and acted in movies including The Who’s Tommy and Greased Lightning. Havens also made music all his life, playing at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration and at 1999’s Tibetan Freedom Concert.

Rick Huxley (1940–2013) was a founding member of the Dave Clark Five, and his bass playing can be heard on hits including “Bits and Pieces” and “Glad All Over.”

Andy Johns (1950–2013) was a sound engineer and producer who worked with Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and the Rolling Stones.

George Jones (1931–2013) was a legend of country music, who recorded dozens of hits during a career that lasted more than half a century. He could do rollicking rock like “White Lightning” and tear-jerking ballads like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” with ease, his expressive voice driving the tunes to the top of the charts. Waylon Jennings once commented, “If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.” No less effective were his duets with then-wife Tammy Wynette, including “Golden Ring” and “We’re Gonna Hold On.” Jones was a Grammy-winning country traditionalist who lamented the evolution of modern country music away from the genre’s signature sounds he helped create in the 1950s and ’60s.

Marvin Junior (1936–2013) was a member of Chicago doo-wop singing group the Dells for more than 50 years.

Chris Kelly (1978–2013) was known as “Mac Daddy” when he burst onto the music scene in 1992, one-half of the rap duo Kriss Kross. Kelly and his bandmate Chris Smith were young teens when they released their smash hit “Jump,” which topped the Billboard Hit 100 for eight weeks, the first rap song to hold the No. 1 spot for so long. Their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, was catapulted to multiplatinum status, and the teens got to perform with Michael Jackson, Run-D.M.C., and TLC.

Claude King (1923–2013) was a country singer-songwriter and one of the original members of Louisiana Hayride, the radio and TV show that gave Elvis Presley his first break.

Marilyn King

Marilyn King (1931–2013) sang along with her five sisters in the big band-era vocal group the King Sisters. King began her singing career at 13, eventually joining her sisters’ quartet, which released more than 150 albums in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. She went on to appear with her sisters on The King Family Show, an ABC variety program in the 1960s.

Alvin Lee (1944–2013) was a British guitarist who formed the rock band Ten Years After and performed at Woodstock.

Jackie Lomax (1944–2013) was a singer-songwriter who worked with the Beatles and was signed to their Apple Records label.

Marshall Lytle (1933–2013) played stand-up bass with Bill Haley and His Comets, including on their iconic hit “Rock Around the Clock.”

Ray Manzarek (1939–2013) helped create the unmistakable sound of the Doors with his keyboards. A founding member of the band, Manzarek’s work is prominent in some of the best-known Doors songs, from the haunting sounds of “Riders on the Storm” to the catchy opening riff of “Light My Fire” and so many more. After Jim Morrison‘s death, Manzarek continued creating music with artists including X and Iggy Pop, and he worked as a producer and wrote a novel and a memoir.

Mindy McCready (1975–2013) hit the top of the country charts in 1996 with her ode to turning the tables on men, “Guys Do it All the Time.” Other hits included “Ten Thousand Angels,” “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now” and “You’ll Never Know.” At the height of her career, she performed with top country stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson. Personal problems derailed McCready’s career as she struggled with a custody battle and addiction issues, but after a stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, McCready asserted that she was drug free.

Marian McPartland (1918–2013) was a renowned jazz pianist who hosted the popular NPR program “Piano Jazz.”

Jason Molina (1973–2013) was an alternative singer-songwriter known for the music he created under the names Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co.

Shadow Morton (1940–2013) was a producer and songwriter who penned hits including “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand).”

Georges Moustaki (1934–2013) was a composer and singer who wrote songs for Edith Piaf and other French musicians.

Alan Myers, drummer for Devo

Alan Myers (1955–2013) was the drummer for the New Wave band Devo, playing on iconic songs including “Whip It.” Myers was the band’s drummer from 1976 to 1985 during Devo’s heyday. The group was formed in Akron, Ohio, in the early 70s by Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale … Casale described meeting and playing with Myers for the first time in 1976. After their first session ended, Casale—who had been facing away from Myers—turned around to see the drummer standing on one leg with his eyes closed, practicing the meditative Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. “I thought, ‘Man, this guy really is Devo. He fits right in.'”

Claude Nobs (1936–2013) founded the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival.

Bernadette Nolan (1960–2013) was the lead vocalist of Irish singing group the Nolans, singing along with her sisters.

Patti Page (1927–2013) was the best-selling female singer of the 1950s, a pop vocalist known for enduring classics like “Tennessee Waltz” and “I Went to Your Wedding,” and for the popular novelty song “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window?” Her career survived the cultural shift from gentle pop to rock ‘n’ roll, and she kept on selling her quieter, country-tinged records even as rockers tore up the airwaves. Page was honored with a Grammy in 1999, and the Academy of Country Music awarded her their Pioneer Award.

Jody Payne (1936–2013) played guitar in Willie Nelson’s band, touring with the country legend for more than 30 years.

Eddie Perez was a founding member of the renowned salsa band el Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.

Reg Presley

Reg Presley (1941–2013) was the lead singer of the Troggs and sang their iconic 1966 hit “Wild Thing.” The Troggs, part of the British invasion spurred by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, perfected a simple, hard-driving approach to the three-minute rock song that was miles away from the lyrical art-rock of the Beatles or the poetic songs of Bob Dylan. This was rock music at its “boy meets girl” basics, with a caveman’s approach to romance.

Ann Rabson (1945–2013) was a pianist and vocalist, as well as a founding member of the trio Saffire-the Uppity Blues Women.

Phil Ramone (1934–2013) was a Grammy-winning engineer, arranger and producer who worked with notable musicians including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Lou Reed.

Lou Reed (1942–2013) helped change the face of modern music as leader of the Velvet Underground. So avant garde that they practically invented avant-garde rock, the Velvet Underground were the darlings of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, carving out a new niche for musicians who didn’t want to play rock music like everyone else. As a solo artist, Reed continued to innovate and was a major influence on generations of musicians and songwriters. He pushed the envelope throughout his career, and his fans loved him for it.

Bobby Rogers (1940–2013) collaborated with Smokey Robinson as a founding member of the Miracles.

Wolfgang Sawallisch (1923–2013) was the conductor of the Bavarian State Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Ed Shaughnessy (1929–2013) was a jazz drummer who played in the Tonight Show band for almost 30 years.

Tony Sheridan (1940–2013) was a British singer who performed with the Beatles in their earliest days. He can be heard singing on their early recording “My Bonnie.”

Magic Slim (1937–2013) was a blues singer and guitarist who helped shape Chicago’s electric blues sound.

Bobbie Smith (1936–2013) was a former lead singer of the 1970s soul group the Spinners.

Cleotha Staples (1934–2013) was a standout vocalist in a family of singers. From their earliest days of singing in church, the Staple Singers were among the top sibling acts around, sharing the good news of gospel through their musical talent. Cleotha was the eldest of the siblings, and her smooth voice guided the rest of the group’s sound. The Staple Singers won a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys and are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees, thanks to hit songs including “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.”

Rise Stevens (1913 –2013) was a mezzo-soprano who sang the Metropolitan Opera for more than 20 years.

Gordon Stoker was a member of the Jordanaires, the vocal group that backed Elvis Presley.

Richard Street (1942–2013) was a member of the Temptations for 25 years.

John Tavener (1944–2013) was a British composer of choral and orchestral works.

Stan Tracey (1926–2013) was a jazz pianist known for his compositions including “Under Milk Wood” and “Alice in Jazzland.”

Ben Tucker (1930–2013) was a jazz bassist who performed with greats including Buddy Rich and Peggy Lee.

Bebo Valdes (1918–2013) was a renowned Cuban pianist and bandleader.

Fran Warren (1926–2013) was a big-band singer whose performance of “A Sunday Kind of Love” was one of the great classics of the era.

Slim Whitman (1923–2013) was a country singer known for his unmatchable yodel and his three-octave falsetto. With such a unique vocal tone, it’s no surprise Whitman became a star, and his songs including “Indian Love Call,” “Secret Love” and “Rose Marie” were top hits in the 1950s. Though he was strictly a country singer, Whitman influenced contemporary musicians as diverse as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

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