On October 16, 1969, Lejzor Szmuel Czyż aka Leonard Chess died aged 52. He was a record company executive and the co-founder of Chess Records, home to John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Moonglows, The Flamingos, Jimmy Reed, and Sonny Boy Williamson. He was influential in the development of rock and roll, electric blues, and the Chicago blues scene.
On April 1, 2020. Adam Lyons Schlesinger died aged 52. He was singer-songwriter, musician (guitar) and record producer, founding member of the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy, and Tinted Windows. Lately he was key songwriting contributor and producer for the duo Fever High. Schlesinger won three “Emmys”, a “Grammy” and the “ASCAP Pop Music Award”.
On March 13, 1998, Alexander Minto Hughes aka Judge Dread died aged 52. He was reggae and ska musician, the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica. “Rolling Stone” magazine wrote “He sold several million albums throughout his 25-plus year career and was second only to Bob Marley in U.K. reggae sales during the 70s”. Dread has the most banned songs on “BBC” radio of all time.
On May 21, 2001, Tommy Eyre died aged 52. He was a session keyboardist who has recorded and performed with John Martyn, Alex Harvey, Greg Lake, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, B.B. King, John Mayall, Tracy Chapman Wham!, Marc Almond, Scarlet Rivera, Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, Blue Whale, Jaklin, Riff Raff and ZZebra, but he was best known for playing on Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” and Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” and “Right Down the Line”. Eyre has released seven solo albums.
On May 17, 2017, Christopher John Boyle aka Chris Cornell died aged 52. He was musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and rhythm guitarist of Soundgarden, lead vocalist and songwriter of Audioslave, and as founder and frontman of Temple of the Dog. Cornell is widely regarded as one of the crucial artists of the grunge movement. Readers of the “Guitar World” magazine voted him “Rock’s Greatest Singer”; “Hit Parader” ranked him at number 4 in the list of “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists”; “MTV” ranked Cornell at number 12 in the choice of the “22 Greatest Voices in Music”; magazine “Rolling Stone” ranked him at number 9 in the list of the “Best Lead Singers of All Time”. Cornell released fie solo albums.
On December 6, 1988, Roy Kelton Orbison died aged 52. Being singer-songwriter and musician, thanks to his distinctive and impassioned voice, he was named “Caruso of Rock” and nicknamed the Big O. In the period between 1960 and 1964, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40. In 1987, Roy Orbison was inducted in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and in “Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame”; in 1989 in the “Songwriters Hall of Fame”. “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked him at number 37 on its list of the “Greatest Artists of All Time” and number 13 on the list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time’. In 2002, “Billboard” magazine ranked Orbison at number 74 in its list of the “Top 600 Recording Artists”. Orbison won six “Grammy Awards”, including “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1998.