R.I.P. 2015

Published on December 31st, 2015 | by Gerry Galipault


R.I.P.: Music Stars We Lost in 2015, from B.B. King to Lemmy

It began with Little Jimmy Dickens and ended with Lemmy, and in between, so many other music greats left this world in 2015.

B.B. King, Lesley Gore, Percy Sledge, Ben E. King, Cory Wells, Scott Weiland, Chris Squire, Billy Joe Royal, Don Covay, Lynn Anderson, Errol Brown, Steve Strange … hard to believe they’re gone. R.I.P.

Pauseandplay.com compiles a list of notable music deaths throughout the year, not out of morbid curiosity but out of reverence for their talent and influence.

Let’s remember them and their songs.

Lemmy (Motörhead frontman)

Stevie Wright (The Easybeats)

William Guest (Gladys Knight & The Pips)

Mitch Aliotta (Rotary Connection)

Bob Wall (Christian group Love Song)

Peter Broggs (reggae singer)

Kurt Masur (New York Philharmonic)

Timbuck2 (Chicago DJ)

Anant Jesse (Dramarama)

Snuff Garrett (Sonny & Cher producer)

John Trudell (American Indian activist, singer, actor)

Don Pfrimmer (country music songwriter)

Bonnie Lou (pioneering country/rock artist)

Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots)

Skip Easterling (“Hoochie Coochie Man” singer)

Cynthia Robinson (Sly & The Family Stone)

Ramona Jones (fiddler and widow of “Hee Haw” entertainer Grandpa Jones)

David VanLanding (former Michael Schenker Group singer)

P.F. Sloan (“Eve of Destruction” songwriter)

Phil “Filthy Animal” Taylor (Motörhead drummer)

Martin Beard (Sopwith Camel bassist)

Andy White (drummer on The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”)

Allen Toussaint (songwriter-pianist)

Charlie Dick (widower of Patsy Cline)

Chuck Pyle (“Cadillac Cowboy” songwriter)

Gene Norman (GNP Crescendo founder)

Brandon Carlisle (Teenage Bottlerocket drummer)

Tommy Overstreet (country singer-songwriter)

Diane Charlemagne (Urban Cookie Collective)

Leon Bibb (1960s-era folk singer)

Mark Murphy (jazz vocalist)

Cory Wells (Three Dog Night)

John Jennings (producer-guitarist; helped launch Mary Chapin Carpenter’s career)

Frank Watkins (former Obituary bassist)

John Berg (Grammy-winning album art designer)

Carey Lander (Camera Obscura keyboardist)

Smokin’ Joe Kubek (Texas blues guitarist)

Steve Mackay (former Stooges saxophonist)

Robbin Thompson (Steel Mill)

Jim Diamond (singer-songwriter; Ph.D.)

Ravindra Jain (Bollywood music director and lyricist)

Gail Zappa (Frank Zappa’s wife and business manager)

Billy Joe Royal (1960s singer; “Down in the Boondocks,” “Cherry Hill Park”)

Phil Woods (legendary saxophonist)

Frankie Ford (1950s singer; “Sea Cruise”)

Ben Cauley (The Bar-Kays)

Guy Beart (French troubadour)

Gary Richrath (REO Speedwagon lead guitarist)

Dennis Greene (a founding member of Sha Na Na)

Boomer Castleman (singer-songwriter; “Judy Mae”)

Ryan Howell (Only Boys Aloud)

Doris Hines (jazz singer)

Bob Johnston (producer; Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen)

Jazz Summers (legendary manager for Wham!, The Verve, etc.)

Sean Price (rapper; formerly of Heltah Skeltah)

Billy Sherrill (legendary country producer)

Tandy Rice (Music Row talent agent)

Cilla Black (British singer discovered by The Beatles)

Redway (Toronto rapper)

Lynn Anderson (“Rose Garden” singer)

Buddy Emmons (pedal steel guitar legend)

Daron Norwood (country singer)

Justin A. Lowe (former After the Burial guitarist)

Theodore Bikel (“Fiddler on the Roof” star)

Dieter Moebius (electronic-music pioneer)

Josh Greenberg (Grooveshark co-founder)

Wayne Carson (country music songwriter; “Always On My Mind,” “The Letter,” “Soul Deep”)

Buddy Buie (songwriter; “Traces,” “Spooky,” “Stormy”)

Dave Somerville (The Diamonds)

Stan Ricker (mastering expert)

Susumu Yokota (electronic music artist)

Hussein Fatal (rapper; member of Tupac Shakur’s Outlawz)

Jon Vickers (opera singer)

Ernie Maresca (singer-songwriter; wrote “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer”)

Tom Skinner (Red Dirt pioneer)

Michael Masser (songwriter; “The Greatest Love of All,” “Touch Me in the Morning,” “Theme from ‘Mahogany’ (Do You Know Where You’re Going To?)”)

Roy C. Bennett (songwriter; “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” “Glad All Over”)

Camille Bob (Little Bob and the Lollipops; “I Got Loaded”)

Jerry Weintraub (concert promoter, film producer)

David Masondo (Soul Brothers)

Val Doonican (Irish singer)

Chris Squire (bassist and founding member of Yes)

James Horner (film composer; “Titanic,” “Braveheart”)

Mighty Sam McClain (R&B singer)

Wendell Holmes (The Holmes Brothers)

Zhanna Friske (Russian singer)

MC Supreme (1990s rapper)

Jim Ed Brown (Grand Ole Opry legend)

Ornette Coleman (jazz innovator)

Randy Howard (country singer)

James Last (composer-bandleader)

Pumpkinhead (rapper)

Ronnie Gilbert (The Weavers)

Anthony Riley (“The Voice” contestant)

Nick Marsh (Flesh For Lulu lead singer)

Allan Fryer (former Heaven singer)

Will Holt (songwriter; “Lemon Tree”)

Jim Bailey (female impersonator)

Jean Ritchie (Appalachian folk singer)

Young Pappy (rapper)

Mel Waiters (R&B singer)

Dennis Sheehan (longtime U2 tour manager)

Lynn “Twinkle” Ripley (1960s pop singer)

Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson)

Craig Methven (Scrotum Poles singer)

Chinx (rapper)

B.B. King (blues legend)

Johnny Gimble (legendary fiddler)

Craig Gruber (original Rainbow bassist)

Lenny Cocco (The Chimes)

Dottie Dillard (Anita Kerr Quartet)

Errol Brown (Hot Chocolate frontman)

Ellen Albertini Dow (the rapping grandmother in the film “The Wedding Singer”)

Guy Carawan (folk singer who introduced “We Shall Overcome” to civil-rights activists)

John Tout (Renaissance keyboardist)

Ben E. King (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)

Steven Goldmann (country music video director)

Guy LeBlanc (Camel keyboardist)

Jack Ely (lead singer of The Kingsmen)

Sid Tepper (co-wrote more than 40 songs for Elvis Presley)

Wally Lester (The Skyliners)

Lois Lilienstein (Sharon, Lois & Bram)

Johnny Kemp (New Jack Swing singer-songwriter; “Just Got Paid”)

Billy Ray Hearn (founder of Capitol Christian Music Group)

Percy Sledge (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)

Barron Machat (founder of the experimental record label Hippos In Tanks)

Stan Freberg (acclaimed satirist)

Ray Charles (leader of Ray Charles Singers)

Billy Butler (R&B singer and younger brother of Jerry Butler)

Bob Burns (original Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer)

Sandy Mason (singer-songwriter)

Doug Sax (audio mastering legend)

Dave Ball (Procol Harum)

Cynthia Lennon (John Lennon’s first wife)

B.J. Crosby (Broadway and jazz vocalist)

John Renbourn (Pentangle)

Lil’ Chris, aka Chris Hardman (“Rock School” star)

Jørgen Ingmann (Danish jazz guitarist; “Apache”)

Don Robertson (Nashville singer-songwriter; “The Happy Whistler,” “Ringo”)

Jackie Trent (British ’60s-era singer-songwriter)

Al Bunetta (artist manager)

A.J. Pero (Twisted Sister drummer)

Michael Brown (The Left Banke)

Samuel Charters (blues and folk historian)

Andy Fraser (Free bassist)

Bruce Crump (original Molly Hatchet drummer)

Thom Wilson (producer; The Offspring’s “Smash”)

Mike Porcaro (Toto bassist)

Jerry Brightman (Buck Owens and the Buckaroos pedal steel player)

Daevid Allen (Gong founder)

Wayne Kemp (Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer)

Jimmy Greenspoon (Three Dog Night)

Billy Block (champion of roots music)

Lew Soloff (Blood, Sweat & Tears)

Albert Maysles (pioneering documentary filmmaker, “Gimme Shelter”)

Jim McCann (The Dubliners)

Chris Rainbow (singer with Alan Parsons Project and Camel)

Charmayne Maxwell (Brownstone)

Orrin Keepnews (jazz producer, record executive)

Clark Terry (influential jazz trumpeter)

Lesley Gore (1960s singer-songwriter; “It’s My Party”)

Sam Andrew (Big Brother and the Holding Company)

Steve Strange (lead singer of Visage)

Joe Mauldin (Buddy Holly & The Crickets bassist)

Don Covay (R&B singer-songwriter)

The Jacka (Bay Area rapper)

Rod McKuen (songwriter-poet)

Demis Roussos (Greek singer)

Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream founder)

Ward Swingle (The Swingle Singers)

Dallas Taylor (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young drummer)

Ervin Drake (songwriter; “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Good Morning Heartache”)

Dixie Hall (songwriter and wife of Tom T. Hall)

Kim Fowley (legendary producer)

Tim Drummond (bassist for Neil Young and Bob Dylan)

Willie “Popsy” Dixon (The Holmes Brothers)

Andraé Crouch (gospel pioneer)

Ray McFell (former Cavern Club owner)

Little Jimmy Dickens (Grand Ole Opry star)

Jeff Golub (jazz guitarist)

R.I.P. 2015

R.I.P. 2014

R.I.P. 2013

R.I.P. 2012

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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