1 January 2019, American singer, songwriter Pegi Young died of cancer age 66. She first met future husband Neil Young in 1974 when she was working as a waitress at a diner near his ranch, a story he tells in the 1992 song ‘Unknown Legend’. They married in August 1978 and had two children. Her debut as a singer came in 1983 when she was a member of The Pinkettes, the backing vocalists on her husband’s rockabilly Shocking Pinks tour. She released her debut solo album in 2007.
2 January 2019, American musician and songwriter Daryl Dragon died from kidney failure aged 76. He was known as ‘Captain’ from the musical duo Captain & Tennille with his then-wife, Toni Tennille. They scored numerous hits on the US singles charts, the most enduring of which included ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’, ‘Do That to Me One More Time’, and ‘Muskrat Love’. They hosted their own television variety series on ABC in 1976–77. Dragon also worked on The Beach Boys’ 1972 release Carl and the Passions – ‘So Tough’.
5 January 2019, British musician Eric Haydock died age 75. He is best known as the original bass guitarist of The Hollies from December 1962 until July 1966. He was one of the first British musicians to play a Fender Bass VI, a six-string bass.
10 January 2019, American singer Larry Cunningham died of a heart attack age 67. He is best known as a member of the R&B/soul group The Floaters who scored the 1977 US number two and UK number one hit ‘Float On.’ The song was adapted in the early 1990s to advertise Cadbury’s Crème Eggs.
16 January 2019, American musician Lorna Doom died of cancer age 61. She was the bass guitarist for the punk rock band the Germs. Their music was influential to many later punk rock acts. Germs guitarist Pat Smear went on to achieve greater fame performing with Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
19 January 2019, Scottish drummer Ted McKenna died age of 68, of a hemorrhage during a routine operation for a hernia. He worked with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rory Gallagher, The Michael Schenker Group and toured with Ian Gillan for a short period in 1990.
29 January 2019, American singer, songwriter James Ingram died after a long battle with brain cancer age 66. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and charted eight Top 40 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100. He had two number one singles, the first, a duet with fellow R&B artist Patti Austin, 1982’s ‘Baby, Come to Me’ and ‘I Don’t Have the Heart’, which became his second number-one in 1990. He also recorded the song ‘Somewhere Out There’ with Linda Ronstadt for the animated film An American Tail.
21 February 2019, American musician Peter Tork from The Monkees died age 77. He was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer in 2009. The Monkees were brought together for an American sitcom TV series in 1966. Best known as the keyboardist and bass guitarist, they had the 1967 UK & US Number1 single ‘I’m A Believer’ plus other hits including ‘Last Train to Clarksville’, ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’, and ‘Daydream Believer’.
25 February 2019, Mark Hollis, English musician and singer-songwriter died age 64. He achieved commercial success and critical acclaim in the 1980s and 1990s as the co-founder, lead singer and principal songwriter of the band Talk Talk. Hollis wrote or co-wrote most of Talk Talk’s music, including hits like ‘It’s My Life’ (1984) and ‘Life’s What You Make It’ (1986).
25 February 2019, British publicist and talent manager Kenneth Pitt died age 96. He managed the career of musicians including David Bowie in the late 1960s (Pitt managed Bowie at the time of his first hit, ‘Space Oddity’ in 1969), and was responsible for publicising American musicians and bands touring the UK, including Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
26 February, English drummer Andy Anderson died of cancer aged 68. He is best known for his work with The Cure playing on the singles ‘Love Cats’ and ‘The Caterpillar’. He also worked with many other artists including Steve Hillage, Edwyn Collins, Mike Oldfield, The Gun Club and Peter Gabriel.
27 February 2019, English drummer Doug Sandom died one day after his 89th birthday. He was the first drummer for the rock band The Who. No recordings with Sandom playing with the band were ever released.
28 February 2019, German-American pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor André Previn died at home in Manhattan at the age of 89. He is best known for arranging and composing Hollywood film scores for over 50 films over his entire career. He won four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings.
1 March 2019, English blues and rock singer and musician Paul Williams did age 78. He joined Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band on bass and vocals, alongside the guitarist Andy Summers. He then replaced John McVie in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He later worked with the progressive rock group Tempest.
1 March 2019, Country Music Hall of Fame member Fred Foster died age 87. He is credited as producer behind all of Roy Orbison’s biggest hits including ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, ‘Only the Lonely’, and ‘Crying’ and also produced major hits for Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Ray Stevens and Kris Kristofferson.
4 March 2019, Keith Flint, singer and dancer with English electronic dance group The Prodigy was found dead at his home in Essex, England age 49. The Prodigy scored the 1996 UK Number1 & US Number 30 single ‘Firestarter’ and the 1997 UK & US Number1 album The Fat Of The Land. He owned a motorcycle race team, Team Traction Control, which won three Isle of Man TT races in 2015 and competed in the British Supersport Championship running Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycles.
10 March 2019, American guitarist, singer, and songwriter Asa Brebner died age 65. He was a member of The Modern Lovers led by Jonathan Richman. They are best know for their 1976 hit ‘Roadrunner’ which Rolling Stone ranked it Number 274 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
11 March 2019, Drummer Hal Blaine, one of the most recorded musicians in pop music history died of natural causes at his home in Palm Desert, California age 90. As a member of the The Wrecking Crew his drumming can be heard on songs such as Presley’s ‘Return to Sender,’ the Byrds’ ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ the Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations,’ Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water‘ and dozens of hits produced by Phil Spector, and the theme songs to ‘Batman,’ ‘The Partridge Family’ and dozens of other shows.
16 March 2019, American rock guitarist Dick Dale died of heart failure at the age of 81. He was known as the ‘King of the Surf Guitar’. He pioneered and created what many call the surf music style. Dale worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier. His song ‘Misirlou’ featured over the opening credits to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.
16 March 2019, American singer and songwriter David White who co-founded the doo-wop group Danny and the Juniors died in Las Vegas age 79. He wrote or co-wrote many of their hits including the number one ‘At the Hop,’ as well as ‘Rock and Roll is Here to Stay’, ‘You Don’t Own Me’, and ‘1-2-3.’
16 March 2019, American country singer Justin Carter died after being accidentally shot during the filming of a music video at his apartment in Woodlands, an area north of Houston. The singer had just released a new song titled ‘Love Affair’ a week earlier.
17 March 2019, American R&B musician André Williams died in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 82. He started his career in the 1950s; his most famous songs include the hits ‘Jail Bait,’ ‘Greasy Chicken,’ ‘Bacon Fat’ and ‘Cadillac Jack’ (1966). He was also the co-author of the R&B hit ‘Shake a Tail Feather’.
17 March 2019, Irish rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, Bernie Tormé died a day before he would have turned 67. Tormé is best known for his work with Gillan, as well as his brief stints with Ozzy Osbourne’s backing band and Atomic Rooster.
25 March 2019, Scott Walker singer with The Walker Brothers died age 76. The US star found fame as a teen idol in The Walker Brothers, scoring hits with ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ and ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’. He lived in the UK from 1965 and became a British citizen in 1970. Walker began a solo career with 1967’s Scott, moving toward an increasingly challenging baroque pop style on late ’60s albums such as Scott 3 (1969) and Scott 4 (1969). As a record producer or guest performer, he worked with a number of artists including Pulp, Ute Lemper and Bat for Lashes.
26 March 2019, British musician Ranking Roger died age 56. In January 2019 it was announced that Roger had undergone surgery for two brain tumours, and was undergoing treatment for lung cancer. He was a vocalist in the 1980s two-tone band the Beat (known in North America as the English Beat) and later General Public.
27 March 2019, Both members of Liverpool band Her’s were killed after being involved in a car accident. Both Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading were killed in the crash along with their tour manager Trevor Englebrektson on their way to a gig in Santa Ana, California. The duo released their debut album, Invitation to Her’s, in 2018.
30 March 2019, American singer Songwriter Billy Adams died age 79. He wrote and recorded the mid-1950s rockabilly staple ‘Rock, Pretty Mama,’ Other songs he recorded in the late ’50s include ‘You Heard Me Knocking,’ ‘True Love Will Come Your Way’ and ‘You Gotta Have a Duck Tail.’
31 March 2019, American rapper, songwriter Nipsey Hussle died age 33 after being shot multiple times in the parking lot of his store, Marathon Clothing, in South Los Angeles. Hussle initially became known for his numerous mixtapes, including his Bullets Ain’t Got No Name series, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues and Crenshaw. His debut studio album Victory Lap was released in February 2018 to critical acclaim and commercial success and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019.
2 April 2019, American electronica, soul, gospel, and house music singer, Kim English died age 48. She had been diagnosed with kidney failure for five years, and had been on dialysis, and awaiting a transplant. By 2007, English had earned her sixth, seventh and eighth US dance number ones with ‘It Makes a Difference’, ‘C’est La Vie’ and ‘My Destiny’.
5 April 2019, Shawn Smith a long-time singer-songwriter on the Seattle music scene died age 53 due to complications from diabetes. He performed with the bands Brad, Pigeonhead and Satchel, among others. In a strange coincidence, fellow Seattle luminaries Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) died on the same date in 1994 and 2002, respectively.
10 April 2019, American country music singer-songwriter Earl Thomas Conley died age 77 from cerebral atrophy. Conley charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which eighteen reached number one.
13 April 2019, English keyboardist and guitarist Paul Raymond died age 73. He joined Plastic Penny in the early 60s as their keyboardist, vocalist, and replaced Christine McVie in British blues band Chicken Shack. He first joined UFO in 1976 and played with the band during four different stints, he was a regular in the UFO lineup since 2003. Raymond had also worked with Michael Schenker in MSG.