We stop today to remember those who left the world of music in 2012, from Dave Brubeck and Dick Clark to Levon Helm and Ronnie Montrose.
Brubeck, one of a dwindling number of jazz’s old masters, lived until a day before his 92nd birthday. But cancer took Helm, a drummer and signature voice in the Band; and Jon Lord, best known for his keyboard work with Deep Purple, much too soon. Davy Jones of the Monkees, meanwhile, was felled by a heart attack.
Brubeck wasn’t jazz’s only notable death. David S. Ware, Pete La Roca, Red Holloway and Pete Cosey left us in 2012, too. With Etta James’ departure, her anthem “At Last” gained an even deeper resonance.
Also gone are two titans of music television, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius who — through their popular programs “American Bandstand” and “Soul Train” — touched generations of young people. And started more than a few dance crazes, along the way. Cornelius and rocker Ronnie Montrose both took their own lives, only deepening the sense of loss.
Country music lost Earl Scruggs and Kitty Wells, among others. Memorable figures in pop music like Whitney Houston, Joe South, Hal David, Donna Summer and Andy Williams were silenced, as well. Iron Butterfly mourned Lee Dorman, while Fleetwood Mac remembers two late members, Bob Weston and Bob Welch.
Ravi Shankar, who turned the Beatles — and then everyone — on to Indian music, died late in the year. Ed Cassidy Spirit, Bill Doss of Olivia Tremor Control and Huw Lloyd-Langton of Hawkwind will be dearly missed, too.
We’ve compiled the following list of notable 2012 deaths in music by month and day below. Click through individuals listed in ALL CAPS for more detailed remembrances, and related music reviews …
21: Lee Dorman, 70, American bass guitarist (Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond), natural causes. (body discovered on this date)
20: Jimmy McCracklin, 91, American blues musician, diabetes and hypertension.
Victor Merzhanov, 93, Russian classical pianist.
19: Inez Andrews, 83, American gospel singer (The Caravans).
13: Keith Deen, 56, American rock vocalist, cancer.
Gil Friesen, 75, American music and film executive, President of A&M Records (1965–1990), leukemia.
12: Eddie “Guitar” Burns, 84, American Detroit blues musician, heart failure.
11: Ravi Shankar, 92, Indian musician, complications from heart surgery.
9: Mike Triay, 48, American radio personality and record producer (“Macarena”), heart attack.
8: Hal Schaefer, 87, American jazz musician and vocal coach (Marilyn Monroe) involved in the Wrong-Door Raid.
6: Ed Cassidy, 89, American musician (Spirit), cancer.
Huw Lloyd-Langton, 61, English guitarist (Hawkwind, Widowmaker), cancer
5: DAVE BRUBECK, 91, American jazz pianist (“Take Five”) and composer (“Blue Rondo à la Turk”, “Unsquare Dance”), heart failure.
Sarah Kirsch, 42, American punk musician (Pinhead Gunpowder, Fifteen, Fuel).
1: Dee Harvey, 47, American singer.
30: Rick Blackburn, 70, American music executive.
28: Franco Ventriglia, 90, American opera singer.
Mickey Baker, 87, American guitarist (Mickey & Sylvia) and songwriter (“Love Is Strange”).
26: Juan Carlos Calderón, 74, Spanish composer and conductor.
Earl Carroll, 75, American singer (The Cadillacs, The Coasters), complications of a stroke and diabetes.
Simeon ten Holt, 89, Dutch contemporary classical composer.
Ken Regan, American rock and roll photographer and author, cancer.
24: Ian Campbell, 79, British folk musician (Ian Campbell Folk Group), cancer.
Chris Stamp, 70, British music producer and manager (The Who), cancer.
23: Frank Dycus, 72, American songwriter (“Gonna Get a Life”, “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”, “Unwound”).
21: Austin Peralta, 22, American jazz musician and composer.
19: Pete La Roca, 74, American jazz drummer, lung cancer.
18: Sir Philip Ledger, 74, British classical musician and academic.
17: Billy Scott, 70, American singer, pancreatic and liver cancer.
15: Frode Thingnæs, 72, Norwegian jazz musician (“The First Day of Love”, “Mata Hari”), complications from a heart attack.
14: Martin Fay, 76, Irish musician (The Chieftains).
12: Bob French, 74, American jazz musician and radio show host, dementia and diabetes.
9: Major Harris, 65, American R&B singer (“Love Won’t Let Me Wait”), member of The Delfonics, heart and lung failure.
8: Ian Pearce, 90, Australian jazz musician, cancer.
7: Cleve Duncan, 77, American singer (The Penguins).
Richard Robbins, 71, American musician and score writer (Howards End, Remains of the Day, A Room with a View), Parkinson’s disease.
5: Bernard Bierman, 104, American composer.
Elliott Carter, 103, American composer, natural causes.
4: Ted Curson, 77, American jazz trumpeter, heart attack.
2: Marjorie Lane, 100, American singer.
Big Jim Sullivan, 71, British guitarist, complications of heart disease and diabetes.
6: Nick Curran, 35, American musician, oral cancer.
7: Wiley Reed, 68, American-born Australian blues musician, complications from a fall.
8: John Tchicai, 76, Danish jazz saxophonist and composer, brain hemorrhage.
18: Borah Bergman, 78, American free jazz pianist, dementia.
DAVID S. WARE, 62, American jazz saxophonist, complications of a kidney transplant.
21: Steve Paul, 71, American nightclub owner (The Scene) and artist manager (Johnny Winter).
24: Bill Dees, 73, American musician and songwriter ("Oh, Pretty Woman", "It's Over"), brain tumor.
26: Natina Reed, 32, American singer/rapper (Blaque) and actress (Bring It On), traffic collision.
1: Hal David, 91, American lyricist (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”), complications from a stroke.
2: Mark Abrahamian, 46, American musician (Starship), heart attack.
5: Joe South, 72, American singer-songwriter (“Down in the Boondocks”, “Hush”, “Rose Garden”), heart failure.
7: Dorothy McGuire, 84, American singer, complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Rollin Sullivan, 93, American country music entertainer (Lonzo and Oscar).
10: Steven Springer, 60, American guitarist and songwriter, lung cancer.
13: William Duckworth, 69, American composer, pancreatic cancer.
15: James “Sugar Boy” Crawford, 77, American rhythm and blues singer.
25: ANDY WILLIAMS, 84, American singer (“Moon River”) and entertainer, bladder cancer.
27: Eddie Bert, 90, American jazz trombonist.
Frank Wilson, 71, American songwriter and record producer, prostate cancer.
30: Raylene Rankin, 52, Canadian singer (The Rankin Family), breast cancer.
2: Jimmy Jones, 82, American pop singer (“Handy Man”, “Good Timin’”).
3: JOHNNIE BASSETT, 76, American blues musician, cancer.
6: Marvin Hamlisch, 68, American composer (The Way We Were, A Chorus Line) and arranger (The Sting), EGOT winner.
8: Carl Davis, 77, American record producer (“Duke of Earl”, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”), lung disease.
11: Von Freeman, 88, American hard bop jazz tenor saxophonist, heart failure.
15: Bob Birch, 56, American musician (Elton John), apparent suicide by gunshot.
18: Scott McKenzie, 73, American singer (“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”) and songwriter (“Kokomo”), Guillain–Barré syndrome.
19: Donal Henahan, 91, American music critic.
23: Byard Lancaster, 70, American jazz multi-instrumentalist, pancreatic cancer.
31: Max Bygraves, 89, British singer, variety performer, and TV game show host (Family Fortunes), complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
7: Dennis Flemion, 57, American rock musician (The Frogs), drowned.
8: Lionel Batiste, 81, American jazz musician (Treme Brass Band).
Zach Booher, 22, American musician (While We’re Up), traffic collision.
9: Maria Cole, 89, American jazz singer, widow of Nat King Cole, cancer.
Lol Coxhill, 79, English jazz saxophonist, after short illness.
16: Bob Babbitt, 74, American bass guitarist (The Funk Brothers), brain cancer.
JON LORD, 71, English composer and musician (Deep Purple), pulmonary embolism.
Kitty Wells, 92, American country music singer (“It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, “Making Believe”), complications after a stroke.
24: Larry Hoppen, 61, American singer and musician (Orleans).
26: Don Bagley, 84, American jazz bassist and composer.
Walter Goss, 84, American sound engineer.
27: Darryl Cotton, 62, Australian singer (Zoot, Cotton Keays & Morris) and television host (The Early Bird Show), liver cancer.
Tony Martin, 98, American actor and singer, widower of Cyd Charisse, natural causes.
29: Sluggy Ranks, 44, Jamaican dancehall musician, injuries sustained in a car crash.
30: Bill Doss, 43, American rock singer and guitarist (The Olivia Tremor Control, The Apples in Stereo).
31: Tony Sly, 41, American punk rock singer and guitarist (No Use for a Name).
1: Faruq Z. Bey, 70, American jazz saxophonist, emphysema.
2: Frazier Mohawk, 71, American record producer (Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds).
3: Andy Hamilton, 94, Jamaican-born British saxophonist and composer.
4: Herb Reed, 83, American singer (The Platters).
7: BOB WELCH, 66, American musician (Fleetwood Mac, Paris) and songwriter (“Sentimental Lady”), suicide by gunshot.
10: Jimmy Elledge, 69, American singer, complications following a stroke.
13: Graeme Bell, 97, Australian jazz musician and composer, stroke.
14: Margie Hyams, 91, American jazz musician, renal failure.
15: Rune Gustafsson, 78, Swedish jazz guitarist and composer.
18: Victor Spinetti, 82, Welsh comic actor (A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour), prostate cancer.
19: Gerry Bron, 79, British record producer and manager (Uriah Heep, Motörhead).
21: Richard Adler, 90, American Tony Award-winning producer and composer (Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game).
30: Ivan Sekyra, 59, Czech guitarist (Abraxas).
1: Cali Carranza, 59, American Tejano musician, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Charles Pitts, 65, American soul musician, guitarist for Isaac Hayes, lung cancer.
3: Lloyd Brevett, 80, Jamaican double bassist (The Skatalites), complications from stroke.
4: ADAM YAUCH, 47, American musician (Beastie Boys) and film director (Gunnin’ for That No. 1 Spot), salivary gland cancer.
6: Michael Burks, 54, American blues musician, heart attack.
8: Everett Lilly, 87, American bluegrass musician (The Lilly Brothers).
13: Donald “Duck” Dunn, 70, American bass guitarist (The Blues Brothers, Booker T. & the M.G.’s).
14: Belita Woods, 63, American funk singer (Brainstorm, Parliament-Funkadelic), heart failure.
16: Chuck Brown, 75, American singer and musician (“Bustin’ Loose”), multiple organ failure.
Doug Dillard, 75, American bluegrass musician (The Dillards) and actor (The Andy Griffith Show), lung infection.
17: Herbert Breslin, 87, American music industry executive, heart attack.
DONNA SUMMER, 63, American singer (“Bad Girls”, “Hot Stuff”, “Last Dance”, “I Feel Love”), lung cancer.
18: Peter Jones, 49, British drummer (Crowded House), brain cancer.
20: ROBIN GIBB, 62, British singer and songwriter (Bee Gees), liver and kidney failure.
Carrie Smith, 86, American blues and jazz singer.
22: Janet Carroll, 71, American singer and actress (Risky Business, Married… with Children, Murphy Brown), brain tumor.
Hidekazu Yoshida, 98, Japanese music critic and literary critic.
23 Hal Jackson, 96, American disc jockey and radio personality.
24: Mark McConnell, 50, American drummer (Sebastian Bach, Blackfoot), multiple organ failure.
26: Roy Wilson, 72, Jamaican singer (Higgs and Wilson).
29: Doc Watson, 89, American folk and bluegrass musician, complications following surgery.
30: Pete Cosey, 68, American guitarist.
5: Barney McKenna, 72, Irish musician (The Dubliners).
11: Hal McKusick, 87, American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and flautist, natural causes.
12: Rodgers Grant, 76. American jazz pianist, cancer.
Andrew Love, 70, American saxophonist (The Memphis Horns), complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
16: Teddy Charles, 84, American jazz musician and composer.
Graham Simpson, 68, British musician (Roxy Music).
18: DICK CLARK, 82, American television host and producer (American Bandstand, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Pyramid), heart attack.
19: Greg Ham, 58, Australian musician (Men at Work).(body found on this date)
LEVON HELM, 71, American musician (The Band) and actor (Coal Miner’s Daughter), throat cancer.
20: Bert Weedon, 91, English guitarist and composer.
23: Billy Bryans, 64, Canadian musician and producer (Parachute Club), lung cancer.
Chris Ethridge, 65, American country rock bassist (International Submarine Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers).
Tommy Marth, 33, American musician (The Killers), suicide.
28: Jackie Kelso, 90, American jazz musician.
3: RONNIE MONTROSE, 64, American guitarist (Montrose), suicide.
5: Robert B. Sherman, 86, American songwriter (Sherman Brothers).
7: Big Walter Price, 97, American blues singer, songwriter and pianist.
8: Bugs Henderson, 68, American blues guitarist, cancer.
11: Leon Spencer, 66, American jazz organist.
12: MICHAEL HOSSACK, 65, American drummer (The Doobie Brothers), cancer.
14: Eddie King, 73, American Chicago blues musician.
23: Eric Lowen, 60, American singer and songwriter (“We Belong”, “Everything I Wanted”), complications from ALS.
24: Vince Lovegrove, 65, Australian musician and journalist, car accident.
Marion Marlowe, 83, American singer and stage actress, natural causes.
Nick Noble, 85, American pop and country singer (“The Tip of My Fingers”, “Moonlight Swim”).
28: JERRY McCAIN, 81, American blues musician.
EARL SCRUGGS, 88, American bluegrass musician, natural causes.
1: DON CORNELIUS, 75, American television host and producer (Soul Train), suicide by gunshot.
Andrij Dobriansky, 81, Polish-born American opera singer, diabetes and heart disease.
David Peaston, 54, American R&B singer, complications of diabetes.
5: Al De Lory, 82, American record producer.
6: Billy Bean, 78, American jazz guitarist.
Jim King, 69, British musician (Family).
9: Joe Moretti, 73, British guitarist, lung cancer.
11: Whitney Houston, 48, American singer (“I Will Always Love You”) and actress (The Bodyguard), drowned.
13: Jodie Christian, 80, American jazz pianist.
17: Michael Davis, 68, American bassist (MC5), liver failure.
22: Lorin Levee, 61, American clarinetist (Los Angeles Philharmonic).
Mike Melvoin, 74, American jazz pianist and composer, cancer.
Billy Strange, 81, American songwriter (“Limbo Rock”) and music arranger.
25: Red Holloway, 84, American jazz saxophonist, stroke and kidney failure.
LOUISIANA RED, 79, American blues musician, stroke.
29: DAVY JONES, 66, British actor and musician (The Monkees), heart attack.
1: Fred Milano, 72, American doo-wop singer (The Belmonts, Dion and the Belmonts), lung cancer.
2: Larry Reinhardt, 63, American rock guitarist (Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond), liver cirrhosis.
Alan Rowlands, 82, English pianist.
3: Bob Weston, 64, British guitarist and songwriter (Fleetwood Mac), gastrointestinal hemorrhage. (body found on this date)
4: Kerry McGregor, 37, British singer and reality contestant (The X Factor), bladder cancer.
6: Tom Ardolino, 56, American drummer (NRBQ).
8: Dave Alexander, 73, American blues singer and pianist, suicide by gunshot.
9: Ernie Carson, 74, American jazz musician.
11: Chuck Metcalf, 81, American double-bassist.
14: Robbie France, 52, British drummer (Skunk Anansie, Diamond Head, UFO), ruptured aorta.
16: Jimmy Castor, 71, American funk and R&B saxophonist (“Troglodyte [Cave Man]“), heart failure.
17: Johnny Otis, 90, American R&B singer-songwriter.
19: Giancarlo Bigazzi, 71, Italian composer (“Gloria”, “Self Control”, “No Me Ames”).
20: ETTA JAMES, 73, American blues singer (“At Last”), leukemia.
John Levy, 99, American jazz double-bassist and manager.
24: Patricia Neway, 92, American operatic soprano and musical theatre actress (The Sound of Music), Tony Award-winner.
25: Mark Reale, 56, American heavy metal guitarist (Riot), Crohn’s disease.
31: Leslie Carter, 25, American singer and reality star (House of Carters), sister of Nick and Aaron Carter, drug overdose.