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The Death of Rock: The Alphabetical Archive

C and D

Musicians are listed individually. Search by the artist's last name. Artists commonly referred to by a stage or street name (such as "The Big Bopper," Freddie Mercury, and Jam Master Jay) are listed under those names. Musicians who performed under a single name (like Aaliyah, Nico, and Selena) will be found under those single names. There are a few instances where two or more members of the same band perished in a single incident; you will find those artists listed under the group's name. (Examples are Banda Fugaz, The Bar-Kays, Chase, Passion Fruit, and The Reba McEntire Band.) One notable exception to this rule is Lynyrd Skynyrd. Members of Skynyrd are listed individually; although three perished in the 1977 plane crash, others have since died in unrelated incidents. (The three who died in the crash are grouped as "Lynyrd Skynyrd" on the Causes of Death and Chronology pages.)

Feel free to scroll, or click the letter you wish to view and skip ahead.

Key

Some entries have special notations prior to their names. They represent induction into one of the following Halls of Fame:
* denotes induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
# indicates induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
^ symbolizes induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.

C

Stuart Cable
aspiration of vomit (2010). Cable was the drummer with British alternative band, Stereophonics, from 1992 until 2003 and was a member of Killing for Company at the time of his death. Cable had been drinking at a local Aberdare (Wales) pub, the Welsh Harp Inn, where he left his car and walked home with friends. He continued drinking and reportedly choked to death on his own vomit while asleep. He was 40. "Dakota," "Have a Nice Day," "The Bartender and the Thief"

Tommy Caldwell
car accident in 1980; he was 30. Bassist for The Marshall Tucker Band. Toy Caldwell's (see 1993) brother. "Can't You See," "Heard It In A Love Song," "Ramblin'"

Toy Caldwell
respiratory failure; he was 45. Caldwell was the guitarist for Toy Factory and The Marshall Tucker Band (both with George McCorkle, see 2007). Caldwell had bronchial problems which were aggravated by his cocaine habit; this resulted in a respiratory collapse. In 1993, he suffered a bout of the flu and died in his sleep from respiratory failure. (Source: "The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars," Jeremy Simmonds.) Caldwell was scheduled to play a fundraiser in memory of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant (see 1977) on the day he died. Caldwell's brother and fellow Marshall Tucker band mate, Tommy Caldwell, died in a car crash in 1980. "Can't You See," "Heard It In A Love Song," "Ramblin'"

Randy California
(Randy Craig Wolfe), drowned in 1997. California was guitarist for '60s group, Spirit. When he was 15 he briefly played with a pre-superstar Jimi Hendrix. California was rescuing his son from a strong ocean current when he was pulled under. He was 45. "Fresh Garbage," "Taurus" (borrowed by Led Zeppelin for "Stairway to Heaven"), "Elijah"

The Duprees

The Duprees, circa 1962: John Salvato, Michael Arnone (d. 2005),

Joey Canzano (d. 1984), Joseph Santollo (d. 1981) and Thomas Bialoglow.

Joey Canzano
(Joey Vann), heart attack in 1984. He was 40. Canzano was the original lead singer of the doo wop group, The Duprees. The Duprees were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006. (Fellow member, Joseph Santollo, died in 1981.) "You Belong to Me," "My Own True Love," "Have You Heard?"

*Jim Capaldi
stomach cancer (2005); he was 60. Capaldi was the drummer for Traffic and later formed his own band, The Contenders. He was a five-time winner of BMI or ASCAP for the most-played songs in the United States. Traffic were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. "Paper Sun," "Forty Thousand Headmen," "Dear Mr. Fantasy," "Feelin' Alright"

Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter
anorexia; 1983. Drummer and singer for The Carpenters. She was 33 when she died, 5'4" and 108 lbs. (In 1975 she weighed a mere 80 pounds, 35 lbs. underweight.) "We've Only Just Begun," "Close to You"

Eric Carr
(Paul Charles Caravello), cancer, 1991. He was 41. Carr was the drummer for the ostentatious rock band, Kiss. He played with the band from 1980-1991 as "The Fox." "Rock And Roll All Night," "Lick It Up," "Detroit Rock City"

Neal Casal
age 50 in 2019; cause of death undisclosed. Casal was a guitarist who was a member of The Cardinals, and played with Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh and Chris Robinson.

John Cascella
heart attack while driving. He was 45. Cascella played keyboards, saxaphone, and accordion for John "Cougar" Mellencamp. In 1992, Cascella was returning from a boxing match, when he had a heart attack while driving. He veered off the road into a cornfield, and his vehicle (containing his body) was later found by a passing motorist. (Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.) With Mellencamp: "Get a Leg Up," "Paper in Fire," "R.O.C.K. in the USA," "Cherry Bomb," "Small Town

Randy Castillo
squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) in 2002. He was 51. Castillo was the drummer for Ozzy Osbourne and briefly played with Motley Crue. Albums with Osbourne include: The Ultimate Sin, No Rest for the Wicked, and No More Tears.

*Danny Cedrone
(Donato Joseph Cedrone), broken neck; 1954. He was one of Bill Haley's Comets, playing lead guitar. Cedrone was responsible for the scorching guitar solo in the classic rock hit, "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock." While leaving the second floor of the 819 Bar in Philadelphia with a bag of roast beef sandwiches, he fell down a flight of stairs and broke his neck, dying instantly. He was three days shy of his 34th birthday. "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" held the #1 spot for eight weeks, was used on the soundtracks of the motion pictures "The Blackboard Jungle" (1955) and "American Graffiti" (1974), and was chosen as the theme for the 1970s' television series "Happy Days." In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a special committee, when the band failed to originally be inducted with Bill Haley 1987. Cedrone is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. (Bill Haley suffered a fatal heart attack in 1981 at the age of 55. Fellow Comets Rudy Pompilli (age 51; 1974) and Marshall Lytle (age 79; 2013), both succumbed to lung cancer.) "Rocket 88," "Rock the Joint," "Rudy's Rock"

*Chas Chandler
(Bryan James Chandler), aortic aneurysm (1996). He was 58. Chandler was the bassist for The Animals. He later discovered and managed Jimi Hendrix (see 1970) and Slade. The Animals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. "House of the Rising Sun," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"

Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin
(Harry Forster Chapin), car accident, possibly due to a heart attack suffered while driving; he was 37. On 16 July 1981, Chapin was driving to a free concert at which he was performing, in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, New York. He was traveling in the left lane on the Long Island Expressway at about 65 miles per hour when he put on the car's hazard lights, dropped to about 15 miles per hour, and veered into the center lane, nearly colliding with another car. He then swerved left, and back to the right, directly in front of a tractor trailer, which slammed into the rear of Chapin's blue 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit, rupturing the fuel tank. The driver of the truck and a passerby pulled Chapin out of the burning car through the window, but he did not survive the ordeal. The official cause of death is "cardiac arrest," but it is unclear whether it was the cause or the result of the auto accident. In 1987, Chapin was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his philanthropic work. (The Congressional Gold Medal, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is the highest civilian award in the United States.) "Cat's in the Cradle," "Taxi"

Chase

The band, Chase.

Chase
a promising jazz-rock ensemble, founded by trumpeter Bill Chase. In 1974, while leaving Texas for an appearance in Minnesota, Chase (age 39), his drummer Walter Clark (age 25), guitarist John Emma (age 22), and keyboardist Wally Yohn (age 27) were killed when their plane crashed. The cause was sited as pilot error and poor radio communication. View the National Transportation and Safety Board Report. "Get It On"

Chi Cheng
complications from a 2008 car accident; he was 42. Cheng was the bassist for the Grammy-winning Deftones. He was involved in an automobile accident, colliding with another car, and was ejected from the vehicle (he wasn't wearing a seatbelt). He was in a coma until 2009, when it was reported that he was in a "semi-conscious state". He remained that way until he died of cardiac arrest in 2013. "Elite," "Change (In the House of Flies)," "Minerva"

Philip Chevron
(Philip Ryan), esophageal cancer in 2013. He was 56. Chevron was a singer-songwriter and guitarist, member of the Irish punk band, The Pogues. "Sunny Side of the Street," "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah," "Tuesday Morning"

Alex Chilton
(William Alexander Chilton), heart attack in 2010. Chilton was a member of Big Star, with Chris Bell (car accident, 1978) and Andy Hummel (cancer, 2010) and The Box Tops. Chilton was in a hospital emergency room when he suffered a heart attack at age 59. With The Box Tops: "The Letter," "Cry Like a Baby," "Soul Deep"

Arlester "Dyke" Christian
shot in 1971. Christian sang back up for The O'Jays and later formed Dyke and the Blazers. Christian is said to have influenced many, including James Brown and Wilson Pickett. He was shot four times with a .22-caliber pistol while sitting in his car in downtown Phoenix. He was 27. It was speculated that the killing was drug-related; the case against the shooter, Clarence Daniels, was dismissed based upon "evidence indicating self-defense." Dyke and the Blazers were inducted to the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. "Let A Woman Be a Woman, Let a Man Be a Man," "Funky Broadway - Part 1" (later covered by Pickett as a #1 R&B single)

John Cipollina
emphysema, 1989. Guitarist for Quicksilver Messenger Service. Cipollina was 45. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #32). "Who Do You Love," "Pride of Man," "Fresh Air"

Dee Clark
heart attack in 1990. He was 52. As a member of The Hambone Kids, he had a hit in 1952 with "Hambone." As a solo artist, he scored with "Just Keep It Up," "Hey Little Girl" and 1961's "Raindrops" (which reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart, #3 on the R&B list).

*Gene Clark
cumulative effects of alcohol (a bleeding ulcer) in 1991; he was 46. Clark was the singer-songwriter of The Byrds, which also featured Gram Parsons and Clarence White (see 1973 for both) and Michael Clarke (see 1993). The Byrds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Eight Miles High," "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

*Steve Clark
substance abuse; 1991. Clark was the guitarist for Def Leppard. He died in his sleep after ingesting alcohol, barbituates and anti-depressants at a party. Clark was 30. Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Love Bites," "Photograph"

*Michael Clarke
(Michael James Dick), cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse (1993). He was 49. Clarke was the drummer for The Byrds, which also featured Gram Parsons, Clarence White (see 1973 for both) and Gene Clark (1991). The Byrds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Turn! Turn! Turn!" "Eight Miles High"

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline

#Patsy Cline
(Virginia Patterson Hensley), plane crash in Tennessee in 1963; she was 30. Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas were returning from a benefit for the widow of a local disc jockey who died in a car crash. Randy Hughes, both Copas's son-in-law and Cline's manager, was piloting the plane; he was also killed in the crash. While on the way to Cline's funeral, another country musician, Jack Anglin (also 1963), was killed. Cline was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 and she is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. She was also honored on a United States postage stamp. Proceed to the Patsy Cline Tribute, which details the crash and includes photos and the official crash report. "Crazy," "I Fall To Pieces" "Leavin' on Your Mind" (the single at the time of her death)

Odia Coates
breast cancer (1991); she was 49. Coates sang with Paul Anka on 1974's "You're Having My Baby."

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

*Kurt Cobain
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head; 1994. Lead singer/guitarist for rock music iconoclasts and grunge pioneers, Nirvana. Cobain's body was discovered by an electrician 3 days after his death. Cobain suffered from stomach problems, possible depression/bipolar disorder, and drug addiction. He was 27 when he took his life. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #12). Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Visit the Kurt Cobain Tribute for artist information, photos, his suicide note, and a detailed account of the events leading up to his death. Learn about Cobain's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come As You Are," "Heart-Shaped Box," "All Apologies"

Eddie Cochran space saver Cochran's Wreck

Eddie Cochran; Cochran's wreck.

*Eddie Cochran

(Raymond Edward Cochran), car accident in 1960; he was 22. Fellow rocker Gene Vincent (see 1971), and several others were injured when their taxi skidded into a lamppost. Cochran was thrown through the windshield and survived his brain injuries less than a day. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #84). Cochran was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and he is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Read about Cochran's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Summertime Blues," "Sittin' in the Balcony," "Three Steps to Heaven" (posthumous release)

Brian Cole
drug overdose in 1972. He was 29. Member of the group, The Association, who were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. "Never My Love," "Cherish," "Windy," "Along Comes Mary"

David Cole
spinal meningitis (1995). He was 32. Cole was half of the early '90s dance sensation, C & C Music Factory. They won a Grammy for their work on the Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner film, The Bodyguard. "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," "Here We Go," "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm...."

Nat

"Nat "King" Cole

*Nat "King" Cole
(Nathaniel Adams Cole), lung cancer; 1965. He was 45. Cole sang and hosted a weekly variety show, The Nat King Cole Show, on NBC in 1957. It lasted for 64 episodes; Cole was the first black man to host a program on televison. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1985. Cole was also named an Icon and awarded the Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2005. "Unforgettable," "Mona Lisa"

Allen Collins

Allen Collins

*Allen Collins
(Larkin Allen Collins, Jr.), pneumonia (1990). He was 37. Collins was a guitarist for and one of the founders of Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1986, he crashed his car while driving drunk; his girlfriend was killed and he was paralyzed from the waist down. The pneumonia was a result of decreased lung capacity from the paralyzation. Collins, along with Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson (see 2001), Artimus Pyle and Billy Powell (see 2009), was also a survivor of the 1977 plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and manager Dean Kilpatrick. Lynyrd Skynyrd were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Visit the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute. "Free Bird," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man"

John Coltrane

John Coltrane

John Coltrane
liver cancer (1967) at age 40. Coltrane was once a member of Miles Davis's group, and is arguably the greatest jazz saxophonist on record. It was rumoured that his liver problems were caused by a lengthy addiction to alcohol and heroin. In 1965, Coltrane was inducted into the Down Beat Magazine Jazz Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. In 2007, he was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize Committee. His legendary albums include My Favorite Things, Live at the Village Vanguard, and A Love Supreme.

Scott Columbus
causes unknown (2011); he was 54. Columbus was the drummer for the mythology- and fantasy-inspired metal act, Manowar. The group was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the loudest performance, and they hold the record for the longest heavy metal concert - 5 hours and 1 minute (Bulgaria, 2008). Manowar's albums include Battle Hymns, Into Glory Ride, Sign of the Hammer, and The Triumph of Steel.

Arthur Conley
intestinal cancer (2003). He passed away at his home in Netherlands at the age of 57. Conley recorded the 1967 hit, "Sweet Soul Music."

Brian Connolly
kidney failure; 1997. He was 52. Connolly was the vocalist for Sweet. "Ballroom Blitz," "Action," "Little Willy"

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

*Sam Cooke
murdered in 1964. Member of the gospel group, the Soul Stirrers, and wildly successful solo artist. Cooke was staying in a LA motel with a woman he had picked up. He realized his money and clothes were stolen and assumed the manageress of the motel was in on the scam. Cooke, half-naked, accosted her. She brandished a gun and a struggle ensued. Cooke was fatally shot; he was 33. Over 200,000 fans payed their respects in Chicago. Cooke was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1986; the Soul Stirrers were inducted in 1989. Visit Sam Cooke's Tribute for details about his career and suspicious death. "You Send Me," "Twisting the Night Away," "Chain Gang," "Bring It On Home"

Cowboy Copas

Cowboy Copas

Cowboy Copas
(Lloyd Estel Copas), "The Oklahoma Cowboy," plane crash in Tennessee in 1963. Copas was 49. Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Patsy Cline, were returning from a benefit for the widow of a local disc jockey who died in a car crash. Randy Hughes, both Copas's son-in-law and Cline's manager, was piloting the plane; he was also killed in the crash. Proceed to the Patsy Cline Tribute, which details the crash and includes photos and the official crash report. You can alslo read about Copas's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Filipino Baby," "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," "Alabam'," "Goodbye Kisses" (posthumous release)

Carter Cornelius
heart attack in 1991. He was 43. Member of The Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, who split up in 1976 when Carter joined a black Hebrew sect in Miami and adopted the name Prince Gideon Israel. "Too Late To Turn Back Now," "Treat Her Like a Lady"

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell
suicide in 2017. After finishing a show in Detroit, Cornell returned to his hotel room and hung himself. He was 52. Cornell was a grunge legend, fronting the supergroups Soundgarden and Audioslave. Soundgarden won two Grammy Awards. With Soundgarden: "Slaves and Bulldozers," "Rusty Cage," "Spoonman," "Black Hole Sun," "Pretty Noose, "Burden in My Hand." With Audioslave: "Cochise," "Like A Stone," "Doesn't Remind Me"

Barbara Cowsill
emphysema (1985). She was the vocalist and matriarch of the '60s family group, The Cowsills, who were the inspiration for television's "The Partridge Family." (Sons and fellow band members Barry (see 2005) and William (see 2006) would die within a year of one another.) Barbara was 54 at the time of her death. "Hair," "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things," "Indian Lake"

The Cowsills

The Cowsills: Bob, Barry (d. 2005), Susan, William (d. 2006), Barbara (d. 1985), and John

Barry Cowsill
body found among Hurricane Katrina's (2005) devastation in New Orleans. He was 51. He was a member of the '60s group, The Cowsills. (Mother Barbara passed away in 1985 and brother William would die in 2006.) Made up of six siblings and their mother, The Cowsills were the inspiration for television's "The Partridge Family." Barry left a message for his sister before Katrina struck: "I don't know how to get out of town except wait for a bus...I've been so...lonely...I hope I get in touch with you." He was never heard from again. Four months later, his body was found. The cause of death was determined to be drowning. "Hair," "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things," "Indian Lake"

William Cowsill
complications from emphysema, osteoporosis and Cushing syndrome; 2006. He was a member of the '60s group, The Cowsills. (Mother Barbara passed away in 1985 and brother Barry drowned during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.) Made up of six siblings and their mother, The Cowsills were the inspiration for television's "The Partridge Family." William was 58. "Hair," "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things," "Indian Lake"

Darby Crash
(Jan Paul Beahm, a.k.a. Bobby Pyn), heroin overdose the day before John Lennon's murder. Founder of seminal L.A. punk band The Germs; Crash was 22. "Lexicon Devil"

Jim Croce

Jim Croce

Jim Croce
(James Joseph Croce), plane crash in Louisiana in 1973. The Beechcraft D-18 that Croce had chartered snagged the top of some pecan trees during take-off and crashed, one day before the release of his third album, I Got A Name. Croce was 30. In 1990, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Visit the Archive's Tribute to Jim Croce. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," "I Got A Name," "I'll Have to Say I Love You In A Song," "Time in a Bottle" (The latter three songs were released posthumously.)

Robbin Crosby
complications from AIDS; 2002. Crosby, guitarist for the seminal 1980's hair-metal band, Ratt, abused heroin during the band's early success and contracted HIV. Ratt's 1984 video for their signature song, "Round and Round," featured a cross-dressing Milton Berle. Crosby was 42. "Round and Round," "Lay It Down"

Rich Cronin
leukemia in 2010. He was 35. Cronin wrote LFO's (Lyte Funkie Ones) ubiquitous hit of 1999, "Summer Girls". Fellow band mate, Devin Lima, would succumb to cancer in 2018 at the age of 41.

Partridge Family

The Partridge Family. Suzanne Crough, bottom right.

Suzanne Crough
cause of death (2015) unknown. Crough played Tracy, the youngest daughter on TV's "The Partridge Family." The musical family (based on the Cowsills) scored several hits on the charts. She was 52. "C'mon Get Happy," "I Think I Love You," "Doesn't Somebody Want to Be Wanted"

T.Rex

One version of T.Rex: Bill Legend, Mickey Finn (d. 2003),

singer Marc Bolan (d. 1977), and Steve Currie (d. 1981).

*Steve Currie
car accident in Portugal in 1981. He was 34. Currie was the bassist for T. Rex. He was one of five band members to die prematurely (see Marc Bolan, 1977; Steve Peregrin Took, 1980; Mickey Finn, 2003; and "Dino" Dines, 2004). T-Rex was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "Bang a Gong (Get it On)," "Hot Love," "Telegram Sam," "Metal Guru"

Ian Curtis

Ian Curtis

Ian Curtis
hanged himself; 1980. Lyricist and singer for Joy Division; he was 23. Joy Division morphed into New Wave group New Order after Curtis's suicide. Both groups were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Dead Souls"

*King Curtis
(Curtis Ousley), murdered. Curtis was a legendary session saxophonist who appeared on many hits in the 50's and 60's. He had 15 top 100 songs from 1962 to 1971. In 1971, he had an argument outside his apartment when a man pulled out a dagger and stabbed Curtis in the heart. He was 37. King Curtis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. "Soul Twist," "Ode to Billie Joe," "Memphis Soul Stew." With the Coasters: "Yakety Yak"

John "JC" Curulewski
brain aneurysm in 1988, age 37. Curulewski was a co-founder of Styx (with Dennis DeYoung and brothers Chuck and John Panozzo. John died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage brought on by alcoholism in 1996.) Curulewski left the band in the mid-1970s and was replaced on guitar by Tommy Shaw. "Mr. Roboto," "Come Sail Away," "Lady," "Babe"

Johnny Cymbal
heart attack in 1993. He was 48. Cymbal had a hit with "Mr. Bass Man" in 1963, and a 1969 hit with "Cinnamon", under the name "Derek".

D

Vernon Dalhart space saver Vernon Dalhart's grave

Vernon Dalhart and photo I took at his grave.

#Vernon Dalhart
(Marion Try Slaughter, Sr.), succumbed to his second heart attack in 1948; he was 65. Dalhart was a pioneering country musician. In the 1920's he released "Wreck of the Old 97", which was the best-selling single in its time, and was the biggest-selling non-holiday record in the first seventy years of recorded music. "The Prisoner's Song" was estimated to be a #1 hit for 12 weeks in 1925-26. His lifetime recording sales is estimated at 70 million copies. In 1998, "The Prisoner's Song" was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and the Recording Industry Association of America named it one of the Songs of the Century. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981 and into the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in 2007. (Technically, Dalhart is too old for inclusion in The Archive, but he has an entry because of his status as a Country pioneer and because he worked and was buried in my hometown.)

Denis D'Amour
a.k.a. "Piggy" - colon cancer, 2005. He was 45. D'Amour was the guitarist for Canadian thrash band, Voivod. Voivod gained additional notoriety when they were joined by former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted. "War and Pain," "Forgotten in Space," "Rebel Robot"

*Rick Danko
heart failure; 1999. He was 56. Danko was the bassist and vocalist for The Band (with keyboardist Richard Manuel, see 1986), who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The group started its career as Bob Dylan's back-up band. "Up On Cripple Creek," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "This Wheel's On Fire"

Dennis Danell
Danell was the guitarist and co-founding member of the punk rock band, Social Distortion. Danell suddenly dropped dead in his driveway while moving into a new home in 2000. The band's manager stated that he had died of a cerebral aneurysm. The Orange County Coroner’s Office lists his death as “idiopathic dialated cardiomyopathy.” Fellow band member, Mike Ness, stated on the DVD commentary of Another State of Mind that Danell succumbed to a heart condition. Danell was 38. "Let It Be Me," "Ball and Chain," "I Was Wrong"

Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin

*Bobby Darin
(Walden Robert Cassotto), complications during heart surgery to repair a faulty valve; 1973. As a child, Darin had rheumatic fever, which left him with a weakened heart. He was one of the original bubblegum crooners, and was married to America's sweetheart, Sandra Dee. (Dee died in 2005.) When Darin was 32, he found out that his older sister was actually his mother; the woman he believed to be his mother was actually his grandmother. Darin won a Grammy for "Mack the Knife," which spent nine weeks at number one. He was 37 when he died. Darin was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. (Read about Darin's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly.) "Splish Splash," "Dream Lover," "Beyond the Sea"

dimebag Darrell

"Dimebag" Darrell

"Dimebag" Darrell
(Darrell Abbott), shot to death in 2004, while performing with Damageplan. He was 38. Darrell was co-founder and guitarist of the metal groups Pantera and Damageplan (with his brother, Vinnie Paul, see 2018). The shooting occurred on the 24th anniverasry of John Lennon's fatal shooting by Mark David Chapman (see 1980). You can read the report on Darrell's murder, released 24 October 2005. With Pantera: "Planet Caravan" (Black Sabbath cover), "Revolution is My Name," "Becoming." With Damageplan: "Explode," "Save Me," "Breathing New Life"

Jesse Ed Davis
(Jesse Edwin Davis), heroin overdose; 1988. Davis was a respected and popular session guitarist who appeared on albums by Eric Clapton, John Lennon (see 1980), Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Harry Nilsson and Steve Miller. Davis also participated in George Harrison's (see 2001) The Concert for Bangladesh. Davis collapsed and was pronounced dead in a laundry room in Venice, California. He had various drugs in his system, but his death is thought to have been caused by a heroin overdose. He was 43 years old.

Paul Davis
heart attack in 2008 at the age of 60. His 1977 hit "I Go Crazy," stayed on the Hot 100 chart for 40 weeks - a record at the time. His other hits include "Cool Night," "65 Love Affair," "Ride 'Em Cowboy, " and "You're Still New To Me" with Marie Osmond.

Bobby Day
(Robert James Byrd), succumbed to prostate cancer in 1990. He was 60. He is most popularly known for the hit single, “Rockin’ Robin."

Bill Deal
heart attack in 2003. He was 59. Deal fronted Bill Deal & the Rhondels. "May I," "I've Been Hurt," "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?"

Pete de Freitas

Echo and the Bunnymen: Pete de Freitas (bottom)

Pete de Freitas
(Pete Louis Vincent de Freitas), motorcycle accident in Staffordshire, England (1989). He was 27. De Freitas was on the A51 when an elderly woman pulled out onto the main road in front of him. He was drummer for Echo and the Bunnymen. (Thanks to Southpaw for the information.) Jake Drake-Brockman, keyboardist for the band, would also be killed in a motorcyle accident in 2009 at the age of 53. "Over the Wall," "Heaven Up Here, "All My Colours," "The Killing Moon"

Darryl DeLoach
liver cancer in 2002. He was 55. DeLoach founded Iron Butterfly, and was the original lead singer. He left the band after their first album, Heavy, was recorded, before the success of "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vita." He survived bassist Philip Taylor Kramer (see 1995) and died one year before guitarist Erik Brann (see 2003).

Brad Delp

Brad Delp

Brad Delp
carbon monoxide poisoning in 2007. Delp was the lead singer and guitarist for '70s rock band, Boston. He was found on his bathroom floor, his head on a pillow and a suicide note ("I am a lonely soul.... I have lost my desire to live.") paper-clipped to the neck of his shirt. Delp had sealed himself inside the room with two charcoal grills. He was 55. "More Than a Feeling," "Amanda," "Peace of Mind," "Don't Look Back"

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny
head injuries sustained during a fall in 1978. Denny suffered postnatal drug/alcohol withdrawal and depression. Her husband left a few months later with their daughter, and while intoxicated, she fell down a flight of stairs. Ignoring her headaches and injuries, she died a few days later. Denny was 31. "No More Sad Refrains," co-vocalist on Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore"

John Denver

John Denver

John Denver
(Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.), plane crash in California, 1997. Denver was piloting the plane; he was 53. Visit John Denver's Tribute for artist information, photos, and a detailed account of the fatal plane crash. "You Fill Up My Senses (Annie's Song)," "Rocky Mountain High," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy"

Tony Destra
car accident in 1987. Cinderella's founding drummer. He was asked to leave just prior to their mainstream breakthrough. He then formed Britny Fox, but he was killed right before recording the Britny Fox debut. He was 33. Cinderella: "Don't Know What You Got 'Til It's Gone" Britny Fox: "Girlschool," "Long Way to Love"

"Dino" Dines
(Peter Leslie Dines), heart attack in 2004; he was 59. Dines was a keyboardist who played with The Hollies, Beach Boys, and later joined T-Rex. Unforunately for Dines, he joined after the band's heyday. He was one of five T-Rex members to die prematurely, the others being singer Marc Bolan (see 1977), Steve Peregrin Took (see 1980), Steve Currie (see 1981), and Mickey Finn (see 2003). T-Rex (minus Dines) was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.T-Rex's hits with Dines: "New York City," "I Love to Boogie"

Razzle Dingley

"Razzle" Dingley

Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley
automobile accident in 1984; he was 24. Drummer for Eighties band Hanoi Rocks. Dingley accompanied a drunk Vince Neil (singer for Motley Crue) on a beer run; Neil crashed his car and Razzle was killed. (Neil served 30 days in jail for vehicular manslaughter.) "Up Around the Bend," "Underwater World," "I Can't Get It"

Mark Dinning
heart attack at the age of 52 in 1986. Dinning's "death disc," "Teen Angel," went to #1 in 1960, despite being banned by numerous radio stations.

DJ AM

DJ AM

DJ AM
(Adam Michael Goldstein), overdose of OxyContin pain killers in 2009; drug paraphanelia (crack cocaine) was also found near the body. It is widely speculated that the cause of death was suicide. Goldstein had survived a fatal plane crash less than a year before, sustaining third-degree burns. He often spoke about his survivor's guilt and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He had also recently broken up with his girlfriend. DJ AM was a member of Crazy Town ("Butterfly") with Rust Epique (see 2004) and was a popular and well-respected club DJ. He was 36.

Patty Donahue
lung cancer, 1996. She was 40. Singer for the '80s band, The Waitresses. "I Know What Boys Like"

Ral Donner
(Ralph Stuart Donner), lung cancer at the age of 41 (in 1984). Donner built his singing career around his uncanny ability to mimic Elvis' vocal style. He narrated the 1981 film "This Is Elvis." "You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It)," "Girl of My Best Friend," "She's Everything (I Wanted You to Be)"

Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy Dorsey
throat cancer (1957). He was 53. Formed the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, which once included trombonist Glenn Miller ( see 1944), with brother Tommy (see 1956). The Dorsey Brothers had a live television series, "Stage Show," where Elvis Presley (see 1977) made his first national TV appearance. "So Rare," "Ampola"

Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey
aspiration of vomit (1956). Formed the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, which once included trombonist Glenn Miller (see 1944), with brother Jimmy (see 1957). Tommy ingested a large dinner and was accustomed to using pills to help him sleep. He was 50. The Dorsey Brothers had a live television series, "Stage Show," where Elvis Presley (see 1977) made his first national TV appearance. "Opus One" (with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Gordon Downie
brain cancer in 2017; he was 53. Downie sang lead for the Canadian band, The Tragically Hip. In 2002, the group was given a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and in 2005 they were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The band has won over a dozen Juno Awards and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2017. "Courage," "Ahead by a Century," "Poets," "In View"

Peter Doyle
cancer in 2001. Doyle was a member of The New Seekers, who scored a hit in 1971 with "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing." He was 52. 1970's "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma"

Nick Drake

Nick Drake

Nick Drake
(Nicholas Rodney Drake), anti-depressant overdose in 1974; he was 26. Drake was an ethereal folk singer. In 1985, The Dream Academy released the song, "Life in a Northern Town," about Drake. It reached #7 on The Billboard Hot 100. "Pink Moon," "Fly," "Northern Sky," "Black-Eyed Dog"

Jake Drake-Brockmann
(James Ralph Drake-Brockman), motorcycle accident in 2009. He was 53. Drake-Brockman formed BOM, a dance band, and he toured with Echo & the Bunnymen in the Eighties. He played on their single, "Seven Seas", and on their 1987 album, Echo & the Bunnymen. He joined the group full-time as their keyboardist in 1989. Drake-Brockman died on the Isle of Man when his motorcycle collided with a converted ambulance. (Echo & the Bunnymen's drummer, Pete DeFreitas, was also killed in a motorcycle accident in 1989. He was 27.) Echo & the Bunnymen: "Over the Wall," "Heaven Up Here, "All My Colours," "The Killing Moon"

Willis Draffen
(Willis Lewis Draffen, Jr.), cause of death undisclosed (2002). Draffen was a known diabetic, but the specific cause of death was not released. He was 56. He was a member of Bloodstone, with Roger Lee Durham (see 1973). "Natural High," "Never Let You Go," "Outside Woman," "My Little Lady"

Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot: Carlos Cavazo, Kevin DuBrow, Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali.

Kevin DuBrow
accidental cocaine overdose (2007); age 52. DuBrow was the lead singer of '80s metal group, Quiet Riot. He formed the band in the late '70s with guitarist Randy Rhoads (see 1982). "Cum On Feel the Noize," "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)," "Slick Black Cadillac"

Roger Lee Durham
fall from a horse in 1973; he was 27. Durham was a member of Bloodstone, with Willis Draffen (see 2002). Durham was an airman during the War in Viet Nam; he is buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery (Kansas). "Natural High," "Never Let You Go," "Outside Woman," "My Little Lady"

Ian Dury
colorectal cancer, 2000. Dury, 52, was lead for the English band, Ian Dury And The Blockheads. Dury turned to music after the death of singer Gene Vincent (see 1971). The Blockheads scored five hit singles and two Top Ten albums between 1978 and 1980. "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," "Sweet Gene Vincent," "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"

Ronnie Dyson
heart failure (1990). He was 40. "(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?" "I Don't Wanna Cry," "When You Get Right Down To It"