Charlie Parker died at 34, leaving behind a massive contribution to jazz and cementing his legacy in the history of music. We remember Parker’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Charlie Parker died at 34, leaving behind a massive contribution to jazz and cementing his legacy in the history of music. In 1939, Parker developed the bebop style, changing the way jazz was played and alienating traditional performers while energizing the likes of Coleman Hawkins and Benny Goodman with the exciting new style. He recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Miles Davis, and many more, frantically capturing the sound of bebop as it evolved. Addiction, however, dogged Parker throughout his life, eventually leading to his death. We remember Parker’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2018: Craig Mack, Rapper known for his hit song “Flava in Ya Ear,” dies at 47.
2015: Terry Pratchett, English author of fantasy novels known for writing the “Discworld” series, dies at 66.
2013: Clive Burr, English drummer for Iron Maiden from 1979 until 1982, dies of multiple sclerosis at 56.
Born in London in 1957, Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979 and played on the band’s first three albums – “Iron Maiden,” “Killers,” and “The Number of the Beast.” He contributed to the band’s distinctive, hard-driving sound on classic songs like “Run to the Hills,” but left in 1982, before Iron Maiden became 1980s megastars. Read more
2012: Mike Hossack, U.S. drummer for the Doobie Brothers, dies at 65.
Hossack played with the group from 1971 to 1973 and rejoined in 1987. His drumming can be heard on early hits including “Listen to the Music,” ”China Grove,” and “Blackwater.” He stopped performing with the band in 2010 after being diagnosed with cancer. Doobie Brothers co-founder Tom Johnston said, “Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers. … He was an incredible musician.” Read more
2003: Lynne Thigpen, U.S. actress who played the Chief on the Public Broadcasting Service children’s series “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”, dies at 54.
2003: Howard Fast, U.S. author whose works include the novel “Freedom Road,” dies at 88.
2001: Robert Ludlum, U.S. author well-known for his Jason Bourne series including “The Bourne Identity,” dies at 73.
Many of his early espionage thrillers revolved around Nazi conspiracies, while later his villains were usually Communists. As the Cold War waned, he switched his focus to the terrorism threat. Ludlum wrote longhand on yellow legal pads, charging his secretary with typing his manuscripts into a computer, which he claimed not to know how to even turn on. While the public gobbled up his novels and they became mainstays of airport bookstores worldwide, the critics were only grudgingly appreciative. “It was a lousy novel,” ran a typical review appearing in The Washington Post, “so I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it.” Read more
2001: Morton Downey Jr., U.S. television and radio broadcaster who was one of the pioneers of trash TV with his talk show, dies at 68.
1999: Yehudi Menuhin, U.S. violinist who is considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, dies at 82.
1995: Juanin Clay, U.S. actress who appeared in the movies “War Games” and “The Legend of the Lone Ranger,” dies at 45.
1993: Michael Kanin, U.S. director and screenwriter who won an Academy Award for co-writing “Woman of the Year,” dies at 83.
1993: June Valli, U.S. singer who was one of the stars of the 1950s television show “Your Hit Parade,” dies at 64.
1987: Woody Hayes, legendary U.S. college football coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes who won five national championships, dies at 74.
1978: John Cazale, U.S. actor well-known for his roles in the movies “The Godfather” and “Dog Day Afternoon,” dies at 42.
1957: Josephine Hull, U.S actress who won an Oscar for her role in “Harvey,” dies at 80.
1955: Charlie “Bird” Parker, U.S. jazz saxophonist who was highly influential in the development of bebop, dies at 34.
1914: George Westinghouse, U.S. inventor who was a pioneer in the field of electricity and founded the Westinghouse Electric Co., dies at 67.
Noted inventor George Westinghouse died 103 years ago. His greatest inventions, of course, were created even longer ago. But all these years later, we still rely on many of his inventions: Even if we’ve improved upon them in the years since, the basic concepts Westinghouse gave us continue to help make the world go ’round. Read more
1888: Henry Bergh, U.S. founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866, dies at 74.