On December 27, 1981, Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael died aged 82. He was composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. Carmichael composed several hundred songs, including fifty that achieved hit record status. His best known songs are four among the most-recorded American songs of all time: “Stardust”, “Georgia on My Mind” (lyrics by Stuart Gorrell), “The Nearness of You”, and “Heart and Soul” (lyrics by Frank Loesser). His song “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening,” (lyrics by Johnny Mercer, won the “Academy Award for Best Original Song” in 1951. Carmichael’s songs were performed by many famous musicians including Sidney Arodin, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Bix Beiderbecke, Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Helen Forrest, Harry James, Spike Jones, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer, Glenn Miller, Dinah Shore, Jack Teagarden and Paul Whiteman.
On December 25, 2009, Robert Anthony Bellamy aka Tony “T-Bone” Bellamy died aged 63. He was musician (guitar, piano, vocals), performed with Dobie Gray, was a member of Peter and the Wolves (San Francisco band that evolved into Moby Grape), but was best known as founding member, vocalist, guitarist and pianist for Redbone.
On October 24, 2017, Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. died aged 89. Being pianist, singer and song-writer, he is regarded as one of the Rock and Roll pioneers and most important artists in the popularization of the early rock and roll. He had 11 top 10 hits between 1955 and 1960, and 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40. His best known songs are “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blueberry Hill”, and he has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Fats Domino was one the first musicians inducted in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”.
On October 14, 1990, Leonard Bernstein died aged 72. He was pianist, composer, conductor and music lecturer, regarded as one of the most important, influential and successful artists in the American music history. He was director of the New York Philharmonic and has been conducting concerts with some of the leading world orchestras. As composer he has worked with various music forms including ballet, opera, musicals, film scores, orchestral, chamber, choral, piano and vocal music. Many of his music works are still regularly performed on the stages around the world, and his best known and most popular musical “West Side Story” is regarded as one of the classics of the world music literature.
On March 29, 2001, John Aaron Lewis died aged 80. He was pianist, composer and arranger, best known as the founder and musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet. He has recorded and performed with famous musicians, including Bill Perkins, Jim Hall, Percy Heath, Chico Hamilton, Sacha Distel, Gunther Schuller, Svend Asmussen, Albert Mangelsdorff, Helen Merrill, Christian Escoudé, Hank Jones, Lew Tabackin, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis Nonet, Harold Farberman, Clifford Brown, Ruth Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Joe Newman, Sonny Stitt and J. J. Johnson.
On January 3, 2016, Hyman Paul Bley died aged 83. He was pianist best known as one of the most important figures of the free jazz movement of the 60s and for his innovations and influence on trio playing. He has recorded and performed with many famous musicians, including: Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, Percy Heath, Al Levitt, Dave Pike, Charlie Haden, Lennie McBrowne, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, Steve Swallow, Pete LaRoca, Dewey Johnson, Marshall Allen, Eddie Gómez, Milford Graves, Kent Carter, Barry Altschul, Mark Levinson, Paul Motian, Billy Elgart, John Gilmore, Annette Peacock, Dick Youngstein, Glen Moore, Frank Tusa, Steve Hass, Bobby Moses, Han Bennink, Dave Holland, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Bruce Ditmas, Jimmy Giuffre, Bill Connors, Lee Konitz, George Cross McDonald, Chet Baker, John Scofield, Jesper Lundgaard, Aage Tanggaard, John Surman, Bill Frisell, Ron McClure, John Abercrombie, Red Mitchell, Michal Urbaniak, Bob Cranshaw, Keith Copeland, Hans Koch, Franz Koglmann, Tiziana Ghiglioni, Tony Oxley, Jane Bunnett, Herbie Spanier, Geordie McDonald, Evan Parker, Barre Phillips, Furio Di Castri, David Eyges, Bruce Ditmas, Sonny Greenwich, Rich Perry, Jay Anderson, Victor Lewis, Masahiko Togashi, Jakob Bro, Don Ellis, Sonny Rollins and Andreas Willers.